Re: NANFA-- RE: Native fish keeping starts

R. W. Wolff (
Fri, 1 Jun 2001 19:27:55 -0500

You are right Casper, that picture does look like a sculpin, I never paid
much attention to the darter section in that book. Which leads me to....

When I was young, and the marsh would flood, the ditches out front of my
house would fill with water and fish, and other things. I had already kept
a baby bowfin in the tank in the garage that my Dad and I caught fishing. I
was hooked right there, I am sure many have kept oscars and remember how
neat that first oscar baby was, well the bowfin was the same way. I had no
way to catch the fish in the ditches out front, all though I could see them
swimming all over. Usually just small stuff. I consulted my Grampa who lived
next door. He was good at building anything and constructed a net out of an
onion bag, some really stiff wire and a broom handle. I was on my way with
my net, ice cream pail and bike. I would go up and down the road, and
quickly figured out how to catch a ton of different fish. The only darter
in the area was iowa darters, which I caught and ID'ed. I already knew what
mudminnows, stickle backs and fatheads were. But, I did not know that the
stickle back was a brook, and there were other species, and that the
mudminnow was central, and there were other species in that genus as well. I
also caught alot of slippery jacks, later to find out these were northern
redbellies. What fun, then more fish came in on years with higher water,
and getting older I could pedal further. I started catching baby
pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, madtoms, yellow
and black bullheads in my net that I never saw when fishing hook and line. I
also caught some clown loaches and neon tetras the neighbors must have
released when the water was coming down. Soon I found a ditch that flooded
big and deep, and when it receded was full of all kinds of fish, from little
things up to huge pike . I would load all the fish from these drying
puddles and haul them to the canal and let them go. Then there was road
fishing. When the flood waters would wash over the road, and its was only a
few inches deep, lots of fish, especially green sunfish, would brave the
shallows swimming on their sides to cross the high point in the center of
the road. I would scoop them up in my hands. What great memories, if I
dont forget one thing from my childhood, it would hopefully be these things.
I could go on and on and bore you all with other fish things I did when I
was in my single digits, but......that would be a book in itself,

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