|Have you ever caught a fish with no trace of having eyes?|
When I was 13 or 14 years old I would go fishing in a creek close to my home with a good friend of mine. We usually walked along the bank to the mouth where it merged into the Kankakee River and would fish for hours upon hours. One day when we arrived at the creek we decided to walk upstream and see what we could find. This day would forever change how I viewed this little section of creek. We started walking in the water slowly upstream catching small bait fish and crayfish along the way for when we would walk back to the river. We came upon a an area that appeared to be the remains of an old concrete channel. (Later research would date the channel to about 1958). The creek at this point was deep enough that we had to walk the bank to keep out heads about water and avoid giant chucks of concrete that had fallen into the creek. Some of it had collapsed due to neglect over the years but I believe that this contributed to the amazing stretch of fishing waters that we stumbled onto. There was a walkway or ledge of the channel you could walk on about 18 inches wide on the south side of the channel. We used this to move along and fish from. This area was almost unbelievable with the amount of catfish that were swimming around. You could literally watch about 7-10 catfish swimming up and down and from end to end. We loaded our poles up with worm and cast out into the water and let em sink. Two minutes go by, not a nibble. Fish are still swimming all over, damn near wanted to dive in a grab one. We switched bait thinking that they weren't interested in worm and put on a couple crayfish and again cast out. This time I had a bite no sooner than my bait hit the water while my buddy let his sink to the bottom. I pulled it in quickly after realizing it was a small Rock Bass. I then cast another crayfish out and let him slowly start to sink. I watched as my bait slowly started to disappear into the depths of the creek and suddenly my buddy was reeling on his pole claiming he had a whale, of course. After a short fight we had the catfish in the landing net. At this point we were able to examine the catch a little closer and that is when I noticed that it had no eyes. Not that its eyes were there at one point and then were gone but that it had no eye sockets, just skin. I admit that it was very weird but I had heard of fish losing their eyes from boats and other fish and it slowly healing over with skin so we kinda left it at that put the fish on the stringer and went back to fishing. About 5-10 minutes after the eyeless catfish, I have a decent fish on the end of my line. We get it in the net and pull it out of the water and realize this catfish has the exact same eyeless head as the one we had just caught. At this point my buddys pole starts to head for the water so I quickly get my fish on the stringer and prepare to net his. We get this monster in the net just barely after a 15 minute fight. My friend, exhausted from the fight, set his pole down and grabbed the fish out of the net to get a weight on him. It came in at 19lbs on my scale and 18lbs on his. Anywho, the fish was a great fighter but yet again the fish had no eyes or traces of eye sockets. We had three catfish in a row now with no eyes now and I was a little worried. I didn't understand why there would be a concentration of eyeless fish in remote part of the creek. Still to this day dont know why they were like that but I had asked around and heard that sometimes catfish get caught and stuck in underground streams and rivers and once in a while the streams surface and allow the fish to escape. Being in an underground stream would explain why the fish didnt have eyes but it still just doesnt seem all that correct to me. I believe there had to be some other factors that led to such conditions. Has anyone else had a similar experience with eyeless fish?