Fishing Fun and the Fish That Got Away

A reader describes how her family fished out of necessity growing up, and how they now fish for fun.

| May/June 2012

  • Fried Fish
    There’s nothing quite like fresh fish dipped in seasoned flour and fried in hot grease.
    Olga Lyubkin/Fotolia

  • Fried Fish

Growing up in the 1930s, the sole purpose of fishing was to put food on the table. Like others of that era, money was scarce in our family. Luckily, I had three older brothers who taught me how to dig for worms and to bait a hook.

Our fishing equipment consisted of long wooden poles cut from a nearby thicket, strong grocery twine for the line, an iron nut tied on one end for a sinker, and either a fishing hook, when available, or a safety pin we opened and bent to form a hook.

Often, we would take home a stringer of pan-size fish for Mom to fry for supper.

Rolled in seasoned flour and dropped into a skillet with hot grease, the delicious aroma poured through the house.

I later married a farm boy from Indiana who had fished at a pond down the gravel road from his family’s house. He said no matter the size of his catch, if he carried a few fish home on a stringer, his mother would fry them for supper that evening.

The fish that got away

Since Paul and I both enjoyed fishing, we often took our three children on weekend trips and vacations, catching fish at nearby rivers, farm ponds or one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota.

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