Looking for Gold…..Golden Trout, That Is!

One of the most fun types of fish to catch are the trout. There are so many different kinds of trout and they all are so interesting to observe. Trout also a very yummy if you decide to keep them. Just watching them is a thrill. In this blog post you will learn about several different kinds of trout. I hope you find pleasure in learning about these amazing fish God created for us to enjoy.

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Looking for Golden Trout

Can You Walk On Water? This Bug Can!

On a recent trip to Missouri I spent some time down by a creek. I had walked a mile up the canyon and my wife wanted to go farther. I decided to wait stream-side while she went farther up the trail. While sitting down by the edge of the water I noticed an interesting creature. This creature was actually standing on the water and streaking around like an ice skater on the surface. As I watched it, it went out and intercepted an insect that had been caught in the water surface tension. I continued to keep my eyes on this creature and watch what was going on in its surroundings. What an amazing creature God created for this very environment. Is it helpful or harmful? How is it uniquely designed to live where it is found? Let me tell you more about this insect called by many names: Water-Strider, Jesus Bug, Water- Skater, and more.


Click below to open Powerpoint presentation.  You can also open it in Keynote, if you have that app.


Can You Walk On Water

Big Bird, Great Bird! The Blue Heron

One night while fishing for catfish, out on the end of the pier, I was startled by a huge bird landing right next to me. Not only was I startled, but the bird gave out a loud squawk when it realized it was not alone. The bird rustled its wings and gave flight rising like a large Pteradactyl. It flew just a short distance away and landed near the shore about 100 feet away. Throughout the night we both kept an eye on one another. Though I caught larger fish he was content to spear the shiner minnows swimming near the surface in the moonlight. He also caught a larger bluegill when it wandered too close chasing the shiners.The heron is a very patient fisherman. He stood in the shallow water on his long stilt-like legs. He kept his long neck in an S shape. By doing this he had a springlike reaction when he jabbed his spear, his long beak, into the water. Once he caught a fish he would often squeeze it several times in its beak while flipping it up to a point where it could swallow it.

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These pictures were taken at my son’s house in Texas. He really captured the colors of these majestic birds well.




I once lived on a ranch in Northern California near Clearlake. On the ranch we had two small ponds full of fish. The pond on the front of the property had hundreds of small catfish in it. I observed that the herons there were specialist in removing the organs from inside the fish. They left the rest of the spiny small fish on the shore for other creatures to feed on. I have never seen this behavior anywhere else. Usually they eat the whole fish in one big gulp.

Did you know these birds are about 4 feet high and have a wingspan of about 6 ft. They usually hunt alone by spreading out around the waterways where they feed. They do, however, enjoy nesting in large groups which adds extra protection by adding a lot of eyes to keep watch on potential threats to their eggs and young. Interestingly, the daddy herons gather the sticks for the nest building but leave the construction of the nest to the mother. The nests are huge and can be found in the tops of trees near the shore. Both parents help in feeding the young. The parents catch and eat fish and then regurgitate it for the babies so it is easier for them to digest. Doesn’t sound pleasant to me, but I’m not a heron. It takes a lot of feeding to raise the young. There are usually around five or six of them in the group. Many enemies can snatch the young if the parents aren’t watchful. These include: crows, ravens, raccoons, hawks, eagles, bears and snakes. The parents take their responsibility to care for the young seriously. The males spend about 10 and a half hours on the nest while the eggs are incubating. The females spend the rest of the time. Once hatched a parent is usually nearby while the other parent is hunting food.

Interestingly, fish is not the only thing on the menu. They also eat small rodents like mice, gophers and voles, frogs, snakes, insects, baby turtles, as well as other smaller birds.

After about 80 days the young are ready to leave the nest to fend for themselves.

The scientific name of the Great Blue Heron is Arden  herodias.


Heron Catching and Eating a Catfish:

I can’t help but be amazed at how much care God put into designing these birds and giving them the ability to catch their own food and build huge nests out of sticks. He provided everything they would need to survive and help maintain the balance of the ecosystems where they live. If He cares for them, He surely is able to care for us.

More Pictures Around Spring Lake:




















Another Beautiful Blue Heron:

Another near relative of the Great Blue Heron is the Little Blue Heron. It has a more purplish hue and more vivid light blue on its face. Below are a couple pictures of these birds capture in pictures at the same place as the Big Blue above. Notice the Bull Frog that the bird is eyeing. He better watch out or he will become lunch!

