An almost deserted ramp. One angler, standing on the floating dock, cast desultorily along the bank. I surmised maybe he was just killing time before breakfast. A guy in a big Dodge, pulling a deep breather pulled in behind us. Other than that, Jackie and I had Davis Corners to ourselves.
I guess everybody was tired from fishing the Tuesday night tournament there. I guess they still have one. Jackie backed me in and I fired the Yamaha up. We were not going far. Sometimes at Davis, I don’t even start the big motor.
It was still just cool. Light jackets felt good. I decided to start with the Rippit frog. Jackie started with a fluke. Both are usually good choices for that area. Back before the “powers that be” decided they needed to kill out all the grassbeds, the fluke could get your arm broken in that area.
It wasn’t long before we were both changing baits. Jackie was getting a lot of bluegill action on a shallow running crank bait but I boated the first bass on a spinner bait. As is so common on Old Hickory, he lacked a half-inch of being a keeper albeit, perfect for eating. I pitched him back and cast again. I still do not understand the thinking behind the dang 14-inch size limit. It forces people who eat fish to keep the larger, female bass and throw back the ones they should be eating.
But anyway, by the time it had warmed enough to shed our light jackets, we had caught a couple and were simply enjoying the calm, clear morning.
The fish were shallow and seemed to be on wood. We worked out a cove thoroughly and watched as a few cows come down to cool their bellies in the shallow water. A heron gave us his version of a man gagging on a knotted sock and a kingfisher waited patiently for a shad to mess up.
A snake showed interest in Jackie’s lure and Jackie explained the consequences of taking a bite. I explained the consequences of putting the snake in the boat. I love my boat but under certain circumstances, will leave it in a New York minute. We messed around like that for a couple hours, caught enough fish to call it a good morning and went home. It is a great way to start the day. In fact, we enjoyed it enough, we decided to try Priest the next week.
One again, the sun was just peeking over edge when we put in at the Hermitage Yacht Club. One other guy was launching a kayak??? I reckon it is about a three minute ride to where I wanted to start. It was about 70-degrees with only a slight chance of morning sky water. The main consideration was the wind. Wind can be a miserable factor on Priest. So, with a fluke on one rod and a GitZit on another, the Jackster and I Sallied forth. I wanted to be back in time for the P-rade for Woody and the Boyz.
The breeze was more than light when we set out. By the time we rounded the point to the cove I wanted to start with, it was more than a breeze. So, battling the wind and unable to fish the lures we wanted the way we wanted, I resorted to a GitZit and fishing with a bow in my line, missed as ton of fish and managed to put two bass and a drum in the boat. Jackie, fishing a shallow running crank bait, put two bass, one of which was a nice smallie and catfish in the boat. Had I been able to fish the GitZit right, I feel sure would have caught a couple limits.
A beautiful sunrise, a smooth running boat and six fish in two hours is not a bad way to start the day. We both missed a lot of strikes and agreed, it was another good morning. We were home by nine.
In fact, it was so good, three days later, Judge Dave Durham and I went out one afternoon from five until dusk on a calm afternoon and caught 11 with some good fish both smallmouth and largemouth in the mix. Had we kept them, it would have been a dandy box of fish. My arm was sore from fighting a couple good smallmouth. They really wanted the Gitzit.
Try it sometimes. It is a great way to start . . . or end the day.
Contact John L. Sloan at -- firstname.lastname@example.org