Somebody posted on Facebook that Saturday, September 28, is National Hunting and Fishing Day. So, in honor of that day, I offer up this huge catfish someone caught in Southern Ohio in 1968.
If he’s not big enough for you, click on him to make him larger.
Other fishing stories
I drowned a lot of worms in 3-Mile Creek as a kid, but eventually graduated to fly fishing so I wouldn’t have to hunt bait or get my hands messy.
I enjoyed target shooting, but was never a hunter. I told a deputy once that I could shoot a man before I could shoot a deer. Fortunately, I never had to put that to the test.
4 Replies to “National Hunting and Fishing Day”
So today is the day you can hunt fisherman? Sounds okay to me….Glad it’s not Fish for Hunters Day…what would you use for bait?
Frony photographed a 100-pound alligator gar in 1958.
In honor of the day… here is my only big fish story:
“MONSTER CAT FISH CAUGHT AT CAPAHA LAGOON”
It was the early 1960’s and a warm summer vacation day in sleepy Cape Girardeau. The park was full of kids riding bikes, playing pick up baseball, fishing, or at the swimming pool.
Word spread across the park like wild fire that some guy had hooked a monster catfish and was laboring to bring it in. When our group of Indian Ball players ran over to Broadway side of the Lagoon the fight had been going on for almost an hour. The crowd of kids and adults must have numbered at least 50 or 60 and was growing. People were walking across Broadway and Perryville Rd. to see what all the commotion was.
The lucky fisherman had waded into the lagoon with a couple of other fellows and they were standing up to their butts in the stinky green water. Every 10 or 15 minutes the tiring monster would float to the top to rest and the fellows would try to grab him – only to get a huge splash in the face as the monster would take off again causing the fishing reel to squeal loudly.
“30 or 35 pounds if its an once!” I heard the men in the water saying…. and then “be careful…. he’s not hooked very well!” What do you mean others on the shore shouted… “He’s hooked through the tail!” So apparently the wise old monster grandpa catfish was only in jeopardy because a lucky cast had accidentally grabbed his huge tail when the line was reeled in.
It was well before cell phones but some how word was spreading. At that time houses lined Broadway in front of Southeast Hospital. Cars had started pulling up and the newspaper photographer had arrived to record the big event for posterity. “Froney” Fronabarger (Missourian’s all star photog) must have been busy because it was a younger man that showed up.
Just then a car actually drove up on the grass and two men jumped out carrying a very large fishing net. “There here… there here!” people shouted to the men in the water. The guy with the net wadded right in the water with the others and they formed a semi-circle waiting for the exhausted fisherman to slowly reel the monster back close to the shore.
“There he is!!” someone shouted from the shore. Kids screamed – people cheered and applauded. We could all see the monster floating on the surface of the water about 10-15 yards from the men. He looked like a floating log and was motionless. “Be careful….. easy easy …. take it slow.. the men in the water cautioned the fisherman as he carefully reeled the monster towards the waiting men.
“OK we got him now!” they said as they surrounded the big Cat bending down in the slimy water to get their hands and arms underneath the monster. The guy with the net now realized it was obviously much too small to completely encompass the huge fish. So he moved to the front of the fish to at least get the head in the net.
Just then the monster woke up and came to life with a jolt! He started to writhe and squirm wildly. With the fellows holding the huge fish on the surface with their arms we were able to see for the first time the enormity and splendor of this giant. Water was splashing every where and it was hard to see exactly what was happening.
Then all was calm and the water spray slowly settled to the surface of the pond. The men were motionless and speechless as they stared at the fisherman sadly holding up his empty fish hook with a small piece of fish tail hanging off of it. A loud groan of “Auw w w w’s” burst from the disappointed crowd, who quickly started to disperse. We walked slowly back to resume or unfinished Indian Ball Game on the big diamond -grumbling about what we had just witnessed and what could have been.
I wasn’t a big newspaper reader back then but I can only imagine that the next day there was a little blurb about the “Big One that Got Away” – instead of the front page story of the year that we all had almost witnessed.
Too bad the great STEINHOFF had not found his calling yet, and was probably home watching Sky King and the Lone Ranger on Black & White TV.
You’ve been on a roll lately. You get the Post of the Day nod.