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Heading towards the next Gym in Fortree City, Ash and his friends take a picnic break by a nearby lake. While Brock cooks a wonderful meal, Ash is sitting on the dock, cherishing his badges. Unfortunately he has no idea that of all places to relax and cherish valuable items such as Gym badges, the dock is the wrong one. Later, dinner is finally ready, and May calls him. Totally oblivious to the fact that there may be hungry beings down there that could EAT those valuable items, Ash's stomach takes over as he runs towards the dinner… tripping on a nearby pail, as the badges slide out of the butterfingered grip. Now, with Ash, food may seem like the most important thing, but it's actually the second most important thing after Gym badges. That certainly explains why when he notices a big Whiscash jump out of the water and gulp his badge case and dive back in, he's not hungry anymore. He MUST have those badges back!

Before they spring into action, May does what they always do when they see a Pokemon they have not seen before, and that is check the 'Dex. After that, Whiscash pops out again… it seems to have realized that it has the badges, and as it rolls out its tongue, he shows that he still has the case! However, Ash is a bit too determined, since after he asks for them back, Whiscash tauntingly sticks its tongue back in. Yeah, looks like Whiscash wants to waste his time with a game of Hide-the-Badges. Good thing Ash is prepared for that and gets ready to battle it.

Sending out Corphish, he starts with a Crabhammer. However, Whiscash starts to bring its whiskers together and generate a beam through the water of Water Pulse, knocking Corphish out! Whiscash then makes a grunt of amusement, and dives back in with the badges! But Ash is way too determined to get his badges back, so he decides to pull another Dratini rescue. That's the spirit! Diving underwater, Ash swims his fastest and tries to catch up with Whiscash… but loses contact when it disappears into a shrub of kelp. Unfortunately, Ash is determined enough to follow it in there, only to get his foot stuck in it again, and almost drown, until he finally passes out.

A little later, Ash opens his eyes to see Pikachu staring at him. Without thinking, he grabs it… but Pikachu seems to have shrunk a lot. Seconds later, he feels the seaweed break, as he rises up to the surface. As he slowly regains consciousness at the dock, he realizes he's still holding that shrunken Pikachu, so he opens his hand to find a tiny Pikachu replica attached to a string. After that he finds the string is attached to a rod, which is being held by an elderly man who happens to have fished him out!

As Ash thanks the fisherman, he introduces himself as Suzumura, the Master Fisher. After that, they pump the water out of Ash's lungs, while Suzumura seems to be a little surprised at the fact that Ash went down there in the first place, not to mention very deep. He happened to hear from Brock and the others about what happened with him, and then he saw Pikachu… and knew the right thing. He also heard about what happened with that Whiscash and how important Ash's badge case is, and is not surprised one bit. Apparently this Whiscash is like the king of that lake, it's been there for a while, and it has a fetish for shiny object. Ash's badge case was a perfect target, yet Suzumura's still a little appalled that he would pull a stunt like that, rather than try to fish that Whiscash out or battle it. However, Suzumura does still seem to have some hope about getting those badges back. At first Ash is worried that he wants them for himself, but then he realizes he just wants to help find that Whiscash and get them back for Ash, being the "ultimate fishing master". However, he happens to be really sensitive and touchy about his fishing career, that when Max says something under his breath making fun of his dorky pose, he nearly loses hope in doing that, and walks away.

May angrily gives Max a spanking, and they all apologize and call for his help. Thinking for a few seconds, he decides to come back, but he warns them that fishing is not easy, and there is a lot to learn about it. However, with Ash wanting to get his badges back and Max deeply interested in learning how to fish, they eventually convince him to help them.

After giving them all bait sticks and rods, Suzumura takes out a box full of Pokemon doll lures. After asked to each pick a lure, they easily end up with Ash using a Pikachu lure, Brock using a Lotad lure, May a Psyduck, and Max a Kecleon. Suzumura decides to use his trusty Butterfree lure, which he claims has worked a lot.

While J&J sit in a boat spying on the twerps, they hear about the whole situation, and yes, you guessed it. Their obvious plan would be to get to the badges first, and catch that Whiscash for a double bonus. Suddenly, right in front of them, a little Whiscash jumps out of the water. At first they're shocked that a Whiscash that small and young could swallow those badges, but Meowth remembers them saying it was huge, so it's obviously not the one. Seconds later, however, a much bigger Whiscash jumps out of the water, and this one has a much lower voice. They immediately get the idea this must be the right one, so they get the wheels turning.

