Did anyone check out Thurmond Lake during the high winds this week?
If so, you’ll have seen why the lake was called “Georgia’s inland ocean” during its early days.
Waves five and six feet high or higher made the lake a dangerous place to be in a small boat.
My wife and I got caught out one time when the winds picked up from dead calm to well over 25 mph before we could get back in. Our boat is 16 feet, 4 inches, with a deep vee hull and wrap-around windshield. We’d headed in, the boat dropping deep into a trough where we couldn’t see anything until we climbed the other side of the wave to its top.
We were thankful for the windshield, which kept most of the water out of the boat, along with our bilge pump.
Taking it slow, we finally were able to return safely to the Lake Springs ramp.
The extended weather forecast calls for winds to diminish late tonight.
• The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division will close Ocmulgee Public Fishing Area on Nov. 7 to get ready to repair leaks in the dam. The lake is 17 feet down.
Bass in the 8- to 12-pound category will be removed from the lake and moved to other public fishing lakes. Smaller bass will be netted and kept in nearby hatcheries to stock back into the lake once work is finished.
The reopening will take place in the spring of 2014, a department spokesman said.
• The American Bass Anglers AFT National Championship will be held Oct. 23-25, 2013, on Thurmond Lake.
Thanks to Phil Morris, of Saluda, S.C., and William Hooker, of Grovetown, for the tip. The tournament was held out of the Fort Gordon Recreation Area in 2010.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Gary Edge, of Raysville, caught 30 crappies in Germany Creek on minnows. Danny Johnson, of Thomson, caught 18 white perch, two shellcrackers, five hybrids and a 6-pound catfish in Little River. He was fishing with worms.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373.
Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, Knology Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – Finding the fish hasn’t been a problem. Getting them to bite is. The bite has been slow. I volunteered in the John de la Howe kids’ tournament last weekend. I was able to put a few fish in the boat for the kids.
Check out my Web site: www.acestriperguide.com.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Military personnel, senior citizens can fish for half-price. If you’re handicapped, you can fish for free. Anyone fishing on Mondays and Tuesdays can fish for half-price. Contact the bait and tackle shop for details.
Brickyard report: Dand Tyree caught 12 bass in the Expressway Pond, with the biggest 5 pounds. Mike Wilson and James Gilbert caught 15 crappies, the biggest 2½ pounds in the Ditch. Billy Williams and Joe Brown caught 25 crappies on minnows in the White Elephant Pond.
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Owen Perry Memorial winners: Bruce Wharton, 5.3-pound redfish. Josh Yonce, 5.05 pounds. Most spotted sea trout. Stovall Walker, 8. Largest trout: Stewart Mitchell, 1.45 pounds. Josh Yonce, 1.20 pounds. The other fish category: Capt. George Tangelos and B.J. Parrish, 20-pound shark. The tournament raised $2,175 for Camp Rainbow. Nine boats were in the field. Inshore fishing is terrific, with trout everywhere, also whiting and sheepshead, and lots of big redfish, the kind you have to throw back. The fishing boat Full Tilt with Tangelos caught three swordfish, each over 100 pounds, a couple of weeks ago.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Artificial baits such as the “Electric Chicken” grubs have been catching some nice spotted sea trout. The grubs are threaded onto a quarter-ounce jig head (with white head, red and black eyes. You can cast the bait around oyster rakes, or at the mouths of tidal creeks, or you can troll the baits.