From left, Laurin Stennis, Gwen Trigg, and Linda Emmel after a great birthday trip.

Mrs Linda Emmel brought some of her buddies for a birthday trip recently, and lemme tell you, it was a TRIP! The fishing was off the charts good, but that wasn’t the only thing amazing about our time together.

I don’t ever remember not knowing Mrs Linda. Her son Scott, my brother and I were very close growing up(still are). Until that day, I’d never met(in person) her friends Gwen, and McLaurin aka “Laurin”. The red fish kept all of our conversations brief. Just about every shrimp they threw out got bit. In between netting, tagging, and or photographing fish we tried our best to hear each other’s stories.

I eventually learned the birthday girl Gwen, was from Hattiesburg. Not very shocking, we fish a ton of folks from the Hub City. What was very shocking, was that we were neighbors in the late 90’s when I was “studying” at USM! It’s probably for the best we didn’t meet back then...

Laurin caught a tagged redfish midway through our trip. While we were documenting it, I learned her last name was Stennis. Her Grandpaw was John C. Stennis and yes, she is the same artist that designed “The Stennis Flag”. We also learned, that we both share numerous mutual friends around town.

Our trip flew by, and the conversations were almost as good as the fishing. They kept a pile of reds, and tagged/released close to 20 smaller reds. The ladies took the Birthday, and some of their catch to The Blind Tiger for lunch. Heck of a Birthday party!

Mrs Linda has always been one of my favorite people to fish with. I always enjoy all the stories from our adventures over the years. Meeting new people is always a treat too. Getting to meet a new friend on a fishing trip just makes the day even better.

I believe Mrs Gwen summed it up perfectly, saying “Mississippi is just a big small town”.

As always, have fun and be safe.

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