Fishing tournament will honor military

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Coming up at Wildwood Park on April 16 will be a bass tournament honoring members of the United States Armed Forces.


The inaugural Military Bass Bash will team 150 professional bass fishermen with a like number of military-affiliated anglers who will compete for a top prize of $5,000. Each winning team member will take home $2,500.

Open registration will be held at Fort Gordon's Pxtra on March 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Final registration will be held at Augusta Marine Superstore on Frontage Road on April 8 from 4-8 p.m.

A mandatory boat pairing will be held at Patriots Park on April 14, with boaters paired electronically with non-boaters. A free dinner for the anglers will be held during the pairings. Live entertainment will take place at Wildwood from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on tournament day.

- Congratulations to Tim Jones, of North Augusta, and Jeff Rikard, of Leesville, S.C., for winning the Boater and Co-Angler Divisions, respectively, in the Walmart Bass Fishing League tournament on Thurmond Lake last weekend.

THURMOND LAKE

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.crockettrocketstriper fishing.com) -- Water temperature is in the mid 50s and the fish have turned on in between the weather "bumps." We had a couple of days of high winds and a couple of days of early morning fog, but mostly the weather has been good. James Simpson and his wife, Julie, from Akron, Ohio, were visiting relatives and decided to try our striper fishery. They landed some nice stripers, slab hybrids and big largemouths over a two-day period. They planned to make it an annual event. All our fish were caught freelining live herring and on herring fished beneath planer boards in shallow water.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishing guides.com) with twins Brad and Jim) -- My grandson, Johnathan, and I fished the lake last Saturday for the first time in more than a month. We trolled Hal-Flies four to five under corks in 13 to 20 feet of water in the creek channels. We wound up with 17 slab crappies, with Johnathan catching a monster black crappie that weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces. Last Monday, Alan Godbee, of Savannah, Ga., and Tazz Sanders, of Augusta, and I trolled Hal-Flies beneath corks. They caught 15 slab crappies, the biggest at 2 pounds. Friends told me they're catching crappies around the banks in Germany, Soap and Hawe creeks. 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. (Clark Hill Herring Hut). -- Dennis Howard and Kyle Lemon, both of Georgetown, Ill., and Damon Wright, of Potomac, Ill., caught 40 really nice crappies. The fish came from six or seven feet down in 20 feet of water over brush. Ethan Rabun celebrated his sixth birthday on a trip that included Johnny, Chris, Cindy and Cole Rabun, all of Wrens, Ga. They caught 52 fish, including a 7-pound largemouth, a couple of 10-pound stripers, 40 crappies and nine hybrids. Mark: Clark and Geri Sharpe, both of Savannah Lakes Village, caught 13 stripers and hybrids 2 to 8 pounds on live herring fished beneath planer boards. Chris and Susan Selege, of Athens, Ga., and Bruce and Rose Ellis, of Mercer, Pa., landed 15 stripers and hybrids 2 to 10 pounds. Milton and Ryan Williams, of Graniteville, and Zach Poucher, of Dahlonega, Ga., caught nine stripers 3 to 10 pounds and 10 crappies. Check out my Web site www.william sasserfishing.com.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 -- The fish are gathering up and the bite is on the increase. Fishing ought to be excellent by this weekend. Water temperatures range from 52 to 60 degrees and ought to rise into the mid 60s. By the end of this week, fishing ought to be excellent. I've caught some fish on downlines at anchor, but it's an early bite. Once that sun comes up, it ends and we go to fishing herring on freelines and beneath planer boards. Check out my Web site: www.fishlakethurmond.com.

Donna Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 -- Crappie fishing has been good round the cable. Hybrids and stripers are moving into the cable area in front of the dam after dark. Hector Cruz, caught a 3-pound crappie, fishing small shiners off the bank. Mike Darby, Martinez, caught four largemouths, one striper and four hybrids on live herring.

SAVANNAH RIVER

New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), (706) 798-3252 -- Guillermo Medina, Joseph Petrie and Cody Holman limited out on shad on Sabiki Rigs. The Mayor's Pond has been producing crappies and bass. Bream fishing is on the upswing, while a few stripers are being caught, too.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706 722-8263 -- Allen Barton caught a 51/2 pound bass in the Swamp Pond on white Super Fluke. Darin Lamb caught nine bass in the Clayton Pond. The 3- and 4-pounders were caught on plastic worms. Robert Gregalunas caught five bass, including 8- and 5-pounders, on plastic worms in the Ditch. Billy Johnson had 15 crappies, all 1 and 2 pounds, on minnows in the White Elephant Pond. Chris Kelly caught a 73/4-pound bass in the Swan Pond on a top water plug. He had seven fish total. Elbert McCumbers caught 20 crappies 3/4 to a pound on minnows in the Ditch. Mike Grubbs Jr., and Paul Wolfe had nine bass in the Membership Pond on plastic worms. Joel Hughes landed a 41/2-pound bass in the ditch on a watermelon Fluke. John Postman caught an 83/4-pound bass in the Ditch on a minnow. Alvin Newton, Travis Davis and Chad Newton caught 11 bass, several over 4 pounds each, on a black plastic worm in the King Pond. Larry Johnson had eight bass 2 to 3 pounds in the Cornell Pond on a plastic frog. Robert Ward had 25 crappies, one over 4 pounds, on minnows in the Ditch. Jay and Brandy Robinson caught 50 crappies on minnows in the Ditch. We'll start our bass tournaments today at 6.

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: About 10 inches of rain fell in the mountains last week and it was hard to find a stream to fish that wasn't high and muddy. The Tisdale family came up from Evans and I took them over too fish the Noontootla Creek drainage. The creek was high and stained, but fishable. Andy Tisdale landed a beautiful brook trout at the base of a roaring waterfall and missed a couple. His son, William, hooked two nice rainbows, but both managed to throw the hook and escape. His wife, Holly, and daughter, Ava, fished hard, but never got a bite. Ben Moore, who guides out of Rivers and Glen, has been having great luck on the Saluda River near Columbia. He caught 20 to 30 trout on each trip, using dry flies and emerger droppers tied about a foot behind the dry flies. The Saluda River is just an hour's ride from Augusta. We'll offer float and wade trips over the next few months.

SAVANNAH

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 -- There are few live shrimp at the moment, but that could change. Adams Bait House (912) 898-1550 in Thunderbolt, Ga., is offering live fiddler crabs and mud minnows. Call ahead before making your trip. Always carry a cast net when you come to fish. Presumably, you'll know how to use it. If you see a school of mullet or peanut menhaden swim past your boat, have a fling at it. Have a live well or aerated bait well to put in your catch.

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