Making the best of a dry situation Also Inside: Boat Buying Basics Artist Captures Local Scenery Developers Embrace Local Community
February/March 2008 • www.LakeWedoweeLife.com • FREE
2 Lake Wedowee Life
Lake Wedowee Life 3
Natural paradise awaits
n behalf of the Town, I would like to welcome you to Wedowee. You may not know that Wedowee was first established in 1836 when the Creek Indians were driven from this area as part of the â€œTrail of Tears.â€? The Creeks were a band of the Cherokee Indian Tribe that had inhabited this area for many centuries. In fact our town gets its name from Chief Wedowee. From its early years Wedowee was the trade center of the area, and became the logical location of the county seat of Randolph County. In recent years our area has changed considerably due to the growth around Lake Wedowee. At the present time there are approximately 2000 homes on the shores of
the lake. Wedowee is conveniently located within driving distance of Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery and many other cities. This makes Wedowee an ideal get-away location for many seeking the quiet, natural beauty of the area. Just 35 miles to our north is Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in Alabama. Wildlife abounds in the area. Deer, turkey, and many smaller species are seen often on the hills and valleys of Randolph County. Largemouth bass and crappie lead the list of fish that await your hooks in Lake Wedowee. If you tire of the lake, check out our shops in downtown Wedowee. There are many hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. With the beauty of the mountains, the lake and the abundance of wildlife in the area, Wedowee is truly a natural paradise. Enjoy your stay. Tim Coe, Mayor
4 Lake Wedowee Life
Table of Contents
Premier Issue â€˘ Vol. 1 No. 1
Boat Buying Basics:
Things to know when buying a boat 17
Special this Month
4. Welcome Letter: Wedowee Mayor Tim Coe 8. Welcome Letter: Alabama Governor Bob Riley 16. News to Know: Wedowee Area Merchants look to improve downtown 24. Home on the Lake: Lakeâ€™s newest development embraces nature 28. Historic Lows: Make the best of this dry situation
7. Enjoy Life! - Letter from the Editor 9. Beyond the Lake 10. Wedowee Currents 12. The Creative Side 17. Simply Fabulous 20. Hooked on Lake Wedowee 34. Redneck Adventures
24 Lake Wedowee Life 5
General Manager LEISEL CALDWELL
Advertising Manager BROOKE TROUT email@example.com (256) 750-3283
Advertising Sales LAVOY CALDWELL firstname.lastname@example.org (334) 863-0737
Darlene Bailey, Tim Coe, and Reed Montgomery
Lake Wedowee Life 18285 Highway 431 Wedowee, AL 36278
Lake Wedowee Life magazine is published six times a year and available around the Lake Wedowee area which includes Randolph and Clay Counties in Alabama as well as parts of West Georgia. Distribution locations available by request. Paid mail subscriptions are available for $12 a year. This publication is made possible through our advertisers. If you wish to be a part of this growing magazine, we will be glad to send you more information.
A new adventure for 2008
et me be the first to welcome you to Lake Wedowee Life. This is a publication unlike any other on Lake Wedowee. At Lake Wedowee Life, our goal is to capture the essence of Lake Wedowee with the charm and grace people experience when they visit. Inside this premiere issue, you will discover local people who display their talents in unique ways like a watercolor artist who has captured scenes of Wedowee that I know I would be proud to have on display in my home. As the year continues, hopefully you will gain a little knowledge into what makes this area so unique by reading this new publication. We are proud to be the first lifestyle magazine for this area and we strive to continue to be the best at giving you, the reader, what you want! We welcome your thoughts and ideas for upcoming stories as well as photographs of life on the lake. Again welcome to Lake Wedowee Life and I hope you love it as much as I do!
