Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, shellcrackers, and channel catfish… all species that you can forget about catching on a fishing trip to the “land of the trembling earth,” the Okefenokee Swamp. The mystical black water of the swamp harbors excellent gamefish populations, but they are of the chain pickerel, bowfin, flier, warmouth, and bullhead catfish variety. All very sporting in their own right, these acid-loving species are often snubbed, except by south Georgia swampers.
Since I moved to Waycross 12 years ago, I have fallen in love with the swamp. A trip into the swamp is intriguing because you never know what you will encounter. This is a great trip for kids and adults alike, as you will likely see alligators, a plethora of birds and other animals, and quite likely catch at least several dozen fish of varying species.
My favorite targets in the swamp are fliers. These black-backed, emerald-green-sided panfish are a handful when caught on a bream-buster pole. With black spots on their sides, they look like a crappie, but they have a small mouth like a bluegill. In March, you will catch mostly five- to eight-inch fish, but you will occasionally catch a nine- or 10-inch fish that will weigh in at 3/4-lb. or more. As a Georgia DNR fisheries biologist, I certified the world record flier back in 1996. That 1-lb., 4-oz. whopper was caught from a pond near Valdosta. On any given trip to the swamp, fish that size are doubtful, but quite a few fish approaching a pound have been caught during the last year.
My favorite presentation for flier is pitching a yellow sally. Flier will readily scarf up this little yellow fly either fished weightless or with a super-small split shot and suspended under a small float. To get rigged up, take a very light-tipped bream buster (Little Jewels are a great choice) and string it the length of the pole with 8-lb. test Sufix Invisiline Flourocarbon. The super-clear characteristics of fluorocarbon are not as much of an advantage in the dark water as the increased abrasion resistance you get from this type of line. When banging it around lily pad stems and vegetation all day, you will notice fluorocarbon line will hold up much better than monofilament. Next, you can either tie on a small snap (small Fas-Snap brand snaps work great) or directly tie the sally to the line. If the fish will not take it near the surface, you can fish the rig deeper by squeezing a No. 10 Bass Pro Shops clam-shot a couple inches above the sally and suspending it under a small float. If you live more than an hour from the swamp, you probably will not be able to find yellow sallies at your local tackle shop. The only place I have ever seen sallies sold is in tackle shops in Waycross, Folkston, Fargo, and Homerville (all towns surrounding the swamp). If you are so inclined, you can purchase fully-rigged and ready-to-fish poles at the Okefenokee Adventures store located at the Folkston entrance to the swamp.
A little, white “maggot” addition to the back of the sally sweetens the pot and usually improves your catch. I am not referring to a fly larva, but a small piece of white plastic worm. One plastic worm will make a year-long supply of the little trailers. Cut off a very small, square piece of the white worm and impale it on the sally hook.
To effectively fish the lure, flip the sally among lily-pad clumps and other vegetation. Let the lure sink until it is just out of sight, and twitch it again. You are trying to imitate the subtle movement of aquatic insects, so do not overdo the action. The bite usually entails the lure simply disappearing. Leave your bass hookset at home, and simply flick your wrist to set the hook. After a few small fish fly over your head on the hookset, you will get the hang of it. Do not be surprised to hook a pickerel or bowfin, as they will also munch a sally dabbled in front of them.
Pickerel are the top predators (except alligators!) in the system. While you will sporadically catch one while pitching a yellow sally, they are more effectively targeted with inline spinners. These lures are effective both trolled and cast for chain pickerel and its smaller cousin, the redfin pickerel.
Ronny Lynn, a life-long resident of Waycross, has chased pickerel, or jackfish as they are locally called, for decades.
“When I was a kid, my daddy taught me how to catch jackfish by trolling King Jack Spinners,” Ronny said.
His favorite silver-bladed spinner with yellow, white, and red feathers encircling the treble hook is still available at tackle shops around the swamp. The lure will catch both pickerel and bowfin, depending upon how fast you troll it.
