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The Fine Art of Bat fishing and Other Angling Tips
A Fishing Moment
Bats and Owls I have known while Fishing
When I was a kid the words,"let's go fishing", were like sweet ambrosia to my deprived little soul. I was a kid who was caught in a world between that which was considered a little urban, and that which was, in reality, much more "country," in the way that I was brought up, in those days. My urban, or"City Slicker" in me, wanted all of the modern and special things that a kid could appreciate, like a new T.V. , phonograph, radio, or an enlightened conversation with our local barber down at the towns only barber shop. Here is where I really learned to appreciate all of the local gossip and especially where the big ones down on a creek or the river were biting. If I wanted to learn a thing or two about Bass Fishing, all that I needed to do was to visit Johnson's sport shop and talk to the owner there, Mr.Johnson. On the walls of his shop were at least a good six or seven huge Large Mouthed Bass, beautifully mounted in a variety of enticing positions on his wall above the fishing tackle. Occasionally I scraped together a little change and got to go there to buy a few lures or plastic baits that I was sure would help me catch fish just like those on the wall. If I asked Mr.Johnson how he had caught the lunker- fish, he would always say,"just throw a hook into the water and they will come to you." I did try this on occasion, however it rarely worked without any bait. Mr.Johnson was very secretive about his fishing hole and never divulged to anyone I knew, where it was located.
After jumping up and down for a few brief minutes, when I heard the word "fishing", I was busy gathering up the various poles and a tackle box, with its assortment of a few hooks, worms and a rusty spinner-bait or two, and happily piling all of this most valued collection into the family car(or uncle's car). We often went to a small creek or the river and tried to catch a few brim, crappie, or mud cats. We did, at times have very good luck and brought home a nice stringer of fat fish that would be soon sizzling in a frying pan. My mamma loved to cook and especially liked frying fish up, with a lot of juicy hush puppies and slaw on the side. Eating the fish was really not the only reason that I liked to fish so much. My real motive was simply that I loved being in the outdoors and warm sunshine found in those days a way down in the South. If I got to go on the river, a creek, or local pond, I was in my own world and to me it was Heaven on Earth.
As I got older, my fishing tackle collection greatly escalated into three or four poles equipped with a variety of reels, and at least three tackle boxes bulging with huge quantities of all sorts of lures, leads, hooks, bobbers, and fish stringers. If I could find something new on the market to add to the list, it was a done deal. I was always more than well prepared to catch fish, even if the fish were not in a biting mood. I was able to catch my own lunker bass and had a couple mounted, just like Mr. Johnson had done in his shop. I did not divulge where I has caught the big ones.
On a special trip one morning down on a local creek, where I had heard that a good bass had been lost, I was making routine casts into the bank where I knew the fish liked to hang out. I had just gotten a good bite on the previous cast and as I flipped my lure out toward the same spot, a brown bat swooped down and the hook caught the critter in one of its tough wings. I was so surprised at first, I did not know what to do. I managed to get the bat over to my side of the bank and with a small stick managed to loosen the hook from its wing. The bat quickly flew back into the trees and I never saw it again that day. I would never live that experience down because one of my fishing pals saw the whole thing. I soon was known as the "Great Bat Fisherman of Sandy Creek",and I hated it.
On another fishing trip, my brother-in-law hooked into a Barn Owl, as he made a cast out on the same creek. The owl was upset, needless to say, but we managed to get the hook out of its wing and it flew away screeching profanities,( I'm almost sure). You never know what kind of critter may try to steal your bait offering thrown towards the water, and intercepting it away from the waiting fish down below. My experiences never really cease to amaze me, and to this day, I have a boat load of tale tales, and a few truths, that I am more than willing to share with a willing reader or listener. Fishing has been a blessing and a great opportunity for me to get out into the wilds, over the years. I have now spent the better part of my sixty-plus years fishing my heart out, and loving every minute of it.