Strangest Catch Of The Year

During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I love getting together and visiting with family and friends. During the many visits throughout the holiday, it never fails that at some point the conversation always comes around to the past fishing season and each year I always get asked the same question: What was the strangest fish I caught during the year?

I had the good fortune of fishing in three different states and four different provinces during the 2014 season and caught 42 different saltwater and freshwater fish species. I caught my first leopard shark, catfish, eel and a few other firsts. However, the oddest fish that was brought into the boat wasn’t caught by me, but by good friend and fellow outdoor writer Brad Fenson.

We were fishing with Serengeti Fishing Charters out of Port Hardy, BC, during the month of June. After three days of fishing, we landed a number of rockfish, salmon and halibut. However, during a jigging sequence at a hot rockfish location, Brad said his hook was snagged on the bottom. Brad and Lane, one of our guides, worked at freeing the lure with no luck. We were using 80-pound braided line and wrapped the line around one of the cleats on the side of the boat and slowly drove the boat forward. The hook was soon freed and Brad began reeling in the slackline. However, Brad quickly realized there was something on the end of his line.

After Brad fought for 10 minutes to bring the fish to the surface, it took the effort of both guides to wrestle the fish into the boat. Brad had caught a 50-pound octopus,which was now crawling across the deck of the boat, wrapping its four-foot tentacles around anything in its way – includingour feet. Brad’s line wasn’t snagged on the bottom, it was hooked into the large octopus that refused to leave the bottom of the Pacific without a fight. Heavy, colourful and slimy to the touch, Brad’s octopus was definitely the strangest catch of the year.

I hope everyone has an adventurous 2015 fishing season!

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