This Angler's Mail match fishing blog comes from Drennan International's Jon Arthur (pictured below), who shares some of his more strange and unusual catches. If you like this blog, please click the social media icons above to share with your fishing pals.

AFTER a brilliant start to 2015 I’ve now hit a brick wall as far as getting bites is concerned!

As catching anything has been so difficult everywhere I’ve travelled recently it’s got me thinking about some of the non-fishy objects I’ve caught over the years. Here’s the top six strangest things that I’ve hooked… or nearly hooked!


  1. Shell Shock

One summer on the Warwickshire Avon I caught at least one water snail on every single visit! Even more bizarre was that almost every snail was caught on hemp. I remember during an Evesham Festival catching two or three on hemp while fishing off the bottom. How does that happen?

What’s more, these tough little buggers can pull the hook right inside their shells and are a right pain to get out without damaging your hooklength. I think a nutcracker would be better than a disgorger!



  1. Swift Release

I somehow managed to get attached to a bird while fishing the long-range Method feeder at Barston Lakes during a Super League Final practice. I didn’t technically hook it as I was actually fishing a good 70 metres or so out into the lake. Instead, a swift flew into my line just a metre from my quiver tip and got caught up!

I managed to swing my rod tip around to the passer who ‘swiftly’ untangled it and it thankfully flew away unharmed. The passer-by was actually Drennan Team England co-manager Mark Addy who was probably unsurprised to see me on yet another flyer!


  1. Sock It To ‘Em3-sock

I am sure we have all snagged a few rags and items of clothing and I’m no different. I reckon I’ve caught two or three socks over the years and that might explain where everyone’s odd socks go.

Now that ‘drop shotting’ is all the rage, perhaps the next fad will be ‘sock shotting’? I guess the best way to catch them is fishing a ‘foot’ overdepth!



  1. Bagging Up

On a similar theme, I’ve caught more than my fair share of bags of all shapes and sizes.

4-crispsOne canal I fished was often referred to as the ‘Crisp Packet Stretch’ by a few of the locals as the central track seemed to be littered with them. I’m sure people would catch them, hoist them out full of dirty, silty water then, as soon as they dried out, they’d blow straight back in the drink. It’s a potential never-ending circle!

I once hooked what I assumed was a decent fish but found myself netting a packet of Salt & Vinegar. As I stared down at the wet and stinky foil bag laying in the bottom of my landing net I found a chunky little perch flapping around inside it!


  1. It’s A Bomb

Now this is probably the most bizarre thing I’ve ever caught. One day at Tunnel Barn Farm Fishery I was fishing down the edge on my usual flyer. The float dipped and I instinctively struck and was greeted by plenty of elastic shooting out of the pole.

Whatever was on the other end put up a decent, jagged fight as I had to use my side puller to get it to the net. Strangely, there were no swirls and tail patterns as it neared the surface but the sun’s reflection made it really difficult to see exactly what was going on. I instinctively thrust the landing net down and scooped at the first opportunity…

It turned out to be a huge 6oz Arlesey bomb hooked clean in the swivel! I guess it was probably used as a weight for pegging out a keepnet. Why else would you need half a church roof’s worth of lead on an F1-dominated snake lake?



  1. Ringer’s

This is probably the funniest thing that I’ve nearly hooked. I am not always the most disciplined of casters and “squirrel!” does occasionally get uttered whenever I hook the far-bank. My best effort has to be during a White Acres Festival.

A really awkward cast on Bolingey Lake saw me snagged up fast to some underwater branches. I eventually heaved the feeder free, which came flying back towards me at break-neck speed. I actually had to dodge it as it whizzed straight past my ear. It then continued hurtling through the air, through a hedge and into another lake directly behind me. It actually landed right next to Phil Ringer’s pole float!

Feeling rather embarrassed I quickly tried to wind it back through the bush where it once again got stuck. Another heave saw it flying back my way where it proceeded to wrap itself around me like a harpoon!

With much laughter and abuse dished out my way I decided to stick to pole fishing for the rest of the day…


Phil Ringer had a very, very near miss!

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