Fishing was slow on Lake Jackson this past Sunday, so my fishing buddy Greg and I decided to go exploring in areas of the lake that we don't usually visit. The most-recent fishing report I had read said that the lake was down nearly three feet, but the recent heavy rains and storms had brought the lake back up, and it appeared full to me.
We launched at Reasor's Landing and worked the docks and seawalls on the main part of the lake south to Lloyd Shoal Dam. Then we decided to put our gear down and crank up the gas engine for some touring.
We went up the Alcovy River branch of Lake Jackson until we spotted the Highway 212 bridge. The water was getting rough from all of the big boat traffic, so we turned my 14-foot G3 jon boat around and went through the mud flats at the mouth of the South River and Yellow River branch. After some more unsuccessful fishing, we headed up the Yellow River as far as the GA 316 bridge. We did a little sightseeing in the shallow waters off of the main channel, only having to lift the 9.9HP Yamaha out of the water one time because it was too shallow.
Cruising up the Yellow River makes for a nice afternoon even if you aren't fishing. We saw a number of blue herons, and found a 5-foot long snake skin in an overhanging tree branch. I was happy that the skin was minus its owner!
I wanted to go farther upriver, but the hinge pin on my trolling motor slipped out of place and neither of us were able to slide it back in without a hammer. Not wanting to rely only on the Yamaha if we got into shallow water, we decided to head back out to the main body of the lake.
On the way out, I wandered out of the marked channel and beached us on a mud flat several hundred feet from shore. I knew the water was shallow in this part of the lake, but didn't realize the lake has silted in that much! After raising the engine out of the water, Greg was able to push us off the mud flat with a paddle, but the family on a large pontoon boat nearby wasn't so lucky. After gunning the engine a few times and only stirring up a lot of mud, the driver finally climbed out into the shin-deep water and tried to push the boat loose. I would have offered to help, but knew my 9.9 horses wasn't going to pull him loose. Fortunately for the driver and his family, though, they were able to get into deeper water before we lost site of them.
All in all, a good day on the lake.