Angler's Bait


Daily Boston Globe

Accession Number



PRATT, Subgroup Coppers


Hyannis Chief of Police William H Pratt was an accomplished angler. In April 1930 he pulled “9 speckled beauties”--including a 2-pounder!--out of Nine Mile Pond* in Centerville. In May of the same year he reportedly enjoyed several fishing trips with Wilbur Jones (see research on speculations and theories). Though we have no reason to assume Pratt was not using conventional fishing equipment at this time, subsequent reports of Chief Pratt’s fishing prowess indicate more experimental methods. In April 1931, while fishing with Dr. Harold C. (D.? E.?) Lee** of Boston, he took a trout barehanded. After sighting the fish tracking an insect on the surface of the water, he reached out and struck it as it leaped. The trout landed in the punt, flopping and startled. On July 31, 1931 Pratt engaged in some sport while on duty with Officer Harry W. Lawes, Jr. when a shovelnose shark was drifted into shallow waters. The men shot the 7 foot, 200 pound beast-- no hook was employed.
It should be noted that Chief Pratt’s exploration of alternative means of securing gilled creatures coincides with a spate of feline incidents in his precinct. In the spring of 1934, Thorton Adams of Osterville claimed to have shot a bobcat, which Pratt personally verified as such before sending it off to get the $10 bounty. It turned out to be an overweight domestic cat. Around this same time Pratt was forced to charge the former assistant postmaster with “Larceny of Cats” when the man was caught stealing house cats to sell for $3 apiece to Harvard Medical School.

* Eyebrows have been raised at the correlation between the number of speckled beauties caught and the name of the body of water.
** Dr. Harold Lee (his name has been recorded with various middle initials) was a physician at Carney Hospital where Pratt was treated after his 1927 motorcycle accident (see PRA.1937 ACT). Dr. Lee made a name for himself in 1945 when he performed the surgery to amputate the little finger of Boston Braves infielder Whitey Wietelmann.


fishing hook (perhaps retired after April 1931?

Verification Reference

Daily Boston Globe


Fish Bait.png


“Angler's Bait,” Institute for Clew Studies, accessed March 24, 2019,