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Tony Locke

"Hurricane" carping

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As I watched the progress of Irma an article caught my eye: "5 things not to do in a hurricane"...and going fishing was not mentioned. So no problem then?

As Irma battered Florida, my thoughts went to those who suffered  and back home we were getting a car load of supplies ready to take to a central point for further distribution. Our dog looked particularly sad because one donation was a 50lb bag of dried dog food. However Irma was weakening significantly and by the time it reached  me in Atlanta on Monday afternoon, the winds were down to gusts of up to 60 mph and heavy rain was coming down.

Luckily and sensibly school was closed for Monday...and also Tuesday. By Tuesday, it was still a bit (??) wet and windy, but I had a cunning plan...all the weak trees and rotten branches would surely have come down in the much stronger winds of Monday and so it would be safe for me to go and fish the 'Hooch in the forest. I chose my forest spot because when the flow is fast and the river is high, there is a decent backswim there that gives you  a chance of catching.

So off I set...yes there were lots of areas without power and so traffic lights were a problem and delayed my arrival. What also  delayed my arrival was a big pine tree across the river road, which totally closed it. No problem I knew a 3 mile detour around it. When I got to the river, shock of shock...it was very high and the same color as my morning cup of coffee, possibly even a bit darker.

Strangely enough nobody else was down by the river...I was to see not one soul either by or on the water.

The forest hole was not as inviting as I thought it would be- it sort of resembled my hot tub with the (weaker) jets on. However I was there and so for 3 hours I would give it my best shot. In these conditions I put my faith in spam and worms...and the method feeder. So my mix was bread based with about 25 chopped up worms, a can of corn and half a can of minced spam.

I had about 8 feet of water in front of me so I put 3 big balls of the mix into to quietest area of the water. Then out went the method feeder and a cube of spam. I dont hair rig this but I do use a baiting needle to pull the hook through and then I use a "natural" stop ...a 1/3 inch piece of grass under the bend of the hook.

First cast a decent channel catfish that was maybe 7lb and then the wind started and then the rain and then the flaw in my cunning plan became obvious as small branches came crashing down...and somewhere not too far behind me a loud splintering crash as a tree came down.

While this was going on the rod decided to try and go for a swim, but luckily I wasn't too distracted  and soon banked a small carp. A few more followed with the best just making 10lb and that I thought will do me. IMG_20170912_1322182_rewind.jpg

Ten pounds of spam eating "hurricane carp"

Getting home was a challenge and a half,as more trees had come down, blocking my detour route as well. So I ended up going on an even longer detour...a journey that normally takes 20 minutes took me over an hour.

Was it worth it? No...sometimes it is better to stay home by the fire! 

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