Friday fish stories

I don’t know how Catholics became known for eating fish on Fridays, but I have heard this all my life. My wife’s family is Catholic, but even they don’t know. *

Maybe it is due to an abundance of fish in predominant Catholic towns along the coasts of Ireland, Spain, Italy or America. Or maybe it is an economical meal for a big family. (Note the rhythm method is not the best of birth control methods).

I do know my grandfather was the chief cooker of fish when we visited. This is primarily due to his being a highly prolific fisherman. Before he passed, my father, brother, uncle and I would go fishing with him.

He was a quiet and patient man which are ideal attributes for good fishing. While my brother and I would celebrate our catches, Granddaddy would quietly reel them in, re-bait the hooks and recast the lines. I have seen him regularly catch over 50 fish at a time.

We mainly used crickets as bait. That only presented a problem once as I knocked over the cricket basket in his house. My grandmother said she heard crickets for weeks. Truly, my bad.

I do know fishing was Granddaddy’s passion. He showed me not only how to fish, but how to clean them. I have a picture of me around ten holding a line of twenty-six fish before I cleaned them. Of course, I remember the tally. That was a great day.

Friday fish stories. And, they were actually true and memorable. 

* My wife read it is due to the avoidance of eating warm blooded animals on Friday to honor Jesus by fasting, which may or may not be true.

22 thoughts on “Friday fish stories

  1. My dad enjoyed fishing, but it never really caught on with me. It was fun when they were biting, but the rest of the time, it was just boring. But, as I’ve gotten older, I realized that maybe for Dad, it wasn’t about catching fish as much as about the serenity of sitting in a boat on a quiet, peaceful lake, watching the sun rise, with his little boy. Wish I’d appreciated those days more. Larry

  2. I went to school, decades and decades ago, in a heavily Catholic city/town At school there was always fish on Fridays – or macaroni and cheese.There were recipes for meatless Fridays but it was usually fish – nobody was eating tofu back then. The point was no red-type meat.

    This is back when if you were vegetarian it was often okay to eat fish and poultry – you could still be a vegetarian.(Bacon, burger and steak was the typical daily line-up of protein for the American population.)

    Anyway, to abstain from meat was said to be in honor of Christ who died on a Friday as it was supposed to remind you of His sacrifice. It’s still that way at Lent and Fridays are meatless. I can’t remember when it changed in Minnesota but I’d guess it was some time in the early 60s and we’d moved back to ND with the Lutherans.

  3. Oh, wow, what a story. But better crickets than spiders 😱
    I am not sure about the origin of that Friday tradition either but it could have to do with that miraculous multiplication of bread and fish.

  4. I’m sure you’ll find out all the reasons why today Keith. And let’s just say that everything is very fishy these days. Lord can we just burn the papers and more importantly the people behind the stories.. ugh..
    Ok it’s Fri-Yay and I’m not going there today. 😂😂
    Happy weekend My friend!

  5. I enjoyed your true fish stories. Its funny how some things just get passed down from generation to generation and we never know the real reason for it or how it started.
    Oh No on the crickets. She had a serenade every night. LOL!

  6. Note to Readers: One fish story occurred before we got to the lake. Granddaddy usually followed my Uncle Willie’s truck and boat trailer with his. One early morning, Willie had to slam on brakes and Granddaddy crashed into Willie’s boat trailer destroying the boat. No one was hurt. So, like a good fisherman, Willie rented a boat at the pier and went fishing as planned. He took care and of the smashed up boat and trailer later. It is good the boat and trailer absorbed the hit as somebody might have gotten hurt.

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