We departed King Fisher Bay Marina in Demopolis Alabama on Monday morning.
We were hoping for a quick lockage at the Demopolis lock (2 miles from the marina), because we had about 100 miles to travel to get to Bobby’s Fish Camp.
I called the lock master at 6:30am and asked what the traffic looked like, he said ” nothin on the schedule, come on down”.
We made it to the lock at 7:15am (with 5 other boats) only to find out that there was now a southbound tow that had just called in. We had to wait for the tow to lock thru and by the time we got out of the lock it was now 9:30am.
The beauty of the 43 Viking, unlike most trawlers, is that we have speed when we need to use it. Of the 6 boats exiting the lock at 9:30am, we were the only boat to make it to Bobby’s before sunset.
We normally drive 10mph (ie , 100 miles = 10 hours).
On this day the Viking did 20mph for 4 hours (80 miles), and 10mph for 20 miles (2 hours).
We were at Bobby’s at 3:30pm !
It was important for us to get to Bobby’s early because there are only 4 dockage spots, then you have to raft off of other boats, and pay the same price whether docked with power or rafting while using your generator.
To our delight, when we arrived at Bobby’s, we were greeted by our very good friends Odyssey (Bud/Sue), Rula Bula (Mike/JoAnn), and Bucket List (Larry/Cindy). It could not have been more perfect, we did not know if we would be with “other Loopers” that we did knot know, but met up with some of our best pals.
Bobby’s Fish Camp is an iconic stop on the Loop. It is one of the “Must Stop” locations, much like Hoppies on the Mississippi.
It is really just a barge with fuel and power (no water, no showers, no toilets, no internet, no cell service). But it is the last fuel stop before Mobile.
Bobby’s Fish Camp is located on the Tombigbee River in the southwest part of Alabama. Bobby’s Fish Camp has been in operation for over half a century and is one of the oldest restaurants in southwest Alabama. Bobby E. Dahlberg built and opened the restaurant in 1956 to serve river traffic. He also built rental cabins on the river in the early 1960’s. The customers of Bobby’s Fish Camp were primarily local folks. In 1985, the Tenn-Tom Waterway opened which resulted in a significant increase with yacht traffic on the Tombigbee River. The yacht marinas at Demopolis, AL and Mobile, AL were nearly 240 miles apart and many yachts could not travel this far without refueling. At the request of the Demopolis Yacht Basin, Bobby Dahlberg installed a fueling station on the river at his Fish Camp which was about midway between the Demopolis and Mobile marinas. Bobby’s Fish Camp became the smallest marina of the Tenn-Tom Marina Association. In the years since the opening of the Tenn-Tom, yachts from all over the world have visited Bobby’s with some making it a routine stop.
Bobby’s Fish Camp has the reputation for serving some of the best fried catfish in southwest Alabama. Additionally, visiting Bobby’s is like traveling back in time. The place is filled with all types of collectibles and artifacts. On the walls are pictures of old steamboats and places that no longer exist. Bobby Dahlberg operated Bobby’s Fish Camp from 1956 until his death in February 2010. It is now operated by his daughter, Lora Jane Dahlberg Mcllwain. The Fish Camp is open seven days a week for river traffic (boat fueling and docking, boat launches, ice, soft drinks, etc.) and to rent cabins and RV sites. The restaurant is open three nights each week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
It was a Monday night, but they opened the restaurant for us 4 Looper couples.
We had some fine catfish dinners at the restaurant.
The place is truly iconic for Loopers.
Oh BTW – we also saw more Monarch Butterflies.
Jonell says that we have seen a Monarch Butterfly EVERY DAY since we left Lake St Clair.
She says that they are Mo-Jan & Mo-Faye (our mothers) following us to keep us safe.
I’m not sure which one is in this photo, they take turns watching over us !