Prepare for Inspection

In the spring of 1958 I was a newly commissioned 2nd Lt. in the U.S Army and spent the next 6 months at basic officers training at Ft. Lee, Virginia. By the time I left, I had found several nice fishing places there, including the Ft. Lee Officers Club Lake.

Atten-hut! Lt. Bryan, pen and paper in hand, enters squad tent to inspect the troops.

Spartan quarters, but weren’t the short sleeves cute?

One unique trip, several of my friends, that were “good ‘ole Texas boys”, and I went Shad fishing in the Appomattox River, in downtown Petersburg. The locals used light/medium tackle with a weight and several treble hooks attached above the weight and cast this across the river and jerked it back. We followed suit and soon had a “mess” of good size, Shad!. There were so many, we laughed saying they were shoulder to shoulder, that each cast brought in one or two.

Keeping a few we tried baking them and they proved awful, tasting too fishy, being full of bones and smelling up the kitchen. We later found out that Shad should be smoked or dried. One Shad trip was enough for us!

The Officers Club Lake provided fair fishing for Bass and Bream, keeping us in fresh fish. It was nice because I could call ahead, reserve a boat and motor and be fishing 15 minutes from my house. As they say, “RHIP”, rank has its privilege, even though I was a 2nd. Lt.

Stuck in my memory was a quick, evening trip to a small public lake. It was just before a March cold front blew in. A friend of mine in Texas had told me about jigging, using a Hawaiian Wiggler, an early, in line, weed less, spinner bait with a hair skirt covering the hook – a good bait for thick cover.