Leaping with the fishes: Sprightly fish makes once in a lifetime escape from a fisherman's grasp to avoid being eaten (and its face says it all)

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  • Reading time:6 min(s) read

  • Mike and Amanda, from Montana, caught the crazy moment on camera 
  • READ MORE:  Fast food! Fish leaps out of a bowl of water on pavement

A photo reveals the hilarious moment a sprightly fish braved a daring escape and leapt mid air from a fisherman’s grasp.

Restaurant owner and fisherman Mike Wickham, 40, and his partner Amanda Tolbert, 48, were cruising along the Bighorn River in Montana last month when they caught sight of a 20-inch brown trout.

Delighted with the big catch, Mike asked Amanda to capture the special moment with a photo – however the crafty trout had its own plans. 

The audacious fish leapt from Mike’s hands and flew into mid air, creating a ‘once in a lifetime’ scene, as it looked directly into the lens and seemingly posed for the photo.

While it seems the sneaky trout was just trying to avoid being eaten for dinner, many were stunned by the image, with one person branding it ‘epic’.

This is the hilarious moment a sprightly fish braved a daring escape and leapt into mid air after being caught by a fisherman at Bighorn River in Montana (Pictured: Mike Wickham, 40, his one-year-old labrador, Cody, and the lively fish)

This is the hilarious moment a sprightly fish braved a daring escape and leapt into mid air after being caught by a fisherman at Bighorn River in Montana (Pictured: Mike Wickham, 40, his one-year-old labrador, Cody, and the lively fish)

Mike calls it ‘pure luck’. He explained: ‘The fish was pulling a funny face and making eye contact with the camera like it was saying “not today, see you later”.

‘When it jumped into the water I asked Amanda if she got the picture and I was bummed out she didn’t get it but when she saw it she realised it was great. It was pure luck.

‘I think it’s a once in a lifetime photo. We fish all the time and we’ll not take another picture like that for the rest of our lives. It’s unique.

‘Even Cody looked shocked and he’s making the perfect face so everyone reacted to it but me. My face is straight because I didn’t have time to react yet.

‘People think we photoshopped it but we can barely turn on a computer. I guess it’s so good that it looks fake’.

The couple’s one-year-old labrador, Cody, was also in on the action. The dog was snapped standing on the opposite side of his owner, while looking baffled at the sight of the flying trout.   

In the image, the fish can be seen as if posing in mid-air like a real-life Big Mouth Billy Bass, while startled Mike appears to share its deadpan expression.  

Big Mouth Billy Bass is a notorious animatronic fish who turns off a wall plaque to look directly at the audience and ‘singalong’ to tunes.

The restaurant owner and and his partner Amanda Tolbert, 48, (pictured right) were cruising along the Bighorn River in Montana last month when they caught sight of a 20-inch brown trout

The restaurant owner and and his partner Amanda Tolbert, 48, (pictured right) were cruising along the Bighorn River in Montana last month when they caught sight of a 20-inch brown trout 

Mike is an avid fisherman who retreats to the Bighorn River as its renowned for its great trout fishing experience (Pictured: Mike with another trout he captured that day

Mike is an avid fisherman who retreats to the Bighorn River as its renowned for its great trout fishing experience (Pictured: Mike with another trout he captured that day

He adds that him and Amanda only take fish from the lake to eat once a year. He also fished at Bighorn River when he was a child

He adds that him and Amanda only take fish from the lake to eat once a year. He also fished at Bighorn River when he was a child

Here, Mike is pictured with his trusted canine companion, Cody. The dog was snapped looking very baffled at the flying trout

Here, Mike is pictured with his trusted canine companion, Cody. The dog was snapped looking very baffled at the flying trout

Amanda, the now budding photographer who captured the photo on her mobile phone, said the pair couldn’t believe the quality of the image given how quickly the trout jumped back into the water.

She added: ‘I didn’t think I got the picture of the fish but when I opened the picture up I realised it was an epic one.

‘It turned out to be an even better photo than the one we wanted’.

The couple travelled two-and-a-half hours to fish at Bighorn River as its renowned for its great trout fishing experience, plus Mike used to fish there when he was a child.

He admits they only take fish from the lake to eat once a year so the creature didn’t need to make its daring escape as it would have been put back anyway.

Mike posted the image to Facebook later that day and it's since gone viral with more than 300,000 likes and 50,000 shares

Mike posted the image to Facebook later that day and it’s since gone viral with more than 300,000 likes and 50,000 shares

The couple's labrador regularly spends time with them on their fishing boat (Pictured: Cody poses on Mike and Amanda's fishing boat)

The couple’s labrador regularly spends time with them on their fishing boat (Pictured: Cody poses on Mike and Amanda’s fishing boat)

He posted the image to Facebook later that day and it’s since gone viral with more than 300,000 likes and 50,000 shares.

He wrote: ‘This is hands down the wildest picture I’ve ever been involved with. I caught this nice brown trout and told Amanda to get the camera ready.

‘I held it up for the picture and it jumped out of my hands only to turn and smile at the camera! 

‘And of course it’s perfect timing on the camera to catch this once in a lifetime picture’.

Many were awed by the mind-boggling picture, including one person who described it as ‘one of the best photos ever’.   

Many people were awed by the mind-boggling picture, including one person who described it as 'one of the best photos ever'

Many people were awed by the mind-boggling picture, including one person who described it as ‘one of the best photos ever’

One person said: ‘Could not have timed this any better. Great photo’.

A second added: ‘This is epic! You three all have the same look on your faces!’

Someone else wrote: ‘Oh my gosh this has got a good laugh out of me. One of the  best photos ever!’ 

Another wrote: ‘Even the dog looked shocked. A once in a lifetime moment caught on camera! So cool’.

‘Fish photobomb’ joked one. 

Meanwhile some people insisted the image was the fine working of photoshop: ‘Is it real or photoshopped? I can’t tell if I’m in a simulation anymore’ said one.

‘Fish photoshop’ added another. 




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