Wonder what to give your favorite Georgia sportsman (or woman) for Christmas?
How about a lifetime sportsman license? My wife, Bea, and I took advantage of the program when we turned 65 and received our free licenses (paying $10 each for permanent plastic cards).
Prices are set by age groups: Residents 65 and older can apply for free licenses. Best bargain is for children. Buy one for a kid under 2 for $200. Or pay $350 for kids 2 to 15. Lifetime licenses for those 16 to 59 cost $500. Discount lifetime licenses fore resident adults 60 to 64 cost $95.
• Craig Johnson called to report the Wildwood Park boat ramps have been closed because of low water.
As a result, the Claire Whaley Foundation bass tournament will be held out of Lake Springs, whose ramps are still usable, he said.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the low 60s, the lake is clear and continuing to drop. We’re having some great days on the water, the hardwood trees are at their peak and fishing is fair to good. We’re catching largemouth, stripers, hybrids, white perch and some trophy yellow perch. Bert Sappenfield and his son, Clay, had a good day with me. They’ve been fishing with me for 22 years and it’s always a pleasure. John Webster, of Washington, Ga., brought a group of his fish killers out to brave a cold Thursday. We’ve caught some nice fish and continue to look for others this afternoon.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, Knology Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).
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 cool weather this week has caused the bite to start around 9 a.m., and end about 3 p.m. Good quality stripers are being caught in the backs of creeks in the Raysville and Amity areas. All the fish are coming on live herring and gizzard shad fished below planer boards pulled in shallow water. The Walker family, of Parksville, S.C., fished with us this week and caught a nice mess of stripers. Tank Walker landed one that weighed just under 20 pounds. The bigger stripers are starting to bite in the upper end of the lake and on Lake Russell, pulling large baits such as rainbow trout and gizzard shad should produce a nice 20-pound striper.
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Clarks Hill Herring Hut, (Capt.Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – The time for yellow perch and crappies on the river below the dam has begun, with water temperatures in the low 50s. It should just get better. Johnny Turner, of Clarks Hill, S.C., caught a limit of slab crappies and some nice perch, using small shiners and hybrid pink worms. Some pretty nice catfish are being caught in 189 to 20 feet of water off points in creeks using cut herring and stink baits..
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Military personnel, senior citizens can fish for half-price. If you’re handicapped, you can fish for free. Anyone fishing on Mondays and Tuesdays can fish for half-price. Contact the bait and tackle shop for details.
Brickyard report: Ed Schecengost caught 15 catfish in the King Pond on liver. Jay Robertson caught 50 crappies in the Ditch on minnows and jigs. Joe Davis Jr., caught 45 crappies on minnows and jigs in the Expressway Pond. Jim and Sally Johnson caught 30 crappies and 10 catfish on minnows and rooster livers in the Pollard Pond. Billy Lancaster and Jerry Wesley caught 60 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Ken Saxton and Bill Ashley caught 40 crappies on minnows in the White Elephant Pond.
Lock and dam: Tyrone Tolbert caught 10 catfish (some 8 to 10 pounds), four stripers (largest 15 pounds) and 20 bream. David Mack and Greg Hill caught 25 crappies and five catfish. David Young and Jeff Braggs caught 30 crappies and 20 bream.
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) – The recent cold spell has not had a negative effect on the fishing. The Soque and Chestatee rivers have fished very well over the last couple of weeks with almost all the trout being caught on small, flashy nymphs such as Lightning Bugs and Rainbow Warriors. The Toccoa River also is fishing much better, probably because of the decrease in fishing pressure that it gets this time of year. On the Toccoa, fish big dry flies with a Beadhead Flashbackj Pheasant Tail dropped three to four feet behind the dry fly. Or, for the deeper sections, fish a pink Sa Juan Worm with added weight four to five feet below a strike indicator.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, S.C. (843) 838-2530 – Inshore fishing is red hot, even if the weather isn’t. Redfish, spotted sea trout and whiting are biting. The 15th annual Kids’ Fishing Tournament will be held out of Fripp Island Marina on Friday, Nov. 23. All children 4 to 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and can fish from a boat, marina dock or private “hole.” Entrants must bring their own rod, reel, tackle and a life preserver. It’s free. Free hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream and plenty of prizes for the largest spotted sea trout, black drum and other species. Registration and fishing start at 8 a.m., and close at 3 p.m. More information: (843) 838-1517.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – It’s time to sign up for our inshore and offshore fishing schools. We are going to give you the best times to fish for what, when and where for 2013 in our newly revised inshore handout. Two inshore schools (Feb. 9 and Feb. 23) and one offshore school (March 9) have been scheduled. Space is limited so please call now for reservations.