Stone Mountain, GA

A Fishing Club of Their Own-The Stone Mountain Hookers

Doc Lawrence
The Fishing Club for WomenMichael Sabatelle

By Doc Lawrence

They began during the height of the Covid pandemic. Fishing with friends-all retired women- at a beautiful private lake. Over a year later, the ladies of the Stone Mountain Hookers, a name they adopted, are still having fun, fishing regularly, and all the while learning the important basics of angling.

Baiting a hook? It can be daunting. What to do when you have a tug on your line? When a fighting fish is reeled to the surface, what then? And, there's the dreaded cleaning, a necessary step leading to a delicious meal.

Donna Bostick, a genuine Georgia Girl if there ever was one, is retired from AT&T. She's also an experienced angler who will bait a hook for those a little skittish and is a wizard at cleaning the fish. "Donna is very popular," said Stone Mountain folk artist and children's book author Olivia Thomason, one of the members who has enjoyed fishing since childhood days in North Carolina. "She can do it all.”

The Hookers fish from Pat Sabatelle's backyard dock on a private lake in Rockdale County. Sometimes they take a break and enjoy a cruise on Ms. Sabatelle's pontoon boat. "Hot coffee, pastries and snacks are always nearby," said Ms. Sabatelle. "We've done well with our catches, enjoying great lunches with fresh fish as main course." After retiring as a top executive with Atlanta's renowned Grizzard Agency, she travels to faraway places regularly with husband Michael.

The club members all agree that Pat Sabatelle is not only a gracious host and accomplished gourmet cook, but also generous in opening her home and lake to them. "Pat makes everything happen," said Texas native Rebecca Carlisle, another stalwart member who retired from the College of Charleston.

Betty Pompey, a personable Stone Mountain community leader who retired as an executive with the U.S. Postal Service, said she had some fishing experience while living in Savannah. "I showed up one morning with large surf-fishing lures and a salt-water, heavy-duty rod prompting some laughter." Ms. Pompey and others in the club now have rods, reels, line and hooks suitable for local lake fishing for native Bream, Bass, Crappie and Catfish.

Shelia Hortman, now living in Stone Mountain after a successful career in travel and tourism, has lived in Alaska and Wisconsin. "Our fishing, cooking, eating and laughter works magic," she said, adding that "the spiritual benefits from our friendship are blessings.

Georgia's popular outdoor sports journalist and fishing expert Polly Dean applauded the Stone Mountain Hookers. "These women are having fun, and that is all you need." She added that "there are immeasurable healing powers of fresh air, sunshine and Nature's beauty. It doesn't matter how good you are.”

The Stone Mountain Hookers have no charter, rules or dues. They sometimes meet for lunch or dinner away from the lake, either at member's home or a local restaurant. Almost spontaneously, they return to the lake's gentle waters, pour some hot coffee and start casting, patiently waiting for a dramatic stir in the water, that first catch of the day.

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Veteran journalist, editor and publisher (Nationwide News), and published author specializing in food, wine, drinks, visual and performing arts, travel and cultural tourism. Currently writing a screenplay, "Requiem for a Wine Taster."

Stone Mountain, GA

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