Title: Angelia L. Reed
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006878/00001
 Material Information
Title: Angelia L. Reed
Series Title: Angelia L. Reed
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Kelly
Publisher: Kelly Davis
Publication Date: 1995
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006878
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

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This is Kelly Davis interviewing Angelia Reed on Nov. 7,
1995 at about 3:30 PM at Brown's Creek Fish Camp.

DAVIS: Tell me a little about your fish camp.
REED: (mess up on tape)...August first and we are are redoing
everything. When we first took over it was kind of dull and
grimy and grundgy and there was not a really good
it had grown up alot. And we wanted to open it back up to the
family and to the public so we worked really hard. We took
out, like, dumpsters full of trash and crap that had loaded
up in the back. We cut through woods that had probably been
there twelve years. Uncovered quite a bit so that we could
open it up, so we could have more like of a family, you know,
orientation. Alot of times there is a presidency with fish
camps that, you know, it's like a bar where you go to drink
and stuff like that and we don't want it, you know what I
mean? We don't want it to be that way. We want to be a place
where you come and you get your bait, and you bring your
kids, and you go out on the dock, and you fish, and you have
a good time. And it's good, clean family entertainment. You
know. and sometimes it doesn't always come across that way.
People think, you know. fish camp: that there's alot of
riff-raff and stuff like that and it's not like that. It's a
nice community and people up and down this road [note:
Heckshire Drive] they know you, you know, and if some, you
know, people, all up and down this street, if something, you
know, if we're out of this and they have it, you know,
they'll call and say this is where you can get it or we call
them and stuff. So it's more of a neighborly community and
it's a big, a big family, you might as well say, up and down
this road and we just moved here and took over in August and
already it's like, they know us, you know, and they call us
by name. They say, "Hey, Angie, you got shrimp? You got this?
You got that?" And I say, "Yeah, we do or no we don't." And
they'll say, "Well, I'm out. I'm trying to find it." So, you
know, you use the same shrimpers and stuff like that so it's,
it's really a good business to be in because it's family
oriented and it's alot of hard work. It's alot of hard work,
you have to spend alot of time here. Night and day. But,
after a while it pays off, you know.
DAVIS: What made you decide to bring your business to this
particular location?
REED: Well, actually my brother-in-law has, he lives on this
road, and he's looked at this piece of property for a very
long time and realized the potential because of the traffic
that goes by this road. And most everybody who comes out this
way to launch their boat into the ocean or to go fishing and
stuff. This is where they go. They go down this street and he
knew, you know, that if you made it look presentable and the
right thing that it, it could really bring the business in.
And it has. Alot. We've, we've really improved, I think,
because of all the work we did. And there's people, and these
people fish day in and day out. No matter what. If it's
raining, if it's cold; I mean, they, it's something they

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truly love and they do it all the time. And you get regular
customers. People that you see everyday. You know what I
mean? If it's, if it's at three o'clock in the afternoon
because they got off work at two and they come running out
here as soon as they get here. Or some of them come and fish
before they go to work. You know what I mean? They come, they
fish, then they leave and they go to work [laughs] it's it's,
like it's, people just love to do it and it's it's a
wonderful sport it's it's a good recreation. And most of the
people here, you know, they catch the fish, they take 'em
home and they eat them. You know, so it's a good source to
feed your family, too. I mean, last summer, my husband and I,
we fished everyday that we could that we weren't working and
we ate fish almost three months of the year, you know, so
that helps in alot of ways, so it's a good thing.
DAVIS: So how long have you been fishing personally or in the
fishing business?
REED: I have fished ever since I was a little girl. Ever
since I, my whole family has been fishermen. I'm most of my
family that were fishermen fished on the West Coast. And down
by Quartez and Bradington and all through those. And that's,
those are alot of fishing communities down there. Which they
are hurting very badly right now because of the net ban and
they fought really hard to try to stop it but they just
weren't successful because there was such a big media hype
over, you know, so much going on. They said that they're
killing this and they're killing that and they're killing
that and I wish that would've taken a little more time to do
a little more research and they would have found out that
these that these fishermen and these boats that are 17 to 20
feet, they're not killing dolphins and sea turtles and things
like that. They're, they're just trying to feed their family
and their villages, you know, and now the price of sea food
is just outrageous. So, the, I have probably been in fishing
every since I was old enough to even, you know, recognize
what life is about and half of my family has been fishermen
their whole life and oddly enough we grew up and
decided to go into the fishing business.
DAVIS: What are your plans to do with this fish camp? What
are your goals that you see happening?
REED: We would like to make this the best discount bait and
tackle shop on the river. We want to have a big facility
where you can come and get everything that you need for
inshore, offshore bait and tackle, the river, you know,
freshwater, saltwater whatever it takes. We want it to be
nice, we want families to be able to come here, want to have
plenty of parking and a nice facility so, you know, well,
we'll work here for 'til as long as it takes, until we
retire! You know? Right now I think we've found our nook. My
husband and I are very happy here and it's- it's a lot of
hard work, though, it's a lot of hard work. And you can't
ever say, "Okay, we've made this, you know, we've worked this
far and now we have to stop." You know, it's a continuous
thing. You have to constantly shoot for excellence and as

