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Kentucky Color: Hot Grasshopper
By Billy Joe Fudge
On a hot day I spied this grasshopper sitting, or maybe he was standing, in my driveway. I thought maybe he was just resting prior to his next flight on his way to luscious grass just beyond his present position. But then, in nearly the same motion and because of his lack of motion, I wondered if the hot asphalt, scorching sunlight and hot temperatures might have just boiled his cold blooded innards! At any rate, this grasshopper carried me on a trip into my ancient but not so distant past.
Similar to other Great Wooded South lads and an occasional lass during the `50's and `60's, I exploited the vast resource of grasshoppers to tempt lunker Bass, beautiful Bluegill and even an occasional Channel Catfish from any number of Sparks and Harveys Ridge farm ponds. Grasshoppers have been a catalyst to pleasing the palate and putting high quality protein on the table of many who might have only had cornmeal mush to eat for several days.
Some would strike out with only a fishing line rolled up in one's pocket with the hook hanging from the pocket's hem. Upon arrival at pond's edge, a green limb of sufficient strength and length would be instantly transformed into a fishing pole by attaching the line with hook to a notch carved into the pole's little end. Others would select a pole from the river cane stash leaning against the woodhouse or barn that had been harvested from a creek's edge for bean sticks. During the `60's those children from more affluent households might even have been seen traversing across fields toward a distant farm pond with a Zebco 202. Regardless of the type tackle, grasshoppers were the mid-Summer choice of bait for one and all. Especially when every board and rock had been flipped or rolled over in search of earthworms that had not migrated deep underground during hot and dry Summer days.
Oh and yes, "those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end..." and for some of us they have not!
Happy Labor Day Weekend, ya'll!
This story was posted on 2021-09-04 15:39:08
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