Friday, October 28, 2011

Fishing Quote from Mark Twain

"Don't tell fish stories where the people know you;
but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish."
                                                Mark Twain

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holy Sh*t or Bull Sh*t: Catfish eats basketball?

Last week we published some amazing fishing photos sent in to us by FishMax regular Robbie, which claimed to be a large catfish in Lake St Mary's (in the USA) chomping down on a basketball.

According to the story, the fish bit the basketball but then couldn't let go and had to be rescued. But is this amazing fishing story bullsh*t or holy sh*t?

Like so many of these stories, it seems to be a bit of both. The photos certainly weren't taken just a few weeks ago, and certainly not at Lake St Mary's near Dayton Ohio. In fact, it appears that these photos have been circulating in the internet for years.  However, the photos themselves are real, and an event similar to the one did occur, but at Sandalwood Lake in Kansas on 28 May 2004!

According to a report in the Wicheta Eagle newspaper published on 30 May that year, Wichita resident Bill Driver was standing on the deck of his home overlooking a lake when he saw an eight-inch ball bobbing in the water. "Noticing the ball wasn't floating normally," Pearce wrote, "Driver wandered to his dock for a closer look. A catfish had its mouth stuck around the ball." The fish couldn't dive and appeared to be in distress, so, using a knife handed to him by his wife, Driver poked a hole in the ball and deflated it. The 50-pound fish swam away and is presumably doing well in deeper waters far from the dangers of human civilization. No idea why someone decided to change the story to Lake St Mary's!

And if that wasn't crazy enough, it seems this isn't the only time it's happened. In 2008, German policy from Bavaria reported that that a 2 metre long (6 1/2-foot-long) catfish was found dead in a canal, floating on the surface of the water with a blue-and-white football (soccerball) in its mouth!

If nothing else, these stories do appear to be proof that catfish will eat just about anything!

If you've seen a big fish photo, crazy fishing video, wierd fishing tail or tall fishing story that sounds too good to be true send it in to and our team of reporters and experts will investigate and tell you whether they are truely "Holy Sh*t" or "Bull Sh*t.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Timely Warning for Aussie Fishers

Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause sunburn, premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage leading to skin cancer.  Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.  At least two in every three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70.  When fishing without appropriate sun protection you can be exposed to a double dose of UV radiation, both directly from the sun and reflected of sand and water, further increasing your risk of skin cancer.  

Prevention is better than cure Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.  SunSmart Manager, Sue Heward, said: “If you’re planning a fishing trip, try to reduce your UV exposure by placing yourself undercover or going early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Make sure to wear protective clothing, such as long sleeved, collared shirts, broad brimmed hats, sunglasses and regularly apply SPF 30+ sunscreen on the remaining skin that is still exposed.”

Top tips for fishing enthusiasts:Check the UV level for your area daily on, the weather section of your daily paper or on your smartphone (available on the free SunSmart app). During the sun protection times, remember to:

1.      Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.
2.      Slop on 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours. Don't use sunscreen to extend your time in the sun.
3.      Slap on a wide brimmed hat that provides good protection for your face and neck.
4.      Seek shade under a tree especially during the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense.
5.      Slide on sunglasses. Make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Sunscreen safety tips It’s important to remember that sunscreen is just one way you can protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. Research shows most Australians don't apply enough sunscreen, sometimes halving the level of sun protection stated on the label. Always apply generously to clean, dry skin 20 minutes before going out into the sun and re-apply every 2 hours, or more often after sweating or toweling dry.

The average-sized adult should apply more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm and the face/neck (including ears), and just over one teaspoon to each leg, the front of the body and the back of the body. Keep a 30+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen pump pack in the car so it is easily accessible.

Find out how much sunscreen you should apply by using the sunscreen calculator on the SunSmart app.  The calculator provides customised feedback on the amount of sunscreen you need per application, based on your size and clothing cover.

For best protection, use sunscreen to cover the skin that is not already covered by your protective clothing, hat and sunnies, and stay in the shade wherever possible.
Early detectionUnlike many other forms of cancer, skin cancer is often visible – making it easier to detect in the early stages. Early detection is crucial if skin cancer is to be cured. 

