Monday, July 7, 2008

Should we go yo-yo-in' or hoggin' ?

We were having dinner together tonight and I said to Andrea, "I was thinking about posting something on the blog tonight." She said, "So you're just going to post about how cute I am??" I replied, "Yes puddin', you're very cute... but I was fixin' to post about catfishin' on Saturday night." Look at me... we've lived in Arkansas for one month and I'm already talking like I'm from the south.

Arkansas is nicknamed the "Natural State"... and rightfully so. There are rivers, lakes, ponds, and trees everywhere. You've all heard the term "way out in the backwoods." That term doesn't just apply to Jeff Foxworthy and "you might be a redneck...." Everywhere down here is heavily wooded... so when a buddy of mine asked me if I wanted to go catfishin' Saturday night at a lake "back in the woods", I rushed home to get ready. I found an old t-shirt that had a picture of a gun, a deer, an old 4x4 truck, and a girl in a bikini holding a beer can. I promptly cut off the sleeves and frayed the edges a little bit. Then I took one of my hats and curled the brim in really tight, and rubbed dirt and grease all over it. I then loosened the belt buckle on my jeans a bit so when I bent over in the boat you'd be able to see some... you know... At this point I was READY. On the way out to the lake I was given the option to either go "yo-yo-ing" or "hogging." So I ask, "What's the difference?" Well in a nutshell... yo-yo-in' involves tying these spring loaded spools of line that basically look just like a yo-yo to the bushes and limbs that overhang the bank of the lake. You bait the hooks with a dough that I would describe as a fermented mix of chicken liver and baby poo. Then you feed the line down into the water until it is almost on the bottom and set the spring mechanism so when a catfish swallows your stinky paste it trips the spring and sets the hook in their mouth. Hoggin' (also known as noodling) is slightly more insane... only slightly. Hoggin' involves getting into waist deep muddy water and feeling around with your hands until you find a catfish hole or burrow under the water. Then you stick your bare arm in the hole (yes that's right... I said bare arm) and if you've found a catfish lair, it will usually swim forward and swallow your fist. At this point you scream a few expletives, pray that whatever swallowed your hand isn't a beaver or snapping turtle, and pull like the dickens! Now, in my opinion, you've got to be a few McNuggets short of a Happy Meal to try this form of caveman fishing. I don't think my patients would have much confidence in me if they knew my two missing fingers were lost to a hoggin' incident gone bad... as I try to suture the huge cut on their chin. On the other hand, if it's a patient that got that gash on their chin after saying, "Hey Bubba! Watch this!"... they may actually think their doctor is pretty cool.

Needless to say, I chose the yo-yo-in' option. After putting out yo-yo's all over this lake and putting dozens of miles on the boat, we caught over 20 big catfish and I brought home 30 pounds of nice catfish fillets. Now I just need to go froggin' for some big frog legs to make the meal complete.

P.S. My hands STILL smell like liver and baby poo.


Pam said...

you might be a red-neck if... lol.
It sounds like the south is a great adventure, glad you choose the yo-yo way, I know that you are always willing to try anything once!!! Thats what I love about you!!

Kamian Gille said...

What a great post and an amazing blog! I have really enjoyed looking over all of your pictures and reading a little bit about your lives in Arkansas. Thanks so much for sharing. Ya'll are awesome!

Andrea said...

I am glad that you had so much fun fishing. I know how important it is to find something that you enjoy. I am also grateful that you have a friend to go and do those "gross manly" things with.
Thanks for choosing to "yo-yo." I prefer my man to have all his fingers intact.

Krysta said...

Your story made me laugh! I'm glad you're having fun experiencing "the back woods".

Amy said...

Funny story Jonathan and well written. It made me think of a joke that I posted on the extended family blog. Check it out. Hope you are doing well. Think of you often.


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