Contribution by Fur, Fish & Game Magazine, July 2011
If you want to catch the big one you must have a lot of patience and nobody knows this better than Paul Harrison of Rumford ME. Paul has been fishing the polluted waters of the Penobscot River in Maine for 65 years without catching much, but last week his persistence finally paid off. Last weekend, Paul reeled in a state record-breaker, a 42 pound small-wheel shopping carriage.
Paul said he was fishing one of his favorite spots last Sunday morning when the monster struck.
“I was behind the Franks Auto Body on Riverside. There’s a nice big pile of old railroad ties that goes way out into the river and makes for a nice place to sit. Been fishin’ them ties for 20 years and gut nothing but kibbiefish and sunnies. Only people that eat those trash fish is the God-damned Vietnamese,” said the open-minded fisherman. “As soon as it hit, I knew it was big. I set the hook and it took right off with the line and swam towards the pile of oil drums, trying to cut the line. Them carriages are smart.”
Paul spent the next 2 hours battling the beast but eventually his catch tired and he was able to get the prize to the shore.
“I dragged in onto the shore and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a small wheel carriage from the old Piggley Wiggley store up on Chestnut street. That store closed in ’92, so I’m guessing that the carriage is at least 25 years old.
The record catch weighed 45 lbs 12 oz and measured 42 inches, a record for the Penobscot River. State Wildlife Officials said that there has been an increase in the number of small-wheel carriages caught in the polluted waters of Maine.
“There’s a lot more people fishing for carriages and other scrap metal now. The bad economy and the increase in scrap metal prices are making it attractive to folks looking to make extra money,” said Maine Wildlife officer Bradly King. “Some folks are making upwards of $2,000 a week pulling debris out of the rivers.”