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U.S. soldiers' new Iraq mission: Goin' fishing in Saddam's private lakes
Orlando Sentinel ^ | 2/28/08 | Darryl E. Owens

Posted on 02/28/2008 8:38:33 AM PST by girlangler

Darryl E. Owens | Sentinel Staff Writer February 28, 2008 Ray Combs thought he'd witnessed the wildest fishing action that the world had to offer. But that was before the Orlando videographer hopped a military cargo plane to Baghdad. There, as Black Hawk helicopters flew overhead, he watched soldiers cast lines into a man-made lake near where Saddam Hussein reputedly kept his harem. "I have been on boats shooting video as an 18-foot hammerhead ate a 200-pound tarpon mere feet away from me," said Combs, 32. "But . . . it doesn't compare to the surreal feeling of watching soldiers fish while holding their rifle in one hand and a spinning reel in the other." Related links "Operation Catch Fish" in Iraq Video Combs, creative director of Reel Time Productions, recently took a small crew to Iraq to film for television a morale-boosting tournament called Operation Catchfish. He wanted to explore the odd juxtaposition of fishing in a war zone. "Nobody thinks of fishing in Iraq," he said. "You think of desert, you think of the war; but you don't think of fishing. "It's the one thing that ties everyone together," said Combs, who returned recently from the 10-day trip. "No matter where you are, where you're from, it's something kind of primordial, catching fish out of the water. It's something that's been done as long as man's been around." The soldiers likely wouldn't be fishing if not for Saddam, who ordered the digging of several lakes that he stocked with fish as part of a private hunting reserve. After the invasion, it didn't take long for the occupation forces to figure out where the fish were biting. Soon they were casting with tackle donated from back home.

(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: catfish; fishing; military; rr

1 posted on 02/28/2008 8:38:40 AM PST by girlangler
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To: girlangler
OMG, R&R by fishing and hunting.. oh the humanity.. where is the Democrat investigation? //sarc
2 posted on 02/28/2008 8:40:33 AM PST by mnehring ("Ronald Reagan has made Jimmy Carter look like a conservative..."- Ron Paul)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; george76; SJackson; CrappieLuck; billhilly; Grammy; proud_yank; Marine_Uncle; ..

Ping, neat story.


3 posted on 02/28/2008 8:40:52 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0; MotleyGirl70

Fishin’ ping


4 posted on 02/28/2008 8:42:27 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: girlangler

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7HvxRb0p00

Fishing in Afghanistan


5 posted on 02/28/2008 8:43:42 AM PST by CJ Wolf (The Ron Paul - Let Freedom Ping list - freepmail me to be on it.)
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To: girlangler

Geez guys! Can’t you use explosives or something to get the fishes?


6 posted on 02/28/2008 8:44:36 AM PST by John123 (Socialism is the best choice for those too stupid to be liberals...)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; george76; SJackson; CrappieLuck; billhilly; Grammy; proud_yank; Marine_Uncle; ..

Ping, neat story.


7 posted on 02/28/2008 8:44:49 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: girlangler

Cool video at the link. Nice young man commentator.


8 posted on 02/28/2008 8:45:34 AM PST by EggsAckley
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To: girlangler

Here in Texas we have a lunker share program: catch a large, fine specimen and donate him or her for breeding purposes. A few wound up in Crawford; I’d like Saddam’s fishing holes to be lunkerized, too.


9 posted on 02/28/2008 8:48:40 AM PST by txhurl
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To: girlangler

I hope they don’t have to pay for of an “out of country fishing” license. I pay through the nose to fish for trout with an out of state license in Virginia. :-)


10 posted on 02/28/2008 8:53:20 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (Global warming is the new Marxism.)
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To: mnehrling

better not let PETA get wind of this-there will be a congressional investigation.


11 posted on 02/28/2008 8:53:35 AM PST by mrmargaritaville
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To: txflake; All

Wouldn’t it be a great idea for American tackle companies to pitch in on a $500,000 prize for the biggest/most fish caught in this tourney, so the soldier would have enough to buy a home, etc., when he/she came home?

I love the Texas Share A Lunker program, and fish a small lake in Texas a couple times a year.


12 posted on 02/28/2008 8:55:31 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

The legislature here in TN has a bill moving through the committees that would let active service fish without licenses.

Should be that way in every state.


13 posted on 02/28/2008 8:57:20 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: girlangler

Yeah, at least down payments and closing costs! That would be great. I think you only need 2% down on a VA loan?

