When it comes to fishing Thurmond Lake during the winter months, every year is different because of weather and water conditions.
Fishermen’s plans to test their luck earlier this week were blown away by Tuesday’s high winds, but the lake has inched up to “only” 10 feet below full pool. The extended forecast for next Tuesday predicted rain for Monday and snow for Tuesday, but that forecast has been updated to cold temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The weekend, however, is looking good with a high of around 70 for Saturday and Sunday.
So, since the holiday season runs through next Monday, where to go? If you like to fish for crappies and own a small johnboat with an electric motor, or even paddle power, I’d go to Merry Land Brickyards off Molly Pond Road, buy a few dozen small shiners, take along some jigs and head for the Ditch.
You can also fish that place from the bank and catch fish, too.
I’ve heard that the Keg Creek-Chigoe Creek section of the lake has not been very productive as it has in years past, so I’d head back to Raysville, launch my boat on the center ramp at Amity Day Use Area and go looking for schooling fish. William Sasser reported that there are plenty of sea gulls up there, “but you never know what they’re diving on. Sometimes it’s birds (gulls) on birds (cormorants, anhingas, loons).” Of course, sometimes it’s fish. Pulling live herring beneath planer boards is the best technique, although I prefer casting Zoom Super Flukes in pearl or white ice on quarter-ounce jig heads.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Mr. and Mrs. Alerans caught 20 nice crappies in the fish house on jigs and minnows. Danny Johnson has been catching some nice crappies around the area. Leon Buffington is frustrated by not being able to do what he usually does, but he’s on the mend following his accident. Happy New Year to our friends.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids and striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com – Here’s wishing all our friends a Happy New Year.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Happy New Year to all my friends.
Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Happy New Year, everybody!
William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser and Capt. Mark Crawford, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 373-8347 (Mark) or (864) 333-2000. (Clark Hill Herring Hut) – William: Scott Mullins, Evans; Brad Mullins, Herndon, Va., and Tim Mullins, Staunton, Va., caught some nice fish in Germany Creek near Raysville Marina including one over 10 pounds on live herring fished beneath planer boards. Mark: Randolph Scurry, Andre Parrish, Zeano Pryor, Wyman Greene, all of Augusta, caught a nice bunch of stripers, largest 23 pounds. Scott Gunter, Rhonda Gunter, Billy Rice and Pat Rice, all of Elberton, Ga., caught 15 hybrids and stripers. William and I hope all our friends have a Happy New Year!
Check out my Web site at www.williamsasserfishing.com.
Bradd Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 – Bigger yellow perch, along with some crappies, are biting on the river. Pat and Albert Moody caught 12 to 15 nice perch, using a double rig with a doll fly and toughie minnow on the bottom hook and a medium shiner on the top hook. “We took Hombre, our dog, on the boat for the first time and he loves fishing,” Albert said. “I let him eat a minnow and a worm!” Happy New Year to all our customers.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – Because of family issues, I won’t be making any guided trips for awhile. I’ll let everyone know when I am able to be active again. Check out my Web site www.fishlakethurmond.com.
NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAIN STREAMS
Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 (www.flyfishingnorthgeorgia.com) – Hunter: Recent precipitation has greatly increased the flow in many of north Georgia’s trout streams. This has made the fish less spooky, even though they are sluggish due to colder stream temperatures. But my trip on Noontootla Creek this week was the perfect example of how to fish these streams on the colder days. After nymphing for two hours and catching only one nice rainbow, we switched over to streamers and wet flies and caught more than a dozen trout in the next two hours. The fish sometimes just need a little enticement to get them active. Don’t let the cold discourage your fishing activity either. Dads caught several monster rainbows out of Lake Petit on Wednesday with more than an inch of snow on the ground. Happy New Year to our friends.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1410 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706 722-8263) – Ronnie Ackerman caught 50 crappies and six bass in the Ditch on minnows. Tim Johnson caught 75 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Harry Gibson caught 92 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. George Branch caught 876 crappies on minnows and jigs in the Ditch. Robbie McCoy caught 76 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Tory White caught eight bass, including a 6½-pounder, on plastic worms in the Expressway Pond. Louise and Tim Shoemaker caught 39 bream and 41 catfish on liver and worms in the Pollard Pond. Alton Harris caught 121 crappies in the Ditch on minnows and jigs. We wish all our friends and customers the happiest of new years.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Happy New Year to all our Augusta area friends.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – A few striped bass are being caught in the Savannah River. The redfish bite is on one day, off the next. A few spotted sea trout are being caught. Offshore, the artificial reefs are holding black drum, flounder and sheepshead. Happy New Year to our friends from the Augusta area.