A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
 Along with other good times and interesting discoveries

Richard Loller

Early Days

Back to Index...

Visit Storyhouse.org - my site for writers and readers.  

Thanksgiving Day, 2002 (start of project) to Winter 2004

Saturday and Sunday, November 1and 2, 2003
Below Center Hill Dam




     I met Jeremy Darnell, a bubba who was fishing with a pink Sluggo, no weight, just a hook.  This is in the pool below the dam at Center Hill.  This was Saturday and I was fishing for crappie with my fly rod and ultra light spinning rod.  Caught a reasonable number, but
overall it was pretty slow.  Sun was bright and water was clear and, as you can see it was warm.
     Sunday morning I showed up with a heavier 
rod and used the Sluggo-like lure Jerry gave us at Okeechobee.  But the fish, crappie, bass, bream, and trout (I tried them all), had lock jaw that day, much as at Ky Lake when Frank and I were 
there.  Had one bass rise three times to the lure,
but even though he gave me enough hope to keep me going until around 1pm, he never grabbed it.
     I fished both days out of the 12' jon boat.

Caught these on Saturday with a little white 
and chartreuse tube jig.  On the fly rod I used 
the 64th oz jig head and on the spinning rod 
the 32nd oz. which is just heavy enough with four lb. line to cast 50-60 feet.  Then I'd let 
it drift down while I counted to find the depth. 
I reel it back very slowly.  They sometimes 
take it on the drop, since it drops slowly, and sometimes on the very slow retrieve, just fast enough to keep it off the bottom. At least that's the ideal. The take is a tiny tap, as in worm fishing.  You reel a little faster to be sure it's a fish and then very fast to get the slack out of 
the line and set the hook. It takes practice to 
learn the difference between a fish and a limb.  I've had, oh..., 30 or 40 years of it.
     The weather has been wonderful the last week.  Saturday was in the 80's so on Sunday
I went bare foot, wearing only shorts and life preserver.  Got a little red, but no burn.  The sun is warm but it has lost its fierce Summer power.

These are Black Nose Crappie which are the most common kind at Center Hill.  I don't know if they exist anywhere else.  Must ask around.  Here you can see the black line from the lip down the back.  Not the greatest pic, but these were barely legal 
fish (10").  The slabs I was catching last winter are not here yet.  They seem to come upstream and congregate below the dam in cold weather, so I'm waiting to see. 
     I'm learning a lot about fishing below this dam.  It's a great place at times.  Not many other fishermen, but those you see are all after different things in different ways.  The Bubba above said you can snag big catfish on a treble hook if you keep your eyes open.  So, when the trout don't cooperate I have a good place to go with a wind break to the east and north.  It's erie to be below that awesome dam.  Doesn't bear thinking about what would happen if it cracked.  Wild ride! 
     Frank, we'll try it if you get up here again.  I ought to know a lot more about it by then.  Hope you and the Taliban go a few times before I get back to Ft. Myers.  If he won't, call Jerry. 

Nashville/Smashville  Snow of January 16, 2003

I left work at 2:30 and only took
an hour to get home.  Lowered
the air in the tires to 20# and put
120# of sand (all the hardware
store had left) in the back of the truck. Sherry wisely stayed home all day.  I almost lost it on the streets near work, but once on Briley it was fine.  Many wrecks and abandoned cars on the way to the Y next morning.
Anyone for a swim?
Sherry measured 8" on the deck...
View off the back corner of deck...
We mustn't forget the birdies...

Thanksgiving Day and Pearl Harbor Day, 2002

These are the photos we took on Thanksgiving day during our trip to the spring Road to
get water.  Travis and James explored Beaman park while I watched the six gallon jerry cans fill up very
slowly.  It took almost an hour to fill two of them.


Travis and Pop at the spring. 

Travis and James. 

December 7, 2002.  It was sunny and cold with not much wind.  Took the jon boat and 1 1/2 hp motor and
fished the Caney Fork river.  Caught the big rockfish on 4 lb. line.  Also caught and kept 10 nice trout.  It
was a fine day with high water.  No chance of wading.  The fish were active and I got many hits in addition
to the ones caught.  Saw only one other set of fishermen, a man and wife in a canoe.  We took our boats
out together at about 4:45.  By then it was freezing and all my gloves were wet.  The car felt great once the
heater got going.  I cleaned the fish at home.  Kept them in the cooler in water so that almost all made it
home alive.  Won't need to keep any fish for a while.  Frank, I caught most of the trout where we found them
when you were here.  Caught the rockfish while I was on the way upstream trolling a rattletrap.  Caught him
where we fished the flyrods just before we quit.  Wish you'd been with me today.

9-10 lb. rockfish caught on 12/7/2 at 
Caney Fork River.

 View upstream on the Caney fork at 4 pm after the sun got behind the hills.

Back to Index...

Visit Storyhouse.org - my site for writers and readers.