View Full Version : Crawfish Tales
I had just dumped my last of the trout in my bucket into a remote stream way back in the mountains of North Georgia. Others were strung out up and down stream, finishing up a tough job. As I usually do, I retraced my steps back upstream to where I had released the first several into a pool. I like to just sit down and observe as these guys get aclimated to their new surroundings. As with each bucket, they all seemed okay, some already learning to snuggle up to rocks on the bottom to get out of the main current. I then noticed one who didn't seem normal. He was reacting like a trout with whirling desease, racing around in erratic circles. I then saw his problem...firmly hanging on to the trout's tail was a small crayfish..not more than two inches in length. The fish was frantically trying to escape, to no avail. The last I saw of them was as they reached the foot of the small pool and were swept away through a small rapid.
It was not a good day for Mr. Trout but that crayfish should be satisfied for several days. Tight Lines, Tom
Serendipity? If you spend enough time outside (where we all should be, instead of living out our lives beneath fluorescent lights), you see some neat, unusual things.
I had paddled some distance up the Coosa River from the Lock & Dam when I was much younger, and was just floating back down, sort of lying back in the bottom of the boat, trying to play a harmonica, when I heard a sound beside me.
I sat up and there was a beaver, floating along beside me just a few feet away. Now, without getting into the "animals do or don't express human emotions" debate, this guy seemed for all the world to be amused, or at least interested. I could swear he was grinning at me.
I played. He floated along, watching me. Then I decided to see how close he would let me approach, so I picked up the paddle and eased toward him. He dove, slapping the water with his tail, and came up a few feet farther away. I paddled again. He dove again. I resumed playing. He resumed floating and watching. This went on for several minutes.
I've always enjoyed that neat, unusual memory.
Now if I were a betting man, I'd wager a number of you have something to top that. Hooker? Hooch? Old Man? Over...
12-18-00, 11:20 AM
That canoe wooden? http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif Maybe he was contemplating lunch? http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
I had an owl try to fly off with a stringer of bream that I had tied to my waist while wadefishing in Florida a few years ago. That dadgum thing nearly gave me a heart attack...it came in behind me, very silent. I felt a tug at my waist and turned around to see the owl about six feet away with wings extended. I delivered a mouthful of expletives that would make Patriot Owl break into a cold sweat and nearly crapped my pants. It finally let go and perched in a streamside tree, where it sat looking me over. I had a yankee friend with me (who hadn't been outdoors very much) who was very upset by the whole thing. People who stay in the city get a little worried when animals act funny, and my buddy was ready to get out of there. I told him to throw the owl a stumpknocker or he might not get out alive. He complied, the owl swooped down and picked it up and flew back into the woods. Weird.
12-18-00, 03:17 PM
It may be disconcerting to some of our readers to find out that a raptor with a 6 foot wingspan and the aerodynamics of a Mack truck can move thru the air in absolute silence. All of my owl adventures have been during deer hunts when I was motionless. The first one made the biggest impression – he did a fly-by about 5 feet to the right of my head. I guarantee that was the last hunt I made in a hat with rabbit fur ear flaps! Don
12-18-00, 03:37 PM
"If you spend enough time outside, you see some neat, unusual things." I'll agree.
I was semi-dozing in the commanders cupola of my M1 trying to shake the drowzies associated with being up all night awaiting an "attack."
My tank has hunkered down, "hull down" in a fighting position , the tank in a hole dug by a dozer, the top of the tank literally at ground level, with a step to drive up on and engage the targets.
Thinking a breath of cold, fresh air would do me good, I popped open the hatch, and poked my head out and took a breath. My face was literally at ground level. I turned my head only to see an enormous wild boar, literally 2 feet from my face, rooting through the fresh spoil. I rudely ended the wildlife moment, diving inside, and slammed the cupola shut.
BK: Forgive an old Marine of Korean Conflict vintage...I'm trying to remember if my M-l had a cupola or whatever...I don't think so. So, I ask, what's an M-1? Withe great respect, Tom
[This message has been edited by Tom (edited 12-19-2000).]
12-19-00, 10:12 AM
Heretic! An M1IP to be more exact: a chariot of the gods. 105 mm of bad news for the bad guys, reaching out to touch someone at 3000+ meters. The chosen tool of the modern Jedi warrior to smash his enemies using manuever, firepower, and shock effect. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
As opposed to the M1 peashooter you carried, my poor grunt friend. Well, I guess you could always shoot squirels with it. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
[This message has been edited by BLACK KNIGHT (edited 12-19-2000).]
12-19-00, 12:05 PM
I'm a bit of a Far Side addict. That crawdad story remonds of one of Gary Larson's all time greats.
