A broken heart, and the tail of a steelhead.

Last week, an angler out of Chicago landed this steelhead with a wedding ring attached to its tail and the story went viral. After some research eventually the original owner of the ring came forward and gave his story.

For the record, please DO NOT attach anything to any fish you catch, especially to the tail. you can already see in the featured image the damage to the tail that was done by the zip tie as the fish swam along. As these fish grow, so does the diameter of their body and this zip-tie would have seriously impacted the life of this fish, had it not been harvested.

From Chicago Sun-Times:

“Jim Nelligan and friends were fishing Lake Michigan Friday when they boated a steelhead and, mystery of mysteries, a wedding ring was strapped around the narrow part of the fish by the tail.

“So, we caught this steelhead today,” Nelligan emailed. “Someone attached their wedding ring to this fish and we caught it. Wonder if it was a divorce or death, but a crazy story!’’

For the nitty gritty of the ring, Nelligan emailed, “Had an inscription of SDH Steel on the ring.”

Nelligan was fishing on his boat, “Grey Lion II,” by the R4, the famous buoy east of Chicago’s north suburbs. They were fishing for lake trout with four colors of lead-core line with a Blue Dolphin spoon in 105 feet of water. Joe Penar caught the fish with John Massard netting it. Bob Nichols was another crew member.”

Wedding Ring Steelhead


It appears the ring once belonged to a fishing guide who, after a divorce, decided to attach the ring to the fish for some reason.

“I really just didn’t want to cause any issues with my ex, she seems to find the story somewhat amusing and none of us can believe someone caught it!’’ Capt. Jason Rose messaged.

As a cathartic move, Rose tied his wedding band to a steelhead on May 4 and released it near the port of Whitehall, Michigan.”

If you value fish health, please don’t attach anything to any fish regardless of how much your ex messed with your fishing habits and head, something wrapped around the tail of a fish can be incredibly detrimental to their health, especially if attached to the most important part of their body, their tail.

Photos from Jim Nelligan and Capt. Jason Rose.

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