TROUBLE IN CEDAR KEy
by Gene Benedict
When I was a boy of nine years old up until the age of sixteen, I spent a lot of time around Lost Creek. The creek got its name because part of the route took the creek underground. You couldn’t find the bed, as it was dry. The pools, however, were crystal clear and laden with small mouth bass, rock bass, red horse suckers, and all sorts of smaller fish such as blue gills, minnows and crawfish.
We called the crawfish, crabs, and often would seine for the soft shells. From time to time, we’d look under the rocks in the rapids for soft shells. Those crabs made a good fishing bait for all kinds of larger fish, especially catfish. We’d get the soft shells from the creek and fish them along the banks of the Miami River.
After a while, I went alone out past the Knop’s farm and turn left before the Children’s home. I’d ride my bike and hide it under the bridge. I walked along the creek where the large sycamore trees grew. On one particular bank below a large elm tree the water was quite deep. I’d lie on my stomach and stare down watching the rock bass with their deep green color and red eyes.
And often, I’d stretch out under that elm and take a relaxing nap. You could hear the water trickling down over the rocks high up in the pond where the rapids flowed over the shallower water. That sound and that of the breeze in the trees were quite relaxing. Awake from the nap, I’d slither down the bank and go skinny-dipping in the deep pool below the elm.
As time went on, I made that part of my summer regime. Once in a while the cows would get nosey From time to time bulls were also nosey but not mean. Sometimes I’d lie back in the rapids. That was a bit cool but nonetheless refreshing. I never saw another person for years. From time to time, I’d seine for the redhorse suckers. Most people would not eat them. Their meat was white and after netting them, I’d fry them up either very crisp and eat them whole or I’d fry them lightly and pick the bones from the meat.
Always before heading for home, I’d get some soft shell crabs to use for bait in the bigger rivers, the Miami River and the Stillwater River, most generally for the speckled channel catfish or the bull heads. I enjoyed fishing with the soft shells, but I liked roaming Lost Creek most of all. And swimming in the deeper holes.
Do you recall the younger years playing in the creeks and rivers? Drop by some day and share your experiences. Or perhaps we’ll see each other out there looking for Trouble in Cedar Key.
Copyright © by Gene Benedict - 25 March 2015