Why We Catfish Guest Editorial by David Woods
Editor’s note: David Woods is a county boy. His hometown is Ethel, MS and his home waters are the Yazoo River Basin. He got addicted to catfishing the old fashion way and he hopes you will share the sport that he enjoys with others, every chance you get.
As I sit in my quiet country home, on this warm winter night, I am listening to the frogs chirp outside. My memory is filled with thoughts of why we fish.
My grandpa, Jeff Woods, introduced me to catfishing for bullheads. As a youth, we fished the small creeks around my grandfather’s home with cane poles and saplings, a very simple and effective rig for tight spots on a small creek bank. Most often we would catch sunfish, creek chubs (which we called horny heads because of the protrusions on the mature male’s heads), and occasionally a dark hole under a root would produce a nice mudcat, another name for a bullhead.
Some of my fondest memories were of Spring Break during my teens. We would set cane poles along the bank and catch mature bullheads. Those big bullheads brought the excitement levels to the max.
Once a boat came on the scene my opportunities expanded. In my early teen years, my dad, Ed Woods, bought a 1436 aluminum Jon boat. It had an old 20 HP Johnson 2-stroke engine. Each fall and spring we would set lines using the boat and started catching blues, flats and channels.
I pass on the tradition of catfishing by assisting others in the sport. I answer questions and share trips and tactics. The single most important thing about catfishing is that you never know how big the next catfish will be. That means you can strive for a new personal best any month of the year, especially here in the south.
I have taken 15 or more different people to the river and helped them set new personal best (PB). They are like a little kid in a candy store. They are very appreciative and grateful, especially when we hit our goal on a trip to get them on their PB.
I look up the most to my dad for introducing me to the river followed by Larry Muse who is always ready to help those in need in the spirit of Christ.
I know some are new to catfishing, but for me it deeply stirs my soul and harkens me back to my youth. Now as an adult, we endure tough conditions, but big cats still bring the level of excitement back from what I remember in my youth. So, every opportunity you have, you should take a child fishing, so they too can discover the awesome feelings we get from the mighty cats we seek.
I’ve catfished in some wonderful locations and met some wonderful new friends. I can say I’ve never met a bad person in my catfishing career. Thus far, they have been outstanding people. To get the most out of my time on the river I commonly camp out to get consecutive days on the water. The reward I receive is good company and the most amazing sunsets.
This column is provided for reader submitted editorials on Why We Catfish. If you have a short story related to why you catfish, you may submit it for consideration and publication in a future issue of CatfishNow. Send submissions of 500 words or less and one or two photos to Ron Presley at firstname.lastname@example.org.