Spooky Fishing Stories

Several years ago around Halloween, we posted Ghost Stories of the Surf, and our readers shared their scary fish stories. Here are some of our favorites. 

Last year around Halloween, we posted Ghost Stories of The Surf, and our readers shared some scary fish stories of their own in the comments section. Here are some of our favorites. 

Strangers in the Fog
From “Mike The Truth”

I peered out my window that October night. The fog had settled over Eastern Long Island, and I could barely see past the window itself. Although I hesitated I still did not let the “soup” deter me from wading into Moriches Bay and fishing that night.

Driving to the Coast Guard station was slow and hazardous. Visibility was zero.

The night was still and the lack of any visible moon lost in the fog gave it a darker than black feel. That coupled with the fact I could not see my outstretched hand began to unsettle me and get my mind to wandering.

As I walked up the road from parking lot to water’s edge the sad fact of my location came into mind. This was the road that all the Flight 800 wreckage came up. This was the road that all those poor soul’s bodies had come to.

I shook the tragedy from my mind as I entered the dark swirling water. Ever so slowly I waded out to chest level and proceeded the hundred yards to my spot.

As I arrived I prepared to fire off my first cast when I turned to my right coming face to face with a man no more that three feet away. We looked at each other and screamed simultaneously. They must have heard us for miles. When we regained our composure we had a good laugh. After we introduced ourselves we began to fish. I asked him what he thought of the fog. “I actually enjoy it quite a bit,” he said. I then asked him if he was from the area. When he didn’t reply I turned toward him. But he was no longer there. I fled the water that night. And I never fished there again.

Execution Light
From Richard Duffy

My dad used to tell a story of drinking with some of the Coast Guard guys who manned a lighthouse on Long Island Sound called Execution Light. When we fished out there you could see rings attached to a rock that was only visible at low tide. The story is that pirates were chained to that rock at low tide and left to drown. The guys who manned the light, back in the day, claimed they could hear screams at night when the tide was coming in.

Phantom Casters
From Rick Webster

I was fishing the first beach at Sandy Hook in Jersey one late September. When I got to the parking lot and not another car in sight. I set up, soaking clams on two rods before sun-up. As the pre-dawn light began to show over the horizon, a THICK bank of fog rolled in. Slack tide and zero wind…very peaceful but not expecting anything spectacular.

Suddenly, about 500 seagulls that had been resting on the roof of the bath house lifted into the air and began to dive nosily into the surf. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see them, but I could hear them, not 20 yards off the beach. Figuring a blitz of snappers, I sent a 3-ounce Yo-Zuri popper into the fog and immediately came tight on what turned out to be a 12lb Albie. As I was fighting this fish, the fog began to lift and I could see I was surrounded by 25 to 30 other surfcasters. I had no clue how they suddenly appeared as this stretch of beach is wide open, so I would have seen them before the fog came in. No one spoke and the only sounds were screaming gulls and drags as we all enjoyed a rare mix of blues and albies for the next 30 minutes in a classic fall blitz.

As the action died down, the fog rolled in again and I appeared to be all alone again. Since I was tired and a little spooked by the mornings events, I packed up my gear and headed back to the parking lot. Just like when I arrived, mine was the only car there. I have no idea where the other fishermen came from or how they disappeared and to this day, I’m not entirely convinced they were actually there.

Disappearing Fish
From Angel Rodriguez

Was out fishing after midnight. Me and a friend had a couple of fish on shore. We decided to leave because the fog was getting thick. When we went to grab the fish, they were gone! Time to run! Not a soul in sight!

Originally Published In October 2016

9 on “Spooky Fishing Stories

  1. Nick

    I was fishing at night new moon in a nor’easter on a deserted part of the this disclosed island. I was on my favorite rock. Nothing was biting and I decided to venture into a river basin getting out of a 20 mph wind. I was walking what I thought was the shore line and made a few casts for about 30 minutes. The tide turned and started coming in. I turned my back to light a cigarette and realized I was on a sand bar in the middle of the river with the tide starting to cover my exit. I got off thankfully and went strait home for the night.

  2. Doug Knowles

    I was fishing by myself late one night in August trying to catch a slack tide around midnight. All of a sudden a boat drifted into view with no lights on and what looked like a person standing on the bow casting then all of a sudden a piece of bunker came flying out of the dark at me. When I looked up the boat was gone and there was a line attached to the bunker chunk when i pulled up the line there was a rod and reel both covered with barnacles and mud. I don’t know what happened or where the bait came from but i packed up and left with the rod and reel in tow.