While Ash and co are fishing on the shore and patiently waiting for a bite, they start to lose patience, but luckily Suzumura seems to have gotten one. As he reels it in, it happens to just be a Carvanha, so he throws it back in. Another bite… but this time a Magikarp, back in it goes. A third bite… and nope, it's a Remoraid, which also gets tossed back in. Just then, Ash and the rest of them seem to have gotten tired of waiting for a bite, so they argue a bit with the fisherman about this not being the best of spots. However, Suzumura seems to be a little picky, since he claims to have been here a long time and this is the best spot for water Pokemon. Everyone feels a bit confident about his technique… except Max. Upon hearing Max's comment, Suzumura once again goes all woe-is-me pessimistic. After a scolding from May, Ash once again asks more politely to give another area a chance to find Whiscash, since this is a big lake and it could be anywhere, and he wants those badges!

After a while, they agree to try another area. After all, last time he was being a little self-centered and not teaching them how to fish like he promised. As he apologizes for that, they go to a place full of logs sticking out of the water. He actually agrees that this is a good place as well, since they like to hang out there too. Slowly, Suzumura takes out his rod and Butterfree-lure, and carefully demonstrates how to cast it, so everyone can get an idea. Throwing it in, it happens to land where the logs are, as he patiently waits for a bite. Next it's Ash's turn to try, as he casts it in… but the tip seems to not have gone in as strongly. But like always, Suzumura consoles him that that is actually pretty good for a beginner. Without thinking, Max gives it a shot, and it actually goes in pretty fast… and within seconds, he even gets a bite! Who would have thought that Max of all people would get one before Suzumura did? He sure didn't, since it almost gets him pessimistic once again. As Max carefully tugs on the bite and reels it in… it happens to be none other than their target-a Whiscash! However, something about it seems a little different. Upon realizing that this one has a high voice, while the other one had a low gruff voice… it's also a lot smaller in size! Whiscash may be rare, but this one happened to be another one. But then, they're in luck-a bigger Whiscash with a much lower voice jumps out, and this one has the same look as that one did! Within seconds they realize that smaller Whiscash was its child, and then the big one sticks out its tongue, revealing Ash's much cherished badge case! Unfortunately, it happened to be teasing again, as it sticks it back in its mouth and dives underwater. What a shame, they came so close… but with this close of a call, of course there's not giving up for Ash.

J&J are now practicing their fishing techniques in the boat, three guesses what they're luring with. No, not Meowth… but none other than James' beautiful shiny bottlecaps! Suddenly, while they're fishing, Jessie suddenly drops her rod and almost falls out backwards headfirst. Her hair seems to be stuck in the water, so James and Meowth do their best to tug at it. Jessie gets safely back into the boat, but it seems Totodile has competition now with her hair-Feebas! Apparently her hair was a much more valuable lure than James' bottle caps. Jessie has just owned James, but is still fumbling with that Feebas. Luckily she manages to get it off with a flick, and they continue their search.

Back on the shore, Ash and the others have decided to fish from the middle of the water. Taking his boat, Suzumura drops Ash and May off on a small rock with trees in the middle of the water to fish from, while Max and Brock stay in the boat and continue from there with Suzumura.

Feebas still hasn't given up on Jessies hair, but this time when it grabs her, she manages to shake it off quite easily. Meowth then suggests she try to use her beautiful hair to lure the Whiscash. She nearly slaps him, but is driven away by the compliment. Just then, they spot the twerps in a nearby boat fishing for Whiscash! They can't let them get to it first, so they must take action. Once again, Feebas jumps out of the water and pries at Jessie's hair, this time pulling her all the way out of the boat and into the water!

In the twerps' boat, they're starting to get impatient as Ash gets frustrated, silently remembering his badges and winning them with the Gym leaders… (yes, there are flashbacks). Suddenly, Suzumura breaks that silence saying that he thinks he can feel Whiscash's presence! Like a pro, he casts his lure into the water, getting a bite within seconds as expected. Everyone gets their hopes up in excitement as he pulls it out… and it's a Magikarp. Everyone sighs and laughs, even Ash who's the most concerned about this. However, Ash's laughter is interrupted by a bite to his lure! Suzumura is pretty confident this time that it has to be it, and they all believe it as well despite his last mistake. With a little trouble, everyone waits in suspense as Ash fumbles with his rod, and this time it is indeed Whiscash, and the big one at that! Ash will NOT let go, no matter how hard it pulls. As he reels it in, Whiscash seems to be a lit stronger than the boat, and starts pulling them around. It nearly pulls Ash out of the boat, but the rest of them save him by grabbing on. Suzumura yells to make sure he doesn't let go, no matter how hard it pulls. Then, Ash gets an idea. Sending out Corphish, he tells it to use Crabhammer on himself. The others are still not too sure what Ash is up to, and even Corphish is having second thoughts, but in the end it does it. As the Crabhammer connects with Ash, he goes flying, thrown over Whiscash, still clutching his rod, and lands on a rock back on the land. Now is his chance. Taking a deep breath, Ash tugs on the rod, throwing Whiscash into the air, as it goes flying… and flying… and lands on dry land! Finally, he sends out Grovyle, and has it Pound it right into the rock. It's bad to be a Whiscash when you are weak and on dry land.

