My favorite place is the Ken Combs Pier located at the end of Courthouse Road in Gulfport. A structure built for and used by fisherman from all over the area.
The pier jets out about four hundred feet into the saline water. Every hundred feet there are cabanas built to the left and right. Aqua colored tin roofs cover these additions and shade the wooden benches built onto the pier. It ends in a “T” formation and has additional benches for sitting and tables to clean your fish on.
But to me the pier is more then a place to ensnare a fish. Sometimes I find companionship. People of different races, diverse backgrounds, and various ages mingle together on a pier; the barriers that normally separate us are torn away. It also provides a place for solitude, allowing me to converse with nature, write a story, or read a book.
Some look at the pier as just a structure used by fisherman, but actually, it offers more than the eye can see. As I step onto it my senses come alive. I can feel the sultry sun touching me, warming my air-conditioned skin till the ocean breeze diminishes the sweltering heat. Then the pungent odor of dead fish tingles my nostrils, the smell lessened by the salty air. Penetrating my ears are the sounds of birds calling to each other overhead and the waters softly lapping the pilings below.
The mixture of nature and human contact nurtures my soul, providing a tranquility that I can find nowhere else. This is why a public fishing pier is my favorite place to be.
My girlfriend, Marianne and I live in Urbana, Illinois. For several years I worked in a pet store, but only dabbled with fish breeding. We started breeding Bettas in June of 1994. What started as a pastime, has now To the question, "How hard is it to breed Bettas?": We seem to think that the most difficult parts are, carefully watching the breeding couple from mating until the eggs hatch (usually ...