Into the Outdoors - Pan Fish and Out Fishing

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.


Edgar Guest 

A feller isn’t thinkin’ mean,

    Out fishin’;

His thoughts are mostly good an’ clean,

    Out fishin’.

He doesn’t knock his fellow men.,

Or harbor any grudges then;

A feller’s at his finest when

    Out fishin’.    

The rich are comrades to the poor,

     Out fishin’;

All brothers of a common lure,

    Out fishin’.

The urchin with the pin an’ string

Can chum with millionaire an’ king;

Vain pride is a forgotten thing,

    Out fishin’.

A feller gits a chance to dream,

     Out fishin’;    

He learns the beauties of a stream,

     Out fishin’;

An’ he can wash his soul in air

That isn’t foul with selfish care,

An’ relish plain and simple fare,

    Out fishin’.

A feller has no time fer hate,

     Out fishin’;

He isn’t eager to be great,

    Out fishin’.

He isn’t thinkin’ thoughts of pelf,

Or goods stacked high upon a shelf,

But he is always just himself,

    Out fishin’.    

A feller’s glad to be a friend,

    Out fishin’

A helpin’ hand he’ll always lend,

    Out fishin’.

The brotherhood of rod an’ line

An’ sky and stream is always fine;

Men come real close to God’s design,

    Out fishin’.    

A feller isn’t plotting schemes,

     Out fishin’;

He’s only busy with his dreams,

    Out fishin’.

His livery is a coat of tan,

His creed -to do the best he can;

A feller’s always mostly man,

    Out fishin’. 

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