For those of you who like catfish, and who doesn't, you know that river cat is the ultimate. There is just an indescribable flavor to one of those Mississippi catfish that roam and feed on the bottom as opposed to most of the pond-fed type you buy in the grocery store.
One of our best meals when terrorizing Seaton as kids was Marj heading to New Boston to the Bay View Fish Company and buying a dozen whole catfish. Smelling and hearing them frying in the skillet was a treat and as treats go, one wants to replicate them when they become orphaned adults.
Thus, Mr. and Mrs. Wombie and I hopped in the lime green Jeep and headed out on the highway. What we found was adventure,and river cat. Our destination was Niota, Illinois. The internet located a good old-fashioned fish market there and sometimes a simple trip turns into something more.
Our first stop was Delabar Park. I don't know if this place is a victim of Illinois politics or simply low priority, but the boat ramp is just about impassable because of silt and the roads are crumbling. The bottom pic here is the ramp. I would guess there is either another place to unload or people simply avoid this area.
In a scene straight out of Florida we espied this little guy moving slowly somewhere, and while we were there was motionless.
There will be another post regarding this trip but we cut to the arrival of the fish market, and it didn't disappoint. Just as soon as I stepped in the memories of Bay View invaded my senses. That unique smell of fish preparation that only exists in these places took me back to a different time. It was magical. In the coolers were whole cat, filets, and smoked.
We filled our cooler and headed back to Oquawka where we heard that another fishmarket was in business. We knew we found it when we saw a big sign reading, "The Meat With No Feet". Coincidentally, when we walked in the guy at the counter was the same fellow who took care of Marj's purchases back at Bay View all those years ago. Traveling is so much fun.