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Walter Mingus Hopler

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Walter Mingus Hopler
East Orange, New Jersey
Known forAerial Fishing

Walter Mingus Hopler (1857-?) performed as "Professor Mingus" and is best known for creating the Gold Fish Trick (also known as "Aerial Fishing").


He created the Gold Fish Trick in 1893 and performed it in New Jersey and New York vaudeville. A fishing pole with bait and hook was swung out over the audience and a goldfish would appear dangling from the end.

In 1896, he inherited a small fortune and retired from performing to become a merchant in Bloomsfield, New Jersey.

William Robinson (Chung Ling Soo) was one of the first to try and get the secret of the Gold Fish for his new Oriental act.[1][2]


  1. The glorious deception By Jim Steinmeyer
  2. Mahatma Vol 5, No. 11, May 1902 (cover)