Appalachia Fishing

Caught On The River Bank

Today’s entry in The Week of the Fish was written by Ed Ammons.

Fish in appalachia


Caught On The River Bank written by Ed Ammons

When I was a teenager all us boys liked to ride dirt bikes. I never had one of my own but never failed to seize the opportunity to ride somebody else’s if they had more than one or didn’t want to go. Cousin Craz had three but one day when only his Suzuki 250 was running he asked me to go riding with him. So I piled on behind him and off we went. We took back roads, logging roads and pig trails ‘til we came out on the Little Tennessee about half way between the Narrows and the mouth of Sawmill Creek. We turned upriver on a well worn trail used by fisherman there to catch white bass coming up out of Fontana to spawn. The trail followed the river and was straight and sandy smooth so Craz got it up to a pretty good clip. It was a warm sunny day and we were enjoying the wind in our faces.

Suddenly I was sitting on my butt on the ground. Craz was on up the trail a ways on his butt too and the bike was still going. After I recovered my wits a bit I got up and went to help my cousin but he was already up and brushing off his clothes. When he got to his right leg it had a fishhook in it. And the fishhook had a fishing line tied to it. And something was pulling on the other end.

We looked back down the line toward the river bank and here comes an inebriated angler trying to concentrate on reeling in his fish. He looked up and saw us and started cussing and shaking his fist in our direction but as he got closer and saw the size of his catch his jaw dropped and he just stood there with his mouth open.

As soon as our plastered piscatorial pal released the pressure on the line, guess what Craz did. He, being the laid back easy going soul he was, reached down and unhooked his pants leg then turn back to see about his bike. It was a little way on up the trail on its side still running. He picked it up, checked it out a little, said “you ready?” and off we went leaving our new found friend standing there in a state of shock.

Later that evening when we went back over the day’s highlights, we figured Bozo was trying to cast out into the river and, being disoriented as he was, had cast back over his head and we just so happened to arrive at the same instant that hook did. We must have pulled out all his line and at the end it jerked Craz back into me and pushed me off first then pulled him off, leaving the bike to find its way alone.

As I said before, cousin Crazy Joe was the most unexcitable person I have met before or since. We could have tied the sot up in his own fishing line and left him laying there but we chose to let him off the hook, so to speak.


Now that is a fishing tale-I hope you liked Ed’s story as much as I did!



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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 31, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Jim-I found your recommended reading and thought it better than my own. By leaps and bounds to say the least. I chuckled all the way through. I guess you overly serious anglers will do anything avoid your tackle being captured by your prey.
    That Kipling feller ought to keep writing. He might make something of himself. Ha!

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo
    July 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Great story. I believed it!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Great story, Ed!
    I used to do a LOT of riding, but it was all street. 16,000 miles a year on 2 wheels, rain or shine. Probably says a lot about me, maybe a little nuts!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    At the reservoir where I work I have removed a few hooks from fisherman. A good set of wire cutters and a pair of needle nose pliers usually will do the trick. One day a fellow walked up to the office and asked me if I had any wire cutters noticing he had his hand over his neck. He moved his hand and he had a six inch bass plug stuck right over his jugular vein. He asked me to cut the hook and pull it through for him. I told him there was no way I was touching that one and no way I would lend him the tools to do it either! Getting one out of a hand is one thing but in the neck is another. He had just started fishing and was upset that he had done this. I told him he needed to go to the E.R.and directed him to the closest one.
    I have really enjoyed all the fishing stories!

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    July 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    The lb/test rating of fishing line means the company took a line,tested it,and decided to call it whatever they wanted. Power Pro breaks anywhere from 2 to 12 lbs greater than that listed.P-Line CXX breaks anywhere from 3-10 lbs higher than rated.Usually the highter the rating the greater the difference. Was the line copolymer,flouro,mono,or braid? I guess we will never know. The point I am trying to make is that a 1402 lb blue marlin was caught off the coast of Brazil using 130 lb/test line.
    Okay now lets think about two men on a trail bike riding an uneven trail.Is it possible that a hook caught in the pants legs of the driver could have jerked him just enough to pull him backward and causing him to hit Ed causing them to fall off. Yes it is because I lost my balance on a dirt bike because a 10 to 15 dog grabbed my pants leg. Thing about it bikes only have two wheels.Thank you and have a great day. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Paul-The only witnesses to the event were myself, Crazy Joe and the lucky fisherman. Unfortunately Joe died in 1993 and we didn’t wait to get the fisherman’s name. So, I guess you’re stuck with believing me, or not. But ain’t that what writing is all about anyway. By the way you don’t need a 300 lb. test line to catch a 300 lb. fish if you know how to play him. Ask Ernest Hemingway!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    July 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Gosh! That was a fun yarn to read. I wonder if the person who had too much to drink even remembers what happened. Thanks for the story.