These elephants have come to the river to drink, and a crocodile has latched on to one of their trunks. The elephant lifts his trunk out of the water, shaking violently, crocodile hanging on for dear life, while his crocodile friends shout encouragement like " Hang on! Give him some slack!...You've got him!.....".
Well, maybe it's a visual thing.
Larsen sure has a unique take on things. I wonder what a psychologist would say about his proclivity to feature animals in comical situations.
One of my favorites featured some buffalo, one of which was squared off against a cowboy holding a knife, I think. One of the critter’s friends urges him to "Just trample him, Vince. He’s trying to draw you into his kind of fight."
12-19-00, 12:44 PM
No NO ! That was great.made me laugh even though I remembered it. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif too funny.
I shared a story with Beedub..and against my better judgement, I'll put it up.
This last summer I was standing on the Talullah, minding my own business, trying to catch as many little three inch chubs as I could.....when soemthing flew right by my head. I looked up to see the biggest, meanist, hairyiest black vampire, blood sucking bat you've ever seen! It obviusly didn't want water or bugs..it was after me. I managed to keep my cool though...promptly presented a #16 Adams and sucessfully landed the thing without a net. OK,ok....not really...but a bat did swoop me about a dozen times there.........and the really weird part.......I was on the Nan( with Chris England) this fall and one did the same thing...... only he was after water...and , upon swooping down to get a drink.....flew right into the side of a big rock! Dazed, but still airborne, he then flew off into the trees. Advil, Mr. Bat ? http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
OK, so now the story I promised....
Let me first say, not to brag or anything, that I have excellent eyesight, (thank you God). I can see fish pretty well. I can read billboards from way, way off. In my old age, I still see pretty well, but when I was younger, I could read street signs from three city blocks.( You may, without hesitation, feel free to ask my wife if you like. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif She married me because I could see that blouse she was looking for from the front of the ladies clothes dept( whether they had it or not, I mean) without her having to shop for it ! haha )
I was 18 or 19 years old. I was fishing at night for catfish and hadn't caught anything. The lake was a neighborhood lake, surrounded by apts. on all sides. It was fed by a creek that came from a swamp, which joined, at some point I'm sure, the Ocmulgee River, which got all kinds of "neat stuff" from the air force base back in those days.( Maybe now too, who knows?)
Just as the sun was coming up, I saw something moving along hte surface of the lake about a half mile out. It was moving toward a small island. It looked odd, but it was too far to tell..........then I remembered that I had some binoculars int he truck. I ran the 20 feet to the parking lot, found the binoculars and ran back to the edge of the lake. It was still there, moving slowly across the lake..I would guess at 2 or 3 mph.
I lifted the binoculars to see a large greenish-gray hump easing across the water, leaving a small wake behind it. It was headed fo the island. I thought that when it got htere, and climbed out, I'd see what it was. I was getting chill-bumps already at that point. When it got within a few feet of the island......two big "fins" flipped up from behind and, with a small splash, it dove down underwater. I waited for all of two or three minutes. Five minutes later I was in the truck heading home with my rods and a smal tackle box.....I had left everything else behind. I never fished there again at night.
So when I see the shows on Loch Ness and such......those people that I used to call "kooky"........well, now I'm one of them.
I know what I saw...and it wasn't a turtle,deer,duck,pig,gator,elk,snipe, or watever....it was a " something".
The lake had an earthen dam that busted in the floods of the early 90's...so whatever it is probably ended up in the swapmy area below the lake...
A side note - my biggest bass came out of the same lake....14-15 pounds of it. I released it.....Since the dam broke and the lake went dry, I have wished for years that I hadn't. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif Oh well. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
( I didn't make this up. I'd feel better if I had. Ooooooooo...spooky, I know. )
It's a good thing you posted that preemptively, Owl, 'cause I was just about to cut and paste it for everyone to see. Of course, I wasn't going to reveal the writer's identity - providing we could come to some sort of financial arrangement.
I was in a bass tournament at Lake Oconee in the 80's and was in fishing in beaverdam Creek. Someone had put out about 50 catfish jugs the prvious night, and several of them had fish on them. As we pitched platic worms into the blowdowns along the bank one of the jugs "swam over to the boat." As I moved down the bank, the jug kept pace with us. I flipped the trolling motor on high and moved the boat across the creek to fish another area, and in about 10 minutes that jug was bumping the back of the boat again.
I finally pulled the jug up and released the 4lb channel cat that figured out "how to get off the hook.".......strange.
I was fishing a creek off the Coosa River this summer, and the first thing Mike and I noticed was Barred Owl sitting on a dead limb over the creek. He wasn't spooky, and was content to watch us fish. However, when we pitched a dead shad into the water, the owl swooped down picked it up and had breakfast. That senerio was repeated several times on different trips, and also other people who fished the same creek commented about the fishing owl of Cedar Creek.
