Out There: River rumba

On spring evenings, anglers often hear a peculiar purring and grunting welling up from the depths… and wonder about its origin.

Updated: September 28, 2004, 1:34 PM ET
By Keith "Catfish" Sutton | Special to ESPN Outdoors

When the spring breeding season nears, the river rumba begins.

It is an eerie melody, heard from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

An angler on the water at night will often hear the peculiar combination of purring and grunting welling up from the depths, and wonder about its origin.

I remember when I first heard it. I was 14. A friend and I were trotlining in east Arkansas' L'Anguille River. It was near midnight.

We had baited our lines and laid back in our boat to ...

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River rumba