  3. Dustin Barber

    I arrived at one of my favorite spots to throw eels about a month or so ago here in maine. After about an hour of waiting for the tide to fill the flat I was fishing, i commenced to casting eels. A about 20 minutes went by when I brought in a dreaded “eel knot” and I realized I had forgotten my pliers in the truck that was only 100 yards away. As I closed the distance, I walked up a small dune and could make out the outline of my truck. I turned my headlamp on and immediately froze. 5 sets of green reflective eyes starred back at me. It took me about 30 seconds to realize they were just deer that were grazing the edge of the marsh I was on. Almost needed a change of shorts after that!

  4. Bill P

    I was a pharmaceutical representative covering the New Hampshire and Maine territory. Most afternoons on my way home I would stop at some out of the way spot and throw a few casts in a stream or pond the probably didn’t see a fisherman all season. On one occasion I drove less then a mile down an old trail off Route 25 very close to the Maine NH border to try my luck in the Ossipee River. There was not a soul around no vehicles nobody. I worked my way along the banks a few yards to some large boulders and started to fish.
    After a few cast I hooked a smallish brooke and to my surprise on the other side of the river I saw a man dressed entirely in what I would describe as buckskins . Deer colored pants shirt and jacket standing on a large boulder directly across from me in the river about 10 yards out from the opposite bank. For a brief moment my attention turned back to the little Brooke trout I was about to release and when I looked up again the guy was gone, vanished. Over the years I have told my self it must have been a deer , but I know what I saw it was a man a Native American dressed in deer skins and in a split second he was gone.

  5. RoyB

    This still haunts me to this day, after 25+ years.
    I’ve only told this story to the immediate family.

    Always surf fished at sunrise on the beach at Ocean Park in Saco, ME. every year
    while on vacation, it was a ritual I had been doing for years.
    The section of beach had unlimited view north and south for miles and 100 yds of
    beach from the shore line to the access paths back to the cottages.

    After each cast I always look up and down the shore line scanning for birds/schools
    of fish to target. It’s a habit, still do it to this day.

    One cloudy morning, there were maybe a handful of sufrcasters up and down the beach that morning.
    After a while of casting, I look up and no more than 50ft. away there is an old man and his
    dog walking very slowly toward me, no-one else around for hundreds of yards and I would have seen him
    walking toward me much sooner than I did at that close a range. As he came up to me he started talking in a raspy voice
    about buying tech. company stocks and giving me tips, the whole time keeping his down
    as he talked.

    He was dressed in an old tattered, ripped coat, multiple old shirts/ old sweater, old
    wool dress pants and worn dress shoes, old worn hat as well. The dog was a collie, old
    and had clumps of hair falling off of it and very dirty. The dog never raised its head
    either. After about a minute or two I was done with listeneing and started to move
    to cast. At that point he lifted his head and looked at me.
    His eyes were solid black, SOLID black, no whites of the eyes at all.
    He put his head down and started to walk down the beach with his dog.

    I was in complete shock, a total loss of words with what I saw.
    After that next cast I looked down the beach to see where they were, no more
    that a minute had passed… The man and his dog were gone, no way in the world could
    they have made it up and off the beach in that short a period of time.

    The face that I saw was not that of an old man, it was my grandmothers, who passed
    away earlier that year, I was holding her hand when she died.
    The dog, her only and favorite collie, Lola, that died back in the 60’s.
    I can see the image in my mind as clear as I did back then.

    I haven’t fished that section of beach since, maybe someday I will.
    Oh yeah, I should have acted on the stock tips, 2 of the 3 were winners.

  6. LOU


  7. chuck

    This past summer i drove down to So. County RI to catch an evening tide in July, it was the last 2 hrs of the flood, about 9- 10 pm. I expected to see a couple other fishermen, as it was the new moon as well. Public area, was completely deserted. Walked down to the water, wasn’t really foggy, but totally black. I’d driven 70 miles to get there, so i started casting, it almost felt like somebody’s hand on my shoulders. Turned around, put my light on, no one around. i repeated this several times, each time the feeling got more intense. I finally reeled up and moved, took several hours to shake that feeling. I think somebody else wanted to fish that spot that night. btw, i’ve been clean and sober for 27 years, don’t think that had anything to do with it. 🙂

  8. Russ

    I was anchored in Woods Hole fishing for stripers with a friend. The fog dropped in on us, but we were not worried because we were anchored in shallow water, well out of the channel. All of a sudden a horse appears out of the fog in the middle of channel. The horse was tied on the bow of the Naushon Ferry, but all you could see was the horse for a bit. It was surreal.

  9. Dan Majikas

    I thought this article had included a story of a surfcaster who was wet-suiting in Montauk on the New Moon, swam out to their favorite boulder for the night, and after the swim back in, stepped over a full grown seal with a nice crescent shaped bite taken out of it’s side – still bleeding. I guess that was another article?

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