With that, Ash now demands Whiscash to surrender and give back his badge case, to which it teasingly shakes its head. Everyone should know what to expect next: Net. Balloon. TR. Motto. Demanding the Pokemon back, and they refuse and skyrocket out of there, to the other side of the lake. As they chase them in the boat, Brock sends out Lombre and Mudkip, and has them use Water Gun to help speed them up. As they near dry land, Ash has Grovyle use its old trick Bullet Seed, to pop the balloon and send them crashing. Timed well, they land on dry land where they have the usual fight. Cacnea VS Grovyle, Pin Missile and Bullet Seed. At first they cancel each other out, but the Bullet Seed takes over and knocks Cacnea back. Next Seviper uses a Poison Tail, to which Pikachu easily counters with Iron Tail. Suddenly, Whiscash realizes its in the net, and uses its strength to bust out of there, and to everyone's surprise, manages to jump in the air and land using Earthquake! Whiscash may be a Water type and a fish, but it's also a Ground type, which definitely makes it strong on land. With that, Pikachu uses its once-in-a-while Thunder attack to blast TR off.

Now we all know Ash is missing one thing-his badges. Of course, they always find a way around that, and this is quite an original way, it's like this: From the blast and all the battling and the sand, Whiscash suddenly feels all nauseous, and lets out a big AAAAH-CHOO!! Figure out the rest from there. As Ash catches his badge case in mid-air, he hugs it and once again is happy to have reunited. Whiscash then slowly makes its way slithering back to the lake…

Suzumura-san, being the passionate fisher, will NOT let that Whiscash get away that easily. He's always wanted to catch that Whiscash all the years it's been there, and now is his chance, having come so close. Taking out a Pokeball, he sends out a Flaaffy, which he calls Hama-san. May, not being used to Johto Pokémon, must take this opportunity to add this to her 'Dex. Hama starts by smacking Whiscash straight on with a DynamicPunch, to which it retaliates with a Water Gun. After that, Hama hits it with an Iron Tail, knocking it unconscious. Since it's not totally down yet, Su-san has Hama use a Thundershock. However, he seems to have forgotten that Whiscash is a Ground type as well, and Electric attacks are obsolete! In fact, this one actually happens to charge the Whiscash up, still in the mood to battle. Max once again makes an embarrassing remark, which almost gets to him again, but May shuts him up. However, Suzumura has another trick up his sleeve. As he reaches in his pocket, he pulls out a shiny polished Master Ball! This was the first time Ash has ever seen one of those, so Max and Suzumura explain that Master Balls never miss, and are good for desperate captures. Although Su-san is a bit disappointed that he has to do it in such a cheap way, but that's his only choice at the moment. As he hurls the ball at the limp Whiscash, it gets closer… and closer… and once it's about to connect, Whiscash does the most astonishing thing-opens its mouth wide, catches the Master Ball, and gulps it down, whole! Apparently some Pokemon have tricks to evade Master Balls! Everyone watches in disappointment as Whiscash slowly crawls back to the lake, and dives in. Especially Suzumura who is furious with himself, considering the fact that it was motionless and he could have easily thrown it from behind.

Ash and the others apologize in sorrow that his trick didn't work, but Su-san seems cool with it. After all, he is the "Legendary fisherman", and if Ash got his badges back, he could get his Master Ball back someday, and try again whenever. Either way, Ash thanks him for his help at getting the badges back, and after he wishes him luck on catching that Whiscash, Su-san wishes Ash his best of luck in earning the last three badges and participating in the Hoenn league!

Thanks To Spinazak For Writing this for us





351: Whiscash and Ash

351: Showdown! Fishing Master & The Giant Whiscash!


Between Littleroot and Fortree



Yes


Ash
Brock
May
Max
Jessie
James
Sullivan

Ash:
Pikachu Grovyle Corphish
Brock:
Mudkip Lombre
Jessie:
Wobbuffet Seviper
James:
Cacnea
Rocket:
Meowth
Sullivan:
Flaaffy
Wild:
Magikarp Remoraid Carvanha Whiscash Feebas

The Masterball makes an appearence and gets eaten