Monday, November 8, 2010

Licensed to fish... and drive!

I drove to visit Kelly in the Jackson, MS metro area this weekend. (Unfortunately, my fishing buddy and I have about 200 miles of interstate between us due to lack of good opportunities for employment. We do our best to make the most of our weekends.) I wish I could say we had a great fishing weekend, but we got skunked... the big goose egg, nothing, zero, zilch.

I convinced Kelly to let me go down to the ol' Ross Barnett Reservoir Dam spillway/Pearl River tailwater... long description, but that's what it is. I say "convinced" because Kelly doesn't like Mississippi reservoir spillway fishing. Kelly hasn't had a lot of spillway success, and the environment itself isn't the most pleasing. To be completely honest, it is very dirty. The people who fish these places don't seem to have a lot of home training... lots of trash, food wrappers, bottles, tackle packaging, bobbers, nests of old line... you get the picture. This is "brownline" fishing at its finest.

I must admit I enjoy a gar on the fly rod. It's part of the reason I fish these funky ditches. Fishing in a funky place every now and again also makes you appreciate a pristine trout or Smallmouth stream that much more. The gar bite is really best during the dog days of summer, so this weekend I was hoping for a Striped Bass. Obviously, from my skunk report, I was a little late for the autumn Striper run. Although I have not personally caught one, I have seen some very large Stripers (well over 30 inches) pulled from the Pearl River. The biggest one I have managed to catch was about 16 inches... and I certainly didn't improve on that Saturday... or Sunday. The water was very low... the lowest I've ever seen it. We've been experiencing a bit of drought in this part of the country. There were a lot of folks fishing, but none I saw doing any catching. I eventually gave up on the bass and started slowly dragging a weighted giant woolly bugger (hook size 2, my specialty for bass) along the bottom in hopes of catching a Channel Catfish. No luck with that, but I did manage to catch a mussel... seriously... it clamped down on the hook and I felt like I had at least "caught" something. Sad.

The most exciting fishing related personal news I have is that on Friday I got my new Tennessee license plate for my truck. I decided to further my public expression of my fishing addiction (as if this blog and my other internet musings weren't enough) by purchasing a special vehicle tag. I was torn between a Smallie and a Brookie...


The Brook Trout plate supports Trout Unlimited conservation efforts in our state, and the Smallmouth Bass plate supports the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in their wildlife and fisheries work.

It was a tough decision, but in the end...

I listened to Kelly. She told me the Smallmouth was "more me." I know she's right... I do claim to be a Smallmouth fanatic. I need to remember... Kelly is always right.

Just in case you can't read it on the small sample or see through my trailer ball... the plate reads "Where Smallmouth is King" which is reference to the World Record 11 lb 15 oz Smallmouth Bass from Dale Hollow Lake... and that's your Tennessee fishing trivia for the day. The Smallie on the plate is about to inhale a crayfish that is suprisingly not attached to any fishing tackle. The naturalist in me very much likes that the fish isn't about to inhale a crankbait.


  1. great read, I love the term "home training" hah ahhha thats just great!

  2. Sorry no SMB, but fly fishing for gar...that sounds like something to add to the "to do" list. Nice post (& license plate).

  3. Those are some great plates! I wonder if spillways everywhere have the same trash problem? You just decribed most spillways in Utah. Great post.

  4. Jay
    I feel a connection here ---my wife and I were born and raised in Mississippi. I use to fish Barnett years ago when I was in high school living at Ackeramn Miss. We live about two hours on the Natchez Trace north of Barnett. I fish it for bass and caught aome nice fish there. Glad you joined up with my gourp, and hope you enjoy my upcoming post. I will be joining your blog as well. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Jay, when it come to fish vs Kelly or good advice from Kelly vs you...My money going to always be on Kelly.

  6. I would put my money on her too. Actually, I think I already have.