?`s and ANNEswers

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Belated Catfish Report

One week ago today we were floating on the Red River waiting for catfish to bite our lures. It was muggy and windy, and our Johnboat was small. Our guide had six lines in the water, and we watched them as if we were mesmerized. A little jiggle and then a great tug on the line meant we had a fish on the hook. The next task was to reel it in.

Earl did all the reeling because – truthfully – we waited a long time between bites. We were on the water four hours and caught six fish. Which meant I could keep my role as companion rather than that of secondary fisherperson.

Catfishing is markedly different from the fishing we do in northern Canada. It’s very laid back with the fish doing a lot of the work. There is no casting to speak of. In Canada, that’s all you do – hour after hour. You throw your line out; you reel it in; you throw it out; you reel it in. I’ve seen Earl sit in the front of a Lund boat and do this until no one can count the number of times.

I’m not knowledgeable enough about any of this, but I do know there is a great degree of skill in fishing regardless of whether it’s the catfish variety or the Canadian type. In the end, it’s how many fish you get in the boat.

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