Editor’s Note: During the middle of July, 2021, my granddaughter Abbey Hudson and I went to Eufaula, Alabama, to photograph fishing for crappie, catfish, bream and bass and to explore the possibility of sinking deer attractant blocks to attract crappie, catfish, bream and bass. We planned to: photograph my friend Tony Adams, a crappie and catfish guide on Lake Eufaula, and his new boat and equipment; and fish for 4 hours with a photo session tied in at the end of the trip with the fish we’d caught. However, I learned many years ago that you never precisely could time when you’d come off the water from a fishing trip. Stuff happens that you don’t expect to occur when you set a timetable to return from your destination. As we sat in a driving rain storm late in the afternoon, this trip reminded me of episodes of the old TV series, “Gilligan’s Island,” that was on TV from 1963-1967 and in reruns for years. The crew and passengers of the S.S. Minnow had set out for a 4-hour cruise, but got stranded on an island for many years, including the Skipper, Bob Denver as Gilligan, and famous actors – Jim Backus, Tina Louise and Dawn Wells. Well, our trip lasted much longer than the original four hours we’d estimated.
When your fishing trip is interrupted by rain, high winds, thunder and lightning, forgetting how many fish have been caught often is easy. But there’s one thing for sure, none of us ever will forget the 4-hour fishing trip that turned into a 6-hour trip that we went on at Lake Eufaula. Luckily, we had brought along snacks, cold drinks and water that sustained us throughout this unpredictable adventure. Rain’s okay when you’re fishing, but thunder and lightning means you need to get off the water as quickly as possible. When that thunder and lightning are mixed in with high waves and low visibility, the quicker you can get off the main lake, the better off you’ll be. Once we finally got off the lake and started loading up our gear, Tony Adams and Ron Pollard laid our fish out on the truck’s tailgate.
“Well, we didn’t do too badly,” Adams observed. “We got 44 crappie and six catfish.” I thought to myself, “Yes, we had a rough trip, but that was a good mess of fish for a really-bad day of weather problems and poor fishing conditions with rain and an overcast sky all day long with cool temperatures that caused the fish to scatter off the places where they normally would hold in warmer weather.”
Although we only got to fish one of the deer attractant block spots that Adams had put out because of the weather, we caught enough fish – both catfish and crappie – to prove to me that using deer attractant food blocks can, will and did produce probably the best fishing spots we pulled up on and fished during our trip. I also learned more about weather and temperature and their effects on summertime fishing. When I look back on the day, I realize that although we didn’t load the boat with limits of crappie and large numbers of catfish, we probably caught more fish than anyone else on the lake did that day. And, we all had an adventure of a lifetime. Once again I relearned that when you go fishing, you really can’t tell your friends and family when you’ll return home because fishing is an adventure. The fish don’t have a timetable on when they’ll do what, and the weatherman can’t give you an exact timetable of when the rains will come, and how severe the weather will become. So, anytime someone asks you what time you’ll be home from a fishing trip, the best you can say is, “I’ll try to get home before dark.” However, if someone doesn’t get home before dark, and a 4-hour fishing trip becomes a 10-hour fishing trip, don’t worry. That’s happened before and – more than likely – it’ll happen again when and where I’m outdoors hunting or fishing.
For more fishing information about Eufaula, visit https://alabamablackbeltadventures.org/, and to
learn more about a great place to stay with nice amenities right on the lake – Lakepoint Resort Lodge – visit https://www.alapark.com/. You can reach top fishing guide Tony Adams at 334-695-3003 or check out his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/.
To learn more about crappie fishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie” in print, Kindle and Audible versions at http://amzn.to/1DBpnNh. You may have to cut and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of this book for free and hear 10% for free. Also, on the right side of the page and below the offer for a free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible with one click.)