The best anglers from American Fishing Tour divisions from 40 states will gather Oct. 19 at Richard B. Russell Lake near Elberton, Ga.
Only the points champions from each division can compete in the AFT Divisional Angler of the Year Fish-Off.
Competitors will weigh their catch at Wildwood Park on Thurmond Lake just down the Savannah River from Russell.
These same anglers plus several hundred more will compete in the AFT National Championship on Thurmond Lake on Oct. 23-25, according to a news release.
• The SKISH (Skill in Fishing) contest will take place following the Aug. 4 game between the Augusta GreenJackets and Charleston RiverDogs. The $7 entry fee includes admission to the game and tickets must be purchased using a special form on a flier. A set of rules governing the kids only (10 and under, 11-14, 15-18) event and a free visor will be given to each participant. To get a flier, contact Bill Levy, the team’s group sales manager, at the GreenJackets office at (706) 736-7889 (ext. 212), or at his e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed fliers must be turned in to Levy by Aug. 2.
RAYSVILLE MARINA (LEON BUFFINGTON), (706) 595-5582 – DON’T FORGET OUR ANNUAL FIREWORKS SHOW ON SATURDAY, FESTIVITIES STARTING AT 1 P.M. FIREWORKS START AT 9:30.
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.crockettrocket striperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear on the lower end and at full pool. Fishing is hotter than a firecracker on the 4th of July. Problem is, the rain keeps dampening our trips. It’s really been a toss of the coin as to if we can get out. We’re catching lots of nice fish when we are able to go. We’re fishing live herring 24 to 30 feet down.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – Hope you all had a nice and safe Fourth of July. The lake is still above full pool, but is likely to drop a few inches when the corps tests the dam gates next week. Congratulations to Russell regular Jarod Gibson for winning a small nighttime pot tournament last week. He caught his fish on DD-22s across riprap points and on small finesse jigs in brush 15 to 18 feet deep. I have been catching my fish early (I am not much on night fishing) with a Don Iovino Yellow Magic top water bait (no kin to the mythical Yellow Fellow). I’m also fishing a Rapala DT-16 in blue back herring colors as well as a Strike King5 & 6 in a sexy shad color near river channels. Look for the bass to move into the deep water trees where you can reach them with a drop shot or a small swim bait. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch. If you’d like to book a trip to Russell in the coming weeks, give me a call, or find me on Facebook @ Lake Russell Bass Fishing with the Fishing Coach, or check out my Web site.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Last Saturday, Larry Freeman went out with me to scout for fish. We found tons of fish and bait fish, but the game fish did not like our bait. We fished downlines in ditches where we marked fish, but were able to catch only six. About mid morning, we started pulling Captain Mack’s 9-jig umbrella rigs and picked up four nice stripers and hybrids. We are pulling over 30-foot-deep humps in the main river channels.
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) – This week, hybrids and stripers have been on a feeding frenzy as long as you can get on the lake in early morning between rain showers. The cool rain has kept the fish from establishing summer patterns and are being caught at various depths off main channel points in the lower end of the lake. They’re also being caught in Georgia’s Little River from Cherokee Creek to Bussey Point. Enjoying great catches with us this week were Brian Chafee, Kelly Flynn, Caitlin Helms and Miles Flynn, all of Augusta; Maja Mandusik and Stefanie Deritis, both of Evans; Tommy Baxter and James Baxter, Effingham County, and John Sampson Jr., and John Sampson Sr., both of Savannah.
Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date pictures.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids.(706) 833-4807 – We sat in most of the drops today. We’re catching some really nice stripers. Most of our fish are being caught on the edge of the Savannah River channel. We had real good wind and a break in the storm. We were able to take out a bunch of people from the Savannah and Statesboro areas on their annual trip to the lake. They filled up four guide boats and were lucky to catch a bunch of fish.
Check out my Web site: www.fishlakethurmond.com.
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) – An unprecedented amount of rain continues to keep north Georgia rivers full. We are seeing mid-spring conditions continue into July. Trout have plenty of cover and plenty of energy, but make sure you’re getting down deep enough when nymphing by adding a little extra weight. Also, we’re starting to see fish feeding on a few terrestrials. When fishing big terrestrial dry flies, expect bigger trout to be pushed toward the banks since they have enough water to give them cover while they look for hoppers and ants to fall in.
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.
Brickyard report: J.C. Dicks won last Friday’s bass tournament with 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Jim Smith and Jim Boyd caught five bass, including a 5-pounder, and 30 shellcrackers and 25 bream on worms and crickets. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Bet that bass was a surprise!) Bob and Sharon Long caught 45 bream and 20 crappies in the Garden Pond on minnows, worms and crickets. Gary and Betty Jones caught 40 bream and 10 catfish on crickets and worms in the Shack Pond. Bobby Williams caught 10 shellcrackers and 25 bream on crickets and worms in the Garden Pond. Gary Edge and Mel Langston caught 20 shellcrackers and 15 bream in the Cornell Pond on crickets and worms. Lock and dam report: Muddy water, no report.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The hottest fishing tournament of the year will blast off with the Fripp Island Fireworks Tournament on July 12-13. The event starts with registration next Friday from 6-7 p.m., followed by a captains’ meeting and Lowcountry cookout. Fishing starts next Saturday at 6 a.m., and weigh-ins close at 6 p.m. Awards will be given for the top two kingfish and the top dolphin, wahoo and Spanish mackerel. For more information, call Fripp Island Marina at (843) 838-1517.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – When is the best time to go fishing for spotted sea trout, redfish, tarpon, tripletails and Spanish mackerel? Here’s my view: early mornings, late afternoons for trout and reds and any time you can get out for Spanish mackerel, tarpon and tripletails.
If your first couple of drops inshore don’t produce, don’t be afraid to move. Small trout will be found in the warmer shallows, while larger ones can be caught out of deep creek holes 12 feet or deeper.
Spanish mackerel generally show up in big schools after Aug. 9, but we are catching a few in the Tybee Roads (Savannah Shipping Channel) area as well as off Wassaw Island. Why that date? It’s what I can remember my late father telling me. After all the years he fished, he was able to nail down a date.