Heartland Man Making it "On the Net!"

Bill Mitchell retired from farming but not to fish. He's so busy making fishing nets, he seldom has time to go fishing. His brother in law taught him to make nets 40 years ago. Now he sells what he crafts on the Internet.

Bill's nets are sold by www.geezer.com. He's one of dozens of seniors who earn a little extra by selling their handcrafted goods. Bill's landing nets sell for $25 dollars which is a bargain considering it takes him two days to make one. But he loves the work. "This is about all the fun I really have. Making nets. Sometimes my wife takes me out for a steak.

Bill Mitchell takes pride in his work. He uses better and bigger twine and ties each not twice so it won't slip landing a big fish. He says his nets can hold up to 160 pounds. Net making is one of the oldest skills known to man. 'Just think about it' Bill says, 'this net making goes back to Bible times.'

Bill does his work from an easy chair in the living room. He uses a large needle and a gauge to shape the nets while his dog, Mike, looks out the front window of the Mitchell home in East Prairie. Bill probably gives away more nets than he sells but that has some advantages. A neighbor who uses one of Bill's nets is an avid fisherman and delivers catfish filets.

Bill Mitchell may be one of the last people in the country still making nets by hand. And they're MADE IN THE HEARTLAND.