I was tagging sea turtles in the early 90's on St Catherines Island. The job involved patrolling 5 miles of beach alone at night without a light on a bicycle, and staking wire over turtle nests after the eggs were laid to keep the hogs and racoons from eating them. It was about 3am, and I was peddling up the beach with the wind in my face when I noticed a "piece of drift wood" moving. There was no moon out that night and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Suddenly I was tire to snout with a wild boar that was as tall as the bike. There is always that moment of encounter between predator and prey when the determination is made on who is who. Out of stark terror, I turned into a screaming banshee and attacked with my Schwinn Flier. Fortunatly, the pig lost its nerve, and vacated the beach. That was my last night working the beach, because I don't think I could have gone back again after that.
About a week after I left the island, the Project Biologist killed a hog raiding a turtle nest that weighed 428lbs. I'm sure that was the same one.
12-19-00, 04:02 PM
Uh-huh. Here's a financial arrangment for ya-
There was this fisher-doode that offered a perfect stranger a martini, and.....
Hooker ! Close encounter of the porkish kind ! Whoa.
[This message has been edited by The Owl (edited 12-19-2000).]
Owl, old buddy, I believe we have just reached an agreement.
Drifter mentioned elsewhere spending three days in a tent during a trip to the Smokies.
That reminded me of a backpacking trip to Springer Mtn., the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. We hiked in, like Drifter, in shirtsleeve weather and watched a beautiful sunset from the rocks where the plaque features Benton McKaye. After supper, dark clouds rolled in, completely enveloping us, and we ended up watching, or more like participating in, a thunderstorm from the inside. Tremendous thunder, wind and lightning. Sometime during the night the storm ended and it got so cold that water froze in our bottles. The next morning we hiked out under gray skies, pelted by puffy little balls of snowy frozen precip. What a wild range of weather in one trip. It was one of the best trips I ever made.
12-20-00, 01:02 PM
About five years ago, I was fishing for mackerel with a couple of friends way off of Wassaw sound near Savannah. We had been fishing for about four hours when we got into a pretty big school of fish and it seemed like we were reeling them in regularly. I guess I should back-up and say that we had caught a few fish earlier in the day and whenever we did we would clean them right away and throw the guts, etc. over the side. Well, things were getting pretty intense and we were catching fish pretty fast. Then my friend James hooked into the "big one" of the day. Not sure how big it was but it was considerably larger than the others. As he got the fish close to the boat and was just about to lean over the stern to pull it in, a ~7ft Mako shark appeared out of nowhere and devoured the mackerel with a several violent thrashing motions. Scared the absolute s#@$ out of James, the rest of us thought it was pretty cool. At that point we deceide that maybe we had caught enough fish and we should begin the trip home. Believe it or not!
12-24-00, 12:27 AM
OK, I have another one........this one not so wierd or interesting, just funny....
My friend Brian who moved to NJ this last summer, used to go with me trout fishing every year, at least once, even though he didn't fish and was far from what you'd call an "outdoors" person. He was more like a.....hmmm...a.....you know those lowrider cars with the deafning "boom.BOom BOOM.." coming form them - that's him. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Anyway, we were camping up in the woods near the Talullah river one summer, and we had been talking about bears and snakes( and "Bigfoot" and things that go bump in the night) and such all day. Sitting beside a fire we just started, it was getting dusky....and this green truck rumbled up the hill beside the camp...don't know if it was DNR or Forest Service or what...but it had a big oil drum on a trailer....and both ends of the drum had heavy gauge wire mesh over them. Brian looked at me and asked " What do you think they're trying to catch?".
I replied in my best matter of fact tone," Hmmm...I wonder what they're letting out ?! ".
A few minutes of silence followed.........later we turned in...and I had a brilliant idea......
As we slowly stopped talking, and I heard him start to breathe deeper....I slowly scratched the tent floor..."ssssccrrrrrrrraakkk".......
"You hear that?"
( just then I scratched the tent again..."scccrrrrrakkk". )
" That NOISE! "
What noise, I don't hear...I finished the sentance with a high pitched yell......and I thought, when he finished trying to get out of every window and door in the tent, that he would beat me to death.
I laughed until my stomach hurt. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Funny, that was the last time we camped together! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
( He moved to AL shortly after that..)
It makes me laugh today, almost 15 years later! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Next I'll tell you about the drunk guy in the Blue Ridge WMA, that stopped by to say "hi"......about five times...we were scared enough to sleep with the axe! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
12-25-00, 07:54 PM
My dad and I discussed your siteing of the Ogmulgee Lock Ness Monster. I think it was a grass carp though. I have seen some that look like monsters and will move that way. Saw one come out of a pond down here in Eatonton that weighed 90 lbs and was almost 6ft long.It may be safe to go back to night fishing, buddy. A float tube in a farm pond at midnight is always fun, It will cure you of all fear.
