Welcome to the quest.

The world record shoal bass is 8 lbs and 12 ozs and was caught on October 27 1977 in the Apalachicola River Florida. It has only been in the past few years that it has been targeted specifically by river fisherman with the rising popularity of kayak fishing.
A few years ago I discovered kayak fishing and decided to make the shoal bass my my main focus. It was even more recently that I was approached by a fellow kayak angler that was interested in making a film about the hunt for the world record shoal bass which sparked my interest greatly and spawned the creation of this blog. The hunt for this record fish has since become the focus of all of my fishing activities. I now target the shoal bass exclusively. I was recently asked by a fellow angler if I thought I really had a chance at catching a world record ? My reply.. Well my chances are are as good as yours or any body else but if I do YOU are damn sure gonna hear about it. I would like to dedicate this blog and my efforts to Philip (Swampthang) Mays who is the first person to ever take me on a kayak trip down the river for shoal bass and started this addiction that I love so much. Phil left this world recently for a better place. He was a true sportsman and will be deeply missed. Thank you Phil.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Where do you find your peace in the world ?

I find mine on the river in places like these.

There is something special about launching your kayak in the early morning hours on a cool
crisp spring morning when there is a early  fog rising off the water and all you can hear is the sound of the flowing water and nature waking up around you to greet the day. This is where I find my peace and that is just where I plan to be tomorrow morning. My happy place. A place where I can clear my mind and enjoy
this beautiful world that we live in. I may catch a fish or two or maybe not but that does not matter. What matters most of all to me is being able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and the craziness  that surrounds us.

Kayak fishing has afforded me the opportunity to go and see places that most people will never see or experience and also to meet people that I would otherwise have never met. I have met and enjoyed the company of some of the greatest people that share this love of the great outdoors all over the southeast that I now call my friends.

As I write this my kayak and gear is loaded, the cameras are charged and my lunch and coffee pot
are made and ready. Its been way to long since I have been on the river and I am so looking forward
to launching my boat in the morning and paddling off into a world of solitude. The weather is questionable
with a 50 % chance of rain and thunder showers which means I have a 50 % chance of having a good day or bad and that perfectly fine with me. Hey the fish are already wet anyway right ? I hope to post a great fishing report tomorrow night but if not I will certainly be posting a report of my day  of peace and solitude on the river.

I leave you with this picture of a beautiful spider lily. A site that you will only see on a very few rivers.
Just one example of the beauty that I experience on every trip.

Wish me luck tomorrow my friends and I hope you all find your peace in this world.
Fish on !!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hat

A few months ago I had made a post on face book and changed my profile picture to one of when I was a child and the post was about a couple of very special friends that I grew up with that have both passed on and a hat that was made for me by one of their mothers that I have held on to for all of the years. Below is the post and picture I made one Face book.

Jon Freeman This photo was taken around 1978/79.The rail road hat I am wearing was hand made by Mark Watkins mother.She made one for me Mark and James Blackburn. James and Mark are are gone. I still have my hat. Soon after this photo I grew a beard and have only been seen without one once. 

I miss Mark and James and will never forget the hours days that we spent together as kids roaming the woods  and creeks and lakes fishing and camping together but this past weekend I was reminded that  life goes on and as we loose special friends and family  in our lives we continue on . We make new friends and we build new relationships and kayaking and river fishing has allowed me to meet and become friends with some of the most incredible people that I have ever known.

After several weeks of being in such a deep state of depression due to some recent events in my life  I finally decided it was time to shake the funk and get back on the river. I was joined by my good friends some of which drove several hundred miles to join me. Danny Bell , John Robins, and my new friend David Williams came in from South Carolina and of course my good Buddies Glenn Anderson and Sean Brodie were there to join us for my first river trip in almost four months. We had a total blast and I started the day off with a laugh for everyone by falling in the river at 08:00am. The water was chilly but luckily I dried off quickly and it did not ruin my day.

The weather was great and we all had a blast . No big fish were caught but everyone caught a few and the comradery was incredible. After the trip we all joined at my house for a steak cook out and a few cold ones and of course a bunch of great fishing stories were told. It was a big time had by all and I felt absolutely like a new man. Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was great feeling to have such an incredible group of guys to go out of there way to come down and join me on my first trip back on the river..

The next morning we all got up and  had a few cups of coffee and and talked over our trip the day before and some future trips to come. As each one of those guys loaded up and got ready for their trip home every single one of them hugged me and told me that if I ever needed anything to call them no matter what.  I watched each one drive off and thought to myself. Life is good and it will only get better. How could go I wrong when I have a bunch of buddies that care about me that much to go that far out of their way to get me back on the river. I gotta be thinking that Mark and James are up there looking down cheering me on too.

Oh yea... I still have my hat.

Fish on my river fishing friends fish on.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Due to some recent events in my life I have placed the Quest on hold.
I hope to be able to return to my adventures soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Winter is just around the corner.

