Billy Bass Adoption Center

The original Flying Fish Restaurant, and first Billy Bass Adoption Center, located in Little Rock, AR

The original Flying Fish Restaurant, and first Billy Bass Adoption Center, located in Little Rock, AR

The Billy Bass Adoption Center, located inside of the Flying Fish restaurant in Little Rock, is a place where hundreds of the once singing novelty fish have gone to die, tacked to a wall, and reborn as a new kind of goofiness we all seem to enjoy.
You’ve seen them before. The head-swinging, Big Mouth Billy Bass was probably owned by one of your neighbors or friends. They, perhaps even you, received it as a gag gift in the late 1990s or early 2000s when its popularity flourished.

A mounted fish, the Billy Bass resembles a singing largemouth bass. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy;” or “Pretty Fishy,” a parody of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” are the ones I remember the most.

A southern Cajun style restaurant, the Flying Fish opened in 2002, a year when the Billy Bass was still popular; a year when most people probably weren’t yet ready to part with their adorable singing fish. But Shannon Wynne knew the fish would grow old fast, so she came up with the idea to adopt the beloved fish toys by hanging them on the walls of the Flying Fish Restaurant. With a name like that, it seemed like the perfect place. Now, more than 500 of the Billy Bass fish decorate the walls, and even hang from the ceiling at the restaurant. The idea has become a trademark of the Flying Fish, which is opening additional restaurants in the south.

Most of Billy Bass fish are brought in by women, and most of them ask to please get this stupid thing out of the house before they go nuts! Many suggest a wall for husbands too, after their stuffed …

With each adoption, a free catfish basket is given out. If you see one at a garage sale you might think of buying it. Who knows, someday they could be worth a free catfish basket . . . or more.


4 thoughts on “Billy Bass Adoption Center

  1. Gary

    Glad you got to the Billy Bass Center in Little Rock!

    I had a Travis Trout. It had a little Santa hat on its head and sang “Twas the night before Christmas ……..”. Wonder if they would adopt a Travis? And give a free dinner for him?


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