Here’s a fisherman’s tale that’ll leave you reeling. Two keen anglers used bits of their dead mate as bait and reeled in a whopper of a catch.
Using your dead friend as fish food may sound sadistic, but in this case, it was a simple act of genuine kindness from two anglers who wanted to honor their deceased best friend’s wishes, hook, line, and sinker.
The Express reports that keen fisherman Ron Hopper, 64, from Hull, East Yorkshire, was diagnosed with an aggressive liver cancer last December and given just two weeks to live.
Tragically, Ron died before he could go on one final fishing trip that he had booked last year with his angling buddies Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale, both 65.
The fishing trio had spent a fishing holiday in Thailand last year and had planned to return this April, but sadly the former marine engineer lost his battle with cancer three days before Christmas and was cremated three weeks later.
Mr. Fairbrass explained that his deceased friend’s deathbed wish was for his buddies to take his ashes to Thailand and use them as fish bait.
Because he couldn’t make the trip himself, Ron insisted that some part of him would and asked his mates if they’d take his ashes to the Far East and scatter them at a lake which he had fond memories of.
“A few days before he died he asked us to take his ashes to Thailand and scatter them around the lake because he’d really happy memories of the place.
“I told him we would go one better than that and turn him into boilies and catch big fish with them. He just cracked up and said it was a brilliant idea.”
Ron’s widow Judith took one-half of her late husband’s ashes to scatter on a beach in Grenada in the Caribbean, and his buddies took the other half of his mortal remains to Thailand, infused it with a special bait mix to make boilies, and went fishing.
Paul and Cliff christened the special bait “Purple Ronnie” in honor of the fisherman who could no longer cast his line and wait for something big to bite.
During their nine-day trip, the blended bait of their old mate proved potent with the scaly sensations of the deep, yet neither Paul nor Cliff anticipated that the lure of their old fishing buddy would be so powerful as to help snare a whopping 12-stone Siamese carp, one of the biggest carp fish ever caught in the world.
As well as being there in bait form, Paul believes his old mate was also definitely there in spirit during the epic encounter between man and fish.
“We were gutted that Ron couldn’t come on the trip because he was really looking forward to it, but he was definitely with us when we caught that fish.
“We caught some smaller fish with it but didn’t think we would get a big one. Ron must have been looking out for us.”
“It seemed like it was destiny we would use Ronnie to catch one of the biggest fish in the lake.
“It’s what he would have wanted.”
Cliff Dale also believes it was all down to his old mate that they snared such a whopper and believes Ron was right beside them as they reeled the monster carp to the surface.
“I am not a religious person but it felt spiritual, it felt like Ron was there with us.
“After we caught this fish I looked to the heavens and said ‘thank you, Ron.'”
The world record for a Siamese carp is 134 pounds, but the International Game Fishing Association stopped listing them since they swim in protected waters.
The fish Mr. Fairbrass and Mr. Dale caught weighed an incredible 180 pounds.
Eddie Mounce, of the Jurassic Resort which owns the lake, was also flabbergasted by the size of the friend’s catch and said all three of the angling buddies are now part of Thai fishing legend.
“He made sure the fish gods were smiling down and gave Paul and Cliff the catch of a lifetime. The three friends are now part of Thai fishing legend.”
“All that remains of Ron Hopper is one boilie ball, which will now be coated with preservative and displayed in a presentation case. The carp, meanwhile, has been named Ronnie in his honor.”
[Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]