Matt Willingham told the Northwest Florida Daily News he got a phone call from a Crestview man after the newspaper ran a story about the mechanical leg he pulled out of Choctawhatchee Bay Thursday.
It turns out that man, Fred Robinson, had lost the $30,000 artificial leg while swimming near Crab Island Memorial Day weekend.
The leg is emblazoned with the University of Kentucky logo. Robinson, a Kentucky native, played football for the Wildcats in the 1980s, WKYT-TV, Lexington, Ky.
"I got the call and I was shocked! I just started laughing, they found my leg!" Robinson told the TV station. "At the end of the day we were coming back and goofing off and swimming in the bay, and I jumped in and I guess at some point in time when I was swimming it sucked my leg off."
Robinson, who lost his own leg in a 2007 work accident, he never expected to get his artificial one back.
"I can't believe this leg is getting so much attention but I can understand, because of the UK emblem I have on it," he said.
"I've always just loved UK, I have two other legs that also have UK something on it so I've just always bled blue."
Robinson says he plans to pick up his leg Monday.
Willingham said he's got several unusual objects in his nets, but never an artificial leg.
"We've caught [portable toilets[, boat trailers and crab traps," Willingham said. "This was the first to catch a prosthetic leg."
It turns out his catch of the day isn't exactly unique. Jack Wiseman lost his prosthetic arm during a fishing tournament at Boca Grande Pass the same weekend Robinson lost his leg and his limb also was recovered.
"Somebody else hooked that same fish and our rod, with my hand, was still attached and they brought it back to us. So that's my fishing story," he told WFTV-TV, Orlando.