Okeechobee Catfishing Author:Lawrence E. Will You can drop into any book store and get a book on fishing. How to fish for tarpon, sailfish snook and bass, but did you ever hear of a book on seining catfish? This, you will find is hard to come by - in facft this is the first one - and it will be a long, long time before it is matched. — The catfishermen of Okeechobee in the period of this b... more »ook, were just about the wildest, most reckless lot of humans you will ever read about. A goodly number were actually fugitives from the law. Okeechobee Lake, some 50 years ago, was most remote - and probably the least heard of place on the face of this continent.
Catfish are delicious. This was known to humans long before the white man came to Okeechobee. Every kind of animal from birds to mammoths, sought them. The lake was home to untold millions of the delicious fish. To match this supply, the population of north and west America desired good fish in vast quantity. By some trick of alchemy they became "southern bass".
Analyzing such a situation - a 40 mile-wide lake alive with fish - and millions of humans hungry for them, it is easy to picture what Mr. Will is talking about. The story of how people solved the riddle of transportation, getting the fish from the lake, to the fish-hungry population - and thereby annexing many millions of dollars.
Everyone didn't make money. A few of the wildest schemes you ever heard of, paid off - others flopped. Some got rich and some pot poorer, but the story of this fabulous fishing will always be a part of our frontier history.« less