Very few people know this but my grandfather, which was my mothers father served in the Army for over 30 years. He served in WWII, Korea and also through the Vietnam era. He also served on a little Bimini island called Eniwetok Atoll. If you know your history you’ve probably read or seen that the chain of islands was occupied by several hundred US Army Troops and witness to several of our first atomic tests. My grandfather told me stories of that and his military career during our fishing trips together when I was young. I remember my grandmother telling me about a class action law suit from a lot of families of troops concerning radiation exposure and cancer. I’m sure we talked about many things in his life during the time we spent together but the biggest problem is my memory is now fading fast. I can no longer remember specific times together and only a few memories remain. Those stories are gone forever and they’re not coming back.
They say a person dies twice on this earth, once when the physical body retires and the second is the last time your name is spoken. There are names and memories inside these pages. My grandfathers name was Glenn Payne.
My name is Jim Farmer and I’ve been an avid fisherman for as long as I can remember. My dad was a great outdoorsman and taught me what he had learned over the years which created a foundation for me to carry on the tradition of hunting and fishing as well as enjoying the outdoors. Although my dad lived for hunting season and we did a lot of hunting, fishing was always something I was drawn to and growing up on a farm in rural Kansas, sometimes fishing was no more than biking to my favorite farm pond with an old coffee can of worms or some frozen chicken livers and a Zebco 33.
I’ve fished the rivers, lakes, creeks and farm ponds in the Midwest where I grew up, then after joining the Navy in 1982 my first duty station was a newly formed F-18 Fighter/Attack squadron at a Naval Air Base in central California. My job description in the Navy was officially a “Aviation Electricians Mate” or “AE” for short but in reality the AE stood for “Aviation Everything” and it always seemed that us AE’s had our hands in every system on the aircraft. If it had electricity running to it we probably worked on it. When I wasn’t working on aircraft my desire for fishing took me to all kinds of fishing adventures out west. I really enjoyed saltwater fishing as well as freshwater and fishing is something I did very often out west. My Navy career allowed me the opportunity to fish a lot of places and myself and a few of my squadron mates always found a way to wet a line during our travels including some wild rivers and mountain lakes from Central Oregon down to the deep blue Pacific of offshore Mexico and a lot of water in between. Some of my favorites out west were freshwater trout from mountain lakes and streams, stripers from numerous lakes out west and big bass from the trout rich lakes like Lake Castiac and a couple other little mountain gems. I really enjoyed fishing offshore in the Pacific from Morrow Bay to Sea of Cortez but I was just as happy fishing a mountain stream somewhere in the Sierra Nevada’s.
After 6 long years in central Ca. my next duty station took me to San Diego, Ca. where I was assigned to a F-14 Fighter Squadron at Naval Air Station Miramar. There were plenty of freshwater lakes around San Diego and I fished a bunch of them but I loved going offshore. We also fished the kelp beds outside Point Loma and the vast San Diego Bay. It was kinda interesting to have one of the massive aircraft carriers pass our little Boston Whaler while fishing in the bay and a few weeks later I’d be standing on the deck of that same carrier as it passed through the bay. When we traveled with the squadron we always fished if we had the opportunity. We did a lot of training in the Nevada desert so if we had a weekend off, the mountains were only a short distance away. Usually we would wind up camping in the Truckee River area near the Nevada/California line where trout fishing was a blast. During training in the summer desert heat, the mountain streams were a great way to cool down and unwind after a long week of working on jets if we got a weekend off.
After spending a total of 2 extended tours and almost 12 years in central and southern California my next tour took me to a small air base in the deep south of Louisiana for some of the best inshore and offshore action the Gulf has to offer. Four years of catching redfish and speckled trout in the marshes of Louisiana as well as some of the best offshore action for Tuna and Wahoo was more than my words could ever describe and memories I’ll never forget. Then it was on to the rich Striper lakes of the southeast for my twilight retirement tour and after spending four years at an air base in Atlanta I retired just off the shores of Lake Lanier in north Georgia.
“I’ve learned a lot about fishing over the years and I would like to pass along my experiences, knowledge and expertise to ya’ll so go grab a beer or your favorite cold drink and Enjoy“.-Jim Farmer