Leisure Bass Fishing on Potato Creek
In a little known area of Georgia, a few underground springs bubble out of the ground and are joined by a dozen or so runoff streams to form the beginning of Potato Creek. As the creek flows southwest and skims the northern edge of Thomaston it collects even more springs and widens to become one of the largest tributaries of the Flint River. Besides providing pure joy as waterhole recreation for 4 generations of cotton mill kids, and Creek Indians before them, Potato Creek is partially navigable by john boat, and sports a number of Class IV and Class V rapids that thrill the few kayakers and canoeists that happen to know of its existence. Those same rapids, and the small pools that collect in and around the shoals, are home to several species of bass, often known as shoal bass, but more commonly called largemouth bass and smallmouth (or warmouth) bass.
As a young kid, a teenager, and a young adult, Kenny B was among the most avid bass fishers of Potato Creek. With the Flint River nearby, most people just ignored sport fishing on the lesser visited creek. But Kenny didn't. He bass-fished Bobcat Island, Scout Wash Hole, the Crest Chute, and the Woodland Bridge areas with passion, and not just because he could easily get to most of these spots by bike or on foot. He fished these areas because the bass there were just as good at fighting as those on the Flint, and just as plentiful. Besides, Kenny could fish all morning and never see another person and bring home enough bass on his stringer to support a Friday night fish fry at the Pike County Lion's Club pavilion.
Today, a sunny Saturday in June, was a typical day for Kenny. His stringer was already heavy with a half dozen three and four pound bass and even more bream and smaller bass. He decided it was about time to go home and clean the day's catch for the backyard fish fry tonight. Besides, the mid-day heat in June in middle Georgia is more of a deterrent to bass fishing, and more of a lure to swimming. And Kenny had already been joined by several swimmers at the Woodland Shoals area, most of whom he knew. It was time to quit.
Literally on his last cast into the larger pool at the base of the biggest waterfall, Kenny hooked what appeared to be a whopper bass. The bend in his rod was enough to raise the hair on the back of his neck in anticipation of the fight he was about to join, and the catch he surely hoped it would bring. After only a few seconds, it seemed, the fight was over. But Kenny's rod was still bent almost double as he reeled in the final few feet of his line to reveal a complete plastic-yoked, and un-opened, six pack of Budweiser Beer in the can, still as cold as the deeper waters in the creek. To the applause of all who witnessed, Kenny merely stowed his catch and grinned like the cat that caught the canary. He returned to his parents' house in Silvertown and had absolutely no trouble enlisting the aid of his three brothers in cleaning the bass for that night's fish fry.