Fresh Fish: Pumpkinseed
The past few weeks I have taken to hiking the woods behind the house. About a half-mile deep I have found a creek roughly 15 feet across and 3 to 4 feet deep. I have made it my halfway point.
Today I packed a light weight collapsible rod-n-reel called an ultralight into my backpack and on it was a small lure. When I got to the creek I first checked the trees for moccasins (they like to hang on limbs and drop onto their prey) and then I pulled out the ultralight. To my surprise I had several aggressive hits. The largest looked to be a descent size bream according to the brief flash I got as it shook my hook. As sometimes happens when fishing I hung the lure leaving me no choice but to cut the line.
I had no other artificial lures so I tied on a small hook, shot weight and a cork. Next to the creek was a leaf pile that had been building with each successive autumn creating a natural compost. I raked the leaves until I got to the rich soil beneath. I used my hunting knife to dig up the dirt and sure enough I spotted of few small wigglers (earthworms). Before long one was impaled on the brass hook and the cork was drifting with the current.
It didn’t take long for the cork to submerge and start heading opposite the current. I was treated to 10 to 15 seconds of fight before pulling my prey from the stream.
The Pumpkinseed was about three and a half inches in length with a fat belly, not quite big enough to eat, but close. As I removed the hook it pissed on me. Who could blame it, right? The memories of how I had learned to manipulate nature into food came rushing back only after the skills had done their job. Hopefully, I won’t ever need to use these talents but it is nice to know I can still put food on the table should civilization ever take a powder.