Why Fish Lake Russell?

Richard B. Russell Lake is the most recent multi-purpose water resource development built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. Due to Federal Laws that prohibit private exclusive use of public lands surrounding the lake, the area remains strikingly beautiful and picturesque.(See my pictures) Many visitors express their appreciation with the Corps for maintaining the aesthetic qualities of the lake and shoreline – a unique experience for most outdoor enthusiasts in the area. With its undeveloped shorelines, Russell Lake provides an outdoor experience that goes beyond just fishing – visitors enjoy the beautiful scenery as well as the abundant wildlife.

Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake is a multipurpose project constructed under the supervision of the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was authorized for construction by the 1966 Flood Control Act as Trotters Shoals Lake. It was later renamed to commemorate the late senator from Georgia, Richard B. Russell.

The Russell Project is one of three inter-connected dams and lakes located in the Piedmont region of Georgia and South Carolina on the upper Savannah River. The first project, J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake was completed in 1954. Hartwell Dam and Lake was the second and was completed in 1962. Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake was the last of the three projects constructed on the Savannah River. Permanent filling of Lake Russell began in October 1983 and it reached full pool in December 1984.

In addition the project has 21 state-operated recreation areas (8 in Georgia and 13 in South Carolina); 1 locally-operated recreation area; and 1 Marina lease. The project also includes about 600 prehistoric and historic sites ranging in age from the end of the last Ice Age to the early 20th century – some of which are now under water, but many of which can be visited. In all, the Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam has more than 1.1 million visitors per year enjoying a wide variety of recreational activities including water sports, hunting, hiking, picnicking, camping, and fishing.

With a 300-foot collar of public land around Russell Lake, most development on adjacent private property is not visible on the lake. This coupled with the prohibition against private shoreline development, has resulted in Russell having a pristine shoreline that provides abundant wildlife habitat.

Since Russell Dam was designed after the other two lakes had satisfied the conservation storage needs on the Savannah River it was designed to operate efficiently by minimizing the drawdown of the lake. Therefore Russell lake levels are always maintained within 5 feet of full pool whereas Hartwell has 35 feet of conservation storage and Thurmond has 18 feet.

What You Need to Know Before You Go:

Full Day (8-10 hours) $275 for one or two people
Half Day (Summer only) $225 for one or two people
for one additional person
"Taxi" service provided for clients living in Columbia or Richmond County for an additional $25.

$50 Active Military (with ID)
$25 Retired Military, current Law Enforcement Officer, First Responders, Firemen
$25 Repeat Clients
$25 Straight "A" students (with copy of current report card)

Trips are for adults, teens, and pre-teens (10 and up)

1. Customer Service is a priority with Coach Speer. I ensure customer satisfaction so that you will come back again.
2. For your health & safety the PFD (personal flotation device) will be worn at all times when the big motor is running. Children under the age of 12 must wear theirs at all times.
3. All clients and guides will follow the rules and regulations published by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
4. All guides have current insurance policies.
5. My boat is a 210 Champion, with a 250 Evinrude motor and a full line of efficient, modern electronic devices (depth finders etc)
6. I furnish rods, reels, tackle, PFD, bait, & water for the trip upon request.
7. No alcohol of any kind is permitted on the boat.
8. A fishing license is required for those 16 and older.

Who Is The Fishing Coach?

Well, I guess I had better explain who the heck I am. I have been a professional guide, either full or part-time for over 25 years, most of which were spent guiding on Fayette County Reservoir in Texas. I have appeared on a few TV fishing shows over the years as well and numerous radio programs. I also have tournament fished for the past two decades-FLW, BASS, you name it. I have traveled all over the country and fished most of the lakes you have heard of east of the Rockies, more than I care to count.

For the last 38 years I also have spent a good deal of my life teaching and coaching. I have taught history at every level, from middle school through college, in fact I still teach at American Military University.

In addition, I coached for 25 years before I got smart and decided it interfered with my fishing too much! <g> I was a Varsity Basketball, Baseball, and Cross Country coach and also coached football during my career. My teams advanced to regional and state levels of competition on a consistent basis. In addition, my history students have gained state and national acclaim for their efforts in things such as Junior Historians and National History Day.

I moved to Georgia four plus years ago to work under contract for the U.S. Army Signal Corps documenting the history of the Global War on Terror. That contract expired and since that point have been guiding full-time.

What does all that mean to you? Well, I know how to win. From both an academic and sports perspective. I try (although it sometimes does not show in tournaments) to incorporate in my fishing, the principles I taught for so long in the classroom or on athletic venues. I focus on the mental aspects of fishing. You can pick up any online or paper ‘zine and read about lures, techniques, and the technical approaches to fishing. The problem is the mental side of bass fishing is equally as important and we rarely see that discussed. We do that on my trips. You will leave the lake with not only a greater understanding on Lake Russell but also how to adapt your fishing to any body of water.

Fishing with a professional fishing guide, who works extra hard, so you have a enjoyable, successful, quality fishing trip is important. I will do my best to accommodate you and your every need, regardless of experience level. If you’re looking for a quality day of fishing on a premier lake, The Fishing Coach is for you.

Why Not Clarks Hill?

Well, under special arrangement I will take folks out for a day on Clarks Hill. It is simply not as good a bass lake. I know, the BASS Elite folks have been here numerous times but they pick the absolute best time of year and still the limits are a disappointment. The guys could not say so publicly, but the ones I talked to were not pleased. They lake has much less cover and structure than Russell. The bass on CH have been conditioned due to the Blue-backed Herring to be open water nomadic wanderers. That is not to say they cannot be caught, but here today, gone tomorrow. If you want to fish CH, let me know and we can book a trip.

Russell, on the other hand, has lost of cover and structure, the water is not as clear as CH and as a result the bass here behave much more like bass in other parts of the country.


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Call my cell:  706-421-6630