How to Catch Catfish in Middle Tennessee

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a night.  Teach a man to fish and he will eat for life.

Trust me, you are better off reading this post than to be sitting here with me.  After everything has been cleaned and put up, there is still a slight lingering smell of fresh fish everywhere you walk.


 With that being said, the above is absolutely the moto around my house today.  Last night my husband gave my middle son the option of waking up this morning to traditional school, or go out on the boat with him to fish for the morning.  Gage was ALL OVER it…no questions asked.  He was ready to go out last night even if that meant waiting over night until morning to fish. He’s so funny that way.

After a good night’s sleep, Daddy and Gage loaded up in the truck and took the “new” boat out to the “fishing hole” to spend some good father/son time.  Little did they know that they were going to have a God encounter there!  I am always so excited when everyday life gives clear examples of the ways God is in control and can provide any way he pleases.

After several hours on the water, no fish were in the live well so my husband decided to go ahead and pull anchor so to speak and head home.  He through out his line one last time and all be darn if he didn’t get a bite as he was pulling the lure back into the boat.  Gage was so excited about the fish that he flipped the switch for the live well very excitedly so that it would fill up and they could bring Daddy’s prize home.  Problem is he flipped the wrong one, the bilge pump switch, too!  As a matter of fact, he flipped them so hard that both broke off.    So now not only are both pumps working, but there’s no way to turn them off.  At this point, Gage is holding the fish waiting for Josh to get the switches figured out.  It is decided the problem isn’t going to get fixed anytime soon, so Josh tells Gage to throw the fish back in.  Almost in the same breath, Josh was able to get the switch stubs to flip in the right direction and turned quickly to tell Gage to hold on but it was too late.  Sailing into the water was their only catch of the day.  They wouldn’t have had a fish to show for their day, but I’m sure a good fisherman’s story would have been born out of the experience.

Josh decided to go ahead and head back to the dock.  If I got the story right, they found a good little place to try right before getting back to the dock so they stopped to throw out a couple lines really quick.  With spinner bait on the line, Josh tosses it out half-heartedly.  BOOM!  Something hit the line.  It didn’t feel like anything he was expecting and that was confirmed when he pulled a catfish out of the water!

He is telling me this story on the phone on their way home and I said, “Wait a minute, didn’t you say you were using spinner bait?”    He chuckled and said yes and continued to tell me that he had no gloves on the boat because he had no intentions of catfishing today.  He decided to cut the line, lure still in the fish and put him in the now full live well.  He goes on to say that just for giggles he ties on another spinner bait to see if he could maybe catch one more fish, preferably a bass.  He throws it back out there and before he even gets to reel it back in he gets another hit, just as strong as the first one!   This time he hands the pole to Gage so he can have the satisfaction of the fight and reeling in a fish.  They get it up to the surface and are floored that once again, they snagged a catfish!

Let me take a second to explain to those of you who don’t know.  Usually catfish are bottom feeders.  You will usually use some sort of bait that can rest on the bottom or close to it such as pieces of shrimp, cut up fish parts, shiners, etc.  Bass on the other hand, you can use top water lures or spinner baits.  Top water moves along the top and mimics an injured pray on the top of the water which causes a bass to gulp it down as an easy meal.  Spinner baits typically go under water but near the surface and stir up the water as it goes.  For all intensive purposes, there’s not a reason in the world a catfish should have gone after this bait.  I can tell you though that the lures were mangled.  Pictures below don’t show the damage well but they were really bent out of shape.

Josh trying to free the spinner bait from catfish #1

Josh trying to free the spinner bait from catfish #1


Lure after being taken from the fishes mouth.

Lure after being taken from the fishes mouth.

Our family of five is not much different than yours.  My husband is a fireman, I am a homeschooling homemaker who keeps little ones in my home during the day.  Our budget is just as tight as the next neighbor.  We find ourselves constantly praying and asking God to stretch a meal here and a dollar there.  NEVER have we gone without three meals a day.  Never have we gone to sleep without electricity and water in our home.  Boy we are really roughing it aren’t we.  Most of the world’s population can’t say that.  We have it made, yet we still ask for provisions and God still answers our prayers, even though we have more than we actually need on any one given day.

Isn’t it amazing when you pray for God to provide, he goes over and beyond to provide in ways that only he could?  Not only did a catfish bite bate that is not typical of the species, but then TWO of them do.  Isn’t it interesting how Josh decided to throw out a line just one more time before docking?  Now I know this is pretty common for fishermen to do, my husband included, but he didn’t have to.  I was so excited to be able to share with my kids how awesome God is today through this experience.

Once they got home and cleaned the fish,

Jackson helping Josh skin the first fish Josh caught.

Gage helping Josh skin the first fish Josh caught.

This is the catfish Gage caught.

This is the catfish Gage caught.

Josh sent both boys down to the creek nearby to dispose of the scraps.  See other animals eat those, so it’s better to do that then to throw them in the trash where they will go to waste, decay and attack other animals and such.  The boys came back knowing they were going to have to get on their traditional schooling but first wanted to tell me about all of the crawfish that came up to snatch up parts of the scraps.  It’s amazing to me the things that amaze little boys.  I was in the middle of telling them how cool I thought that was and that they needed to wash up, then meet me in the school room when Josh says, “Hey if you guys can catch those big ones like you did before, I’ll take you guys back out fishing!”  *sigh*

Before I could even think of voicing my concern, the boys (and our neighbor boy) were so excited about going back down to catch crawfish, or to some of my readers, crawdads.  They had been gone for about an hour or so when I heard them in the garage telling their dad about their finds.  I guess that means I am cooking a late dinner tonight because the Warren boys are headed back out on the boat.  🙂

So what do I take away from today?

  • Be flexible.  As much as the teacher side of me wanted to put my foot down and tell everyone to get inside and get their spelling books out, I am glad I rolled with the punches.  They may not be learning how to spell “forgetting” or bloodiest” today, but they will be learning life skills.  In our home, fishing and hunting are vital to our freezer stash.  As they grow up and, if God wills, have their own families, they will be able to provide for them with what they learned today.  Not just written work is school, afterall.  Not only that, but Daddy has great ideas on how to run our school too and the boys respond very well to his tactics.
  • Allow boys to be boys:  Not only should we as mothers allow it, but support them in it!  In today’s society, it’s hard to find a manly man by biblical standards.  One who loves the outdoors, works hard, has his own ambitions and not that of others around him, etc.  When my boys come to me excited about crawfish tearing into scraps of a fish they just cleaned, I have to remember to support them in that new found wonder and even encourage them to do more of it.
  • Never, EVER put God in a box:  He will provide how he sees fit to do so.  We have to remember to praise him when he does and continue to keep open eyes to see when he works in unconventional ways.

What is something that happened in your life today that you just thought…wow I didn’t think things would happen THAT way!  Could it be possible that God just moved?  Is it possible that that is just one example of the way God is working around you?



2 thoughts on “How to Catch Catfish in Middle Tennessee

  1. Pingback: Taking a Break From Regularly Scheduled Education to Bring You This Special Bulletin: | Seriously Outnumbered

  2. Pingback: Last Week of SCHOOL!! | Seriously Outnumbered

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