Lighter Side
What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your humorous stories here!
June 21st, 1999

How To Tell Fish From Fishermen

by Ed Zern

From To Hell With Fishing published by Appleton, 1945

Hardly a day goes by at my office that some damn fool wakes me out of a sound sleep to complain he has difficulty telling fish from fishermen. Actually, it is a simple matter, once you get the hang of it.

There are several methods of telling the difference. One way is to observe the subject while it is reading a newspaper. If the lips do not move, it is a fish.

The most dependable way is to carry a copy of American Food and Game Fishes by Jordan and Everman. Anything not listed in the index is a fisherman.

A much tougher problem is how to tell small-mouth bass from large-mouth bass. Here are a few simple rules to remember:

Small-mouth bass like the cold, clear water of spring-fed ponds and swift streams. Large-mouth bass figure water is water.

Large-mouth bass think wobbling plugs look like crippled minnows. This just goes to show you.

Small-mouth bass adore spinner-and-fly combinations. Gollup Kuhn, The Champeen Liar of Lackawaxen, caught a small-mouth bass by trolling a privy-door hinge in the Delaware River. It is this sort of thing that makes the Anglers Club of New York blow its top.

Large-mouth bass hang around stumps and lily pads, passing the time of day. Small-mouth bass prefer rocky ledges. Ask them way and they hem and haw. Paradoxically, small-mouth bass fishermen tell bigger lies than large-mouth bass fishermen.

Incidentally, the flavor of a large-mouth bass is vastly improved by popping it into the garbage can and going out for dinner.

During severe droughts, the catfish buries itself in the mud. On him, it looks good.
  • Recently a man in East Liverpool, Ohio, hit hs mother-in-law with a catfish. It got him nowhere. ~ Ed Zern

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