Boat position is crucial

I interviewed Frank Sabo, of Evans, on the water on a misty Wednesday morning. He had used a buzzbait and a Gunfish last weekend to capture the 38th annual Mr. Clark Hill Bass Fishing Championship on Thurmond Lake.


During our conversation, he came out with a bit of information that could benefit all bass fishermen. He was saying how Tony Postell, of Appling, Ga., had really helped in giving him tips on how to fish the lake.

“One thing of importance he mentioned was boat position,” Sabo said. “You’ve got to have your boat in the right place to make casts to where the fish are. I have seen some fishermen position their boats right on top of a hump, covering the very area in which the fish were feeding.”

Years ago, I interviewed Hank Parker before he became a well known professional bass tournament fisherman. I asked what was the most important thing a fisherman should remember. “You’ve got to place your boat in the right position. If you can’t make casts to where the fish are, you’re wasting your time,” he said. I was always impressed by that answer.

• There are two fishing events coming up that will need support from the fishing fraternity. The first is the 21st annual Paralyzed Veterans of America tournament Oct. 21-23 out of Wildwood Park on Thurmond Lake. “We are going to need 40 boats,” said coordinator Kurt Glass. He can be reached at (706) 833-2763, or the PVA office at (706) 796-6301.

The second is the 11th annual John de la Howe School Rufus Sawyer Memorial Children’s Fishing Tournament on Oct. 29 out of the Dorn Fishing and Boating Facility in McCormick County, S.C. Honorary weighmasters are Bonnie and David Annis. “We’ve got 30 kids lined up,” David Annis said. “We need both male and female boat captains. For more information, I can be reached at (706) 481-9336, or by e-mail at

• A trio of Augusta area fishermen have leased the old Lock and Dam Bait & Tackle property and are operating B&B Bait & Tackle. Partners are Joey Bishop, Bobby Gilbert and Bubba Hastings, with the latter to manage the store. Bob Baurle owned and operated a bait and tackle store on that property for more than 50 years before retiring earlier this year.


Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Cliff Crowe and Don Ginder, of Raysville, caught 15 white perch, two catfish and 10 crappies. The fish bit hybrid pink worms.

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 ( – Water temperature is 72 degrees and the lake is clear and continuing to drop. My parties have fished in high winds and rain all week, but would not be deterred. We need some cold weather to move the fish back into the creeks. They are still oriented over the river channel and are hard to find some days. On the days the fish are breaking the surface, it’s not taking us long to catch a limit. Kevin Lack and his group of fish killers caught 27 fish up to 5 pounds, leading to a great fish fry. Mark Birdsong fished in the driving rain and wind with an old fishing buddy from Tennessee. We had a tough day, but ended up with some nice stripers and hybrids. Michael Graziano, a.k.a “G-Daddy,” and his group caught hybrids and stripers up to 8 pounds.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, (706) 860-7373 – John Holden and I fished on Wednesday, putting in at Lake Springs. We found fish schooling in 97 feet of water in the mouth of Keg Creek. They wouldn’t bite anything. So we went over to a green buoy opposite the park. The Corps of Engineers sounded the warning horn at the dam and the fish in the lake turned on. We caught 22 fish up to 8 pounds and probably missed 15. All our fish came on the Yellow Fellow.

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 Plank, Jim Geddes, Steve Preston, Charles Boso, George Fitz, all of Grove City, Ohio, with Jeff Hudson of Aiken, caught 20 striped bass up to 12 pounds. Chuck Reese, Greenville, S.C.; Steve Crocker, Newberry, S.C.; Chris Palmer, North Augusta; David Powell, Martinez, and Ray Hebbard, Martinez, caught 21 2- to 9-pound stripers and hybrids. Joe Savage, Mike Prather, Kevin Vanderwark, Daniel Radford, Hunter Savage, Laci Spencer, Chuck Spencer, Paul Cortwood and Troy Hill, all of the Augusta area, caught 45 stripers and hybrids. Jeff Hudson, Aiken, was joined by Scott Abernathy, Chris Varnadore and Chris Hickman, all of the Aiken area, had a great catch. Cornelius Bryant, Earle Beale, Derrick Williams and Eddie Williams had a nine-fish day last Sunday. Jordan Vanderwark, Jesse Baldowski, Lester King, Mark Desia, Dennis Preston, Steve Preston, Lonnie Maxson, Mark Williams and Keith Kirk, all of Ohio, caught 30 fish. Brad Bagwell, Augusta; Joe Spisak, Augusta; Ralph Wood, Buford, Ga., and Dwight. Bagwell, Augusta, caught a nice cooler of fish. Jason Cunningham and his 8-year-old son, Matthew, fished with William. Matthew caught some nice 6- to 8-pound hybrids.

Bradd Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 – Fish have been schooling at midday and late in the evening in front of the dam and the mouth of the Church Cove.

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 active again.


Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( – Hunter: The trophy trout streams of north Georgia are open for business and the fishing has been incredible. I had two trips this week at Fern Valley on the Soque River. On both days, we caught fish all day long on big rubber-legged stonefly nymphs, blue-winged olives and hopper patterns. The Toccoa River near Curtis Switch has also fished well at certain times of the day. However, the irregular release schedules from the Blue Ridge Dam have made it somewhat difficult to predict when to fish.


Check-in station

1410 Doug Barnard Parkway

Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Randy Jenkins caught 46 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Preston Lewis and family caught 63 catfish and bream on liver and worms in the White Elephant Pond. David Nettles caught six bass, including a 6-pounder, on plastic worms in the Expressway Pond. Thelma Jones caught 10 carp, two over 15 pounds each, on dough balls in the Ditch. Bill Mallard caught 27 nice bream in the Warren Pond on crickets. J.C. Thomas Jr., caught 37 crappies in the King Pond on minnows. Lynn Hutson caught five bass on plastic worms in the King Pond. One of the fish weighed more than 7 pounds. Alex and John Halman caught 56 catfish, several over 3 pounds, on cut bait and liver in the Stick Pond.

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle, (Russ Payton) (706) 722-8263 – We’ve heard of good catches of largemouth bass and bream from down the river. The mullet bite is still going on.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Fishing for redfish has been red hot, while spotted sea trout also are on the move. Because of inclement weather, few have been offshore. Spanish mackerel and small kings have been caught just offshore. The Oct. 21-22 inshore Owen Perry Memorial is coming up, to be followed by the Kids Fishing Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 25. More information: Fripp Island Marina, (843) 838-1517.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Although the wind has been howling for more than a week, the fish catch has been better than bad. Better bites are on the way, thanks to dropping water temperatures.

The Savannah Snapper Banks have been producing black sea bass and other bottom feeders.


Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:56

Gray caps off banner year with award

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:55

High school football polls

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:53

Tweaks in FedEx Cup could be coming