Enjoy Life! Kelly Caldwell Lake Wedowee Life 7
8 Lake Wedowee Life
Hands on Learning I
magine seeing lions, ele- ders. phants, mummies and The museum moved to its geese all under one roof… current location in 1976 and At the Anniston Museum spent the next 24 years evolving of Natural History you can do into what it is today! just that and more. For more In 2002, the museum became than 70 an affiliate of the years, AnSmithsonian Instiniston has tution (the first in Photos by been home Alabama to reto collecceive this honor) Kelly Caldwell tions of and In 2007, the natural history. Museu m hosted “A T-Rex You can explore the wilds of Named Sue” (a cast replica of a Africa, the wonders of the Tyrannosaurus Rex touring the North American wilderness, country) on loan from the Field and the mysteries of 2000 year Museum in Chicago. old mummies in the seven fasSince 1930 more than 2 milcinating exhibit halls. lion visitors have walked the As you walk through the halls of the Anniston Museum open-air exhibits you can come of Natural History and their face to face with majestic ani- mission statement says it best. mals; experience one of the “The natural history colleccountry's oldest exhibits of tion – our reason to exist – will birds in their habitats and ex- continue to provide our guests plore the children's discovery the opportunity to view nature room for hands-on experiences in its pure form.” with Alabama's natural won-
Beyond the Lake
See LEARNING Page 14
Wedowee Currents FEBRUARY Feb 4-9, 2008 Boat Show (Oxford) Boat dealers from Wedowee, Sylacauga, Pell City and even Georgia will be showing off the latest in watercraft at the 4th annual Quintard Mall Boat Show. Look for boats on display throughout the entire mall. Feb 8-9, 2008 Sports and Leisure Show (Oxford) - Discover all the exciting things to do right here in Calhoun County at the Sports and Leisure Show. Local attractions, ATV dealers, karate instructors and many many more will be ready to share with you why you need to look no further than your own backyard for entertainment and recreation. Feb 9, 2008 Winter Hike on the Pinhoti Trail (Heflin) 256-782-5697 Admission charged. Talladega National Forest (Shoal Creek)--Mountain streams, ravines, longleaf pines, and the beauty of an Alabama winter. Join Jeff Gardner from the USFS on this portion of Alabama's longest hiking trail. Bring a day pack with water and snacks. Check weather and dress accordingly. 9 a.m.-noon. Feb 10-14, 2008 Valentine Sound, Light & Water Show in DeSoto Caverns (Childersburg) 256-378-7252. www.DesotoCavernsPark.com. Admission charged. DeSoto Caverns ParkSpecial show presented on every cave tour to commemorate this special weekend of love. Tours every hour on the half hour from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Feb 14-17, 2008 Private Screening at the Historic Ashland Theatre; (Ashland) $50 includes an hour and half private screening for two, (Wedding/family video or even your favorite romantic film), nostalgic candy and sodas of your choice. Screenings available Feb. 14-17. For reservations please call 256-396-2058 or email at email@example.com Feb 15-16, 2008 Wehadkee Trade Days (Rock Mills) Outside space is free and inside space is $10.00 per day. The auction will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday the 19th. If you need more information: Call 334-885-6611 for vendors
10 Lake Wedowee Life
Submit your Wedowee Currents photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
space and 706-884-0461 for auction information. Feb 23, 2008 Mount Cheaha 50K Ultra Trail Run (Cheaha Mountain) 256-239-9001, Fee for participants only. Scenic overlooks, water falls, elevation, rough terrain, swollen creeks, and more. www.mountcheaha50k.org Feb 26, 2008 Evita (Anniston) From the creators of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar comes the heroic tale of one woman's rise to power in the midst of a national revolution. Follow the extraordinary life of Eva Peron, Argentina's controversial first lady, through popular songs like "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "Buenos Aires" sung in contemporary opera fashion. Knoxconcert@aol.com Admission charged $45.
March 1, 2008 Grandview Antique Auction (Roanoke) Several private collections of Period & Victorian furniture, porcelain, bronzes and artwork. This will be one of their best auctions ever! For more details visit: http://www.grandviewauction.com Mar 14-15, 2008 Alabama Hiking Trail Society Conference (Anniston) 251-533-1812, www.hikealabama.org Admission Charged. Cheaha State Park, Bald Rock Lodge - The largest gathering of hikers, backpackers, and outdoor lovers in the state with presentations on hiking/backpacking gear, destinations, and the environment, entertainment, food, raffles, and short hikes. Mar 15, 2008 Cleburne Day (Heflin) 256-463-5655, www.cityofheflin.org, Free Cleburne Co. Courthouse - Parade, including dogs in costume, period music and dress, Civil War encampment, canon firing, arts and crafts, and exhibits to celebrate history of Cleburne County. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mar 18-27, 2008 Easter Sound, Light & Water Show in DeSoto Caverns (Childersburg) 256-378-7252, www.DeSotoCavernsPark.com, Admission Charged, DeSoto Caverns Park - Show commemorating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is presented as part of every caverns tour. Tours run every hour on the half hour from 9:30 a.m.—5:30 p.m. March 21-22, 2008 Wehadkee Trade Days (Rock Mills) Outside space is free and inside space is $10.00 per day. The auction will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday the 19th. If you need more information: Call 334-885-6611 for vendors space and 706-884-0461 for auction information. Mar 29, 2008 Waterfall Tour & Hike (Heflin) 256-782-5697, Admission charged, Cheaha State Park - Join Joan Alexander and others from the Anniston Outdoor Association for driving and hiking tour of several beautiful waterfalls around the Talladega National Forest and Cheaha State Park areas. Bring day pack with lunch, water, supplies and camera. 10 a.m-3 p.m.
