11-27-09 Bobby’s Fish Camp - Silas, AL

[Rick] We left Demopolis and locked through the Demopolis Lock at 1000. Our journey today is to be 96 miles to a Looper Legend – Bobby’s Fish Camp. The trip was smooth, the weather was great, and we were able to average 17.7 mph for the day. We passed and overtook several tows today, the largest number of any day so far.

On the way, at mile marker 204, we passed the now demolished Rooster Bridge. In 1979, this bridge was the site of one of the most unusual happenings ever in river travel. The river was very high, and at the last minute, the towboat Cahaba realized that it could not clear the bridge. It tried to stop, but the current took it into the bridge. It turned sideways, went underwater, under the bridge, and emerged, right side up, on the other side. The engines were still running and the captain was still on the bridge. If you would like to see a video, consisting of photographs of the event, go to It is quite extraordinary, in the fact that it happened, and secondly, that someone was there to take the pictures.

Now, on to Bobby’s. This is a fish camp outside the town of Silas, AL. It rents boats, cabins, bait, etc to the local fishermen and tourists. For loopers, it is the only place to tie up and get fuel from Demopolis to Mobile Bay, a distance of 230 miles. So, like Hoppie’s on the Mississippi, Bobby’s is a favorite and mandatory stop for loopers. It is made up of a fuel dock, a restaurant, open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday only. There is no power, showers, or other amenities. Yet, the charge is still $1.00 per foot. The price of gas is $3.38 per gallon, plus 5% if you pay by credit card (we had to dig out a checkbook!). Yes, you are captives! Did I mention that the dock is only 100 feet long, and if other boats arrive, you are expected to raft to each other? There is a photo in the restaurant of 14 boats, many in the 35-40 foot range, tied to this pier. The food at the restaurant is very good and the specialty is locally caught fresh catfish. The inside of the restaurant is much cluttered, and features trophies and the genealogy of Bobby. There are stuffed animals all over the place.

We are tied up tonight and will get out early in the morning in order to make Mobile Bay and the Town of Fairhope, AL tomorrow. We have one more lock to navigate and we will be back in tidal and salt water. It will be a 9 hour day at full speed. We need to get to Mobile Bay and tie down as there is predicted bad weather for Monday and Tuesday.

Here are some pictures from Bobby's....

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