December is the month of visiting and enjoying family, friends and especially children. Building a lifetime of memories during this blessed season and special times fishing. Based on this theme, we thought it would be a fit to dedicate the December CatfishNow edition to kids.
Growing up in the boot hill of Missouri, my dad and especially my grandmother took my brother and I fishing frequently. There were not a lot of lakes that we could access from the shorelines as we did not have a boat, so we would fish all the swamps, Mississippi River bottoms, streams and creeks to catch whatever would bite.
Armed with our cane poles, tied with nylon string and stout hooks, using spark plugs as weights, and big bobbers we could see for a mile it would seem. We would fish for catfish (especially bullheads), bowfin, etc. Anything edible would come home with us in washtubs full of water for many meals to come.
Sometimes we would get a chance to fish with a Zebco reel and rod or the old Shakespeare reels with fiberglass rods. We would use hand hammered weights and leaders strong enough to catch any critter swimming and we did.
Our bait was dependent on the time of the year. We would seine crawfish in ditches, dig worms in the river bottoms, pick caterpillars from trees, use chicken livers and stink bait, and if we could afford it, buy a few minnows. The whole process was simple, fun and one I will never forget.
Those memories will carry me to my next life and keep me focused. When I became an adult, and after my grandmother’s passing, I learned that she had to find a hobby after the passing of my dad’s brother at the end of WWII aboard a naval ship. The sport of fishing and my brother and I were the stress relievers for her pain. Fishing healed her wounds.
If fishing and family together can heal all the wounds we suffer today, then I say it is very relevant and required that future generations have the opportunities and abilities to do so.
I pray that our magazine will contribute to the abilities needed to enjoy the happiness and serenity that fishing provides.
Dan Dannenmueller, Publisher