“To determine the right trolling speed for jackfish, troll the bait fast and then speed up a little bit. You can’t troll it too fast for a jackfish, but you’ll only catch mudfish if you slow down,” he shared.
In recent years, Ronny has moved away from trolling and now prefers casting inline spinners to pickerel in the lakes scattered throughout the swamp. Pickerel love to nestle up to a shallow grass or lily-pad clump. An inline spinner retrieved quickly past the thick vegetation will frequently draw a strike.
“The last few years, it seems the white spinners have been the best,” he noted.
Warmouth are sometimes caught with lures, but live crayfish are deadly on the panfish. In the spring, locals use crawfish rakes in the flooded roadside ditches to collect a few dozen before each trip. Warmouth cannot resist a three-inch or smaller crayfish impaled on a No. 2 aberdeen hook and dabbled in an old cypress stump. Bream-buster poles are the standard, but you can also use spincast or spinning gear to pitch the crayfish to likely spots.Stephen Foster State Park is the best access for warmouth, as there are many cypress stumps scattered around the banks of nearby Billy’s Lake.
Bullhead catfish are the scavengers of the swamp. Their populations have boomed during the last couple of wet years. Kevin Hart, a lifelong resident of Fargo, is well known for catching these bottom-dwellers, and his catch has highlighted many a Fargo fish fry. We had to cancel a recent trip due to flooded conditions, but Kevin said the swamp should be back down to fishable conditions by early March, as long as we do not get additional significant rains. He shared with me his approach to filling a stringer with tasty bullheads.
“I catch most of my catfish from cypress stumps and logjams in the swamp,” he said. “The more limbs and tangles, the better.”
If the cover is near the channel or in deeper water, it has potential. He approaches spots from the upstream side and anchors just upstream from the cover. Even though there is only a light current in the swamp, there is enough to sweep your bait down among the tangles and keep the line tight.
“You can just count on getting hung up, but those ‘hangy’ places are the best. Make sure to bring plenty of sinkers and hooks,” he said.
He uses a Carolina rig consisting of a No. 4 or No. 2 blue aberdeen hook tied about six inches below a swivel and as small of an egg sinker as will hold bottom. Usually a 1/8-oz. weight will hold, but it sometimes takes more. He recommends using 10- or 12-lb. test main line and a couple pounds lighter test leader so that you can break off just the hook if you hang. He saves a lot of hooks by using aberdeen models because the light wire usually bends before breaking off.
Kevin prefers shrimp for bait. He usually buys several pounds of fresh, medium or large food-shrimp and freezes them in 1-lb. packages, so he always has bait ready to go. Before baiting up, he peels the shrimp and cuts each one into about four or five pieces.
“This year the catfish action has been so good I often can’t fish more than one pole,” Kevin affirmed. “I’ve also caught more mudfish this year than in a long time.”
Bowfin, also known as mudfish, are a nemesis for bass-tournament anglers, but they are sporting quarry if you are not in competition. Like them or not, you will usually catch some no matter which species you fish for in the swamp. If you want to target bowfin, cast a 1/16-oz. white/red dot Beetlespin when the water is warm and a four-inch plastic worm when it is cold. I occasionally target bowfin. When I do, my favorite presentation is a Texas-rigged Bass Assassin four-inch worm in red/pearl belly or black/chartreuse tail. A 1/8-oz. worm weight is usually enough to keep the lure on the bottom as you slowly crawl it back to you. Lily pads are the best cover to try for bowfin.
Water levels in the swamp can affect fishing success. Immediately after a significant rain, if the water level rises several inches to a foot, the fish typically spread out into the newly flooded flats. Under these conditions, the fishing is typically poor, but after a week of stability, the fishing will usually improve. If you want to check water levels before a trip, you can call the Stephen C. Foster State Park office at (912) 637-5274.