Ms Heward, said; "It is important to look for early signs of skin cancer. Check your skin regularly using a hand-held mirror to check the skin on your back and the back of your neck – or ask someone else to have a look for you. If you notice any changes in your skin or you are concerned, see their doctor.”
All Australians should get to know their skin and check it regularly. For men over 40 years of age and those who spend a lot of time outdoors this should be at least with each change of season. Check all of your skin, not just sun-exposed areas. See your doctor if you notice:
  • a new spot, lump or unusual freckle
  • a mole, sunspot or sore that does not heal
  • a spot that looks different from other spots around it
  • a spot that has changed colour, size or shape over a few weeks or months
  • a spot that has an irregular border or becomes itchy or bleeds.
SunSmart offers a range of information and resources to help you enjoy the sun safely. For more information visit the SunSmart website or call (03) 9635 5148.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kayak Fishing World Championships in Australia

This week-end coming sees the first Daiwa-Hobie Kayak Fishing World Championshipsbeing held on the Camden Haven River and the Hastings River, Port Macquarie, New South Wales.

The kayak fishing championships, will see anglers from five nations for the prestige of becoming the first Daiwa­ Hobie Kayak Fishing World Champion angler.

If you're in the Port Macquarie area, there are two great times to check out what is happening. The start of the day at 7am Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 of October. From here you'll be able to see 67 kayak fishers head out for the day, a great sight as the sun comes up. Then later in the day buy yourself a sausage sandwich and a drink from the Taking Point Surf Life Saving Club members from 1:45pm and watch the kayaks return by 2pm. They bring their catch back live and weigh them in. After the Sunday weigh-in the AUSTRALIAN and WORLD CHAMPIONS will be announced.

Hobie Cat Australasia in conjunction with Daiwa Australia, announce that eighteen competitors from five nations, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, USA and Australia, will compete in the inaugural Hobie world kayak fishing championships. The tournament will be held in Australia, on the New South Wales mid north coast, starting on October 27 at Camden Haven on the Camden Haven River, moving to the Hastings River at Port Macquarie on October 29 and 30.

The event is the concept of Steve Fields, General Manager of Hobie Cat Australasia. Steve is a former sailing world and national champion in multiple Hobie Cat Catamaran classes.

Day one of the International competition will be a standalone event. However, on the starting signal, at 7am on the weekend of October 29 - 30, the spectacular sight of 67 pedal powered Hobie MirageDrive® Pro Angler kayaks will leave the beach. The world championship competitors will be joined on the water by grand finalists from the 13 rounds, held throughout Australia, of the Daiwa Hobie ABT Kayak Fishing Series.

Live weigh-ins of the catches will take place on the waterfront grassed area at the Water's Edge Boutique Hotel, Buller Street Port Macquarie, from 2pm on each of the three days of the world championship competition.

For more information, visit the official Kayak World Championship website.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holy Sh*t or Bull Sh*t? Catfish Caught on Basket Ball

Is this fish photo real or a fake?
At FishMax we love receiving amazing and hard to believe fishing photos (got some? Then send 'em in!)

Today's hard to believe photos of a catfish eating a basketball come from regular reader Robbie, attached to the following story:

A guy who lives at Lake Saint Marys
(60 miles north of  Dayton , OH ) saw a ball bouncing
around kind of strange in the lake and went to
It turned out to be a flathead catfish that had
apparently tried to swallow a basketball which
became stuck in its mouth!!

The fish was totally exhausted from trying to
dive, but unable to, because the ball would
always bring him back up to the surface.

The guy tried numerous times to get the ball out,
but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut
the ball in order to deflate it and release the hungry

You probably wouldn't have believed this,
if you hadn't seen the following pictures:


So is this photo of a catfish eating a basketball a fake? We'll get our team of fishing investigators on to it and report back soon as to whether this crazy fish photo is Holy Sh*t or Bull Sh*t!

Don't forget, if you've seen a big fish photo, crazy fishing video, wierd fishing tail or tall fishing story that sounds too good to be true send it in to and our team of reporters and experts will investigate and tell you whether they are truely "Holy Sh*t" or "Bull Sh*t.

Is Bigger Better? This guy thinks so?

Some of us believe that small fish are the sweetest, others say it's the size of the fight in the fish, not the fish in the fight, but some think that its all about the numbers - Martin Hodkinson certainly thinks so.

UK Man Joins 100-100 Fishing Club

Hodgkinson,  a 51-year-old builder from Wolverhamton is reported to have  has travelled more than 100,000 miles  (160,000km) across the world over five years on his remarkable quest to catch the biggest monster fish on the planet.

