"Take a Kid Fishing" is a campaign that's been around a long time, and Augusta area folks will be able to put it into practice Saturday at Fort Gordon.
The Fort Gordon Sportsman's Club will sponsor its annual Kids' Fishing Derby at claypit ponds 1, 2 and 3. The event is open to youngsters 3 to 15 years of age. Registration starts at 7 a.m. The derby begins at 8 and ends at 11.
"The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the post biologist, Steve Camp, have done a great job in getting the ponds ready," said spokesman Fred Perry. "We'll give free T-shirts to the first 300 kids signing up."
- This is the time of the year that hybrids and striped bass will strike lures many anglers use to fish for largemouth bass. While catching the striped fish is fun, it's a waste of time for bass tournament fishermen.
We fished a Buckeye half-ounce mop jig with a Zoom Super Chunk (watermelon) trailer," said Jeff Dorn after he and his brother, Burke, captured the second annual Tommy Shaw Memorial Open Team Bass Tournament on Saturday. "Hybrids and stripers don't bite the jig."
- The Santee Cooper lakes of Marion and Moultrie not too long ago boasted the premier inland striped bass fishery in the nation. No longer. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is enforcing a number of regulations passed by the legislature last year that affects the entire system, lakes and rivers.
Fishermen must practice catch and release from June 1 - Sept. 30 and cannot possess stripers during that period. The creel limit has been reduced from five per day to three. They must be at least 26 inches long, up from 21 inches .
One regulation is sort of curious: Striped bass must be landed with head and tail intact, enabling law enforcement officers to measure the complete fish.
The stripers I catch always have head and tail intact, connected by the body, so I think the regulation should have read "must be kept with head and tail intact."
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 - Christina Harvey, of Wrens, Ga., caught four nice crappies in the fish house. Gloria Dunn, of Wrens, caught six nice crappies in the fish house. Eric Leonard and Mack McZilkey caught 35 crappies in the fish house on minnows and jigs. Clarence Lindsay caught 28 crappies in the fish house on minnows. Leon Buffington caught 15 nice crappies on jigs. Cliff Crowe and Danny Johnson caught seven nice channel catfish, largest 7 pounds.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers and trophy largemouth bass. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockett rocketstriperfishing.com) - Water temperature on the surface was 82. The warm weather has pushed the fish out of the shallows and the last of the spawning bait fish are also headed for deep water. This marks the end of the spring pattern and it's been a great one. Now the summer pattern begins. We are marking hordes of bait fish as well as large schools of game fish hovering nearby. My parties have been slaughtering the fish all week, catching limits of 3- to 5-pound hybrids and 8- to 10-pound stripers in only a couple of hours. A couple of my local parties included Hammond West and Bettis Hammond. They hammered a cooler full of nice stripers in less than an hour. Tommy Whitehead and his brother, Russell, had a blast helping me catch bait. Then they caught a limit of stripers. June is a great month for striper fishing and we're looking forward to the time. All our fish are being caught on live herring in 24-30 feet of water on downlines. Thank goodness, the planer board fishing is over.
Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides .com) with twins Brad and Jim - Last Monday, Shawn Martin, of Warrenton, Ga., fished with my son, Jim, and me. We started fishing downlines at 6:30 a.m., and by 7:45 we had 35 stripers and hybrids and ran out of bait. We fished live herring 18-20 feet down on the South Carolina side near the dam. On Tuesday, Joseph Lutz, of Evans, fished with Jim and me. We downlined and pulled planer boards, but managed to catch only eight fish. On Thursday, my sons, Brad and Jim, and grandson, Johnathan, pulled planer boards and did some freelines. We caught 15 fish, including a 12-pound striper.
Check out new photos on my Web site. My VHF radio handle is doubletroubles on Ch. 68.
