For those few who might not know I am, or at least have been in the past an avid fisherman. There is much more to that story, but suffice it to say up until the time I got out of college from early March until late into the fall I was fishing at least once every other weekend, often more like two and three times in a weekend. Something happened in there with work and other hobbies and it took a back seat. Fortunately for the last few years I have picked that long-lost hobby back up, not the same level, but something approaching it. Fortunately for me, my wonderful wife has also started enjoy it, at least on occasion and has even went out with me at night for catfish the last couple of weekends (and unfortunately has out-fished me on the occasions as well). Friday evening’s adventure is the setting of this story…
Long story made really short, I have a big fondness for catching big cats. I like to do it when possible close to home. Further, as of this point and time I have no boat, so my options quickly limit to where I can access the bank and do so legally. Now most of the rivers and creeks I fished as a kid and even into college would see a two-pound cat as huge and three almost never found. I scouted out the area below the lock on the Kentucky river earlier this week, and there on the right evening the sky is virtually the limit on what you could catch. I was determined to head down Friday night and fish until about midnight so I could still get up and do what I needed to do on Saturday. Surprisingly, after checking it out my wife also decided she would not mind to head down for a few hours with me.
In preparation for the trip I had gotten the various baits that I would use ready and checked them off as needed. I had plenty of night crawlers – check. I had some left over shrimp from a trip before, that I had mild success with and been reading about soaking in garlic salt water for extra kick – check. I had some pork liver bought for the purpose that I also gave the same garlic salt soak to – check. But my favorite for the big catfish are live big size minnows or even better bluegills of decent but not overly large size.
From my scouting trip I knew there was no chance of catching those at the river as it was up a bit, running a little hard, and very muddy. Fortunately, I have a wonderful little pond full of the things almost in my backyard. So a diversion during my late lunch on Friday so me landing a good half-dozen, most a little bigger then I wanted. On the other hand, bigger bait means bigger fish, right? Of course the trick is keeping them alive, especially during the hot of the day like I had left until I went fishing. Putting them in the minnow bucket, plenty of fresh cool water, with the aerator was key. Add to the mix swapping out the water every couple of hours with fresh once I was back home until we left was important.
Loaded up the gear to get there just before desk and headed out, lovely wife beside me in her very nice still almost new SUV crossover. The trip there is all decent road excepting the last quarter mile. It is gravel and has one stretch that is a little step and prone to washing out, especially where it transitions from hard surface to gravel. No problem for the vehicle, it has some clearance. However, the bump turned over the minnow bucket. No fish escaped but over a gallon of stinky fish scummed water spilled in back and rolled forward into the back seat.
My wife was less that pleased to say the least. And now, two days later, the smell seems almost impossible to remove. Now if it were just me, well, I would just leave the windows down for the rest of the summer and spray a good dose of Lysol on occasion and be done with it, but I can’t leave it like that for my wife. So, today I have spent time shampooing out the carpets and seats that were contaminated. I have followed this up with cups of white vinegar, that left undisturbed with the windows up is supposed to absorb the odors. I plan to follow this with some more (already tried) Frebreeze and driving later with the windows down for a good bit.
I will report back but I am open to other suggestions. If this does not work, next plan is about five pounds of baking soda, a day, vacuum, repeat…
** – Image from grahamowen.com.