Hodkginson travelled to some of the remotest spots in Thailand, Mexico, Gambia and the Dominican Republic in his quest to enter the exclusive "100 - 100" club - admission only open to those who have caught 100 different species over 100lbs (45.4 kg).

To make it in to the 100-100 fishing club, Hodgkinson racked up an impressive list of species caught, including a 1,000lb saw fish, a 450lb grouper fish, a 400lb lemon shark. as well as catfish, arapaimas, stingrays and tarpin.

His final fish to make the club - a  200lb Mekong catfish caught in Thailand this month.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"There are two types of fisherman
those who fish for sport and those who fish for fish"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Biggest Fish Ever Caught By British Female Fisher

UK female fisher catches record
Alexa Turness, 28 from Holland Park, London has entered the record books when fishing with her boyfriend on the River Segre in Spain. Turner's claim to fame - she landed a 215lb (97.5kg), 8 foot (2.44m) long Wels Catfish - reporteredly the biggest freshwater fish ever landed by a British woman angler.

Record Catfish caught in Spain
While the fish weighed almost twice as much as Turness herself, and was the biggest fish caught on the trip, her boyfriend didn't miss out completely, bringing in a 189 lb (85.7 kg) wopper himself.

Miss Turness, an events director, said: ‘My  boyfriend is really into fishing so when we got together seven or eight years ago I got into it too. It was a case of go fishing with him or don’t see him.’

‘I just had to hold on for my life,’ she said. ‘It took about 30 minutes, but I wasn’t going to give up. I was amazed when I saw how big it was.’
She added: ‘My boyfriend is quite gutted. We took it in turns on the rods, and this just happened to be my turn.’ The previous record for the biggest freshwater fish caught by a British woman was held by Sheila Penfold, 56, from Wandsworth, South London, who caught a 214lb (97.2 kg)  catfish in Spain last year.The Wels catfish also called Sheatfish, is found in wide areas of central, southern, and eastern Europe, and near the Baltic and Caspian Seas.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fly Fishing Western

There are some crazy guys doing some crazy fishing out there, and this video shows some of the toughest fly fishing we've seen for a while. And it's not just the fish, but also the crazy neighbours. How often do you come across gun toting Indians in your fishing trips?

A Backyard in Nowhere is a new and beautifully filmed fishing video which claims to be a "new style" of fishing video - 2 parts Fishing, 2 parts Western and 1 part extreme. If the trailer is anything to go by, this could fast become a classic (and not just for the fisherman who sounds like Arnold Schwartzeneger or the crazy guy with the axe)!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Is this the perfect fisherman's beer?

Scottish Brewers Make Beer with the Fishes
Scottish brewery "Brew Dog" has released a beer that seems perfect for fishermen (and women). Called "Sunk Punk", in what is billed as a world first in beer-making,  this 7.1% Indian Pale Ale was brewed on the ocean floor, 20 metres down, in a specially modified tank which the sea kept at a steady temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, the optimal temperature for the yeast.

The tank was anchored to the ocean flor and flew a  Jolly Roger flag to scare aware courious fish.  After two weeks, the tank was towed into harbour before being hoisted back to dry land with the successfully fermented beer.

Is this the perfect fisherman's beer?
The first beer to be brewed under water, Sunk Punk allegedly contains some hardcore maritime-themed ingredients such as buckweed, distilled sea-salt, rum and mermaids.

The makers of the underwater beer say that not only does it have a great taste, but by brewing beer under water, they are breaking an ancient Scottish curse. According to Scottish folklore calm a storm, you should throw a bottle of beer into the ocean. According to the legend, a fisherman with a witch for wife would go fishing every day and catch nothing. The witch would go to the shore and cast spells of luck to turn her husband’s fortunes. She then discovered that the reason he was constantly coming home empty handed was because he was actually drinking beer rather than fishing [Ed: Couldn't he do both? We do!]. The witch decided to put a curse on the coastline that meant if her husband ever tried to come to shore, a storm would start and the boat would sink. Brewing a beer under the waves is intended to halt the storms and reverse the curse.

For more information on this beer brewed underwater, visit BrewDog.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

German Fisherman Smashes World Record

Who wouldn't want to reel in a 539 lb (245 kg) fish? Well that's exactly what German fisherman, Reinhard Wuhrmann, did off the coast north of Norway recently, and at the same time, he smashed the halibut world weight record by 58 lbs. The record breaking Atlantic Halibut measured 8ft 3ins.

