Guides can help in coastal areas

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This area is blessed with mild daytime temperatures and great fishing in fresh and salt water. Coastal creeks from Fripp Island, S.C., to Savannah, Ga., are producing some nice catches of spotted sea trout and redfish.

If you'd like to go and are not familiar with the waters around those two points, it's best to hire a guide who keeps up with where the fish are and what they're biting.

Contact my friend, Capt. Judy Helmey, at the number listed with her report below. She can put you in touch with guides who specialize in inshore fishing. They usually provide the tackle, but if you'd like to use your own, there's no problem.

Fishing coastal waters is a great change of pace from lake or river fishing.

- Rivers and Glen Trading Co. (706) 738-4536) will present a fly-fishing seminar for kids 7 to 14 years of age on Nov. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Hammond's Ferry ponds in North Augusta.

This newspaper's mountain trout guide, Carter Morris, has volunteered to help teach the kids.

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 -- Dwayne Cunningham caught some nice crappies in our fish house on minnows. Jack Owens, of Grovetown, and Robert Milford Jr., of Harlem, Ga., caught 40 crappies weighing 1 to 2 pounds on white jigs in the Raysville area.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) -- Water temperature is 64 degrees and the lake is clear. The shoreline around the lake is at its peak of colors and fishing could not be any better. The "G-Man," Michael Graziano, and his sons, Tom and Tim, slaughtered the fish during an afternoon trip. Their goal was to get enough fish to fry before a football game and I think they caught enough to feed the neighborhood. Patrick Tolton, Darren Waters, Gaines Entrekin, Jack Sayers and John Roberta caught 44 hybrids and stripers on a morning trip. Jack took the early lead and never let up. He finally put his rod down and helped bait and net. Jack was thinking about applying as my first mate, but when he learned he had to get up at 4 a.m., he changed his mind. All our fish were caught on live herring fished on downlines in the 30-foot range.

Ralph Barbee, professional guide specializing in hybrids, stripers and bass. (706) 860-7373 -- I caught some nice bass last Monday on the Yellow Fellow fishing the outside points along the main Hart Creek channel. I caught a hybrid and a striper as well for a total of seven fish. I fished Tuesday and caught 15 fish on the Yellow Fellow. On Wednesday, I fished with William Sasser and Mark Crawford for my new TV show which will air at the end of this month. We caught 35, including some nice channel catfish. I returned Thursday and caught three tiny fish. I couldn't believe it! Conditions had not changed, but I couldn't buy a bite.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) with twins Brad and Jim) -- My grandson, Johnathan, fished with me last Saturday in Germany Creek. We fished live herring on downlines and had to work hard all morning. In the afternoon, we found a mixture of stripers, hybrids and white perch. We caught 10 hybrids and stripers and Johnathan jigged up a bushel of white perch on a CC Spoon in 32 feet of water. Fishing with me on Wednesday were Larry Freeman and Doug Holland. The water temperature was 58 degrees and warmed up to 62 before we left. The first bite of the day was an 8-pound striper caught by Larry. We wound up with 14 fish.

My VHF radio handle is doubletrouble on Ch. 68.

William Sasser's Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser and Capt. Mark Crawford, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 373-8347 (Mark) or (864) 333-2000 -- William: Leffie Magee, William Reynolds Jr., William Reynolds Sr., Reggie Rhodes, Robert Rhodes, James Miller and Richard Holliman, all of the Augusta area, tried to catch big fish. We didn't, but wound up with 28 stripers and hybrids, fishing live herring 55 feet down on the bottom. James Evans and Marion Young, Dearing, Ga., and Bob Young, of North Augusta, caught a quick limit of stripers and hybrids 35 feet on the bottom. Terry Richberg, North Augusta; Melvin Boseman, North Augusta; David Walls, of Augusta, went crappie and white perch fishing. We wound up with 54 fish. Mark: Chris Rollins, North Augusta; Tim Coleman, Harlem; Grayson Liner, Evans, and Roy Crews, Martinez, caught 21 fish. Carlos Jarosz, Jeff Jarosz, Steve Eidson and Nat Eidson, all of Martinez, caught 19 fish 11 to 3 pounds. Don and Sumter Brinson, Jim, Holt and Zane Brinson, all of North Augusta, caught a limit of stripers and hybrids. Dan Keever and Joe Brown, both of Elberton, Ga., caught a limit of hybrids and some white perch.

Check out my Web site at www.williamsasserfishing.com.

Dale Gibbs, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass (706) 288-7510 -- The lake is 6 feet below normal and temperatures have ranged in the low 60s. Largemouth bass seem to be scattered throughout the water column from two feet to 20 feet. Fish are being caught on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, shaky head worms and jigs and pigs. I went twice this week and caught 10-fish limits each time, with nothing over 3 pounds. With so many small fish in the lake, one can imagine that fishing will be great in about two years.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 -- The fish are still grouping up in the ditches, but I've had to move around to find them. Most of the fish have come from 25 to 45 feet down. George McElmurray, of Savannah Lakes Village; Jim Vargo and Donald Meeze, both of Atlanta, had a great morning and kept 25 real nice hybrids. Check out my Web site at www.fishlakethurmond.com.

Donna Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 -- The Savannah River below Thurmond Dam has been producing some good catches of big crappies and yellow perch, and an occasional jack. White doll flies tipped with a small shiner or toughie minnow and cast along the milfoil and hydrilla are catching most of the fish.

SAVANNAH RIVER

New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), (706) 798-3252 -- David Ryoo caught a 13-pound carp at the south boat ramp on oatmeal. Bobby Gilbert caught a 32-pound blue catfish and some smaller ones.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Harrison Sears (706) 722-8263 (www.brickyardponds.com) -- Steven McDaniel caught seven crappies and three catfish on minnows in the Ditch. Jenal Phillips caught nine crappies and seven catfish from the White Elephant Pond. Robert Storey caught 14 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Ralph Kitchens caught 19 crappies and two catfish in the Ditch on minnows.

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) -- Carter: I had two successful trips and one not- so-hot this past week. All were on the Amicolola River between Steele Bridge and Highway 53 in Dawson County. I fished by myself the first two trips and the fish were cooperative, eagerly taking an olive Wooly Bugger time and again. Last Saturday, I had three friends come up from Bartow, Ga., to fish and the trout showed no interest in any of the flies we tried.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

BEAUFORT, S.C., & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 -- The annual kids' fishing tournament is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 26, out of Fripp Island Marina. There are no fees. Last year, 167 youngsters turned out. Kids 4 to 15 must be accompanied by adults. They need to bring their own fishing tackle and a life preserver. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and fishing ends at 3 p.m., followed by the awarding of prizes for the biggest trout, redfish, flounder and other species. More information is available from Fripp Island Marina at 1 (843) 838-1517. The redfish bite has slowed, but fishing would still be considered good. Spotted sea trout are biting, mostly in the Beaufort area.

SAVANNAH

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 -- Live bait, shrimp in particular, remains the bait of choice when fishing for redfish. Other baits that will get the job done include peanut menhaden, finger mullet and mud minnows. Quite a few trophy reds were caught on mud minnows fished below adjustable floats.

The spotted sea trout bite is heating up and now is the time to go. The trout school in small areas and are sometimes hard to find. Here's a sure-fire method of locating them: 21 and 31-inch darting shad made by Renosky Lures Inc. The soft plastic baits come pre-rigged so tie one on and start fishing, either casting or trolling.


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