Those competing in baseball, football, golf and tennis are constantly replenished by recreational, high school and collegiate programs.
Bass fishing also has become a competitive sport for many, but doesn’t have a source of new blood. The Clark Hill Committee, which is composed of more than 20 Augusta-area bass clubs, now has a new goal.
“We are going to support the Augusta State University Fishing Team, as well as others that are being formed in the middle and high schools,” said Larry Gilpin, spokesman for the committee. “We know about the North Augusta fishing club and we’ve heard there is a group wanting to start one at Harlem High School.
“We are going to make a $2,500 donation to the ASU team, which competes on a college tournament trail. We are going to make donations of tackle to the others. We are hoping that other fishermen who have some extra rods and reels or lures just laying around gathering dust will make some donations. We’re especially looking for baitcasting outfits.
“Anyone interested in donating such things is urged to call me at (706) 738-7663, or Barry Frazier at (706) 829-3850.”
In the past, the committee has donated thousands of dollars raised at its bass tournaments to local charities. “We’re not going to stop that, but we are committed to supporting kids who are interested in fishing,” Frazier said. “If we don’t do it, who will?”
• The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division of Georgia DNR has a neat program that provides a certificate to those catching their first fish. Go to www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/FirstFish/Reward. It is a PDF file and requires Adobe Reader to retrieve and print out the certificate. It’s perfect for that child or grandchild making his first catch.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Shirley Branch, Augusta, caught 16 crappies in our fish house on minnows. William Hawkins, of Raysville, caught 16 crappies, including a 4-pounder, in Big Hart Creek. Debbie Percival, of Raysville, caught 17 nice crappies on minnows.
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) – Water temperature is in the mid to upper 50s and the lake is on a slight rise. I’m having to reschedule about half my groups due to rain and high winds. On the nice days, the lake is producing some good catches. We’ve been having lots of rain in the mornings, so I’m going out in the afternoon. The shallows are hot right now, but we’re also catching some deep fish. James Lewis, his brother-in-law, Reggie Hammond, of Lexington, S.C., caught a cooler full of largemouth and white perch. We didn’t get the first striper until late in the afternoon. About an hour before dark, we could see gulls begin diving in the shallows. We pulled herring under planer boards and caught six nice stripers, one hybrid and missed several just before dark.
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: Justin Thornburg, Leme Baber, both of Pueblo, Colo., Brandon Clasby, Canon City, Colo.; Rodney Boyd and Tim Boyd, of Aiken, caught 29 fish. They were an exceptional 29. Bulk of the fish was composed of hybrids 8 pounds or more. Also included were striped bass of 24, 11 and 9 pounds. Mark: Jack Becker and Ron Walters, of Savannah Lakes Village, and Jim Morgan, of Laurinburg, N.C., three stripers of 15, 18 and 26 pounds. Bruce Davis, of Hephzibah; Terry Williams, of Beech Island; Eric Crawford, of Thomson; De’Marest Hammond, of Augusta, caught 50 white perch and a nice mess of hybrids and stripers. Terry Johnson, of Aiken; Robert Clothier, of Aiken; Randy Wendt, of Illinois, eight hybrids and stripers 3 to 8 pounds. Jeremy Walden, of North Augusta; Daryl Turner and Daniel Reeves, both of Aiken, caught five stripers 8 to 18 pounds and five largemouth. John Houts, of North Augusta, and his son, Phillip, and Robert Hale, of Columbia, caught six fish 5 to 22 pounds. Phillip, 18, caught the 22-pounder. He just joined the Army and is en route to Fort Benning, Ga. We hope he stays safe.
Bradd Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 – Patrick Broadwater and Cornelius Thurmond have been catching slab crappies in the Dordon Creek area, using medium minnows. We have reports that hybrids and stripers are showing up at the dam off the off-limits cable about 25 feet down. The fish also are to be found in the Lake Springs and Clark Hill Park areas. The key is watching the sea gulls.
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) (facebook.com/flyfishingnorthgeorgia) – Without a hint of winter in the air, the bugs are already hatching and the trout are already biting like it’s spring. However, the fishing pressure is still consistent with winter (which, believe it or not, is technically the season we’re still in). So if you’re only going to make it up to north Georgia for some trout fishing a time or two this year, now is the time to go. The Toccoa, Chattahoochee and Chattooga rivers all have miles of public water that is fishing really well. Try elk hair caddises and various caddis emerger patterns on all these streams. And the private trophy sections on the Soque and Chestatee rivers have already produced some of their biggest fish in years.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Chris Kelly caught a 7½ pound bass on a Brush Hawg in the Garden Pond. Sammy Hogan caught bass weighing 9 and 6 pounds in the Expressway Pond on trick worms. Claude Dailey caught 51 crappies and Larry Jones caught 42 crappies in the Ditch. Both were using minnows. Sandra Mitchell caught nine carp, including one of 17 pounds, in the Ditch on dough balls. Bryan Rooker and sons caught 53 catfish in the White Elephant Pond on liver. William Blocker caught eight bream over 1 pound each in the Cornell Pond on worms. David Nettles caught 53 big crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows and jigs. David and Robbie Hewitt caught an 8-pound catfish on liver in the Membership Pond. Lock and Dam: Harry Cook and Van Tran caught eight shad, each using Sabiki rigs. Sinkey Boone caught 35 bream on worms down river. Barney Edwards caught six stripers, including an 11-pounder, on live herring.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – As most of you know, I have been fishing for more than 50 years. During that time, I have caught about five of a species called “Cubbyu.” I always called them “baby boogies with the bulging eyes!” But I chanced to thumb through a book, An Illustrated Guide of the Fishes of Grays Reef, by Dr. Matthew R. Gilligan. And there was a photo of the Cubbyu. The book was published in 1989 and if you can find a copy, grab it. I refer to mine every day.