Believe it or not, I do get lots of feedback from my columns in this newspaper. Most of it is positive.


Young angler Connor Dietrich is proud of his biggest ever green-eared sunfish.

This time of year, when fishing is foremost on the minds of many outdoors people, I am asked about the big fish I catch and report on being caught.

The most commonly asked question is, “What exactly is a trophy fish?”

Before I delve into the answers to this question let me tell you a quick fishing story that will set up one of my answers.

Just this summer I was fortunate enough to have taken my son, Caleb, down to SE Missouri to spend Father’s Day weekend with my dad, Glen. Dad and my stepmom, Sue, have a cabin at a spot in St. Francis County called Hanna Lake.

This is an old mine tailings impoundment that is at least 60-years old. It used to be loaded with great fish but residential development and overfishing has depleted it and good fish are few and far between.

I took my little 2-man bass boat and when I arrived I told Dad I would leave him with a nice mess of fish before I left. Sue and my sister, Linda, both actually laughed out loud. They both said it would take all summer to catch enough fish to feed Dad and Sue a single meal.

To make a weekend long story short, my son Caleb, niece Mariah, and nephews Jordan and Gabe helped me put a dozen bass fillets and a half-dozen black perch into Dad’s freezer. None of the bass were over 15-inches long but for Lake Hanna it was the biggest stringer of fish seen there for years.

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