Mild temperatures this winter have caused the American shad run to be about a month early at the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.
Small colorful jigs and Sabiki Rigs are among the favorites anglers use to catch the fish, which do not feed during their spawning run.
But they strike at anything colorful (chartreuse, yellow, white, hot pink) or flashy. Remember, the daily creel limit is eight.
If you want a real fight on your hands, those of you in boats ought to try a fly rod.
• The 2012 IGFA World Record Game Fishes book is out and features a painting of a largemouth bass on its cover.
Only way you can get the 408-page book is to join the IGFA at $40 a year. For more information, write IGFA, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, Fla., 33004.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Jason Lawson, of Thomson, caught 24 crappies in our fish house. Fishing has been on the slow side since last weekend’s subfreezing temperatures.
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-50s and the lake is clear. I am still doing some scouting, catching good fish in the shallows on live herring, but by the time I get around to taking out parties, the weather gets bad. I had a group from Sharon, Pa., and we tried to go, but the winds were too high. They’ll be back in April. I’m still catching some white perch. Some largemouth, too, are being caught on herring fished behind planer boards in the shallows on planer boards. We’re about two weeks away from some really good fishing.
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: Debbie Peoples and Alan Salmi, Jacksonville, Fla., caught two 8-pound hybrids and one striper on downlines 40 feet down. We missed a 30-pound class fish using live herring behind planer boards. Mark: Brandon Cannon, Greer, S.C.; Michael Brightwell, Lyman, S.C., and Brittany Whitaker, Greer, caught nice bunch of hybrids and stripers, including a 15-pounder, while fishing with charter Capt. Andrew Tubbs. Robert Higgins, Larry Hutto and Stephen Rouse, all of Greenville, S.C., landed 14 hybrids and stripers 6 to 13 pounds. Jack Robinson, Larry Robinson and Michael Tate, all of Statesboro, Ga., caught stripers 12 to 22 pounds.
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; facebook.com/flyfishingnorthgeorgia) – Dad and I had trips on the Noontootla Creek recently and, after we learned where the fish were and what they were hungry for, we had some very productive days. After some significant rainfall earlier in the week, the trout were pushed higher up in many of the runs than they’ve been at lower water levels. Stripping brown and olive rubber-legged Wooly Buggers caught most of the larger fish that has ignored an arsenal of other flies. The Amicalola River delayed harvest section is also fishing really well, producing brook and rainbow trout up to 15 inches.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Matt Painter caught nine bass, two over 6 pounds, on plastic worms in the Expressway Pond. Lynn Ross caught 42 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Luther McLeod caught 51 crappies in the Ditch. Paul Henry and son caught 64 catfish on liver and worms in the Pollard Pond. Mack Sealey caught 32 big crappies and bass in the Membership Pond on minnows and jigs. Benny Oliver caught 64 crappies in the Ditch on minnows and jigs. Josh Barfield caught 22 crappies over 1.5 pounds each on minnows and jigs in the Expressway Pond. We’re holding a meeting at our bait and tackle shop on March 3 at 2 p.m., to discuss the rules for our March 16 bass tournament opener. Teya Jones caught eight carp on doughballs in the Ditch. Marty Pearson and Paul Grubbs caught eight bass in the Membership Pond. Here’s the Lock and Dam report: Jesse Burch caught five shad on jigs. Wang Fo caught eight shad on Sabiki Rigs. Harold Jones caught five stripers on live herring down river. One weighed more than 10 pounds. Josey and Jim Mitchell caught 18 crappies and five stripers down river on herring and shiners.
We have live herring for sale at $6 a dozen at our store.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Thanks to all the fishermen who attended my inshore and offshore schools. It was great to see everyone. Colder temperatures lowered the water temperature to the low 50s. A few spotted sea trout are being caught in the creeks on white ice Super Flukes on red quarter-ounce jig heads. The secret is to cast it, let it sit, reel in a few turns and repeat. That gives the fish enough time to mouth the lure.
Bridges at their uprights provide plenty of vertical feeding surfaces for sheepshead. Try fishing one hour before and one hour after the full tide stage.