Now we're told that the halibutt is not exactly a fighting fish, and it's more likely reeling in a barn door than anything else, but they are good eating and it's still a hell of a challenge to get them up from the depths.

Whurman spent three hours before he and three other fishermen finally landed it. The fish was so big that at one point Reinhard's rod snapped in two. The men were only able to haul it onto their boat after tying a rope around it when it came alongside.

'All for the Cast' by new FishMax contributor - Phil

It began like any other autumn fishing trip, the warmer mornings had signalled the start of the surface bassing season on my favourite dam on Queensland’s ‘Scenic Rim’.

After preparing the boat and the equipment, we settled in with a few beers whilst sorting and rigging our gear, discussing at length our intended tactics, comparing surface lures and tying knots before checking and then double checking them as the sun fell sleepily to the west. “Yeah… I recon we’ll be up at four and be on the water by six” I exclaimed to Justin, my equally eager angling partner, “five minutes from the boat ramp and we’ll be braining bass on the surface in the bay of plenty!” I muttered confidently.

With a squeeze of the fuel primer bulb and a few stern pulls of the starter cord my old Johnson outboard screamed into life, “Brrrring ding ding ding ding ding” the old seahorse snarled, no doubt waking the locals as she bellowed a cloud of two stroke smoke.
With a knowing smile and boundless expectation we set off across the slick smooth early morning waters, a magical mist rising from the surface as the sun peaked over the mountains framing the impoundment and illuminating the tell tale “swirls’ left by hungry bass as they dined on hapless mayflies.

With the ‘Bay of plenty’ in sight and our thoughts firmly locked onto a busy morning of top water Bass casting; Blat Blat, Burrrr…, the old water churner began to labour as she abruptly and without warning lost power, firing on only one cylinder instead of the intended two as the 25 year old technology had intended, “She’ll be right” I shouted to Justin, who was poised at the bow in anticipation of firing off the first cast. “There’s only 100 meters to shore, there we can take off the cowl and we’ll see what’s what”.
As the old Johnno pushed us forward through the brisk morning air, a perplexed and concerned expression fell over Justin’s youthful face, and before I could say “It’s probably just a fowled spark plug” - BOOM! a bright flash of orange flame leapt into the air, trailing behind it a plum of white smoke and launching the engine cowl skyward leaving the boat and its occupants reeling in a mixture of confusion and shock, “What the f@#& was that” I stammered, clutching at my head with both hands as I imagined the engine cowl plummeting back to earth with meteoric force from the heavens above.

It was a long row back to the boat ramp, long enough to recall the ‘maintenance checks’ made on the old outboard the previous afternoon, and upon inspection of the old “clip on” it became apparent to me that in spite of “meticulous” preparation, a spark plug, if left loose will wind itself free and provide adequate ignition for atomized fuel, leaving you with bleeding ear drums, blistered hands from rowing and a fishing expedition to remember!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Funny Fishing Photo Caption Contest October 2011

Got a great caption for this funny fishing photo? Send it in for your chance to win a pack containing a FishMax t-shirt valued at $29.95!

(click image to enlarge)
Simply post your funny caption in the comments section of this article or on the FishMax facebook page, to go in the running to  a  FishMax T-Shirt worth $29.95.

Terms and Conditions
  • Entries close on Nov 15, 2011. Winner will be contacted by us in late Nov 2011 and will be announced here on
  • You may enter as many times as you want.
  • The winner will receive a FishMax T-Shirt worth $29.95.
  • Only entries posted in the comments section below or on the facebook page will be eligible.
  • Entries valid for Australian residents only.
  • The prize is not transferable and not redeemable for cash.
  • A valid email must be left in order for us to contact you if you win. If the winner cannot be contacted, we will award the prize to the runner-up.
  • The best entry will be selected by the staff. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to. 
Make sure that when you leave your comment below, you use a google ID or other form of ID as shown in the dropdown box, or if you don't have one of those, choose "anonymous" and enter your name and email address in the comments section, so we can contact you if you win (don't worry,  we'll remove you're email address before the comment is published, so no-one else will be able to see it).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Swimming with the Fishes

Amazing Yellowfin Tuna Photos from Panama
It sounds like a threat from a mafia boss, but in the case of  a couple of Tony Berkowitz, from the Billfish Foundation, it was the real thing. Off the coast of Panama with a team of scientists,  Berkowitz, with just snorkel and mask, dived into a bait ball that was being attacked by yellowfin tuna .

