Capt. Sam Jones of Jocassee Charters said the fishing on the Upstate, S.C. lake has been great in the past few weeks, and he only expects it to get better as the spring weather stabilizes. And he put one of his clients on a brown trout last week that is the new boat record for Jocassee Charters.

The big trout weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces, and was caught about 50 feet deep. The fish turned the day around for Jones and his client, Brian Hutto of Georgia. Things started out slow with the anglers only picking up some run-of-the-mill trout until the big fish hit around 1 p.m.

“We started fishing a little after 8 a.m. in the Three Rivers area. We trolled up the Horsepasture River and back out, and we only picked up a few undersized trout,” said Jones.

“About 1 p.m., I was marking some fish around 65 feet, so I dropped my down rigger with a large minnow on it down from 45 to 55 feet deep. About two minutes later, that rod went down like it was hung on a tree,” he said.

But this was no tree.

“My client Brian Hutto grabbed the rod and the fight began. The fish had managed to get two other rods tangled with it. Brian fought the fish up to where the lines were tangled and followed my directions to move forward so I could try to clear the lines. The fish was pulling and I had to cut the extra lines. It was like defusing a bomb trying not to cut the wrong one. I cleared that mess and managed to get the monster in the net.

“It was a 27-inch brown trout that weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces. That’s a new boat record for Jocassee Charters. I love my job!” said Jones, who can be reached at,, or 864-280-9056.