I remember the first Bass Pro Shop I ever went to was in Grapevine, TX, the one that’s not too far from the Dallas airport. Walking in there for me was the closest I’ve been to recreating that ‘childhood Christmas morning’ feeling of magical endless possibilities.
To any avid outdoorsman, a Bass Pro Shop is a one-stop-shop superstore with everything they’d ever need for fishing, hunting, camping, boating, and most other aspects of life. It’s the place you can find every pattern of fishing lure on the planet when your local tackle shop might only carry 2-3 patterns. The place where you can purchase thousands of items you’ve only ever seen online.
And then there’s the glorious fish tank. It changes from region to region to reflect the local fish species of the area. Ironically, this video comes from the Bass Pro Shop in Ft. Myers which is the one I shop at most frequently. I swing in there at least a handful of times each year and always find time to marvel at the fish tank.
Would I ever go for a swim in that tank? Absolutely not. Would I pay them like $500 to let me fish in there for 15 minutes? Probably. Why not? It would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Of course this happened in Florida.
ABC7 says it’s unclear when this clip was filmed (not Monday) or who the person is in the video but it shows a shopper diving into the fish tank. Since ABC7 went out of their way to note that it’s unclear when the video was filmed I’m sort of leaning towards this is old news and the local TV stations got duped into sharing it again. They said they reached out to Bass Pro Shops for a comment and this is what they received:
The video of the incident was posted to Facebook. We spoke to a store manager at the Fort Myers store who confirmed the jump did not happen Monday, forwarding us to corporate for more information.
A statement from Bass Pro Shops reads in part:
“This incident is illegal, dangerous and highly discouraged. We work with law enforcement to investigate all individuals who personally attempt or are involved with such activities.”
The local Sheriff’s Department (Lee County) said they have no recent record of an incident involving the fish tank swim. All I can think about is how this dude walked out of the store, soaked from head to toe, after diving in the fish tank. Then some dude who is probably getting paid minimum wage plus a dollar or two has to bust out the mop and clean up the absurd mess left as they sprinted out of the store in waterlogged clothes. It’s such a jerk move. But one that my friends and I almost certainly would’ve done in high school if there was a Bass Pro Shops closer to where we lived.
There’s simply no way to walk away from that without the store’s security stopping you if they’re allowed to. Some businesses won’t allow security to stop customers from breaking the law, they can only try and blockade their way out of the store by standing in front of them to slow them down until the cops arrive.