The arrival of spring has many signs in Mississippi: daffodils, wisteria, pine pollen. But people fishing is one of the true tests that warm weather is coming.
At Lake Washington in the Delta in Washington County, the State Crappie Masters Championship Tournament kicks off Saturday.
Springtime is just making an entrance into the Delta. And the very first hint of spring isn’t so much the greening of the trees, which follows shortly, but the budding of the fishing boats and trailers at places like Lake Washington at Glen Allan in Washington County.
Some folks have been coming here for years and years, but also they’ve been coming from far away to try their hand at the crappie and catfish.
Jack Griffith and his friend came 668 miles one way from Saluda, SC.
"I’m 82 years old. And you think an old man 82 years old would get in a truck, pull a boat all the way. Came through Atlanta, GA, too! On a Sunday morning.
Ed Hulliung and David Ansted come here from Mascoutah IL. They heard about the lake from word of mouth.
"Some friends from up in the area were coming down here, too and had good comments, nice place," said Ansted. "Good people that he was staying at. We figured we’d come on down and try it out. We like it."
But as the sign on the wall of the Bait-n-Thangs store says, "there’s way more to goin’ fishin’ than fishin’. "
Even if the fish aren’t biting, it isn’t a wasted day. Not according to Evon Strebeck of Seminary.
This is probably one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been. And it’s Mississippi to the core," said Strebeck. " I can’t even think of a place in Mississippi anywhere, I’m sure there are some pretty places and good places. But this place here is handy to get to. Clean, and it’s a really good fishing hole. And it’s just a getaway that you can relax and enjoy life."
Mike Jones runs the bait shop and says the same thing. There’s more than fish here.
"You look out here and it’s just natural beauty. Every day the sun rises you get to see different things," said Jones. " Every day the sun sets you get to see different things. Occasionally you’ll see an eagle flying around."
So as fishing goes, Lake Washington gets its share of those who can and those who are good liars. But I think everybody agrees, the best catch of them all may be finding this LAKE!
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