A Michigan man fishing for Walleye ended up with a far bigger catch in the form of a 180-pound (82 kilo) Czech in a racing-style swimsuit who authorities said was trying to enter the country illegally, the Detroit News reported.
Brad Pederson, 26, told the newspaper that he and a friend were night fishing on the St. Clair River when they came across a curious sight. “I saw what I thought was a stump. But it was a floating backpack. And connected to it was a guy in a Speedo.”
The St. Clair River drains Lake Huron into Lake St Clair, forming part of the International Boundary between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of Michigan. ‘I saw what I thought was a stump. But it was a floating backpack. And connected to it was a guy in a Speedo.’
Asked what he was doing in the water with a backpack — shortly before midnight — the man said in what turned out to be a thick Czech accent that just swimming. The water, Pederson said, was a brisk 60.8 degrees Farenheit (20 Celsius), and “that is not a swimming temperature.”
The pair pulled in their fishing lines, grabbed the Czech man by the backpack and brought him up on their boat. They had already called the police, who later arrested the man for entering the United States at a place other than a designated port-of-entry.
“This goes to show that the residents in this community play a role in border security,” Detroit Sector Chief Patrol Agent Randy Gallegos said in a statement cited by the Detroit News.
Czech citizens do not need a visa to enter the United States, but they do need one to enter Canada. Ottawa reimposed visa requirements on Czech citizens on July 14, 2009, in reaction to a rising number of Czech immigrants, mainly members of the Romani minority, filing asylum claims.