Windy weather can be a friend to anglers at Thurmond Lake

Boy! Isn’t this great weather for kite flying?


But you can make the high winds work for you when fishing Thurmond Lake. Threadfin shad are weak swimmers and usually wind up against windswept banks and points.

The problem is to be able to fish such an area and keep your electric motor on high to prevent the winds from blowing you onto that same bank. Weightless Zoom Super Flukes and small crank baits like Bandits or Rat-L-Traps are good for this time of the year.

Noel Brown, of North Augusta, is one of the area’s better bass fishermen. The lake is very clear so he likes to check out areas like points and pockets where the wind has stirred up the silt and clouded up the water.

Not that many years ago, I always liked to fish around wind-blown rocky banks and points with Carolina-rigged Super Floater plastic worms. Fished on a three-foot leader with a quarter-ounce sinker above a swivel for enough weight to cast them, the super-buoyant worms, especially those with hot pink tails, were effective bass-catchers. Try to find that brand of worm nowadays.

Thurston Hall, of Martinez, was once the area’s bass fishing king. (I have a photo of him wearing a crown I’d borrowed from Fat Man’s Forest). He poured his own plastic worms, four-inch green ones, that were just as effective on Carolina-rigged Super Floaters. I still have a few of those little worms he’d given me years ago.

Check out last weekend’s bass tournament results elsewhere on this page. The wind obviously didn’t bother those men who won.

• Congratulations to the Georgia Southern team of Justin Hewlett, of North Augusta, and Geoffrey Hill, of Kennesaw, Ga.

They won last Saturday’s National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference tournament on Santee Cooper. They caught four bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces and earned $5,000.

Augusta State’s team of Shane Wyatt and Wesley Steinmeyer Jr., finished 17th out of 40 with only two bass weighing 4 pounds, 2 ounces.

• Traveling to Florida this year?

Check out the sharks exhibition at Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of the Arts. It opens May 12 and runs all year. General admission is $10, those serving in the military can get in for $7 and children 5 and under can see it for $5.


Fishing Notes


Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Albert Whidley caught a 7-pound catfish. Jack Owens and Billy Englett, from Grovetown, caught 25 crappies on jigs and minnows. Cliff Crowe and Newton Parker caught 20 shellcrackers, two bream and one sun perch on pink worms. Don Ginder, of Raysville, caught six catfish on chicken liver. Robert Watkins caught five crappies, Naomi Black caught six crappies and her brother, Carl, caught eight crappies in our fish house, using minnows. Dennis Brinson caught a 5-pound striper on live herring.

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 temperatures are in the mid 60s and the lake is clear. We’re getting March weather in late April. We knew we were going to have to suffer for that beautiful March we had and sure enough, cold fronts are coming pretty steadily right now. On the good days, we’re catching some nice stripers 10 to 12 pounds and slab hybrids 6 to 8 pounds, as well as some nice largemouths.

The Dickerson family of Savannah, Ga. – Jamie, Amie, Abbie and Josh – had a great morning on Thursday. We knew it was going to get windy, but they didn’t mind going out at 4 a.m., to beat the bad weather. The kids were wide awake and ready to catch fish. They put 27 nice ones in the boat before 10 o’clock. After that it got bad and we came on in.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Kirk Daniel and I went in his boat Thursday. We fished points. He caught a 3-pounder on a Bandit crank bait and added two more bass on other points. Then he caught about a pound yellow perch. I caught a small bass and that was it after 3½ hours of fishing.

My new show features The Bassmasters. 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, G-Force (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Northland Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

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: Tarber Bailey and Sally Bailey, Appling, and Rhonda and David Mundorf, Casper, Wyo., caught 20 striped bass and hybrids, one catfish and four largemouths. Jerry Griffith, Stan Steiner, J. Wanner, all of Americus, Ga., and Pat Parker, Lincolnton, caught 10 stripers and hybrids 3 to 12 pounds and 20 crappies. Daniel Reeves, Aiken; Brad Fulghum, North Augusta, and Jeremy Walden, North Augusta, caught 12 stripers 6 to 12 pounds and 20 crappies.

Clark Hill Herring Hut (Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – Edwin Patrick, Swainsboro, Ga.; Ed Patrick, of Macon; Ashley Patrick and Frank Patrick, both of Swainsboro, Ga., and Buddy and Kilby Patrick, of Atlanta, caught a mixed box of hybrids and stripers. Glenn Grayson and Marshall Butler, Charlotte, N.C., caught 18 hybrids.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – When you called earlier, I was pressure-washing a 27-foot pontoon boat. Now I have a fleet, including my 23-foot outboard. I wanted a boat that will be good for parties and especially one that would allow small kids to run around in it. I had to cancel two parties this week because of inclement weather and decided to devote my time to rigging out the pontoon. The other boat is fine for downlining, but it’s a bit crowded for six people plus me when pulling planer boards. High winds have made it tough to pull boards over shallow, windswept points. Hybrids and stripers aren’t in the downline mood just yet. Check out my Web site:



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( – Hunter: The trout have started eating lots of surface insects so dry fly fishing is incredible right now. Trips on the Chestatee and Toccoa rivers have produced a lot of really nice trout on dry flies during the past week. In mid morning through early afternoon hours, we’ve been most successful with terrestrial patterns such as Turk’s Tarantulas and Hoppers. But as the evening hours approach, look for Yellow Sallies, Sulfurs and Blue-Winged Olives.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Bubba and Dana Koss with 8 pounds won last Friday night’s bass tournament. Preston Crews and Brian Weaver had 7.56 pounds for second and third were Robert Pope and Chris Davis with 4.76 pounds. Big fish was caught by Crews-Weaver and weighed 5.56 pounds. Brickyard report: Paul Wolfe caught eight bass in the Membership Pond. Herman Farmer caught 39 bream in the Cornell Pond on crickets. Anthony Mervin caught 23 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Lawrence Haygood caught 41 catfish in the White Elephant Pond on liver and worms. Steve White caught 37 bream in the Membership Pond on worms. Claude and Roz Daley caught 39 crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. Lynn Taylor caught nine bass (including a 7-pounder) in the Expressway Pond on plastic worms. Frieda and Jimmy Woods caught 35 bream and 27 catfish on worms and crickets. Lock and dam: Mike Wang caught eight shad on Sabiki rigs. Aaron and Jerry Skinner limited out on redbellies downriver, using crickets. Tim Lee caught 40 shad over a five-day period on Sabikis. Jacob Miller caught 14 big catfish 10 pounds and bigger on cut herring. Bruce Roberts caught 39 mullet down river on mullet worms.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – I’ve had the flu and fishing has been slow, too, because of the crazy March weather. Not many fishermen have ventured out. Cobia are in and there have been some good catches in the Broad River. Fishing is good for whiting and slow for redfish. Not many boats are braving windy conditions, but bull dolphin (mahi mahi) and wahoo are in the Gulf Stream.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Cobia and king mackerel are at the artificial reefs. Redfish, spotted sea trout and flounder are being caught inshore. The Savannah Snapper Banks are producing good bottom fishing, with grouper season opening May 1. Once winds return to normal and temperatures begin to rise again, it’s time to come on down.