I rarely find myself with a lack of material to write–not so, many years ago. When I was a young lad, I spent a large portion of my time fishing in the Chickahominy River/Swamp. What I did back then to catch fish would now be labeled as crazy (e.g., walking down the middle of the river, casting to each bank so as not to miss a spot where a fish might be hanging out.)
The prize species to catch was a Chain Pickerel. We always called them Pike, and if I remember correctly, a four-pound specimen could win you a citation.
What many people do not realize is a Pickerel is prized for its white delicious flesh, considered one of the best in the fresh water world of fishing.
I remember days when I would literally have to fight a snake for a particular fishing ground. Occasionally, this confrontation would take place when I was chest deep in water. It didn’t matter to me. I came to fish! As far as I was concerned, if need be, one of us was going to die to maintain the right to fish and it wasn’t gonna be me.
Those indeed were the days. During the summer, I spent almost every day reeling in my share of Chain Pickerel. Not only were they delicious, but they also retained the nickname, “Wolf of the Water.” They would hit like a ton of bricks and fight every inch of the way. If you were unfortunate enough to get your hand in its mouth, well, let’s say a bear attack comes to mind.
I’ll never forget, pulling in the wonderful bounty of sweet delectable flesh, attached to a creature who was not afraid to take you on.
Yes, sir, those were the days.