Back in the day, I’m talking eight decades or so ago, kids raised out on the rural route did it differently. When it came to entertaining yourself, there was no high fi gadgets; no cell phone; no video games. Why? It takes electricity for these things to work and it was years before the wires were strung and lights came on in Goldonna.

I grew up in a four room house my daddy built – a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms. Bathroom? Forget about it; it took water piped into the house to make it work. Our bored well, bucket, pulley and rope in the back yard was the water supply. Indoor plumbing consisted of what some folks called a thunder mug or slop jar. The serious stuff took place down
a path out back that led to the outhouse.

My brother, Tom, was two years younger than me and we, just the two of us, would no doubt have run out of outdoorsy things to do had it not been for our first cousins, Doug and Sambo who lived on the next hill over from us. Doug and Sambo were like brothers to Tom and me and we did virtually everything together. I was the oldest, Doug a year younger than me,

Tom a year younger than Doug and Sambo bringing up the rear, a year younger than Tom. What did kids do for entertainment way back then before electricity and such came to us? If youngsters growing up today had been deprived of all the gadgets and widgets available today, chaos would no doubt ensue. Not for the four Harris boys; none of the other kids growing up in the community had anything modern either so we didn’t miss what we never had.

What we did have was the tank pond lying adjacent to the L&A railroad track that furnished water for the steam engines that chugged and labored up Oshkosh hill after filling tanks. Just over the track was Molido (pronounced Molly-dough) creek that coursed through the woods half a mile in back of our house. We learned to swim in the tank pond and Molido with its resident red perch, goggle eye, bass, jackfish and mud cat population was the perfect training
ground for boys just learning to fish.

The passage of time has a way of changing things. We all grew up, married, had kids and lived in homes with electricity and indoor plumbing and all the amenities these afforded. Tom and I moved away while Doug and Sambo remained in the little town where we grew up. It’s sad but it’s true; when the realities of life separate you from those who were once so important to you, you grow apart, not because of problems but that’s just the reality of life.

Several years ago, I got a call from Doug. He had retired from a successful career in the petroleum industry, had purchased land and constructed a nice pond near his home and he stocked it with bluegills and bass. Like me, he had missed the times the four Harris boys had growing up and he suggested that we meet on his pond, catch, clean and cook fish and relive
some of the special times we had growing up.

On June 29, 2007, the four of us met up on the pond, did those things he suggested, had so much fun and enjoyment we decided we would meet together every year and do it all over again. The Cuz’n Fish Fest was born on that day fifteen years ago and has continued ever since.

Changes are inevitable with the passage of time and eight April’s ago, my brother Tom passed away. That left the three of us to continue what Doug started fifteen years ago. We continued to meet and it became obvious that Doug’s health was in a slow decline. On January 11, I drove to Goldonna to attend the funeral of Doug, the one who started it all. This leaves just Sambo and me, the oldest and youngest of the four Harris boys to pick up the pieces of our childhood. Will we continue the tradition? I suppose time will tell.

”The four Harris boys Cuz’n Fish Fest is now down to just two, this writer and cousin Sambo.” Courtesy photo


BLACK BAYOU – No report this week. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Crappie fishing has been fair to good on jigs or shiners. Bass have been fair around brush and structure. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – The water is rising and fishing has been fairly good this week on crappie fishing around submerged tops in the river on jigs and shiners. No report on bass. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing has been fair to good with best catches made on jigs or shiners fished mid depth just off the channel. Bass had been best fishing the points on crank baits. Catfish are biting cold worms fished off the banks; bream are slow. For latest information, call Anderson Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE –Crappie fishing continues to be good with shiners having the edge over jigs this week. The fish are still fairly deep. No report this week on bass, bream, stripers or catfish.. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE –Jigging spoons and tail spinners are picking up a few bass and yellow bass bouncing these lures off the bottom in deep water. Soft plastics and deep diving crank baits have been producing some around humps just off the channels. Crappie fishing continues to be best fishing the deep tops on shiners or jigs. No report on bream or catfish.. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Crappie fishing has been good this week around the boat slips and on the south end on shiners or jigs with some bigger fish caught during the afternoons. Catfishing is good with a 32 pounder weighed in this week. No report on bass or bream. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE YUCATAN – After a rise in water levels, the water is beginning to fall but not many fishermen are going out because of windy conditions. Overall fishing is slow. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259

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