My friend, Jay Jennings, earlier this week asked if I was going to go fishing on snow day.
“Snow way!” I told him.
But his question made me think back many years ago when Tommy and Rose Nell Shaw were operating Little River Sportsman’s Camp. It was beginning to snow when Tommy said, “Let’s go fishing,” so I drove up and we went out in his boat.
We started fishing a deep hole on the Lincoln County side of Little River Bridge, using spoons. I remember traffic coming over the bridge as snow flakes were swirling and brakes screeching as motorists caught sight of us. They couldn’t believe their eyes.
But we caught several largemouth bass in the 2- to 3-pound category (this was during the pre-hybrid and pre-striper days).
More than 30 years ago, it was snowing and I was on Lake Marion with Dan Upton, of Santee Cooper Country, and a guide. Temperatures were in the 20s, but we were all bundled up.
We were fishing bucktails and Little George Spinners, the stripers were schooling and we were catching ‘em. We didn’t see another boat that day.
Now that I am older (just turned 79), I can’t stand icy temperatures, so I stay off the lake until warmer weather arrives.
• A hunting accident is keeping defending Bassmaster Classic champ Cliff Pace, of Petal, Miss., from defending his title in the 2014 Classic on Lake Guntersville Feb. 21-23. Pace was descending from a tree stand when he fell and broke his left leg in two places.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Last Monday, Bob Vernoy and I fished the Raysville area for six hours and never got a strike until the last hour. I threw a special spinnerbait made up for Vernoy by Cypress Creek Custom Spinnerbaits (B.J. Green) in Lexington, Tenn. Bob let me use his rod and reel and on the fourth cast, I caught a largemouth bass that weighed more than 10 pounds. It was the third 10-pound bass of my life. Bob made me throw back the fish and also wouldn’t let me use his rod and reel any more.
Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, WOW! 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 (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – The fronts keep rolling and the fishing changes from day to day. Water temperature is in the low to mid 40s, some areas are stained and others are not. Fishing has been tough. I am throwing a new 3/8-ounce swim jig from Greenfish at the Tackle Shop in Martinez. I am working it around schools of shad and am trying to make it look like one of the dying shad In dirty water. I throw the chartreuse/white with a silver head. I also am throwing a jerk bait and working it really slow and bumping a half-ounce jig along ledges and drops. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a safe launch as well as a nice lunch. The marina is open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:30 until 6 p.m.
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) – Surface temperatures have fallen into the low 40s. Hybrids and stripers are beginning to show up in good groups around Germany Creek and Amity. They’re also holding tight in the South Carolina Little River area. We are finding good schools in 25 to 30 feet of water and catching them on downlines in the mouths of creeks or off secondary points. Live herring and shiners work best. This weekend is shaping up to be nice weather with light winds and the fish ought to turn on. Generation is slowing down at Thurmond Dam with the lake reaching winter guide curves, making for some great yellow perch, shellcracker and crappie fishing. This week, we enjoyed catching an ice chest full of hybrids and crappies with Adam Carnahan, Beth Carnahan, Morgan Carnahan and Travis Carnahan, all of Augusta.
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NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 (www.flyfishingnorthgeorgia.com) (facebook.com/flyfishingnorth georgia) – Trout on private trophy streams are getting less fishing pressure now than at any time in the last few years. The biggest issue with fooling really big trout is usually not getting them to pay attention to the fly. It’s getting them to actually commit and eat the fly. And the biggest deterrent is typically how many times and how recently an artificial fly has been shown to a particular fish. So although cold weather has meant we’ve tied a lot more flies than we’ve caught trout this week, we can’t wait to catch some really big ones as temperatures rise over the next few days.