If you teach a man to fish, he may catch a lot of cats | MyWindsorNow.com

If you teach a man to fish, he may catch a lot of cats

Paul Pierce
For The Tribune

This fish story starts in Nebraska. My sister-in-law has a little creek that goes across her property. It is almost 8 feet wide and fairly shallow. About a mile south of her house a big log is buried across that creek, which causes a waterfall. This little creek, if you followed it, would eventually run into a big lake. Fish, especially channel cat, come all the way into this little creek.

The pond exists between a group of trees on each side of it, and they lean over this hole of water. The creek is about 40 feet below the top of the bank, and to get into the area, you have to go through a large amount of weeds and brush. Then you come to a highway overpass followed by a steep incline about 40 feet down to the water. At the water's edge I found a few rocks to stand on. This is where I fish.

I was told the best bait for catfish is chicken liver. Let me tell you that is the truth. I had to fish with a large treble hood to help hold the liver on. Now is the start to my fishing story.

I never imagined how fish could be in a hole that small. On my first cast the cork went under, and the clutch slipped for a long time until I finally got the fish tired out enough that I could put my finger in his gill and bring him out of the water. This same thing happened time and time again. One time when I cast, I hit into the branches but the bait did land in the water. A fish took it and pulled the line out of the tree. Praise God. I caught six channel cat. The last fish that broke my line took a lot of work. I finally got the head up a little. I could see it. It appeared to be a 9 pounder.

I finally left that hole. My treble hooks were gone.

My fish story truly was a God-given dream. But this is just a beginning because before I left Nebraska I saw a pond in Colorado. It was a private pond, but God gave me a word to stop by the owner's house and ask him a question. So I took a cup full of treats and a note about our church and an invitation to come and visit. I told him who I was, about my need for a good pond to fish in and my testimony about what the Lord had done in my life.

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So he answered my question: He said, 'You come back here on June 15th, and I will give you an answer.' This was about a month away. When I came back from Nebraska, it was June 15. I went to this gentleman's house, his answer was that I could fish his pond, but only once a month, and I would need to sign an agreement about liability. He also needed a person's name from my church who he could ask about my reputation. I signed. I had a pastor from our church talk to him.

After all of this, he said I could visit two times a month, and I could bring my son-in-law, too. So now I go to this pond.

One morning I got there about 9:30 a.m. My first plan was to catch the catfish first, so I baited up, made a cast about the middle of the pond and set my bait about seven feet deep. I went for the catfish first because the owner told me several had been put in the pond a lot of years ago. I waited about 20 minutes, the cork went under, I set the hook and then came a battle. The fish went all over the pond, the clutch was slipping (I had gotten a much stronger line since my experience in Nebraska), and after about five minutes I got him near the bank.

I put my one foot in the water and reached to get my finger in his gill. It was a blue catfish, a 5-6 pounder. The story goes on. This happened seven times. Seven fish about the same size. I put four on my stringer and three on another metal stringer. It was about 1 p.m. I was tired, so I quit fishing that day. The owner came over about noon to see how I was doing. I showed him six fish I had already caught by then. He was blown away by what he saw. He hadn't seen these fish before.

He had said earlier he cut some Russian olive trees before he could mow around the whole pond, so I brought over a saw and went to work and cut the trees, loaded my pickup and took them to his dump. In the next two weeks, my son-in-law came up to fish. He came to fish for bass. He caught around 30. It was so exciting for him, and he took pictures of all of them on his phone.

My prayer for the owner to say yes to fish in his pond was mainly so I would have a place to bring my son-in-law. Praise God. This fishing story goes on.

It would be two weeks before I could return to that same pond. I went to visit a lake up by the dam of Horsetooth. It's about 15 feet deep in the middle and is approximately a mile long. I took my float boat and went to this lake three different times. I caught a total of 16 large channel catfish. They averaged about two pounds each. It was a wild side show to get these fish inside the boat. The fish would drag me around that lake in circles in that boat. It was a fun trip but a lot of work.

The last story two weeks later at the private pond, my prayer, my dream happened. It happened like my first trip: Seven fish in about three hours. One fish was about seven pounds or so. I brought the owner and his wife to see the catch. He took a picture with his camera and took one with mine. This was a dream. I give God the credit for providing this good pleasure.

— Paul Pierce of Windsor enjoys fishing in various lakes and ponds.