General DiscussionStrangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

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BigMesh
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Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby BigMesh » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:46 pm

Everybody gets something odd in their nets from time to time. I wonder what other fishermen have come across? We've had roughly 15 of those gray missle/rocket things over the years. The ones that are about 5ft long. I've heard it said that they're launched from the Great Lakes Naval Academy in Waukegan,Ill but I don't know if that can be verified.

I do know that Waukegan itself is almost exactly 200 mile from where most of ours were snagged. I would have to doubt that it could be a torpedo like underwater missle (they don't seem to have enough fuel to project 200 miles and that's not to mention the dangers of firing a long range TEST missle up the lake.

That leaves airborne missle and that's possible but still puzzling. I nor anyone that I know has seen any testing of or firing of surface to air from ships or overhead airborne launches. I suppose they could roam the lake under a cloak of darkness launching these things but considering how many have been caught in the nets (for every one caught there's probably 100 more that litter the bottom. They would have to be firing excessivly and doing it unnoticed.

Does any body have any answers other than speculation? I don't think anybody from Great Lakes Naval would be at liberty to tell anybody else about these tests (not that it's top secret) but historically all branches of the military are never to confirm or deny their operations. Curious!! the Academy would seem the only logical source ut it just doesn't add up.

Update...Here's some photos of the missiles.
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These were caught mostly in the 80s and early 90s http://www.fishtug.com
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More of what are probably test missiles fired in or over Lake Michigan. http://www.fishtug.com/forums
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Last edited by BigMesh on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Go ahead you candy asses. Use your computers, gps and radar. I'll explore new frontiers by the stars alone. - Christopher Columbus

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby admin » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:42 pm

Years ago when they stilll fished pound nets in the lower Green Bay Waters around 1972-73 they caught a shark about 4 1/2 or 5 feet long in one of the pots. It was alive and well and the crew kept it and brought it in. They got ahold of a conservation warden (pre DNR I think) and they concluded that it had made it's way into the Great Lakes in an ocean going vessel bound for the Port Of Green Bay. They suggested that it was sucked in when the ship drew ballast in the ocean and pumped out as they were nearing Green Bay where they were to load. It was kind of a big deal because it was in a display case at my school along with the newspaper articles about it.
They said some species of salt water fish can survive in fresh water especially if released when young. I wonder how long he was living in the bay.

This one was from a good friend of mine who was a crewman at the time (early 1990s or so) he was a career fisherman and would have been hard to fool but he said they pulled a live flounder out of Lake Michigan I think in the trap nets. (Verified. see post below.)
"There's no better bilge pump than a scared man with a bucket"

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby BigMesh » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:41 pm

We lifted down a gang of chub nets one time and every 20 or 30ft a different odd thing came up the ones I remember were, a can of beans, a shoe and some kind of deoderant. It looked as if some crewman on a freighter had emptied out the quarters of another sailor and thrown everything overboard. I'll never know but it's fun to speculate.
Go ahead you candy asses. Use your computers, gps and radar. I'll explore new frontiers by the stars alone. - Christopher Columbus

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby whitecap » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:54 pm

Me and my Pa were lifting whitefish nets at the December open sometime in the mid 90's.We were close to the reef, real close and around the red can.I hear a clink and look up and see a horseshoe in the nets and on the table.It was in fairly decent shape with only a little surface rust.I often wonder if it came from a old ship wreck, as our county is known for them and did the horse perish wearing it ? I will probably never know. But a few days later I nailed upside down, to" keep in the luck" as the old timers say, to the wooden cabinet/tool chest we had on the boat at that time.

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby admin » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:30 pm

The Flounder in the trapnet story has been verified as true. The owner who I spoke with and was aboard at the time confirmed it as well as a crewman that I've known for many years. They released it back into the lake.

