By RICK WATSON
Only a few minutes’ drive from our congested suburban streets lies Lake Purdy. There 7800 undeveloped acres surround the 1050-acre reservoir— with no houses, mobile homes and no boat docks on the water. The fishing is good, and you are bound to see wildlife while you troll around.
“Boating on Lake Purdy is like being on a lake in Montana, or some remote area out West,” said Ken Delap, owner of Lake Purdy Fish and Boat shop.
Like most marinas, Lake Purdy Fish and Boat has their share of fish stories. “Gary Goodwin, who is our fishing guide, caught two bass that weighed between four and five pounds on the same lure—with one cast.” That’s something that happens every now and then, according to Delap.
Fishermen have come to the docks saying they saw bear, mountain lions, monkeys, hogs and even Bigfoot. Delap said it’s hard to verify what the people actually saw, though.
The fishing is great in the spring and autumn, according to guide Gary Goodwin, but people catch fish year around at Lake Purdy. Friday night fishing tournaments at the lake start in the spring and continue until late August.
Crappie is probably the most popular fish at Lake Purdy, but there are good populations of bass, catfish and bream too. People tell Dulap all the time that the best tasting catfish come from Lake Purdy.
Delap’s shop rents boats, rods, reels and tackle including live bait.
“We try to accommodate a variety of people,” said Delap. “Someone can bring their own fishing equipment, including an outboard motor (up to 10 horsepower) and rent a boat for a day of fishing.”
Delap said they also have fully equipped bass boats with outboard motors, trolling motors, fish finders, anchors, paddles and lifejackets for safety. The shop also has pontoon boats, which are popular with the families.
Oftentimes people are uncomfortable going to an overcrowded lake where there are jet boats, skiers and swimmers. Delap said you won’t find any of those things at Lake Purdy.
The lake is so clean you won’t worry about eating a catch. “This water is tested by the water works, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and a host of other agencies to certify that the water is clean,” said Delap.
On a short boat ride, Scott Lewandowski, who helps out at the marina, pointed out small game, a great blue heron and a young deer that had come to the water’s edge to drink.
Last fall, a pair of mating eagles made their home at Lake Purdy. “This is the first time this has happened since I’ve been here,” said Delap. “We’ve see a few single eagles in the past, but this pair of eagles here had eaglets in their nest. That’s not something you seen every day.”
For the more information and fishing reports for Lake Purdy, visit http://www.lakepurdyfishing.com.