Chris Funk 27/03/2017 | Posted in Fishing, Fishing Subjects, Jim Sammons, Trip Reports, Trips
An Alabamian a Californian and a Canadian go out in a swamp together. Sounds like the beginning of a joke doesn’t it? But that is exactly what went down in the Okefenokee swamp this March. There were lots of laughs but thankfully none were at our expense! I had the great opportunity to share one of my favorite places on earth with Jim Sammons of “The Kayak Fishing Show with Jim Sammons” and his videographer, Will Richardson. I drove the 5 hours southeast while Jim (the Californian) and Will (the Canadian) had flown in to Jacksonville and driven up to meet me. My trailer was loaded with my Mayfly, Kilroy and Kilroy DT to use as our fleet for the trip. I got there a little early and started setting up my camp, they had a nice cabin reserved but I have always enjoyed the swamp sounds singing me to sleep at night so I chose a tent.
I had just got done eating and was kicked back by a fire when they pulled up at my camp site. We talked about how we needed to rig for the next day and laughed about their grub situation. It seems the only place between Jacksonville and the Okefenokee to pick up groceries is a back woods gas station. They wouldn’t starve, but it was going to be an interesting few days of eating!
The next morning we loaded up and headed to the kayak launch. We were rigging rods and mounting a power Pole Micro on the Mayfly with 2 small alligators watching every move. Will is an incredible videographer and photographer and it tickled me to see him shooting the little bitty ones. I told him to just get ready; they get MUCH bigger just around the corner. Sure enough, at the end of the canal an 8 footer sat like a guard dog and just beyond it was an assortment of floating monsters; several in excess of 12 feet!
While the alligators are always interesting, we came to fish so we went to work. Jim was first to put a fish in the boat with a nice bowfin. It was a new species for him so that was a bonus for the day. He was fishing one side of the canal with me on the other and Will running the camera between us. Soon enough I broke the ice and had a nice bowfin to the boat. I had explained to them that a splashing fish is like a dinner bell to a hungry gator and it was necessary to land them quickly. With the cooler spring temps I only had one show any interest but it stayed too close for comfort until I released my fish. Once it saw that I no longer had my catch it slowly sulked away.
The next 2 days were spent paddling the Okefenokee and the headwaters of the Suwannee river. Jim caught several very nice bowfin and a bass; I added some more bowfin and a pickerel to our tally. The weather was great and the swamp put on quite a show for us. It was a great adventure and I was honored to be able to share it with Jim and Will. The neat part is, due to Will’s expertise behind a camera, you will get to share it with us. Keep your eyes on the Kayak Fishing Show and give them a follow on Facebook. They do some very cool things in some incredible destinations and it is always entertaining. There was even one time they braved the Okefenokee swamp with a redneck from Alabama!