A few days ago, a young man asked me about places where he could fish from the bank since he didn’t have a boat.
The first place that came to mind was McDuffie Public Fishing Area near Dearing, Georgia, about a 30-mile drive from Augusta. Go online and search for the area
Not only are the seven ponds of varying sizes open to the public from sunrise until sunset seven days a week, the area operated by the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources has many other amenities.
There is a campground for recreational vehicles and tent campers, an archery range, nature trails, picnic sites and shelters, restrooms and the McDuffie Environmental Education Center.
Camping fees are $15 per night for tent sites with electricity and water and $25 per night for 50-amp RV sites.
Visitors may fish for largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegills and redear sunfish (the latter popularly known as shellcrackers). Bring your own bait and tackle.
The area is located at 4695 Fish Hatchery Road, S.E., Dearing. Use your vehicle’s GPS, or travel from Augusta out Highway 78 toward Thomson. Dearing is a few miles from Harlem. Any local merchant can direct you to the PFA.
The PFA office phone number is (706) 595-1684.
STROM THURMOND LAKE
Raysville Marina, (706) 595-5582 – Willliam Hawkins caught 24 shellcrackers and a catfish in the Raysville area.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocket striperfishingcom) – Water temperature is in the high 80s and the lake is clear. We’ve finally run out of the wonderful fishing we’ve had since last February. All good things must come to an end. Now we’re back to sort of “normal” fishing. On some mornings, we’re having to work hard. We are finding the fish, but they seem to have been to “fish school.” We’ll mark a tremendous school of fish, drop down on them and catch one or two and that’s it. No matter how long we sit, we won’t catch many and we have to go looking for another school. All joking aside, fishing is always difficult this time of the year with oxygen depletion, dog days and high temperatures. We are looking forward to the fall fishing, the best months September through December. Fish have begun to school just under and on the surface, chasing threadfin shad and other bait fish, and this will continue through September. You can check us out on Facebook at crocketrocketguide service.
Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – As water temperatures heat into the upper 80s, hybrids and stripers are moving into deeper water and are now hard to find. Fishing with me this week were Jim Thouvenot, my son, Jim, and my grandchildren, James (12), Bentley (5) and Abby (10). They had a great time catching 18 hybrids and stripers. James caught the day’s biggest fish, an 8-pound catfish. Check our photos on Facebook and our web site 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). (706) 589-5468 (William), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Bradd: Water temperatures are on the rise with air temperatures, with the water temperatures in the high 80s. The lake level is about six feet below normal pool. The bait population is very strong, resulting in some really fat hybrids and stripers. The bite is steady, not really fast, but fast enough to keep your interest and resulting in some pretty full ice chests of fish. First thing in the morning finds schools of hybrids pushing bait onto points in the 35-foot range. As day starts to break, the fish move into deeper water along channel edges and are to be found in the 40- to 60-foot range. Our catches are averaging between 5 and 20 pounds. The afternoon bite has been starting around 3 and lasting until dark. There has been quite a bit of activity around the oxygenation system lines near Modoc, South Carolina, the fish coming from 35 to 45 feet down. The spoon bite has turned on when generation starts at the dam. We’ve seen lots of healthy channel and flathead catfish mixed in with the striped fish.
Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263) – Taylor Drennen reports T.R. Riley and Doug King dominated last Friday evening’s bass tournament, catching the big fish (2.78 pounds) and winning the tournament with 6.54 pounds. Ethan Barnes and Brian Kirsch won the July 7 tournament with 7.16 pounds. Ashley Klaus and Raymond Klaus caught the big fish of 2.82 pounds. The June 30 tournament was won by Mike Grubbs and Steven Poole with 8.46 pounds. Second was Cody Blackmon with 7.16 pounds. Klaus and Klaus again caught the big fish of 3.84 pounds.
BEAUFORT, S.C. &VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Inshore fishing has been slow, but then there are good days among the slow ones. Fishing is good for whiting, large black drum, redfish, trout, black sea bass. The flounder bite is slow.
Schools of Spanish mackerel are surfacing just offshore, joined by bluefish. Offshore, vermillion snapper, red snapper and trigger fish with some grunt are being caught. Grouper fishing is just fair.
The Gulf Stream is producing good catches of king mackerel, while smaller dolphin and wahoo are among some catches.