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Gone fishin' — for a career

Sunday, October 14, 2007 | 6:35 p.m. CDT; updated 3:36 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008
Bill Youmans spends a brisk autumn afternoon casting into a pond he's stocked with a variety of fish.

Bill Youmans has stocked the ponds near his mother’s house in Columbia with fish for the past five years. Having returned from an internship as a fisheries manager in the Great Smoky Mountains, on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Youmans drops a line into one of the ponds to see which of the eight different kinds of fish have survived the winter.

“Large mouth bass, small mouth bass, three kinds of sunfish, channel catfish and white and black crappie,” Youmans lists.

“It’s kind of a giant experiment. All these fish are supposedly not supposed to be in the same pond.” He catches a channel catfish and eases it back into the water.

The colder temperatures of autumn make the fish less likely to bite in the pond near Hinkson Creek, but Youmans enjoys the time to himself. “It’s a great excuse to be outdoors,” he said.

Bill Youmans tries a variety of lures to catch the fish in one of the ponds he has stocked.
A channel catfish caught by Bill Youmans spends a few moments out of the water before being released back into the pond.
Bill Youmans fishes off the dock on Oct. 10.

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