Too bad we can’t send the corps of engineers over to build and stock 1000 more lakes: keep the jihadis out of the streets.


14 posted on 02/28/2008 8:59:24 AM PST by txhurl
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To: girlangler

PS I use 1/4 and 1/2 oz. Rattletraps (silver with blue stripe down back): no bass can resist them.


15 posted on 02/28/2008 9:03:16 AM PST by txhurl
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To: girlangler

My son bank fishes from the Euphrates. Fishing there is pretty good. Doesn’t eat the catches for obvious reasons.


16 posted on 02/28/2008 9:06:53 AM PST by TADSLOS ( McCain-Feingold: "Good for thee but not for me"- John McCain)
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To: girlangler

>>>>He and his several hundred students fished several lakes that dot the Camp Victory compound, outside the International Zone, also called the “Green Zone.”

Grrrrrrr....

No, Victory isn’t “outside the IZ”. It’s 10+ miles away from the IZ next door to BIAP (the airport).

Having said that, the lake surrounding Al Faw palace used to be stocked with hundreds and hundreds of some really very ugly carp-like fish, and they were big-uns. Every once in a while someone would dump a bag of chips or bread into the “lake” and it would become a feeding frenzy of those ugly suckers. Like a shark frenzy but without the bloodletting. I have a few photos somewhere.

Then there is Lost Lake which had it’s very own unique distinction at Victory as the place you would not and should not talk about. It was home to a very special HVT guest for a long time, but that’s all we knew about it. Ahem. ‘Nuff said.

On a vaguely related note, the guys who sold the photos of Saddam washing his clothes were called back from reserve to active duty after those photos were sold and made public. Whoops.


17 posted on 02/28/2008 9:11:35 AM PST by angkor
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To: TADSLOS

My nephew (an Army Captain) emailed me as soon as he hit Bagdad to send him some of my favorite fishing lures. I sent him plenty and he sent back a lot of pictures of himself catching lots of “bass looking” fish.


18 posted on 02/28/2008 9:15:12 AM PST by phil1750 (Love like you've never been hurt;Dance like nobody's watching;PRAY like it's your last prayer)
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To: angkor

Not sure who it was, British Ambassador or something like that who prior to the war told us about Saddam making fish food out of his fellow countrymen in a plastic shredder?

I wonder if these were the same fish?


19 posted on 02/28/2008 9:31:37 AM PST by BigSkyDream
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To: girlangler

Great story, thanks for the ping.

I liked their improvising on the different baits they used, they’re always thinking. :-)


20 posted on 02/28/2008 9:32:04 AM PST by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: girlangler

What is Saddam dug out those “lakes” and buried more treasure at the bottom, and then filled the lake and stocked it with fish?
He was a very devious man.


21 posted on 02/28/2008 9:34:13 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: BigSkyDream

>>>>>I wonder if these were the same fish?

Yea, well... sometimes the fish would yell “Allahu Akbar!” at you, so there may be something to it.


22 posted on 02/28/2008 9:39:45 AM PST by angkor
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To: girlangler

It is great some of our military folks can take a short break and just relax, doing something many of them probably love to do.


23 posted on 02/28/2008 9:41:57 AM PST by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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To: ridesthemiles

I certainly wouldn’t eat them. But if I was there, it sure would be a neat thing to fish them on off time.


24 posted on 02/28/2008 9:42:34 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: girlangler
"I certainly wouldn’t eat them."

I would eat them, but then I live in Louisiana.

25 posted on 02/28/2008 9:45:38 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: txflake

Oh I love Rattletraps. That small lake I fish in east Texas — the Rattletrap was invented by a small company located near there in Louisiana.

The Rattletrap is one of the most consistently successful baits I’ve found. I like both the blue backed and brown backed ones, but haven’t had much success with the crawfish colored ones up here (TN) where I now live.

The ex PR director for Rattletrap company gave me an LSU rattletrap, which I have hanging on the wall in my cabin (collectors item, since only so many were made). They sold, briefly, a school themed one.


26 posted on 02/28/2008 9:48:53 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: Joe 6-pack

LOL.

(Who me loves, loves also my dog?)


