In 1927 the Jackson Bluff Dam was constructed on the Ochlockonee River to produce hydroelectric power. The waters held back by the dam formed Lake Talquin.
In 1971, approximately 20,000 acres (80 km²) of uplands and 10,000 acres (40 km²) of lake bottom were donated by the Florida Power Corporation to the State of Florida to form Lake Talquin State Recreation Area. Much of the shore of the lake is part of Lake Talquin State Park, one of Florida's State Parks. The waters that now cover Lake Talquin’s floodplain are shallow except along the old channel of the river. The abundance of dead trees and stumps scattered about are reminders of the rich floodplain forest that once covered the area before the lake was formed. Most of the stumps can be found right under the water on the eastern end of the lake causing problems for boaters.
Early February one year I get a call from a lady who says she lives nearby and wants information about a guide trip. I explain how it all works, very simple process, her party meets me at the lake, jump in the boat and we go.
Now I assume she is calling to surprise her husband, or son or something like that. I asked her if she wanted to fish for bass or crappie, and after a long pause she replied “CRAPPIE”. When I told her the costs she didn’t seem too concerned although a couple of her key questions were how many people I could accommodate and what would we do if someone had to use the restroom. THAT told me she was probably coming along so I thought to myself I would have to prepare for a female on the boat. Not that I had never taken a female client, they are just few and far between. We ended our conversation with those immortal words I get from almost EVERYONE after speaking with them the first time, “I’ll get back to you” she says.
About a month later while checking messages I hear that familiar female voice asking if I had the last weekend of April available. A quick check of the calendar says I do, I call her back to confirm and the trip is set.
Some days even in late April mornings can be a bit chilly, but specks seem to bite better that time of year from daylight til about 10:00am. I suggested they arrive just before daylight bet she was having nothing to do with that. I remembered back to the days when I would ask my wife to go fishing and she wanted NOTHING to do with it if I was going before 9 or 10 in the morning. So 9:30 was agreed upon at the designated boat ramp.
9:30 comes and goes, then 10:00am, and just as I pick up my cell to call her my phone rings. “Hey, I think we’re lost but we had to stop and pick up a couple wine coolers, I hope that’s ok”. I tell her of course and I would be ready when they arrived.
15 minutes later I see a late model BMW SUV slowly cruise by, then turn around and creep forward down the ramp. The windows are tinted so I can only make out the driver and it is a very attractive woman behind the wheel. She rolls down the window and smiles as she asks if I am JR. “Yes” I replied and told them where to park after unloading their vehicle. So instead of a father and son getting out of the back seat, I’m greeted with two more beautiful women with big smiles and dressed for a day at the beach!
With the boat finally loaded with wine coolers and sexy 28-40 year olds (not counting myself) we’re off to catch some Crappie, a.k.a. “speckled perch” as they’re known in Florida.
It’s just past 11:00am when we reach our first spot so after a crash course on how and why with the trolling, it doesn’t take long before the youngest in the back of the boat hollars “I’ve got one”! A nice two pounder, how’s that to start the day I think to myself. Boy does that make me look good. The next words out of the one in the middle is “I thought they wouldn’t bite after 10:30 or so”. I could feel my face turning every shade of red known to man, so I just pretended not to hear her. No sooner do I get that one off the line then the leader of the “Three Amigettes” proclaimed “me too”. This goes on for at least 20 minutes, at one time we had all six poles tangled with fish on four of them.
When we started the day air temperatures were in the low 70’s with a slight north breeze. Highs for the day were 83 but by noon we were already there. At 1:00pm and with 25-30 keepers already in the livewell, fishing slowed to an occasional bite but the ladies were now to preoccupied with wine coolers and talk of shopping to even notice. But I did. It seemed after each wine cooler was downed a new piece of clothing came off.
Now growing up in the 70’s we’ve all read Playboy Forum. Was it finally my turn? Three beautiful women in bikinis, on my boat, getting tipsy with wine coolers. With the two in the back all giggly and smiling I just knew they were talking about me, and probably thinking the same thing I was. A smoking hot guide who knows what he’s doing, all buff and knows how to handle his business. Ok, so it’s my story and I’ll tell it the way I want to. Anyway, the leader who’d been near me all day in the front of the boat was getting a little ancy, squirming like a toddler in a car seat. So I asked “Do any of you need to use the restroom?” Two hard nods and a loud YES meant I needed to go to the hill. (fishermans term for land). The middle one held up the last wine cooler and gestured to her friends they might need more.
Almost in one motion I pulled the remaining rods along with the trolling motor from the water, secured loose clothing in the dry boxes and aimed the boat back toward the ramp. As the three bikini clad hotties made their way to the ladies room the youngest turned and said “don’t leave”.
Now most of you would expect some really cool ending to this boyish dream of a day, and there is; from a fishermans stand point. It’s almost as if someone pushed a sober button. When they got back to the boat it was mostly business. They picked up their cooler, clothes and purses and started loading up the Beemer. I told them I could take them to a marina on the lake where they could get more wine coolers, snacks or even take a break. “Nah” said the leader, we’ve had a wonderful time and are headed back. “But what about the rest of your day, we’ve only been out a few hours, and don’t you want me to clean your fish so you can take them home?” She replied “You have them, we got what we came here for”. I just had to ask, “What was that”? With a devilish smile she said “our husbands go on guided trips all the time but always have an excuse why they don’t bring home any fish”. With a livewell full of crappie, full days pay, a $100.00 tip and a kiss on the cheek I felt I did alright. Don’t believe their husbands faired as well when they get home…
JR & Todd Nedley with 30 lbs to win United Rentals Tourny!
April 9th, Youth Tournament
call Sarah Johnson for details
July 17 UNITED RENTALS
JR Mundinger & Todd Nedley with just under 25 lbs wins June Xtreme Tourney ledge fishing