Fishing with Albert Moody, of Clarks Hill, S.C., has been a wrist-spraining, fast action adventure in Georgia’s Little River section of Thurmond Lake.
Last Monday afternoon, my wife, Bea, and I joined him aboard his 21-foot pontoon boat.
Thanks to timely tips from Joe Berg, of Plum Branch, S.C., and Bradd Sasser, of the Clarks Hill Herring Hut, we found hundreds of hybrids schooling in waters opposite Ridge Road Campground, but on the Lincoln County side of the lake. The bite started about 6:15 p.m., and lasted until dark.
The key lure was a Zoom Super Fluke (white ice in color) threaded onto a quarter-ounce lead-headed jig. I’ve always preferred the single hook jig for the ease of getting the hook out of the fish quickly so I could make another cast.
Albert wound up with the day’s biggest fish of 5 pounds. It struck a top-water lure called a Gunfish.
Schools of the hard-pulling fish were surfacing as far as the eye could see. We started in about 70 feet of water, but wound up in about 20 feet as the hybrids herded the shad into the shallows.
We returned to the area Wednesday afternoon, and while some schooling occurred, the action was nothing like that of Monday. Bea caught two of the four fish landed.
I hooked two large fish by jigging the Berry’s Flex-It Spoon (3/4-ounce) beneath the boat, but both pulled free.
That area and the Parksville to Dordon Creek section are the hot spots for schooling action during the early morning and late afternoon.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Cliff Crowe, of Raysville, caught 13 shellcrackers and seven catfish on worms and chicken liver. William Hopkins, of Raysville, with Johnny and Margaret York, caught 20 crappies, one catfish and one shell cracker on minnows.
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 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the low 80s, the lake is clear and continuing to fall. Fish continue to break in Little River as well as around Parksville. The downline fishing with live herring is still producing, but the fish are scattered. Scott Harper and his wife, Lynn, from Spartanburg, S.C., wanted to fish only for breaking fish. He also likes to use a fly rod. We got into the breaking fish just north of Parksville around Dordon Creek and they had a blast. Everything was catch and release, so I am not sure how many were caught, but everyone was tired after the action. October and November are the peak months for live bait fishing in the fall and I am looking forward to that
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Kirk Daniels and I fished Monday and went to the Georgia Flats. We wound up with three largemouth bass. Kirk caught his on a crank bait and I caught mine on a Pop-R. The fish were in the grass, but in 30 feet of water.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Fishing on the lake with me last Friday were Jeff Coleman, of Augusta, and Larry Freeman, of Grovetown. We found schooling fish up and down the Savannah River and in Georgia’s Little River from 7:45 a.m. until 11 a.m. Our fish ranged in size from 2 to 7 pounds. Most of the 30 fish landed were caught on the Sammy (a Japanese-made top-water lure). Last Saturday was a different story. My grandson, Johnathan, and his friend, Dillon Faulk, of Appling, Ga., found the fish hard to catch. There were huge schools, but the fish wouldn’t hit our baits. The boys finally caught a dozen stripers weighing 2 to 5 pounds. We fished ice flies, Super Flukes and CC Spoons. The fish didn’t school until 8:15 a.m.
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 – This week has produced some wonderful catches of hybrids and stripers with the bite starting about 1 p.m., and wrapping up right around dark. More and more large schools are showing up with the most popular and heavily fished area around Parksville on the main Savannah River channel side of Horseshoe Island as well as on the back of the island toward the Parksville, ramp. Georgia’s Little River opposite Ridge Road Campground also has been producing large school action. Main lures are Zoom Super Flukes (white ice) on quarter-ounce jig heads, Sammies and ice flies thrown behind weighted popping floats. There has been a steady bite with schools showing up on the Georgia Flats. Fishing live herring 20 to 30 feet below the schooling fish has been productive. Some of our clients who have been enjoying the action include Robert Rhodes, William Reynolds, Richard Holliman, Tavarse Osborn, Myron Flournoe, Dexter Reid, all of Augusta, and James McManus, Cynthia McManus, Jeremy McManus and Brooke McManus, all of Waynesboro, Ga.
Clarks Hill Herring Hut, (Capt.Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – Late afternoon fishing includes chasing schools of hybrids on the lake, or catching bream, shellcrackers or crappies on the river below the dam. There also have been some hybrids and stripers caught off the fishing platform on the South Carolina side of the dam, casting Berry’s Flex-It Spoons. Hybrid pinks and small shiners have been catching bream and crappies, respectively.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – The good thing about schoolers is that we’re catching 3-to-7-pound fish beneath them. Sometimes they’ll black out the screen and the bigger fish have been deeper. I’m hoping the fish will stay gathered up. I don’t understand why people don’t cut off their outboards and just use their electric trolling motors. All they’re doing is driving the fish away and spoiling it for everyone else. The outboards’ underwater exhaust system cause the bait fish to spook and go deeper and where the bait goes, so go the game fish.
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) – The private trophy streams are back open and the fishing this week has been excellent. We’ve had the most success with small flashy nymphs, like Lightning Bugs and the several shiny Prince nymph variations. The Toccoa River has been hit and miss, but some days have been quite good with most trout being caught on size 16 flashback pheasant tails.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Military personnel, senior citizens, you can fish for half-price. If you’re handicapped, you can fish for free. Contact the bait and tackle shop for details.
Brickyard report: Brett Grandy caught five bass, one 6½ pounds, on plastic worms in the Shack Pond. Jimmy Wong caught four bass including a 6½-pounder in the Pollard on plastic worms. Mel and Sharon Langston caught 35 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. James Wallace and Jim Rucker caught 45 crappies on minnows in the Expressway Pond. David Berry caught 20 catfish in the Stick Pond on rooster liver. Jerry Skinner and Gene Kirkland caught 40 crappies and 20 bream, in the King and Pollard ponds on minnows and worms. Paul Wolfe and Robbie Hendricks caught six bass, including a 7-pounder, in the Membership Pond on plastic worms. Lock and dam: Hugh Baird caught six stripers 8 to 14 pounds down river on live herring. Edward Dorr caught three stripers weighing 12 to 16 pounds on live herring. John Beam and Roger Clark caught 30 shellcrackers down river on worms. Frederick Brown caught 30 bream, 18 shellcrackers and eight crappies on minnows, worms and crickets.
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Inshore fishing is excellent for redfish and trout. Spanish mackerel are plentiful near the shore as well as just offshore. Wahoo and kingfish are striking trolled lures near the Gulf Stream.
Next events on Fripp are the annual Owen Perry Memorial Inshore Tournament Oct. 19-20 and the annual Kids’ Thanksgiving Fishing Tournament on Friday, Nov. 23, at the marina.