There is a true story that one of our local fisherman in the early 1900s had a narrow escape from serious injury, if not death while fishing in the Mississippi River in his boat. He was approximately 500 yards from shore when a snapping eelpout four feet long was attracted by the noise of the whirling propeller blades. The eelpout charged the rear of the boat with such force two of the blades snapped off.
The fisherman slashed at the fish with a wrench. The aquatic creature sprang clear out of the water and sank its teeth into the angler’s nose tearing off part of it before it fell back into the water from the fisherman’s blows.
The eelpout then bit through the bottom of the boat and tore a piece of the man’s boot and lacerated one of his toes. The fisherman became so angry, that he jumped into the water and pursued the eel until he caught it. He held it under the water until it drowned, but not until the eel had practically torn all his clothes and wounded him severely in the head and arms.
He was soon rescued by fellow fisherman Mr. Gardner and Mr. Henshaw who had heard all the noise coming from the area. They told the fisherman that snapping eelpouts are very savage-especially males. In some localities they found it necessary to strangle the young eelpouts to protect the residents that lived on the shore of the Mississippi.
Sounds like something out of the movie Lake Placid to me!!!
Eelpout fight just like walleyes. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference—until they poke their noses up out of the hole. At that point, their squirming bodies resemble some hybrid cross between dogfish and eels. When they coil their tails snakelike around your wrist, well, you get that same creepy, eerie feeling you get around members of the legal profession. Thus the name lawyers…