When fishing, take proper measures to handle heat

Did you check out the extreme weather forecasts over the next three or four days?


When air temperatures reach triple digits, it’s time for common sense to kick in if you’re planning a trip to the lake. The very best times to fish are during the early morning from just before daybreak (what I call “gray day”) until 9:30 or 10. Then it’s time to get off the water and stay off until late in the afternoon, just before sunset. Night fishing has been productive for many bass fishermen, most of them fishing from 5:30 p.m. until 10.

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and stay way from beer and soft drinks. All the latter do is to make you even thirstier.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and wear a hat or cap.

Be safe.



Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Danny Johnson caught 18 white perch, three catfish and eight shellcrackers (caught on pinks). Johnson and Lester Strother caught 26 white perch, four shellcrackers, two catfish and a hybrid on worms in Little River. Jack Owens and Billy Engle caught 23 crappies on minnows around stumps in our area. Cliff Crowe caught 18 white perch, three shellcrackers, one bluegill and two catfish. Johnson on yet another trip caught three catfish, five shellcrackers and 21 white perch. William Hawkins and Johnny York limited out on crappies on minnows.

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 (www.crockettrocketstriper fishing.com) – Water temperature is in the mid 80s, the lake is clear and continuing to fall. The fishing is as hot as the weather. We’re having some great mornings before it gets too hot. Michael Graziano, Nick Fasciano, Jim Wilson and Don Bliss had a great morning catching a cooler full of stripers and hybrids. They enjoyed a fish fry with a bottle of Graziano Wine to go along the fish. Dr. Phillip Kennedy took out his children – Granville and Reagan – and also hosted Drs. Jay Tomeo and Rebecca Talley and their children, Max and Lucy. They had a great morning catching cooler full of stripers, hybrids, white perch and some yellow perch. They also had a fish fry on the lake. Fishing should continue to be better as the hot weather pushes the fish deep and congregates them so we can catch a limit in just a couple of hours.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Bob Vernoy and I fished Tuesday. We caught just four bass, the biggest about 3 pounds, and missed a couple of more on shallow-running crank baits fished on shallow humps. I fished that night with Kirk Daniel and we caught six small bass on crank baits around humps. It was windy. We spotted a huge school of big stripers and hybrids busting baitfish on the surface in the mouth of Owl Branch on the South Carolina side of the lake. They were up and down too quickly for us to reach them, but I’d “guesstimate” there was an acre or more that surfaced around 7:30 p.m.

Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, My12TV, Knology Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Last Friday, my brother-in-law, Ricky Cleghorn, from Sycamore, Ga., fished with my grandson, Johnathan, and I. We wound up with 22 hybrids and stripers. The fish were 2 to 3 pounds each and were caught on live herring fished on down lines 24 to 32 feet. Last Tuesday, Larry Freeman, my grandson and I battled the wind all morning and ended up with 16 nice stripers and hybrids. We are marking fish, then they leave, and 20 minutes later another school will arrive. It’s hard for me to sit there and wait.

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Mark Crawford, 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) 373-8347 (Mark), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Mark: Kelly Fox and Barry Wells, North Augusta, and Ian Richardson and Robert White, Evans, caught a limit of 2-to-8-pound fish. Oliver Willingham, Jackson; Dicky McCall, Auburn, Ala.; Russell Bruyninckx, Grovetown, and Todd McIntire, Appling, caught a limit of 2-to-9-pounders. Stan Shepherd, Evans; Ricky Mays, Thomson, and Wayne Bissell, Evans, caught a limit of fish. Wayne Hammett, Martinez; Bruce Hammett, Appling; Thornton Riley, Hephzibah, and Dennis Hobbs, Evans, limited out. Elizabeth and Tom Curry, Augusta; Chris Cason, Martinez, and Jay Mixon, Augusta, landed 26 stripers and hybrids 2 to 10 pounds.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – We’ve been catching limits all week. We’re catching some good quality fish. We had one bad day this week (last Sunday) when we couldn’t get a good string bite, plus aggravation from white perch. I’ve been catching some fish 38 to 40 feet down and they are bigger when you can get them to bite. The Armand party from Johnston, S.C., had a great day, catching 40 fish. The Backalow family of North Georgia spent two days here, limited out on one day and catching 25 the second day. The Smith party from Greenville, S.C. limited out on slab hybrids in a couple of hours.

Check out my Web site at www.acestriperguide.com.



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) – Hunter: With the private trophy trout streams about to close for the remainder of the summer, it’s been great to see the Toccoa River fishing well again after a couple of slow weeks. This is due to the resumption of daily water generation from the Blue Ridge Dam, which helps cool the stream‘s temperature. If it gets warmer, try fishing tailwaters like the Toccoa, or smaller, heavily shaded streams at higher elevations.




Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Our annual free fishing day will be held July 6. Everybody needs to check in at the tackle shop off Doug Barnard Parkway before going fishing. Winners of last Friday’s bass tournament were Preston Crews and Bryan Weaver with 5.54 pounds. Dana Koss and Terrell Connor were second with 5.46 pounds. Robert Pope and Chris Davis were third with 5.40 pounds. Big fish was the 5.40-pounder caught by Pope and Davis.

Brickyard report: Milton Flourney and Lonzo Gunter caught 35 bream in the Membership Pond on crickets. Henry Lamb caught 32 bream in the Cornell Pond on crickets. Laura Bush caught 31 catfish on liver in the Ditch. Ernest Brown caught 15 carp (one 14 pounds) on dough balls in the Ditch. Paul Stoney caught 21 crappies in the ditch on minnows. Sarge Wilson caught 36 bream and four bass in the Expressway Pond on worms. Ray Storm caught nine bass in the Garden Pond on plastic worms.

Ken Holloway caught eight bass on crank baits in the Membership Pond. Sonny Gray caught 42 catfish in the White Elephant Pond on liver. Lock and dam: Harrison Wells limited out on bream downriver on crickets.

John Furman caught 68 big mullet on small red worms. James Hawes caught and released 12 stripers including a 20-pounder on herring. Joe Hamm caught 14 catfish, including a 26-pounder, down river on cut herring.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Weather conditions have been horrible, but only an inch of rain drenched us. High tides and rough water have made inshore fishing tough, but we’ve seen a gradual improvement in the redfish and whiting bites. Flounder bites are on the upswing. Small black sea bass (fun to catch) are dominating bottom fishing, along with good grouper and trigger fish. The wreck of the Betsy Ross is the place to fish for cobia. Wahoo and bull dolphin (mahi-mahi) are providing the Gulf Stream action.



Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Now that shrimp boats are out trawling, sport fishermen can take advantage. Fall in behind the boat, don’t get too close and stay out of its way. The boats’ nets are scooping up shrimp and fish and the fish that don’t make it into the net are scattered. Fish that eat fish are right there enjoying a harvest and you can, too.



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