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World Class Bass Fishing
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Capt. Jim Hammond
Posted: Mar 18 2003, 09:55 PM


Unregistered









World Class Bass Fishing

When was the last time that you went bass fishing and caught over 100 bass with an average weight of FOUR plus pounds. Think about this, four plus pounds average. Take into consideration, you are going to catch some 1.5 and some 2 pounders. Now think about this again. An average of four plus pounds. That is something that most of us can say that we have never done.

Here is how and where I was able to perform this.

My trip started the day before I was to leave, by loading my truck with three Plano Tackle bags and one large Plano spinner bait soft bag. In these bags were soft plastics, crank baits, suspending baits, spinner baits, buzz baits and so many more that mentioning all of them would take a whole paragraph. I then started with the rods. Pflueger spinning outfits, bait cast outfits and a few fly rods. Now I had more tackle than Wal-Mart, more rods and reels than Bass Pro and more anticipation than a small boy on his first fishing trip. I hooked up to my 16 foot Carolina Skiff, checked the lights and safety chains, tightened up the boat strap, greased the hubs and checked the tire pressure. I wanted this trip to be without any surprises. I was in the Boy Scouts for three days and they taught me one thing, BE PREPARED.

That night, I tried to get to bed early, around 8:00 pm, but once in the bed, I just laid there with my eyes wide open from the excitement of the anticipation of fishing in a place that had world class bass fishing. I think I finally fell off to sleep around 11:00 pm. The alarm was set to go off at 2:30 am, but as usual, my internal clock had me up about 2:15 am. I bounced from the bed, still with the same excitement that I had when I went to bed. I was quick to get my shower and finish loading up the truck with my cameras and clothes for a two day trip to Little River Plantation in Ashburn Georgia. About 3:30 Scott and James showed up and they were as eager as I to get on the road. About 4:00 am we pulled out with boat in tow, heading for two days of bass fishing in one of the best Plantations in this country.

About 6:30, we arrived in Ashburn and from there another ten minutes and we were at Little River Plantation, ready to wet a line. As we eased down the old country road on the way to the first lake, we were all jumping around like little kids. Then from around a stand of tress, there was the lake. The lake was about 50 acres and looked so bassy from all of the standing timber that I felt like an old bird dog waiting to get out and get on point.

After we launched the boat, I was quick to tie on a spinner bait to my new Pflueger rod and reel outfit. I also tied on an Exude Rt-Slug bait with a lone X-Point 5/0 heavy worm hook, weedless of course.


We were going to be fishing in some of the thickest cover that you could imagine and I knew that I would only feel safe fishing the rods that had Power Pro spooled on them. I had 20 pound test on the spinner bait and 10 pound on the Rt-Slug. With the seven foot rods, I would be able to cast these lures plenty far enough and still have the train stopping hook set power needed to get Mr. Bass to the boat. James had also tied a spinner bait to the same style outfit that I was using and Scott was using a Pflueger Trion LP bait cast style reel, spooled with 20 pound test monofilament and attached to a six foot long pistol grip bait cast rod.

We dropped the MotorGuide trolling motor in the water and eased along the edges, casting and retrieving. This place was amazing, wood piles and tree stumps everywhere. You could not cast in any direction without finding some sort of cover to fish around. This place was an ideal bass haven. About my third cast, I dropped the spinner bait between two logs and as I retrieved the bait by one of the logs, it made contact with it and then came a wrist slamming strike and I was hooked up. In and around the stumps the bass ran but I was not scared because I had Power Pro and I knew from past experiences that this fish was coming to the boat. I angled the fish in and around the timber and then to the boat. What a fish, a 4 pounder to start the day and I had caught the first one.

TIP: When fishing a spinner bait in and around cover (stumps, bushes, things for bass to hide under or near), you want to try to make contact with that cover with your spinner bait. This seems to get the fishes attention and draws more strikes that if you had not made contact with the cover.

