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 80s and the lake is clear. We’re having some great days on the lake, or, should I say, a great hour and a half. Most of the fish are coming at daylight and after that, things get really tough. Being on the right hump at the right time is critical, with most fish coming 38 to 50 feet. After that, we’re moving up to the aerators and catching scattered fish until 10 a.m., or so. Scott Atkins and his group had a good morning, catching stripers up to 8 pounds.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 860-7373 – Bob Vernoy and I fished Wednesday around the hydrilla in Big Branch near Wildwood Park with spinnerbaits and rattling baits. He caught three and I caught just one. The bass were 2-1/2 to 3 pounds. He also caught a warmouth on the rattling baits. The bass were as green as the grass.
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 – The lake is nearly stable at or near full pool and the bass are settling in a summer pattern. The bite has either been early or late. All my fish came on crank baits fished on a sharp, deep creek bend from pre-dawn until about two hours after sunrise. I was throwing a Strike King XD-5 and 6 in sexy shad and a DT-16 in blue back herring. There are so many shad around the Anderson Highway bridge that you could (almost) walk across the lake on them. I’ve caught some nice largemouths on top water plugs fished off brush along the banks with deep water close by. Here’s an app for your SmartPhone that I have been using for awhile. It is called WeatherBug. One of the best features is lightning alert. It tells you how far away the strikes are and you can pull up a map showing locations as well. I will be out of town for the next couple of weeks so no reports until I return. 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 at 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) – Judd Wynn and Jimmie Posey, of Waynesboro, Ga., wanted to catch some nice-sized stripers. We tried our luck Wednesday and caught seven stripers and hybrids weighing 4 to 8 pounds, fishing live herring 40 feet down over 45-foot-deep humps. Jimmie had a big fish on that pulled half the line off the reel. He couldn’t turn it and the fish broke him off after hanging up in deep water. Last Saturday, I took out three generations of fishermen – Don Willis, of Evans; his son, Brad and grandsons Kolbi and Braxton, all of Grovetown, and good friend, Jonny Powell, of Evans. Brad caught the big fish of 9 pounds among the seven landed. My friend, Doug Holland, fished with me last Friday. We caught 12 fish weighing 4 to 8 pounds, with Doug landing the big fish.
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 hybrid and striper bite doesn’t get any better than what we have been seeing the past couple of weeks. Water temperatures started to ease into the high 80s and the fish began to move into 50 and 60 feet of water. Then a cool front came in and the temperature dipped to 84 degrees. The fish stacked back up in 35 to 40 feet. The most effective method of catching fish is to drop live herring on downlines 35 to 40 feet deep in 40 feet of water (which means the bait is right on the bottom). Long underwater points, humps and shoals are the places to fish. We are seeing a lot more striped bass in the 10- to 15-pound class caught this year than previously. The fish are stacked up in the lower end of the lake on most underwater points from Parksville to the dam and up Georgia Little River from the mouth to Cherokee Creek. We enjoyed being out with Mike, Robert, Jacob and Christian Logan, all of Grovetown; Gordon and Nic Reddick, of Guyton, Ga.; Mark Chaberlee, North Augusta; Beverly Martin, Evans and Julie Miller, Augusta.
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Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids.(706) 833-4807 – The early birds are catching most of the weekend fish before the crowd comes onto the lake. We’re catching most of our fish on downlined live herring fished 35-45 feet right off the bottom. When it gets daylight, it gets tough. Big problem is all the boats grouping up over one area and spooking the fish. You really can’t expect to catch many fish when 28 boats are gathered over one spot.
Check out my Web site: 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/flyfishing northgeorgia) – The Toccoa River is seeing sporadic Blue-Winged Olive hatches throughout the day and some caddises coming off in the afternoons. Given the number of golden stoneflies we’re seeing and the potential to fish big terrestrial dry flies this time of year, you can pretty much find feeding trout all day long. Every float trip this week we’ve caught a lot of trout on eight to 10 different fly patterns.
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706) 722-8263 – Plans are being made to hold a bowfishing tournament on the ponds from 9 p.m. on Sept. 7 until 6 a.m. on Sept. 8. More information can be obtained from Gene Kirkland. Carp, gar, catfish and mudfish can be shot legally with bow and arrow. Kirkland said the daily fee to fish will be lowered from $8 to $5 as of Sept. 1.
Brickyard report: Mel and Sharon Langston caught 36 bream on crickets and worms in the Fallout Pond. Jim and Betty Davis caught 18 bluegill, two catfish and three bass on worms in the Cornell Pond. Joe Passell caught 42 bream, eight catfish and one bass on worms and crickets in the Pollard Pond. Joe Martin caught 18 bream, six crappies and eight bass on minnows and worms in the Expressway Pond. Jennifer Mims caught 13 catfish on liver in the Ditch. Brandon Prickett caught seven pass (largest 6 pounds) on crank baits and plastic lizards in the Farm Pond.
Lock and dam report: Mel Langston and Gary Edge caught 40 big redbellies on worms and crickets. Edge and Jerry Skinner caught 62 bream on worms and crickets. Gail Hughes and Carol Jones caught two stripers and a bass on live herring. James and Nita Owens caught 13 bream, four crappies, two bass and a yellow perch on worms and minnows.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Coming up is the 23rd annual Fripp Island Kingfish Invitational Tournament on Aug. 29-31 at the Fripp Island Marina. The event starts on Thursday, Aug. 29, with registration and a captain’s meeting from 6-7 p.m., followed by a Lowcountry cookout. The two-day fishing starts at 6 a.m., both Friday and Saturday, with weigh-ins at 5 p.m. each day. The heaviest kingfish will net $2,000, with $1,000 going to the runner-up. The first-place Spanish mackerel gets $750, with $550 awarded to second place. The top aggregate weight of kingfish earns $700. Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the “Fripp for a Cure” program. For more information, call (843) 838-1517.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – The red snapper season comes and goes in a hurry so you’d best plan to be out there quickly. The season is Aug. 23-25. The Gulf Stream fishing is heating up so now is the time to go before the next tropical system rolls in.