Gibbons Creek Reservoir
March 14-15, 2015
by Terri Morgan
Paul Woodcock, David Portz, Michael Pollard, Martin Williams, Jamie Peck, Mary Zaborowski, and I all met up at Gibbons Creek Reservoir, east of College Station, for a weekend of camping. We arrived in the afternoon Friday and set up our camps. Afterward, we moseyed over to Paul and Mary’s RV site for a visit. We managed to solve the world’s problems in record time and when the sun went down, we scurried back to the tent camping area to relax by the camp fire and continue the conversation.
Saturday morning came in with cool temperatures, fog that burned off quickly and still, flat water that was perfect for paddling. However, when launch time came, the skies were somewhat cloudy, and the wind had picked up significantly, creating choppy water and spray that made paddling across the open lake a little challenging. We stayed along the shore, and then crossed the lake to get out of the wind and what a world of difference that made! No wind, calm flat water, warm temperature. Nice wind break.
We continued our paddle north toward Gibbons Creek, stopping along the way to throw a fishing lure a time or two. We passed an old barn, a couple of old buzzards (the bird kind) and a lone pelican. We arrived at a wooden bridge that was impeding our path with a well-worn road on each side. This was a perfect spot for a lunch break. Michael Pollard said he was going to dump out the minnows that someone had given us back at camp, as he had been toting them in a bucket full of water since we launched. I suggested he put one on a hook just to see what would happen and guess what happened? He caught a fish. Not only that, but he did it sitting down, facing the opposite direction. (Aggie fishing) So that was all it took. It was game on after that. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough poles to go around.
David decided to wander down the road and found a Water Moccasin. It looked like it was about to start shedding its skin and it was not at all happy to be looked at and bared its fangs a couple of times. We let it be and continued fishing and eating.
Paul, Martin and David decided they wanted to paddle further up Gibbons Creek so they did and I, Michael and Jamie stayed behind and fished. We had 1 hour to catch as many fish as we could as that was when they would return. While I was standing on the bridge fishing, watching the catfish on the stringer, I saw a King snake slither out from under my kayak and across my feet. It kept coming and coming and I thought “my goodness, how long is this snake”. I asked Mike to get his camera as I didn’t want to spook it but he didn’t have one. It was about 5’ +. By the time it crossed and I picked up my camera, it had wedged itself between the bridge planks and we couldn’t see it anymore. About that time Jamie caught a fish to add to the collection and then just before our fellow paddlers returned, and on the very last minnow, Michael caught the biggest catfish of the bunch weighing in at 6 lbs., 11 oz. It was a nice fish.
With our catch on the stringer we headed back to the campsite but not before I saw an armadillo in the brush, right by the bank where we were talking and moving about. He was more intent on digging up worms than what we were doing and I managed to get a few pictures of him.
Back at camp we filleted the fish, cleaned up, then headed over to Mary Z’s for a wonderful beef stew. Milton and Judy had arrived to help with dinner and it was nice to visit with them. After many bowls of stew and peach cobbler, I waddled back to the tent and fell in to bed.
Sunday came and some of us headed back to Mary’s for breakfast of fried catfish and Pierogis. (A fried dough with filling inside) and coffee. We were all pretty beat from the day before and the weather was cold, windy and dreary so we decided to say our good bye’s and pack up instead of getting out on the water again. It was a fun weekend, good company, good food, lots of wildlife.
|The author, Terri Morgan