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| Hook, Line, and Stinker
Azumao! Fishing Battle!!
|| October 12, 2000
| United States
|| September 29, 2001
|| Team Ota
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 辻初樹 Hazuki Tsuji
| Assistant director
|| 深沢幸司 Kōji Fukasawa
| Animation director
|| 池田裕治 Yūji Ikeda
| Additional credits
Hook, Line, and Stinker (Japanese: アズマオウ！フィッシングバトル！！ Azumao! Fishing Battle!!) is the 168th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 12, 2000 and in the United States on September 29, 2001.
As our heroes take a break at a shady stream, Misty's Poliwhirl is attacked by a Poliwrath! Poliwrath's trainer pokes fun at Misty's Pokémon and won't stick around to battle when she challenges him to a match. As our heroes move on, they find out the annual Seaking catching competition is about to begin. Overhearing the trainer she encountered earlier is a shoe-in for the win, Misty and her Poliwhirl enter the competition determined to triumph over the testy trainer.
Ash and his friends have stopped to rest at a mountain stream. All of the Pokémon are in the water, having a good time. Brock is brushing Vulpix's tail. The scene shifts to Misty talking to Togepi about how good the water feels. Poliwhirl drifts by on its back, and Misty tells it not to drift too far. Poliwhirl waves okay, but all of a sudden a huge Poliwrath comes up behind Poliwhirl. Misty comments on how tough it looks, and Brock says that it doesn't look too friendly. The Poliwrath smacks down Poliwhirl and then uppercuts it through the air. Poliwhirl lands by the bank, K.O'd. Misty comments on how it's nothing but a big bully. All of a sudden, a boy appears out of nowhere and insults her Poliwhirl. Misty asks him if the Poliwrath is his, and why it attacked her Poliwhirl. The boy answers that he thought it was a wimp. Misty tells him to take it back, but the boy questions her by saying that Poliwhirl is so scared that it's hiding behind Misty. He finishes by saying that he can't expect much from a "plain old Poliwhirl" and says that if it was any good, it would have evolved. Brock defends Poliwhirl by saying that there are lots of great Pokémon that aren't fully evolved, and that Poliwhirl is a great Pokémon. The boy starts making fun of all of Misty's Pokémon, and Misty loses it and challenges him to a battle. The boy says that he'd love to, but already has other plans. He recalls Poliwrath and leaves, but not without telling Misty to work on her Poliwhirl.
After this, the gang starts walking down a trail. They eventually come across a large mass of people with fishing rods walking in the same direction. Ash asks a boy if there is a good fishing spot nearby and the boy responds that there is an annual Seaking Catching Competition.
At the site of the actual event, a man onstage starts to explain the rules of the competition. Competitors are allowed to use any rod, reel, or lure they wish and can catch as many Seaking as they want in the allotted time. However, they are only allowed to enter one Seaking that was caught in the provided Lake Ball. The Seaking will then be weighed, and the heaviest one will win a huge trophy and a year's supply of chocolate bars. Competitors are only allowed to use one Pokémon to aid them in catching the Seaking, and it must be registered. Ash comments how it is similar to the Azalea Town Bug-Catching Contest, and decides to use Pikachu.
The boy who insulted Misty's Poliwhirl is also entering the contest, and sends out his Poliwrath. He tells the check-in person that his name is Andreas. The entire crowd starts whispering to each other about how he amazing he is and that he has won every contest that he has entered. They also say that no one can beat him. Andreas says that the crowd must know a winner when they see one, which angers Misty. She says that she is going to beat him at his own game. Brock tells her that Andreas is a tough opponent, and Misty says that she's been fishing with her sisters ever since she was a baby and that her Water-type Pokémon are perfect for the competition.
At the registration desk, Misty registers with Poliwhirl and Ash with Pikachu. Brock begins to flirt with the registration lady, but Misty quickly drags Brock away. At the docks, all the competitors are in their boats and waiting to begin. Brock asks Ash and Misty if they're all ready. They respond yes as Andreas pulls up. He insults Misty and her Poliwhirl again. Misty says that Poliwhirl isn't weak just because it isn't a bully like him. Andreas laughs at her and says that he'd love to talk, but he has a competition to win. He then drives off.
The horn blows and the competition has begun. Ash and Misty both cast out. Misty tells Poliwhirl that it'll probably take a while. She then hears Andreas yell that he already has a bite, to Misty's dismay. He pulls the Seaking out of the water and has Poliwrath use DoubleSlap on it. Andreas then catches it with his Lake Ball. Brock says that Andreas must have a lot of experience, but Misty says that he just got lucky. Andreas then releases the Seaking that he just caught, much to Ash and Misty's surprise. He tells them that that one was just a warm-up, and the next one they catch will be really big. This angers Misty even more.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is in a boat. Meowth says that if they win the contest then they will get a year's supply of chocolate bars. James says that they haven't eaten in so long that he'd settle for licking the wrappers. Jessie shows them her new lure, saying that no Seaking can resist it. After some time, Meowth yawns and complains that they've been sitting there for an hour and maybe her lure is scaring off all the Seaking. Jessie gets angry and says that the Seaking obviously don't appreciate her beauty. Jessie then says that if Seaking won't go for a beautiful lure, then they'll go for an ugly lure; a Meowth lure. Meowth says that he didn't know she has a Meowth lure and asks to see it. She pops a breather in his mouth, ties him to a rock, and throws him in, telling him to use Scratch when he sees a Seaking. Underwater, Meowth complains that he doesn’t like it and that he can't see any Seaking. One swims past him and he yells at it to come back, but it ignores him. Suddenly, Misty's line wraps around Meowth's arm and pulls him up. Jessie pulls back, turning it into a tug of war match with Meowth in the middle. Underwater, the rock tied to Meowth gets stuck to the bottom, immobilizing him. As if that wasn't bad enough, he then loses his breather. The two boats are being dragged towards each other, and finally they collide.