27 posted on 02/28/2008 9:52:08 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: girlangler
I think it was Medved that was reading a story a few weeks ago about how fighting boredom is now listed as the #1 problem for the soldiers in Iraq, with little of the enemy left to fight. Some of them are longing for the days of the dangerous patrols, the door to door knock & talks searching for bad guys or hidden weapons.
Much of that has been replaced by more tedious routine task like they would be doing if they were back at Ft Lewis, Benning, or Bragg. The recreation time is also more closely resembling what they would be doing back in the States.
28 posted on 02/28/2008 9:54:35 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: Marine_Uncle
Absolutely, any chance for them to relax is great.

It is sobering to think of how something as innocent as our men relaxing by fishing is still touched by the evil that our forces have been fighting against and is still completely lost by the main stream liberal media who has forgotten things like people plastic shredders that we went to war for.

29 posted on 02/28/2008 9:55:46 AM PST by BigSkyDream
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To: Joe 6-pack

LOL. Like my coon ass brother in law. EVERY fish ends up in his freezer, including trophy bass. I have tried to talk him into catch and release . . . it ain’t happening Shaa!!!

Some of those Lousiana bayous are full of chemicals, etc.


30 posted on 02/28/2008 9:56:50 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: Joe 6-pack

lol


31 posted on 02/28/2008 9:56:53 AM PST by txhurl
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To: girlangler

Bookmark.


32 posted on 02/28/2008 9:56:53 AM PST by manic4organic (Send a care package through USO today.)
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To: patton
Close....from St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Sermo Primus, "Who loves me will love my dog also."
33 posted on 02/28/2008 9:57:30 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Gotta go review my latin conjugation...amo, amas, amat...


34 posted on 02/28/2008 10:03:12 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: angkor

I caught a big musky once, he might as well as been saying “Allah Akbar” when he was snapping those teeth at me in the boat LOL.

As tough as I am, and fishing my entire life, I made that fishing guide take that sucker off the hook.


35 posted on 02/28/2008 10:04:44 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: Constitution Day; girlangler
"Operation Catch Fish"

Great story and I love what the mission is called.

36 posted on 02/28/2008 10:17:53 AM PST by MotleyGirl70
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To: girlangler
I caught a big musky once, he might as well as been saying “Allah Akbar” when he was snapping those teeth at me in the boat LOL.

Lol. The muskie is the Wisconsin State Fish and sometime I'd love to catch (and release) one with the right guide.

As tough as I am, and fishing my entire life, I made that fishing guide take that sucker off the hook.

I don't blame you. Those babies can get to the size of small children.

You know what would be really fun? Catching a muskie on an ultra-light ; )

37 posted on 02/28/2008 10:24:52 AM PST by MotleyGirl70
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To: MotleyGirl70

They do put up a fight. I caught mine in Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee while smallmouth fishing (DH has produced two world record smallmouths), and I thought I was reeling in the next world record.

Visions of endorsements danced in my head.

Then, when that thing broke water snapping those teeth and hissing, I jumped clean over the guide’s head to the other end of the boat. He laughed so hard he almost fell out. Still teases me about it. It was a big one, we released it so I didn’t weigh it, but I’d guess eight pounds.

I can’t imagine hooking one of these on ultralight. It would be a blast, but I ain’t taking it off the hook. You’d need some extra strong line to keep those razor sharp teeth from snapping it.


38 posted on 02/28/2008 10:34:39 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: angkor

Thanks for your service angkor.

Just curious, what all kinds of fish do these lakes hold? What is the primary food source for them (besides Saddam’s enemies at one time). Do you know of any program in Iraq where soldiers can receive gifts of lures/tackle?

Would LOVE to see your photos.


39 posted on 02/28/2008 10:42:59 AM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: girlangler
Then, when that thing broke water snapping those teeth and hissing, I jumped clean over the guide’s head to the other end of the boat.

I don't blame you. I would've done the same thing. Their teeth are like mini daggers.

RE: smallmouth

I've caught some smallmouth bass but mostly largemouth.

Bass are great sport fish but my all-time favorite is crappie fishing. They hit and can sometimes fight like a mini bass, but once I catch a good size one I get to keep it, scale, fillet it, fry it and eat it. Them are some good eats!

There was a cool picture of me with a stringer of large crappies. I'd post it but unfortunately I don't have possession of that picture.

If you're the holder of the Fishing Ping List can you please add me to it.

40 posted on 02/28/2008 11:05:42 AM PST by MotleyGirl70
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To: BigSkyDream

Amen to that.


41 posted on 02/28/2008 4:44:29 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter was our best choice...)
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