Appalachia Fishing

Fishing Is Part Of Our Family

Today’s entry in The Week of the Fish was written by Patti Tappel.


My husband, the blacksmith, and daughter Sarah fishing on the Current river in southern Missouri about 1986

Fishing has always been a part of our family. The husband and I have fished for crappie for years. The times you hit a hot spot makes for some great fun. At least for me, as I won’t bait a hook, or take a fish off. He’s a trooper and does my dirty work.

Hubby loves to gig fish. Being a blacksmith he makes some awesome fish gigs. It is quite a process to gig. First it’s done at night, which means you need some powerful lighting. They use propane lights with about 8 mantles. It’s usually bone chilling weather.

Another sport he enjoys is snagging. This is done with big rod and reel, similar to those used in deep sea fishing. You actually use a treble hook and leave it unbaited. You cast, and then reel it back in, letting the hook run near the bottom of the river. The fish to snag is a spoonbill, a rather mean looking fish.

Ice fishing in central Missouri

Come winter, if the lake is frozen over he will ice fish. The catch is usually perch or crappie. After catching the fish you throw them on the ice. When it comes time to clean, you usually have to let them thaw out in the basement. This is the best tasting fish there is!

Bow fishing is another sport he enjoys. They go for buffalo and carp. This is the fish we can. It makes some great fish patties.

We have always taken our kids fishing. One of my favorite pictures is the one at the top of the post, of my daughter sitting on the river bank watching her Daddy fish.

Catfish Mississippi River

Jeremy our son is now 35 and loves to gig, snag, or hook any fish. He always goes on a big catfishing trip to the Mississippi River, south of St Louis, every Memorial Day. The photo above was last years catch. Total live weight for 3 nights was 2153 pounds. Biggest fish- a 70 pound bluecat.

Fish is a big part of our diet, whether it’s fried, canned, or even smoked.


Hope you enjoyed seeing how Patti’s family fishes as much as I did. Patti blogs at the Osage Bluff Quilter site-be sure to visit her.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Madge @ The View From Right Here
    July 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Lovely story…

  • Reply
    July 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Patty, thanks for letting us know
    how fishin’ is done in Missouri.
    Growing up and living in Western
    N.C., I don’t know much of the
    outside fishing techniques but its
    interesting. There are about 6
    fishing lakes within 1/2 hour for
    me, but my favorite is Fly Fishin’
    in the Nantahala…Ken

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    There are three sizes of fish:

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    July 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Since the Little Tennesse River ran through our farm I was raised catching and releasing to grease many fish. The most abundant of these were Catfish. We kept trotlines in all summer and had a waterbox in our cellar where we almost always had fresh fish during warm weather. Many weekends my Dad and I would visit the Nantahala River and catch our limit of Trout which were a special treat, sometimes my Mom and sisters would accompany us and we would picnic on fresh Trout, fried Potatos and Cornbread with cold milk. Since none of us died it must prove that the poison “Fish & Milk” combination must be an Old Wives Tale. I still love fish and it remains one of my main sources of protein.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    July 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Thanks Bob, I guess the “wife eats the crow today”…or at least part of it…since the Buffalo is closer to the carp than my catfish guess…
    Thanks but,I really don’t like to eat crow! ;o(
    I would watch my roosters, me thinks Jim is wanting some of those pretty. small. colorful, soft feathers to tie some trout flys…
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    July 25, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Buffalo are native North American fish, common in the plains states, that are very similar in appearance to carp, which were introduced into North America from Europe in the 1870’s. (Source: McClane’s Standard Fishing Encyclopedia), and folklore

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    July 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    grew up with fisherman, married a fisherman, gave birth to fisherman and a fisherwoman! We moved to FL in 1951 – my dad helped install communications at what was to become Cape Canaveral. At least once a week when he came home from work my mom would have packed a box with iron skillet, Crisco, meal, etc. and off we’d go to the “causeway” – Dad would catch dinner and Mom would cook it. There were nice picnic tables complete with grills and we’d eat there by the water (swatting mosquitoes but having a great time).

