Claim: Photographs show a large catfish with a basketball stuck in its mouth.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2004]
FISH STORY FROM WICHITA EAGLE NEWSPAPER
This was a pretty interesting story from The Sunday Wichita Eagle Newspaper a couple of weeks ago. Was in a housing development around 119th st. South and Maple. Anyhow a resident in the area saw a ball bouncing around kind of strange like in the developments pond and when he went to investigate, it was a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a child's 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 resident tried numerous times to get the ball out but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball in order to deflate the ball and release the catfish.
Origins: Yes, these photographs of a basketball-bearing catfish are real, taken at Sandalwood Lake in Kansas on 28 May 2004. An account of the circumstances under which the pictures were taken appeared in the Wichita Eagle on 30 May 2004:
From Panama to the Great Lakes, Bill Driver's done pretty well fishing over the past 50 years.
Now he's wondering if he'd have done even better with a different kind of bait. "I never considered using a kid's basketball," Driver said. "Maybe I should have."
Friday afternoon, Driver was standing on the deck of his house near 119th Street West and Central when he saw an eight-inch ball floating in Sandalwood Lake.
Noticing the ball wasn't floating normally, Driver wandered to his dock for a closer look. A catfish had its mouth stuck around the ball.
Driver hollered for his wife, Pam, to get a camera while he unrigged the sail from his nine-foot boat, wading into the lake and corralling the fish toward shore with the sail as a seine.
Several times, the flathead tried to dive, only to have the ball buoy it back to the surface.
The fish appeared to be exhausted and offered little resistance once in the shallows.
Things may have gone easier had the fish the strength to struggle.
"I just couldn't pull that ball out of its mouth," Driver said. "I was lifting up out of the water as best I could by the ball. I finally sent my wife to the house to get a knife."
Driver carefully deflated the ball. Estimated at 50 pounds, the fish swam toward the deepest part of the lake.
Driver has no plans of targeting the fish in the near future.
Instead, he'll probably continue to fish for the bass and panfish that swim within the one-acre lake.
"I guess I might try fishing with a golf ball," Driver said. "Smaller fish, smaller bait."
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.