Fishing with Friends!

By Gary Turner

Stacy said, “This is a Big One!” as line was pulling off his reel. Joe grabbed the anchor rope and gave it a heave! A few minutes earlier Stacy had hooked a nice Rainbow and it came unhooked right at the boat. We weren’t gonna’ lose this one if we could help it.

My good friend and fishing buddy Stacy Fleming and I rolled out, headed toward McCaysville a little after 4 AM. We were excited, it had been over a year since we hit the Toccoa River with my friend and guide, Joe DiPietro. As we swirled downstream after the big trout, Stacy was gaining line on it. He was trying not to horse it in for fear of losing it! Joe rowed us through the rocks and rapids following the fish until Stacy wore it out and brought it boat-side where Joe netted it. It was a nice Rainbow! We were all smiling; it’s always fun to chase down a good fish on the river and bring it to the net. We caught several more nice trout that day. This is an experience I have had the pleasure of participating in many times with several friends over the years. I have a trip booked to take my friend Matt to experience it week after next, and I can’t wait!

If you want to have a blast catching trout, then the Toccoa River flowing out of Lake Blue Ridge is a good place to go. Joe does two-man, guided drift trips from Curtis Switch Park to the Horseshoe Bend Park, and sometimes longer if you want. Joe’s drift boat is like a water bug, it has two toons and a chassis that sits atop of them. He sits in the middle seat where he rows and maneuvers you through the rocks and rapids and all the while you can fish!

If you want to fish the Toccoa River on your own, there are many people who do this every year, and wading is the favored way. If you are going to do this, please read all the warning signs. They are posted at spots along the river, and they tell you how long after the generation times the river will rise and at what distance from the Blue Ridge Dam. A quick rule of thumb about the rising river: If you are wading, mark a rock that is 1-2” out of the water, when that rock gets covered up, the river has begun to rise where you’re fishing and you should start working toward the bank. Also, if you start to smell fresh water (smells like rain), then the river is about to start rising fast. If you start to see debris coming off the bottom and the river is clouding up, the water will be rising soon. These are your warning signs to get out of the river. If you find yourself trapped out in the river, forget about your gear, no gear is worth your life; let it go and float yourself feet down-current like you are sitting in a chair, and work your way to an eddy or bank and get out. Do not try to swim against the current, you will tire out fast or hit a rock that could injure you. The best thing to do is always wear a PFD, but you still may get caught in the river, so pay attention to the rising current.

Next week, Stacy and I are headed back to Santee where we were last month with our friend Ricky Hix. It was Ricky’s first trip to Santee with us, and we fished two days with my friend and guide, Dewayne Profitt. The last fish of day two was Ricky finding a 39-pound Blue Catfish! Not long before that, Stacy pulled in a nice 29-pound Flathead! All of us caught several good fish, 16 of them over 12 pounds, and had a great time. Fishing with friends, new and old, always makes the time on the water so much more enjoyable.

You can get more information on fishing with Joe DiPetro by calling him at 706-851-4001 or email him at His Facebook link is and tell him Gary sent ya’. You can get more information on fishing with Capt. Dewayne Profitt by calling him at 740-404-3900 or 803-478-6479. His website is

Get with some of your friends and take a fishing trip. Whether with a guide or just on your own, GO FISHING!

I’m not sure what next month’s article will be on but remember, if you have an empty seat on your boat that needs filling, shoot me an email and maybe it will be about fishing with you!

Please remember, if you are not going to eat it, don’t kill it.

“Tight Lines and Squeelin’ Reels put a Smile on my Face Every Time.” Gary Turner

You can reach Gary Turner at

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