Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Wolfe’s Woofer: Fresh Water Catfish


“It’s hard to believe neither of you have ever eaten catfish,” I said.
“Mr. Dennis, we from the island,” Mario said. “We never had no freshwater fish.”
“That’s right,” Vernon agreed.
“When we get back to the lodge this evening, I’m cooking up catfish and fritters,” I said. “You two are in for a treat.”
We were fishing on New River just above where it empties into Chetumal Bay. The owner of the lodge advised us where to haul in some freshwater catfish. He said the best fishing was just above the point where the fresh water from New River meets the salt water coming in from Chetumal Bay.
I led the way up the river bank with Mario and then Vernon trailing behind.
“Vernon,” I called. “You have the beer and some cups in your bag. Take one of the cups and dip a cupful of water out of the river.”
After a minute, Vernon asked, “O.K., I got it. What do you want me to do with it?”
“Taste the water and see if it’s salty.”
“It is.”
“We have to move a little further upstream,” I said.
We trudged a quarter of a mile before I called back to Vernon, who was lagging behind.
“Vernon, check the water again to see if it’s salty.”
“It’s still salty.”
“All right, we’ll keep going upriver.”
Further along, I called, “Test the water again, Vernon.”
“It’s still salty,” he said. “The cup’s almost empty, too.”

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