You can almost hear the spring peepers


G. Sam Piatt



So here we go, the first weekend of February. March and spring peepers are on the horizon.

It’s time to oil up the reels and get those tackle boxes straightened out.

A couple of lakes that are the first places anglers hit in this region are Turkey Creek, in Shawnee State Park in Ohio, and Greenbo Lake in Kentucky.

Greenbo is stocked with rainbow trout that can provide some early action. Also, some red worms below a bobber produce some hand-sized bluegill every spring.

But the most sought-after species is the black bass. And Greenbo harbors some big largemouth bass. It held the state record in the mid-1960s with Delbert Grizzle’s 13.8-pounder. Each spring someone, it seems, lands a 7 or 8-pounder.

Who knows, maybe the new state record is out there? Just takes one weighing about 13 pounds, 11 ounces.

SOME GOOD NEWS

It’s about time my friend and fellow outdoor writer, Chris Erwin, got a little good news.

A few months ago he discovered he had cancer. It was in an isolated spot, and hopefully chemo and radiation treatments got it all and he’ll soon be able to return to work.

He writes a column on outdoor events, particularly fishing, along with a fishing report on area lakes and streams, in the weekly newspaper, the Greater Ashland Beacon.

The column has proven to be popular with area anglers because he knows of what he writes. He used to guide for bass and muskie, chiefly on Cave Run Lake, an 8,200-acre reservoir located 10 miles southwest of Morehead.

He also manufactures his own line of lures – lures that catch fish.

In December, Chris and his wife, Linda, were asleep in their basement bedroom in their big old two-story frame house in Boyd County when Linda was awakened after midnight by a sound coming from upstairs. She went up to investigate and to her horror discovered the house was on fire. Burning timbers and asphalt shingles were already starting to fall down onto the main floor.

She yelled down to Chris but couldn’t get back to him. She made her way to the front door and out.

Chris came up the basement stairs but the fire stopped him. His only other avenue of escape was a basement door served by some steps leading up to the backyard.

The door was boarded up; had not been used for many years. In his weakened state, Chris could not begin to break it down. He was trapped, with a burning house about to crash down on him.

Linda, meanwhile, had ran next door to awaken their son, Scott.

A frenzied Scott found a tool heavy enough to break down the basement door and free his daddy unscathed.

Financially, their loss was heavy. There was no insurance on the house or belongings, meaning Chris and Linda must start all over again. They’ve rented a house on Sellards Street in Ashland.

THE GOOD NEWS

Last year Chris entered a column in the statewide Kentucky Press Association competition. Two weeks ago he and Linda traveled to Lexington for the KPA’s awards presentation. Chris was honored for producing the third best column.

Numerous newspapers across the state have reporters and photographers who belong to the KPA and enter submissions in the various categories for the annual awards.

So, put it on the wall, Chris, and here’s hoping you’re able to get back to work soon.

Your readers miss you.

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G. Sam Piatt

Reach G. Sam Piatt at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619

Reach G. Sam Piatt at gsamwriter@twc.com or (606) 932-3619