good friend of my told me, "You'll never reach it." But as
long as you're constantly trying, then you have something to
reach for. 'Cause if you went for, like say, the money, well,
you'd reach your goal. And then what? You know, if you
constantly shoot for excellence, you'll never make it, but
you'll always try. And you'll always be challenged.
DAVIS: Okay, tell me about your background in fishing, with
like, your parents and stuff.
REED: Well, mostly, it was, we did like the family thing in
the afternoons and stuff. My parents, my mom, when she was
young, you know, they did the cane fishing pole thing or we'd
go down to the river and stuff. But, but growing up, it was
something I just really liked and then my sister married
somebody who loves to do sports fishermen. And so from then
on, and they live on the water right down the street, and so
that's how we really got into it big time because he taught
me a lot about fishing, too. You know, but I just have always
loved to fish ever since I was little and so my parents would
take us. like, on the weekends and we lived in Daytona for a
while and we'd go down to the Port Orange Bridge, they had a
little park down there and we'd sit on the park and fish and
then eventually it got to where we got to get our first
canoe, and man, we taught we had a yacht. [laughs] Because we
were out there in the water. It was just, it's just there's
something about being on the water. It's it's breathless.
It's it's over-powering, it's something I can't explain and
it's just has always intrigued me and it's peaceful. You
know, the tranquility and people say "How can you sit out
there forever and fish? And what if you don't get a bite?"
And it's, I guess it's just a sport. In in a lot of ways it's
a sport. You know, you have to, if you're not there and you
miss that bite then, you know, you've missed your fish. But
when you get that fish and you know, you fight, sometimes you
have to fight 'em for a while and I mean sometimes it depends
on how big your fish is, but when you spend two hours
fighting a fish and you bring it in, you know, it's a great
challenge. And, you know, it depends on how big the fish is,
and what kind it is. You tag it and release it, put it back
in the ocean and there's a lot of things where you have to
measure it, see how big it is, make sure, you know, you're
within the law and stuff and then you just you know set it
free. Try to do as best you can, not to kill it because
sometimes if you don't get it back into the water real quick
then it will. That's why there's problems with the trout law
that they have. They want to try to close trout season in
November and December and they want to change the trout
limit, but the thing about trout is, once you pull a trout
out of the water and you try to put it back, nine times out
of ten it's going to die. And then you've not done anybody
any good, because it's dead. It's a dead fish floating in the
river. You know, [laughs] no matter how big or small it is,
it's still dead. And that was one of the things, like, we're
trying to go and fight before the governor, you know, instead
of making it a slot limit of fourteen to twenty-four or


I I '

fifteen to twenty, which is what they want to change it to,
why not make it a bag limit of however many ever you catch in
the first. Just for that particular category, which is trout
because you pull a croaker out of the water, you can put a
croaker back in. It's going to live for a long time. But a
trout is a very, it's it's not a real sturdy fish once it
comes out of the water. Nine times out of ten, it's going to
die. So, you have to be careful when your fishing, too, you
know, if it's not regulation and you can't keep it, you have
to hurry up and get it back in the water and try not to take
the hook out and make it bleed and everything or else it will
die. So, there's good points and bad points in the fishing
community and the laws that, you know, that they've set
because of course there are people who out there and catch
thirty kind of one fish. You know, and they don't need that
many. You know, and everybody realizes that there has to be
some limitations in everything, but you have to also remember
that this is America. you know, [laughs] and not the Gastopo.
So, it's it's hard to say, but I think that some of the
regulations are good and some of 'em are a little too stiff.
I think they should measure each community on it's own, you
know. Instead of make an over-all law for the entire state.
Because, like here, the trout are very plentiful where they
might not be somewhere else. And the reds right here are very
plentiful. You know, and they have a real stiff law on those,
too. So, it all depends on what, what kind of fish you can
catch in each part of the state and different things like
DAVIS: So how often do you get to go out fishing now that you
work here?
REED: Well, actually my husband and I went yesterday for the
first time in about four weeks. We only have one day off a
week, so we don't get to fish very much. But we try to fish
late in the afternoon when we get off of work if it's not too
late and we don't have too many things to do. But we almost
always try to fish at least once a week. You know, we're
lucky if we can fish two or three times. We miss it. And
people come in, like yesterday, this man came in. He caught
an eleven-and-a-half pound flounder while he was sleeping on
his dock. He was sitting in a chair asleep and it hooked
itself and he didn't realize it. He went to, he woke up and
was going to reel his line in he felt like, I thought, he
said thought he was stuck and he pulled it up and it was an
eleven-and-a-half pound flounder. And I'm like "we want to
fish, we want to fish!" But, you know, you just, you have to
work everyday, so you gotta do what you can. But we, in the
afternoons we go out on our dock and the back you know, throw
out a couple times see if we get any bites. If we do, we stay
for a little while. See if we can catch some fish. If not,
then we go home. [laughs]
DAVIS: Okay, try to describe a typical day here.
REED: A typical day. Well, let's see. We open up at six in
the morning, we come in, stock the coolers, get all the
tac kle and everything ready. Johnny goes out to the bait

house and checks on all the bait. He goes through all the
bens, like we carry shrimp, and live mullet, and live mud
minnows, and live fiddlers. So, we have to feed them all.
They all have to be fed or else they eat each other. [laughs]
So, you know, what we do is, he usually goes through shrimp
ben first and takes out that has died through the night and
what we've lost because you will lose some. It's just
nature's law. And what we take out we either sell for fresh
dead if we can, if they're in good enough shape and what we
can't sell, we take and peel and feed to the fiddler crabs in
the back ben or we feed them to the mud minnows. And then he
goes through the mullet tank and what mullet die, we pull
them out. Mostly the fiddler crabs eat almost everything
that's scrap, so that takes up a big part of the day going
through, you know. And while he's doing that, I'm in here
getting everything ready and by six-thirty, the fishermen are
here. Almost always, sometimes they're lined out the door at
six o'clock. On Saturday and Sunday, it's non-stop. From six
to eight, it's just non-stop. They're in and out, because
people want to get in and get their bait and everything and
get out on the water in the morning time. You know, and then
you look up and you've slowed down a minute and it's lunch
time. So one of us runs for lunch or we bring lunch and we
eat and it's, over and over, people coming in and you
constantly, like we make liters and stuff, you know, for the
fish because there's all different kinds of ways to rig a
pole for different kinds of fish. Like if you want to fish
for trout, a lot of people use a float. If you want to fish
for a flounder, they usually use a sliding, what we call an
egg sinker weight, that rolls up and down. Each fish is
different so each liter has to be different, and we have,
like, double liters and single liters that we have to work
on. And hooks, we have to keep in stock all different
varieties of hooks and I order them everyday and fill them in
our little bags and put them up there. I spend a lot of time
on hooks because we sell a lot of hooks. And lead, we have
to keep our lead filled up. So basically, I spend my day, if
I'm not working on, if I'm not waiting on the customers and
stuff, filling and stocking and just like you would do in a
regular store and just being with the people. And then, you
know, we have to take care of all the bait and everything,
all the fish and the shrimp and go through, and we feed them.
You know, a lot of time we feed 'em like, if we don't, the
water, sometimes we have problems with the water being fresh
and there's not enough salt in it for them to eat. So we have
to get special salt from pet stores and stuff and we have to
test the water and make sure we keep the salinity right so
the shrimp and the mullet won't die. Mud minnows are very
sturdy fish, they almost live through anything. [laughs] But
shrimp and mullet are not sturdy at all and so you have to
really have to make sure that you take care of the water and
keep it fresh. And we constantly change the water, twice a
day, which means we have to go take. we have a pump that runs
out to our dock and brings the water in out of the river and

, i .

all, we bring it into all of the bait wells. Scrub 'em all
down and clean 'em all out and leave, you know, enough water
in their for the shrimp and the mullet to breathe and we
change the water out twice a day. And keep it, we're
constantly flushing it in from the ocean. And that's pretty
much a day! [laughs]
DAVIS: A busy day!
REED: [laughs] Yes! At some times it's very busy. It's like,
"Oh, man! How am I going to get to all these things?"
DAVIS: Well, do you think that the Jacksonville Jaguars, like
the football team, has that slowed down business on Sundays
and stuff?
REED: You know what? To tell you the truth, it doesn't seem
like it. It's like, I've noticed on Sundays if there's a
game, they come in, the fishermen come in, "Hey, what's going
on with the game? You know what's going on?" And we have a
radio here, of course we always keep it on and so, you know.
I try to keep updates on what's going on with the fishing.
But a lot of times I see them, they take their little radios
with them. We had a man last week, he came in here. He had
his boat and his crew. He had a little mounted television
that he was taking with him [laughs], out into the ocean so
that he could watch the game and he was all set. And I was
like, Wow! So, but, I mean, on Sunday, like if they're
playing Sunday afternoon, I noticed it might slack off a
little earlier than it usually does. But, pretty much, they
just come and check on the scores [laughs] If they can't
take it with 'em, you know. Sometimes it's a little slower.
Certain days, it depends almost always on who they're
playing, too. But, I think the Jaguars have brought us a lot
of business in, too. in a lot of ways. Because people come
here for the games and stuff and they stay at our hotels and
then they, one weekend, the weekend that we played the
Chicago Bears, here in town, we were, that Saturday (they
played on Sunday, the 15th) and on the 14th we were steady
all day, all day steady on. And it was people coming in
asking about Heckshire Drive and where people go to fish and
stuff like that. And it was people from out of state that had
come to see the game. You know, and they were here for the
Jacksonville Jaguars game and they heard about Heckshire
Drive and all the fishing and everything that is down here,
because there is quite a few, you know, little creeks and
little nifts where you can go and fish and so there was quite
a few people that came in and said they were on a drive and
had either heard our commercial on the radio or just from
other people, word of mouth. So I thought that was
interesting. I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars has
definitely brought more people to Jacksonville, like on the
weekends and stuff, tourism-wise.
DAVIS: Okay, in your experience with fishing, have you ever
heard of any superstitions or ghost stories?
REED: Yeah. [laughs] In fact, I heard an odd one the other
day. This man, he was going home to cook fish and he was
getting some cookies and I said, "Well, all you need is some

milk to go with that!" And he said, "Oh, no ma'am. Can't have
no milk today." And I said, "Why?!" And he said, "Well,
because it's a superstition, that you never drink fish and
milk together. You never drink milk if you're gonna eat
fish." And I said, "Okay." I said, "Why?" He said, "It's a
bad omen." And I said, "Okay, I'll take your word for it!"
[laughs] I thought that was kinda strange. I'd never heard
that one before. But, you know, people like, this one man, he
comes every week, he gets Diet Pepsi, for his shrimp. He buys
dead shrimp and he kept coming in, he said, "You don't have
any Diet Pepsi." He came in and he said, "You don't have any
Diet Pepsi." And I said, "No, but I have Diet Coke right
outside in the Coke machine. And he said, "Oh, no, that won't
due." And I said, "Okay, well I'll try to get some in for you
next week." And he said, "I .got. to have Diet Pepsi." And I
said, "Is that just your favorite soda or what?" And he said,
"No, I use it for my shrimp." He said, "I take and I soak my
shrimp in the Diet Pepsi and something with the nutra-sweet
and it's only in the Diet Pepsi for him. According to him.
he was on a bridge and he was fishing, and every time he does
it. he catches fish left and right and nobody else around him
was catching: any fish. And so now every week he comes in and
bus his Diet Pepsi and his pound of fish and off to the
bridge he goes. And he, always comes back with fish. So, I
mean, I think evervbod.' has their own little thing. I mean, a
lot of fishermen like to use certain types of hooks that is
straight up, no matter what, they gotta have that kinda hook
and that's it. Some people only like to fish with live bait,
they won't accept anything less than live bait. Has to be
live shrimp, or, you know, live mullet. We, sometimes if we
don't have mullet, we have dead mullet. They, "It's gotta be
live!" So, yeah, I guess each fisherman has his own little
Euperstitions and the way he likes to fish, his own little
secrets. And they don't always like to tell you, either.
DAVIS: What about ghost stories, have you heard any of those?
REED: No, I have never heard any ghost stories. But like I
said. I've only been here a few months, so, but no, I
haven't heard any, any eerie stories about the fishermen
coming back to haunt the place.
DAVIS: Do you do anything special, personally, when you go
out fishing?
REED: No, I just always remember not to put my hand in the
bucket if I have bug spray on it. 'Cause that'll kill your
shrimp and things like that. But I just try to make sure I
have plenty of bait. I go certain little spots where I see
the water is calm and [MAN'S VOICE SAYS: "she tries to catch
'em"] mm-hmm. Just like everybody else. That's basically it,
'cause with fishing, that's why they call it 'fishing'
instead of 'catching'. [laughs]
DAVIS: Has being a woman ever effected your being in the fish
camp industry or fishing?
REED: I think it has to a little bit. I mean. I wished it
didn't, but I think it does. I think that, when people come
in here and they see a woman, like their first instinct is

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that I don't always know what I'm talking about. So, you
know, I try very hard to make sure that I do. You know I read
up, I listen, I learn from other people, because I feel like
I have to try just a little bit harder than the next person,
whereas, if a man walked in and asked a man behind the
counter where they're biting and he said, "Sister's Creek."
Down the street they'd go. Comes in and asks me and I said,
"Sister's Creek." He'd say, "Oh, yeah? Well, who told you
that?" Couldn't just be because I know that's where they are.
But, on the other hand, I guess it keeps me challenged. You
know, it keeps me on my toes so that I know what I'm doing
and so that as long I am aware of the things that are around
me, people will respect me for who I am, not what sex I am.
But it does have a defect. And like this one man came in, and
he came in, my husband had sent him in, he didn't know how to
make a liter, and so I went over and showed him 'cause he
wanted to make his own. And he said, "You know, this is
killing me, to have to learn from a woman." And so after it
is was all over and I showed him everything that he wanted to
know, he left. He shook my hand, he smiled and said, "But it
was a pleasure to learn it from you." So, you know, that made
me feel good. And I thought, well maybe I did my good deed
for the da And showed him that it doesn't necessarily
matter if you're a man or a woman. As long as you know what
you're doing and you try, that's all that matters. But
sometimes it's effective. Like, you know, you get a lot of
country people that come in and' gentlemen who just, you know,
they talk rough and thev say, "Hey, sweet" and "Darlin" and
I try very hard to just, you know, over look it and not take
it personally because of the situation of where you are and
stuff. And you know, you try to make the customer happy and
sometimes you'd like to say, "I'm not your sweetheart. My
name is ." But, you know, you can't do that because
they're your customers and they're the people who come in
here and make your living for ya. So you have to definitely
put your emotional side away when you work in a place like
this. Or, actually, when you work in business period anymore.
To be a woman, it's a little bit harder. And, if you're
learning from men, it's very hard, you know, because they
teach you like you're a child instead of their buddy, you
know. It's a different level when they teach you and sometime
it's hard. But, as long as you listen very carefully to what
they say and try not to take it personally, and remember that
this is about business and not about you, then you learn.
DAVIS: Has the net ban affected your business?
REED: No, it hasn't affected my business in the fact, as far
as fishing goes, it has affected me in the sense that people
are upset now because supposedly with the net ban, that was
going to, you know, fix the fishing. And now they're changing
the rules on the fish, the individual fish as it is also. So,
you know, people come in and they complain a lot about that,
but, which is nothing I can change. [laughs] You know, the
law is the law. But I know the price of seafood has really

gone up since the net ban. That has affected the industry and
we don't sell fish here, but a lot them do and you know the
price of fish is more expensive. So, that's one place where
the net ban has affected. And I see a lot of people out of
work because of it, you know. And that's hard.
DAVIS: What about the trout law? How will that affect you if
that goes in?
REED: That will affect me very drastically because in
November and December, is when our busiest time of the month
because it cools off and that trout come in and people come
fishing, whereas, like, a lot and older people come fishing
that can't fish during the summertime when it's, you know, 90
degrees out there. You can't sit on that dock. And they come
out here in the winter-time and they fish non-stop. I mean,
there's this one lad', and she's been out here every day this
week. you know, to fish because it's cooler, it's not as hot.
and thc trout are running. If thev close trout season in
November and December my business will all but stop. And
it's., you know, it's a hard enough t; make it during the
winter when the business is slower as it is. but during
November and December, that's what kinda carries you over
until you get past the winter-time. And if the> close that,
it's- we'll just be in big trouble because they'll take away
all of our income for thcos.; months because that's who comes
out here. And the things about it is, is that the trout are
plentiful. The., are :o plentiful here. You know, there might
be scrrome place where they're not plentiful, but that is rnot in
Jacksonville and rit on Heckshire Drive anywhere. Because I
can go anywhere and catch a trout. And they. you know, I
could see if the-' wanted to close it in April or May, because
that's when the fish spawn. I could understand that. You
kncw, that's when they close down the red fish, during April.
May, and June, because that's when they spawn and, vou know,
you don't want to kill them then because, of course, the-'re
having other fish. That's no problem. But during November and
December, they're not spawning, they're just running
[laughs]. And that's when you can catch them the most and it
would definitely affect our business. I mean, we have quite a
bit of people who come here every year, during that time.
From November and December they come from Georgia, they come
from North Carolina. They come down and stay in Jacksonville
during those months. Elderly people, who retire, and come
and fish here for months, you know, a couple months at a
time. And, like right now, if you look up and down this
street, wherever there are places for campers, they're full.
Everybody is full for November and December. Completely.
DAVIS: So, what did you do before you started the fish camp
REED: I was a cake decorator.
DAVIS: A cake decorator?
REED: Mm-hmm. In fact we lived in, my husband and I. lived in
Daytona and I lived there since I was eleven, when I was
originally born in Jacksonville, and we moved to Daytona when
_ T .--. vun:! And T've lived there ever s.I n e an.d, four. ,-

actually six months ago, my brother-in-law called me and he
said, "How would you like to be in the fish business?" And I
said, "What do you mean?" He said, "well, there's a little
piece of property. It's real enchanting and we can turn it
into a really nice bait and tackle shop if we, you know, work
really hard at it." And so I said, I worked at Winn-Dixie,
I'd been there for five years. I was a cake decorator and
it's, you know, it's something that I like and I enjoy and I
still do it on the side, but it, it wasn't a career where I
was going to make a lot of money. And, you know, where I was
constantly challenged and, you know, I worked for somebody
else. I worked in a deli and it was nice to think of being my
own boss. You know, and it's a lot harder to be your own
boss, it's a lot harder, I realized, you know. When I first
came here, I was under the misconception that it would be
easier, you know, to run your own business and be on your
own. But it's a lot easier when somebody else calls the
shots. When you have to make those decisions in do-or-die.
it's very scary.
[NOT ON TAPE: Ivy Eigbee asks about a high-tide low-tide sign
in the front of the store.]
PEED: That was here when we came here. We just took over and
we go out and turn it around everyday and lets people know
what's high-tide and low-tide. Half the time the wind blows
it sometimes so I have to go out there and check it every
once and a while. It's ri.llv nice and the people like to
get their fish, like the> come and the-' bring, their fish when
thev catch a fish. That's a big thing. They come, and the-
b rinig, they put their fish and and take picture: of them and
put them up on the board. And then the 're- so excited. "Oh,
man! I trade it on the board this weet ." You know, it's
something that's nice, 'cause I guess it's some kind a
recognition for people.
DAVIS: So what about the history of this place?
REED: The history of this: fish camp?
DAVIS: Of this fish camp. Do you know anything?
REED: Well, I know that there was a man who used to rent it.
is name was Pops. And I guess he was here for like, a long,
long time because people still come in all the time and they
ask about him. And they say, "How is Pops?" And he, I believe
he had to retire because he got, you know, too old and he had
a heart attack and stuff. But they come in, they always come
in, "How's Pops? Have you seen Pops? How's Pops?" You know,
and I don't personally know Pops. But, you know, people come
that have, from out of town. Like this one man, he said he
comes through every year, he was from Washington, and he came
every year, you know, he always came to see Pops. And you
know, that's something I've noticed now people, when they go,
they come from out of town, you know. And I've only been
here four months. And they stop by whenever they come
through. They stop by. And they, you know, they go out on
the pier, they fish for a while, and they get back in their
car and they drive home to wherever they live. People are
just, there's something about fish camps that enchant people.