I wish they would have gotten a picture of it next to a pickaxe to verify it's size as if it was a god damned bigfoot track or something.
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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby MoonEyes » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:01 pm

We once had a couple of those old glass bottles that were thick and had that blue/green color. They were topped with a cork and we could read a little of the raised glass writing. It was a remedy of some sort and it looked like crude oil from the little left in the bottom. they could have been tossed over from a sailor generations ago or maybe found their way to the bottom on a ship overcome by a storm.

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby BigMesh » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:45 am

Fishing tug nets missile
April 24, 1991



SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- A fishing boat's unusual catch, which had been left sitting on a dock for about a week, turned out to be a Sidewinder missile with a live warhead.

A two-member Army ordnance disposal team from Fort Sheridan, Ill., examined the missile early Wednesday and then took it with them.

Police Capt. John Theune said the 8-foot-long Sidewinder was snagged last week in a net while the fishing tug was 8 miles out fishing on Lake Michigan. He said officials had no idea where the missile came from or how it got into the lake.

'We're just glad it's out of here,' Theune said.

'They said it was a Sidewinder missile with the rocket motor burned out but with the warhead intact,' he said. 'It turns out the fishing tug dragged this in about a week ago and it's been sitting down there on the dock.'

Police were notified about the rocket Tuesday night and contacted the ordnance disposal unit after first trying the Milwaukee bomb squad, which directed them to Fort Sheridan.

Theune said the disposal team told police the missile could have exploded. The team had police cordon off the area, restrict radio transmissions and lights in the area, and loaded the missle to take it back to Fort Sheridan.

Asked how he felt when he learned the warhead was live and the missile had been sitting on the dock about five blocks southeast of the downtown business district, Theune said, 'I felt kind of scared.'

In the meantime, Theune said, a restaurant owner came forward with a 4-foot rocket he had found in the lake. Theune said the disposal team examined it and said it was a practice rocket with an inert warhead, though they couldn't tell if the rocket motor was intact. They took it with them as well.
Go ahead you candy asses. Use your computers, gps and radar. I'll explore new frontiers by the stars alone. - Christopher Columbus

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby netfisher » Sat May 20, 2017 3:10 pm

Those missile/rockets scared the crap out of more than a few fishermen the first time they snagged them I'm willing to bet.One day in the late 1980's we were lifting a gang of chub nets. It was just two of us. It was a few days after a Northeasterly blow.Both of us were picking fish at the table . We were getting an occassional klinker and various sized chunks of clay off the bottom in about 200 + feet of water.All of a sudden the guy running the lifter ducks.Like he's jummping under the table real quick like.Then I glanced at the roller and seen why. Just the tip of one of those rocket heads was just peeking over the net roller.It was partially covered in that tan/gray clay we were getting.For that split second a guy just don't know what the hell he's got. Is it live or is it dead ? You just don't know.That's the Pucker Factor us fishermen deal with quite often.LOL. The reason Snuggies For Adults were invented.
This article was gleamed from the December 1981 edition of The Fisherman magazine. It appears Lake Michigan isn't the only Great Lake to give up a rocket,missle or bomb.
Bomb in Nets.JPG
December 1981

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby MoonEyes » Mon May 22, 2017 9:24 am

Right! The first one you see come in causes borderline incontinence. You're just not expecting to be face to face with a military grade missile. That article puts them in Lake Superior as well. I never knew that.

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Re: Strangest Things You've Had In Your Nets?

Postby Points North » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:30 am

Here's a short segment that will be part of the "Legends Of The Lakes" documentary. In it Charlie Nylund recalls the first hand account of the Sheboygan Sidewinder. There's also a humorous clip of a memory Philly Anderson relayed to us. You may want to just download the clip if it doesn't play smoothly.

You can do this by right clicking on the video and choosing "Save Video As" from the options that appear. Select where on your computer that you want to save it to and click "save" Then you can watch it without interruption.

https://archive.org/download/LegendsOfT ... t%2003.mp4
"Two captains will sink a ship"