Hello and welcome to the blog. It’s truly been an exciting week of ups and downs… Well, not really downs. Just hoping and waiting and fishing and waiting and fishing and hoping and waiting. All is falling into place!.
The good news came late last week. I was offered a job in another city and filled out the online paperwork, contingent upon the background check. Having never been arrested, there really was nothing to worry about but I’m still a worrier. In any case, I rolled the dice and gave my 2 week notice at the fast food place. No matter what happened, I knew the time to move on was here. Since then I’ve been keeping the fingers crossed and keeping the faith.
Friday was a day of anxiety / anticipation and it’s no secret angling is the activity of choice. I fished at Fred’s pond (owner of the trailer court) in the morning but didn’t catch anything. A couple of really good bites were lost because I was playing Yahtzee on the new smartphone and I was not watching the bobbers being pulled under. One fish failed to get hooked; another dove into the brush you see in the pictures below and the line snapped as I tried to get him untangled.
I went back for a rematch on Saturday morning and sure enough, this time while playing the dice game on the phone, I nearly lost a fat 20 inch channel catfish. The two poles became tangled. The big fish was making a run for the brush pile and VT was running down the bank in the opposite direction yelling, “Don’t you go under that log you sonofabitch!” Grabbing handfuls of snarled fishing line, I landed the fish but eventually had to cut the line on both poles. A person might think the fish was frightened into submission.
After the action, I stopped by McDonald’s with the Trekker Van and got out, holding up the big cat for the morning coffee drinkers to see. Most of us are fisherman and call each other liars during friendly banter. Well, nobody can say they didn’t see the fish!
I was so pumped after catching that big boy that I could hardly contain the excitement. There is no better way to unwind than fishing so I tried again on Sunday morning (with no luck). Sunday was kind of interesting in terms of the weather though.
Sunday morning was a classic example of evapotranspiration. This phenomena is caused by corn and soybean crops releasing moisture back into the air each night. It’s staggering how many billions of gallons are released each day, eventually being replaced by rains.
Monday brought good news. In the afternoon I was sitting in the lawn chair at home testing product made in the smoker (Saturday’s catfish). The phone rang and it was the recruiter wanting to schedule an orientation session for the new job. It’s now a done deal, apparently. I had to celebrate after that… and it was back to Fred’s pond. (Bear in mind, I’d only caught one fish there after July 4th and figured it wouldn’t happen again for a while..)
Using some scrounged coins from work (lobby floor and parking lot) I cashed them in and bought more worms. This time I had learned from Saturday morning’s experience – stealth is necessary. In a pond the catfish can see you for about 15 feet, from what pond owner Fred had said. I crept around a line of trees, baited my first pole, and tossed it in. The pole was placed on a rod holder.
Before I could get the worm on the second pole, the first pole flipped over and was dragged toward the pond. Thankfully the reel caught on the rod holder. The fishing pole and rod holder jerked violently back and forth as a big fish fought. The tip of the rod went up and down like a teeter totter. I had to laugh until the line started veering toward the left… right for the log and brush pile! Once again I went running down the bank and cussed this fish out, too.
Tonight’s fish was even larger than the last by a couple inches and had a LOT of meat on it – perhaps three to four meals worth. Fred’s catfish are very thick- perhaps because he has two automatic feeders and there are many small pond fish (bass, bluegills, etc.) to feast on.
I don’t know how today could have been any more exciting! It’s around midnight and time to go home and hit the sack… maybe playing a little more Yahtzee on the phone before bed.
One last note. I’ve been a lobby person for the last 16 months or so and have enjoyed every day. It’s important to keep things looking presentable for customers and to do anything needed to delight our guests. I’ve asked the managers to consider friend Miss Lavern (aka “Big Mama”) to take over the hospitality and cleaning duties after me. She was happy and said, “Well, thank you Mr. Bedford. And where’s my da*n catfish?” The place is in good hands… and she’ll enjoy some of tonight’s catch.
Take care and thanks for visiting! Have a fun week!
Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa