Lake Seminole keeps economy flowing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lake Seminole keeps economy flowing

October 7, 2004

Bainbridge--If you want to know something about Lake Seminole, ask Jack Wingate. "I was born about eight miles right up over that hill back there," said the legendary fishing guide. Wingate has lived his whole life here and opened Wingate's Lunker Lodge when Lake Seminole opened. "43 years I made my living hunting and fishing on this pool of water," Wingate proudly said.

Wingate helped with the first ever B.A.S.S. pro tournament. They fished it on Lake Seminole but wouldn't let him enter because of his home lake advantage. "But I went out there and caught a big string of fish anyway. Just to prove I could have won."

Lake Seminole is now a world famous fishing spot. Wingate says it's one of the five best bass fishing lakes in the country. "You can't go nowhere now and drop a cricket or a wiggler in the water that you don't catch a small black bass. You got to throw it in the water to get it past them," he said.

But there's more than just fish to see here. "It's a beautiful lake and every time you go out you can see osprey and gators," said Gale Goodman.  She should know. Last year, she and her parents and her siblings bought Wingate's Lodge from Mr. Jack. They're expanding it, even though it already attracts nature lovers from all the country.

Goodman's brother-in-law Mike Sloan is now a fishing guide on the lake.  "We have a lot of people that come every year and they come because the fishing is so much better here," he said.

Wingate says that's because of the quality of the water here. Quality that helps wildlife thrive. It doesn't take much time on a boat to see that. But it may also have something to do with the quality of the people around here. Spend a little time on the porch with Mr. Jack and you'll learn that too.

posted at 9:40AM by ben.roberts@walb.com