Hotel plans at Thurmond Lake never happened for various reasons

Preston Crews shows off the 9.16-pound largemouth bass he caught in the Merry Land Brickyard membership pond.

Strom Thurmond Lake is not what you’d call a destination spot (although Hickory Knob State Resort Park is), simply because there are no facilities along its long shoreline.


Years ago, there was a plan to build a hotel near Little River Marina (now called Thurmond Marina). But it never materialized for a number of reasons.

Such a hotel would have had spaces to park hundreds of boats, with electrical hookups, as well as a good security system in place to prevent theft. A quality restaurant would be another amenity needed to help the hotel be a success.

Such a project probably will never happen, at least not in my lifetime.

• Back in the 1990s, I had the pleasure of bass fishing on the lake with Thomson’s Ray Guy. I soon learned he got a kick out of it!

• Congratulations to Tony Postell, of Appling, and his son, Bailey, 16, for winning the Fishers of Men Legacy Series National Championship July 26 on Thurmond Lake. They fished a buzzbait of Tony’s own design, with his “Ynot” soft plastic lure as a trailer. They weighed in six fish (3-fish daily limit) totaling 21.45 pounds.

• Postell said the competitors had to include a child under 18 and an adult. The third-place team of Rodney and his daughter, Riley Floyd, hadn’t done much in practice. Rodney asked Tony for some advice and was given one of Postell’s buzzbaits and a handful of Ynots. The next day, Rodney told Tony: “Hey, man, the fish tore up that buzzbait. You got any more?”

Fishing report


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 – Water temperature is 85 degrees and the lake is clear. We’re still catching limits of fish every morning, with most coming by daylight or within an hour of it. The fish are being caught on live herring in 30 to 40 feet of water. Clayton Smith and his group had a limit of fish by 7 a.m. Calvert Tindall and his group also had a limit of fish by 7:30 a.m. It’s taking me longer to fillet them than it is to catch them. Everybody’s enjoying seeing eagles and eating their breakfast (lunch) on the boat.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Last Friday, Ronnie Fuller and I tested the waters above Raysville, fishing the pockets in Little River around Red Bank Island. We caught 10 largemouths, the smallest being 2½ pounds, with many in the 4-pound range. I caught an 8-pounder in one area and Ronnie caught an 8½-pounder in another. All were caught on the Hub’s Chub. Last Monday, Steve Hunt, and his son, Colton, 14, of Augusta fished with me. We caught 10 fish, with most in the 3- to 4-pound range. Colton was a good caster and caught most of the fish. The bass struck the Hub’s Chub. Ronnie Fuller and I fished Thursday. We found them at Fort Gordon schooling. We caught about five to six fish, but smaller ones than the ones caught around Raysville. All came on the Hub’s Chub.

My new TV show features Tony Shepherd, of Little River Guide Service. Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs at 11 a.m. Saturdays and at 1:30 p.m. Sundays on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, WOW! Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – Fishing with me on a recent trip were Brenda Arbogast, her son, Lance, and daughter Ashley, all from Hephzibah. They caught 20 stripers and hybrids 2 to 4 pounds, fishing live herring two cranks of the reel from the bottom in 25 feet of water. Ashley caught the most and biggest. Glenn Gray, of Evans, and grandsons Cleburne, 13, Camden, 11, and Coleman Gray, 8, from Columbia, had a great time. The fish were found in 25 to 40 feet of water. Camden caught the biggest fish – a 6-pounder – on the boys’ first striper trip. I always update my Web site with photos and a fishing log. Check it out at

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) – Bradd: Fishing is fantastic. Surface temperatures have fluctuated between 81 and 87 degrees and then back to 84, but fish have maintained their same depths. They are in feeding frenzies every morning and again later in the afternoon. They are hovering in the 35-foot range along main channel points and secondary points in mid lake areas. They’re also to be found in Georgia’s Little River as far up as Grays Creek. Other productive areas are the Georgia Flats, Parksville, Shriver Creek, Dordon Creek and the Fishing Village area. The oxygenation system near Modoc is producing quality fish, but the bite is sporadic. Fishing with us this week were William Reynolds, Trenton, S.C.; Scott Sherman and Scott Jr., North Augusta; Connor Burch, North Augusta; Ronald and June Moody, Hephzibah; Cindy Howard, Hephzibah; Judy Howard, Evans; Ben Timmerman, Evans; Christine Morgan, Aiken; Erin Williams, Augusta; Tommy Wood, North Augusta; Dustin Fridie, North Augusta; Dan Billings and Billy Wilkes, Lincolnton, Ga., and Chad Mims, Scott Morgan, Mark Parkman, Jimmy Corley, Mitch Pardue, Billy Phillips, Bill Wige, Billy Wige, Will Phillips and Greg Wegman, all of United Rentals Corporation.

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 – Fishing is still too easy. The quality of the fish has improved. I’m starting to see fish trying to school up on top. Most of my fish are coming from 40 to 80 feet. Water has been staying fairly cool this time of the year, plus the corps has been pulling it down and creating a current. My parties have been limiting out well before breakfast time.

Check out my Web site:



Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 ( ( – Hunter: For the first time in a while, we have had no rain in north Georgia. Many of the smaller trout streams are running low and clear. Fishing has still been very good, but it’s been much more technical. In these conditions, make sure to move slowly and quietly upstream, use tippets of 5X and 6X even in the deeper pools and try to make sure your casts don’t land too hard on the water. That will spook the trout before they get a chance to even look at your flies.



Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706) 722-8263 – Our bass tournament continues tonight. Hours are 6 to 10. Entry fee is $20 per man. Last Friday’s results saw Michael Matthews and James Stinson catch the big fish of 3.18 pounds. Bobby Young and Austin Young won with 7.82 pounds. Two weeks ago, Preston Crews and Brian Weaver won with 15.64 pounds, including bass of 9.16 and 5.48 pounds.




Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The 24th annual Fripp Island Kingfish Tournament will highlight the Labor Day weekend, with $5,000 in cash prizes. Beneficiary is the charity Fripp for a Cure. The tournament will start Thursday, Aug. 28, with registration and a captain’s meeting at 6 p.m., followed by a Lowcountry cookout. Fishing days start Friday and Saturday at 6 a.m., with a 5 p.m. weigh-in each day. First-place kingfish is worth $2,000 and runner-up $1,000. First-place Spanish mackerel earns $750 and second-place fish $550. For more information, call Fripp Island Marina at (843) 838-1518.



Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Inshore fishing has been a bit off, so if you want your fishing rod bent, head offshore and do some bottom fishing. Spanish mackerel are beginning to show up in the sounds, along the beachfronts and in the Savannah River shipping channel. Take along a quality pair of field glasses and watch for flocks of birds hovering over or diving into schools of bait fish. Best lures are Clark Spoons in the 0 and 00 sizes, while Sea Striker’s Gotcha lures are good for casting into the schools or trolled.



Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:28

Another SEC honor for UGA QB Jake Fromm