If you want to learn more about herons, you can do research by reading about them. More fun, however, is to spend some time out watching them for a few hours. Take a pair of good binoculars and you can see a lot more of the action. Be prepared, however, to wait patiently. Why not take a fishing pole along and do some fishing while you wait. See if you can out-fish the amazing herons. 

Catching Bass at Clearlake, CA

One of my favorite places to fish was on my friend’s pier in Lakeport, CA.  I have probably caught more fish there than anywhere else on earth. Though I would often go in the evenings and sit under the stars while fishing for catfish, another fish species was active during the daytime. This was the Largemouth Bass. Sometimes I would use a purple plastic worm and cast it up against the tules and jerk it back toward the dock. The Bass would dart out and strike the worm and I would pull back and set the hook and have a fun battle reeling it in. On other days, like the day when I caught these Bass, they were hungry for night crawlers. There was a Bass tournament going on at the lake that day with a lot of Bass boats buzzing around the perimeter of the lake working the docks and tules. I just sat out on the pier and cast out the worm and waited for a  strike. This was in early spring when the fish are active.

It helps to have a net to land them or you often lose the fish when they shake the hook. With a limit of five fish, you can catch a yummy dinner. Bass meat is white and flakey and has a mild taste. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and it’s hard to beat.


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Leaping Leopard Frogs

One day at school, the high school Biology teacher came over and said, “Do you want some frogs for your Creature Feature?” Apparently he had purchased frogs for dissection and they were supposed to be dead and preserved. I decided it would be fun to learn more about the Leopard Frogs and watch how they behaved compared to the Bullfrogs I was most familiar. There were a lot of fun things to learn. In this presentation I will share a few of the things I learned and show you several pictures of these unique creations.



Catching a Limit of Trout

Just came back from fishing in the creek. Caught a limit of trout (7) in 45 minutes. I was in the right spot at the right time. Just after I arrived and claimed my spot on the shore, in rode the fish and game truck. The officer on the bank told me that they had placed 350 trout in the creek in this planting. Worms seemed to do the trick. Only lost one due to slippy skin. Right after this loss I caught a replacement and that made a limit.

What a beautiful fish species. They have so much color when they first emerge from the water. God used a great color pallet when designing the trout. One of the best tasting fish, it is also easy to clean. All you do is cut a slit up the belly from the vent to the head. Cut off the head and pull out the guts. After this, run your finger inside the body cavity up along the inside of the backbone to remove the blood line there. Rinse out the inside and outside of the fish and you have a fish ready to cook.  Some people like to leave the head on to make the fish look bigger. Either way, the fish will taste good fried up.

Check out the planting schedules from the Department of Fish and Game in your area. Prepare all the gear ahead of time including bait. Find out which baits work best in your locale by asking other fishermen on the bank or just watch and see what they are using.img_4083

Wonderful Worms


What was your first experience with worms? Was it putting a worm on a fishhook or watching your dad do it for you? Was it while digging in the garden area to plant some seeds? Was it right after a rain storm when the worms went crawling across the sidewalk? Where ever it was it was probably a memorable experience. Yet after that first time we often take the lowly worms for granted. Just how important are these little creatures to our well being and that of the environment? Let’s take a closer look and see what we can learn.


Waste Not!

When looking for examples of waste management, you don’t have to look farther than the ground. There, with a few scoops of a shovel, you will probably find the lowly earthworms, God’s recycle agents.

Earthworms are so important to the environment, yet go mostly unseen by those who enjoy the benefits of their work. This is most likely due to the fact that they do most of their work at night while we are sleeping. They don’t call them “Night Crawlers” for nothing! Did you know that the earthworms, in just a single acre of land, can turn over as much as 90 metric tons (one hundred tons) of soil in a single year? Wow! That’s an earth-moving fact! If worms did not do this, we would be buried in tons of dead and decaying plant material. The soil would not be able to provide the necessary nutrients for our crops, animals would go without food. But that;s not all!



Did you know that if the earthworms did not loosen the soil and break it up and drill it with tunnels, the water from rainstorms would quickly just run over the soil and not be able to enter the ground. If this happened, just think how much fast- moving water would cause erosion and damage. We would not have adequate water when we needed it in the summer because it would have all evaporated or run down to the sea.


Earthworms are responsible for replenishing the top soil. They actually eat the dirt as they tunnel. They can eat up to twice their body weight per day. Since they have no teeth to chew up what comes into their mouths, they must have another way to process the bigger pieces. Do you know what it is?