April 4, 5 & 6, 2008, Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association SE Regional Antique Tractor Show (Wedowee) Over 200 Antique Tractors and engines on display with hay bailing, mill grinding exhibits and more. Exhibitors free, visitors-$5 per person per day for anyone over 12 years of age. 8:00 am till 5 pm. Sponsored by: East Alabama Antique Farm Equipment Club, Inc. For more information contact Rayford Johnson, President (256) 3960343 or (256) 396-5486. http://www.edgeta.org/ Apr 8-11, 2008 Spring Musical Evening Performance (Wadley) “Grease” 7 pm, Brazeal Auditorium, Southern Union, Wadley Campus, $5 admission Apr 13, 2008 Spring Musical Sunday Matinee “Grease” (Wadley) 2pm, Brazeal Auditorium, Southern Union, Wadley Campus, $5 admission.
Lake Wedowee Life 11
orking out of his said. “But I kept doing wabasement garage tercolor because it was fun.” packed with stuff, He enjoys capturing an Tom Scott creates magic image in a photograph and through his painting. then translating that image A h o b b y , w h i c h h a s into a watercolor that has turned into a profession since more warmth and emotion. retirement, allows Scott a “When you look at the chance to pictures I enjoy his t a ke , y o u first passion. w o u l d “It feels think they Story by Kelly Caldwell like I have are not Artwork by Tom Scott a l w a y s anything painted,” Scott said. “I special,” Scott said. “But started in high school and when you take a look at my have always found time to finished product, I hope you paint.” will recognize the subject, Scott continued his pas- but feel it would be somesion for art at Auburn Uni- thing worth hanging in your versity where he earned a home.” fine arts degree majoring in Scott and his wife Nadra Visual Design. have been familiar faces to “From there I went to the Lake Wedowee area for a work at an ad agency,” Scott while now.
The Creative Side
12 Lake Wedowee Life
Behind the paintbrush: Tom Scott (above) spends his days painting watercolor at his home on Lake Wedowee. He and his wife Nadra made Wedowee their primary home in June after spending summers here since 1989.
“We built our house here in 1989 and have spent many summers here,” Scott said. At one point, when living in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Scott’s family spent the whole summer in Wedowee. “Yeah, the locals would say we were the crazy people that lived in Fort Lauderdale but vacationed in Wedowee,” Scott laughed. He has used his painting to capture many scenes in Wedowee including his own lake house as well as scenes of the down town area. “We have such a quaint town here and the feeling really transcends well onto paper,” he said. Since making Wedowee his primary home in June 2007, Scott has taken more of an interest in capturing the feeling of Wedowee in his art and has made his passion available to the public. “It seemed Wedowee Gifts would be a place where people come that are interested in the things I am doing,” Scott said. After talking it over, Merle Brown, owner of Wedowee Gifts, agreed it was a perfect fit and began offering prints of Scott’s work to the public at his shop. “The medium I like to use is transparent watercolor, and when you do a print of the original, you really can’t tell the difference,” Scott said. Scott primarily does commissioned work for individuals. If you are interested in his services contact him by email at email@example.com
Through the artists eye: Scott uses photographs as inspiration when turning everyday images into art.
Learning Educational opportunities abound at the museum from natural history programs to tours to summer day camp, the Museum's in-house education department develops programs and events that merge fun and learning. Teachers and their students can choose from a variety of curriculum-building programs while parents and their children can enjoy a number of leisure-learning opportunities. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Driving Directions From Wedowee: Take U.S. Highway 431 North to Interstate 20 (29 miles) Turn left onto I-20 West. Exit 185 off Interstate-20 Take Right off the ramp and head north on Alabama Highway 21 for seven miles. Anniston Museum is located in Lagarde Park at the intersection of Alabama 21 and U.S. 431 (on the right).
14 Lake Wedowee Life
Continued from Page 9
From then to now: The Anniston Museum features pre-historic exhibits as well as modern wonders in its seven halls.
Dinner for Two W hen my oldest daughter was a teenager her friends would always come to me for advice on how to make a special Valentine's Day surprise for their boyfriends. I would always tell them the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. However, the girls barely could boil water much less cook a threecourse meal. To help them out, I would give the girls the recipe for a Hobo Dinner and with a few easy instructions, the girls had the tools needed to wow their boyfriends on that special night for two.
