At some point in time, before 1920, the Wood Street dam was raised which, in turn, raised the water level of the St. Joe River, east of Three Rivers. This flooded much land that had previously been wooded. The trees that were surrounded by water subsequently died and as time went on the land owners cut the trees, during the winter time, while the river was frozen over. As a result, there were many, many, stumps along the shore line, which made excellent fishing spots.
It was either Boyd Slack, who lived next door to us, or it was me that heard of a fool proof method of catching all of the Bullheads (Catfish) that a person could carry home, and certainly more than one person would want to clean. The procedure was; go to the Butcher Shop and get three or four pounds of meat scraps. They were free, at that time. Now they are called sirloin tips, and sell at a premium. These choice morsels were to be wrapped with one inch mesh chicken fencing and left out in the sun for about half of a, good hot, August day. You were then supposed to take it to the spot where you intended to catch all of those Bullheads, and throw it into the water. This delivery had to be made in the dark, because it was illegal to bait fish, in that fashion.
The instructions were that you were supposed to wait a night or two, for the fish to gather, before you started catching them. Bud and I got everything ready and, one dark night, we took the bundle, up through the Cemetery, to the river and heaved it a distance that we thought that we could reach, conveniently, with our fish poles. We followed the instructions, and waited two nights before we went back.
On the night that we were to make the big haul, we took a couple of large buckets and our poles, and went to the spot where we had thrown the bait. We fished and we fished but we only caught a couple of small ones. We concluded that we had not waited long enough, so we went back the next night, with the same results, no fish.
I became a little suspicious so I went up there during the daylight hours, the next day, and there laid our bundle of bait, on top of a stump, all of three feet higher than, even a tall catfish could reach.
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