North Augusta’s junior fishing team has been selected to compete in The Bass Federation’s Junior State Championship on Lake Murray on May 19.
The team is: sixth graders Brad Wilson, Forrest Thaxton and Grayson Brandt, eighth grader Sean Hall and 12th graders Chris Moore and Kyle Shreve.
Mrs. Jeanine Wilson, a volunteer for the team, said the Clark Hill Committee has presented the team with $1,000 to be used as operating expenses “to keep our team afloat!” The Clark Hill Committee is comprised of more than 25 bass clubs in the Augusta area.
The junior program began in 2009 when Illinois sanctioned high school bass fishing as a varsity sport, according to Lorianne Riggin, the Aquatic Education Coordinator of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
“I contacted the S.C. High School League that year to find out what it would take to get bass fishing sanctioned as a high school sport,” she said. She then started contacting every adult bass club contact that she had in South Carolina, as well as The Bass Federation (TBF) and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS).
“As it turned out, the FLW-sponsored TBF had a great framework for promoting youth fishing at the time and they were on the cusp of growing it. So we partnered up on the state and national level and things kind of flew from there. We hope to continue to move bass fishing forward here in South Carolinas and bring credibility to the sport for South Carolina youths by either working with the High School League or under some sort off association,” she added.
Current Palmetto State teams are Abbeville High, Aynor High, Barnwell County Career Center, Bonds County Career Center, Camden High, Chapin High, Conway High, Dixie High, Dorman High, Greenville Senior High, Ninety Six High, North Augusta Middle, Saluda High, T.L. Hanna High, Waccamaw High, White Knoll High and Wilson Hall.
• Saluda High has a six-man team competing in the state championship on Lake Murray and is in dire need of an adult bass boat owner to take out a participant. Coach Don Kneece said the boat captain will be given $60 for gas. Anyone interested should call at (864) 445-3713.
• The South Carolina DNR has posted changes in fresh water fishing regulations effective July 1. The May-June issue of South Carolina Wildlife magazine lists the changes on Pages 46-47.
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.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperatures are in the mid 70s and the lake is clear. The lake is continuing to drop Cole Beaver and his group from Savannah had a great morning catching stripers, hybrids and largemouths. Mark Schmidt and his group from Evans had a good early morning on Wednesday. Then it got tough and we were hit by a thunderstorm. We were glad to get the rain. We’re catching a lot more fish on downlines. It’s good to get away from free lines and planer boards. We catch more fish quicker without as many misses.
Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – We’ve had two great days of fishing. Most of the hybrids, stripers and black bass we’ve been catching had eggs and the black bass stomachs were loaded with crayfish. Last Saturday, my son, Brad; his wife, Jenny, and my granddaughter, Abby, and grandson, Johnathan, fished with me. We pulled live herring behind planer boards and freelines over humps and points. Depth ranged from six to 43 feet. We caught 34 hybrids and stripers and six black bass. The fish weighed 2 to 8 pounds. Last Monday, water temperature ranged in the high 70s. My grandson, Johnathan, and I set out six rods with planer boards and freelines. While I watched the rods, Johnathan was on the bow casting a Zoom Super Fluke. He caught a couple on the fluke, then all of the rods started bending. We couldn’t handle all six, so we pared down to one rod apiece. We wound up with limits of hybrids and stripers, eight black bass, one catfish and one yellow perch. We released most of the fish except those that swallowed the hook.
William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Mark Crawford, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (706) 373-8347 (Mark) (Bradd (706) 267-4313 (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Mark: Ronald Combs, Augusta; Nick Landrum, Harlem,, Ga., David and Trey Baker, Doug Morehouse and Justin Blevins, all of Grovetown, caught some nice stripers and hybrids. Moye Daniel, Augusta, and Preston Daniel, Washington, D.C., caught 20 stripers 3 to 11 pounds and 33 crappies. Hamp and Judy Campbell, Barnwell, S.C., and Jeff and Jill Winfrey, Boaz, Ala., caught 17 stripers and hybrids 3 to 11 pounds. Chris Cathey, River Cathey, Jon Cathey and Tonia Cathey, all of Appling, Ga., caught 18 stripers and hybrids 2 to 8 pounds. Emily and Susie Littrell, Aiken, had a limit of hybrids and stripers 2 to 10 pounds. Gary and Virginia Hudson and Robbie Sprott, all of Martinez, caught a nice catch.
