The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division wants to hear people’s opinions on three proposed changes in fishing regulations, but only one affects anglers in the Augusta area.
That one calls for the elimination of the current slot limit (11-inch to 14-inch bass must be released, all others kept) on Lake Oconee and replacing it with a size limit.
The other proposals deal with the size limit of bass in the lower Ocmulgee River and modifying the current length limit for shoal bass in the Flint River.
There are three public hearings scheduled. The one closest to Augusta is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lakeside Church at Lake Oconee, 5800 Lake Oconee Parkway, Greensboro, Ga.
Anyone attending the hearings is welcome to provide statements or comments. Those unable to attend can take an online survey now available at www.gofishgeorgia.com/fishing/proposedregulations or in writing to Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, Fisheries Management Section, ATTN: Thom Litts, 2065 U.S. Highway 278, S.E., Social Circle, GA 30025.
• One of my best fishing buddies over the years, especially when the American shad run started in the Savannah River below the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, was the late Henry Baxley. He still holds the 8-pound-test line class record of 8.1 pounds, a roe shad caught March 28, 1986. I am trying to reach his daughter because I have found some negatives of her dad. She can phone me at home at (706) 736-8097.
STROM THURMOND LAKE
Raysville Marina, (706) 595-5582 – Lots of folks limiting out on crappies over submerged trees. Alfonso Lopez caught 12 stripers on live herring. Danny Johnson, of Thomson, caught 14 shellcrackers, four bluegills, 11 crappies and four white perch on catalpa worms near Holiday Park. I’ve had some campers who have been limiting out on crappies around the submerged trees near the pumping station. We’re looking forward to our annual fireworks show on Saturday night. We’ll also have hamburgers and hot dogs and live music. Festivities will start at 4 p.m., and the fireworks show is set for about 9.
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 87 degrees and the lake is clear. Fishing is hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July. The fish are grouped up really tight on the 30- and 40-foot humps. I’ve taken the rod holders off my boat because the fish are hitting so fast we don’t need them. I had six people this (Thursday) morning and we caught 60 nice fish in 60 minutes. I enjoyed fishing with the following folks this week: Ed and Dana Berry, Scott Athens and his group, Chris Wolbert and his group, Ron Wallace, Calvert Tindale, Corey Moore and his group. We look for the fishing to continue to be good throughout the summer.
Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – Surface temperatures remain in the low 80s at 5:30 a.m., and having the winds blow a chop on the water makes it more comfortable. We continue to fish live herring on down lines in 20 to 40 feet of water. Our honey hole is still producing nice stripers and hybrids. The fishing is fast, making it nice for kids as well as adults. Fishing with me this week was Dolly Bridges, of the Stevens Creek Community, Bonnie Jackson, of Augusta, and Larry Freeman, of Grovetown. After 45 minutes, our fish moved out, but I quickly found another honey hole. Fishing was so fast they limited out in 30 minutes. Last Tuesday, Jake Jacobson, of Grovetown, brought sons Daniel, 10, and Ryan, 9, from Bend, Ore. Their father caught the first three fish and was crowing, but the boys socked it to him, Daniel catching the big fish of 6 pounds and Ryan catching the most. My grandson, Johnathan, and Scott Glover fished with me last Saturday. Scott had never caught a striper or hybrid and those hard-pulling fish wore him out. He kept saying, “When are they going to stop biting so I can rest?” He was glad to limit out by 7:15. If anyone needs help in finding some fish to catch, give me a call. I always update my Web site with photos and a fishing log. Check it out at www.doubletroublefishingguides.com.
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). (William) (706) 589-5468, (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Bradd: Fishing is as hot as the weather, with quick limits of fish being caught during the early morning before the temperatures get too hot. Majority of our fish have been coming from 35 to 40 feet on humps and points. Fishing has been good around Cherokee and Grays creeks and along the lower end of the lake from Shriver Creek to Parksville. There also is a good evening bite starting about 6 and lasting until shortly after sunset. This week we enjoyed fishing with Seisel, Dawn, Ty and Ezra Wall, Augusta; Emma and Aiden New, Savannah; Wyatt Dean, Savannah; Hatcher, Odessa, Gabe, Will, and Evan Logue, Clarks Hill, S.C.; Oliver, Zachary and Kyle Williamson, Jackson; Brad Shingler, Evans; Mark Grisham, Evans; Seth Jones, Grovetown; Cory, Chase and Cole Shiver, all of Augusta, and Duane Shiver, Graniteville.
Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – I‘ve been fishing every day. It’s getting better and better. We’re still catching fish in the 20- to 30-foot range in early morning. The fish are moving into deeper water. Water temperature in the middle of the lake is 87 degrees. We’re finding some really monster hybrids (10 to 11 pounds). Our bait fish continues to thrive. Lots of mayflies are on the lake and some fish are popping them. I’ve seen good sized white bass.
Check out my Web site at 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) – The Blue Ridge Dam is back on a normal generation schedule and the generator repairs have been completed, making it safe to wade the Toccoa River once again. But we suggest you check the generation schedule at the dam before wading, just to stay on the safe side. The water is really cold and the trout are eating Sulfurs all day.
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706) 722-8263 – Our bass tournament continues tonight. Hours are 6-10 Entry fee is $20 per man. Last week’s winners were Preston Crews with the big fish of 6.48 pounds and he and Brian Weaver won with a catch of 12.12 pounds. They fished in the Membership Pond. J.C. Dicks and G.C. Williams caught 9.42 pounds for second place. Brickyard report: Butch Tanner caught 29 bream in the Garden Pond on crickets. Matthew Brown caught 18 catfish in the Ditch on liver. Keith Bass Jr., caught a 5½-pound bass on a black trick worm in the White Elephant Pond.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – That hurricane aftermath will shake things up, but fishing remains good for flounder, whiting and redfish. Black sea bass, Spanish mackerel and an occasional cobia are being caught offshore. Trigger fish, grouper and snapper are joining the bass around artificial reefs and structured bottom. Some bull dolphin (mahi-mahi) and wahoo are being caught near the Gulf Stream and kingfish are improving. But wait for that hurricane to move out.