Fishing in the puddle…by Bill Wetzel

By Bill Wetzel

I cannot ever remember having some type of fishing twisting and turning in my head like a screw waiting to drive through a piece of lumber. It is beyond my comprehension of how these thoughts continue from my first thoughts until this day when most of my other thoughts have come and went. My Grandfather who we affectionately called “Gug” was a well know trapper in Ohio, and also was known in smaller circles about his ability to catch fish. My “Grandpaw” Wetzel was not much of a hunter, but lived out in the country and grew up farming. Dad was never much of a fisherman, but loved small game hunting. I remember as a kid crashing though thickets as his dog when we hunted bunnies. I would stay up all night because I was so excited to go hunting with Dad I just couldn’t sleep. We would wake at first light, and head over to “Ma Homes” for the best home fries on the planet. I still can taste the home fries, and smell the breakfast, and hear the chatter of knives and forks hitting plates as other hunters dug in.

Sitting here at a desk writing on a computer sometimes almost does not seem real to me, especially when thinking back on a time that seems like it was not that long ago. Around the time I was the dog for the bunny hunts, I remember, if I was not hunting, fishing, or watching fishing shows I was out playing football, baseball, or guns. It was not for an hour or two, on a play date. It was all day, until Mom would yell “Billy, time for dinner”. I remember being so obsessed with fishing that I would take a stick and tie a leaf to it to fish in mud puddles after a soaking rain. I always liked the dirty mud puddles because most of the fishing I did at the time was done in muddy rivers like the little Portage that runs through Oak Harbor Ohio. I swore to my buddy Donnie that I was going to catch something in those puddles. I never did. With so many things that have changed throughout my life one of the things I know for sure that has remained constant is the love I have for fishing. Why is that? I do not know, but thank you Lord for keeping it in my soul.


Bill Wetzel is what we like to call “The Hardest Working Guide in the Surf”. A quintessential Montauk Regular Bill works hard at teaching his clients the secrets of Montauk coves and consistently puts them on the fish. No wonder most of his customers come back for more year after year. Bill also runs a Surf Rats ball, Subscribers only forum at he exchanges ideas with his subscribers and of course, logs each and every one of his trips for all to read. Check it out at


7 comments on “Fishing in the puddle…by Bill Wetzel

  1. Chris Richard

    You perfectly described what I’m sure a lot of us feel. There’s an almost sadness when I realize I’m chasing a feeling that will never return; that childhood excitement and pure joy that, once lost, can never return. Once in a while a moment approaches that childhood feeling, like sharing the moment when my oldest son hooked and landed his first big fish, a 10# blue. Those are the moments I strive to soak up as much as possible. The salt smell. The sounds. Everything.

  2. Jim J.

    You said it Bill, those days are long gone just to get my daughter to go outside is a chore and to think my Grandma would be ringing the bell for us to come for dinner and we would always ask if we could go back and finish fishing it was a small river that ran in between the cranberry bogs and there was plenty of fish right at the culvert if we weren’t finishing in there we were swimming in it or climbing the tall pines Thanks for bringing back memories

  3. Vic D

    Bill, I have three grandsons that fish those same puddles! That picture struck my heart. Thanks so much AGAIN ! Vic D ( olskool)


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