Clark Hill Herring Hut (Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – David Noyce, North Augusta; Gary Noyce and Brian Noyce, Evans, and Andrew Noyce, Atlanta, caught 16 hybrids on Wednesday before the rains. Len Pritchett, Raymond Gurley, John Tucker, Bob Dasher, David Buckley, all of United Methodist Church in Augusta, caught a nice bunch of hybrids and stripers. Randall Burch, Augusta; Ronnie Herron, Augusta; Daniel Herron, Canton, Ga., and James Smith, Midville, Ga., caught 14 6-to-10-pound stripers. .
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – We’re finally starting to catch fish on downlines, but we’re still pulling boards early. We’re finding fish stacked up in deeper water as the morning progresses. If I see a school of fish on the bottom, I’ll stop the boat and drop down some herring. We’re still catching quality fish from 6 to 8 pounds and some nice largemouth.. We had two huge fish on last week, but both broke off. Jay Leatherman, a local guide, and I fished a Brown party from North Carolina on an annual trip. All eight fishermen in the party caught a mix of largemouths, hybrids and stripers and took home 47 fish (cleaned and dressed by their guides). Gary and Jennifer Biddle, of North Augusta, enjoyed a great day on her first fishing trip. She caught her first hybrid. Gary hooked up a huge fish and managed to get his thumb caught in the reel’s spool. The fish broke off. His thumb survived, too, although he’s a bit sore. Dr. Randy Fishleder, his wife, Teresa, and daughter, Sarah, visiting from Iowa, had a great morning and caught a good mess of big hybrids and largemouths. Check out my Web site: 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) (facebook.com/flyfishingnorthgeorgia) – Hunter: This week’s rainfall has reinvigorated many of north Georgia’s trout streams that were beginning to run at low levels. Trips on the Chestatee, Chattahoochee and Toccoa rivers all produced nice trout in higher numbers than we caught last week in lower, clearer waters. Due to the warm spring, we’ve had many terrestrials that normally are not a food source until later in the summer are already being eaten by big trout. Try fishing a grasshopper or beetle pattern and dropping a mayfly nymph such as a pheasant tail off the back of it.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – Our annual free fishing day will be held on June 11. Everybody needs to check in at the tackle shop before going fishing. Winners of last Friday’s bass tournament were Chris Davis and Robert Pope with 8.80 pounds. Sammy Hogan and Brian Weaver were second with 7.96 pounds. Bubba and Dana Koss were third with 7.56 pounds. Big fish was a 5.66-pounder caught by Davis and Pope. The tournament time is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., every Friday. Entry fee is $25 per person with an 80 percent payback. Brickyards report: Jesse Kent and Terry Bale caught 30 crappies 1½ to 2½ pounds on minnows in the Expressway Pond. Herbert McClung caught 34 bream on crickets in the Cornell Pond. Mel and Sharon Langston caught 40 nice bream on crickets in the Membership Pond. Paul Jones caught nine bass (one 7½ pounds) in the Garden Pond on a plastic worm. D.P. Russell caught 42 catfish in the White Elephant Pond on liver. Vera and Lou Hayman caught 10 bass (two 6-pounders) in the Membership Pond on big live shiners. Otis Baker caught 36 crappies in the Membership Pond on minnows. Jerry Wilson and sons caught 15 carp in the Ditch on dough balls. Three of the fish weighed more than 10 pounds each. Lock and dam: Henry McReed caught 68 big mullet on mullet worms down river. T.J. Sasser caught and released 14 stripers and hybrids down river o live herring. Jerry Archer limited out on red breasts using crickets. Billy Watson caught 19 catfish 8 to 40 pounds on cut herring down river. Tom Lee caught and released 50 shad on Sabiki Rigs.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The full moon has put the brakes on inshore fishing, but conditions should improve by this weekend. Offshore, the dolphin and wahoo bites are red hot. Capt. George on the boat Full Tilt loaded up on those fish last time out. The annual Fripp Island Memorial Day Kingfish Tournament will be held May 25-26 out of the Fripp Island Marina. The event starts with a captains’ meeting May 25 from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a Lowcountry Cookout. The tournament cranks up May 26 at sunrise, with weigh-ins at 6 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony. A 90 percent payback will be awarded first and second-place winners in the wahoo, dolphin, kingfish, Spanish mackerel and cobia divisions. For more information, call, (843) 838-1517.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Last week’s report went something like this: Some fishermen said the spotted sea trout bite was better on the incoming tides, while others said it was best on the outgoing. What that means is that the trout bite is best when tides are moving.
Spanish and king mackerel have arrived at the artificial reefs just offshore. The Savannah Snapper Banks are yielding good catches of vermilion snappers, with small pieces of cut squid or fish the best baits.
Anglers are catching cobia, little tunny, Mahi Mahi and amberjack. C’mon down!