As part of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System, the Okefenokee Refuge has some special regulations. The entrance fee requirement may be met in several ways. The $5 per car weekly entrance fee can be paid at either the state park or refuge entrances. Alternately, a Federal Duck Stamp, Refuge Annual Pass, or other Federal Recreation Passport suffices for the daily entrance fee. A Georgia fishing license is required to fish in the Okefenokee, and statewide size and creel limits apply. Do not hitch up your 22-foot Nitro bass boat with a 225 hp Optimax and drag it to the swamp, as there is a 10 hp maximum on outboard motors. The perfect swamp rig is a lightweight jonboat with a 9.9 horsepower outboard and a trolling motor. If you do not have the necessary rig, you can rent one (minus the trolling motor) from either the Folkston or Fargo entrances.
Additional regulations apply, so I suggest that before venturing into the swamp, you call the refuge office (912) 496-7836 or visit their website at http://okefenokee.fws.gov.
If you can put aside visions of catching trophy bass, you will thoroughly enjoy a fishing trip to one of our Georgia treasures. Customize your tackle based upon these recommendations, and your arms will likely be sore when you leave the land of the trembling earth.
Little is known of Jean d’Alluye’s life. He belonged to the nobility of central France and he traveled to the Holy Land as a crusader in 1241 coming home three years later, 1244. Given that it will have taken him many months to get to Outremer and many months to return this was a relatively brief sojourn: certainly he wasn’t among the grizzled Norman psychos who went native. c. 1248 he died and was buried at La Clarte-Dieu were he was put under a beautiful limestone giant. These fragments of biography have not particularly excited historians and his gravestone did not particularly excite the French: after the revolution his tomb was sacked and the gravestone was eventually thrown across a river as an improvised bridge. It was though rescued and in 1910 sold to an American – in remarkably good form – and was brought to the United States and now resides in the Cloisters Collection. And it was there that Jean finally became something more than just another sculpture. Helmut Nickel, a stalwart of the Met and a fine medieval historian noticed something strange. Jean’s sculpted sword looked wrong.
The problem was the pommel. European swords of this era and, indeed, Arab swords (whose rate of survival is, incidentally far slighter) had a round bulb at the top (see below). The pommel, instead, looks tripartite, even flowering. Nickel was intrigued and, in a short article, in 1991 suggested that this was a Chinese sword! W-wh-what?! But how could a Chinese sword have made it all the way to central France? Well, the connection is not absolutely incredible. The Silk Road continued to bring goods backwards and forwards and Jean had, after all, got a quarter of the way to China when he crossed the Mediterranean to Christian Palestine. Perhaps it was the spoil of battle, ripped from the dying hands of a Syrian warrior, or perhaps it was traded with a Chinese visitor in the merchant quarter in Jerusalem.
Or perhaps it wasn’t Chinese at all and we can recover some historical sanity. There are two points that have to be brought up against Nickel’s theory. First, this is not the sword but a representation of a sword. Is it possible that the artist rendered the sword in a curious fashion for his own reasons: perhaps even correcting a mistake in attempting to sculpt a conventional pommel? Second, there are other possible sources. Some early medieval European swords have non-round pommels: we show a selection of Viking swords below.
Is it possible that Alluye’s family had an heirloom that, though not used in battle, was carried through the generations in a ceremonial fashion? Memories of a long lived Viking sword from the north…Nickel was a WANW expert though so I would be very wary before going against his considered judgement. Any oriental specialists who can contribute. Drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com And just to round things off… Medieval Chinese swords don’t survive apparently, but there are many images available.
Feb 2014: JH and MC both make the case, in almost identical words, that this is the fleur de lys: the symbol of France. If so it would be unprecedented but then Chinese swords weren’t that common on the Loire either…. Thanks guys!
Dan FitzEdward from Normannis writes in ‘Just been linked by a friend to your article, and there’s a few things that may interest you. Firstly, your article refers to medieval pommels as uniformly a single round design. Whilst this was the predominant fashion in the 12th-13th centuries, there are many pictorial and extant examples of different designs- interestingly this example, on the Trinity Apocalypse (which is contemporary to the funery effigy) shows a three-lobed sword pommel in roughly the same style- .
We might, however, assume a possible foreign origin- the sword has an uncharacteristically short and curved cross, with lobed endings- which in overall form seems quite rare for the West. If we do assume a foreign origin, we don’t need to look as far a field as China, however.
