Red Belly From The Little St. Marys River In Florida

I Got My Meal! It took an hour and a half but I got it.

The Red Bellies are bedding and I was needing something to do on a Sunday afternoon so I decide to go fishing on the Little St. Marys like I did years ago, 33 plus years ago.

The Little St. Marys for those of you that don’t know as a tributary to the Big St. Marys that separates Georgia and Florida in the North East part of Florida. Her water is colder and she is narrower than the big St. Marys and almost the whole river is covered with a canopy of river birch, oaks, willows, cypress, sweet gum, bay trees and other stuff. So unlike the Big St Mary’s throwing a lure in her little sister is a task left to the best of you, that’s why I decide to go old school and use worms on a cane pole and worms on a rod for the deeper holes.

I went up to the Twin Bridges Store on 121 and bought 20 worms for $4.99, tax not included. I was shocked, the first thing that popped into my mind was “man Obama needs to check into this“.

I started fishing with my daughter and at about 12;45pm, she was after bass and I was after something to eat. She throw a yellow spinner bait in a deep hole and on about the fourth cast she got a bump and on the next cast hooked what I think was about a four pound largemouth. We got a glance at it when she got it almost to the bank and before it through out the lure.

Of course if she had caught it we wouldn’t dare keep it, there aren’t that many bass in the river and to me and to others I’ve talked to there aren’t as many deep holes as there was years ago and this may be a reason why numbers seem down to an old timer.

I placed the worms I had bought in some beds and soon had four red bellies, enough for a meal. It was interesting to see some of the fish grab the worm and take it to the edge of the bed and drop it. Those were the ones that lived. The ones that ate the worms are the ones I’m going to eat.

I had forgot what it was like to walk along the bank of the river fighting horse flies, yellow flies, wow-vines and walking through the saw like stems of the palmetto bushes with shorts on. But it was fun and I beat the otters to a few fish so it was worth it. I went back later in the day and caught five more so I guess tonight its fried fish, baked beans and baked potatoes.

This Little St. Mary’s fishing report is from me.
Steve Jones


  • marvin says:

    I have caught some big stringers of buttercats out of there.

    • flatlander says:

      I’m down there almost everyday and I love that little river. It’s been a while since I caught any cats out of that water. Marvin, I might have to try to catch a few now.
      Thanks for the comment, it brought back old memories.