The first annual Outdoor Life Best (and Worst) outdoor news stories of the year.
1. Unluckiest Angler of 2009
The Newshound’s pick for Unluckiest Fisherman of the Year goes to Sgt. Adam Rush, a native of Wyoming, who tried fishing on North Carolina’s Blue River, where he’s with the 8th Engineer Support Battalion stationed at Camp Lejeune.
Rush’s trouble began while he was bass fishing March 27 when the battery on his trolling motor died. An alligator, which Rush later said was around 9 feet long, left the bank and headed straight for the stringer of fish hanging from his 10-foot boat.
Rush said when he pulled his stringer of fish into the boat, the alligator tried to climb into the tiny craft.
“He tried to get into the boat, so I hit him in the head with the oar,” the Marine said.
After breaking his paddle defending himself and his boat, Rush called 911 and reported that the big gator was circling his stranded vessel.
“I was freakin’ out,” Rush said of the incident. “I’m from Wyoming. I’ve never seen an alligator that big and up close before.”
By the time Onslow County Sheriff’s deputies and officers with the N. Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission arrived at the scene, another boater had towed the 27-year-old safely back to the shore.
But his bud luck didn’t end there.
After further investigation, wildlife officers cited Rush for keeping under-sized bass and using an unregistered boat.