Anglers know strikes are plentiful before a cold front

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One weather system that can put the brakes on fishing success is the cold front, like the one that came into our area late Sunday.

Oddly enough, a fish’s bite can be really strong just before the system comes. Cold fronts don’t affect all fishing or all fish. Bradd Sasser told me earlier this week that charter captain Mark Crawford took out a party on Monday and caught a limit of mostly good-sized striped bass, fishing live herring on down lines. A friend took a guest fishing on the Savannah River at Betty’s Branch and only the capture of a few jacks (chain pickerel) saved the trip from being a washout.

He and the friend also fished “striper alley” down the Savannah River and never had the first strike on artificials and big minnows. Then they went to Thurmond Lake on Wednesday afternoon, only to be confronted by strong winds and whitecaps. They never saw a breaking fish in the mouth of Keg Creek.

There are some days when it’s best to stay home and read a good book. At the same time, most fishermen I know just enjoy being outdoors, fish or no fish. So it’s just a matter of choice.

• One of the fishing regulations passed jointly earlier this year by Georgia and South Carolina agencies noted that the daily limit of striped bass and hybrid bass or a combination of both remains at 10 for Thurmond and Hartwell lakes. But only three can be over 26 inches in length. The limit for trout is five and the white bass limit is 10. South Carolina’s new fishing laws for crappies and bream are different from Georgia’s. Anglers should get copies of each state’s fishing regulations and carefully read them to avoid embarrassment in the future.

Fishing notes

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 – Jesse Dawson, Warrenton, limited out on crappies with minnows.

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 – The morning bite has been extremely slow, but the bite has been picking up between 1 and 6 in the afternoons. Schools of hybrids and stripers have been surfacing in Georgia’s Little River from opposite Ridge Road Campground to the mouth of the cove leading into the Fort Gordon Recreation Area. The fish must be hungry. One small hybrid we cleaned had nine herring in its stomach. Fishing live herring 35 to 60 feet below the school fish has been productive and is the way to catch larger fish. Enjoying fishing trips with our guides this week were Brad Newsome, Jason Corley, Donald Corley, Bill Littrell and Arthur Angelus, all of Augusta; Derek Moore, Corey Mullins and Barry Fairley, all of Evans; Bryan Fitzpatrick and David Gaither, both of Louisville, Ga., and Tim Dixon, Atlanta.

Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date pictures.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Military personnel, senior citizens, you can fish for half-price. If you’re handicapped, you can fish for free. Contact the bait and tackle shop for details.

Brickyard report: Raymond Wilson caught 25 bream and 20 crappies in the Shack Pond on minnows and worms. Bubba Johnson caught 40 crappies on minnows in the Ditch. David Knox caught 30 crappies in the Expressway Pond on minnows and jigs. Jim Lake and Ken Bell caught 40 crappies in the White Elephant Pond on minnows. Gary Edge and R.B. Kirkland caught 35 crappies on minnows in the Membership Pond. J.C.Skinner and Gene Kirkland caught 10 catfish and 25 crappies in the Garden Pond on minnows.

Lock and dam: Roger Brown and Wayne Johnson caught 50 crappies on minnows. Bobby Jones and Wayne Mason caught 25 bream and 35 crappies on crickets and minnows. Paul Wolfe and Robbie Hendrick caught 56 bream and four bass 2 to 4 pounds on crickets and plastic worms.

BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The annual Owen Perry Memorial Inshore Tournament, named in honor of the late Augustan, will be held out of Fripp Island Marina on Oct. 19-20. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Camp Rainbow for kids with cancer and rare blood diseases. Registration will be held at 6 p.m., followed by a captains’ meeting and a Lowcountry cookout. An auction will be held with proceeds also going to Camp Rainbow. Fishing begins at 7 a.m. Oct. 20th, with the weigh-in closing at 5 p.m. Next on the schedule is the annual Kids’ Thanksgiving Fishing Tournament on Friday, Nov. 23, at the marina. For more information, call (843) 838-1517.


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