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

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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