Today is Sunday, September 21, 2014

My Christmas thoughts

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By JOHN L. SLOAN, bowriter1944john@aol.com
It happens every year,

Christmas.

If it were not for the grandkids, I would just about prefer to skip Christmas. I am not anti-Christmas, Rather enjoy the feeling, just tired of all the commerciality. Besides, through the years, I have had some miserable ones. But I wont go into that.

Jeanne and I pretty much buy whatever we want or need during the year so there is not a lot of anticipation over the box of socks or underwear or the new jogging suit. All are pretty much standard fare. I enjoy watching the GKs destroy the pretty paper. However, I did think of something I would like.

Some weeks ago, via email, Jimmy Holt, Larry Woody and I kicked something around. We mused around about a fishing trip to Center Hill, the three of us. The fact we all either currently or formerly worked or are working in the same field together does not pose a problem. Jimmy and I were on television together for four years and fished the Hill a lot. Larry and I have shared a boat on a few occasions and he worked at the Nashville paper with Jimmy. I think it would be fun for all three of us to go fish the Hill for a couple days. The fact that we are all also getting a little long in the tooth also figures in.

I know my newspapers, The Wilson Post, Gallatin News and the Hendersonville Standard would not object to Larry and me writing about it. Larry, you see, tries to write for the other paper in Lebanon. I hope that would not be a problem for him. I think it would make a good column, one our readers would enjoy. It would give Jimmy something to lie about.

If we can get some water this spring as we did last spring, the lake would be primo. I am thinking-take Jimmys big ole deep breathing boat and spend a night in one of the cabins at Edgar Evins State park. We would fish an afternoon and a morning, not beating ourselves to death, just easing down some of our old favorite banks, lying about the fish we caught there in years past.

We would start on the long, rocky bank leading into the deep cove straight across from Holmes Creek. Dave Ramsey has a shack built on the bluff overlooking that fine cove. I doubt it cost much over a million. Then, we would just whip around the corner to the second cove, the one I have always called, strangely enough, Second Cove. That is a great place to catch spotted bass in the spring and sometimes a crappie will hit a minnow jigged deep.

From there, we might try the left-hand bank coming out of Indian Creek. What a super bank to fish with a medium crankbait in the spring. Lots of rock and mud mix to make it warm a little quicker that some other banks. Porter Waggoner loved to fish that bank, wrote the song, Indian Creek there. My uncle Lester caught his first Center Hill bass there, a largemouth.

Of course, we would have to fish the bank straight across from that. It is called the Jimmy Holt bank. I have no idea why but I do recall a good brown fish I stuck there one late spring afternoon. Mickey Pope and I both estimated her at well over seven pounds. I released her in great shape. I had one explode on a floating worm there, fishing with the Holt one spring morning. Missed the hook set.

That night, I would grill to perfection some superbly marinated deer backstrap. Some garlic mashed potatoes and green beans would fit nicely along side. Id have to have some of Big Birds fantastic squash relish and perhaps a tossed salad. Maybe some butter pecan ice cream for desert. I no longer drink but the boys might enjoy a cocktail before dinner.

I am sure the night will be interesting. I cant speak for Woody but Im sure Jimmy and I sleep poorly. We would have to get our bathroom trips coordinated to fit our prostate schedules.

In the morning, we would start on the right bank of the second cove on the right as you come out of Cove Hollow. That use to be one of Dave Hughes favorite banks and Harold Dotson liked it, too. Those were two of the best smallmouth anglers to ever come out of Hendersonville. I have started my day well there on several occasions. The smallmouth seem to really like both my dark green GitZit and a brown/black hair fly with pork trailer. Early morning with a floating Rapala can be exciting as well. The water jumps up from 90 feet to 18 and is filled with big rocks.

It is a quick jump to the round at the front of the cove straight across from the number two ramp at the park. Boy, that place can be exciting. However, it can be a cold sumbuck before the sun gets to it. I watched Foster Butt shiver the rivets out of my old jon boat many years ago. I thought he was going to freeze to death before we got a fire started. I still laugh about that. We had a ton of fish that morning. I believe it was in early April.

Plenty of good banks to fish and plenty of memories among the three of us. I think it would make a great column. Can you just imagine the stories that would be told? I think Ill get started working on it.

But first, I have a trip back to Alabama with Big Bird for one last try at a bragging size buck. Right now, G-kids will be here soon. I need to get my Ho-Ho on.

Merry Christmas everyone and remember, not all the good presents come wrapped in shiny paper.

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