Meridian Star

Outdoors

September 14, 2012

Mighty Catfish of Noxubee River

MERIDIAN —    Oh the joy of a Cat fishing trip to the tranquil, gently flowing Noxubee River to sooth the very soul of man.  Arriving on the bank we see the water swirling as it seeks transition to  the Tombigbee on its extensive trip to the Gulf of Mexico.  The peace and solitude is so relaxing while one sits among the many beautiful hardwood trees that line its bank, listening to the chatter of various birds and viewing the occasional deer or turkey that ventures past.  I experience a day catching a nice stringer of delicious, delectable catfish.

    I sit soaking up the solitude of this peaceful place  and  my memory begins to ramble to the time of long ago.  I hear the shrill steam whistle of the Dove, a steamboat, that  plied this now serene river.  I quickly move up the hill away from the edge of the river as this steamboat rounds the curve and comes into view.  there I stand waving at the Captain and several passengers while marveling at the vast amount of cotton loaded on its deck.  The Captain blows the whistle again to alert all of the people in the town of Mohegan which sits on the high bluff still known as Mohegan Bluff.  Looking around I see many men approaching with wagons of cotton to supplement the already bulky load on this river boat.  Glancing up on the top of this high bluff there were many people standing watching the loading of cotton while yelling and waving at the various passengers, many of them friends from Macon.

     About this time there is a strong yank on my rod as a hungry cat consumes the bait of chicken liver.  This breaks my reverie and makes me take care of business for today.  That four pound blue breaks the surface and tail walks almost like a bass.  This is strange behavior for a catfish as they usually sound in the deepest hole around and challenge you to make them come up.  Suddenly, he surfaces again in a mighty leap seeking his freedom only to find the hook securely in his jaw.  This fish then uses the current in the river to his advantage now pulling like a ten pound demon.  I have to give line and then gain line trying to tire him out.  After about five or ten minutes he slowly begins to weaken only to regain energy for another challenging run.  Finally after two or three attempts to regain his freedom he weakens and I ease the net under him and triumphantly hoist this magnificent fish onto the bank.

    The cool fall evening continues with several more catfish to fill my stringer for an anticipated catfish supper.  The evening ends with a tired but satisfied fisherman slowly driving home after an evening well spent.

    Thank God for Mississippi and all the outdoors opportunities it has to offer.

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