Monday, February 7, 2011

Fishing Presidents: Jimmy Carter and the killer rabbit

The sixth in a series of Fishing Presidents. Today, Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter fishing and fighting a rabbit from a canoe in April 1979.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. government archives.
Jimmy Carter produced what is no doubt the all-time fishing story in presidential history. It is a story about how the presidency got away. And it's all true.

In April of 1979, Carter was fishing from a skiff on his farm pond in Plains, Ga., when an enraged rabbit started swimming at him. Carter was alone in the skiff, so Secret Service couldn't help. He was on his own to fight off the angry critter.

The above photo, released by the government archives many years later, shows Carter with a fishing rod in his left hand and a paddle in his right. It looks like he's splashing the water with the paddle to ward off the rabbit, which can be seen retreating off to the right.

The Killer Rabbit
Upon returning to the White House, Carter told the story of the rapid rabbit. His staff didn't believe him. A swimming, attacking rabbit? Yeah, right. For proof, he produced the above photo taken by a White House photographer, and even had the rabbit enlarged (at right). 

As it turned out, Carter would have been better off keeping this fish story to himself.

Sometime before the 1980 Democratic Convention, Jody Powell, Carter's press secretary, inexplicably leaked the story to the Associated Press and all the media started asking questions.

"It was a fairly robust-looking rabbit who was swimming, apparently with no difficulty," Carter told reporters, adding that had the animal gotten into the skiff it would have been "an unpleasant situation for me and the rabbit."

Carter told Sam Donaldson of ABC News, "Rabbits swim and that one was swimming without any difficulty at all. I can certify to that."

The story became front-page news. Headlines about Carter fighting a "Banzai Bunny" or "Killer Rabbit" ran rampant. Carter was the butt of many jokes on Capital Hill. Carter's popularity was already waning. Many thought this incident destroyed whatever chance he had left for reelection because of the negative publicity about the killer rabbit.

Truth be told, Carter is quite the fisherman. He is probably a close second to Herbert Hoover for his love of being outdoors and fishing. He's even written about it in a book like Hoover did.

Only Hoover doesn't have a fish story that includes a killer rabbit.

Next week: George Bush Jr. and Sr.
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Gerald Ford

Follow Outdoors720 on Twitter at @outdoors720
Subscribe to Outdoors 720 by email

Other interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Man gets sentenced to life ... without fishing
IGFA offers new world-record fishing category: Length
Fishing from a Cliff: Did he have enough line to reach the water?


  1. An angling kayak is basically same as different sorts of kayaks, with the exception of the way that they typically have a holding spot for the angling rod post or pole itself. best fishing kayak

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Just read your article. Good one. I liked it. Keep going. you are a best writer your site is very useful and informative thanks for sharing! Go for the best quality product possible and research before purchasing one. Wasting money is not something anyone likes, better spend sometimes on research and get the right best spinning reel.

  4. I needed to thank you for this phenomenal read!! I unquestionably adored each and every piece of it. I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post. Best Fish Finder

  5. An exceptionally marvelous blog entry. We are truly appreciative for your blog entry. You will discover a ton of methodologies in the wake of going by your post.
    Cage Heaven- Design a heavenly place for your pet

  6. If you are more the RV'er type, or just wish to have some amenities like a shower or laundry, there guidance sports are lots of improved camping facilities catering to your desires.

  7. So bars utilized don't need to be as refined in plan. All the more essentially what is required is solid, dependable fishing tackle, as you are fishing rougher ground and getting vast fish where you are in position where development is tackle

  8. A debt of gratitude is in order for the post. I'll positively rebound.
    gerbil cages

  9. It's a decent post .. continue posting and refreshing data.
    hedgehog cages

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This includes finding out exactly what you are up against. Some pests (bacteria, animals) are really helpful to people, so it is very important to find out any harmful pests.

  12. Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information! saharapoolbuilder

  13. It is especially decent, though look into the tips during this home address.

  14. Buoyancy compensator devices, or BCDs, are an important type of diving gear. Click here

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. A blog that mushroomed from visual illumination. best longboards

  17. By aligning itself with positive and motivational influencers, Ulua quickly became synonymous with extreme passionate sports enthusiast. click here

  18. Ronan is an enthusiastic fisherman and continually taking a gander at new materials and flies and their consequences for the quarry in thailand

  19. On the off chance that you need much increasingly definite pictures, consider picking a unit that is outfitted with Garmin's CLEARVU examining sonar.

  20. What numerous fishermen don't understand is, washing your hands is a standout amongst the best fishing procedures, fish can smell just as taste. They can identify natural synthetic upgrades through smell and taste, any outside aroma on your trap or draws can turn them holidays in thailand

  21. Hey ,
    Learn a lot from your write up. Very nice understanding with user. I have a little demand from you. Could you please share a post about best kayak fish finder. I have looking for last 2 days but didn't find proper review about it. If you share about it I'm appreciate with you.
    Bikash Roy

  22. Hey, what kind of anti-spam plugin do you use for your blog.`”\";~ drones for sale on drone fishing central

  23. You can use live bait or lures-bobbers or cast and reel, drift fishing can let you do a variety of fishing styles for different rod for redfish

  24. I truly delighted in perusing this post, enormous fan.
    linda allen yeast hoax

  25. This will be exceptionally valuable for me when I get an opportunity to begin my blog.

  26. The trends that we see are brought about by the fashion houses that have regular seasons to showcase their invention, many of which are popularized in FTV, Zee Trendz and TLC channels. We can also get a glimpse of the stylish outfits through these shows that the models present. Today, Modelling is also one of the platforms for an entry into the world of fashion.


Thanks for visiting Outdoors 720!!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.