When it comes to eating shrimp, I learned that flounder and I have a lot in common – we peel ’em before we eat ’em!
That bit of trivia comes from Capt. Judy Helmey who, as she says, has been “Kicking Fish Tail Since 1956.”
The “kicking” has been done out of Savannah, Ga., and Capt. Judy is wrapping up her 55th year in the charter fishing business.
“If the shrimp are getting peeled, but no hookups are occurring, then nine times out of 10 you are fishing in a flounder spot,” she said. “Most likely, this means there are more than one flounder in the area. So I suggest you give the fish at least 20 seconds to eat the shrimp before setting the hook.”
She pointed out that “redfish crush and drag your bait, spotted sea trout attack, kill and quickly eat it, but the ol’ flounder takes its time, peels the shrimp and then eats it.
Next time you are peeling and eating shrimp, think about the flounder doing it with no hands!”
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Danny Johnson and Jackie Oliphant, of Thomson, caught 36 crappies and two large hybrids, fishing with minnows in the Raysville area. The crappie bite is strong, with minnows and jigs catching ’em.
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.crockett rocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the lower 60s and the lake is clear and continuing to drop. We’re still catching some nice groups of fish, with stripers, hybrids, largemouths and white perch. Most of the fish are coming on live herring fished on downlines in 24 to 30 feet. We’re occasionally jigging up some nice largemouths on Berry’s Flex-It Spoons. Jeff Morris and his family fished with me at the beginning of the week. We had to wait for the fog to lift to get up river, but the wait was worth it. We are catching some of our stripers free-lining with planer boards, but it’s getting hard to find a place free of hydrilla. Hopefully, some grass carp will be stocked in the near future.
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) – Mark: Jim Bodine, Thomson, and George Bodine, Norfolk, Va., caught 19 hybrids and stripers 2 to 7 pounds. Gale Calkins, Wichita, Kan., caught a limit of stripers and hybrids. John McCutcheon, Appling; Jerry Parnell, Appling; Mitchell Bridges, Athens, Ga., caught 28 hybrids, stripers and white perch. William: Mike Chance, Andy Gibson, Al Stevenson, Remy Stevenson and Carl Leggett, all of Grovetown, and Tom Desuslo and Randy Tillman, both of Evans, caught 45 stripers and hybrids. They were caught mainly on downlines on the bottom in30 feet of water. Check out my Web site at www.williamsasserfishing.com.
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 at 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) – Carter: Best fishing for us has been on the Toccoa River below Blue Ridge Dam. Hunter and I both had successful trips with clients who had never fished for trout or with a fly rod. It’s great to take out beginners and have them catch 10 or 12 fish on their first trip. I also had a great trip with beginners on the Coosawatee River. They both caught 10 nice fat rainbows and the highlight of the day came when a bald eagle flew up the river just over our heads. I had a day off and went fishing with Art Dawe, who works in the Unicoi Fly Shop in Blue Ridge, Ga. We decided to fish several public areas of the Toccoa and caught lots of fish at all locations. Most fish were caught on olive girdle bugs with rubber legs, but my best fish came on top with a royal stimulator. The river is full of big hungry fish and fishing should be good through this month.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1410 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer (706) 722-8263 – Bubba Hughes caught 62 crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. Thomas Williams and Arthur Butler caught 31 good crappies on minnows in the Ditch. Alex Hines and Lester Williams caught 55 crappies in the Ditch. Jerry Skinner caught 59 big crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. Thomas William and Reggie Dock caught 60 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Jay Robinson and Brandy Ito caught more than 100 crappies from the Ditch on minnows. John Bowman caught 32 catfish in the Ditch on liver. Allen McCall caught nine bass in the Expressway Pond on plastic worms. Sherry Jones caught six carp in the Ditch on dough balls. Paul Warren caught 39 crappies a pound or better in the Membership Pond on minnows. Allen Kinlaw and son caught 35 catfish and 23 bream from the White Elephant Pond on worms and liver. Brantley Toomer caught more than 60 crappies, keeping 13 of 1½ pounds or better. The fish bit minnows.
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The 14th annual Thanksgiving Kids Fishing Tournament held out of Fripp Island Marina last Friday was a great day for more than 188 youngsters. The Fripp Island Yacht Club, The Fripp Company, U.S. Food Service and J&R Ice Cream were lauded for their support of the event. Meanwhile, the redfish bite is on again, with the trout bite slowly improving. Offshore, fishing for black sea bass, trigger fish and grouper is fair to good.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – We have set the dates for our popular inshore and offshore fishing clinics. The inshore school will be held Feb. 4 and the offshore school is set for Feb. 11. Both will be held at Tubby’s Tank House in Thunderbolt, Ga. Cost is $90 per person and includes the one-day class, breakfast and lunch. You can sign up now by calling me on my cell phone at (912) 429-7671 or e-mail email@example.com.