For years, Pat Pierce was responsible for getting letters to the right place while working for the U.S. Postal Service.
Now, as a retiree, he’s just looking for the right place to find fish.
Pierce, of Topeka, retired on Oct. 3, 2016, after a 40-year career, during which he served as both a mail carrier and in an administrative capacity as a retail planner team lead. He was used to the early morning routine and the daily grind. So when he suddenly had the free time that comes in retirement, he used the opportunity to rediscover his love for the outdoors — particularly crappie fishing.
“Until I retired, I had to catch them on the weekend just to go,” he said. “You’d get to the point where, when the weekends finally came around, you know, you’ve got grass to mow and this and that and everything else. And you know, that crappie window, you’ve got three or four weeks there to catch them, depending on which lake you go to and if Mother Nature holds up and doesn’t do like it did this year where the water got so high.”
Pat began going on regular fishing trips this spring with his older brother, Larry, as well as enjoying other outdoors pursuits like hunting mushrooms and going four-wheeling on the new ATV he received as a retirement present from his wife. He also enjoys going on hikes and hunting geese and turkey.
With the crappie bite waning off as the summer kicks into gear, Pierce has started heading to deeper waters in search of catfish instead. Pat’s brother-in-law, Mike, has a boat they often take on their fishing excursions. During a fishing trip last month, the duo caught 15 catfish on Clinton Lake in Lawrence. Pat even caught a 15-pound carp by the tail.
Pat is planning a trip to Montana soon to visit Glacier National Park with his family, where they likely will have to hike and camp to see all of the sights they’d like to see.
His wife, Tammi, admittedly wasn’t so keen about the idea of camping, especially after one of their previous camping trips, during which a skunk came up to their tent in the middle of the night. The skunk left them alone, but some of their fellow campers weren’t so lucky, as they left their trailer door open.
The skunk made sure they’d never make that mistake again.