Majority of the folks I heard from following last week’s fishing report, including a venerable bass fisherman, hope that those grass carp will be introduced into Thurmond Lake to put the hydrilla under control.
“Many areas our family used to fish and swim in are infested with hydrilla,” said John Arena. “You can’t swim in it, it gets hung up on fishing lures, gets tangled on trolling motor and boat propellers. In addition, we are concerned with AVM problems caused by hydrilla. I have been fishing the lake since 1963 and the best bass fishing I experienced was in the 1970s and ‘80s (pre-hydrilla).”
The AVM referred to is the disease contracted by coots feeding on hydrilla and passed on to eagles where it becomes fatal.
Linda Carter Adams also said she had no problems catching bass before the weed. She also wrote to the University of Georgia professor who is conducting the survey collecting hydrilla pros and cons. “I wrote her a four-page letter and begged her to please help all who use the lake by eliminating this weed any way possible. I have had no reply.”
Noel Brown, of North Augusta, and his brother, David, have been fishing the lake since the early days and are well known among bass fishing circles.
“I don’t like it (the hydrilla),” Noel said in an interview in his office earlier this week. “It’s become so dense in many areas that bass can’t move around in it. It’s clogged up the shoreline, a situation you don’t have in Alabama’s Lake Guntersville” (where the weed grows strongly).
It will be interesting to learn results of the poll.
• Opening day for north Georgia’s seasonal trout streams is Saturday. Anglers must possess a Georgia fishing license and trout stamp and a Wildlife Management Area license to fish on certain WMAs. For more information, go to www.georgiawildlife.com/Georgia-Outdoor-Recreational-Pass.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – Gary Edge caught 30 crappies weighing 21 pounds on minnows and jigs in Germany Creek. He and Emily, Ethan, Tammy and Jay Phillips, from Claxton, Ga., caught 63 crappies night fishing with minnows in Germany Creek.
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 mid 50s and the lake is slightly stained. David Wright, of Greenville, S.C., and his group came down and fished with me at the first of the week. It was cold and windy, with an occasional shower, but we managed to get into some breaking fish back in a cove. We had a blast catching freeline fish. The rest of the days I’ve had to cancel because of inclement weather conditions. We hope to get back on ’em since the forecast is for better weather.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – Well, this week sure didn’t feel like spring. Water temperatures have dropped into the upper 40s in some areas. The good news is, as of this writing, the lake is at full pool. If it stays relatively level, the spawn ought to be magnificent. Some good fish over 6 pounds have been caught this week on jigs in eight to 12 feet of water on secondary points near deep water. Remember, the water cooled, so fish the jigs slowly. The forecast is calling for a slow warming trend to near normal temperatures. That means flat-sided crank baits like the Bomber Flat-A, Thundershad coffin bill in copper mesh and your favorite lipless bait (like Rat-L-Traps) work. The spawn will move forward so remember to fish south-facing coves and pockets since they’ll warm first. You may be able to find some fish on the beds. You can reach me on Facebook (Lake Russell Bass Fishing) as well as through my Web site and phone number.
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), (706) 267-4313 (Bradd), (803) 507-5083 (Andrew) – The lake level is up and spring is finally setting in with water temperatures in the mid 50s. Expect stripers and hybrids to move into springlike patterns on the sides of humps and major lake points in 25 to 35 feet of water. Both downlines and planer boards will catch fish. The mid- to lower lake areas have been producing good numbers of hybrids, as well as Georgia Little River from Ridge Road to Grays Creek. Crappies have moved shallow and are being caught along shorelines in four to eight feet of water on small shiners and tuffy minnows. The Fishing Village area has been especially productive. In the evenings, the major points from Modoc to the dam have been holding good-sized fish and, as the water warms, this will get only better. Folks who had good times with us this week included William Wood, Chris Wood, Matthew Weeks, Chandler Cunningham, all of Savannah; Charlie Brinson, Martinez; Ken Logue, North Augusta; Hatcher Logue, Clarks Hill, and Frank Pepper, Aiken.
Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date pictures.
Clarks Hill Herring Hut, (Capt. Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – Bank fishing has been on fire this week on the lower end of the lake. Nice catches of hybrids and stripers are coming from off the rocks below the South Carolina Welcome Center from late afternoon into the evening using cut and live herring. Crappies and shellcrackers are being caught a bit farther up lake around Modoc, Parksville and Dordon Creek, using small shiners, tuffies and hybrid pink worms along the shoreline.
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 weather has been unseasonably cold recently in the north Georgia mountains, so we’ve been pretending like it’s still February and catching lots of big trout while doing so. As long as it’s this cold, run nymph rigs deep to get to the trout using some combination of stonefly nymphs, mayfly nymphs and San Juan worms or other brightly colored attractor flies. Remember, as long as Mother Nature thinks it’s still the middle of winter, the trout probably do, too. Those springtime hatches will be here soon enough.
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Plans are being made to hold a bowfishing tournament on the ponds. Anyone who has the knowledge of how to operate such an event is asked to call Gene Kirkland. Last Saturday’s bass tournament was not held. The tournament continues this week and runs from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Memberships are still available.
Brickyard report: Sammy Hogan and Mike Turner caught five bass on minnows in the Expressway Pond. Paul Wolfe caught a 9.8-pound bass and several smaller ones in the Membership Pond. Lock and dam report: Jule Jones caught five shellcrackers, six channel catfish and one bass on worms. Toy Davis caught two striped bass on bluebacks. David Fletcher caught three stripers and a hybrid, all on herring.