National Fishing and Boating Week starts Saturday

Team Bait Hooked members Wes Gilmore, of Crouse, N.C., David Hedrick, of Bessemer City, N.C. and Rob Hedrick, of Lincolnton, Ga., won the Wounded Warrior Benefit Striper Tournament on Thurmond Lake last weekend. The pair of striped bass totaled 60.15 pounds.

If you’re not planning anything this weekend and want to do something your family can enjoy, head to the McDuffie Public Fishing Area near Dearing on Saturday.


All of you can fish without a license, or having to buy a Wildlife Management Area permit not only Saturday, but the next Saturday, June 14, as well, according to a Wildlife Resources Division spokesperson.

A kids’ fishing event, free to all children, will be held from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. in specially selected ponds (marked by signs). But those ponds are off limits to everyone except the participants.

It’s all a part of National Fishing and Boating Week.

To reach the ponds from Thomson, travel east on Highway 278 for 5.6 miles, turn right onto Ellington Airline Roads for 2.8 miles and turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road.

• Osborn Newman, of Evans, landed a 41-pound flathead catfish, entered it in the Santee Cooper Trophy Five Awards Program, and will receive a parchment signed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

Fishing report


Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 ( – Water temperature is in the mid 70s, the lake is clear, and the fish are eating the bottom out of the boat. Six people limited out in an hour and 15 minutes (that’s 60 fish). Ted Graziano, of Hilton Head, brought up a team of fish killers from Savannah. They had a great time catching stripers, hybrids and white perch. Charlie Sullivan and son, Brandon, from Statesboro, Ga., caught a nice cooler load of fish – stripers, hybrids and white perch. The water is just a bit on the cool side this time of the year and is keeping the fish shallow. But with a few warm days, the fish will move into deeper water. We’re catching all our fish on live herring from the dam to Fort Gordon and the dam to Parksville.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Ronnie Fuller and I fished Tuesday. We caught nine bass on a Rat-L-Trap and the Yellow Fellow. The two keeper fish were caught on the Yellow Fellow. Other than that, we did nothing, fishing from near the dam to Bass Alley, the Georgia Flats and Parksville. Just one of those days.

Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, WOW! Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – Surface temperatures are in the upper 70s to lower 80s by 5:30 a.m. Fishing hasn’t been great for us this past week, but it’s been good. We are still pulling planer boards and free lines over humps. When we find fish staked up, we stop and drop herring down on them. Last Thursday, Joseph Lutz, of Evans, fished with my first mate, Larry, and I. He caught an 11-pound catfish, stripers, hybrids and white perch. Byron Davis, of Metter, Ga., wanted to learn how to pull planer boards so we showed him He had a ball watching the board pulled down by a fish. He commented that it looked like a big cork. He caught catfish, white perch, yellow perch, hybrids, stripers and a gar. I always update my Web site with photos and a fishing log. Check it out at

Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell ( (706) 421-6630 – I hope you are all taking a moment to remember those brave men who waded ashore on the Normandy beaches 70 years ago today.

I fished with Sgt.-Maj. Jim Timmerman (Retired), of Newton Springs, Tenn., and we had a great day. The lake is moving into its summer pattern with an early morning bite on points with either a Zara Spook of popping-type bait, depending upon the wind. After that, all our fish came on a Strike King XD 8 in blueback herring, or a Greenfish Shakey Head with a floating worm. My grand experiment with a creature bait was a washout. Expect to find bass suspended in the trees later in the day. You can catch them on a swimming jig, a weightless fluke, or a swim bait fished over the treetops in 30 feet of water. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina, where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch. The marina is open from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., on Friday through Sunday and until 6 p.m. Sundays.

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 267-4313 (Bradd), (803) 507-5083 (Andrew) – Bradd: Water temperatures are lingering in the low 80s and fishing has been fantastic early in the morning. The bite has been so aggressive and quick, we’ve only been able to keep three or four poles in the water at one time. The fish have stayed shallow off points and shoals, chasing schools of herring in the morning, and again late in the evenings near sunset. Right now, the bite is coming from 15 to 25 feet of water, but as temperatures rise, start looking for the fish to move into cooler water in 35 to 40 feet. Shriver Creek, Dordon Creek and around Parksville have been among the hot areas. This week, we enjoyed fishing with Lennie Upshaw, Aiken; Merlin Upshaw, Macon; Steve Morrone, Springfield, S.C.; James Wilson, Aiken; Tanner White, Aiken; Chris Ready and Jack Holt, Evans, and Jenefer, Benny and Ashley Herron, all of Augusta.

Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – I’ve been doing a lot of perch-jerking. It’s been a steady summer pattern, with the fish still in fairly shallow water. They are grouping up nicely in deeper water. Our herring are only three inches long so we’ve been able to catch perch. We caught a bunch of white perch Thursday morning as well as a good mess of hybrids and stripers. The fish are being caught in 15 to 30 feet of the water, with most of my fish coming from the deeper ditches. It was a quick bite for about an hour. David Wells, Sylvania, Ga., and Jimmy Pack, Plum Branch, enjoyed a nice morning catching stripers, hybrids, perch and largemouths. BobWright, his daughter, Virginia and her friend, Sebastian, enjoyed a quality time on the lake, catching some nice hybrids. William Smith and daughter Desmond traveled from Macon to have a great day on the lake, catching a mix of hybrids and stripers.

Check out my Web site at



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( – Apparently, the Blue Ridge Dam generator is not working and the Tennessee Valley Authority will be doing repair work in the coming days. Generation will halt, but water will be sluiced into the Toccoa River off the top of the lake. This will result in warmer temperatures and a flow that may be too high for wading. Contact us if you are considering a trip to the river.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263) – Our bass tournament continues tonight. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Entry fee is $20 per man. Last week’s winners were Aaron and Lonnie Pope had big fish of 4.34 pounds. Chris Davis and Robert Pope won with 6.56 pounds. Aaron and Lonnie Pope finished second with 5.40 pounds.

Brickyards: Calvin Haynes, fishing a shiner on the bottom of the Stick Pond, caught and landed a 7.20-pound bass.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Inshore fishing has slowed down and we’re not too sure about why. The recreational shrimp catch and the blue crab catch also have been negatively affected. Offshore, many deep water fishermen have switched from trolling to bottom fishing with good results. Black sea bass, grouper, trigger fish are the commonly caught species. The Gulf Stream’s dolphin and wahoo are not as common as previously, while cobia action has slowed, too.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Redfish, spotted sea trout and flounder continue to be caught fairly easily, but you have to work for them. Live shrimp still the No. 1 bait. Bottom fishing has been great for vermilion snapper, black sea bass, grouper.

The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council has set the 2014 recreational catch limit at 22,576 red snapper. For season opening times and dates, please contact me.



Delayed harvest streams set to open next Tuesday

The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s Fisheries Section will open five delayed harvest trout streams in north Georgia on... Read more

Georgia a leader in muzzleloading hunting

The primitive weapons season for hunting deer has opened in Georgia. Hunters using those weapons also may start pursuing bears in north Georgia at... Read more