Friday, September 10, 2010
Fishing Holes of My Youth/Venice, Florida and Celina, Ohio
In all honesty, I was a much better fisherman when I was 11 years old, than I am 50 years later. In Venice, I spent many an evening with dad, fishing at the Venice Jetties...plural they are. The South Jetties is adjacent to Venice, while the North Jetties is accessible if you drive to Nokomis ...although you can throw a stone(if you have a great arm) across from one to the other, if you go by car, they are a couple of miles apart.
I learned from dad to fish while growing up in Florida....as stated, my usual haunt was the South Jetties, but I also fished the North as well, and on occasion I would cast my bait and hook off the Manasota Bridge near Englewood, a few miles to the south. That is where the top photo with me and my Snook was taken...my first good sized fish...I think I was 7 or 8, so it must have been around 1957. Salt Water fishing the Gulf and it's tributaries was a good chunk of my life growing up in South Florida. Probably only topped by endless hours of playing Little League and sandlot baseball. While dad was catching Shark, Snook, Snapper and Jewfish, and other large fish from the Jetties and elsewhere, I spent my time casting for those Snook, and Red Snappers, along other smaller varieties. It was a good life, although at the time, I didn't realize just how good we had it...those days are now golden in my memory banks.
Fishing Grand Lake 1962-1968____
When we picked up stakes and returned to Western Ohio in the fall of 1962, by luck we moved to Celina(some 30 miles south of our original roots in Scott, Ohio), which was nestled on the (at that time), the largest man made lake in the world....Grand Lake, a behemoth body of water, 13,000 acres which had been hand dug out of swamp land in the 1830s and 40s.
Freshwater fishing was different than fishing the Gulf of Mexico, the fish were smaller, but at the time, they were much easier to catch, and even though the fish size was small, the "take" was usually much larger. In those days the lake and it's bays, and connecting creeks and channels were loaded with a variety of Catfish, and Crappie, Bluegill, and Perch. I sent my junior high and high school days and evenings from spring through early fall fishing for all....sadly Grand Lake these days, has little to offer as far as fishing, and if the pollution cannot be controlled, not much else as far as recreational value.
But those days of my youth were filled with fishing and "fish stories", that cannot be taken away as long as I am here to tell them. My next fishing adventure will probably come in 7 weeks or so, when Nick and I head north to the Au Sable River and Lake Huron for our annual, Cigar, Beer, Drambuie, and Salmon Fishing outing....as a kid in Florida and Ohio, all I needed was a pole and a bucket of minnows and a can of worms.
Top Left Me and my Snook that I caught off the Manasota Bridge near Englewood around 1957. Dad, Stan Houseworth, with his 95 pound Jewfish caught off the North Jetties near Nokomis in the fall of 1956...Jewfish are no longer called by that name due to Politically Correct reasons...screw that, it was what is was, a Jewfish, PC be dammed. The photo below that is one of the South Jetties I took on my last RV run to Venice in 2005, the town and area have changed, The Jetties? Not so much! The Grand Lake photos were taken this morning...left top, the 4H Camp at Harbor Point...where I caught my biggest Black Crappie ever, well over 1 pound, I pulled it in back in the fall of 1962, from right under that tree in the foreground. The 4H camp was used to house German Prisoners of War back in the 1940s. Below that is the Hot Water hole along Lake Shore Drive...where, due to the discharge of warm water from the City Power Plant, you could fish all winter. On the right at the top is Whiskey Run on the Chickasaw Creek, the Jones boys and I could walk from our houses, west of Montezuma, and fish or ice skate here, depending on the season...we did lots of both. And finally ColdwaterODNR....not! These days Grand Lake, and the Gulf, to a lesser extent, are 'fished out', the memories and images of those times however, are still with me.
Enjoy your weekend...back later>>>>