Have You Ever Caught the Same Fish?


Active Member
This picture is a few years old and an example of catching the same fish twice.

I could tell because of the scars on the back of this brown.
After releasing, and resting the run for a few minutes, I caught the same fish again!



"Chasing Riseforms"
Back when I was a young fly fisherman fishing an old favorite lake, I broke a fly on a trout. It was probably a bad knot as the fish wasn't large. Left the fly in its mouth. Caught the same fish with my fly in its mouth later that same afternoon. Never forgot that. That was probably 50 years ago.
On the 'Hooch back in the day I caught the same rainbow in the same spot on the same fly a few days apart during the evening caddis hatch.

I've caught the same fish twice during the same session before but don't remember exactly where and when, but I do remember it fought a lot better the first time.

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
fishing on Silver King Creek in the Carson Iceberg Wilderness, in a place on the maps known as Fish Valley, I spotted a brookie/cutbow hybrid behind a rock, and shot the fly to him. he went for it. I tossed him back, and he went right back to "his" rock. A few false casts and this idiot went for the fly again. I released him again, and he went right back to the rock. More false casts, and again he went for the fly, so this time he wound up in the frying pan. Fish had a death wish!

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I've caught the same fish twice on the same day a number of times. A few years ago a friend caught a really nice cutt in a particular spot. I went there the next day and caught the same fish in the same spot. The only difference being that I had a young moose watching me intently from the opposite bank.



Active Member
I think most long-time anglers can recall having caught the same fish twice. I am reminded of a similar incident at Lake Chopaka when I caught a fish with what I, at first, thought was a damselfly in its mouth. I hooked the fish on a Callibaetis emerger pattern and was trying to remove it from the corner of the fish's mouth when I realized the distinctively realistic damselfly imitation was one tied by my friend who was fishing with his son only a short distance away. His son had been rapidly using up his stock of damselfly imitations by fishing tight along the reed beds and breaking off one fish after another. What surprised me was that, although the fly was firmly lodged in the fish's tongue, it had not deterred him from snapping up my emerger pattern.

On another occasion, while floating the North Fork of the Stillaguamish for sea-run cutthroat, a friend caught a rather distinctive seventeen-inch cutthroat which had apparently had the upper lobe of its caudal fin bitten away in an unfortunate encounter with some predator. The fish was duly unhooked and released back to its lair and we continued on down the river. About a week later, with another friend and his wife along, I floated the same stretch of river and the friend's wife hooked what certainly appeared to be the same fish in what seemed to be exactly the same place, in fact I'm almost certain it was lurking behind the same rock. Convincing proof that the sea-run cutthroat during his upstream migration (during the late summer or fall, although he will not spawn until late winter or spring) will settle in to a particularly desirable spot for as long as a week or more.

Rob Allen

Active Member
I have had a couple instances.

Once when I was a kid I caught a kelt steelhead on a corkie and yarn. The next day I caught the same kelt in the same spot on the same corkie and yarn.

Then once while fishing Ennis lake in MT.
I saw a cruising brown trout and cast my parachute Calibaetis to it he took it immediately and I overreacted and broke him off. He swam an a mad circle then stopped staring right at me, so I retied with a damsel nymph plopped it in front of his face and he grabbed it, landed it that time.. I can honestly say that's the only fish I have ever caught that was dumber than me. I mean he watched me retie the fly!!!


Have I caught the same fish twice, yes and more often than just twice.

It started when I was learning to flyfish and was fishing a small Cascade creek and lost my Royal Wulff to a native cutt that broke me off. Later that day, I caught the same fish with an Adams and it had my Royal Wulff still in its mouth.

When I had access to a private trout lake, I would catch the same trout many times throughout the year. I knew it was the same trout because it had osprey claw marks on its back.

Then there were LMB that I could fool each time I went fishing for them. In a slough I fished, one bass would hold next to a log and always fall for the same black popper when I fished for it every other week... he never learned.

Another one lived at a specific spot under some overhanging vegetation at a lake. He liked a specific slider and would try to eat it each time I showed up at the lake.

The fact that I did catch the same fish time and time again is one reason I take the "baby the fish" with a grain of salt. If picking them up to take a photo meant their death, why did I continue to catch the same fish again and again?


Active Member
Like most folks over the years caught the same trout more than once; sometimes the same day and at other times after some interval.

But perhaps the more interesting examples have been with steelhead; 3 different times I have caught the same steelhead the very next cast! Once with a fish that we tagged so there was no doubt. Another time I saw a pair of steelhead holding behind a boulder; one smaller one and another that was much larger. The first cast the smaller fish won the race; played it to the beach and released I; watch it swim back to the boulder and take up its position beside the larger fish. Of course I wanted the larger fish so casted again and once again the smaller fish won the race. It did not fight nearly as well as the first time and after being released it shot upstream into faster water and the larger fish disappeared never to be seen again.

While not the same day I took part in a tagging study where a significant number of bull trout were caught, tagged and released. While a fair number were eventually recaptured typically it was only after a significant passage of time; they were either rec-caught within a day or two or 3 to 18 months later. However what was interesting was the fluvial fish clearly showed that they had a home pool and in spite of extensive spawning migrations they would return to their home pool. One fish was recapture a year following being tagged back in its "home" behind the same boulder and re-captured a second time a year later to the day behind the same boulder.

Fish and fish behavior can be pretty darn interesting.



Active Member
Spin fishing story from a long while back but I loaned my cuz a hairpin style bass spinner for pike fishing in Minnesota. Warned him to retie occasionally because the bullrushes are hard on mono. He doesn't heed the warning and a couple days later he breaks off on a fairly nice pike. Ten minutes late we double back through the area and I catch the same fish with the loaned spinner still in the other side of his face. Made a nice group photo but it's on Kodak. He can't possibly live long enough for me to stop bringing it up occasionally.


Active Member
My dad and I were fishing for largemouth bass in a big northern California reservoir about 11 years ago. We were working around a sunken tree and my dad caught a decent bass. Upon release, it was bleeding a bit from the upper part of its mouth. A couple casts later, I caught the same fish in the side of the mouth and noticed it was still bleeding from my dad's hook.

This its a little different, but on another occasion years ago, a friend and I were fishing power bait for stocker trout in a snohomish county lake. My rod tip dipped and not 1 second later his rod dipped. We both ran over and set two hooks into the same huge holdover trout, about 17 inches and fat as a football. Didn't realize we had hooked the same fish right away. We just thought our fish had tangled our lines up.


Active Member
As a youngster I caught the same Pike three times in the space of an hour; the third time there was no fight at all and it joined the others on my stringer.


Active Member

northern pike, finger lakes new york

Was fishing two poles off the dock, one a minnow under a bobber, the other casting a floating bass lure.

Bobber went under, put down the lure rod with the lure still floating out there, and brought in the minnow rod with a nice pike hooked.

Took some time to try to release this fish, so finally broke off the line with the hook still in its mouth and released it.

It was getting dark so I fussed with getting my gear in order and then reeled in the lure rod. There was pike on the end, the same one, with the other hook still in its mouth.


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