Creekbank Catfish for Laid-Back Fun
Day 1: Dreaming About Catfishing Full-Time
Editor’s Note: A lot of fun times, delicious eating and good friends can be enjoyed when fishing for catfish with trotlines, set hooks, a campfire and a night spent on a river.
Small puffs of hickory and oak smoke floated-up through the clear night air from the crackling fire. On the two-burner Coleman stove, the freshly-caught catfish sizzled, and the potatoes were beginning to turn a golden brown as my friend Joe Price lay-back on his sleeping bag and said, “You know, most folks just can’t really appreciate how fine a trip like this is. If they knew how much fun it was, there wouldn’t be a place left on this riverbank for me and you.”
Creekbanking for cats brings together all the ingredients of the finest outdoor living as it is:
- a solace to be rubbed on the soul of mankind
- a potion with mystical powers to eliminate worry;
- a time for lying through the telling and retelling of past outdoor adventures, for remembering and for enjoying the fellowship of a good friend;
- an outdoor activity where the catching of a catfish is the excuse for the creekbanking experience but never the ultimate goal; and
- an adventurous night in the woods and on the water.
On this particular creekbanking adventure, Joe and I set-out three-short trotlines to catch us a mess of cats to fry. One line was strung relatively tightly from bank to bank in a small slough. Rock anchors held the main line about 2-feet off the bottom. We tied droplines onto the main lines 3-feet apart and baited them with cut shad, catfish dough and hot dogs. The next two trotlines ran from the bank to about 50-yards in the middle of the stream. The bank line was tied to a tree, while the other end of the trotline was anchored at the bottom by a large boulder and suspended at the top by a gallon milk jug.
While putting the lines out, making the droplines and baiting the hooks, we discussed the cat-catching potential of our short trotlines. “We ought to be able to load the freezer with catfish and sell some, the way we are rigged,” I told Joe. “That’s not a bad idea, John,” Joe commented. “We’ll see how we do tonight. If we really catch a lot of catfish, we may want to lay-off from work for 3 or 4 days, get licenses, and commercial-catfish the rest of the week. I bet we probably can make more money catfishing then we do at our regular jobs, if we really go after it.”
Editor’s Note: Due to very-specific regulations of trotlines, set-poles, jugs, etc., anyone who wishes to participate in recreational fishing by these methods is strongly advised to first familiarize themselves with the state fishing regulations dealing with these specific techniques.