The Fishing Spider

In my last post, I mentioned encountering the BIGGEST SPIDER I’VE EVER SEEN while fishing on the Rush River. It was even written in all caps to illustrate the largeness of said arachnid. If Minnesota and Wisconsin had a tarantula, this would be it–hair, stripes, long legs and all.

I knew my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. There had to be images online of the spider I encountered. The curious Internet user in me embarked on an afternoon of research. I mean, what else would I do with all of the world’s information at the tips of my fingers than research a large spider? (I should caution you, if you Google “large Wisconsin spider,” you’ll see some wonderful search ads served up to you). Turns out, the search wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The Internet is full of photos of large spiders.

Image found at
Image found at


The eight-legged predator I had the pleasure of meeting is called a fishing spider. Yes, this spider hunts FISH. A spider so big that a web full of flies doesn’t satisfy its appetite. This year, specifically, has yielded a bumper crop of fishing spiders. The Wisconsin DNR says reported sightings have increased four-fold. Oh, lucky me.

You can read more about my new favorite spider. It’s been getting quite a bit of media attention this year. at


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