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Redeye Bass Fishing Refresher

It was a cool way to spend a hot day.

Last week I drove to north Georgia to check an item off my bucket list.   I’ve always wanted to catch a true redeye bass (Micropterus coosae), which is a small member of the black bass family that lives in a few streams in Georgia and Alabama.   My host/guide was Barry Jennings of Cohutta, Ga., an avid stream angler and a tall-tale teller of the first order.

Barry and I floated and wade-fished on the Conasauga River, which runs out of the Cherokee National Forest in southeast Tennessee and then winds across north Georgia, eventually emptying into the Coosa River system in Alabama.

I was on assignment for Bassmaster Magazine, and the article will appear sometime next summer.   I can’t provide too many details before the story comes out, but suffice to say I succeeded in my redeye quest in spades!   And, Barry and I fished in a clear mountain stream that was surrounded by scenery as pretty as it gets.

The air temperature was stifling – pushing 100 degrees, but the water was almost chilly.   Whenever we got hot, we’d simply wade out a little deeper and let the water refrigerate us.   How refreshing!

Fishing comes in many forms: big water, little water; quiet water, running water; freshwater, saltwater.   Anglers fish for giants and for diminutive species like the redeye bass, all of which produce their own challenges and rewards.   The redeye rarely grows beyond 10 inches in length, but it’s a dainty, spunky fish that requires some deft and effort to locate and catch.   Plus, add in ultralight tackle, 4 lb. line and 1/32 oz. tube jigs, and you’ve got a recipe for fun.

So, file this away, and be watching for the full account of my story upcoming in Bassmaster.   Meanwhile, if you have an inkling to do so, head to the Conasauga River, wade in and enjoy.   And if things get a little too warm, take time out to take a dip!   Like I said, it’s a cool way to spend a hot day.

wading the Conasauga River