DESTINATION ANGLER: Chipola River at Scott’s Ferry General Store

On a cold January day with winds blowing steady about 25 MPH out of the north, my friend Fred and I were itching to get a bend in our rods by some bass. We didn’t feel like driving too far, we didn’t want to battle the winds and we didn’t want to have to make any long runs in the boat. We decided to hit the Chipola River up at Scott’s Ferry General Store. After a short drive we were at the launch looking at a gorgeous stretch of river filled with cypress trees, fallen logs and backwaters begging to be explored.

Without even firing up the outboard we began fishing up river from the launch. The winds were blocked by the high trees lining each side of the river so we’d completely forgotten about the cold, as the sun beat on our backs. Not ten minutes into the excursion the first bass came into the boat after chomping a crankbait; a nice 3 pounder that gave us a good feeling about things to come.

On this Saturday, perhaps due to the cold, we had the river all to ourselves. Several times I’d stop casting just to take in the beauty and serenity this stretch of river offers. The wildlife along the banks and in the trees consisted mostly of squirrels and buzzards, but herons, wood ducks and other critters were spotted.

After our short trip was over, we’d boated a handful of bass, a couple crappie and a chain pickerel. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits proved most effective fished around deep and shallow wood; a few fish were had with plastic worms as well. I suggest this same simple approach to anyone fishing here. While we did launch a full-sized bass boat here, just about any small craft will do.

Located about 10 miles north of Wewahitchka, FL on Hwy 71, the Scott’s Ferry General Store is your place to go for a Chipola River excursion. Here, you can rent a cabin or a camp site, launch your boat, rent a canoe or even plan a wedding! Get hitched and go fishin…sounds like a great way to start a family to me!

If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, enjoy some natural beauty and catch some fish, this stretch of the Chipola River will not disappoint.

~ Capt. Randy Cnota