Caught a catfish, got caught by a thunderstorm

Clearwater Lake is a place we don’t visit often enough. But we did get a chance to go down for a day and a half over Tuesday and Wednesday. We swam in the Black River, caught a catfish on a trot line, and got caught in a thunderstorm.

The trip down was a little different than years past. Hwy. 67 is four lanes almost all the way down. And they are rebuilding a good chunk of Hwy. 34 between 67 and Piedmont. Only good ol’ Hwy. AA was the same as always.

We got a slightly later start to our trip than I had hoped, and we arrived in Piedmont around noonish. We headed straight to Wal-Mart to see if they had any lake shoes for Josie and I. Alas, they did not. Curse retail stores and their seasonal stock changes!

We headed straight out to the Bluff View marina and took in the changes. There is a new store complex in the middle of the marina, and many of the stall structures are new. It all looked awesome.

We piled into the pontoon and put on our life preservers. Joseph’s was big and he didn’t look especially comfortable in it, but he didn’t fuss. My dad powered up the boat and navigated us up to the river in search of a gravel beach.

Along the way he showed us how much the lake and riverbed have changed in recent years. It is significantly shallower much closer to the lake than it used to be, presumably because floods and such have brought a lot of silt and gravel down.

Here are some pictures of our time on the river:

After we finished swimming and playing, we spent a little time fishing. We caught a bunch of bluegill and sunfish to use as bait for two trot lines my dad had set up over the weekend.

Dad had already caught one catfish on a trot line that morning. So Tuesday night I went with him to bait the lines again with our fresh catch of fish. Wednesday at midday I went with him to check the lines. The first one was empty. The second one had some bait fish still alive, one that had a big bite taken out of him, and then at the end of it, a big flathead catfish!

Wednesday afternoon we headed back to the river, but went to a smaller gravel beach not so far upstream. It was an overcast day, but still warm. The girls brought some shovels and pails to play with and had lots of fun in the shallow water.

But after a while my mom noticed the clouds darkening and predicted a storm was on the way.

She was right. We began to head back when the first little drops began to fall. Our afternoon on the river had been cut short.

We were still along the bluffs when the worst of the storm hit. Some of us were soaked, but Yoli, Joseph, Ludi and Jadzia managed to stay fairly dry under towels and boat covers. We waited it out, and thankfully the storm abated after a while.

I had strung up the hammock between two trees at the clubhouse, and when we got back it was soaked as well. In fact, a lot of stuff was soaked, which made for a slightly soggy ride home. But it could have been much worse.

All in all it was a fun “weekend,” and certainly very memorable. I’ve got some good video I can’t wait to edit. (But first I have to get around to editing our Bolivia video!)

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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One Response to Caught a catfish, got caught by a thunderstorm

  1. Grandma and Aunt Carol says:

    Looks like quite the trip Josh! It’s good to see the family together like that at The lake. Too bad your time was cut short. Loved the fact that you and your dad ran the trot lines! That was a big ole catfish, btw!

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