Holiday idiots on Lake Blackshear
I fished Lake Blackshear on Saturday getting info and pictures for my
next Georgia Outdoor News article. We had a pretty good trip for July
4th weekend, catching about 9 bass, five of them over the 14 inch keeper
size on that lake.
Blackshear is about 150 miles south of Atlanta on the Flint River. At
8500 acres it is one of our smaller lakes and much of it is swamp and
shallow water. Blackshear looks like bass heaven with cypress trees
everywhere, all kinds of grass and lily pads in the shallows and lined
with docks on the lower lake. There are also several bridges across
creeks and a main lake bridge and railroad crossing offering lots of
riprap to fish.
I met Brad Borland at 5:30 AM at Veterans Park, which meant I had to
leave the house at 3:15. Brad was on the state Federation team with me
last year - he finished 8th and I finished 7th in the Top Six. Bradís
club, the Satilla Bass Anglers were the top team at the Top Six last year.
We started fishing lighted docks but got no bites for about 30 minutes.
As it got light we hit the riprap - and again got no bites. A local
tournament took off at about 6:15 and only 3 of the 20 plus boats went
down the lake, the rest headed up the river.
We headed up the river at about 7:00 and started hitting outside bends.
The amount of cover was amazing and there were ditches opening back into
huge cypress flats and swamps. A few small creeks also enter the lake up
the river and you can get into them and go for miles in cypress swamps
with water 2 to 5 feet deep. That is where most of the tournament boats
headed, we saw few of them.
Brad got a small keeper the first shady bank we fished. It was by a
cypress tree base and hit a Trick worm. We both got throwbacks in the
next couple of places on Texas rigged worms. Then we hit a creek mouth.
Brad worked back off the channel into some cypress trees and I dropped a
Texas rigged Mag 2 worm straight down into a brush top by a cypress tree
and it got mushy. When I set the hook a 16 inch bass came to the top -
best fish so far but it was really skinny. After taking pictures I
rigged my redbug Zoom worm back up and dropped it into the next brush
top as we moved out. Another mushy feeling and another keeper, this one
about 14.5 inches long.
We hit several more very pretty places - in many places the river
channel is 20 feet deep and comes up to a shallow ledge about 5 feet
deep running back 30 or 40 feet. This shallow ledge is covered with
cypress trees and looks like a bass should be beside every one.
The current was running pretty strong and it seemed the bass should be
active - temp was 81 compared to 86 on the lake, but no keepers. We got
a couple more throwbacks but that was it. It was oven hot by now, no
breeze and miserably hot. I was wet with sweat.
At 11:30 we headed back down the lake and hit a dock without any bites.
Then Brad went behind an island with some cypress trees in 5 feet of
water and caught a 3.5 pound bass, our best of the day, right at noon. I
caught another bass that might have been a keeper by another tree in
This cut is about 100 feet wide between the island and the bank, and
about 300 yards long. While we were fishing a mamma and her two year
old came thru on a jet ski, followed by her teenage girl on another jet
ski. The water is about 5 feet deep and they had to come off the main
lake just to run by us where we were fishing. They were almost close
enough to spit on - I think they were just stupid or clueless, I don't
think they were doing it just to mess us up. They came back by again
about ten minutes later. I started to try to hook one but was afraid I
would miss the dumb mamma and hit the 2 year old, I knew he was not at
After that we hit one more spot, a deep bank down the lake, but traffic
was getting horrible and we were both exhausted from the heat. We headed
to the ramp to take out.
As feared there were two folks waiting to put in and two trucks on the
ramp at 1:00 PM. One idiot in a jeep played with his boat trying to get
it on the trailer for about 15 minutes while the person next to him
loaded his boat. As the one pulled out a guy in the parking lot backed
into the ramp, jumping ahead of the two of us waiting in line. If I had
been in my truck rather than Bradís he would have had to hit me because
I would have pulled directly behind him. I have done that to people
breaking in line before.
While watching the idiot in the jeep play with his boat I noticed the
guy that broke in line was in a bass boat He could not get it on the
trailer, kept getting out and moving his truck up and back. By now the
jeep nut had pulled up till his boat just cleared the water and he
yelled for his herd of kids to load up. I bet he piddled around for
another 15 minutes checking things and tying down while blocking the
ramp. I finally yelled a few choice words at him and I guess it
embarrassed him in front of his wife and kids, he finally left.
The nut in the bass boat was still trying to load. The guy ahead of me
pulled up and told me to go ahead - said he was not in a hurry. I guess
my yelling made him want me to get gone. I backed Bradís trailer in, we
loaded his boat and I pulled up in the parking lot beside my truck. We
tied his boat down, unloaded my stuff, checked everything and did out
thanks and goodbyes. As I left the parking lot the guy in the bass boat
was still parked on the ramp and he was still trying to load - almost an
hour after I came in and about 45 minutes after he first broke in line
and backed down the ramp.
I hate lakes and holidays - now I remember why I stay home on them!