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Stories by Arkie John......
Posted by: Wayne in BC
Date: February 20, 2009 03:58PM
Thank you AJ!:smile:

A liar will assume you are lying

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 10:13PM by Wayne in BC.

:usaflag:Navigating by the North Star
Posted by: Arkie John
Date: January 19, 2009 08:57PM

Navigating by the North Star

I wrote this story last summer. I don't think I have posted it. If I have, please indulge me.....

Ever since I was a little kid, whenever it got time to go fishin I got excitedfor hours before leading up to our actual departure. I couldnt help it then and I cant help it to this day. So, as the afternoon worked its way toward late afternoon, I began to get a little anxious, looking at my watch and knowing that 4:00 p.m. was departure time. I was particularly curious about my new brush tops that brother Tom and I had placed about three weeks earlier, and I had one more to place as well. So there was this chore of placing the two- tree brush top, by myself, before I could really kick back and enjoy an evening on the lake.

My wife, Virginia, was off today, but she had plans with one of her girlfriends, so I rationalized that it would be a perfect time to slip off to beautiful Lake Ouachita, a mere 15 minutes from my front door. I busily got everything in order and finally leaving a sticky note on the computer for Virginia. Puttin in at Twin Creeks. Be back by midnight. Love, John, I was ready.

I had the GPS, the light etc and all I had to do was get fuel for the truck, ice and a pound of no. 5 crappie minnows. It was 4:00 pmand I was off.

I launched the boat at 4:45p.m. after an extended conversation with Ruth, owner of Ruths Bait Shop, on Highway 270. It didnt look good for the crappie, based upon her most current fishing report. Where are they? she asked. I was gonna ask her the same thing. I just told the ole jetzel that what few I had been picking up were deep, 18-20 feet deep. But in the back of my mind I remembered a fishing report from Lake Nimrod that they were being caught on 6-8 feet of water. Id try both, once I got the tops planted.

Tom's little 25 cranked right up and the 16 Tracker Panfish Special was headed NNW across the biggest water. There was not a boat in sight..just the way I like it when I got cedar tops all over the back of the boat! I eased into the cove and right to the point I wanted to deposit them. Sinking them in 13 feet of water, 3 feet apart, I noted that one of the tops was actually visable about 3 feet down! I didnt like that but took comfort in knowing the lake was down two feet. At full pool in the winter and spring, it would be just fine. Now I turned my actions to fishing..

Ruth didnt have No. 5 minnows, so I settled for what she DID have: No. 4s. Hmmm. I did the jig routine last week and did no good, so this trip was for the live bait.. The old woman gave me a good count so I had plenty of the little darlins to keep me company, as the sun set and the light began to diminish. The lake was calm and I was the beneficiary of its most serene personality. It was quite relaxing.

I caught two small crappie on the two cedars planted three weeks ago so that was encouraging. They both were sub-10 inchers though. An hour later I caught a bless-ed bluegill that ate one of my No. 4s just like he was supposed to. Otherwise the fishin was sparse.

Getting darker, I decided to troll the artificials through the channel to see if I could pick up a stray or two. I readied the bandit 300s and we were off.. No boats, no water lice, no people, just the gentle slappn of the water against the forward keel of the boat as the trolling motor pulled us along at 1.5 mph. I could do this for a long, long time, I thought, and never complain.

Forty-five minutes found me at the mouth of the tributary, staring at open water. I stowed the bandits and the trolling motor and headed across the lake to the condo area as Tom and I like to call it. Arriving 8 minutes later, I promptly found the submerged brush top I wanted, with the aid of my trusty GPS. I dropped the anchor, set up the lights, baited up three rods and sat back, just like an old man on the cusp of retirement! (That would be me)

I decided to give it an hour and if no luck, I would troll, once again, only this time, toward the boat ramp. I got a lot of bait fish to respond to the lights, but to my angst, I did not pick up a single speck during the time. So it was right about then that I turned off all topside lights sos the only ones around were 4 feet under the water. I rared back in my boat seat, stretched and when I opened my eyes, I looked straight up.

All of a sudden, my mind was not of fishin anymore. It was as if every star God had ever created was on display, there, just looking down at me and my feeble little attempts at fishing. I could see light years through the clear heavens. I immediately thought of the scripture in Psalms 123, verse 1, Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. I prayed for my family and friends and thanked Him for the opportunity to again visit this magnificent lake.

The time was up, soon enough for the no-show crappie. I reeled in the lights and the anchor. It was DARK. (no moon) I headed the little boat out of the cove and into open water with only the nav lights. Once clear, I, once again, put out the bandits on medium spinnin outfits, and kicked back, heading back toward the ramp.

I marked the channel along the way, for future reference as well as an occasional brush pile. As I neared the ramp, I still had plenty of juice in the battery. I looked at the watch: 10:30. Why not? I decided to make one more trolling pass across the big water. I set the GPS to FIND and GO TO BP-HH. It shot me a line due North. I put the boat on track; 27 feet of water, and was good to go. I had the lake to myself.

I shielded the depth finder so all I could see was the depth reading. The GPS light was long out and the only lights were the nav lights. As I headed slowly North I lined up on the Big Dipper. Now lets see, the out most stars that make up the lowest part of the dipperI drew an imaginary line from them and extended it about 30 or 40 degreesTHERE. The North Star.