FLYSLINGER ( supporter of Tamien stocking at morgan falls)
Rattlesnake angling guide
"If only a trout stream ran through Athens!!"
12-29-00, 04:58 AM
Flyslinger....despite the best efforts of everyone I've ever known to coem up with an answer, no one has. I think yours(or your dad's...whatever - http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif) is the best....but I've caught carp(all kinds) and this thing- well , I guess I forgot to mention( or decided not to)the "hump" that I watched moving across the water....it was at least 2 ft. out of the water....I wanna say 3, but to make sure I'm not stretching it - we'll call it 2. And the fins that came up...it was no carp tail.....it was fins...like the pectoral fins on a trout....20 times the size and pea soup green....
Those first two or three years after I saw it, I tried to think of everything in the world that it could have been( and like I said, heard hundreds of possible answers from everyone), but nothing matches what I know I saw....and so .......I have come to accept that whatever it was, I'll never know.
It's a spooky, nutty world.... http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif Ain't it great! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
I think it was the RAFB Toxic Swamp Bugger!
12-29-00, 05:16 AM
Well, time on my hands I guess......
Back form Alabama for a short visit, I talked my friend Brain( from the other story) into going with me up to the Toot to camp.....it was the weekend before the 4th of July. We fished most of the day, caught a few, missed a few, saw one nice one....yadda, yadda, yadda...
Back at camp we were sitting by our fire, beside us sat our cooler full of cokes and dew.
A low rumble vibrated through the trees, and an old, red(I think) pick-up shook it's way around the curve in the road. It eased to a stop at the side of the raod, and out stumbled this ole man. Tall and skinny, with a straw hat on his thin face, he wobbled as best he could toward our fire....
" You boys got 'nthang ta drank? "
"Sure" I said..."Got some Cokes in the cooler".......pause.....pause.....
" Nnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww...I don't won't n'Coke! " he grumbled.
" I wuz jest lookin fer somebody.......Ya'll take it t'eazy, naaow."
" ALright" Brian told him.
We looked at each other and kinda chuckled as he drove off......the noise was really terrible...
Well, about an hour later, here comes his truck again......and we fully expected the ole guy to keep right on going by us......but, nope. You guessed it....the truck stopped again, this time a little more abruptly. He hobbled over to the fire again.....
" You boys seen a Blue Dodge come by hee-ya? "
" Nope, sure haven't..." I said, trying not to giggle...Brain looking like he just ate a sheep and was about to "un-eat" it- trying not to laugh...
Weeeal, ya'll watch out fer it - I'm a lookin fer them boys drivin it...".
And, once again, he stumbled off towards his truck....
Thrity minutes later he stopped again. Third time. I didn't think we could hold it in, but we did.....he asked us the same question about the Dodge. ( OK, now we're getting a little spooked)
But this time, half way through the " You boys got anythang ta drank" routine, he stopped .....scratched his chin, and said ' Heeeeyyyyy.I bin heee-ya before hain't I?".
It was all we could do not to laugh, but it was easier cause this ole dude was getting to know where we were camped a little too well.
Well, he goes back to his truck, and we decide it's time to turn in.....he's surely gone for the night....
But once again, I get a little pitchfork pokin me in the ribs, and I decide to start talking about how drunk he was, and what he was looking for soem boys for, and that old movie with Burt and Ned....
Well, Brain decides we need to sleep with the axe between us, and i couldn't help but agree whole-heartedly( hee hee ). I have to admit I was a little nervous too, though. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
So , we're talking, you know, just getting ready to hit the flashlight and turn in. Click - light out. Talking fewer and fewer words every few minutes...almost asleep....
..and in the distance we hear a rumble......closer...closer......closer......"Here he comes",I whisper....
Brain whispers" Awwwww, that's not him...."
And as the Rumble rolls by our campsite...........................the horn blows three times !
I think we were both up another two hours... http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
01-08-01, 07:33 PM
after raking through the catacombs of useless and even more useless knowledge that has accumulated in my knoggin; I have figured out what the mystery serpent was you saw in Macon. It was an EEL. They are not as widespread as they used to be and don't ussually get that big, but I have seen pictures of huge ones that were caught back in the day. If not an Eel which is more likely, it may have been a sturgeon. Ya know a massive one was caught in the Ocmulgee not to long ago. This would explain a hump. There have been big ones caught in the southern undammed rivers of the state. They come up the rivers to spawn and sometimes get lost. If I am not mistaken they live to be well over a hundred years old.
I really do think I have narrowed down the mystery serpent now.
.....Or the world record bowfin. hehehehe
01-08-01, 09:40 PM
Could have been an Alligator.When they get to be 15ft. or more in length,they look like a Loch Ness monster.
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