Pete's News


Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!

Me and Rosebud went fishin' last week. Yeah, we went down there where the creek makes that sharp turn, where it's dug into the bank and left a deep hole next to that big leanin' willer tree. Them ol' catfish like to get in the shade down there durin' these hot dawg days, y'know. If you're gonna find a catfish anywheres, that's where it's gonna be.

Sounds like a good way to spend one of these hot days, don't it? Settin' under a shade tree by the creek, just bein' lazy and waitin' for a catfish to come along and grab hold of your line. Maybe you'll catch one and maybe you won't, but it don't matter. You ain't down there to set the world on fire nohow. You're just takin' it easy, watchin' the world float by for a few hours. No, there ain't nothin' like goin' to the creek for a little fishin' to put everthing back in its place.

Well, that sounds all fine and good but if you're thinkin' that's what it was like goin' fishin' with Rosebud, you ain't never been to the creek with a mule. If you had, you'd know better. Fishin' just sets Rosebud off. She don't go down there to throw her line out and watch the leaves float by. No, she goes to catch fish. She works at it like her life depends on it. Shucks, she even works at gettin' ready to go fishin'.

Now, me, when I get ready to go fishin', it takes me all of maybe a minnit to get everthing squared away. I've got this ol' cane pole settin' out there in the chimbley corner next to the house. It's leaned up there out of the way and there's a tin can on the ground next to it. I grab my pole and that tin can, go out behind the wood shed, turn over a shovel or two of dirt and dig me up some worms and I'm ready. Nothin' to it.

But Rosebud, now she ain't like that. She keeps her poles in the barn where they'll stay dry. So she's got to go in and get 'em, all three of 'em, and check 'em over to make shore they're still okay since when she put 'em up. She'll unroll the lines, checks 'em out and throw the hook out in the yard a time or two. Then she checks where the line's tied on the pole and tugs on it to make shore the knot's still good'n tight. And then she'll flex the pole once or twice to see if it still bends like it's s'posed to. And when she gets through with that, she'll check all the fishhooks real good. If she don't like the looks of one of the floaters or sankers, she'll take it off and put another'n on in its place. She goes through all three poles like that, checkin' and lookin' and fixin' and, in general, wastin' time.

Then comes the bait. Worms ain't good enough for her. No sir, as far as she's concerned, there ain't no self respectin' catfish gonna bite no worm. So no worms for her. She's gotta have that some of that catfish bait, that ol' stinkin' stuff that Silas sells down there at the store.

I think the only reason Silas even keeps that stuff is to sell to the handful of city people that happen to come through up here. I reckon they ain't got no worms in the cities, so when they come up here to fish, they always stop in down there and get 'em a can of that stinkin' stuff he keeps. That's why they make it stinkin' like that, so's they'll think they're gettin' somethin' real good, somethin' that catfish like. Shoot, the catfish don't care. I bet you could wad up a piece of light bread to bait up your hook and it'd do just as good, but light bread ain't nowhere near nasty enough. It's gotta be somethin' that'll gag you when you put it on the hook and leave you smellin' like you've been wallerin' on a dead cow.

My grandmaw used to use black-eyed peas for bait. She'd take a handful of just plain ol' black-eyed peas and bait up her hooks with 'em. And she always caught as many fish as anybody else. It don't make no difference what you use. Catfish will bite anything—peas, light bread, worms, even that ol' stinkin' catfish bait. If they're bitin', they'll bite whatever you put on your hook. If they ain't, you can't make 'em. They ain't gonna bite nothin' you put on there.

But if you want to start trouble, go to mouthin' off stuff like that around somebody that's been fishin' for catfish a certain way for a long time. Cat-fishers is kind of a peculiar bunch. You try tellin' one of 'em that's been doin' it such and such a way that there's some other way that's just as good and they're fixin' to get mad at you. I've seen it happen. So the best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut about it.

Besides, I don't care. You can stick black-eyed peas up your nose, turn around three times on a dead cow while you're puttin' a worm on your hook and it won't bother me nary bit. Not as long as you're down wind of me. As long as you're happy, I'm happy. But I don't take fishin' as serious as some people do, for shore not as serious as Rosebud. She's gotta have ever little thing just right; the right pole, the right line, the right bait, everthing. And that's fine. But I do wish she'd get everthing ready the night before. You've gotta go after catfish early of a mornin'. If you don't, there ain't no use in even goin' 'cause they ain't gonna bite. Everbody knows that.

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