Sunday, August 2, 2009
We like to fish, we just don't seem to be very good at it. Two years ago Bylinda's Father bought a piece of property that has lake access and we like to camp but our attempts at catching a fish had been unsuccessful. Last year we had a fish on a trot line but it worked itself off the hook as we were bringing it in; that was the best we did unless you count a turtle. The Big Guy was the top fisherman during his week of Summer camp, so our spirit of optimism was renewed but nothing prepared us for the Monster.
Bylinda and the boys were out at the lake on a Friday afternoon and I went to join them after work. On my way, I picked up some chicken livers to use as bait. The boys seemed more interested in swimming, so I took the opportunity to try a few casts and Bylinda joined in with our other pole. We were not having too much luck; really just finding new ways to get our lines snagged or tangled but we were having fun. As I was helping Bylinda clear a snag, I felt a pull on my line. I was no too worried, really I thought that she might have snagged my line. As I reeled in my line, there was some resistance. The boys swam over to the dock just in time to see me pull a large catfish out of the water. As I was trying to land the giant, he flipped himself off the hook and dropped back in to the water, almost landing on the boys.
The boys seemed excited, having seen proof that there are fish in the lake, so they took over the fishing effort while Bylinda and I worked on dinner. After we ate, I decided to rig a trot line so I untangled a line of string and attached eight hooks. We baited the hooks and the Big Guy swam out with the line. It was getting pretty dark, so the rest of us headed in but Big Guy decided to try a few more casts with his rod. Just about the time we got to the tent, Big Guy started yelling that he thought something was on the trot line. We ran back out, grabbing our cooler on the way. As soon as we tried pulling on the line, it was obvious that we had something on the line. We pulled a catfish about two feet long out of the lake and manoeuvred it into the cooler. We were all super excited, finally a fish. We filled the cooler with water and went to bed, what a successful day.
I had to run a couple of errands Saturday morning but when I got back to the lake, the boys were waiting for me. They reminded me of a promise that we made them, if they caught a fish, we would clean it and cook it for them. I tried to get them to agree that we could prepare the fish at home but they insisted that we eat the fish at the lake. We have a small chefs knife at the lake, not an ideal tool for filleting a fish and I had not cleaned one since my Boy Scout days. I improvised a work area with a board and 2 logs and got down to business.
The boys were excited as I cut into the belly but they quickly recoiled when they saw the insides and the blood but they came back quick to watch the process. I got the guts out and managed to take 2 reasonable fillets and several more large pieces off the fish. We wrapped the fish in foil with butter and lemon juice and let it cook on the campfire. As we were not too sure about the lake, we let it cook for quite a while. They boys dug in with gusto but the Little Guy decided that catfish wasn't his favorite. The rest of us enjoyed our lunch and we even had a small piece left for their Papaw.