You know, that just make 'emt stop and come and see what's in
it, you know, what's it's all about. It's basically just
about fishing. All different kinds. But it's a lot of fun.
BIGBEE: So, how old is this fish camp?
REED: This one has been here for almost, I believe, 35 years.
And we took over in August. But there's some up and down the
drive, you know, that other people, up and down the drive,
have had for a long time. But a lot of them, the fishing
community has, it's dwindled, you know, they are a dying
breed. That's one of the things, when we came in here, we
wanted to bring it back, we wanted it to be a family thing.
You know, where people would come and we didn't want to have
the aura of the drunks, and you know, all that hanging' out
and stuff like that. Because that's net appealing and that's
why they're probably dwindling down a lot. And so we like to
bring the family image back into it and people come fish and
spend time. A lot of these have turned into. because the
fishing community is going down so much, they're struggling
so much, you know, that they're going to other things.
They're bringing in, you know, bars, and stuff at night and
dart gIames and stuff like that. But we did just the opposite
We took out the pool table.. [END OF SIDE 1 (ran out of tape)]
REED: (con't) A lot of people, we took all the stuff out, we
tock out the pool. there was a pool table here and dart game
and stuff like that, and we took that out because we didn't
want it to appear to be, you know, lik: a bar. We wanted it
to be a fishing, a place where you come and you buy tackle
and. you know, your bait and everything that you need. And of
cou-rsc we have snacks and we do carry alcohol, but, you know.
we want it to be more of a, where you come to get your stuff
to gro fishing. That's what we, you know, that's what it used
to be. It used to be the place to go where you went, you
know, every week and you went out on the pier with your kids
and you caught fish and you came back and you told big
stories about it and it's, in the last couple a years, it
seems to me that it's just, people aren't doing it anymore.
They weren't getting out, they weren't coming down because
they've gotten run down, a lot of them. You know, and they've
gotten to where, this one, when we came here, it was so
growed up that I would have never come in here. I would have
never walked in here. And that was the first thing we said,
we got to get the front cleaned up, we got to get everything
cleaned up and turned around, so that people will come back.
So it's, you know, it's not just the industry whose hurting,
people have to want to make this better. They have- to want to
make the fish camps what they used to be. And I think that
Heckshire Drive is really starting to thrive again. You know,
between White Shell, that's a pretty nice fish camp, and this
one is coming back. There's a lot of different little fish
camps up and down this street that just need somebody to take
them and nurture them and clean 'em up and they could be, you
know, thriving again, I think. As long as the laws don't hurt
us too bad, like you know, but, I mean, with that trout law,
L L -r rL.

