This could be one of the strangest stories you will read all year.
Two fishermen honored their late fishing buddy by turning his ashes into a bait that snagged a giant 180-pound fish.
Ron Hopper, 64, passed away from cancer before he and his two friends, Paul Fairbrass and Cliff Dale, could go on their much-anticipated fishing trip. Despite the loss, the fishing trio still managed to find a way for all three to participate, however.
Hopper was diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer and was only given weeks to live. “It gave him enough time to think about what he wanted to do,” said Fairbrass.
“A few days before he died, he asked us to take his ashes and scatter them around the lake because he had really happy memories of the place. I told him we could go one better than that and turn him into bait and catch a big fish with it,” Fairbrass said. “He just cracked up and said it was a brilliant idea.”
Hopper passed away not long afterward and was cremated three weeks later. His widow took half his ashes to scatter them on a beach in the Caribbean and Fairbrass, and Dale took the other half.
Once they arrived at their fishing destination, they made the bait mix using the ashes. They named their special bait “Purple Ronnie.” At first, they caught a few smaller fish but then decided to go to the same location Hopper used in the past to catch a 150-pound fish.
“We caught some smaller fish with it but didn’t think we would get a big one,” said Fairbrass. Then they felt a strong tug on their line. “Ron must have been looking out for us.”
Fairbrass and Dale then spent the next three hours reeling in the monster 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,” Fairbrass said. “After we caught the fish, I looked to the heavens and said ‘Thank you, Ron,’” said Dale.
The International Game Fishing Association stopped listing record sizes for Siamese carp for conservation reasons, but this 180-pound carp could be one of the largest ever.
What do you think of these fishing buddies’ idea? Is it genius or did they go too far? Let us know in the comments!