The future of fishing is reflected in the faces of members of two Augusta area junior fishing teams and another from Augusta State University which Thursday received financial support from the Clark Hill Committee.
Committee representatives presented $2,500 checks to the young men and women from the North Augusta and Harlem High junior teams and four young men representing the Jaguars.
“If we don’t support these kids, who will?” asked committee member Barry Frazier.
The committee began its outreach program to local schools and colleges last year. Members distributed lots of rods, reels, lures and tackle boxes to the North Augusta team and the financial support is a continuation of that program.
Supporting the North Augusta program is Jeanine Wilson, while Harlem draws its support from Michelle Pearson and Ande Rockefeller.
The committee, representing 22 area bass clubs, was established 40 years ago to coordinate tournament activities and set up rules governing those events. During that time, it financially supported such charities as the Medical College of Georgia Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals, Wounded Warriors, Golden Harvest Food Bank and Toys for Tots.
Major sponsors include Fairway Ford, Augusta Marine, C.N. Brown Plastics, Columbia County and A.B. Beverage.
Larry Gilpin is longtime president, while Frank Wodzsiz is tournament director, Billy Black is secretary and Robin Whisenant is treasurer. Frazier is sponsor coordinator.
• Condolences to family and friends of Jack Keane, 74, of Augusta, who died April 21. He was a member of the original River Rats Bass Club and a great bass fisherman.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – Cliff Crowe caught 16 catfish, including a 12-pounder on chicken liver.
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) – We’re still fighting the cold fronts as the water temperature dropped to 62 degrees by early Tuesday. High winds made fishing tough, but good fishing was on again by Thursday morning. We are starting to catch some trophy largemouths which had shut down to spawn for a couple of weeks. Some nice stripers and hybrids which still contain large egg sacs (females) and milt (males). The eggs are sterile, but no one has told the fish, which go through the motions of spawning. Harley Napier and his group had a blast, catching stripers, hybrids and largemouths. Robert Nash and his group had a slower morning, but ended up with a nice catch. James Taylor and his group also had a good morning catching stripers and hybrids. We are still dividing our attention between Mosley and Parksville area and try to include as many productive points as we can between here and there. Live herring fished in 10 to 12 feet of water are producing our catches.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – Bass fishing on Russell is heating up, with the fish in various phases of the spawn. The fish can be found in 70-degree water at the lake’s upper end and in a post spawn mood. Try fishing secondary points near deeper water. You also can find the male bass guarding the beds from the ever-present bluegills looking for an easy meal. Mid-lake fish are spawning and you’ll find them on the flats. Best ones face south and southwest. This week, I fished with Sgt.-Maj. Jim Timmerman (retired) and concentrated on fishing Beaver Dam Creek. We caught all our fish on The Creeper shakeyhead with floating Robo Worms. I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch. You can reach me on Facebook @ Lake Russell Bass Fishing as well as through my Web site and phone number.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Our last two outings encountered cold and windy weather. Water temperature last Saturday was 65 degrees with air temperature 53 degrees. But Jeff Waldron, of Valdosta, Ga., endured his trip to the lake with my son, Jim, and I. We caught 16 stripers and hybrids weighing 3 to 5 pounds each. Judd Wynn and Jimmy Posey, of Waynesboro, Ga., fished with me last Tuesday. Water temperature was 60 degrees and fishing was slow. They caught four stripers and hybrids with Jimmy catching the day’s biggest fish of 8 pounds. We pulled planer boards and free-lined herring both trips.
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) – Our guide boats have been in place in 30 to 35 feet of water around major lake points on the lower end of the lake right at daybreak and our parties have enjoyed great catches of downline hybrids. Come 8 a.m., and it’s time to pull planer boards around the clay points in the Cherokee and Mosley creek areas, with good-sized hybrids and stripers feeding on spawning herring. During the evening, pulling planer boards around shoals in the Bass Alley and Parksville areas has resulted in catching some really nice stripers. As sunset approaches, hybrids are gathering on both sides of the dam, coming through in schools 20 to 40 feet down. Crappies have moved back around trees in 12 to 15 feet of water and can be caught in the Raysville area on small shiners and tuffies. Enjoying their trips this week were Tony Riley, Hugh Eggersman, Randy Mosley and Joel Britton, all of North Augusta; Michelle Bozzone, James Bozzone, both of Augusta; Willie Freeman, Augusta; Larry Freeman and Johnny Scarboro, Waynesboro, Ga.; Lewis, Jenny and J.T. Brazzell, Evans.
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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) – Hunter: Consistent rainfall has made float trips on the Toccoa River difficult to plan due to the increase in generation hours from Blue Ridge Dam. However, the increased generation has seriously invigorated the mayflies and heavy hatches can be seen on the river almost every day. Substantial Hendrickson, Blue-Winged Olive and Cahill hatches have brought lots of trout to the surface and they haven’t been picky about eating artificials.
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. Our Saturday bass tournament (7 a.m. to noon) will continue. Another bass tournament will be held on the ponds on Fridays, starting today, from 6 to 10 p.m., under the direction of Gene Moyer (803) 270-1580.
Brickyard report: Ray and Dale Smith caught 16 shellcrackers, eight bream and two bass on worms and crickets in the Expressway Pond. James Connell caught 14 crappies, four bass on minnows and crank baits in the Stick Pond. David and Ricky Bennett caught six bass (8¾) in the Swan Pond on live lizards. Sue Hatcher and Dorothy Cline caught eight crappies, four bream, two catfish and two bass on minnows and worms in the Ditch. Jay and Brittany Robinson caught six catfish, 18 crappies and two bass in the King Pond. Lock and dam report: Earl Owens caught 16 shellcrackers and 19 bream on worms. Jimmy Boyd caught a bass, eight shellcrackers and 11 bream on worms and minnows. George Hornsby caught two stripers and six channel catfish on blue backs. Mike and Mike Grubbs Jr., and Sr., caught a cooler full of channel catfish, two weighing more than 20 pounds.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Inshore waters are warming up. Best bites coming from sheepshead and black drum. Redfish, whiting and flounder fishing still slow. Offshore, wahoo and black fin tuna are showing up in the Gulf Stream.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Water temperatures are in the 60s and climbing. Night fishing is popular, with most anglers knowing where the lighted docks are and when the lights are turned on. The artificial lights provide an extra feeding time for fish. Artificial reef bites you can expect to get: sheepshead, black drum, red drum. Coming up: grouper season opens May 1, vermilion snapper now in season. Cobia, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, blues and little tunny just around the corner. Now is the time to head out to the Gulf Stream.