Get Out Your Bottle Rockets and Black Cats

| July 2, 2013

It’s back to DFW Airport and the heat of hell, leaving out of Alabama’s Birmingham airport early Wednesday morning. It’s kind of funny, being here in Alabama, around this beautiful lake, and seeing the nice people, the hardcore bass community up close, all of it fits well into my idea of what love of the water is about, and how other people near other water bodies define their lives with the same passion for different waters. I saw people of all ages launching and loading boats when I was at a boat ramp yesterday, and they did it like it was an everyday event, just another day on the lake.

There were kind old gentlemen in their pristine old boats, and there were brothers and sisters sitting in their boats as their mom or dad backed them into the water, or towed them out. Once launched, and the trailer pulled out, the brother would hop up from the driver’s seat and drop the trolling motor like he had done dozens of times before.

One brother and sister started with this arrangement, and the sister began bossing her little brother around immediately. “Shuuuuuut uuuuup! I know what I’m doin’! Just leave me alooonne!,” he pleaded. You would think he was suffering worse torture than water boarding. She was still giving him instructions when the dad made it to the boat. He instantly set them straight, and he certainly looked like he could, at the very least, squash them if he sat on them.

Another brother and sister came in to the ramp, perfectly fishing dressed, and captained by their equally well attired mom. The boat was almost brand new, and top-of-the-line, Ranger Z521. I don’t know what these things cost, but the quality family time appeared priceless. Mom eased into the edge of the pier, tied off the boat and hopped off to go get the truck and back the trailer. The kids just sat there like they were supposed to while the mom backed the trailer in perfectly, drove the boat up onto the trailer, hooked it on front and pulled the boat, and kids (still sitting in the same spots) all out, the entire process lasting less than five minutes. Around here, bass boats and bass fishing are ingrained … a way of life.

This is where there’s another “F” sport besides football in high schools, and it’s fishing with a capital “F” – Fishing. Teams and competition between Alabama high school fishing teams is a real competitive affair, and mark my words – nothing in Texas comes close.


Nothing quite screams USA like the Fourth of July, and for me it is a reminder of childhood summer family reunions at South Padre Island. It reminds me of where I learned to smoke cigars – to light firecrackers, where I started to figure out what girls were, and where I found a passion for all things about the water. Nowadays, hundreds of miles from the saltwater, we dutifully haul out lawn chairs out to the street as the sun sets on the fourth of July, and take up positions out of traffic facing south, and wait for the fireworks show to start about a mile away as the crow flies. All we have to worry about are one ton cars, and mosquitoes that can kill you with a single West Nile Virus bite. The mosquitoes have the edge these nights.


We will just have to see what has been going on with the carp at home while I was here in Alabama, but it’ll all have to be dialed in by the time I hit the water Saturday with some of the members of Fort Worth Fly Fishers. We will be taking the water in two groups departing at 10am and 1pm.

Sign up for your time slot by commenting with your name and time slot you want below in a “Comment.” My limit is four per time slot and those slots are 10am and 1pm. Once we have filled the slots, I will e mail you details. It’ll be a lot more on the water learning than hard fly fishing.

Category: Culture on the Skids, Writing

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

Comments (9)

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  1. shannon says:

    Welcome to FWFF Mr. Pagels! Now it’s time to get a little mud between your toes! You are confirmed for the 1pm slot. That means there are only two time slots left @ 1-pm.

  2. Al Pagels says:

    Just joined FWFF tonight
    Would like to do the 1 pm trip

  3. shannon says:

    The 10am slot is closed. I assume that James Parker is a 10am?

  4. Mike nelson says:

    Please sign me up for the 1:00p.m. Carp fishing excursion this Saturday for the Fort Worth fly fishers. Thanks

  5. Pat Reeves says:

    I’d like to sign up for the 10am fishing trip.

  6. james parker says:

    Count me in.

  7. J Davis says:

    Include me in the 10a

  8. shannon says:

    Did anyone ever find my fly rod and reel?

  9. Rex Stewart says:

    I would love to attend the 10am fishing trip.

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