Friday, April 13, 2007


OK, I’m on a fishing theme so allow me to continue for just one more day. As a kid who enjoyed fishing and spent so much time at it; purchasing bait was out of the question. The important part of any fishing expedition was to collect your own bait, be it minnows, worms or crayfish. My father was big on hellgrammites which were nasty little Dobson fly larva. They had nasty pinchers. I only collect them on rare occasion and n ever liked them.

Night crawlers were the preferred bait, and easy to get on warm summer evenings. I would water a patch of ground before dark and then wait. Once it got dark I would go out with a dim flash light and catch crawlers, which are large earth worms who come partially out of their holes at night and look for a mate. They could feel the heat from the light and they would shoot quickly back into their hole so it was important to not shine the light directly them.

After a while I learned to hold the flashlight in my mouth which freed me to capture a worm in each hand. In no time I had a couple dozen worms which would last me for a day of fishing.

One year while planning a fishing trip to Canada my brother and I collected night crawlers for weeks. We stored them in a Styrofoam ice chest with soil. We kept them fed and watered. We were going to be in Canada for a couple weeks so we knew that we need a lot of worms to hold us over.

Unfortunately when we got to the Canadian border the border guard discovered the worms and made us dump them out. Had they been in recycled newspaper it would have been OK, but we weren’t allowed to bring soil into Canada.

OK, plan B… We got to the lake and we immediately went swimming for crayfish. We didn’t have a trap, so we had to snorkel and lift wood and debris from the sandy lake bottom, which exposed the crayfish that were hiding from day light. Then you come up from behind them and snatch them and throw them into a minnow bucket with a lid.

After a couple hours we had a hundred or so, and then we transferred them into the Styrofoam cooler that once held the worms. We put the lid on the cooler, and left it in the boat.

The next morning all the crayfish were gone. We had forgotten about how much raccoons loved crayfish. On to plan C.


Blogger Jaggy said...

My uncles have gone fishing with marshmallows to good success. Though I think they've also gone fishing with a shotgun to decent success...

And yes, crayfish (they're crawdads here) are yummy--but I only eat the pinchers.

Why do your posts make me hungry??

7:02 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Maybe you should read while eating.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

If you ever head to Canada (Ontario) for another fishing trip, let me know. My eldest loves to fish and is great at catching crayfish.
I don't know where he got this love of fishing from. Neither of his parents have it.
And, he's a "catch and release" kind of guy. Except for some kind of fish put in our lake to "replenish" it. He says those particular fish are BAD for the lake.
Fisherman remain a mystery to me, although I can appreciate the quiet, contemplative nature of the sport.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Is plan C the one on I Love Lucy where they just went to town and bought the biggest fish and snuck them back???

1:42 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

No, sadly it was frogs. I always felt bad about fishing with frogs and I'd never do it again.

6:00 AM  

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