A few days ago I was at Tibbitts Lake standing on the bridge.  I was thinking back about my childhood growing up on the lake.  I’m 40 now,  I built my house, got married and moved out when I was 20. So, I spent 20 years living at my parents house on the lake and 20 years with Wendy in our house in the woods.  The two areas are so different but are less than a 1/2 mile apart.  Mom and Dad’s house sits on a hill above the lake and has a huge two acre yard.  Lots of grass to cut. There’s fruit trees,  grapevines,  pecans,  blueberries and lots of sunshine.  After growing up cutting all that grass each week and then working in the landscape industry during the summer starting when I was 14. I didn’t want any grass at my house.  When building our house we keep as many trees as we could.  I have two very small patches of grass that may only get mowed 5 times a year.  It doesn’t get enough sun to grow.  The trees keep us several degrees cooler here too. We are in a hollow at the base of a small mountain.  So there are no long distance views like a mom and dad’s but there is a lot more wildlife.  Just the other day I walked out on the front porch and two twin deer fawns were in the woods 40 feet away.

Growing up, when people found out l lived on the lake they would say “if I lived on a lake I would go fishing everyday”. Well I didn’t.  I did a little fishing but mostly social fishing.  It was mostly some friends would want to go and I would take them.  I would go by myself some.  I liked to walk to a small cove on the other side of the lake.  Dad’s side of the lake was open and no trees. The west side was wooded. From the open dam, I would walk a path next to the lake in the woods to my spot at the cove. This is where I caught the biggest catfish I ever have caught.  I also liked to go below the dam and fish in the spillway.  It was also wooded and was a challenge to get to. First you walked over the dam by the fish hatchery.  Then cross over the spillway.  It was a ditch as deep as I was tall. I had to pull myself out using exposed tree roots. Then down hill again and cross the small stream to the little fishing hole.  Fish that had been washed out of the lake would get trapped here. There was always someone, a friend,  a cousin or someone fishing.  I would go down and hang out but did little fishing.  Jonathan was who would fish every day.  He lived just up the road a few houses.  His grandmother and my dad are brothers and sisters.  She built a house across the lake from dad. Jonathan is two years older than me.  Just about every day after school he would be fishing.

I did like to go on fishing trips.  Mostly for the trip.  I love a adventure. If it was some where other than the house,  if there was a boat or best of all if it was saltwater. Dad bought a boat when I was 10 or so. Not much, but it was a boat. I remember going with him to pick it up.  He bought it used from a local man. We took it to Altoona a few times and down to lake Oconee to our deer hunting land a few times. That place had a really nice big cove that was just below deer camp. Between hunts we would fish.  Dad would let me drive the boat some.  Then as I got older I would take it out by myself on Tibbitts Lake. I have talked about our deep sea fishing trips in other post so i will not recap here but to say they were really fun.  One summer just after Wendy and I were married,  Jason bought a old bass boat.  I think he paid $300 for it. Trailer and all. That guy needed the money bad. Jason and I wore Corley’s Lake out. We had a lot of fun catching bass.

I have covered the catfish farming before to but that was a big part of my childhood working on the lake.  I was doing something just about every day on the lake from feeding the fish, to gathering fish eggs, to working the fish from one lake to the other, and then selling them.

When I started to write this story it was to be about deer hunting not fishing.  I got distracted.  I will have to do a follow up on hunting and the history of Tibbitts lake.

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