Skip to Main Content

Big Catch.

Big Catch: Half-Woman, Half-Fish

Field review by the editors.

Des Moines, Washington

Richard Beyer died in 2012, so there's no way now to ask him what he was thinking when he sculpted "Big Catch" in 1994: a bronze statue of a scruffy older man with boots cupping the human breasts of a very large fish. One thing is certain: the backstory isn't what's written on the bronze plaque that accompanies the statue.

Big Catch.

The plaque outlines a fairy tale of a beautiful maiden turned into a fish who is saved by the kiss of her fisherman boyfriend. Beyer later admitted that this story was completely made up, by him, after-the-fact, simply to soothe the uneasy people of Des Moines. For casual passers-by, the breast-cupping isn't visible from a distance, where it looks like the goofy man is just dancing with the big fish.

Beyer was a popular Washington sculptor who created public artworks such as Kitt Coyote, Waiting For the Interurban, and Tourists with Sea Gulls on Heads. All of them are beloved, but Big Catch? Mmm... not so much. In fact, we wonder if this oddball artwork may have spurred the creation of a counterpoint sculpture in nearby Tacoma, which we titled, Proper Role of Man and Fish.

Big Catch: Half-Woman, Half-Fish

21815 Marine View Drive, Des Moines, WA
I-5 exit 149A. Drive west on 516 to 509, then north. On the west side of Hwy 509/Marine View Drive, just south of S. 218th St. Park in the supermarket lot.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Maury Island UFO MuralMaury Island UFO Mural, Des Moines, WA - < 1 mi.
1962 Seattle World's Fair Bubbleator1962 Seattle World's Fair Bubbleator, Redondo, WA - 4 mi.
Walk-Thru Space ShuttleWalk-Thru Space Shuttle, Tukwila, WA - 8 mi.
In the region:
Pac-Man Park, Seattle, WA - 15 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Washington

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Washington.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Washington Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

National Ballpark Museum, Denver, Colorado (Jul 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings