News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports Columns

September 2, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Local fishermen share tales of big catfish

TERRE HAUTE — While I was at a fish fry amongst a lot of good country folks, I couldn’t help but hear some fish stories.

Fred Wilson of Prairie Creek asked if I heard about Marty Kerr catching a 32-pound channel catfish. Well, I’m told the state record is in the neighborhood of 37 pounds, so I had to see this fish for myself.

When I asked Marty for directions to his house, he said, “We live south of Praireton and our place is called Gods Little Acre! If you ask anybody in the neighborhood, they may refer to us as Kerr Pound.”

As I pulled in the drive, it was evident they are good down-to-earth country folk. Buck Dillon. 86 years of age, had a cabin on the river for 57 years and started all the fishing with the Kerrs.

Marty’s mom Libby is second to none on running a trot line. It is hard work when you get several big fish on at once. Libby has brought in 50-plus-pound flathead catfish on her own.

For bait, Marty tells me crawdads are the best hands down. Libby likes to use beef melt for bait; it comes from the belly of a cow.

They have a honey hole that they have fished for 57 years, so if you see a maple tree on the creek bank with a lot of old trot lines still tied around the base, you can think about generations from the past that put them there.

Libby said with pride, if they catch a big fish, they always take it to Grandma Katie Dillon’s grave to take a picture of it.

While driving the country roads south of Praireton, you may keep an eye open for “Catfish Road.” There are more than 15 catfish heads nailed onto telephone polls for a mile or two. Marty says they have to be 20 pounds or more to be a poll hanger. It is one way they can honor their memories, while going to the river to see if they caught any of their ancestors.

OK, here is the fish story you’ve been waiting for. Seems there is a legendary catfish called Old Sam that is as old and big as the river itself. Marty says “If I’m lying, I’m dying.”

Grandpa was in the front of the boat and Marty in the back with Rusty Kerr in the middle. The boat is a big-river john. They thought the trot line had snagged on a log. After pulling the log up from the bottom, it turned into being Old Sam, and while lying next to the boat they judged him to be at least 8 to 10 feet long. Not thinking, Buck grabbed the dip net, which you couldn’t even get the fish’s head in. Then when he touched him, the fish made one big splash and went back to his lair, being bored with the humans attempting to catch him.

The last 9 years, they have caught a lot of 30- to 50-pound catfish, with taking 10 to 15 fish of this caliber a year.

One time they had a 4-pound channel cat on a hook and a 49-pound flathead at it, so they cleaned them both to eat.

At 84, Grandpa’s last fish he pulled from the river was a 49 and 28-pound fish on the same trot line.

June to September are the easy fishing with the water low and not much current, it brings the fish to the deep pools. Marty’s dad said with pride that of the 600 pounds of fish filets they have each year, a lot are given to the elderly in the community.

Libby says one of their favorite fish batters is corn-muffin mix and flour with beer. Yes, the beer is in the batter! Marty’s dad displayed a large container of fish batter he likes that originated in New Orleans named “Slap Your Mama!” He said it will make a fat dog fart.

If you want to try your hand at running a trot line, get some 700-pound test with lead lines about 18 inches long, tied every 6 feet, using about 30 to 35 8 aut hooks. Oh yeah, don’t forget a wide-bottom-river john boat also.

Marty has a son, little Marty, and Shelby, his daughter. Shelby, 13, harvested a nice button buck and 8-year-old little Marty took a 6-point buck. Good going, kids.

Marty not only trots lines, he holds onto a poll also. He caught a 3-pound, 4-ounce crappie that was 18 inches long. If it doesn’t make the record books, it will always be a record in Marty’s mind.

This family is hard-working folks with great pride. They are pure country!

Kenny Bayless can be reached by e-mail at kwbayless@aol.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • Todd Golden: Elite athletes? TH bows to no one

    Maybe instead of a new swimming complex, Terre Haute ought to built itself an ice rink. I mean no disrespect to swimming, but ice hockey is the only sport that Terre Haute can’t unequivocally claim an elite athlete in.

    April 23, 2014

  • MET 042114 TRACK MCNICHOLS.jpg Til it's over: Grand memories usher in a new era for ISU track

    John McNichols won his first Missouri Valley Conference championship in outdoor track at Indiana State’s Marks Field back in 1988. He’s gone on to win eight more — in addition to his two indoor track and eight cross country crowns. In 2016, McNichols will have a chance to add that outdoor title total on the site of a brand new facility — proposed to be named Gibson Track and Field by ISU President Dan Bradley.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redneck Quaker: A young lady of the outdoors

    Where do I start to tell you about this 10-year-old outdoor lady? Let’s start with her own words from a nice letter she wrote.

    “My name is Lilly Hutchison and this year when I was nine and again hunting with my Papaw, Mike Burch, we got up way before daylight on opening morning of youth deer season. I was watching a 6-pointer for several minutes until a larger buck appeared and chased him off, but not giving me a shot at him. Papaw and I were preparing a place for our evening hunt when a couple of does came across the field right to us. I carefully placed my shot and she ran around 8 yards. That evening, we decided to go to our neighbors’ woods. On the way in, we saw a large buck watering in one of the few puddles in the creek. Papaw said we would wait nearby to see if he would come back. To our amazement, he did! I was fortunate to take this 10-pointer, 250-pound buck. I have had many great hunts with Papaw.”

    April 19, 2014

  • College Report: Haley Chambers making noise in OVC softball circles

    Two Wabash Valley natives are again making big news for the Southern Illlinois-Edwardsville softball team.
    Former Riverton Parke and Cascade standout pitcher Haley Chambers was recognized for a string of dominant performances in the circle by being named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

    April 18, 2014

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Loss of Coach Bennett leaves hole in Marshall

    My email box is a little less busy now, and there’ll be a familiar face missing on basketball trips to Marshall in the future.

    April 15, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: We’ve lost 2 ‘good guys,’ but another is in stroke recovery

    Some reflections and thoughts on some of the “good guys” in sports.

    April 14, 2014

  • Obit Ultimate Warrior_Will.jpg Hughes, News & Views: Memories relived of fallen 'Warrior' who attended ISU for one year

    Editor’s note — Amid national media reports that retired pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior (formerly known in real life as Jim Hellwig) died late Tuesday night at the age of 54, here is a column that David Hughes completed about the man Tuesday afternoon, not realizing Warrior would be dead within 12 hours.

    I realize some of you will cringe or perhaps shift your attention to a different story if I mention “pro wrestling” in this column.
    But give this stroll down memory lane a chance before you bolt, because I think it’s interesting.
    If I’m wrong, feel free to put me in a headlock. Gently, please.
     

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 101406 WALTMAN PRACTIC.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Waltman's integrity helped him rise to the top

    When I began to think about former Indiana State coach Royce Waltman — and I’ve thought about him a lot in recent months as the ravages of a stroke and cancer robbed us of his presence — I thought to myself “what can I print?”
    Waltman was many things. Blunt, plain-spoken, unfiltered? All of the above and more. Every Indiana State fan saw Waltman in action … and I had a front row seat for three years right next to him on press row.

    April 8, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Ramblin’ Reck: Irish still alive in women’s tourney

    The college basketball season is at an end, while some of the National Basketball Association teams still could be playing late in May.

    April 7, 2014

  • SPT 040514 COACH HANNAHS.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Missouri Valley is tough — ISU making it tougher

    For those who measure the quality of a conference by their place in the Ratings Percentage Index, it was a tough year for the Missouri Valley Conference and its marquee sport: men’s basketball.
    The MVC was 11th in conference RPI and took all manner of criticism when Wichita State ran the MVC table for a perfect 18-0 season. The fingers that pointed at the league for fielding a weak challenge to the Shockers’ dominance were many.

    April 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • Trackside: If weather cooperates, racers are set to start their engines

    With any assistance from the weather, the Wabash Valley motorsports season is expected to shift into high gear this weekend on several fronts.

    April 2, 2014

  • College Report: Valley athletes helping Wabash College

    Two Wabash Valley hurdlers helped the Division III Wabash College track and field team go head to head against talent from NCAA Division I schools in the Vanderbilt University Black and Gold Invitational this past weekend.
    The Little Giants produced several quality times, including a first-place finish by Northview grad Joel Whittington in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. The junior captured the title with a top time of 54.4 seconds, the fourth quickest recorded for NCAA DIII men this season. Cole Seward, a freshman from Terre Haute North, took third place, crossing the finish line in 55.7.

    April 1, 2014

  • Ramblin' Reck: April brings showers of closings, openings

    It's the first of April, no April fool – a month marking the wrapup of college basketball, the first month of baseball and the close of the regular season in the National Basketball Association.

    March 31, 2014

  • SPT Bird.jpg Hughes, News & Views: West Vigo graduate earns 600th victory as coach; Looking back at 1979 championship game

    I haven’t written a column since before the Super Bowl, so now’s a good time to get a few things off my chest:
    • Congratulations to Mike Fields — a 1969 West Vigo High School graduate, a 1973 Indiana State grad and a former Terre Haute Tribune part-time sportswriter — for posting the 600th victory of his baseball coaching career.
    He accomplished the feat March 3 when his Harmony High School squad defeated Orlando Oak Ridge 11-2 down in Florida.

    March 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • TODD GOLDEN: ISU's no-excuses approach for real

    If you were to ask me what the drawback of covering Indiana State baseball is? I’d be hard-pressed to name very much.

    March 29, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: Lidster knows his mushrooms

    To be or not to be, mushrooms this year? After looking high and low, I found a legendary Morel mushroom hunter living amongst us here in the Wabash Valley.
    You are about to learn all of Richard Lidster’s secrets and knowledge on sneaking up on those elusive creatures. Richard is the oldest of three boys. He’s 67 years old, Mike’s 63 and Steve’s 55.

    March 29, 2014

  • SPT 032014 WV DEGROOTE.jpg Til it's over: Long wait finally over for first-year West Vigo baseball coach

    My sincerest apology if I jinx it, but winter should be done now. This means, first and foremost, baseball season has arrived. It’s been a long winter for Culley DeGroote, in particular. He takes over the West Vigo program that his father Steve DeGroote built into a perennial winner.

    March 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT 013114 AIMONE FILE.jpg Amey Takes Aim: Columnist’s boys basketball tradition continues

    In marked contrast to my recent whiny column about girls basketball, I was blessed this winter to see virtually every high school team in the Wabash Valley during the boys season.
    Some might suggest that was a mixed blessing, since a few of our teams weren’t as successful as they are used to being (particularly in the 2014 portion of the season), but the Tribune-Star was still involved with two teams that came within a game of the state finals, one of them in an Indiana final four (no capitalization anymore, new system) and two teams that were in the top eight of their class. That’s only three great teams — Paris was both a game away and in the final eight — but that’s still a pretty good haul.

    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Weekley is among Hall of Fame honorees

    It’s a big week for Indiana basketball. The high school boys state finals will be played Saturday, and former players and coaches will be honored at the annual dinner of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Paul Weekley is one of the former coaches who will be inducted into the Hall.

    March 24, 2014

  • SPT011114ISUMBB lansing.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: ISU never kicked down the door in 2014

    After Indiana State’s 91-71 loss Tuesday at Arkansas in the National Invitation Tournament, and in the days since, I can’t help but think of Bum Phillips and the 1980 Houston Oilers as I ponder Indiana State's 2013-14 men's basketball season.
    Stay with me.
    The Oilers had lost to the all-conquering Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1978 and 1979 AFC Championship games. Despite that, it seemed the Earl Campbell-led squad was the team of destiny to knock the Steel Curtain off their perch.
    So much so that Phillips, the wonderfully colorful Oilers coach, said the Oilers would "kick the door down", knock off their black-and-gold nemesis, and win the AFC Central in 1980.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramblin' Reck: Three local hoops teams still have shot at titles

    Then there were three — Indiana State men, Indiana State women and Clay City, the three teams still playing basketball in our area.

    March 17, 2014

  • conrady mug.jpg College report: Former Terre Haute South player Conrady returns to coaching

    Former Terre Haute South and Furman University basketball standout David Conrady has re-entered the coaching world after a short hiatus. Conrady was recently named head coach of the boys team at Chattanooga Christian, a prep school in eastern Tennessee.

    March 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redneck Quaker: Here’s a lot of stuff to think about

    I would like to express how dedicated the folks of the Emmanuel United Methodist are to their religion and all the folks in the community.
    Michael Bolin is an inspiration to all, for his love of the outdoors and great fellowship, being a positive up-beat person.

    March 15, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: This fisherman has spent 43 years catching ultimate cold ones

    I know, it’s getting late in the year for an ice fishing story, but I’ve had several request from you ice walkers! And there’s plenty to learn from Bryan Holland that can be applied next winter.

    March 12, 2014

  • Ramblin' Reck: Four prep basketball teams still in contention

    The season now is over for all but four high school basketball teams in the area.

    March 10, 2014

  • Ramblin’ Reck: It’s officially Tourney Time in the Valley

    The regular season now has ended for most high school and college basketball teams in the area. It’s Tourney Time.

    March 3, 2014

  • dabkowski mug.jpg College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record

    Two Wabash Valley products have helped the Ball State softball team get off to a 12-2 start, including five straight wins last weekend to capture the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Arizona State.

    March 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Redneck Quaker: Edington, Mafioli set up marriage in unique way

    Kaylee Edington says being outdoors gets you away from the turmoil in life and that is why they want to include it into the most important things in their lives.
    Little did she know a marriage proposal was being planned for her while she was shooting sporting clays in the great outdoors.

    March 1, 2014

  • Ramblin Reck: Cloverdale riding 10-game winning streak

    Illinois high school boys basketball teams commenced postseason play Monday night and teams in Indiana are set to close out the regular season. Two of the teams with top marks in the area are Cloverdale and Clay City and they met last Saturday to cap a good week of basketball.

    February 24, 2014

  • SPT 022314 JAKE ODUM POINT.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Relax, guys: Play loose, have fun

    What seems like an end can really be a beginning for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.

    February 24, 2014 3 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Air Force: $4.2B Saved From Grounding A-10s Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity