Friday, April 25, 2008

Swimming With The Fishies: Franch Style

We used to swim in the pond at the farm. Note that I said ‘used to.’ It used to be novel to go swimming in our cut-off shorts on a hot afternoon. That sounds like a really bad country song, but it’s true. Many an afternoon was spent swimming in the pond. Yes, this is the same pond as the notorious frozen steer incident. We also used to go fishing in the pond. Years before, they had stocked the pond with catfish. Fed by all the yummy critters washed down from the fields, the catfish grew and thrived. Little did we know how much they thrived. We spend a lot time fishing, but not a lot of time catching anything. The fish were too well fed to go for our tried-and-true chicken-livers-rotted-in-the-sun-and-tied-up-with-pantyhose bait. They were fish with a discerning palate. We spent an entire summer fishing without catching anything. One day late that summer we decided to drop in a line, wedge our pole in the dock and go off riding four wheelers. We saw a coyote and trailed him till he disappeared in some invisible den. We decided to go back and check on our pole. As we came up over the hill we saw the pole bend over with the pull of a fish. We got back as fast as we could. Boy, did that fish put up a fight. We reeled him in and found that we had a 24” catfish on our hands. You would think, after this, we would have quit swimming in there, but we didn’t. On an interesting side note, after the fish was gutted, cleaned, wrapped in foil and thrown in the fridge, we heard some clunking noises going on. We opened the fridge to find the foil-wrapped, gutless fish flopping around knocking against the mayo. Those catfish aren’t ones to give up the ghost. With our recent luck, we renewed our efforts back at the pond. We went fishing with Jeff’s brother-in-law one day and he caught something. The fish fought hard and with one quick snap broke the ten-pound test he had on his pole. Whatever it was, it was big. It was at this juncture that we found it the better part of wisdom to cease our swimming ventures. We did, however, find that it is possible to pull a knee board around the pond with the clever use of a lasso and a four wheeler. Leave it to a Folkestad to figure that one out.

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