005 Old Trapper and The Mississippi Catfish

Tales of the Old Trapper

04-01-2022 • 7 mins

This week’s Tale of the Old Trapper is titled "Old Trapper and The Mississippi Catfish" by Shawn Henninger.

About Tales of the Old Trapper:

When I was a young boy maybe 5 6 or 7 My Grandfather would sit me down and tell me Tales of The Old Trapper.  The Old Trapper was a man who lived many years before my grandfather was even born.  The Old Trapper lived on the Land my grandfather had owned that we called the Old Place.

But, Before it was the Old Place it was called Home by the Old Trapper.  This land is where he went on many adventures.  Working with the woods for all the things he needed to food, clothing and shelter.  The Old Trapper was not one for lavish things as he only lived in a single room log cabin he built himself.  Through his adventures he learned many values that he passed on to the community and anyone who crossed his path through his journeys.

So join me as I re-tell the Tales of the Old Trapper just as my Grandfather told them when I was just a child.

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This Weeks Tale:

The Old Trapper was finishing up packing for his next big adventure. There was nothing more fun to the Old Trapper than going to the Mighty Mississippi River and floating downstream.  The River was one of the most powerful in the world and it was always important to be prepared.

The Old Trapper looked over his inventory to make sure he had everything he needed. Extra Clothes, a fishing pole, a tent, and all the tools needed for a fire.  This was going to be the greatest float trip ever.  The Old Trapper hooked up his Mule and set out for the Mighty Mississippi.

Living so close to one of the biggest Rivers in the world was a special treat for The Old Trapper.  He went to his favorite spot that was just a few hours' ride away.  Not only was this the place he’d put his trusty raft in but also one of his favorite fishing holes.  The number of Catfish he caught here could have filled 10 thousand ponds.

The Old Trapper pushed his raft into the water and decided to cast his line a few times before setting off.  After his first cast he felt a giant pull on his line and within moments his line broke.  Now the Old Trapper had caught a few big fish in his day, but this one seemed much bigger.  So he quickly fixed his line, strengthened it the best he could and casted again.

Just as quickly as the first time a giant fish took hold of the bait and began pulling on the line.  The Old Trapper was losing his balance and tried with all his might to pull the fish in.  But the ground he was standing on was quickly turning into a slippery mud slide and he fell face first onto his raft.

Holding on tight to his fishin pole the power of the fish began to Pull the old trapper down river on his raft.  The Old Trapper moved as fast as he could to sit up on his raft and tried to paddle with one hand back to shore, but the power of the river and the fish quickly moved the Old Trapper further from shore.  The Old Trapper looked back and saw sanding at the edge of the Water his Trusty Mule..And all of his supplies.

Now a person might ask “Old Trapper Why didn’t you just toss the pole in the water and go back to shore” The Old Trapper probably would have replied “That was my trusty pole or a fish that big If I didn’t catch it and bring it in No one would believe my tale”  So the Fight began between man and fish.

At first the Old Trapper thought he had the fish licked as he was pulling it in closer and closer to his raft, but as he saw what looked to be a 6 foot Catfish it dove deeper down into the river and nearly pulled The Old Trapper Right off his boat.  The Old Trapper dug his feet in and pulled and pulled but as he looked up he quickly saw the river was speeding up.

The Old Trapper hooked his pole into the raft the best he could and grabbed his paddle.  The Old Trapper and the Catfish were going down the rapids and needed to team up to make it through.  The Old Trapper would paddle left and right avoiding all the rocks sticking up out of the water and try to keep his vision clear as splashes of cold water hit him in the face.  All a sudden there was a big boom as the raft had collided with a log in the water.

The Pole began to bend as the Giant Fish tried to move downstream but the Old Trapper was stuck behind the log.  Frantically the Old Trapper pushed with his paddle trying to get over the log.  With that much force the Old Trapper finally cleared the log and flew at least 30 feet in the air.  “YAHHOOOOOOOO” Old Trapper yelled as he came crashing down into the water.

As the river began to slow once more the Giant Catfish was showing signs of being worn out just as much as the Old Trapper.  He looked around at the edges of the River and realized he was much further downstream than he had been in years past, but his eyes weighed heavily from all the paddling he decided to rest for a moment.

The comfort of the flowing river and the warm sun on his face the Old Trapper drifted off until he felt the Raft come to a complete stop.  The Old Trapper stood up and noticed the fish was still hooked on his line.  He Made his way onto the shore pulling his raft with him and continued the battle with the fish.

The Fish was getting closer and closer to shore and the Old Trapper was wrong; it wasn't a 6 foot catfish, but instead had to be at least 10 feet long.  This was a monster fish and could easily swallow a whole horse buggy.  The Catfish laid on the edge of the shore still partially submerged and wiggled from the warmth of the sun.  The Old Trapper went down and started to pet the Catfish and estimated it had to be very very old.  Sensing that the Catfish was getting startled he gently removed the hook from the fishing line and pushed it slowly back into the Mississippi river.

The Old Trapper watched as the Giant Catfish disappeared deep into the river.  Now the Old Trapper was way downstream and wasn’t sure how he would get back to his cabin.  So he decided to do what he always did when he needed some time to think. And that was to cast a line out into the water and do a little fishin.

After some time past and enough fish for dinner were caught he stood up and decided his best bet was to start walking back up river.  Just as he turned to make the journey he saw coming down the hill his trusty mule with all of his gear.  The Old Trapper smiled to himself as his Old Mule had saved him numerous times and this was just another one to add to the books.

The Old Trapper hugged the old Mule and took out an apple from his pack as a treat for the mule.  The Old Mule took the treat and nuzzled the old trapper. The Old Trapper set up camp and had fresh fish for dinner as he once again had traveled the mighty Mississippi and had an amazing Fish Tale to share.

The End.