Page 1 of 1

Believe it. (Subtitle: Take two Stupid Pills)

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:36 pm
by Master-Baiter
From the Darwin Awards site:



(July 1999, Florida) In Marathon Beach, a guy was fishing with his buddies when he saw fins in the water. "Dolphins!" he thought, and jumped into the water to swim with the dolphins. Surprise! The fins turned out to be shark fins. His buddies fished him out of the ocean, and Mr. One With Nature was treated at a local hospital for shark bites.

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:37 pm
by Master-Baiter
From Darwin Awards:

This story was related to me by a friend who worked at Bonneville Dam east of Portland, Oregon over 10 years ago.
Bonneville Dam is the first in series of large dams on the beautiful Columbia River that empties into the Pacific Ocean. When Bonneville releases water for hydroelectric power generation, that water runs through giant turbines. Oftentimes small salmon fry as well as adult fish get run through the turbines along with this water which is jetted at the base of Bonneville. The turbines, regrettably, grind the fish into pieces which form a chum line at the base of the dam.

Large native white sturgeon prowl the base of Bonneville Dam feeding on these tasty bits of fish chum. They have done this for years. As a result these sturgeon get massive with small ones ranging from 300 to 500 pounds and large "oversize" sturgeon running 700, 800 pounds with some over 1,000 pounds and 12 to 15 feet in length.

Sturgeon are also terrific fighters and, contrary to the rumor that they are not, will leap, tail dance, rush the boat and sometimes tenaciously fight for literally hours (been there, done that, got the T shirt!).

Some years ago, when it was legal to fish at the base of the dam (that is now illegal, such area is now a protected spawning ground for the suurgeon) there was a man who would fish from the nearby shoreline, hook up, but then have these powerful fish snap the line. It happened to him again and again and eventually, in frustration he decided to do something about it.

So we went out and bought an extra heavy sturgeon rod along with a large reel. He then bought three hundred yards of steel monafilament which he threaded onto the reel. Using a heavy wire leader he put a large fist-sized needle-sharp hook on it. He capped this off with a large fishing vest of the type used by fisherman on deep ocean fishing boats that actually clip onto the rod to give the fisherman more support. These clips are steel with woven wire leads that attach to the reel and the vest.

Taking all his new gear he headed out to the base of Bonnevile and with almost religious fervor, put on his vest, baited up the hook with an entire whole shad the size of a large trout, and clipped the rod onto his vest, then threw the shad into the deep, dark waters at the base of Bonneville.

"Oversize" sturgeon hit violently and this was no exception. In less than ten minutes a large sturgeon attacked his bait, and was hooked. When hooked, a sturgeon's instinct is to head downstream for the ocean, due West. This sturgeon, later estimated at well over 600 pounds and over 9 feet in length ran downstream heading for the Pacific.

The fisherman, standing on the sandy beach above the rocks at Bonneville, the rod jammed into his lower stomach as he fought, watched in vain as his steel monafilament line was stripped off his reel. First a hundred yards, then two hundred, then in horror he watched as the last 100 tore off the reel. When the reel hit dry the line snapped taught, (but did not break!), with the kinetic energy of a very pissed off 600 plus pound white sturgeon still on it. The fish was still moving rapidly back to the greater Pacific Ocean, along with a four knot current in the Columbia heading that way also.

This combined force instantly pulled the hapless fisherman, who was still hooked to the rod via his special vest, onto his face on the sandy beach. It then dragged him rapidly twenty feet down the beach towards the large rocks which rip rap the base of the shore.

Still pulling, the agitated fish pulled him over and into the large jagged boulders. After bouncing off several and sustaining multiple contusions and cuts, the mans arm became lodged between a rock (and another hard place) and snapped, breaking his arm.

To his great fortune, the fisherman, with the giant sturgeon still pulling madly with great force, became lodged amongst the rocks. Had the rocks not been there he would have been swiftly dragged into the Colunbia where he would have drowned as the fish dragged him West.

