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Edwards makes living fishing the Tombigbee River

By Staff
FISH STORE Rusty Edwards cleans catfish he recently caught on the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers. Edwards, who has fished his entire life, will sell fresh fish from his Whynot Fish Market off Highway 19 South near the Alabama state line. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
April 22, 2002
Rusty Edwards mines the Tombigbee River for some of the freshest, best-tasting catfish, buffalo fish and drum fish he said anyone will find in Mississippi.
He said they're even better than farm-raised catfish.
Edwards' fish market is housed in a small white building along a road on the west side of Highway 19 South, about three miles before the Alabama state line.
The store marks one of the four corners of Lauderdale County.
Edwards has installed a refrigerator, three deep freezers, two scales and a counter top for cleaning fish. State inspectors have given him passing grades and permission to open.
Edwards expects to have the store running full-time in about a month. Nevertheless, he already sells fish to customers who come from Mississippi and Alabama.
Wanda Chess and her son, David, made the 25-minute drive last week from Pennington, Ala., to buy catfish Edwards had caught and cleaned.
Edwards said the fresh taste is because his fish are chemical free and available hours after they are caught. He keeps them on ice three days before freezing them.
Most of his customers choose river fish over farm-raised catfish.
Edwards sells whole fish at $2 a pound and filets at $3 a pound.
Edwards wakes at 4:30 a.m. and hits the Tombigbee by 5:30 a.m. in his green 16-foot boat. He fishes by daylight with gill and hoop nets.
After fishing, Edwards plans to arrive at his store by noon and stay until dark. The store will be open every day except Sunday.