The Texas Toothpick Becomes a Fisherman – by R. Scott Decker, Ph.D.

The Texas Toothpick Becomes a Fisherman
By R. Scott Decker, Ph.D.

It started with a celluloid wrapped, green swirl Hammer Brand folder. To me from Dad — an addition to join the plugs and poppers in my blue plastic tackle box. The knife had a four-inch clip blade and a second blade that functioned as fish scaler, hook remover, and bottle opener. At ten years of age, I had little use for the bottle opener, but that would change. My fishing knife saw heavy use – many late afternoons angling for largemouth bass with purple plastic worms or for red-yellow sunfish tempted by bits of hot dog, maybe an occasional stocked trout. While not a particularly sturdy knife due to its thin blade and short bolster, cleaning fresh water fish with soft underbellies and pliable, cartilage-like bones didn’t require a heavier utility knife. The long blade made quick work of my catch on the edge of our pond or beside a creek. The carbon steel took a keen edge after a few passes across an oiled whetstone as it darkened but never rusted. My poor Hammer Brand, with its arm and sledgehammer tang stamp, finally wore out. But it became one of my favorite patterns.

This article appears in the August 2022 issue of KNIFE Magazine. Premium Online Members can read the whole thing by clicking the blue button below:

Toothpick Fisherman