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.crockettrocketriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the upper 70s, the lake is clear and dropping. We’re catching some nice hybrids, stripers and largemouth bass free-lining live herring in 18 to 20 feet of water and down lining in the 30-foot range. The fish are starting to congregate and go deeper. I did see my first surface schools, but they didn’t stay up long. I enjoyed fishing the following families: George Dudich and his family, from Evans. George had folks in from Ohio and enjoyed catching stripers and hybrids. They held a nice fish fry afterward. Paul Yoder, of Seneca, S.C., brought his family for a camping/fishing trip. They had a great time, their kids catching their first stripers.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Bob Vernoy and I fished the Raysville-Big Hart area all day on Wednesday, fishing from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We caught six bass on an XPS jerk bait and a three-quarter-ounce white spinnerbait with silver blades. Biggest bass weighed 5 pounds. We saw hundreds of garfish everywhere. I’ve never seen that many in all the years I’ve been fishing the lake. We need to have a bow hunting tournament.
Billy Murphy, professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Last Friday, my son, Brad, and his daughter, Abby, went scouring for me to find fish for some upcoming parties. We caught 19 stripers in the 2-to-4-pound range, pulling live herring behind planer boards in shallow water around points and humps. We heard the “whizz-whizz-whizz” of line being pulled off a reel, looked back and saw a rod just bending. Brad grabbed it and eventually reeled in a 35.6-pound striped bass. It hit in 16 feet of water. Last Saturday, Russell Arnold, of Monroe, Ga., fished with us. He caught 13 stripers and three black bass, the latter being 2 to 4 pounds.
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: Solon Kao, Martinez; Abtim Etezadi, Augusta; Patrick Walker, Augusta; Harry Elam, Augusta; Jeremy Hixson, Grovetown; Mark Stevens, Augusta, and Martin Salgueiro, Augusta, caught 50 2- to 10-pound hybrids and stripers. Larry Reynolds, Lester Walker and Pat Riley, all of Hephzibah, caught 15 hybrids and stripers 2 to 6 pounds. Bill Thornton, Eddie Jones and Walter Peel, all of Blackville, S.C., caught 42 crappies.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – I have fished only two days this week, but we’re catching some down line fish. The fish are fairly thick, but they don’t want to stop to bite. We are catching quality fish, ranging from 3 to 10 pounds, 10 to 12 and up to 15. We’re not catching a lot, maybe averaging 15 to 30 fish per day. Danny Newton, of Hiltonia, Ga., and I were tasked to catch enough fish for a fish fry for 30-some people. We caught 12 to 15, but they were quality fish and we had plenty for the meal. We’re starting to catch fish in deeper water. We’re finding a lot of suspended fish in the 20- to 30-foot range and they’re hard to catch. Usually, we have little trouble catching them.
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) – Carter: Lots of rain and cooler nighttime temperatures have held north Georgia streams and rivers stay full and cool with hungry trout taking advantage of conditions. I had great trips this week at Fern Valley and Frog Hollow with clients hooking into and landing many 20-plus-inch rainbows on dry flies. We are using large Hoppers as strike indicators with soft hackles or Rainbow Warriors as droppers and most fish are taking the Hoppers. I would strongly recommend that you leave the strike indicators at home and use large dry flies instead. I had a morning off this week and decided to fish a wild stream on the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area. I landed six brook trout, two brown trout and three rainbows on a Jack Cabe’s Hopper. Dry fly fishing for mountain trout is very good right now so come on up and give it a try, You will enjoy the experience whether or not you catch fish.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland and Brantley Toomer, (706) 722-8263 – It’s getting close to our annual free fishing day on June 11. Everybody needs to check in at the tackle shop off Doug Barnard Parkway before going fishing. Winners of May 25’s bass tournament were Mike Chapman and Chase Harmon with 9.26 pounds. Second were Bubba and Dana Koss with 5.4 pounds. Preston Crews and Brian Weaver with 5.06 pounds were third. Big fish was 3.78 pounds caught by the winners. Last week’s winners were Crews and Weaver with a whopping 16.24 pounds. Mike Craig caught 5.76 pounds for second and third were Paul Grubbs and Marty Pearson with 5.16 pounds. Big fish was a 4.72-pounder caught by Crews and Weaver.
Tournament hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., every Friday. Entry fee is $25 per person with an 80 percent payback. Brickyards report Jerry, Garron and Colton Pankey caught 30 carp in the Ditch on dough balls. Lonnie Newman caught nine bass, two over 6 pounds, on plastic worms in the Expressway Pond. Darren Garvin caught 31 bream in the Cornell Pond on crickets and worms. Will Ables caught 24 big crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Ron Harrison caught 29 crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. Selma and Joe Davis caught 42 catfish and 20 bream in the White Elephant Pond on liver and worms. Roy Clarke caught seven bass, two over 5½ pounds each, in the Membership Pond. Monte Riggins caught 36 bream and 14 catfish in the Stick Pond on worms. Lock and dam: Alex Costa caught nine catfish down river on cut herring. Ike Miller caught and released 21 shad on Sabiki Rigs. Tommy McMillan caught and released nine stripers and three hybrids down river. Larry Helms limited out on bream downriver on crickets.Harvey Williams caught 76mullet down river on worms.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Inshore fishing is very good with anglers catching redfish, spotted sea trout, flounder and whiting.