Now this is what was the most fun. For a while, I put the North Star starboard 25 degrees or so. Then I spotted the bow dead on her. Then after a while I took the North Star to the port side about 25 degrees for a spell. I did this time and again, all the while admiring the Lord's creation handiwork, unfolded before me in blazing beauty and total silence, save the most minor of whirrs of the trolling motor! I didnt care if I caught a single fish. No boats, no lights, no distractions, just me, the North Star and the good Lord. I also thought of how, over the eons that man had navigated by the stars and it gave me pause. This very lake--sometimes powerful and raging, but this evening calm and running silent-- carried my Daddy and his buddies, as well as me and Tom as little fellers, many times. I felt close to those times as I made my way across in the dark and stillness of this enchanting lake.

The rod tips steadily vibrated and soon I was arrivingthe GPS interrupting the solitude with its danger close warning beeps. I made a gentle sweeping turn to the West and then back to the South. I could see the lights of the ramp in the distance and I knew this trip would soon be over.

There is nothing like a tranquil, serene night on the water to relax a man and to remind him of the important things in life. Now I know that one day in the not-to-distant future the specks will be on the Fall feed and come Spring, there will be plenty of fish to clean. But that will be then and this is now. I reckon ole' Ruth knows what she's talkin' about, donchaknow.

But for tonight, I am taking from the lake just what He would have me take..and thats just fine with me. Navigating by the North Star is amazing, but my Navigator is the One who created the North Star. Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it. PS 127:1.

Thanks for comin along. <><[/size]


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2009 06:14PM by Wayne in BC.

enjoyed your story john
Posted by: david(tx)
Date: January 19, 2009 09:56PM
its funny how people like solitude and companionship,has to be a fine line nobody has figured out,how much you need of each.both solitude and companionshipship bring joy and not so much joy:smile:.i'd forgotten about people putting cedar bushes in the lake to attract crappie.

Felt as thougn I was right there with you Arkie... Thank you for a great story!!! :thumbup:N/T
Posted by: Mikie
Date: January 19, 2009 09:58PM

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Glad you liked the story, David.
Posted by: Arkie John
Date: January 20, 2009 02:28PM
I think the idea of needing solitude has to do with the fact that humans are distinguished from, say, livestock, because they have a soul.

I saw on TV once of how mountain really thrived on the "high lonesome." I think I know where they were coming from although the "high lonesome" was a more prolonged event. After a long day and night of fishing, I am always glad to head the ole' GMC homeward to the love of family and a home-cooked meal.


It's funny how those 'off the cuff' thangs just kinda happen.
Posted by: Arkie John
Date: January 20, 2009 02:34PM
I never expected to stay so long but I would have missed so much. Right after each sunset, ole' Venus is hanging in the western sky, shining like a beacon. It is particularly beautiful with a pink to colbalt blue to black sky as a backdrop.

Did you get a moose this time around?


Re: Navigating by the North Star
Posted by: Cupajo
Date: January 20, 2009 03:25PM
Great Story Tellin.

Takes me way back-----------------------!

Many Thanks,


Well, you might have been there alone that night, but I was with you
Posted by: Sunny
Date: January 20, 2009 07:18PM
tonight! Can't wait to be there in person big brother! This was a great story, and just remember. Ruth lies sometimes too! :lol: (It's so good to have you posting again!)

david, just this past Sunday Scott and I were riding around looking at land and such, and on
Posted by: Sunny
Date: January 20, 2009 07:27PM
our way, we passed three large trucks with their flatbeds filled with discarded Christmas trees on their way to "Johnboy's Lake" he is referring to. The crappie love 'em, and so do we! :)

No meeses this year... hopefullt next year... But the two deer sorta made up for it!! :):N/T
Posted by: Mikie
Date: January 20, 2009 09:27PM

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What a wonderful story. I have had a thousand nights on the lake just like that
Posted by: Royal
Date: January 21, 2009 05:36PM
maybe not just like that but I have spent many hours on a quiet lake watching the stars. If the fish are not biting? So what? I really miss the fishing. Gills with a flyrod in the spring. Crappies through the ice and bass all summer long. Pike in the spring.

I sure miss the fishing. Maybe I will break out the flyrod this spring and catch some bedding gills. I wish I lived nearer to you guys so I could enjoy some of the wonderful fishing you write about with you.

Your writing just pulls the reader right into the boat with you


You have an open invitation anytime! I might let you use one of my rod and reels!!! :punch:N/T
Posted by: Sunny
Date: January 21, 2009 07:11PM

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Who needs fish on a night like that!
Posted by: Dan-MO
Date: January 21, 2009 09:16PM
Beautifully written. Thank you.

Thanks Danno!! You're correct; who needs fish?N/T
Posted by: Arkie John
Date: January 21, 2009 11:35PM

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Thanks for the super-kind words, Royal.
Posted by: Arkie John
Date: January 21, 2009 11:38PM
You can fish from my boat ANYTIME! I'm goin' again tomorrow. 62 degrees; so I will probably stay a while. :)