After all of the fun we had fishing last Sunday, we couldn’t wait to do it again yesterday, minus the terrible sunburn I got. This time I did it right, wearing a long sleeve shirt, slathering myself with 50SPF marine sunblock and putting the Bimini top up on the boat so I could stay out of the sun’s direct rays as much as possible.
We started out going a mile or so further downriver than we did the previous week, and it didn’t take us long to start catching fish. The problem was that they were all small fish. I caught this little catfish, which was hardly worth losing a shrimp over.
A few minutes later, I caught a pufferfish. These nasty bait stealing little critters with sharp front teeth are a real aggravation, and sometimes it seems like when you get into a school of them, you can’t catch anything else.
Soon after I caught my pufferfish, Terry and I each caught one at the same time. It’s always good for a husband and wife to share things, don’t you think?
Terry got tired of catching pufferfish, so she caught this nice catfish next.
We changed locations a couple of times before we got into the area where we were last week, and immediately things improved. No more pufferfish, but Jesse caught a nice croaker.
Then Jennifer got a bite and reeled in a nice-sized catfish.
She is camera shy and doesn’t like her picture taken, so we have to wait until she’s excited about catching a nice fish before we can get her to smile for us.
Jennifer no sooner put her line back in the water when she got another hit and reeled in a stingray or skate, as some people call them around here. She got it to the boat, and as she was lifting it out of the water, it got away.
Sitting at the back of the boat, I complained that I had never caught a stingray yet, and about the time I said that I got a bite, and guess what I reeled in?
It was a perfect day, and we weren’t the only fishermen out there. There were quite a few other boats and several pods of dolphins.
This heron was also looking for dinner.
It’s unfortunate that all through this area, there are derelict boats that people just abandon. There must be 15 of them in five miles of the river.
Jesse got a big hit that almost pulled his fishing rod out of his hand, but whatever it was, it was gone, and it took his bait in the process. I would have liked to have seen what it was because it was definitely big.
Toward the end of the afternoon, Miss Terry decided to show us who the Catfish Queen was when she got a bite, and the fight was on! She was using a new medium-heavyweight Penn Wrath rod and reel combo, and the way it was bending that rod let us know that she was onto something worth writing home about.
Now, if you know my wife, there’s nothing she can’t do and no challenge she won’t take on. So when Jesse asked if she needed some help, her answer was a quick “no” and she kept reeling away. It took a while for her to land this monster. It’s a gafftopsail catfish, and its pectoral fins and dorsal fin contain venomous spines, so you have to be careful handling them. People tell us they are good eating, but we pretty much just do the catch and release thing. Completely stretched out from the tip of its tail fin to its nose, as best we could tell because it didn’t want to stay still, it was about 25 inches. We didn’t have a scale with us, but I’m told they can go up to 10 pounds or more.
All hail Miss Terry, the catfish queen!
We had a nice day on the river and look forward to going out again soon. Jesse and I are tired of the ladies catching all of the nice fish, and we have to do something to even the score.
Congratulations, Kathleen Thomas, winner of our drawing for an autographed copy of my book Overlooked Arizona: Over 35 Arizona Great Arizona Destinations You Shouldn’t Miss! We had 137 entries this time around. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – All too often, later becomes never. Do it now.