In order to process the food, worms use their gizzards. Yes, earthworms, like ducks and other birds, have gizzards. The gizzard is found just behind a part of their digestive tract known as the “crop”. The crop acts a lot like our stomachs. It holds the food until it is ready to be further broken down. The gizzard contains small pieces of rock which are harder than the soil being processed. As the muscle walls of the gizzard move in and out the rocks break up the soil, releasing nutrients and making it easier for the soil to pass through the rest of the worm’s body. The soil is loosened and injected with one of the best fertilizers known to man, worm castings. If you look around the top of the wormhole you can see the little ring of lighter colored dirt. These are the worm castings. You can actually buy worm castings at the gardening center to improve your soil.




In what other ways do worms help you? Well, you all know where most people experience their first worm in hand…..or Daddy’s hand……Fishing! Yes, worms make up a large part of the fishing industry. They are pretty effective in catching fish. What does that tell you? Fish and many other animals depend on worms for their food. When worms are washed out into the river, pond, or stream during a storm they do not go to waste. They are eaten. What other animals have you seen eating worms? Yes, birds!

 Just watch a robin in the Spring for a few minutes and you will probably see her pull up a large, juicy worm for her breakfast or to feed her young. Many other creatures, including man, eat worms.dsc04541


Many people make money raising worms.

Some worms live at elevations of 10,000 ft.

Some live in some of the coldest regions of the earth like Siberia and some of the islands near Antarctica.

Some worms in Australia grow up to 12 ft. long and weigh up to one and a half pounds.


Though worms are captured by other animals, they are not completely defenseless. Earthworms are equipped with some amazing grippers. These little bristles are found on the back end of the worm. They are like tiny anchors gripping to the sides of the holes in which the worm is hiding. At night, when they come out of their holes to grab leaves and other food items, they keep their back ends in the ground. They are very sensitive to vibrations and quickly pull down in their holes if you approach them with heavy feet. However, if you sneak up quietly, you can reach down and grab the worm and try to pull it out before it notices. It, however, will probably grab unto the dirt in the bottom of the hole and hold on for dear life. If you pull too hard you will only get the front end of the worm. If your want to get the whole worm, you have to be smarter than a worm. To do this you hold on to the worm and squeeze the little ring around its head end. This usually causes the worm to release its bristles and you can slowly pull it out of the ground. Some worms even have offensive weapons to use against their attackers. Some contain chemicals that taste bad or are irritating to the linings of the mouths of their enemies. If bitten, the worm excretes these fluids and the attacker releases it.



Though worms can be very useful in their proper places they can also cause problems when released in places where they are not native. Mankind has often messed up this balance by moving one kind of worm to a different location where it does not naturally belong. This causes a great deal of change in the food chains and soil chemistry of the area. It is important to remember not to release the worms you get at the bait shop back into the soil when you are fishing with them (unless you dug them yourself in that area.) They may be a totally foreign species to your area and can displace the native populations or be a flavor of worm that the animals in your area cannot digest. You can, however, take the remaining worms and raise them in a box of soil and start your own bait source for future fishing trips.


Did you know many people have a bin of worms under their sinks in their kitchens or at the offices where they work? Even some schools have a bin of worms. Why do they do this?

One pound of worms can recycle up to 2 lbs. of waste in one week. They eat newspaper, banana peels, apple cores, the parts of fruits and veggies we throw away, cardboard boxes, egg shells, and many other organic substances. They turn it into compost which can then be used in gardening both in and out of doors. The worms will also reproduce and create more worms to use or sell.

Using worms to break down and process waste is called “vermi-composting”. Raising worms is called “vermi-culture”.

Did you know that one pound of red-worms can cost from $20 to $40? That’s money in the bank unless you are buying them. You could quickly regain your investment from the materials they produce: compost and worm- castings, which can be sold to gardeners or used in your own vegetable garden. You can also get a lot of new worms to make new composting bins or for fishing.


Take a flashlight and go out late at night to see if you can catch the night crawlers out of their holes on your lawn. It seems to work best when the lawn is moist after watering in the day or a rainstorm. Sneak up slowly or they will dive back into their holes in the grass. They are gathering leaves and grass scraps to take back underground to digest. Look around your yard in the day time to see the worm-casting rings around their holes. This will help you find them when it gets dark.


Earthworms are cold-blooded animals.

