Summer Fishin’

06 Jun 2022

By Tom Pinkston

Fish the canal and get nothing

bait a wire basket and pull out eel

that’s eatin’

fish the pond by the stop sign

catch a few little brim

string up the brim and drop ‘em back in and wait

run from the cotton mouth like your life depends on it because way out here it does

go back and pull up the alligator snapper

wrassle that angry dinosaur into a burlap sack and peddle for town

sell it by weight for cash

go to the drugstore

buy some comics

and have a patty melt at the counter

wake up before dawn with your cousins

get in the jon boat and go pull on the trot line

big catfish

load ‘em in the cooler and skin ‘em after breakfast

it’s Sunday morning, and there’s a fish fry after church

and if you’re frying the fish

rule is

you don’t have go to the service

wade chest deep threading through cypress roots in the Sound

rig and a baseball bat

not catch a thing

ten miles out on the Sound

boat drifting with the tides

long lines in the water




then the stripers hit

scales everywhere

bright guts

bright fillets sizzle in brown butter

right on the boat

on the pier

watch the man cast his net for mullet

offer to pay and be given a handful right in your pail

use the mullet to catch blues out just the other side of the breakers

take the blue down the far end of the pier’s jut

give it to the grizzled old man king fishing, he’ll wink


he’ll reel in the biggest fish you ever saw and cut you two steaks

kingfish sizzles in brown butter back at the motel


step lightly

fried clam po’boy

crabbing off the dock in the waterway with raw chicken wings on strings

crab po’boy

boats come in and weigh their haul

shrimp po’boy


never caught the whiting

got those at the Salty Bucket

batter fried and two sides, baby.

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