These cattle pastures are on some of the most beautiful, rolling green, well maintained land I've seen in Mississippi. South of Coffeeville on Route 7, before the turn to the Grenada dam, there are a series of dirt roads shooting off to the left. They all wander through old sections of private land that were taken over by the government when the army corp started putting in the lakes. If you follow them far enough they cross the army corp line, and eventually end in water. I've found old cemeteries, abandoned roads that were once large paved avenues to something that is now gone, overgrown stone landscaping remnants, and all the cool swamp and water features created by the tail end of the lake.
The army corp drains the surrounding lakes each winter, I believe to make room for the spring melt when they refill them, helping to lighten the burden, (or at least regulate to a human-preferred consistency,) on the Mississippi river. In the winter I have come out to these clay banks to do some target practice; the water was still low enough to keep my spot above water, so Cliff and I took advantage.
Then into the boats for some fishing, Kagan-style, i.e. casting.
Cliff hooked this little Crappie in the first 5 minutes. The size limit is 12"or larger, so it went back. It wasn't the last fish we saw all day, but the last one we caught.
The cyprus stumps are a nice break in the otherwise flat, brown water. All remnants of the forests and fields that were flooded to make these lakes. There was a nice brisk wind all day, which made for healthy paddling upwind, and kept the mosquitoes down. The bases of these cypress are usually a swarm of bugs when it's calm.
West towards the dam.
North towards the pasture land we drove by.
The fish were jumping all around us most of the day, they just wouldn't bite anything we put in the water. At one point we were near a marshy section, where I could see great big alligator gar, taller than the marsh water they were swimming through, with their backs sticking out of the water, and I got out with a net to try to chase them down. Turns out their slow thrashing through the grass is just an act of being stuck, the moment I got anywhere close they shot off like rockets.
A family of Osprey.
This manly outing was complete with a lunch of ciabatta, olive tapenade, roasted almonds, hoop cheese, and some ginger cookies the kids and I made right before Alexe declared she was dieting and glared at until I removed them from the house.
We went to the spillway below the damn, where there are no size or number limits, (Ha!) and we tried to catch something to show for the day. No luck, even though the place was also filled with jumping fish.
I'm torn between really enjoying my time out with Cliff, and feeling guilty that I might rub off on him, and he won't be able to catch fish even when I'm not around.
That lure in Cliff's mouth is a great look.