that. In fact, we're going November 21st to Tallahassee,
quite a few of the people in the, like the local shrimpers
from here and one or two representatives, hopefully, from
each fish camp will get to go up there and we'll talk to the
governor and let him know that, you know, this is something
we desperately need. This is, small business in America can
and will work if you help us, you know, and that would
definitely hurt us in a big way. So, we're going to do
whatever we can to change it and make it happen.
DAVIS: Do you think that, since you took out the pool table
and the dart table, do you think that's made your business
even better?
REED: Oh, it's tripled, it's made it, I know that it's made
it better You know what I mean? A lot of people saI that's;
Sprt of the ambience of fish camp and m nbe it is, you know.
And a lct cf people up and down this drive do that, but, that
wasn't t he image that we wanted. And, of course. you know.
we're ne, ,you know, we haven't been in this. busineCss for a
:o:ng timrr. So:,. but we wanted te turn it Lack into when we
were1- little and we used to come out here. You know, it w:s a
fish place. It was a place- where cyu came and you got bait
and tac kle and t hey had every > thin t h t you needed n
through the ''ears the>' 'v'e just kinda went, dwindled down. And
it's a c!:.'ing i ndc.u tr>'. Aind it car cm-ore. back, but I thin.
definitely when we took out the pool table and the bar and
the-- ::.- rt t.ame not that there's anyt-hinr1 wro ng with those
things, '-ut w. wanted this to be a place wher-e you came and
you .oug.,ht tackle, you know. And people aren't willing to
bring their :children into a place where there's a bar sitting
up h d--'.e and a lot of times, you know, and there's people
pla'-in' pool over there and drinking and smoking and things
like that. You don't want to take your six-vear-cld ch ild
into a place like that. You knew. you wouldn't think twice
about bringingg your si,:-vear--old child into this place. You
know, you wouldn't. Because there's nothing here that could
harm him. It's:, you know, it's a good thing. I mean, for
years and years. fathers and sons have fished and families
and mothers and daughters and you know, everybody. And it's a
good wholesome thing, it's, you know, an inexpensive way to
entertain your family. And we want to bring that back to
DAVIS: Approximately what age group do you think you get the
most of, like families or old people or ?
REED: I think it's hard to say, to tell you the truth,
because there's so many different. I mean, we do have a lot
of young people, you knew, between the ages of twenty and
thirty, but we have the senior citizens that come out here,
too, you know. They come basically. I'd say mostl- though.
are fisher the people who fish are between h- ages of twenty"
and forty. Right in there. Here. they come into here, but it
ranges, it a very wide- range and all walks cf life. All
different kinds of people, you know, in fact we had about
eight Asian people come in here the day before yesterday and
they could hardly any of 'em could speak English. But they

i 1

came in and they had to get Non-Florida Resident Fishing
Licenses and they were with some Florida residents and they
were taking them down, you know, to go fishing and there was,
like, ten of 'em. And they were so excited, you know, you
could just see it in their face. They were so excited and
they all stood at the little door and got their little
fishing licenses and went and got the little things. And the
one man, he was taking 'em around and showing them what they
would need and everything and they'd left with their little
packages and out the door.. And they were so excited, you
could tell that they were so excited and I really hope that
they caught some fish because they were so excited about
going fishing. So, you know, that's. I mean, it's all walks
of life, all different kinds of people, all ages. And, I
mean, we have .kid that walk down the :street from nreighboring
houses. The'- walk down the street with their best friend,
they come in and get their dozen shrimp and off they go
fishing. [laughs]
DAVIS: Have you ever taught somebody how to fish. when they
came in here?
PEED: U!j-i-huh.
DAVIS: When the- did not know how?
REED: In fact, w-' had man who. came anid h1- wanted to take
his children fishing and so, you know, when the'- came we was
going' to :g out orn our pier He got lis child-ren life jackets
'cau:. we have a rule abut ki.d being or the docc- without a.
they hs.ve t.: have life jackets if the- 're under six, and got
him set up and I. he didn't know how to fish so he bought a
pole. We took him a pole anc' I ran it through for him, I
ri'ged it all up, and I showed him how to do it anrd he went
out, :you knoii, and thev went out and I think that day they
probably caught like four catfish. Eut thel- were so hafpp.
Just that they cau:lht a fish ond, like' you can't keep
saltwater catfish, some people do, but I wouldn't eat a
saltwater catfish. But they were excited just because the-
caught fish. And it was something fun and new.


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