Simply Fabulous by Darlene Bailey
The biggest tip I would tell them was it’s not always about what you cook but about how you present the meal that makes the lasting impression. Pull out the table linens and if you don’t have that, a flat white bed sheet works great. Use your best dinnerware or pick up a couple of pretty dishes at a discount store, you can always use them again later. The biggest trick is to use what you have. If your special guy sent you flowers for the romantic day, use them as your centerpiece. Or for that extra special touch, you can group several candles together for the extra romance. Play your favorite love songs and you have just transformed your
See FABULOUS Page 17
Quick and Easy Valentine’s Hobo Dinner 1 pound ground beef 1 medium onion (sliced in rings) 1 large zucchini (cut into thick strips) 1 small can mushrooms (drained) 1 large baking potato (peeled and sliced) 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips) Lawry's seasoning salt Butter (squeeze butter is better)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. On a cookie sheet place 2 large pieces of foil. Divide beef in half and pat out on each piece of foil. Sprinkle with season salt. Place vegetables on top of beef and add a touch more season salt plus a little salt and pepper to taste. Spread a good round of butter all over the top. Pull foil up and close. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Carefully open foil (it will be hot) and remove the food leaving liquid in foil. Serve with a green salad and bread.
Lake Wedowee Life 15
Merchants organize to grow downtown area
hat began as a conversation between a few Wedowee merchants has become an organization dedicated to improving Wedowee’s downtown. The Wedowee Area Merchant’s Association formed in late 2007 and hopes to make an impact on the façade of Wedowee’s downtown in 2008. “We are looking for people to invest in this community,” Dawn Floyd, Membership Chairperson and board member of WAMA, said. “We didn’t realize it will be a year before we actually see something significant, but we are a growing organization.” At the end of 2007, WAMA had 37 members consisting of businesses and individuals concerned about the future of Wedowee.
16 Lake Wedowee Life
“We have a lot of ideas but the town of Wedowee has to do a lot of these things,” Gene Crouch, president of WAMA, said. “We hope to be the ones to do the leg work and then be able to hand it off to the town to finish.”
News to Know by Kelly Caldwell
In 2003 Wedowee’s leadership contacted the Auburn University Center for Architecture and Urban Studies to create a long term strategic plan for the town, WAMA wants to use that plan as a model for the future. “We are really using that plan as our poster child,” Crouch said. The plan featured numerous goals which can be accomplished both in the long-term such as the
creation of a Civic Park and Amphitheater and in the short-term like taking the power lines underground. The idea of the strategic plan consists of immediate action steps like creating a Community Development Corporation which would help in implementing projects that require grant money. Another action step the Auburn plan called for was to use the master plan to promote Wedowee which is what WAMA intends to do. “We have got a lot of energy right now,” Floyd said. “And, we hope that enthusiasm continues as we are able to accomplish more.” The association’s board meets monthly at Wedowee Town Hall at 5 p.m., and it’s open to the public. Membership fee is $200 annually.
Continued from Page 15
dinner into one he will remember. Chocolate is the most popular gift given at Valentine's, so you will surely be a smash hit with these Homemade Chocolate Covered Strawberries. To make this dessert all you need are two ingredients. (Easy right?). All you buy is a basket of fresh strawberries and some dark chocolate. I use the cube dipping chocolate, but you can buy the easy ready to melt bowl package. Follow the instructions for melting and then dip the strawberries. Let the berries dry on wax paper and then serve in a pretty dish. If you donâ€™t like strawberries you can substitute pretzels, store-bought pound cake or marshmallows. Good luck and let's get cookin! Darlene Bailey has been entertaining for years and opened her own business, Glass Slipper Events, a catering company in Woodland. She has done small events to large weddings. If you are interested in her catering your special event please contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (256) 610-2232.
Magical moments donâ€™t have to take a lifetime to create, it just take a little imagination to pull it off.
