When you grow up out on the rural route like I did several decades ago, things were markedly different than growing up in the country today. We didn’t have the internet and cell phones. When I was a little guy, these things we take
for granted today were decades away from being invented. Heck, for years we didn’t even have electricity. Neither did we have running water…(we had a well where we drew water), indoor plumbing…(we had an outdoor privy.)
What we did have was acres and acres of wild and uncut country, woods and creeks to explore, and that’s what we did.
I grew up with a brother, Tom two years younger than me and we had somewhat of an extended family. We lived on one hill and our two first cousins, Doug and Sambo lived on the next hill within sight of our house. We were stair-steps in age. I am the oldest, Doug one year younger than me, Tom a year younger than Doug and Sambo bringing up the rear a year younger than Tom.
Once school let out in May, the four of us felt as if we’d been released from detention; no more arithmetic or geography to worry about. Our main concern was if the mud cat were biting down on Molido creek. Setting out hooks, we sometimes took our bedrolls and checked our catfish hooks off and on during the night, swatting mosquitos and dodging snakes. One of us would have sneaked in a pack of Beech Nut chewing tobacco giving us a sneaky feeling we were doing something decadent.
Those days are long gone, we grew up, had families and went our separate ways and all we had was memories of setting out hooks and swimming in the creek. Then cousin Doug came up with an idea that would bring the four Harris boys back together. Doug and Sambo both still live in the area where we grew up and Doug has a farm pond stocked with bass and bream. He suggested that we plan a get-together down in our old stomping grounds, catch some fish, have a fish fry kick back and relive some of those long-ago memories when we were boys.
On June 29, 2007, we met for the first time, me traveling from Ruston and brother Tom from his home in DeRidder. Our initial gathering was so enjoyable that we hit on the idea of making this an annual event so we did. This past Saturday, the 14 th annual Cuz’n Fish Fest took place on Doug’s pond and it was almost as fulfilling as the first time we met. Our group, sadly has been reduced by one as my brother Tom passed away five years ago and my sister, Linda, now fills the void left by Tom’ death.
The annual gathering today is a bit different that those first ones. Spouses have been added to the mix along with a few special friends who look forward to getting together under the shade trees almost as much as we do. During the early days of our get together, we talked and laughed about some of stuff we pulled, like swiping watermelons and sugar cane from nearby fields and other things we could only whisper and giggle about. Last Saturday, the conversation was more along the lines of our aches and pains as we’re all in our 80s now. My hope is that we’ll be having our cousin get togethers for years to come. It’s one of the most special events I get to attend every year and I’m already looking for the next one.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river had been falling but is on the rise again with off colored water.
Big Crappie Masters tourney this coming weekend could produce some challenges. For latest
information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been fair on the flats on shiners and jigs fishing 10-
15 feet deep in 18-25 foot water. Bass are in the creeks with some caught on crank baits and soft
plastic lures. Bream fishing is just getting started on worms and crickets. Catfishing continues to
be good off the banks on night crawlers and cold worms. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport
Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie are moving from the shallows with most caught on shiners and
jigs around planted brush in 15 foot water. Some good catches are being reported below the
spillway as well. Bass have been fair around the banks with spinners and worms working best.
Bream are moving to the shallow beds and are beginning to take crickets and worms. No report
this week on stripers or catfish. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-
CANEY LAKE – Some big bass are being caught with a couple in the 9 to 10 pound range.
Some are hitting trick worms and drop-shot rigs. Crappie fishing is fair but some big slabs are
being caught around deep brush on shiners or jigs. Both chinquapins and bluegills are doing
quite well around spawning areas on crickets and worms. No report on catfish this week. For
information contact Bateaux’s on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia
Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.