South Carolina’s Lake Murray will be the future site of the World Bass Fishing Championships, which is taking place in South Africa this week.
The second round of the tournament on the Vaal River near Johannesburg is today with the windup Saturday. The 700-mile-long Vaal is the largest tributary of the Orange River and is the main source to meet the industrial needs of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area.
USA Bass spokesman Tony Forte, vice president of U.S. Angling, said in addition to supporting the USA Bass team as title sponsor, Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Bureau will play host to the World Bass Fishing Championships when the event is held in America for the first time.
“That will take place in 2020 or 2021,” he said.
The event is sanctioned by the Confederation Internationale de Peche Sportive (CIPS), which represents 50 million competitive anglers from 78 countries.
The USA Bass team is composed of top anglers from the FLW and BASS tournament trails. This year, the team consists of Scott Canterbury, Fred Roumbanis, Lionel Botha, Scott Martin, Mark Rose, David Dudley, David Fritts and James Watson. Martin is the son of famed professional bass fisherman Roland Martin of Clewiston, Fla.
Also competing are angling teams from South Africa, Russia, Mexico, Portugal, Swaziland, Namibia, Italy, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Spain and Croatia.
The annual Mr. Clark Hill Bass Fishing Championship will be held today and Saturday out of Thurmond Lake’s Wildwood Park. This year, 187 fishermen are in the field.
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 (crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the upper 70s and the lake is clear. The fish bite is fast and furious. All the fish that were breaking on the surface have now gone down to the 30- and 40-foot humps. And they’re open for business. My groups have been catching fish so fast we’ve had hide the bait to put ‘em on the hook. They were actually coming up and grabbing the chum off the surface before it would sink. One of the guys put a piece of chum on his hook and before he could let it down in the water, a 2-pound striper took it off the hook. Everett Jennings and his group caught 30 stripers and hybrids and five catfish. The largest catfish was a flathead weighing 35 pounds. Fishing should remain great throughout the fall and early winter months.
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: The cool, early fall weather has led to some enjoyable morning fishing trips this week. Surface temperatures have dropped into the low 70s and some upper 70s during the warmer afternoons. Fall schooling is in full swing with schools showing up around the Georgia Flats, Shriver Creek and off the Fort Gordon Recreation Area on Georgia’s Little River. This year, there are a couple of different ways to catch hybrids and stripers and, while all of them work, some are better than others on given days. You can downline live herring 15 to 25 feet down and work over the schools on the move and try to hold them. You can also pull planer boards and free lines and cover the whole area where the schools are showing up. Zoom’s Super Fluke, Lil’ Fishies, or Sammies or Zara Spooks also work. Cooler temperatures also have kicked off the crappie fishing out Georgia Little River, in Germany Creek below Raysville Marina. The yellow perch, bream and shellcracker bite on the Savannah River below the dam also is hot, with worms being the bait of choice.
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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) – The Toccoa River is still fishing fairly slow because of Lake Blue Ridge turning over like it always does this time of the year. The water has cleared, but is still a little too warm for the trout to be very active. But a week from now it should be back to normal and the fishing is usually excellent after a few weeks of limited feeding by the trout.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263 – There are multiple ponds offering good fishing for largemouth bass, bream and shellcracker, crappies and catfish.
BEAUFORT, S.C. &VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The good news is the redfish are biting and there are plenty of them. Spotted sea trout bite is improving, too.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – The trophy redfish bite is on! Where do you fish? Rivers and sounds. Look for upright structure in the forms of wood or concrete. Redfish are known for picking out areas that hold lots of bait and protects the red from marauding porpoises. Remember: redfish over 23 inches in length have to be released back into the wild. So if you catch one or more of that size, handle them with Tender Loving Care before releasing them as quickly as possible.