Berkowitz insists that the photos are not photoshopped.

Berkowitz reported that baitfish tried to use him as structure when they were getting harassed by tuna, and that he emerged a little battered, bruised and bitten by the voracious yellowfin. Read more on the Billfish Foundation Website.

The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world.

A membership-based organization headquartered in Florida, the Foundations  international network of supporters includes conservation-minded anglers, captains, mates, scientists, policy makers, tournament directors, clubs and sportfishing businesses.  The foundation works to create marine conservation strategies that benefit oceanic resources while also empowering the recreational fishing community and works for solutions that are good for the fish but not punitive to recreational anglers.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Celebrity Fishing Interview - "No Run No Fun" Says Cricket Star

The Dominator loves to fish
Exclusive FishMax Interview

Nicknamed ‘The Dominator’  after he debuted for New South Wales at the age of 25, handy all-rounder Dominic Thornely has seen his share of great cricket both here at home and in the UK and the IPL, but it's not just runs and wickets that gets Dom excited. Dom and his mates, including best mate and fellow cricket star Brett Lee, get out on the water as often as they can. This week FishMax talks exclusively to Dom about fishing the Sydney Harbour and the critical ingredient to catching lots of fish.

FM: What’s your earliest fishing memory?
DT: My Dad used to take me fishing on the Murray River when we would go camping to a small town called Walwa in the North East of Victoria, Every year we would camp at the caravan park where the same families would come from all around. They all would bring along their boats so I made sure I was up early and fished with a number of the blokes in their ‘tinnies’. Murray Cod and Redfin were the targets. My first fish was a redfin caught trolling.

FM: Where is your favourite fishing spot?
DT: I fish all over the harbour and the Hawkesbury River, would have to say Sydney harbour is my favourite as there are some many options but particularly the Kingfish of Sydney are awesome fun to catch.

FM: Your best fishing story?
DT: Brett Lee and I are best mates and we often head out on the harbour to fish, It was Sept 11 2009 and we had a massive patch of Kingfish hitting the surface right out the front of the Kings St wharf (Minutes from the CBD). We caught fish after fish (average 70-90cm) on every cast using metals and flickbaits. We had the patch for over a week and kept coming back each morning eventually we would recognise a routine and had the boat positioned waiting for them to re surface. Brett and I couldn’t get enough of the action right on the door of our largest city. Training was every afternoon and by the end of the week we were buggered! Up at 4am fish till midday off to training till 6pm and do it all again the next day.

FM: Favourite fish recipe (either describe the dish or give the recipe if you prefer)?
DT: I learnt this off Masterchef! Kingfish cut in fillets, cover in salt, lime rind and a sprinkle of olive oil, let sit for 5 minutes and then cook on a hot plate with the skin down, cook until the fish is ¾ cooked flip for a minute and your done, perfect kingfish fillet.

Thrornely and his 10kg Tuna caught on a handline
FM: What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught?
DT: I caught a 10kg Yellow fin Tuna on a hand line. Was on my honeymoon at Lord Howe Island we were trolling around Balls Pyramid with 80 pound mono handlines (gloves on of course!), the fish ripped the handline and spool over the side and into the water, All I had hold of was the line ripping through my hands. Managed to hang on and gain some line back plus the spool and had him on board in a short time. Greatful to be wearing the gloves!

FM: How often do you go fishing?
DT: I have been addicted for the past 5 years, playing cricket professionally for NSW for 10 years I realised I needed a hobby and something to take my mind of the game. Plus I had a lot of down time when not training! I fish at least once a week some weeks up to 4 times.

FM: Where is the most exotic place you’ve been fishing?
DT: Lord Howe Island is a magic place with some of the best fishing literally minutes off the Island.

FM: Do you have a fishing tip you’re willing to share?
DT:  Knots, tackle and reels are critical to landing good fish. Use your sounder, study it and learn how to use it. Have a plan and stick to it. My favourite saying is ‘no run no fun!” this definitely applies in the harbour. Like cricket I believe you never stop learning particularly when the conditions can change the bite so quickly, I guess its a little like cricket, when the conditions change so does the action.

Words: Stevo Perry Pics: Dominic Thornely's Personal Albums