Lake Wedowee Life 17
Boat Buying Basics:
Things to consider when boat buying
s the weather gets warmer and the water level rises more and more people will be thinking of how they are going to enjoy Lake Wedowee in the coming months. Some will be thinking of buying lake property while others will be contemplating another purchase - a boat. Just like any major purchase, buying a boat is not something to do on a whim. With all the types of boats out there, it takes doing your homework to ensure your boating happiness. “When you are buying a boat the first decision you have to make is how you are going to use it,” Randy Morris, owner of Wedowee Marine, said. “After you make that decision, you have to decide if you want glass or aluminum.” Some of the activities to consider are fishing, skiing, wakeboarding, tubing or cruising the lake. 18 Lake Wedowee Life
Story by Kelly Caldwell
“What the consumer wants to accomplish with the boat is the most important factor in determining which boat to buy,” Ike Hudgins of Cheaha View Marine said. “Depending on what you want to do on the water is a direct correlation to the boat you would buy.” According the United States Coast Guard, more than 500,000
boats were registered in Alabama and Georgia in 2003 and the numbers continue to increase. If you want a boat that does it all, the pontoon boat is the most versatile. “The pontoon boat is the most popular boat on Lake Wedowee,” Hudgins said. “You can basically do anything you want on a pontoon boat.” With the increasing popularity, pontoon boats are not what they used to be. “Pontoon boats used to be reserved for old people and families to putt around the lake on,” Morris said. “But now, you see younger people with pontoon boats and they are skiing behind them, have a stereo sound system and DVD player and they’ve brought along all their friends.” Both marine dealerships agree pontoons are the most versatile of the boats on the market as well as
the most popular on Lake Wedowee. “The pontoon boat is basically a floating living room,” Morris said. “One of the biggest choices you make with the pontoon is do you want dual or triple pontoons. The triple will give you a better, faster ride.” The five main types of boats sold on Lake Wedowee are pontoon, deck, bow rider, aluminum fishing and jet boats. Deck boats are just as versatile as pontoons, but there are a few differences. “Deck boats are commonly fiberglass which means they are heavier and allow for a faster ride,” Morris said. “They sit a lot of people and you can do anything on a deck boat that you can on a pontoon.” The bow rider is the sportiest of the three according to Morris. “It is still family oriented, but it is a sleeker design, sportier and a bit fancier than the pontoon or deck boat,” he said. “It’s also driven toward performance.” However, deciding the type of boat is only the beginning of the search for the boat to buy. Determining the re-sale value of the boat you would like to purchase is another thing to consider. “You want the value of your boat to last,” Hudgins said. “It’s just like a car or truck, you want the value to hold.”
M a kin g s u r e i t i s se r vi ce friendly is another thing to consider before purchasing. “There are some boats out there that if you have a problem with different parts of the engine you have to split the boat apart to get to the problem,” Hudgins said. “If you have to do this the warranty will not cover it and the repair costs can be substantial.” According to Hudgins, improper set up leads to more than 90 percent of boat repairs. “An important question to ask is are you dealing with a certified boat builder,” Hudgins said. “The
Marine Institute has formatted the certification similar to the automotive industry. It makes sense to buy a certified boat because it shows the quality.” Regardless of where you buy, Hudgins urges consumers to be an informed buyer. “One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give about boat buying is to do your homework,” he said. “Do not fall for the pitch most salespeople give. They are focused on commission, not what best suits the buyer’s needs when it comes to purchasing a boat.”
Lake Wedowee Life 19
Nowâ€™s the time for catching the big one
ith a new magazine debuting I feel honored to be writing this column. So, as with any new issue, the subject at hand, needs a little explanation. I've guided on Lake Harris (Or Lake Wedowee as the locals prefer) since it opened in 1983, canâ€™t believe its been 25 years ago. I've caught bass up to 10 pounds and seen at least a dozen largemouth bass those rare bass exceeding that ten pound mark - caught in years past.
Hooked on Lake Wedowee By Reed Montgomery
A good friend of mine, Dooley Salter of Wylam, Alabama had a 13 1/2 pound largemouth bass, caught on a spinner bait in March of 1989. That behemoth-sized bass made Alabama's "All Time Top 10 (10th place), Biggest Bass List." Today, that huge largemouth bass (now on Dooley's den wall), would not even make "Alabama's Top 50 All Time Big Bass List," which is now conceived of some big largemouth bass. Some of these bass weighing up to 16 1/2 pounds, have been caught out of other lakes throughout Alabama. However, many of those record sized bass have came out of Lake Wedowee, including one 16 pound 4 ounce bass. Records show most of these largemouth bass, those exceeding 13 pounds, were caught during the months of January, February and March of each new year. These really big bass starting showing up about 5 20 Lake Wedowee Life
years after Lake Wedowee was impounded. This is Alabama's youngest impoundment with R L Harris dam completed about 25 years ago. By comparison to other Alabama man made impoundments, this is not a big lake. It is only 27 nautical miles from Lake Harris dam to the lakes headwaters. But it is still a rather spread out lake with 10,660 surface acres of water. Lake Wedowee was stocked with more than 135,000 largemouth bass when impounded in 1983. Prior to impoundment there was already a good population of native largemouth bass already in the waters of the Big and Little Tallapoosa Rivers. These rivers and small bodies of water also held other fish spe-
