I grew up near Blakely, Georgia, in a little wooden house that was built by my Dad and our neighbor the same year I was born.
We remained there until I married and moved away, and my mom and dad decided it was time to retire and sell the house.
They decided to fulfill a dream they had long held of living on the river or lake and fishing daily, so they sold the house and moved to Florida.
They had moved from a town where almost every business delivered groceries, medicine, ect., and where my mother’s friends, our neighbors lived.
At first, Mom was very depressed when Daddy sold the house and they bought a cottage on the lake/river in the “Little Dothan” area.
Others had built cottages in the area Mom and Dad were in, and a lot of the people came from
Dothan, Alabama, where they built cottages to stay in over the weekend and holidays while they fished and had fun on the water; most of the neighbors were only there on weekends or holidays.
This meant that during the week, my mother was pretty much by herself, surrounded by the woods and lake.
A forest of old pine trees grew around their home, andthe woods came with wild animals, such as deer, rabbits, squirrels, bobcats, and coveys of quail were often sighted.
My brother and sister-in-law, who had been married for only a couple of years, and my brother, who was also a fisherman, talked his wife into moving there and becoming a “Commercial Fisherman.”
To have them nearby, it made Daddy grin!
My brother convinced daddy that they’d “be driving Cadillacs” just from their commercial fishing!
Well, my husband and I, at the time, had been married for over a year and he was going into the Military (It was during the Vietnam Era), and I decided that I was going to move in with Mom and Dad while my husband was away.
My parents were in favor of that, especially since mother was not very well..
I moved in during the spring of the year, and I ended up learning a lot about commercial catfishing during my stay, such as making trotlines, which are long twine lines with hooks that are all baited and slid into cut wooden boxes, with slots all over them.
The hooks were baited before the boxes were put back together, attached together on a long line, and dropped down to the bottom of the lake or river.
At first, they caught a lot of channel catfish. My brother would visit little stores, and cafes and sell the dressed fish, which we delivered and got the payment.
Then as the season slowly changed into summer, the family caught plenty of fish, but “nary a catfish among them!”
The blistering hot summer rolled along, but still no catfish!
When the leaves started showing their colors and fall arrived, my dad and brother had never stopped baiting and putting out their trotlines, then going back late in the day to check their treasures.
Thankfully, they began to catch a few more catfish, and as the weather got cooler, the men continued putting out trotlines, and checking the results daily.
All along, I also noticed that Mom was getting sicker. She had begun to develop terrible nose bleeds and headaches.
Daddy took her to a doctor that was practicing fairly near us, but before Mom returned home, she had a stroke!
More Next Time!
Patricia Ann Hinson Mordes