BRANTLEY, AL (WSFA) - Sometimes the best ideas come from a mistake. Just ask Brantley resident Eugene Hendrick.
Hendrick loves catfish and has been pulling them out of the water for more than five decades but something happened to him in the early 70's that changed the game. He was fishing with a wire basket, and when he tried to pull it up another basket came up instead, full of fish.
"There were like 15 to 20 catfish in it," said Hendrick. "I took out my tape measure, got all the measurements, and wrote it down. I said 'I'm going to build me one of these'. It has a lot of fish in it."
So Hendrick put the basket and all the fish back in the water and went to work.
"There are 140 pieces of wood with the latches and all. There are about 550 nails." Hendrick says
Hendrick kept building different shapes and sizes trying to get it just right.
"It's all artwork really. Everything is built with precision. I did a lot of research and development. I kept working and measuring everything and trying it out. This is 14 square inches, four feet long, double muzzles, and a built-in bait box."
Hendrick says it works like a charm. The fish go after the bait and enter the trap through the big opening. Then they squeeze through a smaller opening with flexible wood. Once they get through that opening there's no way to get out. The trap gets dark underwater and looks like a hollow log. Hendrick says if you don't have any fish in your trap, that's on you.
"I tell you what. If you don't have any fish in the trap, you're either using the wrong bait or there are no fish in the water." Hendrick says.
There's only one tiny issue with the trap.
"I tell you what it's fun to catch them, but then you get home and have to clean them all." Hendrick added.
Sounds like a good problem to have. He can make some for you too. His full-time job is Hendrick Signs in Brantley. Just give him a call at 334-303-9389.