September 13, 2018

Man fishes big pike out of Amsterdam canal

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 2:29 pm

A Dutchman has caught a pike of 105 centimetres in Amsterdam waters between the National Maritime Museum and the Nemo museum near Amsterdam Central Station.

He was fishing for pike, but never expected to catch a big one. “I was on my own, and realised that I had caught something way bigger than expected. It is my best catch ever in Amsterdam.”

A big fan of fishing, the man’s biggest ever catch was in Mexico, a 2.30-metre-long pike that weighed 32 kilos.

When I see a picture of a man showing off a big fish, I think of my first time using Tinder, but this time around, I’m simply amazed that such a creature swims around in the capital’s canals.

(Link and photo:

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September 10, 2015

Dutch fishing boat scoops up a Lenin

Filed under: History,Weird by Orangemaster @ 12:52 pm

A Dutch fishing vessel from the island of Texel has caught a bust of Lenin in its net.

It’s made from bronze and nobody knows why it ended up in the sea, but we can guess and make jokes.

One of the fisherman took it home to Den Oever, North Holland, a town adjacent to the 32-kilometre-long ‘Afsluitdijk’, a dike road that connects the province of North Holland to the province of Friesland.

Back in 2013 we told you about a 10-metre statue of Lenin hovering over downtown Assen, and here are some pictures of it.

(Link:, Photo of Lenin in Ukraine by covilha, some rights reserved)

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January 19, 2014

Nude shopper munching on raw trout and shoe salesman forgiven by latter

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 12:10 pm

bobs-adventure-store-google-street-viewFive years ago around this time a man dressed only in shoes and a hat entered Bob’s Adventure Store in Weert, Limburg.

Robert van Dooren, the sales clerk, was busy helping another customer who was trying out shoes, but nevertheless proceeded to make small talk. “I had noticed he was unconventionally dressed, especially considering the time of year. He had a raw trout in his hand from which he took bites now and then. I asked him if he wasn’t cold, but that wasn’t the case.”

Two municipal police officers (stadswacht) entered the store, after which the naked shopper became violent. He started pulling on a display and Van Dooren together with the other customer had to force him down, Limburger wrote at the time. Van Dooren: “I used climbing rope to choke him, but he did manage to bite me in the arm hard enough to draw blood.”

Last week store owner Bob Frantzen talked to about the incident: “It turned out the man did what he did in a fit of insanity. There was no intent. The man later told us he was terribly sorry about what happened, which is good enough for us. We harbour no bad feelings.”

(Photo: Google Street View)

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January 28, 2013

Nobody wins at the Dutch ice fishing championship

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:42 am

Last Thursday Kuinre, Flevoland played host to the first edition of the Dutch ice fishing championship. Some 25 participants had two hours to reel in a catch, but in the end, not a single fish was caught.

Ed Piek of the Visfederatie Oost Nederland told Spitsnieuws that he did not know why nobody caught anything. “Maybe the lack of experience? Also the ice was very clear, which could have scared off the fish.”

The news site adds that the prizes, a mountain bike and a trophy, will be saved for the next edition.

For photos of the event, see here.

“Today the fish won,” Piek said. Sounds like the fish are not off the hook yet.

(Photo by Jani Uusitalo, some rights reserved)

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January 28, 2011

Strippers banned from Urk

Filed under: Shows by Branko Collin @ 3:20 pm

The local government of Urk has banned all strippers from the fundamentalist Christian ex-island, RTL Nieuws reports. If a bar breaks the new law, it has to close shop temporarily.

Last year a bar hired a female stripper who went the full monty, which apparently prompted this bout of legislation. Urk is the town with the highest concentration of fishermen in the country. Until 1939 it was an island–Urkers still say ‘on Urk’ instead of ‘in Urk’, according to Wikipedia.

(Photo of American burlesque performer Lola Bel Aire by Michael Albov, some rights reserved)

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August 30, 2010

Wiel Kuypers breaks fishing record

Filed under: Animals,Sports by Branko Collin @ 9:01 am

Yesterday Wiel Kuypers set the new world endurance record for recreational fishing at 160 hours.

Kuypers had started the Sunday before at fishing pond De Bus of his home town Mill in Noord-Brabant with his daughter Marjolein and his son-in-law Rick who both quit their attempts during the week. According to Omroep Brabant, an inflammation in Kuyper’s foot nearly threatened a happy end to the record attempt on Friday night.

The old record was set at 157 hours by Jan van de Bovenkamp in 1987, Sportvisserij Nederland writes.

After his successful attempt Kuypers went home to catch some sleep. He and his buddies had made plans to get up bright and early today, to go fishing. “By now I am pretty sure I know how to.”

