Fishing in predawn hours works for some anglers

Whew! But you can beat the heat and catch some fish by going before the crack of dawn. Check out the reports below.

My friend, William Hooker, has been having success bass fishing in Thurmond Lake from 6-8:30 p.m. He’s fishing Zoom finesse plastic worms on drop-shot rigs in 25 to 35 feet of water around grass (hydrilla) in the lower lake basin.

• A reader e-mailed me ( about getting one of those maps with local place names put out by Albert Moody in 2008. Don’t know where the Fireman’s Cove, I-20 Hump, Monkey Island or Yellow Dog Point are located? The map tells all. If you want a copy, send a stamped, addressed business envelope to Bill Baab, 2352 Devere St., Augusta, GA 30904 and I’ll mail a copy.

• The U.S. Coast Guard-approved charter boat captain’s “Six-Pack” class will be held Aug. 3-5 and Aug. 10-12 at Holiday Inn, 441 Park West, Augusta, GA 30813. The seven people who have signed up to take the class have been sent information on what to bring. If you are interested, you must contact Catherine S. Giles, Charleston Sea School, at least three days before classes start at (888) 883-2278.



Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Neal Kramber caught a limit of largemouth bass on Texas-rigged trick worms. One fish was a 3-pounder and all came by the rocks at the Raysville bridge. Jack Owens and Ray Englett caught 28 crappies on minnows. Danny Johnson caught 14 shellcrackers and six white perch on worms. Clifford Crowe and Don Ginder caught 14 catfish and a good mess of shellcrackers on worms. Julie and Ray Orzechowsik and their two sons have been camping up here. They reported good catches of shellcrackers, bream and catfish fishing the banks of the marina and using worms and herring.

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 ( – Water temperature is in the upper 80s, the lake is clear and continuing to fall.

The weather is scorching, but the fish are eating the bottom out of my boat. We’re having some great trips. We’re catching the best part of the day – 5 to 8 a.m., seeing a beautiful star and planet show and catching 40 to 60 fish in just a couple of hours. The hybrids, stripers and largemouths are coming fast, usually doubles and triples. Cherokee and Mosley creeks are producing deep fish as well as breaking fish later in the morning. There also are fish breaking in front of the Fireman’s Cove off Georgia’s Little River. I’m staying with live bait, but the umbrella rigs also are producing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sammy would kill the surface fish, but I haven’t tried them since I’ve been limited out by the time I see them break. The following had great times on the lake: Tom Cotton, Chris Perry, Hunter Price, Kyle Rice, Charlie Falzman and his group from Savannah, three generations of Burkes, the Marine Joe, his two sons, John and Tom, and grandsons Christian and Kyle. Tom Allgood was also there. We had a great morning of fellowship together. I actually got to reel in some fish. Here’s wishing Glenn Tisdale a speedy recovery from heart surgery. He loves to fish and I’m hoping he will be 100 percent shortly.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Kirk Daniel, his 6-year-old, Collier, and I fished Monday night. Kirk caught a bass and Collier caught a fish by himself on his pushbutton rig. Then Kirk caught another and I didn’t catch a fish. The heat was oppressive, even after dark.

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 Northland Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site – Marvin and Michael Deal, of Statesboro, Ga., gave their dad a fishing trip for Father’s Day. We fished in windy and light rainy conditions last Saturday, with water temperature at 82 degrees. We trolled Capt. Mack’s umbrella rigs in the Savannah River channels, the mouth of Little River and the mouth of Keg Creek. We caught 16 stripers and hybrids 3 to 7 pounds.

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 – William: Fishing this week has been very good in the morning, or waiting on the heat to break in late afternoon. The morning fish can be found off main channel points around Keg Creek, mouth of Georgia’s Little River and the Modoc area, fishing 50 to 60 feet deep in 80 feet of water. In the early part of the afternoon, stripers have been caught on red and white Spro bucktails with a white trailer around the deep area in front of the South Carolina Welcome Center. Umbrella rigs pulled in the mouth of Little River. Good quality hybrids are being caught later in the evenings, fishing 30 to 60 feet down in 80 feet in the trenches and off main channel points. Some decent hybrids are being caught during the early morning in Bass Alley and the Georgia Flats. Enjoying lots of fishing action on the lake were Cleve Love, Dennis Hobbs, T.R. Riley, Brandon Zapota, all of Evans; Robert Burrows, Wilmington, N.C.; Russell Bruxniky, Grovetown; David Sitler, Augusta, and Todd McIntire, Appling. Others included Ryan Lentech, Aiken, and Jason and Ron Lentech, Overland Park, Kan.; Jim, Jeff and Matt Williams, all of Grovetown, and Keith Williams, Columbus, Ga.; Scott Madaus, Drew May, Christine May and John Novak, all of Evans, and Anthony Waiter, Savannah, and Penny Hayes and Fayeth Tubbs, both of Aiken.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – The mid section of the lake from Plum Branch to Bussey Point is just about dead. Water quality is down and the bait won’t live. So I’m fishing from Bussey Point up to Cherokee Creek. Fishing has been challenging, and I am having to work for the fish. Bigger fish hard to come by, getting fewer every day. My parties are catching stripers in the 8- to 10-pound range. Most of my fish are coming 24 to 30 feet down in deep water. The Flanders party from Allendale had a great day, catching 50 hybrids, stripers, white perch and catfish. The Fishletter party, visiting from Iowa, struggled with a slow bite. We caught plenty of fish for two or three meals and they were satisfied with that. Check out my Web site at



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 (; – Hunter & Carter: Hatches on the Toccoa River have been incredible during the late evenings. Blue-winged olives have been coming off by the thousands as well as sporadic hatches of sulphurs and stoneflies. Fishing also has been good in the higher elevation creeks full of smaller wild trout. The experience of hiking into a secluded area and catching wild trout that are rarely fished for can be just as memorable as catching a big trout on the river. On the smaller creeks, use dry flies that don’t imitate anything specific, but are good attractor patterns such as a Double Humpy or a Royal Wulff.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Brickyard report: The hot weather has kept the fishermen away. Lock and Dam: J.C. and Eric Skinner caught 40 bream and 12 catfish and 12 crappies. They went back and caught 46 crappies, some catfish and eight bream.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Fishing success is on the upswing, while high winds offshore have slowed down the Gulf Stream fishing. Fishing for kingfish has improved, with dolphin slow and wahoo and sailfish good. Spanish mackerel fishing is excellent near the shore, while bottom fishing is producing good catches of black sea bass. Hit the incoming tide around the estuaries and marsh grass for good redfish results. Flounder fishing is also improving. Black sea bass, trigger fish, grunts and grouper are among the bottom dwellers biting.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – The redfish bite is improving, as well as the spotted sea trout and summer trout (weakfish). The latter are being caught off artificial reefs. The reefs are located in 55 feet of water and you never know what you’re going to catch until you lower cut squid or cut fish into the depths.