We are quickly sailing into summer as we approach the official first day of summer, only weeks away! With the visions of summer, my mind travels back to growing up on the fresh water lake where I did plenty of swimming and fishing!
Although I enjoyed swimming far more than fishing, it was not uncommon to see me casting my little Zebco fishing reel to see what I might catch. Some of the more common fish in the lake where I grew up were bluegill, bass and catfish.
Bluegill was the most plentiful, but the large bass were the ones we were aiming to catch. I suppose one reason the bass were hard to catch was due to the sheer numbers of bluegill. Odds were that we would catch those rather than the bass.
My largest catch from our lake-front home was a catfish, which I caught when I was around 12 years of age. In fact I caught the same catfish twice!
One night I cast my line out from the bulkhead and I caught the clever catfish. Unfortunately, just as the catfish neared the top of the bulkhead, the line broke off just inside his mouth, and he swam off like a rocket!
Figuring I just missed out on the largest catch for me as a kid, I returned to the house disappointed. With greater determination to catch a big one, my line was repaired by my father with a stronger leader, and it was ready for another day of fishing.
The next evening I returned to fishing at the same time to give it a second shot at catching a big one!
Suddenly, a large catfish made a grand entrance as he jumped up out of the water just before he then took my bait! I reeled him in happily, to discover he was a meaty 13" fish!
Only problem though was the fish was so darn ugly I couldn't envision myself taking it off the line - lol! I hollered for my father who came running and he took the flopping fish off the line for me.
My Dad was quite proud of my catch, and we took the fish up to prepare it for dinner, and that in fact was the first time I ever ate catfish! My father did a great job with preparing and filleting the fish.
Much to our surprise there in it's belly was my line that snapped off the night before! It must have been his turf because I had caught him again, but this time the fish was not as clever as I was! Another funny memory about that fist was that it was so ugly my mother refused to cook it, or eat it - so my father took over from there. It was very tasty, and my father and I had filled ourselves up with the tender catfish!
As we're sailing into summer be sure to grab your pole and go after the catch for dinner, and then fillet your fish for good eating! Bon appetite!
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