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  • Fishing in the Good Ol Days

    Please let me never forget about the good old days!

    This is a picture that was given to me by Captain Elizabeth and Cecil Johnson. It was taken from the Lazaretto Creek Bridge. The first boat on the outside of the dock was my fatherís boat named Miss Jerry. The boat across from it was the Sea Joy owned/operated by Captain Bragg. At this time I canít remember who owned the boat in front of my fatherís. My wooden boat, Miss Judy, was not in this picture. I guess I had taken her home! In the distance you can see the historic Cockspur lighthouse! I remember this wonderful view as if it were only yesterday! I navigated through these waters hundreds of times to get to the offshore fishing grounds! Where did we fish? Gaskin Banks, Ganer Banks, Savannah River jetties, Tybee Roads shipping channel, Texas tower, and Black fish banks! Now, for those that remember, doesnít that bring back some grand fish catching memories!
    Let me tell you about my week...
    First Captain Tommy Williams took Jim Nisbet, Jr Pooler, Georgia inshore fishing...but before departing he shared with me (Captain Judy) about an offshore trip that he had taken 52 years ago. Does this ring a bell? Well, it did for sure with me. Hereís how the story went, it seems that I took him fishing and we departed from Lazaretto Creek. Now, this was not a departure from Lazaretto Creek Marina, but from the dock located on the ocean side of the creek. (This is now the home of Captain Derek Brownís dolphin and fishing boats!)

    When we were docked here my fatherís as well as my charter boat was wooden and slow as heck. As you know, my fatherís first charter boat was a wooden boat named Miss Jerry named after my mother. In the late forties, all of the fifties, and most of the sixties we ran our wooden charter boats from Captain Charlie Walshís Marina located on Lazaretto Creek.

    I started taking people fishing at the young age of 14. And Mr. Jim Nisbet Jr was among some of the first customers that I took out. At first as Mr. Jim was doing the math he said, ďIt was fifty years ago that I fished with you!Ē (Captain Judy) and when he arrived to go fishing Mr. Jim shared some more interesting information. He said, ďIt wasnít 50 years ago that I fish with you it was 52 years! And I remember riding in the big yellow boat!Ē As he talked I started remembering on some occasions I would take my fatherís boat instead of mine. Heck it wasnít that there was anything wrong with my boat; it was just that I had spent a lot more time on daddyís boat. You could say and I will, since the age of six I was almost on it every day with him! So when we had a trip and daddy couldnít or didnít go, he took me to the boat, and while I was fishing he worked on my boat. You must remember back in those days all of our boats were wooden and there was always something on the engine that needed to be fixed or leaking holes that had to be plugged. My father always said, ďA wooden boat needs to leak so that it keeps the bilge wet!Ē If the bilge of a wooden boat isnít wet all of the time the planks will shrink making for a much bigger unfixable sinking problem! Itís funny a little water was ok, but when it poured in through the holes too fast, well it would be time to break out our homemade first aid kit for the boat.

    I was truly amazed at all of the things that Mr. Jim Jr. (age 75) remembered. Back then, our trips departed around 8 am. Our fishing plan for the day was to go to the Black Fish Banks. Now that is an area that you donít hear about any longer. The black fish banks were located about 10 to 12 miles off Tybee Island. It took exactly 2 hours from the dock to get to the fishing grounds. There was a black/white can that marked the area. The bottom line was this, if you found the buoy you could fish around it! This was great place to catch lots of bottom and top water fish! Believe it or not but I caught my first red snapper at the good old but gone now Black Fish Banks!

    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy