Saturday, June 06, 2009



Those of you with long memories may recall the Monkeyfishing hoax of 2001 in Slate. This was a piece by Jay Forman which revealed the existence of a illicit sport on an island of former medical research monkeys in the Florida Keys, where locals went... well, Monkeyfishing:

Once we found a nice spot, we prepared to fish. Sturdy deep-sea poles were the preferred tackle. I've never heard of anyone landing a monkey on lightweight fly rods, but I suppose it is possible. I have friends who have landed tarpon on them, and tarpon are much bigger than monkeys. A fully-grown rhesus monkey tips the scale at around 30 pounds, while a tarpon can easily break 200.... Fruits were the bait of choice. Apples were good because they stayed on the hook well. Red Delicious were chosen over Granny Smith for the advantage in contrast.
Other journalists called bullshit on the piece, and it quickly fell apart. (A couple years ago, Forman finally confessed the whole thing to Jack Shafer.)

But while perusing the October 1897 issue of Recreation magazine today, I found -- wait for it -- "The New Sport: Bait-Casting For Fox Terriers"...

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