Peace, quiet, fish bring three friends together to fish on Vidalia’s Old River

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 2, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – &uot;Peace and quiet – and the fish.&uot;

That’s why Buddy Peters of Natchez said he and his friends Pete Harring and Russell Roberts of Wisner head to Old River near Vidalia nearly every weekend – and sometimes, in between weekends.

As the three friends stood talking on the ramp next to Harring’s houseboat late Saturday afternoon, the only background noise consisted of boats speeding down across the water in the distance, and of water lapping at the shore.

&uot;It doesn’t get any better than this,&uot; said &uot;Little Bill&uot; Cummins, who helped fix the boat’s engine.

Cummins has been a self-described &uot;river rat&uot; for 30 years.

The men had come down to the Old River shore to check on the work Harring has had done on his houseboat, the Ole River Queen.

Except for the engine work, renovations to the boat have mostly been cosmetic – a little patching here, a little painting there.

Harring has had the boat since 1968.

On a usual Saturday, the men would be fishing.

Peters, who owns a nearby camp on Old River, has a &uot;fish house&uot; on the river – a shaded structure where the men usually sit and fish for bass and white perch.

Among that group, the biggest fish caught on Old River was caught by Peters – a bass that weighed in at 73/4 pounds.

Roberts and Harring said they’ve caught catfish that were much more massive than that, but those were catfish caught in the Mississippi River.

&uot;We would be fishing now, but the fish just aren’t biting like they should be today,&uot; Peters said, looking up at a cloudy sky that was threatening to rain.

After going up to the houseboat’s roof to check on patching and painting work that had been done up there, the trio warmed up a smaller boat and headed west on the inlet, waving at the other &uot;river rats&uot; on the shore as they sailed off into the distance.

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