At this point the man, in terrible pain, and fully realizing that he might indeed be drowned by this fish, began screaming for help. Up at the Dam some workers heard his cries and came to his aid. However, the fish was pulling so hard that they could not unclip the man from his vest. No one had wire cutters or a knife capable of cutting the wire leaders to the vest.

In desperation, and with the man starting to be pulled out of the rocks, the Oregon Fish and Game Department was contacted. They quickly dispatched a nearby boat that came up to the shore, grabbed the steel line and eventually snipped it off to the relief of all.

The man was medevaced to a local hospital where his arm was set, numerous stitches were put in for his various facial and head cuts and he eventually went home. We do not know if he ever fished for the giant white sturgeon of the Columbia again with his special rig.

This is still talked about by some of the worker's at Bonneville.

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:38 pm
by Master-Baiter
And another:

"Anatomy of a Shark Bite"
(10 April 2002, Bahamas) It might sound dumb to throw bloody chum into the waters of Walker's Cay, where dangerous bull sharks congregate, and wade among the sharks in a Speedo while they're in the midst of a feeding frenzy. But to a reputed expert in the body language of sharks. Not to "Unbiteable Erich" of Switzerland!

The scientist believed that sharks could sense fear, and that his mastery of his heartbeat through yoga techniques made sharks regard him as a fellow predator, not fearful prey. Other shark experts advocate dressing in black wetsuit, hood, and gloves, to cover skin that resembles pale-colored prey in murky waters, but not Erich. He had "waded with sharks" for years. And this Wednesday, a video crew was prepared to tape throwing fish into the water to attract bull sharks, then wading into the sea with bare legs to observe their body language.

The sharks are often accompanied by remora, quasi-parasite fish that clean the sharks and sometimes attach to them with a suction cup for long rides. Just after one remora swam between Erich's legs a shark followed, and--unaware that Erich's yoga techniques had turned him into a fellow predator--snapped off a huge chunk of his left calf. He was pulled from the water in shock and flown by air ambulance to West Palm Beach, Florida, where doctors tried to save the remains of his leg and his life.

He spent six weeks in the hospital trying to figure out what went wrong. He concluded that nothing went wrong; the shark simply mistook his leg for the remora in the murky water.

The documentary, originally intended to prove Erich's theory that bull sharks will not attack unless provoked, was re-titled "Anatomy of a Shark Bite." A former colleague told a diving magazine: "It was an accident waiting to happen. He's more like a philosopher than a scientist. There's no evidence to support his theories." Erich is no longer called "Unbiteable."

Hundreds of shark species have been identified, but just three species are responsible for most attacks on humans: the great white (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), and bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Divers often encounter bull sharks. Their preference for shallow coastal waters makes them potentially the most dangerous sharks of all.

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 12:39 pm
by Master-Baiter
And than...


(September 2006, Florida) A fearsome mythical giant was felled by a humble slingshot. But a modern speargun vs. an underwater leviathan is another tale altogether, as a Florida man discovered.
Outlawed in 1990, hunting Goliath-sized groupers remains surprisingly popular. These fish can weigh hundreds of pounds, yet there are underwater hunters who choose to tether themselves to such muscular sea creatures. However unlikely a pursuit, the poaching of groupers by divers and snorkelers continues, in defiance of both the law and common sense.

Of this elite group, our Darwin Award winner distinguished himself yet further by disregarding one essential spearfishing precaution. By embarking on this hunt without a knife to cut himself loose, the "fit and experienced snorkeler" was guaranteeing that his next attack on a giant grouper would be his last.

Why anyone thinks it's a good idea to tether yourself to a fish twice your size, I don't know. Some time later, the body of the spearfisher was found pinned to the coral, 17 feet underwater. Three coils of line were wrapped around his wrist, and one very dead grouper was impaled at the other end of the line.

In those final hours, the tables were turned, and the fish was given an opportunity to reflect on the experience of "catching a person."