The supposedly ‘oriental’ design would match images of swords from Byzantium– (look at the last two examples on the right).
Given the Fourth Crusade and the sack of Byzantium by ‘Latin’ (French and Italian) forces in 1204, with loot taken wholesale back to the West, it is not a huge leap of belief to believe that a Byzantine sword could have been taken as a trophy and depicted on a tomb.
Thanks a million Dan!18 Jun 2017 Chris R writes. The crux of the observation — whether its Chinese, Viking or French — was to look at the sword’s pommel then try to argue whose style is that.This really isn’t were you need to be looking at. Instead, it should be at the hand guard. No European sword has this kind of hand guard. Not ever. Take a look at this replica Chinese Jian.
European handguards tend to be a straight line, while Chinese handguards have this V shape. European handguards tend to extend much longer on both sides of the sword blade’s width. In contrast, a Chinese Jian, the ends of the handguard tends to end closely to the width of the blade itself, making the sword look less of a cross.
This scope is the best that money can buy. The turrets on this scope are phenomenal and the standard which other scopes should be judged by. Perfectly tactile clicks, and tracking that is as perfect as it gets. You can crank on these turrets literally all day before setting them back to zero and your rifle will still be perfectly zeroed. The re-zeroing of this scope is also as easy as it gets: no tools required, just loosen the center of the cap, lift the turret, set it to zero, then tighten back down the center cap. The zero stop on these turrets in .6 MRAD below your zero, which I actually like a lot because it means you can zero at 200 yards and then dial back to 100 if you do a lot of long range shooting and want to twist your knobs just a bit less compared to if you had a 100 yard zero.
The optical clarity is as good as it gets. No tunneling, no chromatic aberration, just a crisp and clear image. The 56mm aperture means that even indoors where there is generally low light (I’ve shot this at a 100 yard indoor range that usually gives scopes with magnification above 10 trouble due to low light) you can still see just fine.
My only gripe about the scope is that the parallax knob doesn’t have any distances marked on it. It does, however, adjust through the full range in only 180* of knob turn rather than the standard 360*, so it’s quick and easy to adjust and the parallax is very forgiving (a quarter turn is 100 yards, and then for everything 300 and out you can set it at the full half turn and forget about it without any issues).
The long and short of it is, if you want the best tactical scope money can buy this is the one you’re going to purchase. Schmidt and Bender, Nightforce, Kahles, and Vortex optics are all inferior in their own ways to this scope (though they are all excellent scopes and the difference is minimal). If money is no object, just buy the Tangent Theta.
“Corvette ’68… all different all over”. 1968 was a year of bold new design changes for the Corvette. The ’68 vette underwent a complete body redesign, shifting towards that almost convertible feel with removable T-tops and a removable back window.
The mechanical part of Frame, chassis and power team members give the enthusiast precise handling of a smooth-but-hustling road car. Body- A network of steel integrated with body panels for increased rigidity and strength. The fiber glass body parts are bonded directly to the steel frame rather than to riveted bonding strips as in the past. Both the Sting Ray Coupe and Convertible bodies are given extra strength through increased supports and support reinforcements. Frame- All-welded, full-length, ladder-constructed with five crossmembers. Side rails and intermediate crossmembers box section; front crossmember box girder section. Eight body mounting points plus two radiator mounts. Suspension- In front, independent type with coil springs and concentric shock absorbers. Spherically jointed steering knuckles for each wheel. Reinforced stamped steel control arms with pre-loaded steel-encased rubber bushings at pivots. Double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers with 1″ piston diameter. Link-type stabilizer bar of steel with rubber bushings. Anti-dive control is achieved through the angle of front upper control arm. Rear suspension is fully independent with frame-anchored differential. Locus of each wheel is established by three links: universal jointed axle shaft, adjacent strut, and a torque control arm pivoted at frame side rail. Vertical suspension loads taken by shock absorbers and transversely positioned nine-leaf spring. Rear Axle- Semi-floating straddle mounted hypoid gear with 3.7 pint capacity. MPH is final drive with various rear axle ratios per 1000 rpm; 2.73-28.6; 3.08-25.4; 3.36-23.3; 3.55-22.0; 3.70-21.1; and 4.11-19.0 (these are calculated for new F70-15 wide oval tires without allowance for tire slippage or expansion). Steering- Semi-reversible, recirculating ball-nut steering gear with GM-developed energy absorbing column. Steering damper between frame and relay rod mounted on the tie rod. Dual-mounted steering arm tie rod connection permits a choice between street or fast ratio. Turning diameter curb to curb- 39.9 ft. Number of turns lock to lock with street steering- 3.4 fast- 2.92, Power steering is a pump-powered hydraulic cylinder assisting the parallelogram linkage. Number of turns lock to lock with power-steering- 2.92. Brakes- First American production car to use disc brakes at all four wheels. Dual circuit master cylinder with warning light. Braking effort is distributed 65% to front and 35% to rear. Construction is cast iron caliper type with radial cavities for heat dissipation. Sweep area is 461.2 square inches. Linings are woven asbestos; gross lining area is 81.7 square inches. Parking brake is mechanically operated on rear wheels separate from service brake system. Drum diameter of parking brake is 6.5″. Linings consist of two shoes per rear wheel with gross lining area of 33.9 square inches. Power brakes with new tandem diaphragm vacuum unit could be specified to lessen the required amount of pedal pressure. Engines- All corvette engines used cast iron alloy cylinder blocks. Full-lengthwater jackets surround each cylinder for optimum cooling. Cylinder heads are high chrome cast iron alloy. Total combustion chamber volumes, piston top center, are: 300-hp-4.69-cu-in; 350-hp-4.17-cu-in; 390- and 400-hp- 5.90- cu- in; and 435-hp-4.92-cu.-in. Inlet manifold on 300- and 350-hp engines is of cast iron alloy. With 390- 400- and 435-hp, inlet manifold is of cast aluminum alloy. Exhaust manifolds on all engines are cast iron alloy. The 327 engines utilize dual 4-port exhaust flow to a single outlet runner at the center; 427s use dual 4-port extended runners from each port converging to a rear outlet. Rugged alloy steel crankshaft with five main bearings in all engines. Crank arm length: 327-1.625;427-1.8. There are 6 counterweights on all cranks. Rubber mounted inertia torsional damper. Steel sprocket and chain timing gear. Camshaft in all engines is cast iron alloy with 5 steel-backed Babbitt bearings. Valve train in each engine includes stamped individually mounted overhead rocker arms. Push rods actuated with hydraulic lifters (except the 435-hp which has solid lifters). Intake valves are steel alloy. Overall head diameter of intake valves in 300-hp engine is 1.935-1.945; 350-hp-2.017-2.023; 390 and 400-hp mills- 2.060-2.070 and 2.185-2.195 in the 435-hp. Exhaust valves are of steel alloy. Head diameters: 300-hp-1.495 -1.505; 350-hp – 1.595-1.605 and 1.715-1.725 in all the 427 engines. Rochester 4-barrel downdraft carburetors are used in the 300-,350- and 390-hp engines while the 400- and 435-hp power plants utilize a Holley triple 2-barrel downdraft system. All Corvette engines in ’68 feature Air Injection Reactor equipment to control exhaust emission. Transmissions- The standard 3-Speed transmission available only with the 300-hp engine has these gear ratios: first- 2.54:1; second- 1.50:1; third 1.00:1 and reverse- 2.63:1. 4-Speed ratios are: first- 2.52:1; second- 1.88:1; third- 1.47:1; fourth- 1.00:1; reverse-2.59:1. The special 4-Speed close-ratio transmission goes: first- 2.20:1; second- 1.64:1; third- 1.27:1; fourth-1.00: 1; and reverse- 2.26:1. All forward gears in manual transmissions are fully synchronized. A single dry disc centrifugal clutch is used with all manual transmissions. Turbo Hydra-Matic gear ratios: first- 2.48:1; second-1.48:1; third-1.00:1; and reverse-2.08:1. Dimensions- Wheelbase-98.0″. Width overall-69.2″. Length overall- 182.1″. Tread-front: 58.3″; rear: 59.0″. Height (loaded) overall- Coupe: 47.8″; Convertible: 47.9″. Curb weight- Coupe: 3210; Convertible, 3220. Fuel Tank: For the first time in Corvette, a 20-gallon plastic fuel tank. Weighs less than conventional tank and eliminates chances of rust and corrosion.
