All Aboard: Mr. Fomby Fishing Expedition


Donated to the Digest

ALL ABOARD: MR. FOMBY FISHING EXPEDITION- Pictured above is Central’s very own Gary Fomby holding a couple slabs.

Alyssa Fax, Staff Writer

The open waters warble endlessly out, a boat drives forward through a blur of scenery, and on this boat is Mr. Gary Fomby, biology teacher here at Central. He has been a part of the fishing scene since the age of four and takes out his boat whenever possible. During the summer, he’s carried out Mr. Kelley, leadership teacher, and has many others on board ready to go and cast their rods, all in the pursuit of fish.

“All the lakes up and down the Tennessee chain are my favorite right now. When I have a chance, I do go to other lakes, like for example the big striper fish,” Fomby explained. “It came from Carters lake, which is in Georgia. I also fish in the ocean. The fish are larger and a lot more aggressive. Usually, I don’t go out randomly, I go out with a targeted species in mind.”

Though he’s gotten to be better after passing so many years on a boat, there are still days where the conditions aren’t right or it happens to be in between moon phases and the fish refuse to bite. As the moon affects the tide, it also affects the fish. It’s better not to go on weekends either as with all the jet skis and boats, the fish are often scared away by the noise.

“Any day you go out and have a good day, being successful in what you set out to do. Having a game plan that comes together, those are my favorite days,” Fomby continued. “A friend of mine, Dicky Porter, who is a master fisherman and has taught me a lot, fishes three or four times a week. I enjoy sharing a boat with him yet even with both of our combined expertise, there are days where we don’t catch anything.”

Fomby agrees that fishing takes a certain amount of patience and that the worst thing you can do is force someone to endure a long period of time when the fish aren’t biting. This can turn them off to the sport and have them leave with a bitter taste in their mouth, unlikely to continue, and in turn, miss much of the sports appeal. It’s better, if you’re a novice, to go during the warmer seasons with good weather conditions as the fish are compliant and more readily available.

All in all, it’s not always about the big fish. There is satisfaction in even the bass, crayfish, or of course, the big striper which is usually around 20 to 40 pounds and can quite literally pull the boat. Mr. Fomby has been fishing the majority of his life and still, he admits, it’s not a perfect science. There’s not always a guarantee of success but nowadays he’s had more good times than bad. Basically, get on the water, line up your rod, pull your hat down low. There’s a place for everyone, so take the splash!