Hybrids, Toads or Tadpoles

by Wayne Wooten

Back in June I went to Clarks Hill and met up with my ole buddy Larry “Legend” Barnes who was camping at Bobby Brown Park. We would be in pursuit of hybrids.

We have several good spots, but we normally start at the dam where the fish often chase and smash bait on top. It is usually toads, 5 pounders and up fishing with Flukes and Wild Gobys.

On this trip we were at the dam about 6 AM it was 74 degrees with a slight breeze and raining just enough to break out the rain suit, but not dripping off of the bill of your cap. When we arrived at the dam there was no surface action and no baitfish or fish on the electronics. Ok, so now for plan B.

Prior to the trip Larry had been talking to our buddy John Carter who was camping and fishing at Bobby Brown Park the week before. He was catching some nice fish and offered us a tip in the form of a riddle. He said,“200 yards from the Devil’s Eyes in the Beard.”

As we began to work our way back down the Savanah River, Larry noticed what could be the “Devil’s Eyes” and immediately headed that direction. When we were 250 yards away Larry got on the trolling motor. We started watching the electronics and sure enough there was a flat on one side of the channel with bait and fish at various depths, and I looked over the side of the boat and there was needle grass everywhere. Well now; Devil’s Eyes and a Beard this must be the spot!

We started chunking our usual Fluke and Wild Goby attack and nothing was biting this stuff. Suddenly a fish came up chomping bait but looked to be tadpoles. Larry breaks out a Little Fishy on a spinning rod and as soon as it hit the water, BAM! I already had a White Rooster Tail on my light spinning rig, but they wouldn’t touch it! So I gave in and tied on a Little Fishy and BAM!

These tadpoles, 2 to 3 pound fish, were all you wanted on 8 pound line; drag squealing, hook bending and shredding plastic. We caught and released over 30 of these little monsters in about 3 hours.

Toads are nice but catching these tadpoles was the best trip I’ve had this year!

Larry’s wife Cindy was coming up to fish for the next several days, and we were hoping the bite would hold up.  Instead of an early bite, it was an afternoon bite, BUT they were toads 5 to 15 pounds, hybrids and stripers!

Cindy was very happy as it was her first trip of the year, and they loaded the boat for the next 3 days. Cindy says,“that Legend guy rocks, she loves the Whopper Plopper and John is Dragon Slayer X”!