Tuning up for Christmas road trip

Dec. 21, 2013 @ 10:07 PM

It was nice to get in a couple of hours of bass fishing on Belews Creek Lake near Stokesdale this week. 

Temperatures in the mid 60s made it feel more like spring than the start of winter and I really enjoyed the short time on the water. While I didn’t catch a single fish, a couple did bite but didn’t get on the hook.

My main goal was to make sure the boat was in good working order for a solid week of fishing in southern Florida after Christmas and everything looks to be ready.

Susan and I had a wonderful time last Sunday afternoon at the Walnut Cove Christmas Parade with our grandson John II. He enjoyed fries and cotton candy, while I had some chicken stew and Susan ate some chili con carne that street vendors were selling to raise money for local churches.

In this area chicken stew is very popular, and it isn’t what you might think it would be. It’s much like oyster stew, which is nothing more than milk, butter and oysters with some salt and pepper.

Well in chicken stew you substitute white chicken meat for the oysters and that’s it. Many churches will have one pot of oyster stew and one of chicken cooking side by side. People rave about one church’s stew compared to another’s, but I have yet to be able to tell any difference. They are all delicious.

Like most of you, we are busy preparing (buying stuff) for Christmas and looking forward to a day with the family before Susan and I pull out for our 10-day trip to southern Florida and Key West.

We will drive as far as we can Christmas night before stopping to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot in lower South Carolina or upper Georgia. An early start on the morning of the 26th will put us ahead of the wave of Yankees headed to Disney World in Orlando.

We should arrive in Clewiston, Fla. early in the afternoon on the day after Christmas where we’ll set up camp. More on the trip plan in next week’s column.

Kerr Lake fishing report – Cameron Newhouse reports the bass are biting well on Kerr Lake. He and his crew reported catching 13 one day this week including some big ones — not bad for winter time fishing. Bass will bite jigs in 12–15 feet of water. 

Upcoming area tournaments – None I know of until after the first of the year. There is a small one in Florida on Lake Okeechobee that I plan to compete in next Sunday.

Next week’s report – Christmas update from the Bowen house and a Florida trip line up.

Tip of the week — Pick up a January N.C. Sportsman magazine and check out my article about hunting grouse in the mountains of North Carolina.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, and on Twitter at @WaltBowen.