This story starts in a lake in Schenectady, NY. Seems a young man hooked himself an an alligator gar — unusual fish for that area, native of Mississippi. He kept it long enough to have a photo taken, then, as a responsible Catch and Release angler, tossed it back.

The photo found its way to Facebook, which eventually led to several keenly interested and concerned parties at the state environmental protection agency.  The organized a trip to the lake to find and confiscate what they correctly identified as an invasive and potentially destructive species. Speculation is it was in somebody’s fish tank, got too big, and well, you know the rest. Alligators in the NY subway. Pythons in the Everglades. French Canadians on Dania Beach.

The state agents came up empty, but figured no big deal — just one fish, and it won’t survive an upper  NY state winter anyway. But then the mayor decided to make a game of it, and offered a $100 reward to whoever caught it.

And then the fun began.

Since [Mayor] McCarthy’s offer, the park, moribund even on an August day, according to residents, has been packed. Its shoreline bristles with anglers of all ages. At Goldstock’s Sporting Goods, in nearby Scotia, weekly sales of rods have quintupled to 25 a week. “I love it, are you kidding?” an owner, Mike Kausch, 61, said, referring to the gar. “I should put one out there every couple days!”

When weeks went by with no gar sightings, suspicions surfaced instead. Maybe the whole thing was a set-up? A fish tale? A marketing plan that struck gold? Or —

Sitting in his rocking chair at Wiggly Worm Bait and Fishing Supply, in Ballston Lake, a few miles away, William Ingles, the shop’s 92-year-old founder, had a theory: “You say, ‘Wait a minute. All of a sudden we got 30, 40, 50 ones out there trying to catch this fish, and all of a sudden nobody’s catching it?’” Perhaps, he mused, the gar was already gone. “What would you do if someone caught the fish, and ate the fish, and everyone’s still out there fishing?”

Fall arrives early in Schenectady, so we might never know. Meanwhile, there are rumors that the Florida Tourist Board has reached out to the young angler about coming down to Lake Okeechobee, where thanks to the algae blooms, fishing is dead. What if he just happened to catch something exotic, say, like a mermaid, snapped a photo, then released it back? Would that jump-start the season? Worth a try, innit?


UPDATE 8/11/16

The rogue gar has been officially apprehended! [via]


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5 Responses to Marketing

  1. Mister E says:

    It would not surprise me to learn that the photo shows a young man holding a rubberized bath toy.

  2. Dawgbowl says:

    A mermaid residing in Lake O would probably look like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Which, when you think about it, sort of looks like Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz.

  3. Mr Schwinnickle says:

    I FUCKING HATE French Canadians on Dania Beach! And anywhere in South Florida! A few have escaped and are already here! They stayed through the summer. Imigrane that! Wait, sorry imagine. Yes they give me a big fucking headache. They cant drive for shit. They don’t tip the local wait staff very well at all. They speak French when they can speak English perfectly well…. And they are just plain rude. And one was dumb enough to ask what we think of them when they come and invade Hollywood Beach. I went off….. Let them stay up north…….. Fuck up my roads and cant go out to eat anyplace because they think they need to go to the early bird special because they are so cheap. Don’t know why the men married the women, cause they aint good looking and they cant cook…. They’d be home cooking and not eating out if they could cook a good meal.

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