By Gary Miller
In my early adult years, March and April meant crappie fishing. During those days I perused every bush and sunken tree in straight creek hollow to find my limit of that tasty fish. Most of the time I was the passenger in my friend’s old fish and ski boat. Since we knew where most of the fish were, it really didn’t matter how we got to them. And once we were there a good heavy anchor would keep us hovering in the right spot until we had either caught a few good ones or determined that we needed to move on. I think that’s what makes crappie fishing so fun and accessible; it really doesn’t matter what kind of boat you have or even what kind of accessories it is fitted with; one can still catch his limit with the right bait and a little patience. The right bait can be a small crappie fly or even a plastic jig, but to have the best chance, it needs to be tipped with a minnow. And sometimes, a minnow on a hook is all it takes.
It seems sort of ironic that in order to catch a big fish, the best bait at times can be a little fish. This not only goes for crappie but just about any fish. When you think about it, it seems that one species ought to be able to trust its own kind without fear of being devoured. But if you look at the animal world this is not unusual except when it comes to humans. We humans are different. Instead of physically devouring each other we tend to do it verbally or by simple acts of rejection or apathy. Our purpose is the same, however. We think that we need to devour someone for either our own good or the good of our kind. We think it makes us bigger and thus better, and that we are doing a service if we rid our environment of the lesser individual whose sole issue is that they are different from us. The travesty however, is not when this happens by careless individuals but when it happens by those who do it the name of something good. The truth is, devouring each other doesn’t make anyone better nor does it change one’s ideas. It simply shows what one thinks about himself. No. It really reveals the person we really are – the same person that causes others to stay away for fear they may become bait.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org