Georgia’s new sport fishing regulations can be found, downloaded and printed at www.gofishgeorgia.com/fishing/regulations. Or, you can pick up a copy at your favorite bait and tackle shop.
As far as I can tell, there are no changes that affect fishing in Augusta area lakes, ponds or streams.
You also might check out www.gofishinggeorgia.com/fishing and be surprised by the amount of helpful angling information to be found there.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – The lake is muddy up our way and we’ve seen few fishermen. Just hope it won’t rain again any time soon.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – The fronts keep rolling in and the fishing keeps changing. Jarod Gibson caught a few bass on the drop shot and the jig in 14 to 26 feet on rocky points. Before last Saturday’s rain, he wore them out, but afterward he caught only a handful. Feast or famine. Les Rice has been hitting those tasty white perch as much as possible. He found them last Sunday morning at 55 feet. He caught 66 white perch, three yellow perch, four spotted bass and one big crappie, all on minnows. What am I doing? I am throwing jigs and jerk baits most of the time. I also am throwing a Rapala Shad Rap two or three inches long around cover in shallow water. I am fishing it on 6- to 8-pound-test line and moving it with my spinning rod very slowly. On sunny days, the shallows warm up and the fish move in and are a bit more aggressive. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a safe launch as well as a nice lunch. The marina is open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:30 until 6 p.m.
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) – Water temperatures are lingering in the high 40s and the lake is about 1.5 feet over full pool. All the ramps are open. We are still pulling planer boards with herring and gizzard shad in the backs of creeks in the mid lake areas around Hawe and Dordon creeks and Parksville, as well as around Germany Creek up Georgia’s Little River below Raysville. On the upper end of the Savannah River around Fishing and Murray creeks, small rainbow trout and gizzard shad pulled behind boards has produced stripers in the 15- to 27-pound range. With the fronts leveling off, this weekend should be very good for winter striper fishing. There is plenty of bird activity over schools of bait with stripers and hybrids nearby. Crappie fishing is on fire on both the upper end of the lake and out Georgia Little River, either anchoring over treetops and using small shiners and jigs or tight-lining around Baker Creek with green/chartreuse jigs tipped with tuffies or rosie red shiners. White perch are stacked up in 35 feet of water off points or humps and can be easily caught with jigging spoons or medium shiners. Below the dam in the Savannah River, some nice plump female yellow perch have been caught from the bank or from boats, using small minnows. Stripers are feeding strong on Lake Russell with birds pointing the way to schools of bait and good 15- to 30-pound stripers breaking the water nearby. Pulling planer boards with rainbow trout and gizzard shad around such areas as Manor or Beergarden creeks have been extremely productive. This week, we have enjoyed fishing with James Lamont, Augusta; Berry Lamont, Waynesboro, Ga.; Anita and Tyrell Pendleton, Augusta; Mitchell Curry, Hephzibah; Richard and Christy Cantrell, Beech Island; Martin Cantrell, Columbia, and Tony Cantrell, Pickens, S.C. Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.
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) – Rainy, cold days just continue to alternate in such a way that it’s made getting out on the Toccoa River very difficult. But the occasional fair day has been very productive for the bigger trout that have lots of cover under high water and are less spooky because they haven’t been fished very often. Water levels will continue to remain high for a while, so we recommend fishing smaller streams with big drop pools. Use lots of weight to get nymphs down immediately and don’t be afraid to fish streamers – even on the small streams.
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Brickyard report: Paul Wolfe caught three nice bass in the Membership Pond. Milton Flourday caught 10 big crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Chris Scurry landed a 5-pound bass in the Shack Pond. J.C. Skinner caught 32 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Johnny Mack caught five bass and 20 crappies in the Garden Pond on minnows. Bobby Johnson caught 15 crappies in the Garden Pond on minnows.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Fishing has slowed, but the few fishermen are catching redfish, black drum and spotted sea trout. The wreck of the Savannah tire reefs has been producing catches of big black drum and redfish. Blue crabs are plentiful. No one has been far offshore.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – What do spotted sea trout do when water temperatures turn cold? They hole up. The deep holes in tidal creeks become the fishes’ comfort zones so anglers hoping to catch a few need to hit those areas, too.
Trout prefer 75-degree surface temperatures, but when those drop to the low 60s, they virtually become what we call “mud babies.” Temperatures falling below 60 are what signal the trout to head for those deep holes. Trout will burrow down in mud bottoms. During the winter, we experience a few sunny, warmer days that will stimulate the trout into eating.
You can catch a few of those fish and recognize them right away because you’ll be able to see the mudline on their bellies. That’s why they’re called “mud babies.”