Skip to comments.U.S. soldiers' new Iraq mission: Goin' fishing in Saddam's private lakes
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 ...
Ping, neat story.
Fishing in Afghanistan
Geez guys! Can’t you use explosives or something to get the fishes?
Ping, neat story.
Cool video at the link. Nice young man commentator.
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.
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. :-)
better not let PETA get wind of this-there will be a congressional investigation.
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.
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.
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.
PS I use 1/4 and 1/2 oz. Rattletraps (silver with blue stripe down back): no bass can resist them.
My son bank fishes from the Euphrates. Fishing there is pretty good. Doesn’t eat the catches for obvious reasons.
>>>>He and his several hundred students fished several lakes that dot the Camp Victory compound, outside the International Zone, also called the “Green Zone.”
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.
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.
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?
Great story, thanks for the ping.
I liked their improvising on the different baits they used, they’re always thinking. :-)
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