Bill banning soft baits would set bad precedent

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The Keep America Fishing organization is warning anglers about a bill being considered by the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that would ban the use of soft baits such as plastic worms, flukes and grubs.

Such a bill, if passed, would establish a dangerous precedent. Other states’ legislatures could copycat the law.

There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that the use of soft plastic baits has a negative effect on the environment or fish and wildlife.

And what a tremendous, negative impact such a law would have on the fishing tackle manufacturers as well as the economy. Thousands of such baits are manufactured annually. Keep America Fishing has a petition opposing the issue that can be signed. For more information, e-mail info@keepamericafishing.org.

• I have had a couple of responses to my question about readers’ favorite lures and why. I’m going to hold off until I get a few more responses. Simply drop me a note at Bill Baab, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or send me an e-mail at river swamper@comcast.net.

Fishing report

THURMOND LAKE

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, 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), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – We’ve reached the time of the year when it’s best to be prepared for winter planer board fishing and spring downline fishing. Majority of the planer board action is taking place around Shriver, Wells and Dordon creeks, or around Baker Creek which is a tributary off South Carolina Little River. Downlne fishing is best around the mouths of creeks, fishing for fish suspended 20 to 30 feet down in 40 to 50 feet of water. The Amity area in McDuffie-Lincoln country has been producing both planer board and downline fish, with sea gulls wearing themselves out diving on pods of bait fish driven toward the surface by schools of hybrids and stripers. Crappie fishing is at its peak with live small shiners fished over brushpiles in 20 to 30 feet of water the way to go. Pick a day of light winds to help keep your boat in the right position. Black and chartreuse crappie grubs slow-trolled over submerged treelines are catching larger fish.

Anglers who enjoyed their fishing trips with our guides this week include Darrell Terry, Judson Wynne, Bobby Posey, Jimmy Posey, Robert Hickman and Otis Glover, all of Augusta; John Stinson, Aiken; Larry Stinson, Chris Stinson, James Reid and Curtis Reid, all of Evans, and Ronnie Scott, Tim Reese and Barry McCorquordale, all of Evans.

Congratulations to Clarks Hill Striper Club fishermen David and Tommy Richardson, winners of the inaugural William Sasser Guide Service/Herring Hut/Palmetto Angler Striper Tournament.

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

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – I’ve been trolling grubs in the backs of creeks and catching some nice crappies. I went out last weekend before the rain and caught some downline fish on live herring fished 24 to 30 feet deep in deeper water. My next parties are Friday and Saturday.

Check out my Web site: www.acestriperguide.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) – As expected, the Tennessee Valley Authority has backed off a constant generation schedule at the Blue Ridge Dam. As a result, there has been some excellent fishing in the Toccoa River tailrace. There have been a lot of big stonefly nymphs in the water and some substantial black caddis hatches. Water levels in many smaller streams had dropped significantly, but another wave of rain has brought them back up again. However, it hasn’t affected trouts’ desire to eat. We’ve done really well with Wooly Buggers and San Juan Worms.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Winners of last Saturday’s bass tournament: Mike Grubbs and Josh Brister won with 8.58 pounds. Wendell Smith was second with 8.25 pounds. There was no big fish (minimum 5 pounds) caught so the big fish pot money will roll over to the next tournament.

The tournament runs from 7-11 a.m. Memberships are still available. See Gene Kirkland for details.

Brickyard report: Sammy Hogan caught 20 crappies and four bass in the Garden Pond. George Tolbert caught 62 crappies and two bass in the Expressway Pond on minnows and jigs. Jimmy and Sarah Anderson caught 43 crappies and three bass in the Stick Pond on minnows. Sue Bailey and Linda Johnson caught 18 crappies, eight shellcrackers and three bass. Robert Grubbs caught 36 crappies and four bass in the Cornell Pond on minnows and spinner baits.

Lock and dam report: Sam and Angel Tombs caught 18 yellow perch, one bass, nine crappies and three bream on minnows and worms. Gary Edge caught 30 bream, six shellcrackers, two bass and eight crappies on worms and minnows. Joe Farrow caught two stripers and one hybrid on herring.

SAVANNAH, GA.

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – The inshore sheepshead bite is getting stronger, Best times to fish are two hours before and two hours after the high tide stage. Best times to look for places to fish for sheepshead are two hours before and two hours after low tide. That’s when bridge pilings and other structures containing barnacles are exposed. Know where pilings are submerged all the time? Try those. Purple-backed fiddler crabs are the best baits.


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