There are so many types of fishing. Cane poles(I actually fished with cane poles during my childhood), gill nets, spears, rod and reel, ice fishing-- a myriad of techniques to catch the many species of fish. Cabelas was started by two brothers who bought some fly lures from China and re-boxed them for a mail-order catalogue. That was the spring board for their business. Largemouth bass, which are down the list of fish to eat generate millions of dollars in revenue with tournaments and huge prizes. We have a Kansas hero living at Lake Quivira in Kansas City named Brent Chapman who has a huge presence on the walleye circuit. I watched him fish when he was just a kid--early in the morning by himself on the sailing dock throwing crank baits-- it was some kind of poetry even at that young age. It must be a gift that is polished with diligence, experience, and attention to detail-- and a true love of the catch-- whether it is consumed or released. Trout fishing on the western rivers is a religious cult with their meticulous attire, rods, flies and nets. Catch and release is the focus of lots of fishing shows on television. There are also some that teach us how to cook them-- more to my liking.
I have been privileged to fish with some really great fishermen. Ray Deutsch, Lloyd Jaynes, Gene Bitter, and Herman Skoulaut hauled me around to Wilson and Kanapolis when I got here in 1990. Ed Breit and I fished hard together for several years. There are lots of diligent and serious fishermen in this area. We have some good lakes and can usually catch catfish, crappie, white bass, white perch, largemouth bass, walleye and a few other species. It has been a lot of fun to join together for the fish frys and family feasts in celebration of successful fishing.
I said all this to tell you about a fishing machine that I was privileged to join this past week. Andy Fanter and Phil Kirkland have the process to harvest fish just about perfected. They fish six rods and troll. Planer boards hold the line away from the boat. The middle rods are crank baits, and the back rods are soft plastics on big jigs. Great electronics (that they actually know how to read and use) and a four stroke motor make the boat quiet and perfectly controlled. We caught 91 white bass, one walleye, and one wiper. They only kept the walleye. That catch will pick up in the next few weeks. They feel the white bass have just finished the spawn and are weaker with more of the lateral line making blood and not as palatable as they will be later. They keep white bass in the winter when they fish through the ice and catch those fat, lethargic delicious fish. My palate might not be that fine tuned.... That will be another column from the Marsh!