Our northern neighbors are already experiencing some tough winter weather but one of the beautiful things about living in Georgia is if the weather turns nasty just wait a day and it will change. You cant ever tell  what the weather is going to do here. I remember times in recent years when we were wearing short sleeve shirts at Christmas time. One day its cold the next its warm.. Its constantly changing.  Georgia weather can be down right weird at times . Last week in a span of three days we experienced winter like conditions one day then it warmed up and we had thunder storms and tornadoes and then turned off cool and windy.

Even though winter is approaching there will be warmer days here and there right up to January before the cold weather really sets in. So when the really cold weather does set in what do we do ? Stop fishing ?
Naaaa.. Just put on some extra clothing and stay at it.  Even though the fish get a little more lethargic and their metabolism slows down they still have to eat every now and then. Its tough to get em to bite in the winter but it can still be done. Usually when you do get a bite though it will be a good fish. Here  is a fish that I caught early this year on a very cold January day.  I fished for eight solid hours that day and literally only got one bite but as you can see it was a good one.

Fall fishing this year has not been as productive as I had hoped it would be but I did catch a few good ones and best of all I was able to explore a couple of new spots that look promising for spring.  Fall is technically not over and there will be several warm days and good opportunities to fish before winter arrives though and I plan to take full advantage as long as possible. Once the cold weather sets in I will use my time to scout out new locations and prepare my kayak and gear for the spring and you can bet I will slip in a few days of winter fishing too.

So stay warm out there folks and don't let the boring winter months get to ya. Put on a few extra layers and get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. The fish still have to eat they just don't eat as often but you never know when you might just hook into a monster that happens to be hungry when your bait comes passing by.
If you do get on the water this is the time of year to take extra precaution. Wear your PFD and always take a dry bag with some dry clothes in case you get wet. Be prepared and always fish with a partner.
I hope everyone has a happy holiday season.
Stay safe out there 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Fishing and roosters on the river.

Fall on the river in Georgia is the most beautiful time of the year to be fishing in my opinion and can also be one of the most productive times to fish. As the water starts to cool down the fish sense that it is time to start preparing for winter and fattening up. You don't catch as many  but when you do its usually a quality fish.
Fall is a great time to be fishing large baits and is also the best time to fish top water type lures. The big bass are out in search of a large fulfilling meal that is really going to fill them up without expending a whole lot of energy to get it. The weather conditions can be a bit challenging in the fall but if you really want a chance at a trophy fish or a shot at the record you should take advantage of any opportunity you can to get on the river. It will not be long until winter is here and that opportunity will not present itself again until spring.

River fisherman like most fisherman are always looking for a sign they are going to have a good day and this was exactly the case on my latest outing. First sign of the day was realizing I had left my paddle and two cameras in my truck at the take out after we had done the shuttle and having to go all the way back to get them. This seemed like a bad sign at the time. The next sign we encountered was three roosters that greeted us at the beginning of the trail where we were suppose to enter the river. It appeared almost like they were blocking the trail trying to stop us from fishing.. Turns out both of these events would be good signs at the end of the day.

After we made it past the rooster guards and launched our boats it would not be long before there would be another sign that we were in for a good day on the river. Within just a few minutes of getting started I had cast a buzz bait into a large deep pool and was greeted with a massive top water explosion. This fish smashed my bait like she had not eaten in a week. I immediately knew I had a good fish on. My scales would not register so no weight was taken but the fish measured 19 1/2 " and we estimated her to weigh some where in the 4 lb range. As you can see this fish was fat and very healthy. A good sign that the fall bite is on and the fish are feeding heavily.

As you can see in the picture I am dressed for cold weather. The wind was brutal gusting up to 20 mph so as you can imagine it made it tough to fish but we made the best of it. We were moving so fast that all we could do was fish fast moving re action baits and buzz baits turned out to be the ticket for the entire trip. A few minutes after I caught my first fish one of my partners Glenn hooked into this nice 6 1/2 lb largemouth and before they day was out he had caught another one over 5 lbs and several other good fish. Glenn had dialed in on the largemouths holding on wood cover and ended up catching quite a few good fish. Two over 5 lbs in one day is nothing to sneeze at. Here is Glenn's big fish of the day.

I did not catch any more big ones on this day but did manage to catch quite a few fish but that one big girl made the trip all worth while. You never know when that fish of a life time is going to show up but the fall of the year. is a good time to be out there trying. Our other partner Sean rounded out the day with his big fish of the day very near the take out point. This fish also nailed a buzz bait.

The fall of the year is truly a special time to be on the river in Georgia. With the changing leaves and crisp autumn air it can be very relaxing and rewarding time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. On the weekend prior to this one I had made a trip by myself and did a short paddle up and also had a productive day. Here are a couple of fish that I caught that day.

So the quest continues.Don't miss out on some great fall fishing my river fishing friends and watch for those signs. Its a great time to be out there and you just never know when you might catch that fish of a life time or who knows maybe even a world record. Good luck out there and be safe folks.Until next time.. FISH ON !!