(Photo of the completely wrong kind of rod by Qrodo Photos, some rights reserved)

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September 4, 2009

Plight of Senegalese fishermen depicted in classic Dutch play

Filed under: Literature,Shows by Branko Collin @ 3:19 pm

A play set published in 1900 about the plight of Dutch fishermen, which was adapted for a modern context in Senegal, is returning to the Netherlands this month with Senegalese song and dance left intact, and with Marisa van Eyle as a Dutch narrator.

Op Hoop van Zegen (The Good Hope) is a play by Herman Heijermans about the eponymous fishing ship, its owner Bos and the brothers Geert and Barend, who know the ship is not seaworthy, but still sign on as sailors. The brothers then die when the ship sinks during its last voyage. The line “de vis wordt duur betaald” (the fish is dearly paid for), with which Kniertje, the mother of Geert and Barend greets the news of the death of her two sons, has become a saying in Dutch.

The Senegalese version, called Dieuna Diaffe in the Wolof language (Expensive Fish) and with Senegalese star Marie Madeleine Diallo as Kniertje / Yaye Cathy, was performed in 2007 and 2008 in the coastal cities of Senegal. It was adapted by sociologist Maaike Cotterink and directors Anna Rottier and Pape Samba Sow.

According to Cotterink in Trouw (Dutch): “These days, Senegalese fishermen are hired to work three months in a row on Korean and Spanish boats. Far from the coast they are put to work under horrendous conditions for 16 hours a day. Each year fishermen die, but they have little choice, as they have to support their families.”

The play will be performed this weekend in Amsterdam as part of the Fringe Festival, and next week in The Hague.

If you are unfamiliar with Heijermans, has an English adaption of one of his other plays, The Ghetto.

(Source photo: Theatre Embassy)

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April 3, 2009

Traditional herring feast endangered

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Branko Collin @ 12:20 pm

Lack of sponsors may cause the Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) festivities of Scheveningen to be cancelled this year, or to be shortened to an actual day, reports Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch). On Vlaggetjesdag the coming home of the herring fleet is celebrated in Scheveningen. Organiser Arie Kleijn is uncertain whether he can raise the half million euro the 62nd edition of the event would cost. Pledges usually come in at the start of the year, but this year he’s got nothing.

The commenters at Algemeen Dagblad seem to be happy with the disappearance of Vlaggetjesdag. They question its scale (small), the quality of its entertainment (second rate celebrities) and its cost (half a million for a few stalls?). They also reminisce about the old Vlaggetjesdag, when rather than receiving the fleet, the day was meant to celebrate the departure of hundreds of luggers adorned with many flags. Despite the critical attitude of the vocal readers of Algemeen Dagblad, Vlaggetjesdag rose from 62nd to 29th most popular national event last year, and brought 250,000 visitors to the village wedged in between The Hague and the North Sea.

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March 24, 2008

Farmers to replace cows for worms

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:47 am

If it is up to Zeeland’s bait producer Topsy Baits, farmers in the North of the country will swap their cows for worms. These worms are necessary according to Topsy Baits CEO Bert Meijering to replace the tons of fishmeal used every year to feed farmed fish. Apparently, for every kilo of farmed salmon, five kilos of wild fish have to be turned into fishmeal, and fishmeal is needed for fish to reach maturity. Meijering claims that using farmed ragworms instead can give the same result.

Meijering’s firm has built a farm in Wales which will raise 50,000 tons of ragworms each year, enough to produce 500,000 tons of fishmeal replacement once mixed with soy, wheat or peas. Currently, the firm is in talks with a farmers’ organisation in Groningen and Friesland to cooperate on his next few farms. According to Meijering, 500,000 tons equals the amount of extra fishmeal needed every year. Building ragworm farms could create between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs in the region.

Via Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch). Source image: Topsy Baits.

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November 21, 2007

Polish fish for profit, not fun

Filed under: Animals,General,Nature by Orangemaster @ 1:59 pm

Ever since the Poles have been coming en masse to the Netherlands to apparently do jobs that the Dutch can’t be bothered with, there’s been some talk of trying to get them to accept the ways of the Dutch. In other words, those of the Dutch government, to ‘integrate’ them, although as EU citizens, they do not have to. Basically, the media tends to portray the Poles as ‘being in Rome, but not doing as the Romans do’ and that tends to irritate the Dutch quite a bit.

Apparently, the Poles like to fish in their spare time, but according to Sportvisserij Nederland (the fishing authorities), which hand out permits, they are over-fishing and not following the rules. The situation is so bad that a Polish translation of the fishing rules is being handed to them.

What’s the problem? Dutch fishers put back the fish they caught, while the Poles catch them and either eat them or sell them. It almost sounds like the Dutch expected them to do the same without explaining it to them first. On the other hand, obviously some Poles who may have learned about the rules chose to ignore them for the media to pick this up. This is what we call a ‘cultural difference’, kids.

“The Poles have different ethics and a different food culture and don’t follow the rules,” according to spokesman Juul Steyn from Sportvisserij Nederland.

(Link:, Photo:

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