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    July 31, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Hmmmm. Not many inland fishermen use 300 lb. test line. Somehow, I doubt the hook & line held to pull riders off the bike. But then, these are “fish stories.”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    July 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Ed, you’ve told a great fish story! It’s so almost-preposterous that I know it had to happen! How could you have imagined something like this? I’ve enjoyed the “Week(s) of the Fish” tales, and each one has been entertaining and enlightening! What good writers we have in our “Blind Pig” audience!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 31, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Tipper–One other thought. Is that you, Chitter, or Chatter cleaning the brown trout? Whichever happens to be the case, remind me to give you a fast lesson in the simplest of all ways to clean trout the next time I see you. You don’t need to remove the head (in fact, on one the size of the trout pictured there are two tasty little tidbits of “cheek meat” to be enjoyed from the head), and I’ll guarantee I can have one ready for the frying pan in less than a minute. Mind you, I’ve had a lifetime of practice.
    I wonder if this was the way you cleaned them for the “flatlanders” when you worked over in Haywood County? If so, I hate to think of all the extra time you spent.
    After all, speed is of the essence, especially if you happen to be of the poaching persuasion and need to get things clean and hidden quickly thanks to lack of a license.
    Jim Casada
    P. S. Just couldn’t resist this.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Ed–This is a prime example of the fact that if you ain’t doing some fishing for squirrels (or rambunctious boys) you ain’t half trying. Incidentally, for all those who enjoyed this tale, as I did, let me recommend a story by no less literary great than Rudyard Kipling. It is entitled “The Fine Art of Dry Cow Fishing” and involves an angler inadvertantly hooking a cow. The subsequent description of “playing” the rambunctious cow is, at least for me, one of the funniest things I have ever read.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    July 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

    great story! My mom ‘caught’ my dad – right in the back of his head. I was working @ the local hospital and when she called I happened to be talking to a doctor. I asked if they should go to their regular doctor or to the ER. He said bring him here I’ll take it out. He introduced himself to Dad and said, “where are you keeping your fishing tackle these days?” Mom wouldn’t come in at first because she said we’d all be laughing at her –we did.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2012 at 8:57 am

    This story has a sorta funny ending, but could have been much worse. I could not have passed up the opportunity to have some fun with the old drunk. Maybe a blood curdling scream as the hook was being removed would have sobered him up.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 31, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Funny, I can just see this! Still laughing

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 31, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Well, Ed, that is a story! If Tipper was giving a prize for the best story I think you’d be the winner. Only fish story I ever heard where the man was the fresh catch. LOL! I’ll be laughing about this one all day!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Ed – This story is hilarious! Would love to have seen this. It reminds me of a tale (although I wasn’t there) that a friend told me.
    It seems that he had a severe cold and went to the doctor to see if he could be worked in one Saturday morning. The nurse took his name and told him to have a seat. Everyone there was reading those old outdated magazines and just quietly trying to pass the time. Slowly he began to notice that this one quy had something dangling behind his ear. He tried not to stare but he couldn’t resist. Finally the guy caught him staring and being quite disgruntled he broke the silence and said, Yeah you’re right, it’s a G#@!!*#+#@!1 Water Dog and that @@%%!!!***!#!X over there is the one that did It!” Seems that his former friend had attempted to cast and caught him behind the ear and they had to abort their fishing trip that morning and go to the doctor to get it out. Everyone was afraid to laugh.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    July 31, 2012 at 5:37 am

    and Ed….I loved this story! It is so farfetched it has to be true…I know there are some fishermen and women that drunk or sober you need to stay out of their way when they cast…
    I gotta go and tell my husband about this one…
    Thanks Tipper, and Ed

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