cies including the Tallapoosa River breed of spotted bass, lots of crappie, bream, minnows, crayfish and catfish. All of which when combined - is the perfect recipe for creating an excellent bass fishery. Much better than any angler could ever have imagined! Lake Wedowee is still loaded with huge, trophy-sized largemouth bass! LAKE HARRIS IN THE PAST / HUGE, LARGEMOUTH BASS Just five years after impoundment Lake Wedowee started exhibiting phenomenal catches of big, largemouth bass. Hundreds of five pound plus bass were recorded being caught by about every angler fishing Lake Wedowee in the mid-to-late 1980's. Soon, big trophy sized largemouth bass (those exceeding the
almost magical mark of 10 pounds), started showing up. Not just a few 10 pounders here and there , but weekly several bass over 10 pounds were reported being caught or weighed in at nearby tackle stores. Bass in the "teens" became common and soon the word go t o u t, " La ke W ed o w ee ha s m on st e r bass! " Although it took almost 10 years to build this lake, it did not take but half of that time before the anglers of Alabama and surrounding states started showing up. Word soon got out especially when three largemouth bass of near state record (over 15 pounds) proportions were caught. It was not long before the Alabama state record bass of 16 pounds and 7 ounces became threatened. In the early 1990's even bigger bass - those exceeding 16 pounds - were taken out of Lake Wedowee. But these, "bass of a lifetime" were only boated by the fortunate angler, an angler that was very lucky, or an angler just plain experienced and skilled enough, to land such an adversary. These were huge, largemouth bass. Bass that not many anglers had ever even had the honor of
doing battle with. In addition to the bass caught, there were " tales of lost bass " as well. Many huge bass were reported being lost by panicky or just plain unprepared anglers. But like the saying goes... "All good things soon come to an end."
LAKE WEDOWEE TODAY Since the lake was impounded, the locals tried to keep it a secret, but once those huge bass started appearing it was out of their hands. Today, the numbers of largemouth bass exceeding 10 pounds have decreased. Often, you will hear of an angler catching a really big bass. Maybe a 13-14 pounder. But what has happened to all those bass in the "15 pound plus" weight category? They are still there, but maybe fishing pressure and the lake going through good and bad cycles has contributed to the plain fact. As they say, a young or newly impounded lake, always has a sud-
den re-occurrence of some excellent bass fishing, about every 5-6 years. So you could think, â€œWeâ€™re due." Assuming Alabama's bass anglers are due again for a real chance at landing a possible new state record sized largemouth bass, timing is everything. There is actually about a 6 month period, from late fall to early spring, for having a chance of even hooking into one of these truly, bass of a lifetime. Records show most really huge largemouth bass are taken from January through March on Lake Wedowee. These are late winter bass to pre-spawn bass. Big female bass usually feeding heavily and constantly fattening up for the rituals of spawning, in the spring when they will eat very little for almost 30 days. These are catchable bass and these bass are susceptible to a whole range of lures fished in all depths on Lake Wedowee. Check out my website www.fishingalabama.com for more fishing tips, lake reports, articles and links to other fishing related websites. Check back each issue for more info on fishing Lake Wedowee!
Lake Wedowee Life 21
22 Lake Wedowee Life
Lake Wedowee Life 23
New development embraces nature
ne of the newest devel- soon the Chimney went up opments on Lake We- marking the entrance. dowee strives to be “There was a development more than your average lake here that failed as far as getting development. Created in 2006, this property to its full potenChimney Cove tial,” Cindy c ontin u es t o Denney, Chimchange the ney Cove Manlandscape of Photos by Chimney Cove aging Director, Wedowee with said. Story by Kelly Caldwell its state of the The property, art clubhouse and first of its formerly known as Red Hawk, kind infinity pool. But, that’s had sat vacant for years due to really just the beginning of a the initial developers filing much larger plan. bankruptcy. Situated on Wedowee Creek “After years of watching this just north of town, Chimney beautiful piece of property be Cove gained local attention as
Home on the Lake
24 Lake Wedowee Life
See NATURE Page 27
Lake Wedowee Life 25
26 Lake Wedowee Life
Continued from Page 25
neglected, we knew it would take several somebodies coming together if it were ever to work,” she said. According to Denney, Randy Simpkins saw the potential and bought the property. At the same time, StoneCo Development, the developers of Possum Trot, had purchased property adjoining it. The two companies joined forces to create Chimney Cove. “With more hands in the investment, the more Chimney Cove is able to accomplish,” Denney said. “They are taking one phase at a time in order to protect the total investment.” The clubhouse was completed in 2007 and a boardwalk is currently under construction. “Once the boardwalk is complete, it will be over a mile long,” Denney said. “It will be a great way to really enjoy the beauty of the lake.” The property lends itself to exquisite views of nature and the developers have kept that in mind. “The concept of Chimney Cove is built on nature itself,” Amanda Fulbright, Chimney Cove Director of Sales and Marketing, said. “Our developers want to keep as much of the natural surroundings and environment not only for our residents and visitors to enjoy but also for the wild game that call Chimney Cove home.” There is a flock of wild turkey residing on the property as well as numerous deer. “The idea is to keep the natural surroundings and maximize the green space while trying to develop it at the same time,” Denney said. Miles of nature trails cover the
