A few days back I heard a tractor working in front of my house. My mind flashed back to my dearest departed friend John Farrow and him plowing his beloved fields.


A few days back I heard a tractor working in front of my house. My mind flashed back to my dearest departed friend John Farrow and him plowing his beloved fields. Obviously the dream vanished as the field now grows houses and the gentleman on the tractor was cutting weeds in the “common area.” As I watched, however, John’s memory became more vivid. The operator was madly swinging his arms to ward off the hordes of deer flies that swarm down on this area of sandy soil each year.

John related stories that, as a boy, they had to soak burlap in kerosene and place on the mules so they could plow the fields. He said that many times they actually plowed under the full moon to avoid these blood suckers.

One trick he taught me that works even when the best repellants don’t was to cut a few leafy branches from the tips of tree limbs and put them on your hat band. For some reason, the varmints don’t like the leaves fluttering around them. It won’t do much for your arms and legs, but it will keep them out of your hair and off your face.
   
I’ve finally got a first hand fishing report. This one came from Craig Taylor, formerly of Dover but now a Pa. resident. He had brought his son Bobby along and had teamed up with Bruce Shockley of Magnolia and Bruce’s brother-in-law Mark Achenbach. They had booked the trip with John Sharp on his boat “Miss Molly” out of Stevensville.
   
Though John reported spotty action, they set their gear out on Bloody Point (the southern tip of Kent Island) after an early morning start. They had their first fish after about 30 minutes and the bites kept coming. By 9:30 a.m. they had limited out with fish between 19 and 25 inches and by noon, they were back at Sambo’s in Leipsic for lunch. I’ll kid him now by telling him he could’ve slept late and bought stripers at the fish market, but we all know it’s “different” to those of us who enjoy the outdoors.
   
If you are new to stripers and fixing your own, there are limitless ways of preparing them for any palate. I prefer filleting them completely to begin with. Then all the “dark” meat should be cut away. (This is very strong and oily meat with a strong fish taste.) If you’re a fried fish person, cut into smaller pieces, press them firmly between paper towels, bread them and dump them in your fryer.  If you like grilled fish, the white meat is sweat but chunky. I spoil myself when I’m doing them by slicing open the filet, stuffing it with crabmeat flavored with butter and Old Bay. I tack the filet closed with toothpicks, and enclose it in aluminum foil.  After a few minutes, I open the foil, brush a bit of butter on them and sprinkle paprika on them. As John would have said, “Them are good eats.”