Monday, August 3, 2009
Shirley and I traveled down to Georgia over the weekend for a multi-purpose trip. Son-in-law Chad was graduating with his Masters Degree from UGA on Saturday - which was supposedly the purpose of the trip - but it was also a chance to see the grandkids, and finally, and not without its own degree of importance, Chad and I planned to fish for “shoalies” on Flint River.
The graduation ceremony was nice on Saturday. We were certainly proud seeing Chad get his masters and it was also very interesting to see the UGA campus and its great facilities. As a lifelong Oklahoma Sooners fan, I have a running battle with Chad and the grandkids about the quality of the Dawgs football program. Those poor children have been so brainwashed, that I have thought many times about calling social services to file a child abuse report. It is so bad that they even think that slobbering overweight bulldog is cute! Anyway, as impressive as their facilities are, I was not swayed. Perhaps I’ll root for them...at least until they progress to the level of OU and become a threat.
Chad and I had been watching the radar all week and feared that the Flint would be blown-out so our backup plan was to fish the big lake at Callaway Gardens, but not until we made a visual inspection of the Flint. Sunday morning before dawn we headed for the river. I had discovered that my non-res GA license had expired so before leaving I quickly logged onto the state’s website to renew it. No such luck – the site was down. It was a short drive to the Flint and the odds of finding a place that was open and selling licenses on a Sunday morning at 6:30 were slim to none. “None” won out....so it was off to Callaway, where a license isn’t required.
And of course Callaway hadn’t opened yet. (They’re more into golf, bike riding and butterfly viewing than fishing, which is amazing, due to the quality of the fisheries on the property.) We went and grabbed a bite to eat and returned at 9 when the gate opened. In our rented john boat we motored across the lake to a likely looking bank. (The lower right water in the photo above) The weather was perfect...heavy overcast with a slight breeze out of the south. I decided to start with a Callaway standard – the Stealth Bomber in black. One of the guides said we’d better “go deep” if we expected to catch anything, but looking at the weather, I thought otherwise. On my third cast I hooked up with a decent largemouth...and just a few casts later the water erupted with a very decent one. A few moments later I reached for my new Lippa tool and pulled a largemouth of around three pounds into the boat. Of course neither of us had a camera, but trust me...it was a pretty fish indeed. The day was looking very promising.
I continued on with the Stealth Bomber to no avail...eventually switching to one of Walt Cary’s famous poppers to get in on the bluegill action along with Chad. We spent the next 4 hours landing bluegill after bluegill...but not one more bass! Still, it was great day...and a fantastic way to celebrate Chad’s educational accomplishment.
We fished all the likely looking water...deep banks and shallow coves...in the wind and not. As the day progressed and warmed we had good success going deeper with Rubber Legged Dragons and poor luck with the MinnKota. While I was doing the guiding I managed to get the prop completely encased in moss and when Chad’s turn came around he managed to get his fly line wrapped around it. But those are the things that fishing trips are made of. If we’re really honest, all of our so called “perfect days” had their share of calamities too.