Back underwater, Meowth is drowning. He uses Fury Swipes to free himself and swims to the surface. Team Rocket drives away and Misty sees that her line is broken. Andreas drives by and mocks her on her performance. He tells her that she could take home first prize in a fishing rod catching competition, angering Misty yet again. Meanwhile, Meowth gets back on Team Rocket's boat, saying that that was a bad idea.
Misty observes that the wind has changed direction. She explains that it also changes where the Seaking will swim, and that they'd better change their position. Brock moves the boat further north because that's where all the Seaking will be. Andreas speeds towards the same place.
Misty says that if Andreas gets there first, then he'll catch the biggest Seaking. She then takes over the boat from Brock, speeding it up. She and Andreas start racing. They get into a bumping fight and are speeding towards unsuspecting Team Rocket. Brock tells Misty to turn and try avoiding their boat, but Andreas uses it as a ramp and flies right over them. The wave he makes when landing flips them over.
The gang arrives at a giant rock. Misty says that it looks like a perfect spot for fishing, but Andreas is already there. Ash gets a bite and pulls up a big Seaking. He commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt on it, and catches it in a Lake Ball. Misty and Brock compliment him on his capture.
Andreas then gets a bite as well. He has Poliwrath get ready and then pulls it out. Poliwrath uses Mega Punch on Seaking, followed by DoubleSlap. Seaking flies out of the water and Andreas catches it, bragging that it is a guaranteed winner. The loudspeakers come on and the voice says that only ten minutes are left in the competition. As Andreas is driving away, he says that if Misty wants a chance at second place then she better hurry. Misty announces that it's time to use her secret weapon, which is Misty's special lure, version 4. She throws out her lure and waits intently, and a giant Seaking bites it. It almost pulls her in, but she manages to pull it out of the water. She sends out Poliwhirl, but it gets slapped by Seaking's tail. Poliwhirl flies back and bounces off the boat. Poliwhirl bounces back and DoubleSlaps the Seaking. Misty catches it in her Lake Ball, as the buzzer rings, announcing the end of the contest. Team Rocket, having not caught a Seaking, walk away with only a commemorative badge. The announcer weighs Andreas's Seaking, which weighs 55 kilograms, and Andreas brags that he's number one once more. Suddenly, Misty arrives, yelling for the judge to wait. They weigh her Seaking, which turns out to weigh the same as Andreas's, meaning that the two of them must face off in Pokémon battle to determine the winner. Misty sends out Poliwhirl while Andreas sends out Poliwrath. Brock comments that the odds are against Misty. Just as the battle begins, Team Rocket descend from the sky in their balloon. Jessie sends Meowth out on a fishing pole, and he starts bagging all the chocolate. Misty commands Poliwhirl to attack it with Water Gun and Andreas commands Poliwrath to do the same, causing Meowth to drop the bag. Ash sends out Bulbasaur and has it use Vine Whip to catch the falling chocolate. With the chocolate safe, Ash has Pikachu give them a Thunderbolt, sending them blasting off again.
The battle resumes, and Andreas has his Poliwrath use Submission, which sends Poliwhirl flying. Brock explains to Ash that after a Poliwhirl evolves, it can use Fighting-type moves. Andreas says that he's won, but Poliwhirl gets back up and hides behind Misty's leg. Misty says that she knows it's doing its best but wishes that it had more confidence in itself. Psyduck, Staryu, and Goldeen pop out of their Poké Balls, and Misty tells Poliwhirl that there are lots of great unevolved Pokémon, and that it's one too. Poliwhirl is pumped up and ready to get back in the battle. Andreas says that it's no use, but Misty has Poliwhirl use Bubble and then follow up with Mega Punch. Poliwrath falls, but Andreas has it use Mega Punch as well. Poliwhirl dodges it and uses Bubble again, followed by a Water Gun that KO's Poliwrath. Misty and Poliwhirl are dancing, and she tells it she knew it wasn't a wimp. Andreas pulls Poliwrath out of the water and congratulates Misty on a job well done. He then apologizes for the things he said, and Misty accepts his apology.
At the end of the episode, Misty is sending her chocolate bars out. She gives some to her sisters, Brock's family, Professor Oak, Tracey, and Ash's mom, while keeping a few for her and Togepi, causing Ash to complain that he didn't get any.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Kabuto (U.S. and international), Seaking (Japan)
The Seaking Catching Competition announcer holding a Lake Ball
- Like the Bug-Catching Contest in The Bug Stops Here, the Seaking Catching Competition uses special Poké Balls called Lake Balls for catching Seaking.
- Ash mentions two real-world animals in this episode: bass and catfish.
- This episode's title is a pun derived from "hook line and sinker," an expression which refers to the three components of fishing tackle.
- It also shares its dub title with the name of a Looney Tunes cartoon starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
- Andreas says that if Misty's Poliwhirl were strong it would've evolved by now. But both of Poliwhirl's evolutions are item-induced. Therefore, Poliwhirl's strength has nothing to do with evolving.
- This the first episode where one of Misty's previously captured Pokémon, other than Psyduck, forces its way out of a Poké Ball. In this case, Staryu and Goldeen, along with Psyduck force their way out of their Poké Balls to show their support for Misty and Poliwhirl.
- While Misty is pulling Brock by the ear, Togepi is in his arms; however, it was not there before.
- After the Pokémon battle, Misty calls her Poliwhirl a Poliwrath.
- Misty tells her Poliwhirl to "use another Water Gun attack", even though Poliwhirl had not used it against Poliwrath.
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