Cape Gazette

Family, friends, catfish and construction

By Dennis Forney | Sep 05, 2013
Photo by: Brent "Dog" Blyman Here's the crackerjack catfish-catching team called Coke's Catters with its sidebet-winning fish that Larry snagged while looking at his reflection and combing his hair in the shade beneath the historic Chester River bridge. That's Mike on the left, then Tommy and me, Johnny and Larry and Capt. Coke in back, and the hirsuted Casey who was happy to fork over the bet money because he knew it would be impossible to beat this seasoned team of anglers anyway.  Mike and Tommy are headed into the hospital this coming week for hip and knee-replacement surgeries, respectively.  They were happy to fill up on lots of good humor and love to have in their systems before the body work.  That kind of stuff really helps surgeries go smoother and healing to go faster.  Readers might remember Johnny and Coke as the only two of my Chestertown friends who came to my going-away party at the Blue Bird Tavern last May.

SANDTOWN, DELAWARE — I left Lewes last Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m., still dark but with the lightest touch of a dawning glow in the east.  The rising sun pushed me across the peninsula - over the Broadkill, the Mispillion, the Murderkill and the Choptank rivers until I reached the gentle waters of the Chester.

A nice quiet morning ride, little traffic, country roads, drying corn and cooing doves. My journey across the peninsula always takes me through sleepy Sandtown.

Before leaving town I stopped by Joe Morris's shop at Lewes Harbour Marina.  He hooked me up with some righteously stinky menhaden chum, bloodworm-scented squid, a few hooks and sinkers - all designed to help our team - Coke's Catters - in the annual Chester River Catfish Tournament.

I'm happy to report the bait worked well - especially the soft crabs brought by Capt. Coke. Larry caught our biggest fish and it was big enough to win the side bet I had with Casey and his team, Casey's No-Catters.

We slicked Casey's crisp Ben Franklin against the side of our winning fish, snapped a few pictures, and then enjoyed the joyful ambience of friends and families gathered together to eat, drink and lie.

Does it get any better?

Here are some photos from the day and some other miscellaneous images that made their way into my camera over the past week.

The Chester River Bridge at Chestertown, by the dawn's early light, on the morning of the catfish tourney.
Several hours later, the view of the bridge was obscured by the dozens of boats coming in to weigh-in.
Tournament organizer Ben Herr weighs what might have been the smallest fish caught in the tourney. It took his finger to make the scale move.
Here's a sampling of the baits Coke's Catters used to boat several fine Chester River catfish.  Chum, soft crabs, bunker, Hebrew National Hot Dogs, bloodworm-scented squid strips, piss clams, shrimp and, not shown, Quaker Old-Fashioned Oatmeal flakes.
Who doesn't love a baby bathing in the kitchen sink photo?  Here are Rob and Meredith and Ford surrounded by a Carman Miranda display of fruit and veggies.
Someone asked whether the construction equipment, fences and earth-moving equipment on Monroe Avenue in Lewes have anythi g to do with the new library and trailhead project.  The answer is no.  Mayor Jim Ford said the city is allowing contractors doing street work in the area to use that end of the recently acquired Thompson property as a staging area.
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