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Open Blue Sharks

Cabin Fever

Jackson Smith, Carter Windham and Josh Mathias

By Jackson Smith, Carter Windham and Josh Mathias

    It's with a broad grin that I reflect on my recent father-son trip to Cabin Bluff - a little piece of paradise for any outdoorsman. The luxury, yet down-home lodge, was built in the 1920s on world-class fishing and hunting grounds on the east coast of Georgia. As I began to write about our epic trip, it occurred to me that a that a fresh young perspective might be in order. So, instead of an old fart like me telling the story, what follows is the voice of our 18-year-old sons. - Scott Smith, Father

    We were best friends approaching a turning point in our lives.  High school graduation began a process that would change everything and by August, the three of us would be living in different cities. We were all lucky to grow up fishing and hunting in north Louisiana. So when our fathers said they wanted to take us on a special fishing trip to Georgia, the texting and planning began immediately.  We weren't wrong to be excited.

    We were picked up by the Cabin Bluff van so we avoided any rental car hassles or need for grocery shopping. We were fans before we even arrived! As the driver turned into Cabin Bluff, broad black iron gates opened up to a long road flanked by what seemed like endless rows of old oak trees. Eventually, we pulled up to a stretch of cool old log cabins sitting on the mossy Georgia shore. The view was a combination of some of our favorite places - beautiful water, golden marshes, gorgeous woods and grassy fields. The guest cabins were rustic-chic and extremely comfortable.  We unpacked quickly and checked out the grounds in the golf carts parked outside.  So far, so good! Check out the gallery here & see details on our next Cabin Bluff adventure!

    Starting at the large main cabin where meals are served, we made our way past swimming pools, tennis courts and even a golf course, which made it pretty clear that when we weren’t fishing, we’d have plenty

to do.  The golf carts were rigged with spinners and fly rods, so we hit the small lakes along the course, catching everything from brim to catfish. On the 18th hole, a baby alligator showed up and ate the brim on our fly. The fun really began when it was time to get the feisty little gator off the fly! Happy to have all our fingers intact, we headed back for a dinner that would be the first of some insanely good meals! Ms. Tay and her team of cooks whipped up tempura shrimp with scallop wraps, beef tenderloin, BBQ alligator ribs, Pale Ale chicken and even threw us outdoor oyster bake. Amazing!  We scarfed down hearty breakfasts each morning and camp-cuisine desserts like sweet cornbread with powdered sugar and honey butter, or skillet brownies with raspberry sauce. If we were roughing it, we welcomed more hardship.

    We were also treated to stories of Cabin Bluff’s long, cool history by property’s historian, Andy Ippensen.  After hearing about some of the incredible men who built this place many years before us, we discovered the awesome Man Cave in the main cabin. With dart boards, flat screens televisions, pool table and an old-time bar that takes up a corner of the large space, it was the perfect place to chill out before and after meals were served.

    On the second morning we headed out to shoot clay pigeons. None of us had ever seen anything comparable to the course at Cabin Bluff. It was set on a peninsula stretching out into the marsh. Each stand was unique, with some in the woods and others at the water’s edge. We walked and shot the course for several hours doing what we do best: competing. But, with lots of laughter and a good dose of harassment over any bad shots.   We followed the shoot by resting our full stomachs and tired eyes in the most inviting hammocks, hanging between trees and swinging in the breeze.

    We’d been at Cabin Bluff for about 20 hours and already we were in heaven. That afternoon began an amazing day and a half of guided fishing in the Low Country waters extending past Cumberland Island into the Atlantic.

    The six of us broke up into father/son teams on 24-foot bay boats. The competition was on!  From big bull reds to speckled sea trout and triple tail, the fishing was amazing  We tried to accomplish a first and hook a triple tail on fly.  Turned out, that’s one goal for a future trip!

    On the last night of our trip we sat on the dock covering familiar subjects: fishing, hunting, and the life changes ahead for all of us. The most accurate description we heard for Cabin Bluff is “a grown man’s Disney World’.  It’s THE perfect place to do all the things we Southern boys love best: eating, fishing, hunting and hanging out with people you love in a place that will never be forgotten.