Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pond Scum

Normally I would have to tell you that lawyers are pond scum but there are a few that are not, only a few.   Nothing much better than a good lawyer joke keeps me satisfied.  So what about pond scum that resonates a memory of the Osage?

Well if you were a fisherman and I see that Shidler is now the bass fishing capital of Oklahoma you would know that a good pond has lots of pond scum along the edges.  Growing up in the country we had lots of ponds scattered across every farm and ranch and any pond worth fishing had pond scum along the edges.  Now most of the time we called it pond moss but it is more fun calling it pond scum since lawyers need something to identify with.  You see just about the time a pond is ready to fish in the spring and the sun starts to stay up a little longer meaning the days are longer the MOSS starts coming to the top and it plays havoc with the fishing.  You see the fish and especially the bass like to hang out right along the edge where the pond scum ends.  Generally speaking there was also about a foot from the shore before the scum would start then it could go out as far as about 20 to 30 feet.  If it was early spring and momma bass was setting her eggs she would be hanging out close to the shore where the water was shallow.  The reason for this is so the  eggs would stay warmer from the heat of the sun and of course they would incubate there until they hatched.  Once that happened there were literally thousands of baby fish and they would hide in the weeds and moss to keep other fish from eating them.  A smart fisherman knew that you would not have to cast (meaning throw your lure) out past the moss but simply watch for  movement in the water along the edge then sneak up and toss the lure right along the edge of the water before the moss.  If that did not work the only choice was to cast  the line and lure  out past the moss which was pretty hard when you only had a cane pole.

But I remember when Mr. Curnutt who owned the local Otasco store in Shidler started carrying Zebco rod and reels which would allow you to cast out past the moss.  Now before Zebco (made in Tulsa) came around there were Johnson reels (green like John Deere) and other brands I don't remember which were open reels.  You may not know it but those reels were next to impossible for me to cast without getting what was called a 'back lash'.  For a long time I did not know it was called a back lash because when dad or Larry (my brother who has a birthday today the 19th) would experience one they would not say 'back lash'  rather they would call it 'shit' or 'damn'.  For years I thought a lot of things were 'damn' or 'shit'.  I guess I was just a slow learner but those were two of my first words.  Anyway I never did get the hang of those so Zebco was one of the greatest inventions for me.  Funny but as I look back those original reels were even better than the ones you get today.  Well fishing was just a lot more fun with a Zebco.  Strangely enough my brother is still an avid fisherman and has multiple open faced reels which cost a heck of a lot more money than a good old Zebco.  I will have to admit he catches more fish and bigger fish than I do but I don't think it has anything to do with the expensive equipment he buys.

One last thing about pond scum and that is if you just don't want to fight it there are two solutions.  The first is to get a boat, which we never had, and get out in the middle of the pond and fish back to the edge of the moss.  The second solution which was my favorite is to go fish in the creek which never had a pond scum problem.

So what do you learn in the Osage?

  • Not all lawyers are as bad as pond scum, but most
  • If you want to catch fish you have to adapt to the pond scum
  • Shit and Damn are not nouns in most cases when they are used, ask Helen Head (the mother of HEAD COUNTRY BAR-B-QUE Sauce)
  • Head Country is not from Ponca City, it was born in Grainola by Tom Head and raised in Shidler by Danny
Thanks for your time and Damn those were good points!
gary@thepioneerman.com

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