Image: Ring in fish
Lisa Richardson  /  AP
Joe Richardson's class ring was found inside a bass and the man who caught the fish tracked Richardson down with help from the Internet.
updated 12/3/2008 10:01:07 PM ET 2008-12-04T03:01:07

The one that didn't get away held an unlikely surprise for a Texas man. The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn.

"My first reaction was — you gotta be kidding," he said Wednesday.

The fisherman who discovered the tarnished ring inside his catch contacted Richardson on Nov. 28 in Buna, about 100 miles northeast of Houston, after tracking him down with help from the Internet.

His fisherman hero asked to remain anonymous.

Richardson, 41, said he lost the ring about two weeks after his 1987 graduation from Universal Technical Institute in Houston. His mom had bought it for about $200 and wasn't pleased when it went missing.

As a mechanic, Richardson said he doesn't wear jewelry so he tucked the undamaged ring away.

"I have not cleaned it," he said. "I told my wife I don't want to clean it."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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