Tribune Print Share Text

Catch of the day

Eagle’s Trace residents hooked on recreational fishing

Created date

October 26th, 2010

When Art Lewicki was eight years old, his uncle bought him a fishing pole for his birthday. We lived in Sayreville, N.J., at the time, says Lewicki. The South River flowed through our little town up into New York. I went fishing down there with my pole, and I caught an eel. I was walking home when a neighbor saw me and bought the eel for 25 cents. I ve been fishing ever since. He s not alone. According to a study released by the National Sporting Goods Association, one in three Americans over the age of seven cast a line last year. And in July, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation cited fishing as the top gateway activity, spurring interest in outdoor pursuits. Lewicki understands the lure of the sport. The retired marine engineer has spent the better part of his life near the water.

A reel expert

Before my wife and I moved toEagle s Tracein Houston, we lived on Dickinson Bayou, says Lewicki. We had our own boat, and my son and I would go shrimping in the Bayou. We also liked to fish offshore near Galveston and Freeport. These days, you can find the seasoned fisherman dangling his pole in the waters of Lake Aquila, the Houston community s eight-acre lake replete with large-mouth bass, sunfish, and perch. I used to get up early in the morning to fish, says Lewicki. Now I don t have to worry about tides or anything else. I can fish when I want for as long as I want. And while the community s policy of catch-and-release precludes Lewicki from collecting pocket change from his neighbors, he did have the auspicious honor of catching the first recorded fish after the lake was stocked in 2007. It wasn t a really big fish, he says, probably about twice the size of your hand. But I had a friend enlarge it on his computer to four times its original size. That s the picture I carry around with me.

The bigger, the better

The fact that there s no organized club (yet) or record-keeping at the community does little to deter the spirit of competition. Everyone wants bragging rights for catching the biggest fish, says Adam Weycker, director of general services and the unofficial scorekeeper. L.D. Golike is the current title holder. Like Lewicki, Golike has been a lifelong fisherman. His notable catch was a three-pound wide-mouth bass. My son lives in Austin, and he ll drive over quite often to fish with me here, says Golike. He caught a fish that was almost as big as mine, but I still had him beat. I can t let him get ahead of me.