Angler Catches Lost Rod

By Mark Corke

Fishing rods lost overboard are considered gifts to Neptune, but one Florida angler had his returned to sender.

Angler catches lost rod

It's not unusual to mark a favorite fishing hole as a waypoint on the GPS so you can return again and again. Although you can't guarantee the fish will be there next time, it's usually a good starting point to cast the first bait. So imagine longtime BoatUS member Ed Hale's surprise when he hooked the one-in-a-million prize at the exact same spot he'd been to several weeks earlier.

Hale and his buddies live in Pensacola, Florida, and fish the Gulf of Mexico almost weekly.

"We were out 30 miles in the Gulf, at an area we frequently fish, in about 170 feet of water," Hale explained. "My buddy, John, had put live bait on and threw his line out, laid his rod down, and reached to remove a rod from a rod holder to put his freshly baited rod in. At that moment, his bait got hit and the rod flew out of the boat. We just said goodbye to it and continued to fish."

Chalking it up to experience, they thought that was the last they would ever see of that rod.

Three weeks later "we were back out in the same area fishing when another buddy, Jay, was pulling up a vermilion snapper and said he had hooked a line with his weight," Hale said. "We started pulling up the line and the first thing we discovered was the lure that John had attached his bait three weeks ago, and then up comes the rod. It was amazing."

This tale highlights just how accurate position finding has become in recent years. Even the cheapest chartplotters use the same satellites that the U.S. Navy and other armed forces use. For John, it was the catch of the day. 

— Published: February 2018

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