Innovative "smartbait" lure to hit market in summertime

Barbara Bateman, of Grovetown, shows off the 20-pound-plus striped bass she caught in Thurmond Lake's Raysville area while fishing with Ralph Barbee, of Evans. The fish struck a Yellow Fellow lure.

The term, “seeing red,” mostly applies to anyone getting angry over an incident, angry enough to give the offender a “knuckle sandwich.”


“Seeing red” also applies to fish like largemouth bass, but in its case, when it sees that color in a lure, it thinks it’s injured or dying and therefore easy prey.

Enter the “Smartbait.”

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of talking to Mike and Leslee Dingman, who live in Canada across the St. Lawrence Seaway from Alexandria Bay, N.Y. Last year, they had the opportunity to buy a small tackle shop in their home country whose owners had developed a technology new to the tackle industry. It had taken the originators two years to develop the color change principle.

The Dingmans exhibited the lures at the recent Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo. They had cups of cold and warm water in which they immersed the lures and it took about 20 seconds for each to change into a myriad of colors, including red around the belly. When pulled out, the lure changes back to its original colors.

I’ll have some testimonials later from well-known anglers who have caught bass on the lures. Meanwhile, the company is so new that it is just beginning to develop packaging and marketing strategies. “We hope they’ll be out by late June or early July, but we don’t know where just yet,” Leslee said.

• There is a new guide in this report. Bill Speer is an expert largemouth bass fisherman who plies his skills on Lake Russell. Check it out.

• Hayes Marine will hold its fifth annual RV and Boat Show today through Sunday at Evans Towne Center Park. Also participating are Augusta Marine, Lincoln Marine and Platinum Marine. Showtime is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. Augusta Marine also will have a show from 10 a.m., to 6 p.m., today and Saturday and 1 p.m., to 5 p.m., Sunday.


Fishing report


Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Pierre Lampkin, Thomson, caught three stripers and four crappies in our fish house on minnows. Capt. Gary Edge and Chris Beasley and Jonathan Olyowsk, from Grovetown, caught 83 crappies and five hybrids in Germany Creek with minnows. James Graham, Martinez, caught 25 crappies in the fish house on minnows. Todd Gray caught three crappies on jigs in the fish house.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 ( – Water temperatures are in the low 50s. The lake is muddy upriver and stained on lower end. We had a good weekend, catching stripers and largemouth on herring fished behind planer boards. Richard Fry and his group from Orlando, Fla., were here for a conference and we got out for a few hours last Friday evening. They had a blast. Saturday was pretty much the same way. March is always the transition month and we’re really ready for the spring breakout.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Last Saturday at 5 p.m., Barbara Bateman caught a 20-pound-plus striped bass on a Yellow Fellow off a point near Red Bank Island in upper Little River near Raysville. She also caught a 6-pounder, but neither Ralph nor her husband, Virgil, caught anything. The Batemans live in Grovetown.

Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, My12TV, Knology Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell ( (706) 421-6630 – Last Sunday, I took out Herb Flick and his son Chase, 12, from Harlem, for a day of pre-spawn bass fishing. The fish were holding near deep water on the first secondary points in from the main lake. We caught 2- to 3½-pound early males on Strike King lipless crank baits in a Sexy Shad color and Thundershad crank baits in a copper mesh pattern and the Flat-A in a bass color. Extended weather forecasts indicate the lake should start warming to the magic 55-degree mark in the coming week. Look for bigger fish to start moving up in the next few weeks. I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch. You can reach me on Facebook at Lake Russell Bass Fishing as well as through my Web site and phone number.

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 267-4313 (Bradd), (803) 507-5083 (Andrew) – Our fish are coming herring pulled behind planer boards off secondary points in 35 to 40 feet of water in Parksville, Georgia Flats and around Mosley and Cherokee creeks. Some downline hybrids are being caught on the bottom in 50 feet of water. Crappie are getting shallower, suspended 12 to 13 feet down in 15 feet over trees in Dordon Creek and around Fishing Village. Those enjoying our trips included Dan, Shawn and Cameron Marler, Greenwood, S.C.; Robert Rhodes, Evans; Shane Moore, Augusta; William Reynolds, Augusta; Chris Craven, Brenda Summers, Deanna Durden, all of Aiken; Tye Key, North Augusta; Keith Martin, Evans; Gary Roberts, Aiken, and Sam Ranier, Evans.

Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date pictures.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – It’s been tough, with a slow bite. The crappies doing well way up the lake. Crappies are moving into the backs of creeks. That fish is the best to fish for right now. Check out my Web site at



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( – The Toccoa River is now fishable again. Since the near constant dam generation is over. The trout are hungry! We’ve had the best luck with large, rubberleg stone fly nymphs, fished in the deep holes and in the riffles. There also are significant caddis hatches in the afternoon hours on the river. Look for the first few rises and tie on a black elk hair caddis, size 16. Soque River is also fishing extremely well as we roll into spring. The fish seem fully recharged and willing to eat a lot of flies, although we’ve caught most big trout on pink San Juan Worms.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Plans are being made to hold a bowfishing tournament on the ponds. Anyone who has the knowledge of how to operate such an event is asked to call Gene Kirkland. Last Saturday’s bass tournament winners were Michael Grubbs Sr. and Jr., with a 5-pound big fish and a 13.5-pound catch. They caught the fish in the Expressway Pond.The tournament continues this week and runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Memberships are still available. See Gene for details.

Brickyard report: David Young and Ray Wayne caught 24 crappies and five bass in the Pollard Pond on jigs and minnows. Bubba Johnson caught 15 crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. Jason Buttle caught 20 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Jimmy Farh caught 32 crappies and two bass on minnows in the Garden Pond. Cecil Jenkins caught 19 crappies, six catfish and one bass on minnows and worms in the Expressway Pond. Paul Wolfe and Robbie Herdrick caught and released 18 bass over a period of a week in the Membership Pond.

Lock and dam (Savannah River): Joe Sanchez caught 18 shad, one bass and eight channel catfish on cut shad and Sabiki Rigs. Samuel Davis caught 12 crappies and two bass on minnows and jigs. Donald Maxwell landed six shellcrackers, seven yellow perch, two jacks and one bass on Roostertails and minnows. Sandra Howell caught six channel catfish and two blue catfish on cut baits.


Thu, 08/24/2017 - 00:02


Wed, 08/23/2017 - 23:32

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