Why We Catfish: A Guest Editorial by Kris Flores
Editor’s note: Kris Flores is an avid catfish angler, YouTuber, and proprietor of Muddy River Catfishing. His easy going nature, his passion for catfish and his love of fishing with family has helped create a YouTube following of more than 70,000 subscribers.
Joy, excitement and happiness
My dad was the one who introduced me to fishing. I was six-months-old when he took me to wet my first line.
Surprisingly, it was my mom who taught my dad how to fish. Before they met my dad had never been fishing in his life. It was my grandparents on my mother’s side that really enjoyed the outdoors. They’d spend many weekends taking my mom and uncles out to the lake.
I must have been about five years old when my dad took me out to our local dam to do some fishing. He baited up my old Zebco 202 combo with some fresh chicken livers and tossed it out behind a big old rock sitting just below the dam.
It wasn’t long before my pole started to double over and before I knew it, the fight was on! I caught myself a two-pound channel cat that day and I remember how proud I was of my trophy catch. It wasn’t my first fishing trip, but it’s probably the first catfish that I can remember catching.
These days, I’m the one baiting hooks and casting out lines for my kids. As we sit and wait for a bite, we talk about school, adventures we’ve had, how the stars were made, what if the moon was made of cheese, and even about what we’d do if aliens abducted us. Kids have the wildest imaginations.
Then in the middle of one of our deep conversations, we hear that bell ring as if a fire alarm was going off. My kid’s eyes light up and they rush for the fishing pole. They struggle to reel in the beast at the other end of the line. The fight goes on for several minutes, the sounds of drag pulling and water splashing, no one knowing if the fish will find a way to escape or if we will be lucky enough to get it into the net.
Then, at last, the net dips into the water and out comes the fish. As I look at my kids, I see their joy and excitement and it gives me a feeling of happiness that is like no other. It’s at this exact moment that I realize why my dad would take me fishing when I was just a kid.
People ask me why I like to go fishing. Some say it’s boring to just sit there and wait for a bite. I tell them the wait is the best part.
As I wait, I listen to the red wing black birds sing their songs. I listen to the wind rustle through the cattails. I listen to the water as it flows. I watch the sunset as it paints the sky and clouds with beautiful pinks and reds and purples. I watch the stars as they awaken and light up the sky. I watch the moon rise as it casts shadows through the trees. These are the things recharge my soul and maintain my sanity.
I guess the real reason I go fishing is because it’s part of who I am.