property and dedicated picnic areas can be found throughout. The development also welcomes the Wedowee community to enjoy Chimney Cove too. “We really want to have a positive impact on Wedowee,” Denney said . Future plans include a commercial area with leasing opportunities. “One of the next phases will be the commercial area,” Denney said. “It will also businesses to come in and help with the Wedowee economy.” Chimney Cove offers numerous amenities open to residents as
well as non-residents of the community. “We offer non-resident memberships which allows anyone to come use the facilities including the pool, fitness center, boardwalk and boat launches,” Denney said. With five phases, Chimney Cove is not a development that will be completed over night in fact Denney believes it will take years for the final product to form. “We have so much land here and so many plans that go beyond houses and condos,” she said. “We really want people to embrace Chimney Cove because we aren’t going anywhere.” Lake Wedowee Life 27
Historic Lows Make the best of this dry situation Story and Photos by Kelly Caldwell
labama Power decided to make the best use of the historic low water levels in late 2007 by trimming more than 300 acres of standing timber in the lake bed of Lake Wedowee. “Over the last 30 years that has become something of a boating hazard,” Buddy Eiland, Alabama Power spokesperson said. “It is an evolutional thing.” When the lake was impounded in 1982, the trees growing in what would eventually become the lake were left standing, but over the years the trees have become more of a hindrance. “There were no trees totally removed from the lake,” Shelia Smith with Alabama Power’s Corporate Real Estate Division said. “We took the tops off trees spanning approximately 300 acres in the lake bed before the water started coming back up.” The tree trimmers worked on Lake Wedowee for less than six weeks and according to Smith, the timber was cut at or below the 782 elevation which will be at least 3 feet below the normal winter pool level of 785. Smith went on to say the fish habitat was not harmed by the trees being trimmed. “We worked with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to ensure we were doing things correctly,” she said. “All the timber that was cut was also removed from the lake. We checked several times through the course of the project.” Smith went on to say Alabama Power is working on new maps of Lake Wedowee. “We are going to have habitat maps available in the near future with GPS coordinates that will show where any standing timber is - regardless if it is visible or not.” The map will eventually be available on Alabama
Power Company’s website. In November, Lake Wedowee reached its lowest point since being impounded when the water level dropped to 780 feet a full 13 feet below full pool. As of Jan. 19, the lake was back up to winter pool but there is still time to take part in shoreline maintenance. “This is an excellent time to do any kind of shoreline improvements,” Eiland said. “Realistically we will probably not see these low water levels again.” Eiland suggested repairing docks, re-positioning fall rip rap and general shoreline improvements during this low water period, however, he advised getting proper permission from Alabama Power before beginning work. “We have shoreline regulations in place and everything has to be permitted,” Eiland said.
The cost for shoreline permits begin at $250 for private residences and the cost helps cover the expense of overseeing permitting. “We do charge for the permits to recover some of the expense from the people using that service instead of taking that money from all our customers,” Eiland said. “We have full time people on the lake to protect the integrity of the lake. It is something we have to police and that is in the benefit of
everyone that has an interest in the lake.” The Corporate Real E s t at e D iv is io n is in charge of shoreline permitting and Smith is quick to say how workable they are, within the guidelines. “We are not out here to make things difficult,” Smith said. “We want people to enjoy what they have, but it is hard to make one person on one lot understand that we are looking out for everyone’s best interest.” For more information on shoreline permitting, call the Alabama Power Corporate Real Estate Division at (256) 396-5093. You can also download the guidelines for shoreline permitting for Lake Wedowee by going to Alabama Power Company’s w e b s i t e . ( h t t p : / / www.alabamapower.com/lakes/ shorelines.asp) Lake Wedowee Life 29
30 Lake Wedowee Life
Life it they have it. Does it work? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure some of it does. Now, on to the second group of “They’s,” just who are these “They’s”? Some of you may not be old enough or fortunate enough to have had any, but they are the one’s that showed me to kick back the leaves at the base of that tree; taught me what kind of tree it was, along with the rest of the trees in the woods; and to check the wind direction against my face and neck
Continued from Page 34
for a good downwind stalk. The “They’s” pointed out the lay of the land to see easy traveling routes for game and myself. They taught me to use creeks and old fence lines to get my bearings if confused about direction; how to hunt the edges of open woods against thickets at first and last light; and how I could always find worms under a cow patty in the winter if I needed bait. Bottom line, they were woodsmen. And, unknowingly to myself at the time, they were showing me
things that would put me in the their group of “they’s” for someone else. Just remember it’s our responsibility now to show our young woodsmen, there’s more to be learned than simply sitting in a tree stand and pulling the trigger. Well, that’s going to do it for this issue, but I promise some good huntin’ and fishin’ tales in issues to come, however there will be no more philosophy talk. Now, I’ve got to go order those new lures before it’s too late.
