A Big Fish Story

by Editor | May 12, 2008
A Big Fish Story Have you heard the one about Jonah and the whale? Have you heard Woodbury has a fish story about Jonas and the great sturgeon? Jonas Cattel was born and raised in Woodbury. During the American Revolution, he fought bravely against the British, and is reported to have captured many Hessian soldiers during the battle of Red Bank. After the war, he returned to Woodbury and settled down into a simple life.

Hunting and fishing were a way of life, then. So, the more skilled you were at those tasks, the better you ate. One day, as Jonas was casting from his boat, he hooked a great fish. The fish was so strong that Jonas could not pull it in. Instead, the fish began to drag him up stream against the current. Jonas hung on, determined to see the fight to the end. Before he knew it, they approached a covered bridge that was being crossed by a herd of cattle. The fish rammed the bridge and the cattle fell into the river. The great fish reacted in a frenzy and began to attack the helpless cattle. Jonas scrambled to safety, while the fish enjoyed the "catch of the day." (Sturgeon can get as long as 15 feet and weigh as much as 1,560lbs!)

Jonas did not have long to recover from the bizarre event, because many of the ranchers in the area noticed their cattle missing. In their search for their missing cattle, they discovered the bizarre and grizzly scene at the bridge. They blamed Jonas for their loss and demanded compensation. For Jonas, what started as a normal day of fishing turned out to be a day of great financial loss. Jonas paid the ranchers for their losses, which depleted much of his financial stability. However, after all that, he's still the owner of the greatest fish story South Jersey has ever heard!

For more South Jersey History, visit our History page.

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Author: Editor


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