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Seining for Suckers

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



About this time of every year, you may hear a distinct splash out among the weeds. That sound means the suckers are spawning.

Now, these aren’t the kind of suckers you buy at the candy store. A sucker is a fish that resembles a large minnow. And back when they were young, my boys and I would go out seining for suckers.

First, we’d find ‘em at night with the spotlight. Then, the next day using Grandpa Frasier’s seine net, we’d get to work.


Bruce and I would stay in the boat holding one side of the net while Jerrod and Scott climbed into the water with the other end.

I’d slowly troll the water while the boys kept up in the weeds. Suckers like to spawn in the early Spring when it’s still cold. That cold water took some getting used to, but my boys loved it.

Scott and Jerrod had to keep the net down around the lake bottom, otherwise those suckers would swim right underneath the net. They were sneaky that way. But they couldn’t get away from us.

Once the nets were full, the real challenge was loading them into the boat without a bunch of suckers flopping out.


We’d take them back home and keep them in a handmade live well out by our dock. We’d use those suckers as tasty bait for Muskie fishing.

I was so proud of my boys. There was a learning curve, but they stuck with it. And once they caught on, they were really good at it.

I would teach them… just as my grandfather had taught me… that sometimes something amazing may be happening right in front of you. But unless you look for it, you’ll never find it.

Those spawning suckers are hard to spot unless you know where to look. And once you find ‘em, they’re yours for the taking.


This used to be our spring ritual. But we haven’t done it since the kids grew up and moved away.

I miss those days.

But who knows… maybe one of these days, my grandkids will take Grandpa Phil’s seine net out in the weeds and catch a few suckers of their own.

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – Paintings depicting seine nets have shown up in Egyptian tombs from 3000 B.C. I guess Grandpa wasn’t the first one seining for suckers.


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