State parks, historic sites provide free loaner tackle

  • Follow Fishing

So, you and your family wind up at a Georgia state park or historic site and you discover there’s a fishing hole on the property. But you didn’t bring any tackle.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division provides loaner tackle and fully stocked tackle boxes to visitors. The cost? Free!

Of course, you must have a fishing license, but if the family includes kids under 16, they do not need a license. The park office has licenses for sale, too.

• Rules for the SKISH (skill in fishing) contest set after the Aug. 4 game between the Augusta GreenJackets and Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs are constantly being tweaked.

The latest decision rules out adult participation, so the contest is open to just kids under 18. The club hopes many of the junior bass fishermen in this area will participate.

The $7 entry fee includes admission to the game and, if tickets are purchased using a special form on a flyer, a free visor will be given. To get a flier, contact Bill Levy at the GreenJackets at (706) 736-7889 (ext. 212), or by e-mail address at blevy@ greenjacketsbaseball.com. Completed fliers must be turned in to Levy by Aug. 2.

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – William Hawkins and Greg Reeves caught 25 crappies on minnows. Our fish house has been producing many good catches of crappies and other fish. We’re having our annual fireworks show on July 6, starting at 1 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30.

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.crockettrocket striperfishing.com) – Water temperature is in the low 80s and the lake is clear on the lower end and at full pool. We’re catching stripers, hybrids and largemouths in the 30-foot range on live herring. We’re also picking up a lot of flathead catfish. It’s been an early bite and the Parksville area has been producing some good catches on the South Carolina side as well as the Georgia Flats. We’ve been dodging the rain showers, but they seem to help the fishing with lots of cloudy cover and southwest winds. Jeff Broadbent brought his dad, Dwayne, and his granddad, Lorell Bryson, from Utah. Lorell lives on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and loves to fish. He caught some really nice stripers and had a great time. Fishing should continue to be good through the next couple of months since the fish are beginning to congregate.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – My friend, Bob Vernoy, and I fished on Wednesday. We had no luck in the back of Keg Creek, so we drove up to the Amity day-use area and launched our boat. It’s across from Raysville Marina. We went up Hart Creek and on every point, we caught bass. We wound up with 15 or 16 fish with Bob catching the most (I caught four) and the biggest (6 pounds). On Bob’s last cast, he caught a channel catfish. “You’re no longer the Catfish King,” he said. We fished with Rat-L-Traps and other rattling baits.

Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, WRDW-My12, WOW Ch. 7, Atlantic Broadband (Aiken) Ch. 7 and Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon).

Bill Speer, The Fishing Coach, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass fishing on Lake Russell (www.thefishingcoach.com) (706) 421-6630 – Happy Summer Solstice! I hope you can find time to go fishing on this, the longest daylight of the year. If not, well, the days are going to start getting shorter. I am still getting the hang of my new Lowrance HDS 12 & 9, but one thing I know: the down and side scan sure helps get a better idea of what is going on down there. Jarod Gibson, longtime Lake Russell fisherman, has had good success in the late afternoons and evenings, fishing channel markers and blow-downs with deep diving crank baits and small football head jigs. The blow-downs had to have deep water near the ends. As the sun began to set, he had success with a small Zara Spook. Another longtime Russell fisherman, Pat Carroll, went light lining (4-pound test) and fished near Calhoun Falls. He caught a good number of Kentucky spotted bass with a small Rebel crank bait. He also had some success with a Super Pop-R and a Bandit crank bait. He tells me the Bandit is his favorite, so if you see him, try to snag it away for me. As for me, I am hitting the summer pattern drop shot areas in the mouths of deep coves in about 30 feet. I am fishing the edge of the trees when I mark fish suspended in the trees. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a nice lunch as well as a safe launch.

If you’d like to book a trip to Russell in the coming weeks, give me a call, or find me on Facebook @ Lake Russell Bass Fishing with the Fishing Coach, or check out my Web site.

Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide, with twins Brad and Jim (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) – My son, Brad, and 5-year-old granddaughter, Abby, are visiting from North Carolina. They fished with me last Saturday. Not having any luck pulling planer boards, we looked for deeper fish and found some in 30 to 40 feet. We caught 11 nice stripers and hybrids. They fished with me again on Monday and caught 13 nice stripers and hybrids by 8 a.m. The fish left so we pulled umbrella rigs the rest of the morning and had just one hit. According to my notes, it’s getting time for umbrella rigs – about mid June. On June 28, my sons and I will appear at Broadway Tackle Shop on Broad Street at the Augusta Canal from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. to talk about striper fishing. We’ll give you some ideas as to where to pull umbrella rigs and use down lines. The seminar is free to the public.

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 – Water temperatures are staying in the low to mid 80ss and down-line hybrids and stripers are in a feeding frenzy. Nice slab hybrids are being caught on the lower end of the lake around all major channel points from Modoc to Lake Springs in 45 to 60 feet and suspended fish passing through at 30 to 40 feet. The Camel Humps have produced some really nice 8 to 15-pound stripers in 45 feet, down-lining live herring. As water temperatures move above the mid 80s, start focusing on hybrids in 50 to 60 feet. The Carolina side of the main channel has proven to be holding more fish. Larger stripers are still holding tight and are being caught below Russell Dam on planer boards pulling live herring over the tree lines. This week, we enjoyed fishing with Joe Todd, Evans; Joel Chitty, Grovetown; Dewayne and Michael Walden, Appling, Ga.; Ethan Redlund, James Marks, Andrew Marks, Nickie Marks, all of Augusta; Ben Nelson, Waynesboro, Ga.; Johnathan and Christopher Marks, Charlotte, N.C.; Joe Johnson and Angela Pelletier, Evans; Jack Kinsey, Wayne, Pa.; Paul Walton, Canton, Ga.; David Klekamp, Atlanta; Harry Than, Denver, Colo.; Bob McNamara, Lexington, Miss.; Vern Dando, Westchester, Pa., and Tom Zhem, Hartford, Wis.

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 – Fishing has been absolutely spectacular this week. We’re finding huge schools beneath the boat, with the middle of primary ditches in 30 to 50 feet the key places. It’s the best I’ve seen in some time. I haven’t seen any schooling activity this week. Wind conditions are absolutely critical. The wind has to be blowing into the ditches to push the baitfish into those areas. My bigger stripers are coming off the bottom in 40 feet.

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) – With private waters on trophy trout streams open for several weeks this spring thanks to the rain, we’ve gotten to catch a lot more really big fish this month than in years past. This has meant getting to catch trophy trout on hoppers and other terrestrial dry flies and on large stonefly nymphs. The fish in the Toccoa River have been just as receptive, with most of the bigger trout being caught throughout the morning hours and again late in the afternoon.

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.

Another bass tournament will be held on the ponds on Fridays from 6-10 p.m. under the direction of Gene Moyer (803 270-1580).

Brickyard report: James Stinson caught two bass, 15 bream and a crappie on minnows and crickets in the Membership Pond. Joe Rawls caught 16 shellcrackers, eight bluegills and one bass in the Fallout Pond. James and Cathy Knight caught six bass (largest 6½ pounds) on plastic worms and lizards in the Farm Pond. Doug Aries caught eight crappies, 14 bream and eight crappies on worms and minnows in the Ditch. Jerry Skinner caught six crappies, 15 shellcrackers, 12 bream, two bass and seven catfish on minnows, worms and jigs in the Cornell Pond. Gary Edge caught 13 shellcrackers, eight crappies, one bass and 11 bream on worms, crickets and minnows in the Cornell Pond.

Lock and dam report: Joe and Dick Fowler caught 72 mullet on mullet worms while using a salt block to attract the fish to their boat. James Payton caught 32 mullet on mullet worms and mullet seed. Ann Godwin caught 13 bream, 12 shellcrackers and a bass on worms. Jerry Yates caught 12 mullet, eight blue catfish and two channel catfish. He used mullet worms and cut mullet.

BEAUFORT, S.C.

& VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Rain, rain, go away. Capt. Ralph wants to play! There’s so much fresh water pouring down the tidal rivers and creeks, there is not much in the way of bait fish. Fishing has slowed inshore for redfish and flounder, but whiting fishing remains good. Near the shore, black sea bass, blues and spade fish fishing remains good. Cobia fishing also is good at the Betsy Ross area and around other wrecks. Offshore, larger black sea bass, dolphins and wahoo fishing is fair, with kingfish showing, or not there yet.


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