As a youngster, when school was out for the summer, my husband would rush to finish his chores of feeding the chickens and pigs, and then would walk the mile and a half to his grandmother's house where his cousins, Jim and Bill, lived.
They would take an empty jar, some line and a few hooks, and walk about four and a half miles on an old blacktop road to a small creek. There they cut fishing poles from tree limbs and tied the string with the hooks to one end. If no suitable limbs could be found, they held the string in their hands. For bait they used grasshoppers, which they caught on the way and placed into the jar, or they dug up worms. My husband, Jack, remembers catching small channel catfish and perch.
If the fish weren’t biting, the boys waded to the middle of the creek and looked for crawdads to use as bait, or they just looked for arrowheads that Native Americans might have left behind from when they occupied the land.
When the boys tired of these activities, they would find a nice shady place under the trees and take a short nap. When they woke, if there was still time, they would fish some more. Then they would start the long walk home. Sometimes they'd get lucky and catch a ride from someone who lived in the neighborhood.
The boys enjoyed their fishing trips all through the summer, until they were forced to give them up when it was time to go back to school.
Read more reader-submitted fishing stories in Great Fishing Stories and Tales.
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