Thursday, July 27, 2006

Catfish and Corn

Two things that recommend the Midwest in the thick of a summer's doggiest of days are fresh sweet corn and catfishing. Around the middle of July you start to see the pickups parked in scattered parking lots and along roadsides, a big wooden carefully spray painted sign entices the buyer, "FRESH SWEET CORN."

The window for the good stuff remains open for a scant few weeks each year. Peaches and Cream straight out of the field or garden, shucked and boiled, buttered kernels that pop off the cob into your mouth. I'm not talking the canned or even full ear supermarket varieties that somehow just don't have the that snap and toil in their over-moist, soggy mediocrity, but the gen-u-ine article, tenderly planted and nurtured throughout the season, a slice of heaven for $3.50 a dozen.

I consider myself lucky to be the inherited owner of a two acre farm pond just outside of town in which to fish in unencumbered by crowds. It is July and July is the height of catfishing season. The hotter and more humid the better. The mantra is simple yet elegant:

1. Ball up a nice chunk of pungent cheese bait (I use B's brand, or make your own) onto a #3 treble hook.

2. Cast gingerly so as to not throw off said cheese bait.

3. Nurse a beer or two and watch the sunset while you wait for a run.

4. If you've said your prayers and sacrificed to Ra, you just might look down from your Newcastle Ale, or if you're a true river rat, Bud Light, to see your line spinning out.

5. Be Zenlike. Don't freak on me here and set the hook right away. Patience is the way. Let it run for a minute then discretely lock the reel, when then the line tugs, set it hard.

6. Enjoy the battle, but don't break your line.

7. Admire the beauty of your channel or bullhead.

8. Repeat

We netted three channel the other night, perfect eating size of between 1 1/2 and 3 lbs. Bank fishing for channel is truly one of the season's sweetest rituals.


moor-rambler said...

Ahh, you're making me homesick now. Catch and drink a few for me...

dirt_trail_runner said...

Ha! Those were the days snyd! You guys are getting plenty of heat over your way, no?