Two thousand miles later, I know largemouth are biting at Lake Seminole and smallmouth are biting at Lake Erie!
On a Thursday in Novmeber, 2016 I made the 200 mile trip to Wingates Lunker Lodge to meet Clint and Bowynn Brown to get information for the Georgia and Alabama Outdoor News December issues. Clint and his son Bowynn live across the street from Wingates and Clint guides on the lake. Both fish tournaments there. Bowynn is a member of the Bainbridge Bass Cats High and Middle schools fishing teams.
When I got there that afternoon they had been out fishing and had about ten bass in the live well. When they started pulling them out for pictures each held two up. Those four went from almost six pounds to about five pounds. And there was another five pounder still in the live well!
We went out for a few hours looking at the ten spots to put on the map and talked about how to fish them. Then I made the 200 mile return trip to Griffin, getting home about 11:00 PM.
On Saturday Bowynn won his school tournament with three bass weighing seven pounds and Clint won a tournament with five weighing 18 pounds. Bass are feeding heavily at Seminole and it would be a great trip anytime until the water gets real cold around Christmas.
Friday I left my house at 11:00 AM headed north. I thought leaving at that time would get me through Atlanta when traffic was not too bad. WRONG. The traffic warning sign near I-20 on I-75 said there was a wreck at 17th street and all lanes were blocked.
I started to try to go around it on surface streets downtown but I don’t really know my way around and was afraid I would get lost. Sure enough I came to a stop near 10th Street. It took me 30 minutes to get past the wreck on 17th Street. And apparently it had caused other wrecks, the police were working four wrecks between 14th and 17th Streets!
The rest of the 400 mile drive to near Lexington, KY was uneventful and I spent the night at a Red Roof Inn. The next morning I drove to Lake Erie just south of Detroit, another 400 miles, and spent the night. I was within a mile of I-75, I took it all the way.
Sunday morning when I got up just before daylight the windshield on my van was iced over. Not frost, solid ice. The air was at 36 degrees according to my phone weather report. At 9:00 I met Bass Elite Pro Chad Pipkins and got my Cabella’s Guidewear, my heaviest winter suit, on.
Chad said it was a nice day even if cold, and the wind was not bad. We put in at the boat ramp in a cove and rounded the point, and I said “I don’t think I’m in Georgia anymore.” There was nothing ahead of us but water as far as I could see.
The waves seemed pretty big to me but Chad said it was not a bad day. We stopped on a rock pile in 15 feet of water and he got on the front of the boat. Every tenth wave or so broke over the front of the boat, soaking his feet and putting several gallons of water in the boat.
He said on a bad day every wave would do that!
We fished for about an hour and each of us caught a smallmouth on drop shot rigs. We then went back into the ramp cove and he showed me all the bells and whistles on the boat. Pros at that level have an amazing array of extras on their boats. This one had four top end Hummingbird depthfinders on it!
We took the boat our and I headed home. The boat followed me! I hope Linda will let me keep it and give it a good home!
I called and made reservations at the same motel in Kentucky where I had stayed two nights before. When I got to Cincinnati I came to a stop about two miles from where I-75 splits and goes over the river. Nobody was going the other way into town. Four miles and 90 minutes later traffic sped up to about 50 miles per hour and thinned. I never saw a wreck or any other reason for the traffic jam.
Pulling a new boat through all that mess worried me a little but everything went fine until I came into Atlanta. As usual traffic was jammed up where I-75 and I-85 join, even at 1:00 on a Monday afternoon. One lane would stop while the one next to it moved, then that lane would stop while the other one moved.
Even though the boat trailer has surge brakes I tried to leave several car lengths ahead of me, you do not stop immediately when pulling a boat. At one point the lane to my left was stopped and I was moving at about 20 miles an hour. Some crazy woman in a tiny red car decided to pull into my lane just about the time my front bumper was even with her back bumper. I managed to slam on brakes and miss her. If I had hit her with my big van it would have crushed her little car.
She went about 50 feet to where the lane we were in was stopped, then jumped back into the left lane between two cars as it started to move, almost hitting them, too. I saw her change lanes like that four more times in the next half mile or so. She was about ten car lengths ahead of where she was when she first pulled out in front of me.
Strangely enough, the most expensive gas on the whole trip was right here in Griffin, Georgia! I wonder why. Long trip, 400 miles each of five days in a row, 800 of them pulling a boat, and I am glad to be home!