I need a fresh water fish capable of giving a good run (I guess I'm thinking of something like a game fish--marlin or swordfish--but in a river.) Something big enough to actually tow a small boat for a short distance. So far the only two I've been able to think of to research (sturgeon and catfish) didn't quite pan out, at least as far as I can tell by reading about them.
Of course, it's a fantasy, so I can just make something up. A baby water dragon might be interesting. But I haven't had any other fantastic creatures in this one so far, so it might feel a little out of place.
The last time I fished was for the stocked fish in the pond at a local park (catch and release) where the biggest challenge was trying to keep the crawfish from stealing your bait. I was probably eleven or twelve at the time.
I grew up on the largest natural lake in Indiana. I remember about 20 years ago somebody caught a 63 lbs. sturgeon. My dad cut out the pic so that when my more urban cousin came to visit we could scare him before going tubing on the lake. The tale worked so well, that when I fell off the tube and a fish flopped out of the water about two feet away, I nearly screamed. As it was, I warmed the water all around me.
Posts: 823 | Registered: May 2009
| IP: Logged |
The problem with both sturgeon and catfish, as I see it (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that I'm not sure either puts up the kind of fight I'm looking for, at least from what I've been able to find so far. I know catfish put up a fight, but towing a small rowboat? Not sure. Sturgeon can be more than big enough, but again, what kind of fight would they put up?
I'm beginning to like the baby water dragon idea, the more I think about it. There are a couple of places where I could work in the existence of water dragons and/or other fantastic creatures so it wouldn't feel like it was coming out of left field. Besides, a dragon can do anything you want it to--who's going to prove you wrong?
Well, if a 600lb catfish decides to put up a fight, it will tow a small boat. You just have to be thinking Asian catfish, not North American or European.
Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010
| IP: Logged |
River Monster - I think it is Discovery that has a show River MOnster, where he catches the biggest, largest Fresh water fish. No names come to hand, but man there are some monsters out there.
Posts: 1168 | Registered: Mar 2008
| IP: Logged |
Some years ago there was a news item about some fishermen over in Australia that went fishing during a flood. They caught a massive flat eel-like fish, around 24 feet long and 8-12 inches wide on the flat side. This is perhaps a freshwater cousin of the oarfish, which are known to grow to 36 feet, although the mouth was somewhat different (and scary). This could perhaps fit the bill of a water dragon.
Other Australian fish that may fit the bill include Saratoga and barramundi, which are strong fighting fish and the big ones are around 4-5 feet. Murray cod can grow to 6 feet, and weight 250 pounds, but the fight would be short lived.
I saw a documentary on TV not too long ago about a hunt for a fresh water fish in India believed to be eating humans. I don't know the name of the fish, but I googled it and came up with this huge picture of a huge catfish.
In still waters, pretty much any fish that puts up a good fight will tow a small unpowered boat quite a ways.
(Now, if you'd asked for a saltwater fish, I could tell you from personal experience about a five-hour fight with a swordfish that pulled our boat so far out to sea it took us an hour at full speed to get back into sight of land after we finally got the fish on the boat.)
In still water, a salmon or large trout that fights for 15-20 minutes is going to move a small boat a noticeable distance. It really doesn't take much force to move a boat.
As a very, very rough calculation:
Salmon can swim 12mph. I don't know how long they can sustain that speed, so let's cut it in half to 6mph. At 5280 feet in a mile, that's 31680 feet per hour.
This rowboat weighs 70 lbs. Put in two humans and some equipment, and we'll say 400 lbs.
So, let's pick a 20-lb salmon who fights for 20 minutes. Normally, it would be able to travel 10560 feet in that time, but due to the tension on the line, some of that force is exerted on the boat. (See Newton's third law.) The ratio of the weight of the boat to the weight of the salmon is 20 to 1, so (very roughly) the boat will move 1/20 the distance: 528 feet. That's 1/10 of a mile, more than the length of a football field. That's not a great distance to travel in 20 minutes, but it is noticeable.
(Note that I've left out direction of the pull and a whole host of other variables. This is meant to just give a ballpark idea of the magnitude of the motion.)