Whatever happened to global warming?
I have developed a bit of anemia in my old age and high, cool winds have made me want to hibernate and stay away from Thurmond Lake. I like my creature comforts and 15-25-mph winds are not among ’em.
My professional guide friends are much younger and can stand the cold. Only problem some have been having is to get their clients on the lake before daybreak. Most of the clients don’t want to rise that early, fish or no fish.
• If you’re among folks who like to watch others weigh in fish, then the Fishers of Men Stren Team Series National Championship out of Wildwood Park on May 16-18 is the place to be. Weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. daily.
Nearly 280 competitors start arriving May 10 for a five-day practice period. Tournament host is Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – Jeffery Aiden and friend caught 10 catfish and three bass, using herring. Al Carlisle caught nine bass, largest 4 pounds, on a Chug Bug. Mark Watson, Thomson, caught 30 shellcrackers and two catfish weighing 13 and 5 pounds.
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.crockett rocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the mid 60s and holding. There’s not much of a chance of a warm-up over the next few days. We’ve been stuck with northeast winds for several days and it’s made the morning fishing difficult. We hit the fish really hard right at daylight on down lines, catching some nice stripers and hybrids, but the free-lining after 9 a.m., has been tough. Jerry Olson and his group had a good morning, catching stripers and hybrids in 24 feet of water. They picked up a couple of 10-pound stripers free-lining, but the rest of the morning was slow. Kenneth Knapp, from Aiken, and his group were pretty much déjà vous all over again. We caught fish early, stripers, hybrids and some big largemouths, but after the wind picked up, things slowed down.
Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – The lake has received lots of beneficial rain and is at full pool. Active creeks and coves with drains are muddy. Still fishing the Beaver Dam Creek area on main lake points and secondary points further in. The fish are hitting shallow diving crankbaits (10 feet) and Creeper shakeyheads with Robo floating worms. Look for fishing around the southern end near the dam to pick up as those fish move in to spawn. In the northern end, fish are heading to the secondary points or, depending on the water temperature, they may be hanging around the spawning flats to look for bluegills for easy meals as they move up to spawn. The Student Angler Federation of The Bass Federation arm of the FLW Tour will hold its state championship on Lake Lanier this weekend. I have volunteered to use my boat to take out two high school anglers. Here’s wishing the Harlem High Competitive Fishing Team good luck.
I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch.
You can reach me on Facebook at Lake Russell Bass Fishing as well as through my Web site and phone number.
Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (www.doubletrouble fishingguides.com) – High winds and rain have kept us off the water for most of last week. Doug Holland, of Augusta, fished with me last Tuesday. Water temperature was 62 degrees at 6:15 a.m., and it warmed to 65 degrees by the time we left at 11:30. We left the ramp, only to be hemmed in by fog some two miles up the river and we wouldn’t see the front of our boat. We heard bass boats running full speed, so we used the GPS to head toward the bank. We pulled herring beneath planer boards and wound up with only six hybrids of 3 and 4 pounds apiece.
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) – Fishing is on the upswing. The trick is to catch the days between the winds and the rain. Water temperatures are lingering in the mid 60s and the lake level has inched up, almost reaching 326 feet. The early morning bite remains the best, with a few bigger fish caught later in the morning. Afternoon and late evening fishing has been getting better, with plenty of fish hitting herring below planer boards in the Hamilton Branch State Park area. In the morning, spring patterns are holding true with hybrids holding tight on then sides of shoals, underwater humps and main channel points in 25 to 35 feet of water.
Down lines with live herring are catching fish. Grays and Lloyds creeks are producing some nice stripers in the 10-to-15-pound range on herring beneath planer boards. Enjoying their outings this week were Chris, Justin and Richard Bryant, of Harlem, Ga.; Bobby Akers, Thomson; Sam Robinson, Robert Hale, Daniel Hale and Ryan Amey, all of Denver, Colo.; Jason Ansley, Toombs, Ga., and Earnest Ansley and Dan Gray, Appling.
Check out our Facebook page for up-to-date pictures.
Clarks Hill Herring Hut, (Capt. Bradd Sasser) (864) 333-2000 – Evening fishing at the dam along the rocks on the South Carolina side has been beneficial for bank fishermen. Joseph Cash, Augusta, caught two stripers weighing more than 20 pounds on live herring fished off the rocks. Bream and shellcrackers are starting to spawn in the shallows.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – We did pretty good last week pulling bait, but the only downline fish were small. The crappies have moved into brushpiles 5 to 10 feet down in 15 feet of water. The top end of the lake has been hot for me in the past, but it hasn’t been so far. We’ve been going back to Lake Murray where we have been catching some real nice fish up to 20 pounds. We need stable and warmer weather in our lake.
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) – Hunter: High water continues in most north Georgia trout streams as a result of all the rain. This can be a huge advantage in catching fish if you make a few simple adjustments. Add extra eight to the nymph rigs and extra distance between the strike indicator and the flies. Give every hole a few extra drifts since the fish may be spread out more and moving around. Remember, high water can give you and edge since you can get closer to fish without them seeing you, making for easier casting and better drifts.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
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. Our Saturday bass tournament (7 a.m. to noon) will continue. Another bass tournament will be held on the ponds on Fridays, starting today, from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, call Gene Moyer at (803) 270-1580.
Brickyard report: Joe Cox caught 16 shellcrackers, four bream and a bass on pinks and crickets in the Garden Pond. Lucille Perkins and Mary Jones caught four bluegills, 16 catfish and two crappies on worms and minnows in the Ditch. Dolores Perkins and Joe Perkins caught 14 catfish, six bluegills and three bream on worms and minnows in thee Ditch. Bubba Johnson caught four bass, six crappies out of the Membership Pond on worms a minnows. Bubba Reynolds caught four bass, 14 bluegills on worms and artificial lures in the Fallout Pond.
Lock and dam report: David Bennett caught six bream, eight shellcrackers and two channel catfish on worms and liver. L.D. and Martha Miller caught six bream, seven shellcrackers and 18 crappies on worms and minnows. Mike Grubbs Sr., and Jr., caught four channel catfish, including a 26-pounder, on cut shad and herring.
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The annual Fripp Island Memorial Day Kingfish Tournament will be held May 24-25. Normally, the largest fish of the season are caught during the event. Registration and a captains’ meeting will be held May 24 from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a Lowcountry cookout. Fishing starts at sunrise the next day and weigh-ins close at 6 p.m. A 90 percent payback of entry fees will be awarded for the top two kingfish and the largest bull dolphin, wahoo, Spanish mackerel and cobia. For more information, call Fripp Island Marina at (843) 838-1517.