Lake Frogspit Scuba Noodling
For years Clem Kardashem and Bart LeBeau have failed to catch the ever-elusive flathead catfish notoriously named Harley. Clem decided new tactics were needed to put ole Harley in the boat. After Clem and Bart saw Hannah Barron and her friends noodling monster catfish and decided this MUST be the only way to outsmart ole Harley.
Hannah can make catfish grabbing look easy, but there is no way Clem and Bart can hold their breath long enough to stick their arm down Harley’s mouth. Bart’s idea was to put a garden hose in Clem’s mouth while Bart has the other end out of the water. The thought was that Clem could breathe through the hose long enough to get bit by Harley. Clem was not keen on that idea and figured Bart could not pass the opportunity to pee in the hose.
Clem’s idea was to use scuba gear so that breathing underwater would not be a problem. Bart gave in and agreed scuba noodling was the better of the two plans. Soon they were on their way to borrow cousin Earnest’s scuba gear. Earnest had the air tanks propping up a riding lawn mower, and the rest of the gear was stuffed in feed sacks. With a quick exchange of scuba gear for an old skeet thrower, they were on their way.
They launched Barts’s flat-bottom boat he calls “Battleship LeBeau” in Lake Frogspit and loaded their gear. Clem, however, has a more proper name for the battleship and has christened it “Bowell Movement.” Regardless of what you call the old boat, the antique Montgomery Ward outboard is still reliable.
Clem and Bart took off for goose island on the shallow end of Lake Frogspit. Goose island is home of Harley, the notorious flathead catfish. No one really knows how goose island got its name. Some say it was named after a one-armed fisherman named Goose Leger. Regardless this was going to be the day Harley was scuba noodled!
Bart pulled up next to a stump some 20 yards from the shore of goose island. Clem tied off to the trunk of what was left of the old oak tree. This shallow cove off the south end of goose island is called Sturgis Cove. It is also known as Harley’s lair and where he has been hooked but never caught. They pulled their scuba gear on, sat on the side of the boat, and fell backward into Lake Frogspit. Falling backward seemed like a good idea because it looks cool in James Bond movies.
Battle With Harley
Once in the water, they worked their way through the rocky shallows, feeling under the water for holes big enough to hold a monster catfish. Clem found a big hole, but so did Bart. Eager to be the first one to noodle ole Harley, they simultaneously plunged their hand in the hole. Instantly, they both felt the Jaws of Life clamp down on their hand, and both just knew it had to be Harley. Each scuba noodler excitedly broke the surface of the water, screaming, I got him!
Clem struggled to stay above the water as the monster thrashed to and fro. On the other hand, Bart just wanted to keep all his fingers while trying his best to get rid of the chain saw that was so violently trying to remove all his fingers. Finally, what turned out to be a 20-pound snapping turtle gagged on the years of dirt, grease and possum guts that forever stained Bart’s hands, and it let loose. Free from the snapper, Bart saw Clem struggling to stay above water and knew he must have old Harley. Bart grabbed Clem under each arm and drug him to the boat.
Harley Gets Dirty
Screaming words only southeast Texans could understand, they knew they had to get Harley off Clem’s hand into the boat. Bart yanked off his mask and hollered, “throw him in the boat.” Clem pulled with all his might, and the big fish broke the top of the water. When the sunlight hit big Harley in the face, his enormous tail slapped Clem smack in the face. Driving Clem’s breathing apparatus and his false teeth right down his throat. Needless to say, Clem let go of the fish gagging on his apparatus and teeth. In an instant Harley went from caught to not. Our heroes will not give up, though. Tune in next time when you hear Clem say, “think you used enough dynamite there Bart”!