Capt. William Sasser, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass. (706) 589-5468 - Dedrick Gardener, Paul and Bernce Brooks, all of Hephzibah, and Leora and Willie Moss, from Augusta, caught a cooler full of stripers and hybrids, with a few crappies mixed in. Leora caught an 11-pound striper. Tommy Archer, of Graniteville; Danny Alridge and Deven Alridge, of Augusta; Mike Coray, of McBean; and James Tudo, of Augusta, wound up with 15 nice stripers and hybrids. Steve Turrell and his son, Gavin, and the latter's grandfather, Lee Turrell, of Hobe Sound, Fla., caught 20 large stripers and hybrids. Kyle James, Hunter Evans and Charlie and Mitchell Brinson, all of Evans, caught 40 stripers and hybrids in about an hour's time. My son, Austin, was my first mate on the trip.
Check out my Web site at www.williamsasserfishing.com.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 - The fish are very aggressive. I had a scratched trip on Thursday and that party missed one of my best days on the lake. Most of my fish are coming from water deeper than 20 feet, mostly coming off points and flats. We've been getting a mix of fish in weight from three-quarters of a pound to 10 pounds. George Rose, of Evans, treated his father, George, and mother, Barbara, from Pensacola, Fla., to a birthday trip for her. It was the first experience for both with stripers, but they did a great job on downlined fish. Barbara took big fish honors with a 10-pound-plus striper. Ted Sharpe, of Evans, and his son, Billy, and wife, Susan, visiting from Charleston, S.C., battled a tricky bite, but still caught a cooler full of fish. Susan caught an 8-pound striper, her first of the species. Jared Newton of Pooler, Ga., and dad, Danny, targeted quality to try to catch Jared a big fish. They kept enough 5 to 10-pound stripers for a fish fry that night. My VHF radio handle is Boat Racer and I can be reached on Channel 68. My Web site is www.fishlakethurmond.com.
Albert Moody, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 - O.G. Penner, of Grovetown, has been downlining for stripers and hybrids on the lower end of the lake and catching limits of the fish. Anthony Brown, Ricky Cullum and Billy Mitchum, all of Clarks Hill, limited out Saturday and Sunday on stripers and hybrids weighing 5 -9 pounds. Their second trip lasted only 21 hours. Scott Loo and Ted Boileau caught 17 fish Wednesday, cut-baiting. The fish weighed 4 -8 pounds. On Monday, Ted and Paul Ashley caught 15-, 16- and 17-pound stripers. Albert Dillard and I fished late Wednesday and caught hybrids and catfish, including a 20-pound flathead, on cut bait at the Catfish Hole.
New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle and Russ Peyton), (706) 496-1173 - Eric Ott caught seven nice shellcrackers up the river. Tom Blanchard III and Tom Jr., caught 15 redbellies on crickets down river. Treyton Pack and Alexis Duckwork caught 12 big bream up the river. Eddie and Travis Lovett limited out on bream downriver on crickets and waxworms. Shad are still hitting. The mullet bite is strong. Some big catfish are being caught. I took Bob fishing last Tuesday and we caught some nice catfish and shellcrackers.
Harrison Sears (706) 722-8263 (www.brickyardponds.com) - Robert Nelson's 6.84-pound bass won the Big Fish of the Month contest. He won $50. Chris Kelly and Daniel Reese won last Friday's tournament with 3.97 pounds of bass. Joey Bishop was second with 3.79 pounds. He also had big fish of 2.91 pounds.
Our bass tournaments run from 6-10 p.m. every Friday, and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays. Entry fee is $20 per fisherman in each event. A fishing license is not required to fish in our ponds.
Beaufort, S.C. & vicinity
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 - The Gulf Stream is red hot for dolphin and wahoo. Inshore, spotted sea trout, gray trout and redfish are biting, while cobia can be found in the Broad and Chechessee rivers. I understand a state record cobia in the 90-pound range was caught, but I haven't been able to confirm it.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www. missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 - It's time to go fishing inshore for spotted sea trout, redfish, flounder, and black drum. Spanish mackerel and king mackerel are holding around our artificial reefs, while cobia also are showing up. Spanish sardines and cigar minnows haven't shown up yet, but might arrive every day. The Savannah Snapper Banks are producing good catches of red snapper and grouper. If you can go to the Gulf Stream, it's bull dolphin (mahi mahi) time.