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Another fish tale

Points east


So far nobody has registered any surprise at Fred Beste’s news last week regarding a 52-pound muskie that was caught on a road-killed squirrel.

John Howard from Pike County emailed me to ask if the squirrel was “ripe” and if it said anywhere in the story about where the fisherman put the hook. He said he’d heard that muskie always swallowed stuff head first and hadn’t figured out how to get a hook through one’s skull. He was also wanted to know if it was a fox squirrel or a gray and whether or not I thought one killed with a shotgun would work just as well.

I wrote him back to suggest that it would be just as easy to find a road kill as to shoot one, but that if I was a muskie I’d rather have a fox squirrel because they taste better.

Actually I doubt if it makes much difference because a muskie is not apt to be making gravy to go with its squirrel.

No sooner had I finished corresponding with Howard than Mike Mitchell called up and told me that he was fishing in Canada one time and ran out of buck-tail jigs and that’s all the pike were hitting. It was like 50 miles of back country road to the nearest bait store and he and his buddies drew straws to see who had to make the trip, which was going to take at least five hours.

He said the camp where they were staying was covered up with big black squirrels with the bushiest tails he’d ever seen. Mike had wound up not having to make the bait run so while he was waiting around, he asked the camp owner if he had a rifle and if it was legal to kill the squirrels.

The owner loaned him a .22 and said kill all he wanted as long as he was going to eat ’em. So Mitchell acted like he couldn’t live without a mess of squirrels and promptly shot half a dozen and then made a big show of dressing them out for the cooking pot.

Then he took off to the lake with their tails and some big twoounce lead jigs with 4.0 hooks. He threaded on a squirrel tail and caught a 20-pound pike on the first cast and it went on like that all day until his buddies came back. By then he’d figured out that he could get four jigs out of one tail if he sliced them just right.

Anyway, his buddies came back and Mike was already cooking squirrel. He said he didn’t mention the squirrel tails until they’d eaten their fill and fed the camp owner’s dog a heavy meal.

He said his buddies had brought back plenty buck tails but that the squirrel tails worked so much better that they wound up cooking over 30 squirrels before the week was over and that the dog was so taken with them that as soon as they came off the lake he’d already be barking at one he’d treed when he heard the boat coming and was waiting for Mike to shoot it out.

My buddy, Rufus Harrison, who lives on Woods Creek Lake there just north of London, said the muskie tale last week, was piddling at best to what he’d actually seen happen.

f you know anything about Woods Creek, then you know that it is famous for producing an abundance of huge flat head catfish.

Rufus said he was fishing one day near a stump bed and out near its edge a big acorn was lying right in the middle of a stump. ‘Bout that time he noticed a squirrel hopping from stump to stump trying to get to the one that had the acorn on it and he finally made it.

The squirrel grabbed the acorn and went to hop back to another stump on its way the woods when a huge catfish came straight up out of the lake and snatched the squirrel in mid air.

About the time he was reeling in to move to another hole, he saw the water swirling around the stump and all of a sudden the same catfish came back up out of the water with an acorn in its mouth and proceeded to flip the nut so it landed right in the middle of the stump. Rufus said he was pretty sure it was the same acorn the squirrel had snatched.

Apparently muskie are not the only fish that enjoy eating squirrels, but catfish obviously prefer theirs fresher than road kill and are smart enough to make catching them easy.

If you have any other true fishing stories like this, please feel free to pass them along and I’ll put ’em in the paper if they are absolute gospel and as believable as the ones you’ve just read.

The email address is ikeadams@aol.com. Snail mail to Ike Adams, 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.


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