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Incredible Fishing Story

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Incredible Fishing Story
Incredible Fishing StoryI have the most incredible fish story of all time, bar none.
See if you agree.
This is a true incident that happened to me, about 5 years ago. At that time I owned a small 13 foot aluminum boat, with an 8 horsepower motor and no frills. I frequented a tackle and bait shop run by two brothers in the town of Enfield Connecticut. At that time I had access to a rather large 4 car garage/workshop, which I also used for boat storage. It was late October and sadly to say, fishing season was over, so I rolled the boat and trailer into the garage for the winter until spring.
Inside the boat was a large cooler, the kind you would buy at a Wal-Mart or K-Mart etc. It was large enough to sit on and I had rigged it with a battery operated air pump to keep bait minnows alive for a day of bass fishing. I left the boat for the entire winter in the same spot, only glancing at it on occasion when I puttered around the in the garage/workshop, on days when it wasn't freezing cold. Temperatures that winter reached lows of below zero on several occasions. I know that in an enclosed non-heated metal garage it can get pretty dam cold. Maybe not as cold as outside, but still could drop to the freezing point or lower. I had to tell you all this, so you could understand this story's amazing ending
Fishing season officially starts on the 3rd Saturday of April in Connecticut and like all dedicated fisherman, this was a long awaited day of anticipation. I mean, 6 months of waiting for a long, cold, boring, winter, to end.
Well, just before I rolled the boat and trailer out of the garage that Saturday morning, I casually opened the lid on the cooler so I could pre-fill it with water. Upon opening the lid, I noticed that I had forgotten to empty the cooler of water before storing the boat. Not only was there about 6" of water left in the cooler from the previous seasons end but there was also something darting around in the water.
The lid, although not air tight, had prevented all the water from completely evaporating. I had startled something, which in turn startled me enough, so that I even jumped back a little. I did a double take when inside the cooler I saw, a single, solitary, bait minnow, about 2 1/2" to 3" long, very much alive, obviously frightened, and darting about aimlessly. This minnow was left over from the last fishing trip I took the previous October, before storing the boat.
I mean, its hard enough to keep bait fish alive for a few hours, but for 6 months, in a variety of temperatures with many below freezing, and sometimes below zero. No sun light or light of any kind, and no food. I mean, you even have to feed your Gold Fish, dont you? How could this be? It's impossible!
Well, after the initial shock and on closer examination, I observed a few small pockets of algae growth in the corners of the cooler. My assumption after that observation was that this may have been the food source for the minnow, but algae can't form over night. What can a small minnow live on until this food source formed? Were there enough organisms in the water to sustain it until then, or what? How long could it live without the air pump circulating the water? It was disconnected the entire 6 months, so no air bubbles and no circulation.
I would like a logical explanation from someone, other than relying on my assumptions. When I related this story to the bait shop owners about an hour later, they were also amazed by the revelation. They chuckled and said they would repeat the story to their out of state bait source, it was somewhere down south, I believe. Sorry I can't remember the state.
Most people I tell this story too ask me, "What did you do with it? The minnow"? I would tell them that, I didn't know what to do. I know I would have felt guilty if I used it for bait because it had survived such an unusual ordeal, but the rules say you should refrain from discarding live bait fish from other sources into a new environment. So I just bought a dozen more and added them to the cooler. This way when I scooped one up for bait, I wouldn't know which one it was. Does that sound cruel? Should I have kept it in a bowl as a pet? If I did, what would I feed it? Would any one even expect it to survive in captivity? What would you have done?


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Re: [DanielJRioux] Incredible Fishing Story In reply to
I would have done the same thing and bought more shiners. Smile Great story.

Fishemen will change the future! Your NC. moderator and sometime CT.

Be Green-Buy Fur

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Re: [DanielJRioux] Incredible Fishing Story In reply to
Great story, I would have done the same, although the fish tank idea isn't bad either.


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Mike H
BFT Staff
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Re: [theangler] Incredible Fishing Story In reply to
great story,there could have been other shiners left,and the strongest survived and eat the other dead ones.i would have done the same thing,bought more shiners


my biggest worry is that my wife(when i die)will sell my fishing gear for what i said i paid for it
koos brandt