Earthworms are “Hermaphrodites”: They are both female and male at the same time.

Worms have no eyes.

Earthworms have 5 hearts.

Earthworms lay eggs called “cocoons” from which the babies emerge.

The bristles on the Earthworm are called “Setae”.

There can be over one million worms in one acre of land.

The ring around the collar of the Earthworm is called the “Clitellum”.



  1. Worms are cold-blooded animals.                    T                     F
  2. Always dump out the worms left in your carton after fishing.           T                 F
  3. The raising of worms is called:  A. Ornithology,  B. Hepetology,  C. Vermi-culture,  D. None of the above
  4. All of these are true of worms except : A. can eat up to 2 times their body weight a day,  B. can recycle newspaper and cardboard, C. are both female and male at the same time, D. can see very well with their eyes
  5. Worms like to eat egg shells and banana peels.      T             F
  6. Which of these is the name of the ring around the worm’s body?”  A. Setae,   B. Ring-A-Ding,  C. Clitellum,  D. none of the above

Answers: 1. T,   2. F,  3. C,   4. D,   5. T,   6. C

How to Catch a Huge Tennessee Catfish

Tennessee Catfish

The first large catfish I caught in Tennessee was about 10 lbs. I caught it the old fashion way, with a night crawler. Using worms, however, attracts many smaller bluegill and shell crackers (AKA redeared sunfish) which makes it difficult to keep your bait in the water long enough for a large catfish to find it. One day I tried an experiment. I took one of the small bluegill and cut off the tail region and trimmed away the fin portion. I sunk my hook inside the chuck and hurled it out as far as I could with the small weight above the hook. I used a sliding sinker, (like the ones you put above a plastic worm) and then used a smaller split shot below it to keep the weight about a foot above the bait on the line. It took awhile for the catfish to find it, but when it did, boy! It was worth the wait! I noticed a slight movement on the tip of the pole and then the line started moving sideways. I knew something was fooling with the bait. I pulled back and set the hook and the fun began!


Once the fish knew it was on the line it rose to the top of the water and made a big splash. I knew it was very large so I tightened up the drag a bit because I had it set for smaller fish. I had to be careful not to tighten it up too much or the fish would break the 8 lb. test line I was using. The fish then started to pull out line against the drag. I knew it would be a long battle so I let him pull as I reeled in. After a run toward the middle of the lake he turned shoreward and headed for some sunken brush. Again I knew this could be trouble so I put pressure on him to turn the other way. He quickly changed directions and made another dash up the channel to my right. I just kept the tip high and let him wear himself out making several runs back and forth. As he tired I reeled him closer to shore. Again, this strong fish made a dash toward the middle of the lake. Finally he tired and I reeled him close to shore. I had to grab my large net on the shore and sneak it in position to scoop him up. Once in the net I had to position myself so I could drag him out of the water. This second catfish weighed in at 13 lbs. I decided to turn this fish loose to grow and catch again. I had learned from cleaning my first large catfish that the smaller catfish are better tasting. We had cut the last one up into pieces and deep fried it. It was ok, but not as tasty as others I had eaten. Lesson learned! Though not as good for table fare, the large catfish are much more fun to catch. I have caught several using the “bluegill” approach since. By the way, you can use the rest of the bluegill cut in pieces, not just the tail section. Why not give it try?

Here are my Grandsons sharing a catfish dinner. Deep fried catfish makes a yummy meal. You can also get a better idea of the size of the catfish from the one on shore between my legs when pulled from the water.






Below is another catfish caught at the lake in September 2018.

I’ve found that the fall of the year is a good time to catch catfish. Must be the changes in the water temperature. I caught this one at 11:30 just before noon. This one was caught on an old fashion night crawler. Worms work as well as pieces of Bluegill. This one was 30 inches long and weighed 10 lbs. I returned it to the lake as her belly was full of eggs. I wonder how big she will be the next time I catch it.

Caught this 35 inch, 18 lb. catfish on Sept 21, 2020 seen in the above photo.

Below is the largest catfish to date that I have caught in our small lake in Spring Hill, Tennessee .

She weighed in at 15.12 lbs. She seemed to be full of eggs and went back in the lake to insure future catches. She but up quite a fight before I took her to shore.

She was 30 inches long and I barely got her in the net.

But they get bigger! Check out this one.

The pictures above are of a forty inch, 35 lb catfish caught on March 23, 2023. This is the largest one I have ever caught.