Log in
Faith and Inspiration

...Of Catfish and winning streaks


When I was just a kid back in Illinois on the Fox River, I had a nice little business going where I caught fish and sold them to the folks in my hometown. My technique, called “grubbing,” was a tad unorthodox but successful. I knew how those big, old blue catfish dearly loved to hide in holes in the riverbank... so I would swim along, and when I discovered one of those holes, I would stick my hand in there and feel around. If the catfish were home, I would grab him, and somebody was soon going to be eating catfish. One day I had caught several fish in this manner and was dragging them behind me on a stringer. As I moved along with just my head above the surface, I noticed a man standing on the riverbank watching me.

“Hey kid,” he shouted, “whatcha doing there?” I called back to him, “Catching catfish!”

He laughed, “Why son, you are surely wasting your time,” he exclaimed, “you can’t catch fish that way!”

Just then, I found a hole and running my hand in there. I soon had another catfish. I stood up and made a big show of putting that fish on the stringer along with the others I had caught. I called to the man, “you are probably right, mister, but I gotta keep trying!”

When I looked at that fellow, he was standing there staring at me with his mouth hanging open like he was catching flies. That was the first time I ever saw anybody literally struck speechless. It’s a good thing to remember that any fool can point out why a certain thing can’t be done, but It’s not a good thing to interrupt the man, or boy, that’s doing it.

Live fully,

Love openly,

And make a difference today.

Charles Towne, Inspiration, Catfish, Faith


4 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • MamaMia

    I saw them doing that on TV, on the program "River Monsters" in Louisiana. They called it noodling. You were a brave boy! No way, would I stick my hand in a hole under the water! I would be afraid a snapping turtle would snap my hand off. A good ol' cane pole would do it for me, fishing, Mr. Towne. LOL

    Sunday, February 26, 2023 Report this

  • Charles

    Mama Mia, I suppose you are right, but then there is always a calculated risk about life isnt there? We did the same thing with snapping turtles but we called that grubbing! Good fishing, Chaz

    Tuesday, February 28, 2023 Report this

  • Richardmvelho

    When I was a young boy visiting my grandparents by the lake, I would often stand on the pier with my cane pole and fish for sunfish or bluegills, pan fish. There were these tiny fish about the size of goldfish, I was told were called blackheads which I guess were some species of catfish but were considered pests. If grandpa was along, we would use the boat and go catch northern pike or small mouth bass! I never knew that "Hillbilly Handfishing" reached up to Illinois! Better times then, now you'd need a license to catch them and another one to sell them!

    Mamma Mia so good to see you again, I have missed you!

    Wednesday, March 8, 2023 Report this

  • Charles


    Friday, March 10, 2023 Report this