We continued down the shoreline with every cast looking like it was going to produce a fish. This place was so fishy looking, we could hardly stand it. It wasn't long before Scott was hooked up and to the boat came a nice 5 plus pound bass. James then made a cast in the RIGHT SPOT and pulled out a 5 pounder. Lets see, we have been on this lake less than 30 minutes and already had 3 very nice bass to the boat, not bad. I was able to cast further than Scott or James and DID NOT like fishing in the back of the boat, so I was able every now and then to make a cast around the two of them and get to a spot that looked like it should hold a fish. You should have seem the looks from the two of them when I cast around and past them to get to unfished water. On about the third cast that I made out in front of them, I found a good log and as the bait bumped into it on my retrieve back to the boat, I was hooked up on a stud. Of course I am hollering "FISH ON", yall watch out, turn the boat, get out of the way and a few more things that I best not write down. After a nice fight, I managed to land a fish that was all of 7 pounds and fat as a football. Man do these fish pull good. I have bass fished since I was about 15, 30 plus years and have never caught bass that pulled as long and as hard as the fish at Little River Plantation. What ever they are feeding them, they need to share with the rest of the world.

Both Scott and James were not happy with me making that cast, as the thought they should have caught that fish. For the next hour or so Scott tried to keep the boat positioned as to keep me from being able to fish in un used water. They each landed several fish and I was more or less just along for the ride. See, when you are having to fish used water (water the two good fisherman have already placed a bait in) your chances go to pretty slim that you are even going to get a look see from a fish. After they had each boated several fish, I stood up and cast over Scott and in what looked to be another killer spot. I was right, as soon as my bait touched the submerged tree, I felt that unmistakable thump that pulled back. I reared back and set the hook on what ended being another 5 pound fish. After a lengthy battle, I had landed another one. Strangely enough, neither said a thing about me casting over them. I guess they both thought if I caught one fish every now and them, it was okay.

They both managed to keep me out of the strike zone most of the day. It seemed like I would get an opportunity every one and while to get in a cast to a spot that they had each overlooked. And I would occasionally get lucky and be able to make a cast around them and pull out a fish that they thought was theirs.

To this point the wind had been blowing about 12 to 13 mph, which is a good wind for spinner bait fishing but now the wind had died to about calm and I knew that it was time to pick up the RT-Slug and work it as if it was an injured bait fish. With the seven foot rod and the thin line, I was able to cast it plenty far enough and with it's weedless design, I could work it in and trough stumps, grass and logs. The way that I like to work this bait is to toss it out and slowly turning the reel handle twitch the rod tip ever so slightly. The bait should sink to about 8 inches deep and as you twitch the rod tip it should dart towards the surface. This is an excellent bait to fish in calm or near calm conditions. When a fish is interested in this style of bait, it will cause a disturbance in the water near the bait and then sort of suck it in. You rarely feel the bite as most of the strikes come when the bait is falling back towards the bottom and you have slack in your line. You will almost always see a swirl or a surface strike and then it is time to rare back and set the hook.

I had made about 4 cast with this lure before hooking my first one and once again a nice 5 pounder came to the boat. Scott eased us into a little shallow area and I was sure that I could see fish working bait, so you can imagine where my lure went. Just past the working fish my bait landed and as it made its way into their area, I was hooked up again and after what seemed to be a 10 pounder, I boated another 5 pound bass. These fish are all the same, they all fight like they are much larger than the really are, 5 pounders seem like they are 10 pounds and 2 pounders seem like they are 5 pounds. I like this place, it has brought back a whole new attitude towards bass fishing.

You can imagine, what was happening just about now, both James and Scott were digging in my bag for an Exude RT- Slug. I almost had them convinced that the one that I had was the only one that I had brought. Normally I would not mind sharing, right down to the last one but these guys had been whooping up on me for the past several hours and I wanted to get back in the game. See, we had a dollar bet on who caught the most fish and I was way behind. Now that they were both tying on the bait of choice in this calm water, I knew that this was my chance to get a few more before they could get in the water. I was quick to cast right back in the same spot the last fish came from and as I anticipated, I was hooked up again. I tightened up on the reels drag and tried to well rope the fish to the boat as I knew it would not be long before I had competition for these fish. After a short battle, in came a 3 pounder. I immediately cast right back in the spot and wham, I was hooked up again. This fish was a lot better than the last and did not want to just come to the boat. I made me work a while to get him in and as I landed a nice 5 plus pounder, both Scott and James were now casting to the spot. We managed to pull several more fish from this shoreline all between 2 and 6 pounds before the action stopped.