www.LakeWedoweeLife.com Lake Wedowee Life 31
32 Lake Wedowee Life
Index of Advertisers A & E Metal Roofing Supply Accurate Engineering Solutions Advantage Realty Air Control, LLC Ashland Family Care Ava Hills Assisted Living B & L Glass Bank of Wedowee Chad Lee Attorney at Law Cheaha View Marine, LLC Chimney Cove Clay County CDJ Detailed Property Inspection El Jalepeno Farmers Insurance Fishing Alabama Grandview Antiques H & M Drug Lakeside Marina, LLC
30 25 11 30 14 30 17 6 26 33 36 3 17 2 26 21 32 26 23
Meadows Farm Equipment Nortonâ€™s Flooring Randolph County Ind. Council Sears Southern Home Comfort Southern Union Commuinty College State Farm Insurance Steve Morris Attorney at Law Grady and Linda Stone, Real Estate StoneCo Custom Homes Summit Storage Sunset Point Thackston & Sons Construction The Galley Wedowee Building Supply Wedowee Landscape & Nursery Wedowee Marine WM Grocery
35 19 35 26 14 3 30 31 23 25 33 11 2 31 16 25 23 4
Lake Wedowee Life 33
The “They’s” of our Life T hey say if you want to lose weight buy this. They say if you want to grow hair buy that. If you want to kill a trophy buck, they have the answer. Big fish? You guessed it. They have just what you need. The list of “they say” people and products goes on and on. An end le ss on sla u ght of things to make our everyday meaningless lives worth living and to give us that edge we need in the sporting field. Who are they and why do they so desperately want to help little old you? Well, let me try to explain. First we have to put the “they’s” of our lives into two groups. The first group has one major goal, put your hard earned green backs into their pockets. Now let’s not place all the blame on them, because we’ve all become pretty gullible. I can recall a simpler time when hunting and fishing were things mostly done by country folk. Then hunting and fishing were done more for necessity than sport. I’m 54 years young so I’ve been an avid outdoors man for approximately 40 of those years and a writer for only about 15 minutes. Forty years ago I couldn’t even spell camouflage much less own any. Dad killed hundreds of deer in his life, and to the best of my recollection never wore a thread of the stuff. Hunting was never done from a tree stand or box blind, but was 34 Lake Wedowee Life
Redneck Adventures By Skeeter
usually done by kicking back the leaves at the base of a tree and taking a seat. As I stated before we had no knowledge of camouflage only dark clothing. There was always game taken if needed, and I know for a fact we were more in tune with our self and surroundings. Fishing was done with pretty much the same simple approach. Usually by quietly walking the bank with dark clothing using just a cane pole and sometimes maybe
a spinning rod. Bait almost always consisted of minnows, crickets or your basic unbeatable worms. We never lacked for fish and a good time was had by all. Well, that was then and now is now. All the outdoor activities which were once a way of life, are now “recreational activities.” This is where the first group of “they’s” have there sites set. Today's wanna-be outdoorsmen have a lot more money than they have time, so they are looking for that edge. Well “They” have anything and everything you want or think you need. If you want to smell like a deer... No problem. If you don’t want to smell at all... Gotcha covered. If you want to smell like apples, persimmons, corn, grapes, foxes, skunks or even deer pee… They can make it happen. The list just keeps on going... Every call imaginable, sticks to prop your gun on and even seats to prop your rear on. Now if you want to catch more fish, they can help you out with that, too. Boats you can paddle or drag race; fishing line you can’t see, much less break; a lure for every rod, and a rod for every lure. They have lures that catch fish so fast they may soon be outlawed. When these lures are outlawed only outlaws will have lures. Right? Well, so much for that first group of “they’s,” but if you want
See LIFE Page 31
Lake Wedowee Life 35
Published on Aug 16, 2008
This is the premiere issue of the Lake Wedowee Life. A lifestyle magazine dedicated to promoting the Lake Wedowee area as well as Randolph a...