Originally created 03/13/98

Ahh, spring! Will it ever come to pass?

Has anybody seen spring? There have been plenty of harbingers, such as flocks of robin redbreasts, mostly mild (for early March) weather and prespawn Thurmond Lake bass catches such as that recorded by the Augusta Bass Club's Bob Pitt last Saturday: Five bass, 31 pounds, 9 ounces.

But Old Man Winter has planted his icy feet solidly in the Augusta area, at least through tonight, with the end result few fishermen have tested the lake since the weekend. Those who have report high, rising, muddy water has made conditions T-O-U-G-H.

Be that as it may, some fish will be caught during a pair of tournaments on the lake this weekend. The CSRA BassMasters' Open Team Tournament will be held out of Fort Gordon Recreation Area on Saturday. A Fishing in America crappie tournament will be held on the lake today and Saturday.

There was a report on Thursday afternoon that fishermen occupying a bright red bass boat bristling with poles in Grays Creek were catching some crappies, despite northeast winds and terrible water conditions.

Entry fee for Saturday's Fishing in America event is $60 per team, with the top three team qualifying for the South Bend Crappie Classic. Teams can register at tonight's seminar/meeting at the Cullars Inn in Lincolnton, Ga., from 5:30 to 7.

Other qualifying spots on Saturday will go to the top two adult/youth teams, the top male/female team and the top senior team (for anglers 60 and older). A youth is defined as any youngster who doesn't need a fishing license.

As for spring, it's officially due to arrive on March 20, according to the best almanac available.

Georgia's Unicoi Lodge and State Park will conduct a seminar on trout fishing with assistance from members of Trout Unlimited and Don Pfitzer, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information officer. The session will be held on Saturday, March 21, and start at 9 a.m. The programs are open to the public and are free. Georgia trout season opens on Saturday, March 28.

Trout Unlimited will hold its annual fund-raising banquet beginning at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6. Cost is $20 per person or $35 per couple and tickets will be available at the park during the day.

Unicoi is located two miles north of Helen, Ga., on Highway 356. More information: Ellen McConnell at (706) 878-3983.

The Augusta Bassmasters and the Georgia Christian Bass Association will join Paul Redfearn at The Sports Authority on Robert C. Daniel Jr., Parkway on Saturday, March 21, and conduct a BASSMASTERS CastingKids Contest. Pre-registration is mandatory and applications will be available in the fishing tackle department of the store beginning on March 14. Barry Frazier of Augusta Marine will have some bass boats on display. Contest times are 10 a.m., and 2 p.m., with details available from Larry Atkins at 863-2079.


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