We then headed for a big rock wall that had been warming in the sunlight all day. We were hoping that the water would be a degree or two warmer there and we would be able to ad a few more fish to our count. We all tied on a tube jig on the same hook set up. We tossed it up on the edge of the wall and let it sink to the bottom. This method was a difficult way to fish as you had to keep feeding out line to get the bait to sink straight down. It was very difficult to tell if you were getting bit because you had so much slack in your line. We were having to watch our line for even the slightest movement in it. When the line started to move or you saw a slight twitch, it was time to take up the slack and set the hook. We managed to catch quite a few from the wall with most being in the 5 to 6 pound class. This style, once we figured it out was a blast. The line would ever so slightly move or twitch, you would tighten up on it and you could feel the fish moving off with the lure. Of course, you the busted him and held on for a good battle. James managed to catch the largest from this wall, weighing in at 8 1/4 pounds on the Boga Grip.

Overall we managed to catch right at 100 fish with an average weight over 4 pounds. How many places have been in the past ten years that you can catch numbers and average weight like this?

If you are interested in enjoying some of this killer bass fishing you can visit their website at http://www.littleriverga.com or write or call them at Little River Plantation of Georgia 2415 Warwick Highway • Ashburn, Georgia 31714
229-567-0394 or 229-567-3584.

The folks at Little River will treat you like kings and have lodging for you and all of your buddies, so go on up there and stay a day or two. I did and had two wonderful days of fishing.


Here is James Roney with one on the many fish landed at Little River Plantation Georgia

Local action:

Reds in the creeks are still slow at best, there are few nice reds in the deeper portions of the river. Trout are starting
to hit top water and suspending plugs. I have seen a couple of flat ones in the past week, so maybe they are on their
back in to the inshore waters. The sheepshead are biting at the jetties and on some of the larger docks that are encrusted with barnacles. Try a fiddler, an oyster or a live shrimp for these teethy critters. The sea bass are still on fire in the ocean and the snapper are starting to show some promise if you can get out a ways.

The bass should be coming off of the beds and should be ready for a meal. Try the docks and shell bars for a bream or two. try using mussels or worms and you might be surprised to hang something a little larger than a bream.

How would you like to go fishing with Capt. Jim?

For charter information please call me at 904 757 7550 or email me at [email protected]. Don't forget to watch my TV show, every Tuesday at 7pm and Sundays at 8:30am on cable channel 7 in Jacksonville, Clay County and the Beaches and Thursdays at 7:30, Saturdays at 1:30 p.m., Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m pm on channel 22 and 2 in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.

I am going to give away a Plano tackle tray full of tackle, each week. I asked a question during the show. For those of you that have the right answer, you can email it to me at [email protected]. (NO PHONE CALLS) email only. I will then take all of the correct answers, put them in a hat and let one of my dogs draw one name to win the prize each week. To pick up the prize, you will have to go to Deonas Boat works. I am going to do this each week from now through September. I am going to give away Plano Tackle trays, boxes, MirrOlures, Clark Spoons, Fishing Line, Pliers, Sea Striker Trout Killers, Sea Striker Trout grubs, Jaw Jacker Jigs, Fun Fishing T-Shirts and much more. So tune in each week for the question and respond via email.

Remember mom and dad, spend some time with your sons and daughters taking them fishing and you will not be looking for them come Friday and Saturday nights, as they will be home in bed waiting to go the next day.

Don't forget to check out my websites for other information on fishing this area, the products that I use and charter info at www.fishingwithjim.com/ or www.hammondfishing.com.



Good Fishing

Capt. Jim Hammond
904 757 7550
[email protected]
http://www.fishingwithjim.com
http://www.hammondfishing.com
 
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