Drove this far for a knitted catfish?

Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship 2019 is just a few days away, and many are already in Shreveport searching (and searching) for launches, lunches and fish (bass to be specific).  I am already three days into the adventure and while not a lot of catching is happening for me, Joy and I always find ways to make it enjoyable; that is just who we are together.

We pulled out of Clarksville late Friday, as soon as we could hook up the camper and the kayaks, and headed toward I-40.  The quickest path took us past Yellow Creek, close to the farthest point from the dam that creates Lake Barkley, where I qualified to be in Shreveport during last years National Championship.  If I had been able to dump a 12 inch and a 14 inch fish….woulda, couldas.  And after today’s pre fishing, I wish I were stopping at the ramp on Yellow Creek; it is water that I understand….back to the short update…

We stopped at a Walmart in Arkansas around midnight to check off a bucket list item – boondock with the camper in a Walmart parking lot.  Ok, our lives are pretty simple and we find pleasure in the little things….but, after experiencing the hum of semis and the bright lights of the parking lot, I am going to reevaluate the rest of our list to make sure that we never endure the long and virtually sleepless night that followed.  At one point, and I had no idea that they did this, the company that cleans the parking lot used a leaf blower in and around the cars and trucks on the lot (under our camper) to move trash out into the main lanes.  Yep, bucket list item checked off…lesson committed to memory.

Next stop was the Waffle House about a block away.  Freaking awesome as always in that “Waffle House your cardiologist and primary care doctor will never approve of” kinda way.   Our waitress had the greatest dry wit – or maybe we were delirious from diesel fumes and parking lot dust – so we left her a huge tip…always a selfishly fun thing to do! 

Then we were off to the Shreveport/Bossier KOA.

Ok…many of you may not know that I had a slight run in with our HOA back at home (well, a few disagreements)…so I was not pleased to learn that this KOA was EXTREMELY concerned with the parking of my Tennessee Trailer laden with Hobies.  They were equally concerned with the fact that our R-Pod has a tent porch that allows me to store all (almost literally all) of my fishing stuff while we are on the road.  They came by twice, then I heard them on the porch saying “that cannot be there” before they relented.  Maybe it was the way I looked at the third person with that “crazy wild Tennessee bout to go off on your HOA mentality” look; but since then, it has been a great place to stay.  To be fair, it may be me more than them…but not with my dang HOA!!!

Sorry, back to the updates….

We drove around Cross, took some pics of an old train for the grandson – facetimed with him like we do every day – found the two public launches, a couple of pay spots; bought a license and tossed a spinner bait along a bank.  Then we drove up and over to Caddo…found a ramp or two, met some new folks who were driving the same circuit it seems (I love meeting kayakers and talking about their journey to the NC!)…before we landed back at the KOA.

 

Side note…The guy Camping next to us had a van, just a step above a creeper van…I Googled it cause I was curious…$169,000 dollars for a tall van!!!!   Man!  Guess it makes me the creeper, but I was wondering what an airstream van would cost…him, not me…someone would be laughed at for trying to sell me a van for $169,000.

So….woke up this morning, drove to Cross…fished with a ned rig (never)…caught a catfish I should have kept for dinner; met some new folks, talked with some old friends. Then loaded back up to pick up Joy for lunch and some afternoon kayaking.

 

We decided to sample the local fare; Whataburger.  Sounded like a good plan, sounded like something that was going to be ok…but parking with a kayak trailer was as difficult as finding the Hogwart Express.  I was ok with that.  Then we walked all around the place to find the one door in or out that was open, walked up to the counter…wait for it…

“We can’t serve you.”

“Excuse me?”  Had the KOHOA got to them before we arrived?

“We can’t serve you. Our system is down.”

Fine…Burger King was two doors down…and the parking lot made sense…so….not long after, we were launching onto Caddo.

I go to fish, Joy goes to….kayak and knit???  Yes, I said knit.  She jokingly refers to herself as a fishing widow but I took her on the water! I knew she loved to knit and make things from a single piece of thread…but in a kayak, you hunt and forage…you pillage and plunder brush piles, ledges and banks…KNIT?!?!?  Maybe I should have her knit me a limit of bass….??

 

“Hey Joy….you awake……”

Author: Mike Cheatham

Me…Mike Cheatham email…mikecheathamfishing@gmail.com something to know……….fished my whole life; now from a kayak….

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