Archive for Wednesday, August 3, 2005

A catfish trilogy

Local 14-year-old hooks three fish in as many days from Stranger Creek

August 3, 2005

Stranger Creek was like Caesar's Palace last week for Clint Oelschlaeger and grandfather Bill Harris.

Instead of hitting three 7's in a line on a slot machine, the fishing buddies hit the jackpot in the creek, catching three channel catfish on three consecutive days with a trout line positioned in about the same place each day.

You go fishing and wish for the best, that's about all you can do," Harris said. "Sometimes you luck out and sometimes you don't."

Last week, they must have been carrying rabbits' feet.

On July 19, Clint, who is 14, and his grandfather set up trotlines on Stranger Creek south of Tonganoxie.

That day, they caught a 36-pounder that measured 45 inches in length.

The next day came the whopper.

That day, the duo corralled a 48-pound channel catfish that was 50 inches long.

"I've caught some 20s and 30s before but not this big," Harris said.

Of course, it also was the biggest fish Clint has ever caught, but it took some work to catch the catfish, his mother, Lori, said.

"He pulled you guys around and around," Lori said to her son. "It broke the net."

But the two fishing enthusiasts weren't quite finished.

And on July 21, they caught another channel cat. Like their first catch, the third fish weighed 36 pounds and measured 43 inches.

That adds up to a lot of fish -- 120 pounds to be exact.

"We've got enough fish to last us for a while," Harris said.

Lori said she'll be organizing a family feast.

"Yeah, that's what we're planning on is having a big fish fry for the family," Lori said.

Fishing has been a family tradition, first for Harris and now his grandson.

"Well I'm 70, so I've been fishing all my life," Harris said with a chuckle. So how long has Clint fished? "Ever since I was," Clint said, pausing momentarily.

"Little-bitty," Lori said, finishing her son's thought. "Probably about 3."

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