It was a great day indeed. Much of my fishing time is spent grinding for big fish in really crappy surroundings. Clearly not what carping is about, but the path that I have chosen. I had just returned from a weekend at the land o' the 50. And I was tired. Frankly, I was exhausted from laughing myself silly all week after watching Brad get bucked off of a Grassie. Still, I couldn't miss the E Tennessee fish in ! Charlie's fish-ins are a fantastic vacation from my current carping path. Instead of weeks of planning, careful bait selection, and hours of study, I flung a few rods in the back of the truck, grabbed a few bags of pre-mixed grits, and brought my three favorite flavors. If I catch something, great! If not, it is a great day to chat with people and sit and watch the world go by. This is the first time that I have fished the TVA side. They put in a beautiful little park out on the point. I actually got to safely run around barefoot a bit, versus pulling nails and glass out of my river shoes and boots. I arrived to see Charlie and Brad. In addition we had some great guests. These guys were impressive. They came to catch fish and were dead serious about it. One guy even had a cigar clenched between his teeth just to show how serious he was ! Thanks to Charlie's magnificant baiting strategy, fish were rolling everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. It was about a 50-50 mix of commons and buffs. Nothing gets your heart racing like watching roll after roll. Our weather was stellar. Maybe the best day of the year for 2012. Low 70's, sunshine, and 5-10 mph breezes. It was so beautiful that I found myself pining for my bed chair to pull up under the shade of one of those magificant oaks. I would have slept like a baby. I was invited to jump in to the middle of Charlie's prime baited area. Instead, a moved to the outside of the group. I wanted our guests to have lots of swim area many choices in cast angles. I tossed 2 rods out and was..........um..........rewarded with a smelly Buff. For some odd reason, I didnt mind catching the buff. That happy face of his kind of set the tone for day. And there was no reason to be irritated as my fearless fishing partner Brad just loves loves loves to do water releases for anyone that catches a buff. Catfish too. He is the Mother Teresa of releasing all things smelly and slimy. He feels it important to sacrifice his nice clean clothes for those of us unfortunate enough to catch those "other" fish who should only be mentioned only in hushed tones. My second fish caught was a Mirror. My first out of Kingston, and the second for our group of the day. I have been chasing a Mirror out of Kingston ever since I was told that show from time to time. Finally! In between my Buff runs, I watched Charlie & Brad hold court and helping our guests out. It was not so long ago that these very same gentlemen that invited me out for my very first dedicated carp trip. I caught so many fish that I actually had to pull my rods and rest. Sounds kind of silly to say but it brought a huge grin to my face watching them help new folks just like they did me. I really am blessed to know and fish with them both. I continued enjoying the breeze, the sun on my face and yes, even the buffs as my captures continued to climb. In the end, what arrived at the bank was only ancillary to the incredible day. Charlie, I tip my hat to you, sir. Every single person that came to fish, caught, guests included. A feat not easily achieved, even with a group of veteran carpers. And I thank both you and Brad for all that you have taught me. I have managed to catch some remarkable fish thanks to the both of you! I could sure use a few more days like yesterday!