McGUYER BRANCH OR AKARD SLOUGH?
From my ledger back in 1985: Sunday, April 21. After church, then dinner at Papa’s, the six of us dug worms and went north of Jay Gentry’s Store at Pacio to fish in North Sulphur. Use tiny hooks and caught thirty seven stocker channel catfish to put in our pool. Tuesday, April 23. After school to Gobel Templeton’s pasture at Charleston and dug worms. On to the river just before dark. River is up and I fished in calm water that is backed up in Akard Slough. Akard Slough has a strange pedigree. The water that flows through it begins its journey northwest of Charleston on the blackland hills then gathers in McGuyer Branch, crossing FM 895 west of Charleston. When McGuyer Branch gets to the flat bottom land it gets smaller and smaller until it is only small ditches that spread out over the woods with no defined creek. After a mile or two of working its way through the trees at random the water begins coming back together until it forms Akard Slough with its mouth just west of Bluff Bank. Normally water goes through a progression from smaller to larger such as ditch, gully, branch, creek, and river, receiving the name of the larger one as it goes. McGuyer Branch, instead of getting larger, gets smaller, and finally disappears, only to gather its wayward water and enter South Sulphur under an alias, Akard Slough.
But enough dissection of branches and sloughs. Back to the fishing. Three rods and reels baited with big worms were set out just before dark. Bret let me bring his limber rod fitted with an Ambassador 5000 reel. At 7:30, I hung a fish and the fight was on. The drag on the reel wouldn’t work and since it was light weight line I would have to punch the button on the 5000 sometimes to keep from losing the fish. Finally I landed the fish, an eight pound ap, or flathead, catfish. Cal Schultz and I caught a lot of channel catfish here over the years and I wasn’t expecting an ap on worms. They usually prefer perch.
After baiting back out I hung another one in thirty minutes. Same routine. Punch the button and let him run when the line seemed ready to snap. Took ten minutes to land this one, a fourteen pound ap. Since I missed supper at home I went to the pickup for pork and beans after rolling in all three rods. Didn’t want one of the big catfish dragging one of them to Hagansport. By now it was dark and I was using my coon hunting headlight to see. Started fishing again at 8:45 and at 9:30 caught my third ap, this one a six pounder. My best day so far fishing with a rod and reel. During late April and May the catfish seem to go into a feeding frenzy in preparation for the spawning season.
Tuesday, April 30. 1985. Larry found out that ten of his cows were killed by lightning at 3:00 this morning when the storm came through. After school I had to go to Vasco and get a rat snake (chicken snake) out of Joe Worden’s attic. Thursday, May 2. Houston Elmore told me at the store about killing a rattlesnake that had fourteen rattles at Lester Worden’s gate at Longridge. I went to the river bridge on Highway 19 to see how high the water was and it was about a foot out of banks. Gary Hoskison and Ted Alley were launching a boat to float to Bluff Bank. I went back to Charleston and fished with no luck until Ted and Gary arrived. Gave them a ride back to Ted’s place on 154.
Saturday, May 4. Spent last night at Canton in our camper trailer. No electricity. Ten dollars for overnight and that included an all night concert by a loud generator at the next camper. Up at 7:30 and to Dog Town where I put up a lot of posters about Bull disappearing Easter Sunday. Some people steal dogs and sell them at First Monday Trade Days. I’ve heard about some dog traders guaranteeing a dog will hunt. Just bring it back and I will refund your money they say. What they don’t tell you is that about twice a day for a few days they have given that dog a “whupping” and when you turn it loose to hunt, you ain’t gonna see it anymore, let alone catch it to return for your money.
Now back to the present in 2012. Spring arrives at 12:14 a.m. on March 20 when the Sun crosses the equator on its way north for the summer. March 24-26 the crescent Moon climbs past Venus and Jupiter which are the brightest objects in the sky except for the Moon.
Sometimes in life a few people forget the most important things and focus on their riches and possessions. The following story fits those people: A rich man was proud of his new Lexus and parked it in front of his office to show his workers. While getting out of the car a truck came by and tore the door off. He started yelling and screaming about his new car being torn up. His employees rushed out to help but all he could do was rave about his car. One of the men told him to calm down and be still because his entire left arm was ripped off. The rich man looked down and screamed, “Oh no! My Rolex.”