According to next week’s weather forecast, the cool spell all of us have been enjoying will be briefly interrupted by highs in the 90s later in the week, but stay mostly in the 80s.
This brings to mind one of my favorite times of the year on Thurmond Lake. Not only have kids gone back to school, but school times have come to the lake for fishermen to enjoy.
Early mornings and late afternoons are the key times to catch schooling striped bass, hybrid bass and, occasionally, black bass. Anglers should carry a pair of quality 8x50 or 10x50 field glasses to save straining eyes when scanning the far reaches of the lake.
Sea gulls and terns are still with us and are giveaways when it comes to spotting schools of breaking fish. So if you should see two or more birds hovering over the lake’s surface, head your boat that way. Be careful to stop within casting range of the school; otherwise, your outboard’s exhaust will scare away the fish.
Now, what to throw? I always liked The Thing Popper, which consists of a weighted casting float to which a two-foot length of 121- to 14-pound-test of monofilament has been attached. Then there’s the “bug” tied on to the business end of the line.
I also liked to cast the Zoom Super Fluke (either pearl white or white with silver flecks) threaded onto the hook of a quarter-ounce jig head. Pitch it into the school, let it sink a couple of feet and begin a steady retrieve.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with other lures.
Raysville Marina, (706) 595-5582 – William Hawkins caught 25 crappies on minnows. Don Gillam, Raysville, caught a pair of catfish 3 to 4 pounds each.
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) – Surface temperatures are in the mid 80s and the lake is clear. We’ve had some good days, but learned to be patient since the fish are scattered and the bite is anything but fast. Just when you think it’s time to move the boat, you’ll catch one or two. Brighton Glodava celebrated his 8th birthday striper fishing with friends A.J. Murdock, also 8, and his brother Hutton, 4. His parents Kevin and Trisha and AJ’s dad, August, were among the crew. The boys had a blast catching them and later enjoyed eating them. We are looking forward to some cooler weather, which should cause the fish to school up and get us back to fast and furious.
Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – We are trolling swim baits all over the lake and catching stripers and hybrids. They’re mostly on the small size, but fun to catch. Jerry Olson and Larry Freeman, both from Grovetown, caught 26 stripers and hybrids on a recent trip with me. Our fish are being caught between 8 and 11 a.m. Congratulations to Billy’s son, Jim, and wife Loren, of Lexington, S.C., on the birth of Emily Leigh Murphy, all 8 pounds of her, on Aug. 28. Check our photos on Facebook and at double troublefishingguides.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 – Cooler weather has been enjoyable after roasting most of the summer. Water temperatures have eased into the mid 80s. The wind and little bit of rain has put a small stain on the water. We have found the bite starting shortly after daybreak, with the best part coming around 8:30 or 9 a.m. A steady bite follows until midday. The hybrids and stripers are following the bait fish into shallower water, with the game fish holding off lower channel points and along the edges of ditch lines in 40 to 45 feet of water. We are seeing more and more schools of breaking fish with most being on the small side, but there are better fish just below the schools. Be sure to keep a Super Fluke or top-water (Gunfish) lure tied on because the fish will come to the surface unexpectedly. He catfish bite is still unreal on the lower end of the lake, fishing cut herring on main channel humps or points 50 feet down. Bream and shellcracker fishing on the Savannah River below the dam also is turning. Red worms or hybrid pink worms among the best baits.
Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.
BEAUFORT, S.C. &VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Coming over the Labor Day weekend is the 26th annual Fripp Island Kingfish Tournament with a $5,000 purse. Beneficiary is the Keyserling Cancer Center. Fishing days are today and Saturday, with weigh-ins from 3-5 p.m., each day at Fripp Island Marina. If inclement weather forces cancelation of the first fishing day, only fish weighed in on the second day will count. If the tournament is canceled, entry fees will be refunded. Reservations to stay on Fripp at tournament rates can be obtained by calling (843) 838-1551. More information: the 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 – The inshore bite continues to challenge fishermen, whose desire is to find clear water after rains have muddied up most of the creeks. Fish are hungry, but they’ve got to see the bait. Live shrimp are plentiful, Spotted sea trout and flounder have been what our charter captains’ clients have been catching, as well as some nice keeper reds.