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Youthful ventures in carp fishing

by DENNIS. L. CLAY
Herald Columnist | March 10, 2020 11:49 PM

Catching carp in the 1950s and 60s was great fun for young boys growing up in the Moses Lake area. Of course, so was hunting pheasants and other birds.

We lived in the Lakeview Terrace of Moses Lake and it wasn’t too far of a drive to the area where Bud Clary is now located.

A little clarification is needed at this point. When “not too far of a drive is mentioned” this refers to a drive on my bicycle. There are still two silver marks on the barrel of this firearm where the barrel would rub against the handlebars. This barrel-ware is a badge of courage in my book.

The ground contained sagebrush and a little grass, but the birds loved it. One or two could be coaxed from the area every day. And this was without a dog.

Only once was Dad called and asked to pick me up. It was a bitterly cold day, with the temperature in the upper teens to low 20s. There was a farmhouse nearby and defeat was not in my vocabulary at the time.

A lady answered the door and asked to use her telephone. She said sure. Extra gestures were made to make sure she saw me unload the firearm and then see the empty barrels and me holding the shells.

The lady gave me a cup of hot chocolate, as we waited for Dad to arrive. Dad was there in about 10 minutes and, after a hearty good-bye to the lady, we were headed home.

We, my buddies and me, found a productive and beneficial aspect to the carp fishing or hunting. In the spring we could sell the carp as fertilizer to home gardeners.

The gardeners were eager to get their hands on the fish and we were eager to sell. We didn’t charge much, but is was always less than the cost of commercial fertilizer.

Find a concentration of carp, snag a few and sell them to a local gardener. What a way to make money. Plus, it was fun catching the fish. We figured we had it made.

We even completed a bold, daring and somewhat dangerous scheme to make money along the same lines as fishing and hunting. This was more of the hunting part of the adventure.

Three of us would carry rocks on an ice-covered portion of a pond. This pond was also shallow, so shallow we could touch the bottom if sticking our hand through a hole in the ice.

The procedure went like this: A carp was spotted under the ice. A rock was thrown just behind the carp. The next person would quickly reach for the carp tail. More often than not, this feat was accomplished.

Tomorrow: More invasive species information.