DAVENPORT, Iowa – You may have seen the countless photo of “The Fish Guy” lugging around a 50-pound catfish in downtown Davenport after he wrangled it out of the flooded Mississippi River with his bare hands.
Catching a fish with your bare hands is called “noodling” and is illegal to do in the state of Iowa, which Peter Robinson (“The Fish Guy”) found out.
Robinson is now an internet sensation after he was photographed by multiple Davenport onlookers Thursday afternoon, who saw him carrying the hefty catfish around the downtown streets. After the Iowa Department of Natural Resources saw the photos, they issued him a fine of $93.75 for illegally noodling a fish
“We received several tip calls, several complaints of somebody taking a catfish from the Mississippi riverfront,” says Jeff Harrison, Iowa DNR Conservation Officer for Scott County.
Luckily, for Harrison, he didn’t have to cast too wide a net to catch Robinson.
“He called me yesterday and said, “Yes, I’m the catfish guy”,” Harrison recalls.
When Robinson hears the DNR was looking for him he decided to turn himself in and met with Harrison along the riverfront Sunday morning.
“I would rather do the good thing, the right thing,” Robinson comments.
Robinson ended up walking off with the fine and a warning to obtain a fishing license within 24 hours.
“We could have written multiple citations, but that’s not who we are,” says Harrison.
The DNR says if anyone comes across a fish and you aren’t sure if it’s legal to take it, give them a call to make sure.