Wisdom From the WOODS – The Good ‘Ole Days

Going through more than 60 years of pictures taken at different times and locations produces quite a few memories of the life and times of this writer. One picture shows the bathroom or house at Redman Creek the last time the lake got high enough to go over the overflow and wash out Route T for the third time. With all the rains we have had this spring and summer, thoughts of the lake again getting that high come to mind.

Back in the “Good “Ole Days” when I carried papers for the Daily American Republic, the Saturday edition went to press at noon and as soon as I could get the papers delivered and get home, the crew that was heading for Wappapello Dam area was ready and waiting for me and the weekend fishing trip was underway.

With the lake full and overflowing the spillway, there was plenty of water in the river and there was very little camping area but a very few of our group did any sleeping anyway. The rock bluffs on the south part of the lake dam complex was a good place to fish from as there were lots of fish congregated in the area.

Redman Creek Bathrooms after a flood at Lake Wappapello.

Redman Creek Bathrooms after a flood at Lake Wappapello.

We always got crawdads the day before we were headed to the lake and those critters were very popular to all the species of fish, from bluegill to flathead catfish. we usually brought home a couple tubs full of fish and before the summer was over, very few of the neighbors were too anxious for us to bring them a mess of fish but nothing we brought home was wasted. If we couldn’t find anyone who wanted fresh fish, we cleaned them and ate fish at our house for the next few ways.

My uncle, Vic Lade, caught about as many bass on crawdads as anyone else. He had a big ocean rig and had two or three hooks on it with whole crawdads and would throw it out and slowly wind it in as it sank and lots of times he landed three bass with each cast. Those were “The Good ‘Ole Days” but I wouldn’t want to go back to them.

When the lake got low enough that river fishing was more available, trotline fishing took over and we caught drum and catfish like they were going out of style. Some runs, the line had a fish of some species about every other hook. With 30 hooks to a line, it didn’t take many trips to have all the fish we wanted.

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Paul Woods

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Paul is a lifelong area resident. His career was spent as a newspaper typesetter and columnist. He is an avid outdoorsmen and resides in Butler County with his lovely wife of 60 years, Elaine. Paul may be contacted at: paulwoodsoutdoors@yahoo.com