Robert Clarke wraps in a towel the pigeon he and his three junior anglers scooped out of the water after seeing it struggle against a rip current near the inlet. The group was fishing on the Wigg One for the Ocean City Marlin Club’s Kid’s Classic on Sunday.  

(July 26, 2019) When Robert Clarke and his two children and nephew went out fishing on the Wigg One for the Ocean City Marlin Club’s Kid’s Classic tournament on Sunday, they had no idea that they would be spending the day nursing a pigeon. 

“We were coming out of the [Ocean City] Fishing Center, and we found the pigeon floating, struggling, in the rip current…all waterlogged and barely alive,” Clarke said. 

Clarke said that he and his crew— children, Ashton, 12, and Morgan, 9, and their cousin, Cooper, 12, —grabbed a fishing net and scooped the pigeon out of the water around 8:30 a.m. 

They wrapped a towel around the lethargic bird and placed it on the dash of the boat. 

“He was shaking when we first got him. He was all shivering,” Clarke said. 

Clarke and the junior anglers kept the pigeon in the towel for a few hours in order for it to warm up and regain its strength. 

The pigeon began to show signs of life around noon. They gave it some water in a Gatorade bottle cap, and watched it fluff its wings and dry off. 

The pigeon stayed with the crew as they fished all day, catching bluefish and rockfish. 

At the end of their fishing day, around 3:30 p.m., the crew took the pigeon to the Ocean City Fishing Center dock in West Ocean City and let it fly away. 

Clarke and the children won multiple awards that day. They earned first and second place in the bluefish division, and were presented a third, very special award. 

“With the pigeon we won most unusual catch,” Clarke said.

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