Coping with COVID: Faculty Members Find Peace in Fishing

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Paul Lecat, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family and Community Medicine, spoke with The Pulse about a recent fishing trip.

In July, Dr. Lecat (photo, left) and William (Bill) Chilian, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Medical Sciences (photo, second from right), packed their bags, grabbed their fishing rods and headed down to Venice, Louisiana, for a three-day fishing expedition.

The pair, joined by two other fellow fishermen, took precautions and monitored symptoms leading up to the trip.

“It was nice to hang with a few other guys and get some rest,” said Dr. Lecat. “We always reinforce to our students how important it is to get away. I try to set a good example, because let me tell you, after four months of doing Zoom meetings from my dining room table, I needed something. This was a really good way to refresh myself and restore my spirit.”

One of the group’s prized catches was a 120-pound swordfish (pictured above) that they caught near the continental shelf.

Dr. Lecat noted that all four men took turns reeling the fish in for nearly an hour before they were able to pull it onto the boat.

Question of the day: How did their bounty of fish make it back to Ohio?

Dr. Lecat explains, “When we got back to the dock, we got it fileted up and we each took home 15 pounds of filet. We took the filets to a nearby marina where they froze the fish and overnight shipped it back to Ohio.”

The group also caught several red snapper fish and red drum fish along the way, winning Dr. Lecat the new title of “red snapper whisperer.”

Southerner at heart

While Dr. Lecat was born and raised on Long Island, New York, he attended Tulane University in New Orleans and has held Louisiana near and dear ever since.

Perhaps that’s what made this trip so special for Dr. Lecat, who noted that going to Venice, Louisiana, has been on his bucket list.

“Fishing has always been important to me. Moving to Ohio was difficult. I’ve been here nearly 30 years now and the one thing I miss is salt water, but I’m always able to get away,” said Dr. Lecat. “That’s it for me — you put me on salt water and I’m zeroed out and ready to go.”

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