October 27, 2009

Fish tales

When I was a kid, I used to love fishing, although for some reason I lost the habit as I got older. I have several fond memories of times spent along river banks.

Once when I was pretty little, I took my Zebco reel out to what we called "the Mud River dam" (this was way before the real one was built in Lincoln County). It consisted of some rocks and metal that created a waterfall of something like two feet. It was huge at the time, however.

There was a sandbar below the "dam" that I chose for a fishing spot. After casting in the line, something took the bait and tore all along the river bottom. My heart pounded and I was sure I was about to land The Big One. I gradually reeled the monster in to the river bank.

It turned out to be a crawdad. There's probably a deep significance to that.

Anyway, one thing I remember as a kid were all the stories about giant monster catfish that were said to haunt the Ohio and Kanawha. It turns out that those stories were right. The high point of my weekend newspaper reading experience was this Gazette-Mail story about a Sissonville fisherman, Dustin Hagy, who caught a four foot long, 60 pound cat in Dunbar.

You've got to see the picture to believe it.

Congratulations to Hagy, who got it weighed and photographed before turning the beast loose once again, apparently none the worse for the wear.

Some get the big cats; some get the crawdads. That's life.

THE LONG WAY HOME. Here's a veteran's powerful first hand account of dealing with post-traumatic stress problems after returning from the war in Iraq.

ALMOST THERE on health care.

GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS. The recession may be officially over, but not the parts of it that hurt people. It's like being cured of a disease but having the symptoms linger and even get worse.

DEBUNKING THE DEBUNKERS on climate change, by way of Ken Ward's Coal Tattoo.


URGENT MANTIS SHRIMP UPDATE here. The picture is worth a click.


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