Tackle show in Florida had little that was new

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The Icast fishing tackle show in Orlando, Fla., produced over 300 “new” bits of tackle, but a quick glance at the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Web site report shows that a lot of it was just variations on current themes.

Keith Bass Jr. caught a 5½-pound largemouth bass with a black trick worm in the Merry Land Brickyard Ponds' White Elephant Pond.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Keith Bass Jr. caught a 5½-pound largemouth bass with a black trick worm in the Merry Land Brickyard Ponds' White Elephant Pond.

Soft baits mimicked crayfish, frogs and minnows – all had been done during the past decade – while hard bait manufacturers offered very little that was new. Storm Bait Co., for example, duplicated its hot-selling Wiggle Wart, with the only difference new colorations.

Soft plastic manufacturers produced worms that looked the same as previous models. A new hard bait was the Spro BBZ-1 Rat sporting a bright yellow tail and rainbow trout-like coloration on its body.

• The International Game Fish Association has declared a 10.48-pound Kentucky spotted bass caught in a California reservoir as the new all-tackle world record and 8-pound-test line class record.

The fish was caught last Feb. 22 in New Melones Reservoir by bass tournament competitor Keith Bryan, of Novato, Calif.

Fishing report

THURMOND LAKE

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 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temp mid 80s, but the reel temperatures are scorching. My parties are having great mornings on some really nice hybrids and stripers and it’s been another great week. James and Ilene Taylor brought their grandsons, Avery and Gavin. They had a good time catching 40 nice stripers and hybrids. Fred Jennings brought his son, Trey, and Ryan Sullivan brought his two sons, Evan and Nolan, and Ben Gross also came along on an early morning trip. They did very well, catching a cooler full of really nice fish. Hammond West and his friend, Robert were joined by and Bettis and his grandson, Bull Hammond. Bull is a fine baseball player, going to the state championship this year, but I believe he’s a better fishermen. He caught the biggest and the most fish. Dr. Glenn Owen and his son had a great morning catching limits. We look for the fishing to continue good for the next few weeks as the oxygenators work to keep the dissolved oxygen levels good from top to bottom and keeping the fish very aggressive.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Ronnie Fuller and I fished all over the lake Tuesday and caught just two fish – both jacks (chain pickerels) on spinnerbaits. We couldn’t raise a bass.

My new TV show features Tony Shepherd of Little River Guide Service. We caught 50 fish in 45 minutes.

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).

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) – Bradd: Even with the afternoon thunderstorms, the hybrid and striper bite has stayed strong. Water temperatures have dropped into the mid 80s, but should warm up slightly over the next week. Majority of action is coming around daybreak and lasting until 8:30 or 9. Look for humps in 35 to 40 feet of water and drop a live herring down along their sides. Humps from the mouth of Georgia’s Little River to Grays Creek are among the hot spots. As the morning progresses, the hybrids are moving as deep as 50 feet and can be caught fishing points and over treetops in the Parksville, S.C. area. There is a decent afternoon bite around points and humps in the Modoc, S.C., area. We are starting to see signs of surface activity, so be sure to carry a Gunfish, Zara Spook or a Sammy, all good top-water baits. The fish tend to be on the small side, but there are bigger ones lurking beneath the schools. Enjoying trips with us this week were Sandy and Zachary Bolin, Clover, S.C.; Mark Ramey, New London, N.C.; Rodney Noe, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Don Padgett, Haddock, Ga.; Dennis Emmons, Bonaire, Ga.; Shane Kitchens, Macon, Ga.; Kevin Mixon, Haddock, Ga.; Gene and Jill Maxwell, North Augusta; Angie, Chuck and Chrissy Compton, North Augusta; Lee, Cranston and Carson Jones, North Augusta; Whitt Guess, Edgefield, S.C.; Keith Pate and Ricky Danner, Washington, Ga.

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Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – We’ve finally had a really good wind. I like about a 10-mph southwest or west wind (10-15-mph is good). It makes a big difference. The corps is still pulling water. Temperature was 83 degrees this morning. I’m finding the best fish in 50 to 85 feet of water, with most of the better fish coming 30 to 40 feet down. You can still catch fish early in the morning in 20 feet of water, but they’re on the small side.

Check out my Web site at www.fishlakethurmond.com.

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/flyfishingnorthgeorgia) – Hunter: The Toccoa River continues to fish extremely well during the early mornings and late evenings. Fishing has been moderate to good during midday, thanks to mild temperatures. We’ve caught some big trout on big terrestrial flies and stonefly nymphs in the mornings, switching to tiny zebra midges throughout the rest of the day.

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