Originally created 01/21/05

Idle anglers can always go to boat show



If icy, windy weather conditions prevent you from going fishing, don't waste the day.

You can:

- Clean out your tackle box.

- Clean and lubricate your fishing reels.

- Clean up your boat, discarding old soft plastic baits, rusty hooks, snarls of line and trash.

Or, you can go to the boat show at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia this week. Augusta area marine dealers are among the 15 displaying more than 50-boat lines.

Show times today and Saturday are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday. To get there from Augusta, travel Interstate-20 to Exit 64A to I-26 to Huger Street, turn left onto U.S. 1, right on Assembly Street and right again on Rosewood Drive, according to instructions from show officials.

Tickets cost $6 per person.

Speaking of icy conditions, if lake surface temperatures drop into the low-to-mid-40s, most fish aren't going to want to eat, much less strike an artificial lure, according to fisheries biologists. And most fishermen will prefer to stay at home.

STROM THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington) (706) 595-5582 ñ No report.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers and trophy largemouth bass. Box 131, Clarks Hill, SC 29821 (803) 637-6379 (crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) ñ No report.

Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373, 957 Windmill Lane, Evans, GA. 30809 ñ No report.

Bloopers and highlights of all my TV shows are the subjects of my latest TV show on Knology Channel 6 and Comcast Channel 66. It's played every night at 10:30 p.m., before the news on Knology Channel 6. On Comcast, it's on at 9:30 p.m., Tuesdays and 7:30 p.m., on Thursdays on Channel 66.

Ron Figueroa, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, hybrid bass, (706) 832-7230 (ronfig@comcast.net or buckeyelures.com/figs) ñ No report.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (doubletroublefishingguides.com) with twins Brad and Jim) ñ No report.

SAVANNAH RIVER

New Savannah Bluff

Lock & Dam

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), (706) 793-8053 ñ Lots of crappies are being caught at various places down river. Bream, yellow perch and jacks (chain pickerel) also are in a biting mood up and down the river. Shad have begun to congregate below the dam ñ you can see them jumping from time to time ñ but they won't begin to hit lures really well until March. So I'm going to give away a rod and reel away to the first fisherman catching a shad in March. The fisherman must bring the fish to the store to qualify.

MERRY BROS.

BRICKYARD PONDS

Harrison Sears (706) 722-8263 (www.brickyardponds.

com) ñ Crappie fishing continues to be fair to good, depending upon weather conditions. Small to medium shiners are the baits of choice and anglers can catch them in the Ditch and other ponds fishing from the bank.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530, and Doug Gertis, professional guide, (843) 524-5250 ñ Icy and windy conditions have combined to limit fishing opportunities in our area.

SAVANNAH AREA

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 ñ It's time to break out the mud minnow trap. Most of the natural baits in our streams and rivers have gone for the winter and that narrows down live bait options.

The old mud minnow never lets us down. In the old days, most minnow traps were made of metal and didn't last long, particularly when you stepped on them. Nowadays, traps are mostly made of plastic and work well.

You've got to bait the traps to attract the minnows. Raw chicken works just fine. Fried chicken doesn't work too well, so you might as well eat it! I always like using a chicken back. It has plenty of fat that tends to linger around the trap. Once the fat slick gets going, the minnows follow it right back to the trap. Another good bait is cat food. Don't dump the can's contents into the trap because it won't last long. Punch some nice holes into the can all around the sides so that the food can ooze out in the current.

It's best to place the trap in marsh openings or tidal creeks, anchoring it so that it doesn't wash away when the tide falls. Check it on a regular basis, emptying the mud minnows into a bucket filled with creek water, and replacing the bait when necessary.



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