Gone Fishing – (Published in Happenings Magazine Smart Reader, 6/3/2021)


Kim Junki, my ROK friend and I, fished in Vietnam using concussion grenades.












I like to fish, been fishing since I was a little kid, fished all over Kenosha, all over Wisconsin, and many other parts of the U.S. as well. I even fished in Vietnam during the war, hillbilly style, using grenades.


And with all that fishing I’ve had my share of adventures, and misadventures as well. (Reference my blog website). We currently have a trailer in a secluded location near the Germania Marsh in Central Wisconsin. Before that we had a mobile home on Lake Puckaway, about fifteen miles south of where we are now.


JoAnn with a Puckaway sheephead

Puckaway is fed by the Fox River of the North and flows west to east. Between the river and the lake, we caught some very nice fish while there. I often fished with my daughter JoAnn, and other family members and friends. But I most often fished with our next-door neighbor Art. Art liked to fish for catfish, and we caught some big ones over the years. My best was a 14 ½ pound flat head that gave me a real tussle. Art caught a 35-pound carp one time, and it took him about a half an hour to get it in. We were hoping it was another big catfish, as it pretty much took all the starch out of him that day.


Art with a nice Puckaway cat

One of the adventures Art and I had, was nearly getting trampled by an Amish horse, while fishing near a small dam. That story is on my website blog. Another mishap we had, was when my small row boat left our boat trailer as we were towing it. It fairly sailed in the air for a time, before coming back down to earth. That’s on the blog also.


Sometimes Art and I would fish from shore, or off of one of the piers on the north side of the lake where we lived. We’d usually set out two lines, with a different bait on each. One day, while on the pier, Art and I were catching catfish left and right. I reeled in a pretty nice one, but failed to anchor my other rod securely. So, while I was tending to the cat I had just caught, another cat grabbed my bait on the other rod and before I knew it, the fish pulled the rod into the water. Well, it was long gone and nothing I could do about it.

This boat can fly!


About two weeks later, my wife Ann and I were swimming next to the same pier. Puckaway is a very shallow lake, and I was walking myself out towards the middle. While doing this, I was thinking to myself, “my damn rod is out here somewhere”. No sooner had that thought entered my mind, when I bumped an object with my foot. I kicked the object up, and sure enough, covered in silt though it was, there was my fishing rod!


The fish that pulled it in was long gone, but everyone got a big kick out of the story. Art spent a long time cleaning the reel up, but it never worked properly again.

One of my Puckaway cats that didn’t get away












This happened to me one other time on Lake Puckaway, only that time I was not so lucky, I never found that rod and reel.



Ken with a nice Puckaway bass












Another adventure Art and I had, was when our outboard motor died, about three miles up into the Fox River. We had caught a couple of catfish, a few walleyes and some sheep head, (which we didn’t keep), but that was the end of our good luck for a while. Fortunately, the current flowed our way, so we eventually drifted out of the river back into the lake. We still had quite a way to go to get to our pier, and since we were on a large pontoon boat, paddling was not an option. I called our friend Ken from my cell phone, and he eventually came out with his pontoon and towed us in.


As we were being towed back, we trolled a couple of lures and picked up another nice walleye and a few more catfish. For his trouble, Ken got the walleyes, we kept the cats. 🙂




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About the Author

Joe Campolo Jr.

Joe Campolo, Jr. is an award winning author, poet and public speaker. A Vietnam War Veteran, Joe writes and speaks about the war and many other topics. See the "Author Page" of this website for more information on Joe. Guest writers on Joe's blogs will have a short bio with each article. Select blogs by category and enjoy the many other articles available here. Joe's popular books are available thru Amazon, this website, and many other on-line book stores.


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