A group of suburban friends went out fishing on a boat Friday morning just north of Waukegan when they caught a fish with a wedding band attached to its tail.
Jim Nelligan said it was a Friday like most except for the fact that his friends noticed they caught a steelhead trout unlike any other before.
“Immediately we thought who would do that?” Nelligan said. “I thought either a divorcee or someone died, and it was their last wish or something like that.”
As soon as Nelligan shared his story, it quickly went viral--spreading all the way to Michigan where it was seen by the ring’s original owner.
“My jaw hit the floor,” said Jason Rose.
Rose lives in Newaygo, Michigan, and said that on May 4, the divorced charter boat captain got the idea to set his old wedding band free on the tail of a fish.
“Just wanted to keep it close to passion in my heart…such a big part of my life,” Rose said, thinking that the ring would be gone forever.
Rose said since the story’s gone viral, many people expressed their anger on social media, saying that that was a cruel act on the fish but insisted he expected the ring to fall off. He said his intention was never harming the creature, merely to get rid of the ring in a meaningful way that would symbolize a new starting point in his life.
Nelligan says the fish was in good health when he and his friends caught it seven weeks later about a hundred miles away.
However, neither man seems to want to keep the ring—Nelligan says he’s been encountering boat problems since the minute he brought the ring on board, and Rose says “life’s been going pretty good for (the) last month” without the ring.
But now, for the rest of their lives, both men are left with a great fish tale to tell.