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Memories of fishing with the master
Tight line junior
Donny Branch
Donnie Branch is a fishing columnist for the Courier.

Hello friends and neighbors, wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

I guess you all remember this story I am about to tell of one the greatest fishing trips I have ever been a part of. It was Christmas Eve, and the temperature was 17 degrees when my father Old Tight-Line said "boys I am going fishing in McQueen`s. It is freezing cold and we have no live bait. The question is, are you in or out, all we have for bait are salty dogs."

There we were, me, Dill Middleton and Herschel Dasher. We left the dock at Branch`s Fishing Camp at about 6 a.m. and headed out for the long cold ride to McQueen`s Inlet at St. Catherines Island; no bait and no cooler. We didn’t need one, it was cold enough.

When we reached the spot, Old Tight-Line said, "let the salty dog sink down and wait for it." Needless to say we caught 317 trout that day and although the laws have changed since then, there were many families on the coast that got a nice mess of fresh fish to help out through the holidays.

Let’s jump ahead to another unforgettable fishing adventure with my father. Old Tight-Line and I left the dock in a little boat about 7 a.m. We could almost see the fish camp when we anchored. Dad said to throw right out the back of the boat and fish about four feet deep. So that`s what I did, and dad fished out the front and we starting catching trout. About an hour later the tide was up in the grass and Old Tight-Line said, "boy, slide that rubber band down to the top of your cork and throw up to the edge of the marsh grass."

We started catching spottail bass. Just as fast as we could get it out there, the cork would go down. Daddy said, "hold there Junior, let`s stop and count the fish."

Well, friends, it was one of the best days of my life. Me and Dad got back to the dock with 28 trout and 10 bass. We had a great meal that night and a memory that will last me a lifetime.

So remember what Old Tight line always said: Get out there and go fishing, and if you do remember to always keep a tight-line.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the coast…

Living the Tight-Line life.

T.L. Jr.

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