Smith was quite the fisherman

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This past Wednesday the weather was not as it should be in December in southwest Georgia.

It was hot and it rained a lot. I mean the ditches filled up in my neighborhood, which happens just a few times a year and not usually in the fall. The wind blew and made me think maybe a tornado was hidden in the clouds overhead. Then later in the day, I learned that one of our local fishermen, Archie Smith, had died.

Archie was 78 years old and it seems that I have known him for close to a hundred years. I would be working and see him most any day of the week going to the lake or coming from the lake. There were not many times that he did not meet with success on the water. Fish of many species would give up to go home with him. A lot of them made it while many others were given away to folks that couldn’t fish anymore as he made his way home. I have probably missed something by not having fished with him, though I have fished beside him and against him in many tournaments. I would like to think that he is landing one 10-pounder after another as well as world-class bream and shellcracker and maybe a record crappie.

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You know when you are at the place he is boating the big ones, it is not called fishing anymore, but rather catching because one can catch a fish on every cast, and I bet they magically go back into the water after they are landed so that they can be caught on the next catching trip.

A few years ago may father went on to that catching place, and I can almost say without a doubt that he has not stopped grinning the entire time. I rest a lot easier feeling that I might have that in my future, so you two save me some of those fish, at least a few on the small side.

It started to rain in earnest a few weeks back and has not slowed. I cross quite a number of streams, large and small, each day as I travel over the countryside in search of a big deer or big fish or any species.

The Flint River is out of its banks in a lot of places to our north and most of the places that it is still in the banks has banks so high that the water can’t get out.

Not many folks are fishing on the river due to the swift current. It is dangerous and may just drag you under the water and not bring you back up. It is like the deal when you are asked just how long can you hold your breath or better yet how long can you tread water. Hopefully everyone will be safe and still be OK when we come out the other side.

When I was in grade school, we had to ride the bus as we lived a good ways from town. Thinking back, leaving our house it was a half mile to Highway 97. Turn north and the road sign said Bainbridge 20 miles. Today that particular sign says Bainbridge 15 miles. Either Bainbridge has grown a lot to the south or the government folks have a better way to measure mileage.

There was this older kid that rode the bus and had a pet squirrel. He brought it to school one time and I don’t think anyone wanted him to bring it back anymore. The guys pockets were full of nuts and other stuff for the squirrel to eat and he was constantly feeding him. I know why now. By having him eat the nuts he was less likely to bite the kid or any of us. A number of years ago my neighbor’s dog accidentally caught a squirrel in their yard. There was a lot of barking and pitiful sounds coming from their yard and all of it was from the dog. He couldn’t wait to get rid of the squirrel. From then on until the day he died I don’t think you could have paid him to catch another one, not on purpose anyway.

The way the economy is going, we may wish we had a dog that would catch squirrels or any other small game animal that we could use for food. Most of the deer killed this season will certainly be used to supplement the food on the dinner table. Good stuff too.