Base RPO L75
V-8, Overhead valve
Cast iron block
Bore & Stroke
4.00 x 3.25″
4.251 x 3.76″
300 @ 5000
350 @ 5800
390 @ 5400
435 @ 5800
560 @ 6400
360 lb-ft @ 3400
360 lb-ft @ 3600
460 lb-ft @ 3600
460 lb-ft @ 4000
Mechanical valve lifters
Special ultra-high-performance camshaft with .5365-inch intakes
Rochester Type 4MV four-barrel Model 7028207
Three Holley two-barrels
Single Holley 850CFM four-barrel
Production Options and Build Statistics
Total 1968 Corvettes Built – 28,566
Convertibles – 18,630
Coupes – 9,936
98 inches (2.489 m)
98 inches (2.489 m)
182.1 inches (4.625 m)
182.1 inches (4.625 m)
69.2 inches (1.758 m)
69.2 inches (1.758 m)
48.6 inches (1.234 m)
58.3 inches (1.481 m)
58.3 inches (1.481 m)
59.0 inches (1.499 m)
59.0 inches (1.499 m)
Full-length ladder type with five cross members. Steel box sections, welded.
Independent, unequal-length A-arms, coil springs; tubular shocks and stabilizer bar
Independent, trailing arms, toe links, transverse chromium-carbon steel leaf spring, tube shocks, and anti-roll bar
Saginaw recirculating ball, 17.6:1 ratio, 2.9 turns to lock, 39.9 turning circle
Rear axle type
Sprung differential, Hypoid gear
Hydraulic, vented four wheel discs; 11.8-inch diameter, single calipers
Total swept area
259 sq. in. per ton, 461.2 sq. in. total
6″ wide slotted steel 15″ 5-lug disc
Standard rear axle ratio
Optional rear axle ratio
3.08:1, 3.36:1, 3.55:1, 3.70:1, 4.11:1, 4.56:1
Fast Fact:1968 was also the year that Zora Arkus-Duntov was named Chief Engineer of the Corvette.
The CastleofLevizzano is located in a dominant position on the wonderful hills of the homonymous village in the municipality of Castelvetro. Its structure consists of a city wall in the center of which there is the so-called Torre Matildica – Matildic Tower.
Starting from the 12th century, the fortified complex was restored and enlarged. In particular, next to the tower that was placed to protect the entrance to the Castle, a part of the feudal palace was erected and an underground tunnel was built, which still joins the Palace to the Tower.
Experience real Alaskagoldpanning, be a part of the living history ofFairbanks and make memories that will last a lifetime. At GoldDaughters, you will learn how to pan for gold using real Alaskan “paydirt”. We play by the rule “finders keepers”, so you get to take home everything you find!
Your day starts with a bag of paydirt from FairbanksGoldCo. You can then pan all day from piles of paydirt that we’ve hauled in from a local operating gold mine.
There’s more than guaranteed gold… you also have the chance to uncover ice age fossils and cool minerals. It is not uncommon to find pyrite, quartz crystals and garnets. We’ve even had people walk away with woollymammothivory!
The passenger steamer SSWarrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought CaptainJohnDS.Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LONG 179 30′ W. The date was 31 December 1899. “Knowwhatthismeans?” FirstMatePayton broke in, “We’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line”. Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ship’s position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor. At mid-night the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line! The consequences of this bizarre position were many: The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & in the middle of summer. The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter. The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899. In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January 1900. This ship was therefore not only in: Two different days, Two different months, Two different years, Two different seasons But in two different centuries – all at the same time!