Rising water level did not affect fishing this time

By PAT BROWN,

M y buddy Coach Jimmy Mangum has been after me for a while to visit his new camp and go fishing with him.

  He called week before last and asked me to go last weekend.  I told him I had to get permission from Nancy since our daughter Anna Lauren’s wedding is on the horizon.  She gave the thumbs up and plans were to go down on Friday afternoon and fish over the weekend. 

  The hitch was the impending storm coming in. I tried with no success to cancel the trip.  The camp is located on the Pearl River at Monticello near Atwood.  Jimmy got down late Friday afternoon, put the boat in and started setting out lines. 

  It rained that night, but not too much at first, and by 7:30 we had all the lines set.  We were fishing with gold fish.  I learned that Tabby Cats will only eat live bait.  I suggested we should take the boat out that night, but Jimmy was having none of that.  So Saturday morning, thank goodness we had a bilge pump because it took 20 minutes to drain the water from the boat.  

  We got back on the river and I noted that the water had risen about 3 feet.  When I checked the National Weather Service I found out it was going up another 6 feet. 

  We got up and started checking lines. On about the third one we had a nice Blue Cat hooked.  It probably went about 10 pounds.  We rebaited using shrimp, which are supposedly good for Channel Cats and Blues.

  We had a pretty good haul that, landing about eight fish ranging from about 10 pounds down to about 2 pounds.  It was enough to fill a 24 inch pan full of fillets, which was about two gallons. 

  We were using a line with a weight at the bottom, which in this case was a railroad spike.  We would let it sink to the bottom with about two hooks on each line.  The lines were then tied to branches in the eddys of the water opposite the side where the current was high. 

  Following a good nap on Saturday afternoon it was time to run the lines again.  We made it to the boat and the water continued to rise, probably another 3 feet. 

  We decided that we should raise the lines so we would be able to find them. At this point, I am questioning whether it is even safe to get on the river.  The boat is 6 feet wide so it is pretty stable but when you get all my weight moving in one direction it is pretty easy to topple.  I did, in fact, have sense enough to wear a life jacket.  We raised the lines we could find and rebaited with gold fish.   We were able to add an additional three fish to the count.

  Again, that evening I suggested we should take the boat out of the river. 

   “Not happening,” stated Coach.  I tied the line really high on the bank this time--thank goodness.  Sunday morning the river had climbed almost 10 feet. 

  This time I told Coach I would meet him at the ramp.  I had no plans of pushing my luck.  By the time I got to the ramp the bottom section was under water.  We loaded the boat and headed for home.