Time is right to fish crappies

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Crappies have been tearing it up at the Merry Land Brickyard ponds, with several anglers fishing from bank or boat hauling in more than 100 of the fish. The ponds operate under a catchout license, which means anglers do not need a fishing license and there is no limit to the number of fish that can be caught.

That’s not the case for Thurmond Lake where crappie fishing also has been on the hot side. The daily creel limit is 30 fish per person.

Many of the ponds on the Merry Land property date to the early 1900s when clay beds were found by brick-making companies. High water tables created the ponds during excavation.

• Here’s wishing Leon Buffington, of Thomson, a speedy recovery from injuries received in a recent automobile accident. He suffered a broken leg. He is co-owner of Raysville Marina with Doug Pentecost.

• The Raysville area is usually red hot for striped bass and hybrid fishing this time of the year, but things have been sort of slow. Pentecost believes it’s because of the mild winter. “I always liked to go fishing for stripers and hybrids when water temperatures were in the low 50s, it was windy and even raining,” he said.


THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Cliff Crowe, of Raysville, caught a limit of crappies on minnows and jigs. Douglas Pentecost, John Shivers and Rob Hutchinson, of Thomson, caught 50 crappies using minnows and jigs. Jack Owens and Billy Englett, of Grovetown, limited out on crappies on minnows and jigs. Danny Johnson, of Thomson, caught 27 crappies and four bluegills on black and chartreuse jigs. George Tucker, of Sandersville, Ga., caught 23 nice crappies. Merry Christmas to all our friends.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids and striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 www.crockettrocket striperfishing.com – Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters, they have seen the works of the Lord and His wonders of the deep – Psalm 107: 23-24. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Merry Christmas to my friends and clients.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletrouble fishingguides.com) – Last Tuesday, my grandson, Johnathan, went fishing with me in the Raysville area. We pulled live herring beneath planer boards. We caught eight stripers and hybrids. The largest was a 7-pound hybrid. Water temperature was 52 degrees. I started above Red Bank Island and worked my way to above the pumping station. My big fish came from four feet of water. Merry Christmas to all of our friends.

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) – Mark: Gary McMahan, Joey Hadden and Brent Hadden caught nine stripers averaging 12 to 18 pounds. Brent caught a 16-pounder, his biggest ever. Merry Christmas to our friends and clients. Check out my Web site at www.williamsasserfishing.com.

Bradd Sasser, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 – The Savannah River has been red hot for bream, yellow perch and a few crappies. Small shiners and worms work. Merry Christmas to all our customers and friends.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – Because of family issues, I won’t be making any guided trips for awhile. I’ll let everyone know when I am able to be active again. Check out my Web site at www.fishlakethurmond.com.

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) – Hunter: If you want to give yourself or a loved one an easy gift this holiday season, go fish the delayed harvest sections of the Toccoa, Amicalola or Chattooga rivers. Mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and abundance of trout have made all of these streams extremely productive throughout this month. On warmer days, fish flashy nymphs like Lightning Bugs and Rainbow Warriors in the riffles, and San Juan Worms (with added weight) in the deeper pools. On colder days, fish streamers and wet flies through the lower ends of the riffles. You might catch a few less trout, but those can be the days that produce some really nice ones. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Check-in station, 1410 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – John Chiurri caught 96 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Ben Johnson caught 86 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Willie and Ed Haynes caught 158 crappies in the Ditch on minnows and jigs. Harry Parker caught nine bass, including a 7-pounder, in the Expressway Pond on plastic worms. Ronnie Hardwick caught 43 catfish and 27 bream in the Cornell Pond on liver and worms. Jim and Sally Lewis caught 77 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Alexander Gibbons caught 67 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Thomas Gahagan and sons caught 163 crappies on minnows and jigs in the Ditch. Bubba Johnson caught six bass, including a pair of 4-pounders, on plastic worms in the Shack Pond. We will be closed on Christmas day and reopen on Dec. 26. Merry Christmas to all our friends and customers.

BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Not many fishermen have been out and about. The few out there have been catching redfish, spotted sea trout and sheepshead. I wish all our Augusta area friends all the best for the holiday season and beyond.

SAVANNAH, GA.

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – As water temperatures drop and you are fishing for trout, it’s best to give the fish a few more seconds before striking. Reason is, things slow down in the biting department when water temperatures fall into the mid to upper 50s. Now is the time to give sheepshead fishing a try. I suggest getting set up over wrecks or artificial reefs and fish straight down. Best baits remain the purple- and black-back fiddler crabs. On some occasions, you might catch them on green mussels, oysters, barnacles and crickets. Yes, that’s right! Crickets! Don’t forget your landing net and camera.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our friends from the Augusta area.


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