|Guide extraordinaire Keith Poche. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
When we launched Good Girls in the Badlands for our trek through South and North Dakota last year, we laughingly referred ourselves as Thelma and Louise without a death wish searching for adventure and Brad Pitt.
We found adventure but no Brad Pitt candidates.
Should have invaded Georgia sooner. Keith was not only Brad Pitt cute, he was gracious, good-natured, gentlemanly, extremely patient and one heckuvva fisherman. Born in Louisiana, living in Alabama but adopted by LaGrange, GA, he's an Elite Class pro with 5 top 10 finishes in B.A.S.S. tournaments. To say he was stepping down in class spending the morning with us novices is not only a vast understatement but a testament to his good nature and patience.
We drove from Callaway Gardens to LaGrange and met our local fairy godmother, LaGrange Troup County Tourism Director Laura Jennings, who led the way to West Point Lake where Keith and his cool and colorful competition bass boat were waiting.
|Other fishermen watched to see where we went. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
The day was overcast, good for comfort but not so good for finding bass. According to Keith, bass congregate together tucked under their shoreline hidey holes when it's sunny and hot which means a lure dropped in the area will attract a lot of attention. On cooler, cloudy days, the fish swim out into the lake.
Not that it bothered Keith; everywhere we stopped our plastic worms were nibbled and bitten. Novices that we were, hooking and landing were another matter.
"Reel it up! Reel it up," urged Keith as I jerked at a good bite.
Aha. The light went on. You need to start reeling in the fish to hook it after that first bite. Then Keith pulled out the magic potion from one of the under deck storage spaces. He dunked the tail of my worm into a tiny jar of liquid and pulled it out, showing me the bright chartreuse green tip. "That ought to do it," he said.
|Got one! Photo © by Debi Lander.|
|Keith shows off my striped bass. Photo © by Debi Lander.|
Well, not really. I wanted it thrown back for someone else to have the fun of catching.
|Debi lands one Keith hooked. Photo © by Judy Wells.|
Finally, it was time to stow our gear and head back to the boat launch. With a guide like Keith, the combination of speed and bass fishing could be addictive.