The Dart: For Miller, Miss-Lou is fisherman’s paradise

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2004

John Miller has been fishing since he was 8 years old. So when the Oklahoma native, used to weathering difficult winters, visited cousins in Vidalia in January and found himself fishing just three days into the new year, he knew he had found the perfect home.

Fast-forward to the summer, and Miller, his wife Misty and their three children own the Minorca Bait Shop on Old River. &uot;It was 17 degrees where I came from,&uot; John said. &uot;Any place I can go fishing on Jan. 3 is where I need to live.&uot;

The Millers bought the bait shop from John’s cousin and have been operating it for about two months.

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In Oklahoma, John ran a computer business. He is still building computers in the family home next to the bait shop on the river.

Business started out busy in the summer, but the mild weather slowed things a bit.

&uot;It was a decent summer,&uot; John said. &uot;But now the fish don’t know whether to bite or take your bait.&uot;

But with the water level going down, John expects business to pick up again soon. The Millers are planning a bass fishing tournament this fall.

For Misty, the biggest change is the difference in the weather from Oklahoma to Louisiana.

&uot;I’ve talked to a lot of people that have never seen snow,&uot; she said.

Their older son, Johnny Ray, 6, will miss making snowmen. And oddly, the boys &045;&045; Johnny Ray and brother Dannie Joe, 4 &045;&045; miss fishing with their father.

&uot;They’re awful mad since we bought the bait shop,&uot; John said. &uot;We don’t have time to go fishing all the time.&uot;

Misty likes to fish, too &045;&045; but you won’t find her cleaning them or even eating them.

Daughter Meshelle, 2, who is blonde like her brothers, and dog Rosie round out the family for now &045;&045; but, as one of the boys quickly pipes up, &uot;one’s on the way!&uot;

The Millers are expecting their fourth child in December.