I took some time off last week to go camping and fishing with my family at Truman Lake in central Missouri. We ended up at an Army Corps of Engineers campground. It turned out to be one of the best campgrounds we've ever used.
The sites were well-placed with lots of space in-between, many with spectacular views of the lake. The facilities were clean and well maintained, and park personnel were friendly and welcoming. And though the campground was full by the weekend, there was a quiet, family-like atmosphere about the place.
One evening a small doe browsed through the grass at the edge of our campsite for quite a while. As the sun dipped below the horizon on the other side of the lake, she finally felt comfortable enough to lie down and rest. She wasn't there when I got up early the next morning to start the coffee, but it was nice knowing we had shared the space with her, even if it was just for a little while.
After a couple of relaxing days at the campsite, complete with campfires and hot dogs and smores, we spent Saturday on the lake fishing for crappies and black bass. I hate to say it, but it didn't turn out to be the most successful fishing trip we've ever had, at least in the number of fish we boated. Suffice it to say I am now a lot more understanding of those pros who go out early in the morning and fish all day only to bring in a final catch of two or three keepers at weigh in time. In fact, I can now look at their lives with both sympathy and empathy.
However, spending the day in a bass boat on a big lake was something Jordan and I have never done together. It was a great experience. His girlfriend was with us part of the day, and that only added to the fun. It took us a while to get our sea legs under us, sort of reminiscent of and old Keystone Cops movie, but we finally managed to get around pretty well. The hearty laughter was shared by all and added to the enjoyment.
Of course, Jordan and I couldn't figure out why we weren't hauling fish after fish into the boat, or why our live wells weren't full before noon, or why our small water tactics weren't working so well on this big impoundment.
But we had a great time nonetheless. Thanks to our friend Brian for all of his help with maps and tips and other fishing trip essentials.
And I offer a special thanks to Jordan's mom (and my wife) Laura for making a campsite on the lake a comfortable and relaxing home away from home for a few days.