Last week we were playing with the grand children in our back yard and noticed some wasps flying around one of our bushes. On closer inspection I found a small wasp nest and with a quick spray of wasp and hornet spray had the situation under control. I retrieved the nest and as I was explaining how the nest was constructed and the larva inside the nest were actually baby wasp, my mind went back to many times that I went fishing with my grandfather "Tut".
One of my grandfather's favorite bream fish bait was the small larva from wasp nests. This was an exceptional bait when the Ouachita River was out of its banks and the pecan tree worms would begin to fall into the flood waters. Baiting your hook with one of these tender morsels would guarantee that the float would go under immediately and you would have a hand sized bream on your line.
Now, gathering and using this type bait was quite a challenge, especially for a youngster like me. The day before we were to go fishing or sometimes on the way fishing, my grandfather would locate a large wasp nest and knock the nest down. This was known as "robbing the wasp nest" and I am not sure how he accomplished this without getting stung many times. He would then put the nest into a large paper bag and tie the top closed. Sometimes in the car on the way to the fishing spot the wasp would hatch out and you could hear them flying around in the bag. Once at the river we would load all of our gear, including the wasp nest bag, into the boat and head out for a day of fishing. When we needed some bait for our hook we would open the bag and reach in and get one of the wasp larva from a compartment in the nest. This was done as wasps were flying out of the bag, and was a very uncomfortable situation for me but I never remember anyone getting stung. Who knows, maybe the wasps could not sting so soon after they hatched out of the nest.
This is what country memories are made of.