A Fish Tale from the Wisconsin Dells

My family took a riverboat excursion of the Wisconsin Dells. We docked at Witches Gulch to take a short hike.

One of the dozen or so passengers was a well-equipped angler intent on fishing the Wisconsin River. He seemed to have everything in hand: two rods, a large tackle box, creel, a vest, and a hat festooned with small lures.

As we all walked up the dock toward shore, a young man of 11 or 12 sat on the opposite side of the dock from the boat, holding a piece of cord that disappeared into the water. Setting next to him was a box of ice cream cones.

We stopped and asked the angler, “What are you doing?”

“Fishing,” the boy replied.

“For what?”

“Channel cat.”

“What are you using for bait?”

“These cones.”

“Cones,” the older fisherman said skeptically. “Catching anything?”

With that, the young man reached over to a piling and pulled on a piece of cord tied there. As the stringer came out of the water, everyone gasped when three large channel catfish emerged.

The wide-eyed angler stammered, “You caught those on a hook, line, and ice cream cones?”

“Yep,” came the reply.

“Can I have a couple of cones?” the man asked.

“No,” said the youth. “You’re the third guy who’s wanted some today. I’m almost out.”

“Can I buy some from you? I’ll give you a dime each,” the man said.

“The other guys offered a quarter, but I got a half dollar,” said the young entrepreneur. “I’m getting so low now, I’ll need 75 cents.”

“For a cone!” the man shouted.

“I’ll sell you fish for $3.”

“No, no. Here’s a buck and a half. Give me two.”

After the transaction was complete, everyone proceeded up the dock with the surprised angler leading the way. “I can’t believe I spent over $100 for all of this gear and could have caught those fish for a buck,” he muttered, prompting a good laugh by all of us—fisherman included.

Do you have a “reel” fishing tale to share? Write your stories in the comments!