My son and I have a lot in common. One of them is a love of panfishing. The first fish I ever caught was a bluegill, when I was about six years old. The same is true of my son. I’m not sure where mine happened, but for him, it was Lake Arthur. His fish was decent sized, and, to this day, I remember his excitement at catching it. Perhaps that is why, for both of us, panfishing is our favorite form of the sport. There is just a certain excitement about watching that bobber go down. Using ultra-light tackle only adds to the fun.
As most readers know, I am basically a bait fisherman, as that is what I grew up upon. When it comes to panfish, worms and small fathead minnows are just plain hard to beat. I have, however, just for the heck of it, experimented with artificial lures. One is the extra tiny Dardevle Skeeter, in red and white, an old, old spoon lure pattern. I also caught some bluegills and perch on an antique Herter’s Pepps Minnow, which is nothing more than a knock off of the Mepps Minnow. For whatever reason, I have almost never caught crappies on anything other than a live fathead minnow. This year, my son and I are going to use a couple of antique rods and reels for panfish. That should prove interesting.
Over the years, I have been asked a number of times why I don’t devote some columns to turkey hunting. The fact of the matter is that, although I have known some master turkey hunters, both living and deceased, I just plain don’t know enough about it to write about it.
You know, May is my favorite month of the whole year. Summer is just around the corner. Everything has come to life after the long winter. For students and teachers, school is about over for another year, although I don’t know for sure about this year. The blossoms smell so good. In a way, this sort of makes me sad, as my late wife loved that smell so much.
A number of years ago, I published the following poem. I first saw it at Campbell’s Hardware in East Brady, when I was a kid, but it has stayed with me. Fishing is now in full swing. I hope you enjoy the poem.
A feller isn’t thinkin’ mean,
His thoughts are mostly good an’ clean,
He doesn’t knock his fellow men.,
Or harbor any grudges then;
A feller’s at his finest when
The rich are comrades to the poor,
All brothers of a common lure,
The urchin with the pin an’ string
Can chum with millionaire an’ king;
Vain pride is a forgotten thing,
A feller gits a chance to dream,
He learns the beauties of a stream,
An’ he can wash his soul in air
That isn’t foul with selfish care,
An’ relish plain and simple fare,
A feller has no time fer hate,
He isn’t eager to be great,
He isn’t thinkin’ thoughts of pelf,
Or goods stacked high upon a shelf,
But he is always just himself,
A feller’s glad to be a friend,
A helpin’ hand he’ll always lend,
The brotherhood of rod an’ line
An’ sky and stream is always fine;
Men come real close to God’s design,
A feller isn’t plotting schemes,
He’s only busy with his dreams,
His livery is a coat of tan,
His creed -to do the best he can;
A feller’s always mostly man,