#1: American plan to undermine Iraq’s infrastructure by secretly stocking sharks in inland rivers. Shark caught over 100 miles from sea in Euphrates River near Nassiriya, Iraq; Americans blamed. Seriously. “75% chance Americans put the shark in the water.” Because, as we all know, a significant part of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure is to release live sharks in inland rivers. This is clearly the story of the year.
#2: Radar O'Reilly is a fisherman. The NFLCC's Robbie Pavey reports that Gary Burghoff--Radar O'Reilly on M*A*S*H--invented and patented an improved rod butt handle and a chumming device for baitfish. Oh, he also has a son who is a professional bass fisherman . registration may be required.
#3: Homeless Man Fishes Year Round. Be honest: you've thought about quitting everything and just fishing. Well, homeless Florida keys fisherman happier than you are fishing the Keys, living out of his 1985 Toyota truck and bathing at Circle K.
#4: Bass Sign Drives Local Non-Fishing Politicians Loco. When is a bass too big? The Louisville Courier reports on moronic local officials persecuiting Pepper's Bait Shop for having a fiberglass bass they want to define as a "nonconforming" sign.
#5: Redefining Fluke--Woman's Record Fish Disallowed. New Jersey woman who caught world record fluke denied world record by IGFA on a technicallity, loses hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements and prizes. The New Jersey Star-Ledger will now have to find something else to write about. Or maybe not.
#6: U.S. Soldiers who fish in their down time. The New York Jewish Times reports on Camp Taji, Iraq, where battle-weary U.S. soldiers can wet a line.
#7 Play Fantasy Fishing On-Line, Win A Cool Million Bucks Ever played fantasy football? Well, the richest prize in the history of fantasy sports (a cool million) has been offered for...fantasy fishing?
#8: Politically infighting splits Australia's fishing party: Bitter political rancor splits Australia’s fishing party; splinter Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party emerges from the ashes. No, really. They now have TWO political parties catering to the fishing life.
#9: Insane anglers shark fish from a kayak. London's Daily Mail reports on insane fishermen who catch sharks from their kayaks. I'd actually prefer gator fishing.
#10: Spiders May Just Make Your Next Fishing Line. From Japan comes news of a new, super thin "Spider Silk" from Japan that may revolutionize fishing.
#11: A Fisherman's Bizarre Dying Request. The British press reports on a terminally ill fisherman who wants to be cremated and have his ashes ground into chum for his fishing pals. Even Keith Richards thinks this is a bizarre idea.
#12: Septagenarian Texas Cowboy Fisherman Could Probably Still Kick Your Ass. 77 year-old Texas cowboy catches then lasso's 100-pound Alligator gar with the anchor rope. Proceeds to rip its still beating heart out of its chest and eat it raw while lamenting the unmanly state of modern American men.
#13: Man catches 85 pound Blue Catfish, but still isn't the best fisherman on his block. From the Keeping Up with the Jones File: The Godfrey News-Democrat regales us on an 85 pound Blue Catfish caught in the Mississippi, but then blithely reports it is not even the biggest blue catfish caught by a resident of Godfrey, population 16,000 (world record holder Tim Pruitt is also from this town). Complete with world's smallest internet photo.
#14: Amphibious RV's make fishing while driving easier. Amphibious RV allows anglers to fish while driving. Still wouldn’t be as dangerous as teenage girls driving while text messaging…
#15: Idiot Bass Pro Employees Arrested for Manatee Fishing. DUMB: Two really, really stupid South Florida men are arrested for fishing for Manatee. DUMBER: They posted video of their stupidity on YouTube. DUMBEST: They work for Bass Pro Shops.
#16: Collector and pro bass fisherman Bernie Schultz gets profiled. NFLCC member, Joe’s Board denizen, and top flight Bass Pro Bernie Schultz is taking us to school on bass fishing .
#17: Wade Boggs fishes; is also a Jerk. Baseball hall-of-famer Wade Boggs is a bad fisherman and, astoundingly, an even worse human being.
#18: California Collectively Loses Its Mind. California declares war on immigrant Northern Pike by using 17,000 gallons of poison. Locals burn 13-foot pike in effigy. Midwestern stereotypes over insane Californians increases.
#19: Russian Leader Vladimir Putin Fishes, Drives the Russian Girls Crazy. Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Seems Vlad caused a bit of a stir when he posed for pictures that showed off his physique. All I thought of when I saw the photo was "what kind of spinning reel was his using?"
#20: Yale Profiles Fishing Tackle Yale's Peabody Museum and its new fishing exhibit gets some more press.
Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!
-- Dr. Todd