© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Here Kitty, Kitty

Raised on a rather steady diet of perch and walleye (which in Canada we call pickerel), growing up we’d never even dream of keeping and eating a catfish. And even though I’ve spent half of my life in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, where eating catfish is much more socially acceptable, my roots hold strong and I’d just never do it. They are an ugly, slimy, whiskery slug of a fish with beady eyes and a trio of sharp spines. They croak like a frog and are commonly caught on chicken livers, greasy dead fish and chunks of foul smelling goo. Just the thought of filleting and eating a catfish I’d caught myself causes my upper lip to involuntary curl in mild repulsion.

But they are crazy fun to catch. They grow big. They bite readily. They fight like bulldogs on steroids, zipping out line as they make stubborn runs for the bottom.

They are so much fun to catch that they’re worth braving summertime chiggars and mosquitos to drown stinky, vile globs of bait in hopes of yet another seamonster which we’d land, photograph and release.

And they’re even more fun to catch when you’re fishing¬†with your brother.¬†Even when he does catch the most.



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