This past Tuesday, July 14, I was able to go fishing for the first time in forever. I visited a friend’s home located on Lake Lanier. He lives on a cove where, for the past few months, the water levels have luckily been rising. Lake Lanier suffered a drastic drought period that lasted for over a year, even through months that should have been drenching us with rain in the North Georgia area. Not taking into account the drought in our area, it suffered the ever increasing bitching and complaining by the states of Alabama and Florida. Florida complained that the loss of water to their area, caused by the holding back of water at Buford Dam, was causing death to fresh water animals. What’s fair about ours having to die so that theirs can continue to live. I wish all of them that were complaining could have seen the mass destruction of water live when the Corps of Engineers let more water out of Lake Lanier than they should have. Ugh, faulty meter my ass. I think faulty brains were at play.
Back to my train of thought, the water has once again started to flow back into this cove, lifting my friend’s dock off the dry ground. I had told him I wanted to go fishing and he told me to come up and see if I could catch anything from the dock. I took him up on his idea and paid him a visit, yielding my tackle box, rod and reel, lounge chair, and a small cooler of Bud. It would not have been a complete fishing trip if the beer had not come along.
I stopped by the local Wal-Mart to get some bait. I would have loved to go fishing for catfish, but I knew they were not going to be plentiful. I was going to have more luck catching either bass, trout, or carp. I have never eaten either of these fish, but I wasn’t planning on eating any I caught.
Unless the lake is stocked by someone, it will be fished empty within a matter of a few years. I wouldn’t want to see that happen. Fish farms are more likely to stay stocked by their owners so that the fishing business will thrive and never die out. That isn’t the case with a lake the size of Lake Lanier. There is a trout farm close to the dam, but that is located farther down the Chattahoochee. Not mentioning the number of fish in the lake, I have honestly never cleaned a fish on my own. My dad did all the cleaning of fish. It stunk then and it will nonetheless stink now!
For this fishing trip, I would not be buying the usual stink bait, otherwise known as “blood bait”, consisting of various things, including blood, giving it the dark read color. This trip would call for either fake lures, worms, crickets, or minnows and shad. I chose to get earthworms or “night crawlers” and silver minnows. I have to say, these minnows were not what I was used to seeing. When going to a true bait shop, quite often you will find large vats of water with an aerator. These vats contain thousands of minnows, ready to be placed in a styrofoam container. Since Wally World
does not have these vats, and isn’t a bait shop, they have to rely on what they can get from distributors.
I had never seen preserved minnows till I picked up this jar. It’s amazing how they can pack this jar slam full of them! I tried one of these little critters first. I didn’t get a good bite on the first or second time I cast my line, but then again, I think about the depth of water around the dock. It wasn’t as deep as it could have been. There is a channel that cuts through where the dock is sitting, but still, in relation to the depth of the lake, it wasn’t that deep. Then again, it could be the time of day I chose to go fishing. It was around 1 or 2 pm. As I was reminded by Mike, fish do tend to feed in the morning hours when the sun isn’t at its peak.
When I didn’t get anything more than nibbles, I placed an earthworm on the hook. Good heaven, these worms are huge! When we went fishing at home, we always went outside and dug up some of the back yard where Mom used to throw out dishwater. (An explaination for that will come later in either a blog or podcast.) We would fill up coffee cans or some other bowl with dark, silt filled dirt and carry them along. Much cheaper I should add. These critters are sometimes like crack to a fish. They see it hit the water, see it wiggle some on the hook, and then attack it with force. They are also kind of fun getting them on the hook as they wiggle, lengthen, and then shorten
themselves while trying to get away. They make it a feat to get them on a hook! I cast my line into the channel running through where the dock sat and relaxed in my chair while talking to Mike. You know those conversations you have to pass the time….relationships, work, things you do around the house, people you know, people you wish you didn’t know, etc. It was fun spending time with Mike as I don’t get to see him as much as I used to. I met him years ago when we were attending a dinner group in Gainesville, GA. We have kept in touch since then through one way or another. These days, when you find a good friend, you need to hold onto them.
That’s about the extent of my fishing trip. I will go back again one day soon, definitely during the morning hours and not when it is so dang hot. I am not going to complain about the heat. It hasn’t been that hot to me. I’m not like others that go around with the wrists to the forehead, screaming how hot and unbearable it is. To me, the North Georgia area has no humidity. Mobile, AL has humidity. Grove Hill, AL has humidity. New Orleans, LA has humidity. Atlanta, GA has no humidity. In Atlanta’s case, it’s all the pavement that radiates the heat back into the air around us. Take away the moisture in the air and you have dry heat that is, to me, unbearable. That’s why I could never live in Palm Springs or any other areas in that dry climate. Give me the Southeast or give me death! LOL.