Winner, winner fried fish dinner

Did something different today. I was guest of David Lipsmeyer in the 32nd K&K Vet Supply trout trip through Norfork Trout Resort. It’s bait fishing. I won against a field of around 100 anglers.

I caught a 22-inch brown trout on spin tackle with a sculpin on the Norfork. Trout was hooked in jaw and released after measurement photo while still in net. It was not held by hands.

I won $720. Gave it to my guide, Willie Dickerson.

David and I had a great time with Willie. We enjoyed a great shore lunch (and David and I both caught 19 inch rainbows that were cooked).

I normally fly fish and don’t keep anything but I’m not against it. We have a “put and take” river that is designed with harvesting rainbows in mind.

David is a huge Razorback fan and we had great conversation about behind the scenes stuff.

It was really hot, but Willie kept us anchored in shady spots where we could cast our sculpin into flows. He is really good at taking care of his fishermen.

Willie and I have become friends. He comes by the fly shop for visits when he’s not on river. We talk guns and hunting. I learn from Willie. I feel badly I did not get a photo of David, Willie and me together but here is the winning brown trout.


wow! very nice!

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You are living the dream, Clay.

who caught the sculpins? I assume someone caught them like we catch pinfish for bait. I did seine bukus of them in a trib to Archeys Fork while doing some seining for madtoms and chromosome smashing. Night time sculpins were easy but that is the only time to catch madtoms which are also great natural bait and also logperch which are killer for big bass in spring.

Not the same species target but I agree wholly with selecting out rainbows that stunt and overpopulate without control. I actually have agreed to go catch a few hundred sunfish in a small lake near Cleveland TN for some friends who were told to thin their population dramatically. I was an ichthyologist that led to marine biology but I made my working rent money surveying fish and doing fishery biologist work with a couple of Tulane famous fisheries guys back in the day. It is fascinating work widely practiced, I also had a few conversations with the Andersons of Lonoke in their hey day. Congrats on the win, nice brown,

You mentioned Andersons and I had forgotten how many local fisheries there were raising bait, etc. I also remembered all the ice houses that made and stored ice for public. Those memories are so long ago.

Does Clay every think about needing a bigger net? Seems his fish are getting bigger in his retirement.

Willie brought the sculpin. Assume he caught them, Ray. I’ve been to those farms in Lonoke. Interesting for sure. Had a fraternity brother who lived/worked there. Kind of a snake place too. Gotta watch for cotton mouths.


You are my hero Clay! Still want to get you on a Sacalait trip to Toledo Bend sometime. A pic of my father in law and one of my nieces - we typically catch the black species but when we catch whites - well, a 3 pounder…

My college roommate grew up on a rice farm near Stuttgart. His stories of wading ditches frog gigging and killing Cottonmouths kept me awake many a night.

I like catching crappie. But I like eating them better. Planning a crappie fry for my college roommates Leo Crafton and Hal Hunnicutt for later this summer. Son-in-law Kristopher Bouldin has already agreed to be the chef. It will be wonderful. He dips the crappie in Louisiana hot sauce before frying and his hush puppies have a little bit of jalepeno. Oh boy. My mouth is watering.


I dare to say nothing is better than these panfish. My puppies also have jalapeño, along with purple onion, crabmeat and creamed corn. Cest Bon!

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Did that one time and never had a desire to do it again.
I do enjoy some fried frog legs. I saw the biggest gar I had ever seen. Eliminated any thought of repeating that excursion.

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Grew up in Lonoke, with Hartford Hamilton, and his little bro, Preston. Don’t know how many times we went “giggin” . Wouldn’t go til late at nite; gig all nite; come home skin em, clean em, cook em. Never going to bed…Look up and 40-50 people would be there eating. Word spread fast in small towns. Fed everyone with leftovers for late comers. Great times!!!

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Special memories.

Hartford and Preston are my cousins. Wonderful people.

We had a great life growing up in Lonoke. Did a lot of crazy, harmless things…

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Hey Clay. I went fishing for crappie in early April on Lake Eufaula between GA and AL. Had a guide and we caught 52 white crappie slabs. Another GA friend fried them up for us the next night and he did something I’d never seen. Once he got the oil hot, he dropped in a pound of bacon one strip at a time. When those strips were done he took them out and then dropped in the crappie. It was the most delicious fish I’ve ever eaten!

Bacon is a cook’s best friend. Never go wrong with a few pieces (or a whole slab) of bacon. I chop bacon and start my mixture of garlic and jalapeño sautéed in olive oil for my shrimp and grits. And use a little Lea & Perrin. And some heavy whipping cream. I think all of those ingredients great, but I don’t ever skip the chopped bacon. Makes everything better.

Sad, but valid. Fresh garlic and butter make nearly everything better. Bacon should not be so darn great.

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