What’s a better summer activity, watching baseball or going fishing? Whichever one you choose, you’d have to agree that both are a part of the American culture.
So how about we combine the two?
Did you know that some of the greatest players of all time were also anglers? Take a look at our list of professional baseball players who are also known for catching trophy gamefish.
He had a legendary swing, a legendary ego, and a legendary passion for fishing. Ted Williams spent his summers hitting for the Boston Red Sox and playing left field, but his off seasons were spent fishing. He frequented the Florida Keys, Canada, and all the small ponds in between. He fished so much that many charters in the Keys love to brag that they took Williams out for an afternoon. He even had his own fishing program and was inducted into the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame. Not bad for one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
Few baseball player love fishing as much as hall-of-famer Wade Boggs. He frequents Florida fishing spots, catching permit, barracuda, striped bass, and more. He and his father even bought a fishing camp that they operated in southern Florida. When Wade Boggs hit his 3,000th hit late in his career, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays gave him a brand new bass boat, which he has since tried to sell, apparently because he spends more time on saltwater than fresh.
Major league baseball pitcher, World Series champion, professional fishing guide. Now that’s a life that will make millions of American men jealous. Norm Charlton isn’t as well-known as our previous players, but after retirement he needed something to do, so why not fish; while you’re at it, why not get paid to fish? After a long career and a World Series ring as a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Norm Charlton now takes people fishing near Rockport, Texas, where he helps them catch redfish and other saltwater trophies.
While he’s more known for his bowhunting skills, Bo Jackson’s outdoor enthusiasm goes into fishing as well, including bow fishing. Even during his playing days, Bo was always interested in fishing as much as he could, and he fell in love with catching bass around his home state of Alabama. As rare as it was, he also found time to carp fish with his bow during off days while playing for the Kansas City Royals.
Hall-of-Fame center-fielder Kirby Puckett grew up in south Chicago, so fishing wasn’t part of his boyhood. During his rookie year with the Minnesota Twins, his teammate and Minnesota native Kent Hrbek took him bass fishing, and Kirby was hooked. Puckett became one of the nation’s best-known anglers, searching the area lakes for bass, northern, crappie, and muskie, and escaping to warm waters during the off season for more angling. He even started crafting his own bass lures.
Photo Courtesy of Xpress Boats