Windy conditions make it tough for anglers at Thurmond Lake

Alan Hampton, of Thomson, shows off the 39-pound, 14-ounce flathead catfish he caught on a half-ounce spoon. The fish was measured at 45 inches by the DNR.

It’s been great weather for kite flying, but not so great for fishing this week on Thurmond Lake.

Winds in excess of 35 mph have made for tough and dangerous conditions. When the lake was formed in the mid 1950s and someone ventured out during a day of high winds, he survived to return and announce to all that the lake “is Georgia’s inland ocean.” He was impressed by seeing wave swells higher than 5 feet. There have been boaters drowned when the deadly combination of high winds and waves proved too much for their boats.

High winds are predicted to continue today, although not as strong as they were on Wednesday and Thursday. Still, fishermen and boaters are urged to use common sense when heading out on the lake.


Fishing report


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 into the mid to high 50s and the lake is clear. We’re catching some nice fish in between the fronts, pulling live herring behind planer boards. Most of the action comes in early morning, with winds picking up around noon and making the fish bite a bit slower. The Parksville area, mouths of Dordon and Shriver creeks are producing good catches of hybrids and stripers. The white perch are beginning to reappear, although not in the larger schools of a month ago. If you see a bunch of fish right on the bottom, that’s perch. The three-quarter-ounce Berry’s Flex-It Spoon in chartreuse is the hot bait.


William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, 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), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Despite alternating warm and cold temperatures, we’ve still had a week of great fishing. As the lake level inches up, we’re finding more schools of hybrids hanging off points or on the sides of humps in 35 to 45 feet of water. We are fishing live herring on downlines. Many of the fish we have been catching came from Dordon Creek to Cherokee Creek. Some really nice stripers in the 10-pound class are still being caught on live herring pulled behind planer boards in Cherokee and Moseley creeks. Small shiners fished above the tops of submerged trees 30 feet deep are catching slab crappies. The Hardy family (Jeff, Taylor, Cody and Richard), of Evans, filled an ice chest with a good catch of hybrids and Cody’s 10-pound striper. Tim Johnston, Chris Johnston and Ray Ballatelli, all of McCormick, S.C., had a great time on Lake Russell. They caught striped bass weighing 16, 17 and 19 pounds, along with some Kentucky spotted bass. James Travis, Martinez; Larry Travis, Evans, and Lewis Manor, Evans, caught six hybrids, one striper and 60 crappies.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – The high winds have stained the water up our way. We caught 17 fish last Sunday. Danny Newton and I caught a bunch of hybrids. We’re also putting out a bunch of Christmas trees around standing timber. That’s where we are catching most of our hybrids.



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( – The recent rainfall has made many north Georgia trout streams unfishable. Even the Toccoa River tailwater, which is usually a great option following a heavy rain, has been unfishable because power station officials had to generate nonstop over the past two weeks. But we have had some very good trips at Fern Valley on the Soque River where higher water levels have spread the trout into every pocket and run on the river.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Saturday’s bass tournament is from 7 to 11. Memberships are still available. See Gene Kirkland for details.

Brickyard report: Larry Johnson caught nine bass on artificial bait in the Membership Pond, Carl and Nancy Daniels caught 56 crappies and two bass on minnows and jigs in the Ditch. John Berkhalter caught 48 crappies and four bass on minnows and jigs in the Expressway Pond. Shane Pope caught seven bass, one crappie that weighed 2.8 pounds on plastic worms and spinnerbaits in the Farm Pond. David and Tina Bennett caught 14 catfish, six crappies and two bass on liver and minnows in the Cornell Pond. Earl Trottman caught 86 crappies, five bass and three yellow perch in the Membership Pond on minnows and jigs.

Lock and dam report: Brandon Prickett caught three bass, four bream, 12 shellcrackers and eight yellow perch on worms and minnows. Jimmy Sloan caught 22 shellcrackers, eight bream, two bass and one yellow perch. Joshua Bagwell caught six bass and one striper on spinnerbaits and a buzzbait. Sam and Martha Miller caught 36 crappies and 11 yellow perch on minnows.