Congratulations go to Hans Cansler and Nick Thomas for winning the annual Tommy Shaw Memorial Open Team Bass Tournament on Thurmond Lake April 6.
Cansler shared the pair’s techniques that led to a five-bass, 23.36-pound catch and netted them $5,000 to boot.
“We caught bass flipping a Berkeley Chigger Craw Crazylegs around stumps in the creek channel the first thing tournament morning,” he said. “As the day grew warmer, the fish moved into the grass and weeds that grew along the bank when the water level was down.
“We caught them on a Strike King Sexy Shad spinner bait and fished a plastic Spro Frog and a Zoom swimming fluke to catch the fish in the thicker cover.”
The winners also were appreciative of Tommy Shaw’s surviving family members who came out for the Wildwood Park weigh-in. Tommy and his wife, Rose Nell, operated a marina on the lake for about 40 years.
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) – Temp in high 60s, slightly stained. Stripers and hybrids moving into the shallows to gorge themselves on spawning herring. Most of our trips have been during the early morning, which I’d highly recommend the mornings. We’ve had some unseasonably hot weather and no wind in the afternoon. Dr. Phillip Kennedy and his wife, Denise, son Granville and daughter Reagan had a great morning on the lake. They weren’t excited about the 5 a.m., blastoff, but had a good time. Elwin Bedingfield and his son, Gary, had a slow afternoon fishing planer boards, but right before dark we found some down fish 24 to 30 feet and saved the day. Fishing should continue to improve as weather warms up. Most of our fish are being caught in the Parksville and Mosley Creek areas.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – The bass spawn is in full swing at Russell. You can find fish in all three stages of the spawn depending on where you’re fishing. The water has warmed in the upper and of the lake and the bass are in post spawn mode, in many cases. The water is a bit cooler in mid lake and you can find spawning fish on the flats. Pollen remains a problem, blocking your view, so here’s a clean tip: Take some Ivory dishwashing soap with you and squirt some on the water. You’ll be amazed at how fast the pollen clears to help you see bass on the beds. The fish can still be found in the pre-spawn mode at the lake’s south end. Last Sunday, Herb Flick and his son, 12, from Harlem, fished with me. The cloud cover stayed with us for most of the day and the bite was steady. Chase out-fished us using his new “Carrot Stick” rod (guess what color it is!). Shane Gravitt and Travis Soule, from the Athens, Ga., area fished with me last Monday. Texas-rigged trick worms and The Creeper Shakeyhead from The Tackle Shop in Martinez (grand opening today at noon) produced most of our bass. I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch. You can also reach me on Facebook at Lake Russell Bass Fishing.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – Ray Dowdy, of Harlem, and I fished Thursday, pulling free-lines and planer boards off points in the main channel. He caught two 10-pounders as we both limited out, catching hybrids and stripers. We fished from daylight until 11 a.m. Larry Freeman, of Grovetown, went scouting with me on Tuesday. We pulled planer boards and free-lined herring in 12 to 24 feet of water off the main channels. I hooked and landed a 15-pound striper on a free-line, while Larry caught an 8-pound striper off a planer board. All the fish were stripers with most ranging from 4 to 6 pounds. Mike Kent, of Appling, and Doug Holland, of Augusta, fished with me on Wednesday. Mike landed an 8-pounder and Doug a 6-pounder. We caught a mixture of hybrids and stripers totaling 22 on the same technique as on Tuesday.
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), (706) 267-4313 (Bradd), (803) 507-5083 (Andrew) – The lake level keeps creeping up along with the water temperature. Hybrids are maintaining an early morning feeding frenzy right at daylight. Nice stripers can still be caught later in the morning fishing live herring beneath planer boards around major lake points and shoals. The bite is just a bit slower. Best places to try are Parksville, Bass Alley (Lincoln County, Ga., side of the lake), Georgia Flats and Modoc. Majority of our downline fish have come in 25 to 35 feet of water at daybreak around the sides of humps and off main channel points. In the evening, hybrids are being caught on planer boards pulled along the riprap (rocks) on both sides of the dam, or fishing close to the wall on the South Carolina side. Crappies are starting their transition from the shallows to the submerged trees in 10 to 15 feet of water. Shellcrackers and bream have begun bedding and your opportunity to catch them should increase during the next week. Enjoying great trips with us this week were Steve Kirkland, Billy Jackson and Claude Daggott, all of Columbia; Willie Roper, North Augusta; Mike Lebrandt, Melissa Lebrandt and Vickie Shaw, all of Grovetown; Wayne and Sherry Thompson, of Evans; Luther and Chase Madison, McCormick, S.C., and Seth and Christie Madison, of Ashland, Va.
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 – Fish absolutely full of eggs. The bite is getting better and we’re catching some quality fish. Everything’s been up in the grass (hydrilla). But I’ve been having trouble catching crappies in the shallows. We’ve been catching some nice fish on cut bait and we’ve had some big fish break off. When you’re double-anchored on points, you can’t chase ‘em!
Check out my Web site at www.fishlakethurmond.com.
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: Spring trout fishing in north Georgia is officially in full swing. Hendricksons have started hatching on the Toccoa River and the trout have been eating them almost every afternoon. Thanks to all the rain we’ve gotten over the last couple of months, all the streams have an abundance of water. The Soque and Chestatee rivers are at normal April levels for the first time in a few years, causing the trout to be spread out and very hungry.
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Plans are being made to hold a bowfishing tournament on the ponds. Anyone who has the knowledge of how to operate such an event is asked to call Gene Kirkland. Last Saturday’s bass tournament was not held. The tournament will be held Fridays, starting April 26, from 6 to 10 p.m., under the direction of Gene Moyer (803) 270-1580. Memberships are still available. See Gene for details.
Brickyard report: Wendell Smith caught 14 bluegills and six bass on crickets and lures in the Fallout Pond. Mike Turner and Sammy Hogan caught six bass on lures in the same place. Adam Hutto caught five bass in the Farm Pond on plastic worms. Jim and Betty Smith caught 20 crappies and 10 catfish on minnows and cut bait in the Pollard Pond. Robert Johnson caught 20 catfish on cut bait in the Stick Pond., Scott Mason and Roy Cooper caught 20 shellcrackers and 10 bream in the Clayton Pond on Louisiana pinks. Lock and dam report: Joe Milton and Jim Victor caught 20 shellcrackers and 25 bream on crickets and worms. Josh Davis and Randy Dixon caught 10 catfish and four stripers on cut bait and herring. David Wayne caught 10 catfish on cut bait. Josh King caught 25 bream on crickets.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Fishing in our area is finally on the upswing. The sheepshead bite has been great, while the bite is improving for whiting, channel bass and black drum. The Gulf Stream and most offshore fishing remains slow.