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

    What a pretty little girl. And she has a camo cap. I’ll bet Tipper likes that.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is a very nice family story; I enjoyed reading it. It’s wonderful to find out how families spend time together and enjoy what they are doing. Thanks!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Tipper, thanks for sharing Patti’s fishing stories! I enjoy Patti’s blog too:) We are not great “fisherpeople”, in fact, I like the reeling in part, but that is about it…now that we are up in the mountains my husband plans on bow fishing, I sure hope he is successful at it, because we sure do love eating fish!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    July 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Tipper, and
    Patti…My husband corrected me! Imagine that! He says you are speaking of Carp and Buffalo Carp…I always thought a carp was a carp, was a carp! Like a rose, is a rose, is a rose!…Is he right or am I right…I thought there was a catfish called a buffalo catfish!
    Thanks, we have caught channel cat and blue catfish here…

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    July 25, 2012 at 8:35 am

    What an amazing amount of fish! Thanks for sharing your experiences and family fun.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Thank you Patti for the great fishing story. I guess fishing is fishing wherever you are.
    I’m not sure fishing is really about fishing. We have a little lake here in Black Mountain called Lake Tomahawk. It’s small lake with a walking path around it. I go there and walk often. I watch the folks fishing there and I’ve concluded that it is as much a meditation as it is fishing. I think that is what Ed is talking about.
    Patti you’ve piqued my interest about canning fish. I have never seen home canned fish and I’m interested. Maybe you could do another post for Tipper on canning fish?

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Tipper–As someone who has managed to earn at least a portion of his livelihood with fishing tales, I obviously take great delight in them. Patti’s is no exception. She’s obviously married to a saint, because a fellow who would bait hooks and take fish off of them, all the while seeing his own action impeded, merits sainthood.
    Ed, I agree with you to a certain degree. Fishing is indeed only part of it. There’s also planning, dreaming and scheming, reflected back on past trips, and telling lies. Incidentally, I wouldn’t trust a fellow who doesn’t stretch the truth about his exploits as an angler to so much as come within five feet of the church collection plate. A fine fishing liar is a man or woman of merit.
    On the other hand, I don’t reckon I could be considered lazy about my fishing. It’s serious and supremely satisfying stuff for me and always has been. If I had a $100 bill for every mile I’ve walked in the quest for trout, I’d be a mighty rich guy.
    Patti, thanks, and while my fishing experiences are pretty wide both geographically (in Africa, New Zealand, every province in Canada, Mexico, etc.) and in terms of types of fishing, I’ve never dealt with snagging spoonbills. I know they can grow to great size and it sounds quite interesting.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I sure enjoy all the stories about fishing this week. I have heard that if carp are cooked properly they can be great. We evidently, never knew how to do it properly.
    The stories that fish and milk can be poisonous is something I have always heard although I never knew of anyone that was actually harmed. There was another folk tale similar to the one about fish and milk around our area. Don’t know if any out there have heard it but, it says that if a person drinks a coke while eating watermelon it could be fatal. LOL
    That photo of the little girl with her Daddy is priceless!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    July 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I am like Ed, I am a lazy fisherman these days, i love to be there fishing, watching everyone else, and if I catch anything I put them back in unless there is someone there that wants to clean them.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Yeah, fishing…I’ll check back next week:)

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    July 25, 2012 at 7:18 am

    and Patti…Wow! Have you guys got the fishin’ down to a science!
    Imagine if any one of the know hows got forgotten, surely another way to catch a fish would pop up…
    Could you share the way that you cook carp for canning…Sorry not that I would do it…as a lot of bottom fishing around here is kinda not recommended on our lakes…We are crappie eaters, since they feed more between the depth and the top of the water..
    I have heard that you can pressure cook a carp and it softens the bones and tastes like tuna…I am just interested in how you can your carp and buffalo, which I assume is a cat fish…
    Thanks Patti and Tipper for a great fishin’ story, so to speak…What a talented family they are…

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    July 25, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Oh my what a small world! Patti Tappel, I live near Current River in Missouri.
    It is one of my favorite places to camp, Hubby fishes there and as well. I sent Tipper some Pics of two of the grandboys with their first trout, caought there when we had a 4 generation camp out.
    Thank you both for a great blog post!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Your family is awesome, doing things together, having fun and feeding the family at the same time.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 25, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Catching fish is only a fraction of what fishing is all about. It is about being out in nature when you need to be alone. Is is about friends and family when you need people around you.
    Some folks take their fishing way too serious. Me, I am a self professed lazy fisherman. I don’t much care if I catch anything. I find I catch as many fish that way. I guess its kinda like waiting for water to boil.

  • Leave a Reply