Mudcat and MoonPies

My grandpaw used to say, “If you don’t like fishin’, you cain’t be trusted.”

He also carried MoonPies when he was fishing for Mudcat, but only ‘cats, not brim. Before he left the house, he’d tuck two or three in the corner of his tackle box next to the wigglers.

“The big ‘cats like MoonPies almost as much as me,” he would say while teaching me how to bait a hook without impaling my fingers.

After throwing rocks, fishing is probably one of the first things humans did for fun. Even after all these years, fishing is the best way a person can spend their time, in my opinion, next to sleeping and watching sports.

I have four rules when it comes to fishing:

1.  It’s not right to fish on a catfish farm. That’s like hunting cows in a pasture. Besides, it’s not right to hunt cows anyway.

2.  Don’t get too drunk to fish. It’s a rule many people say is impossible to break, but I’ve seen it done.

3.  Shrimping and gigging is not fishing, they’re shrimping and gigging.

4.  Eat what you catch and don’t catch more than you can eat. Roy Blount said it right when he wrote, “Catch and release, to me, is playing with your food.”

Fishing can be delicate and exacting business if you’re not careful. I went to sleep one time in a bass boat on Lake Palestine in Texas and woke up the next day, sunburned and way down the lake from where I started. Palestine is a big lake. I had to ask a couple of old boys in a glittering new bass boat where I was because the shore didn’t look familiar. And you know what? They were both too drunk to tell me – at 9 A.M. – hence rule Number 2 up there. I guess I should have a fifth rule about not sleeping with your trolling motor on.

That picture with the MoonPie decal at the top of this post conjured up my grandpaw’s memory for a few seconds. A fishing team who placed 11th in a Bass Masters college tournament sent that pic to the folks at the Chattanooga Bakery.  They just showed it to me. That right there makes me want to go fishing – and pack some MoonPies in my tackle box. The fish won’t be getting a taste of them, however, unless they jump up near my mouth.

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