The key to catching a turtle is to go at exactly the right time. You want a cool morning, around 47 degrees is good. You want you a morning like it was back on April 19. Then you want you a Gitzit with an extra wide hook. Cause see, what you are going to do is aggravate one until it takes a swing at your Gitzit and gets the hook in its paw, (hand, flipper whatever). If Im lyin, Im dyin. That is how I was taught to catch soft shell turtles about the size of a #2 wash tub. Dead stinkin meat on a limb line will catch you snappin turtles and that aint what you want. Catch you some alligars, too, using that dead stuff.
But first, you need to catch some bluegills and maybe a smallmouth or six. It didnt take me long to do that. In fact, it didnt take long to find me a soft shell turtle (SST). I had about 22 bream and four bass in the livewell when I seen the SST. On the 32nd cast, She got mad as my wife when Im drivin and swung at the Gitzit and it was game on. I got a picture of the bream and one of the bass and one picture of the mad SST.
It took a good while to get her in the boat because Jackie was a sceered to retch and grab her. I finally had to put the rod and the camera down and do it my own self. Then, When I had her in the boat and she was snappin at everything, do you think that feller would help me make her dead? Well, I reckon not! Third shot, I did put that .357 wadcutter in her head and it was cancel Christmas! I am not paying for the holes in the boat, either. Howsomever, I would pay to see the fat boy dance again.
Well, anyway. This was not my first time to make a turtle get naked. I know how to do that. Why that Jackie man would get tore up when I run over her with the truck is beyond me. Course, it was his truck but it will wash off. I even used my own axe and my limb loppers. And eventually, she did come naked.
Wait, I didnt tell you about the turkeys. See, what happened was, I went back to the truck to get my axe and there was four male turkeys of various ages walkin down toward the lake. Well you better believe I shot the biggest one. I had the shotgun in the truck for a reason. Took pictures, too. But that is another story.
See, we got all the fish filleted, the turkey breasted out and the SST cut into frying size pieces. Ill take and tell you, Mr. Man, I also got most of the firewood, too. Well, got a good fire going and I battered them turtle pieces the best way I was taught with hen eggs and buttermilk and good seasoned flour with a handful of fine cornmeal in it. And did they come out some golden brown? I hope to shout, they did.
And then, see, that feller what owned the pond, he come along and that is when it all kinda went South. I figgered Jackie, he knew him and we had permission to be there and I reckon Jackie, he thought the same. But anyway, after that guy, (I believe he was from somewhere way up North, way he talked.), he eat him a big bait of that SST which we had him to believe was chicken, he come around. Turned out to be about half human.
Truth told, he come around to the point he dranked most of Jackies cold beer. I give him a mess of bream and all the turkey meat and he was happy and said we could come back. So that is what we did one morning when they wadn a heck of a lot going on. You can pretty well fill up a morning with bream perch, bass, turkeys and a SST.
But I promised I wouldnt tell this cause see, Jackies wife, she has that place listed. She sells ground and stuff what folks want to sell and Im afraid somebody might buy it. I believe it is just under seven million for the whole place. I reckon that includes the SSTs and all the other stuff.
See, you can look at the pictures and see this is a true story and I know it is better reading than the results of some fishin tournament nobody went to.
NOTE: This is all somewhat truewell, some of it is true. Yes I know it is illegal to eat or kill soft shell turtles but it makes a better story. However, it is a collection of three different somewhat occurrences. I just figgered it would make a better story if you put it all together.
Next weekcould be the week after that, Ill bring you up to date on what was biting at Gulf Shores. I dont know the name of those saltwater fish but maybe I can get a picture of oneor something in a bikini.
JOHN L. SLOAN / email@example.com