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As some of you already know, I will be having back surgery on Jan 19 to correct a pinched nerve that has caused loss of muscle, strength and co-odination of my left hand and fore arm. A herniated disc, they call it. Although a common surgery with splendid results, it will put me in a neck brace for 4 weeks and likely postpone much of my spring time angling efforts for 2015. With that in mind, I got a chance to hit some local water today for what may be my last fishing trip before the operation. A 'pre-op panfish' opportunity! It went well despite 40 degree water temps...

Most of the 54 fish I caught were bluegills from 6 to 8 inches long, but some crappie, red ears , bass and a big green sunfish also came out to play. Great day for January in the open water, Mason Dixon venues.

Most impressive fish of the day was this beefy greenie, or, at least I think it was a greenie.

Decent bass took the float and fly rig in chilly 40 degree water.

Had a few nice cold-water red ears as well. Fish took a 1/100th oz jighead tipped with either a wax worm or a mealworm fished 4 ft below a sensitive bobber, High temperature today was calling for 60, but was actually more like 50, and only for a brief period of time.

A half-dozen crappie also showed up, but no giants, still, it was a great mid-winter fishing trip. Might not get out before my back operation, so I was tickled with what I caught.

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Great job and a nice report Jim......I was all baited up this morning but two inches of rain in a couple hours and gusts to 30 at first light sent me to Hardees for Breakfast with the wife instead.........got all the way up to 78 degrees today but the wind never let up so it's back to the grind tomorrow and maybe better luck next weekend........We here at BBG certainly wish you a speedy recovery from the back surgery and look forward to your return to the water and all you bring to the site.......

Hope everything gos well Jim......you'll be wetting a line before you know it.(nice fish too)

Great work on the fish ,Jim! Best of luck with your operation .Hoping it goes smoothly for you!

A January day well spent.
Good luck with the back surgery. Hope your incisions are small. The hardest part will be physical therapy----will seem like a full time job, but is important to do it all.

Thanks...it is upper back, or cervical, but an outpatient surgery. Have to wear a brace for a month on my neck, can't drive for 6 weeks...bummer. But I had three knee ops, so I'm familiar with re-habing.

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