Friday, September 26, 2008


The first morning at the lake is a bit different from other mornings while there. There are no jugs cast out on the lakes waters at that point, hence, no sence of urgency to retrieve those jugs and fish. AGFC regulation stipulates that if jugs are cast during daylight the fisherman must stay within eyesight of them. The regulation also states that jugs cast at night may be unattended during hours of darkness. Staying within that regulation, most jug fishermen cast at dusk and retrieve at dawn.Retrieving the jugs at dawn means that breakfast is usually a honeybun on the way down the lake, followed by coffee. A successful mornings catch means that fish must be taken care of, cleaning and so forth. Lunch is usually the actual first real meal of the day.
The exception to that is if there is a light catch, then there may be a brunch, later than breakfast and earlier than lunch.This morning there were no jugs out, so there had been a proper breakfast. As usual Dillon the retired drug dog managed to somehow get the first slice of bacon that came off of the platter.As he hung the towel up at the hand washing station, he saw Dillon duck under the picnic table, out of sight, with his trophy.The first mornings breakfast is usually something special. Camping supplies are not depelted as they will be later in the week. The ladies really know how to kick off a week at the lake in style. Eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, and on and on.Here is a short six second video clip of one such breakfast:This first breakfast at the lake is usually the first time things have slowed down enough to visit between the campsites. Many campsites have occupants that are anxiously awaiting news from those out on the water. As each boat returns they will nearly always have visitors as they tie up at their campsites.Lingering over coffee and strolling down to view the neighbors catch of the morning while asking such pertinent questions as “what did you bait up with”, was the main order of business. Learning if the catfish had spawned yet was important. That factor would determine where the fish would be and what they would be doing. For example if the fish are still heavy with eggs, they have not spawned yet, and you will fish for them in areas where they will likely be loitering, waiting to spawn.This first morning after breakfast is filled with, “hey look who has a new boat”, or “hello, I havn’t seen you since last year, how is the catch going ?”Subsequent meetings will be filled with, ” lets play dominoes tonite.” Or, “how long will you guys be staying ?”As always the conversation seems to come back around to, “any luck catching bait fish ?”Some mornings the second cup of coffee is consumed while sitting in lawn chairs by the water’s edge. As each boat that left out in the pre dawn chill returns, waves and greetings are exchanged. “How deep are you settin’ yer’ jugs ?” “You castin’ them so that the night’s breeze carries them over the flats ?” “Are gars a problem this year ?”Then inevitably, once again, back to the question about bait fish. “Are you catching all of your bait fish here in the inlet ?”The old friends look at each other and knod, they now know enough to make their first try at catching bait fish. “Hey, buddy, lets go catch some fish !”

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