Editor’s Note: Forty-one-year-old Kosciusko, Mississippi angler Robert Dickerson has a real passion for catfishing and everything that goes with it. The more he does it the more he enjoys taking other anglers that otherwise might not have the opportunity to fish for catfish.
The first person that I remember fishing with was my granny. She took me to a friend’s pond in Brooksville. She knew how much I wanted to go and that’s how grannies are. I remember catching a bass on that first trip and being so excited.
Targeting catfish came later. David Woods taught me how to fish the Yazoo River and other anglers like David Magness, Larry Muse, Stacey Gaston, and plenty of others have taught me about other waters.
Now I can share what I know about catfishing and I don’t mind who goes with me. I would rather take someone that might not get to go, because that is all I wanted to do growing up. Fishing with friends is part of the attraction of catfishing.
I spend a lot of time keeping up with catfishing friends and family on social media. It has given me a chance to meet many people from all over the country that share my passion for catfishing.
I’ve also had the opportunity to share with people that follow me on social media about my catfishing adventures. People see my posts on both my own and my wife’s page. Then, I get stopped when I am out in public and ask about the posts. Local people will stop me in restaurants or Walmart to ask me where and how I am catching these huge catfish. I love sharing my experiences with them.
On one recent trip, I had taken a good friend, Jonathon Hewitt, fishing. We had partnered up for a South Mississippi Catfish Trail tournament. He had tournament fished with another friend a good bit and had not caught any fish in the tournaments.
We tried the Mississippi River first but couldn’t get a bite. So, we went up the Yazoo. It is a smaller river but has some good catfish in it.
We were standing beside each other in the boat and he said, “I haven’t caught anything.” And literally, the rod in front of him got hammered. I said, “Well you better get that one.”
We were screaming with joy and partly in shock when I netted it. The fish weighed 18.5 pounds. He also caught one about 16 or so pounds.
I caught one about 4 pounds and my main partner, Johnny Rainey, caught some fish from the front of the boat where he also hooked good one that just pulled off as he was reeling it in. It was an exciting time.
We had 47-plus pounds in 5 catfish. It was good enough to get second place on an awesome day with friends. Afterward, we went to eat at a seafood restaurant that was decked out in fishing stuff on the inside. It was Johnny Rainey’s birthday so he had a good birthday with us.
Catfishing is like a puzzle and a challenge. You can study a place and learn about all the contours and structures where you are likely to find fish. You can try different bait and different setups, but with all the strategy that we put into it, sometimes it just comes down to chance. I love the challenge that catfishing presents.
I try to set myself up to create the best possible chance to catch some big cats and the anticipation is almost too much to take. But then you see that rod start to wiggle or bend. It’s almost like being a kid waking up on Christmas morning.
The excitement sometimes just takes your breath. Feeling the fight of a big cat as you try to get it to the boat is incredible. Catfish are amazing beautiful fish and there’s not much that compares to getting one of them in the boat. It’s like a reward for all the work you put in to find, feed, and fight with them.
Catfishing gives me the opportunity to spend time doing what I love while meeting great people along the way. They are people that share my passion for the sport and feel as strongly as I do about the practice of ethical fishing habits so we can enjoy the sport for years to come.