Photo by Melanie Thortis

An evening with a cold brew and a fishing pole stuck in the sandy bank of the Mississippi River is my favorite style of lazy-man fishing.

While some fishermen seek out deep holes harboring river monsters or run trot lines all night — all to fill up an ice chest with catfish — my goals are completely different. When I’m catfishing, I’m relaxing.

My primary goal isn’t even to catch fish. It’s time to unwind and just enjoy life. My hyperactivity, overload of hobbies and busy career keep my mind active on and off the clock. I have trouble slowing down, but, somehow, when I plan a Guided fly fishing trips, I can relax.

My intention is to let the experience take control, determining how long I stay and how busy I need to be. If I’m in a good spot and the fish are biting, I tend to not mind the work. When the fish activity wanes, however, I’m happy to just relax and enjoy the breeze off the big river, which also keeps the biting insects away.

My catfishing hotspots are typically just below rock dikes that funnel water and help maintain navigable waterways. The areas just downriver eddy and deepen, often creating sand dune islands. Using caution, due to the swift currents around the rock dikes, I maneuver my boat to the sand where I can set up shop and relax for the evening on my own little island. And, depending on the river stage, the islands can be narrow slivers or several acres.

As the dynamism of the river never ceases, the view is ever-changing and the adventure is never the same. I don’t miss a chance to watch the sun set while listening to the Mississippi River current melodiously whisper past. It’s an incredibly peaceful experience and one that renews my energy for the harder parts of life. If you have any questions about catfishing, please email me at