The Dart: Burns family enjoys fishing

Published 12:01 am Monday, June 18, 2012

Andy Burns often goes fishing with his daughter Maggie on Old River to catch white perch. The Burns family spent the weekend at Lake St. John with their extended family. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

By Mollie Beth Wallace

NATCHEZ — Father’s Day weekend kicked off with everything Natchez resident Andy Burns could want.

When The Dart fell on Maplewood Lane, Burns was loading the last of his equipment into his fishing boat.

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Burns said he was getting everything ready for a weekend at Lake St. John with his family.

The Burns family has always enjoyed spending time on the water, he said.

“I can’t ever remember not being able to swim,” he said.

Andy said he and his eight siblings competed on the swim team in Natchez throughout their childhood, and although he enjoyed swimming, the water has become a place to spend time with family and catch some tasty dinner.

With three freezers and two refrigerators in his home, Andy said he enjoys being outdoors to keep up a stock of fish and deer meat.

His freezer is mostly filled with white perch, his favorite, he said.

But Andy said he can’t take all the credit for reeling in so many. Sometimes he gets a little help.

“This is my fishing buddy,” Andy said as his daughter, Maggie, climbed into her spot on his boat.

Looking down at the cane poles that she likes to fish with, Maggie said she normally catches more fish than her dad.

“My favorite part (of fishing) is having fun,” Maggie said.

The pair likes to head out to Old River and fish with live bait.

The best part, they admitted, happens when they get back to the kitchen.

Maggie said she likes to fry her fish herself, but she leaves the dirty work to her dad.

“(Cleaning the fish) can get a little slimy,” said Helen, her mother.

While the father-daughter duo usually goes out on the water just for fun, Andy said there is something else calling Maggie back to the water.

“The Big Kahuna,” as they named it, is the one that got away.

According to Andy, Maggie fought with this fish on her line a few years ago, and unfortunately, it wriggled its way off her line.

But Maggie isn’t giving up.

“Every time they go they say they’re looking for ‘the Big Kahuna,’” Helen said.

Next time Maggie lands the big fish, he’s not getting away.