Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
Is there any significance to the number 153? Or was it counted simply to quantify the miraculous catch?
While some have argued for some kind of symbolism in the number shown here, there is no direct support from the text. The notes from the Net Bible indicate the following direct implications:
Given John's background as a fisherman, details like this would probably have been natural observations.
As far as I can find out, this is the only time "153" appears in the Bible. I searched through some of the apocryphal books too.
Here's a wiki page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/153_(number)#In_the_Bible
I don't really care for all the square-root-of-the-triangular-circle-number woowoo stuff, but the fact that
Peter was not yet reconciled with Jesus. He was fishing in the dark (requiring grace), naked (sin exposed) and on the left side (in the flesh) ... all not good signs.
Jesus asks if they have meat, an invitation to a meat offering, which is a fellowship offering. He is offering reconciliation to Peter.
Jesus always served bread and fish. The bread is his body, on the cross. And since "man does not live by bread alone", the fish represent "every word which proceeds from the mouth of God."
Peter was instructed to feed the sheep. What was he to feed them? Jesus had Peter alone pull the 153 fish to shore, when all the other disciples together couldn't handle the net. Peter was to feed the sheep "every word which proceeds from the mouth of God".
So why 153? It is a fellowship meal. 144 is for the dual-natured bride of Christ (Israel and the church). The remaining 9 are for the fellowship of the persons of the Godhead with each other. 144 + 3x3 = 153. Each person of the Godhead is fully God as represented by 3.
This was the third appearance of Jesus after the resurrection to the disciples. The first one he was heard, the second he was seen (examined his scars), and the third one he walked with Peter down the beach. This is the same hearing, seeing walking theme we see so often.
 Mt 14:17, Mt 15:34
 Mr 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.