Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington), (706) 595-5582 – Happy New Year to all our friends.
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) – I haven’t been out this week, but I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of our friends a Happy New Year.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Happy New Year!
Fishing with Ralph Barbee airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 21, My12TV, Knology 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 – It’s jig and jerk bait time on Russell. Water temperature has fallen into the mid 40s and, depending on the sun, will rise into the low 50s in the afternoon. I have been catching good largemouths in the 3-pound range on a half-ounce jig with green pumpkin trailer in 30 to 40 feet of water in the mouths of coves. Spotted bass have been caught on a Bass Pro Shops XPS suspending minnow in the Georgia Shad color. The water has been a bit off color and this bait has really been the trick. I throw it on 10-pound-test monofilament line to get a few feet of extra depth out of it. I have a special running for the New Year: Book a trip in January or February and get a free Fishing Coach hooded sweatshirt. On Russell, I always put in at Beaver Dam Marina where you can have a safe launch as well as a nice lunch. The marina is open Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:30 until 6 p.m. Happy New Year!
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 has risen to 1.5 feet over full pool and water temperatures are in the low 50s. Hybrids and stripers are hanging out with the sea gulls in Parksville and Benefield Creek. Pulling live bait below planer boards is catching some good fish in Germany and Rousseau creeks. Crappie fishing is on fire, trolling jigs and anchoring over brush piles and fishing live shiners. Crappies are being caught from the banks and boats in South Carolina’s Little River around Baker and Long Cane creeks. More and more yellow perch are showing up in the river below Thurmond Dam, as well as crappies and both are being caught on tuffy minnows and small shiners. Lake Russell is producing trophy stripers in the 20-to-40-pound class, pulling planer boards with gizzard shad or rainbow trout in the Beaver Dam and Pearl Mill areas. Fishing with us this week were Joe Todd, Evans, and Bobby Mills, Augusta. Jordan Brinson and Donna Brinson, McCormick, S.C., enjoyed a great day with us on Russell, catching stripers in the 16-to-27-pound range. We’re looking forward to a great New Year on the lake.
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Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
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) – Now is our favorite time of year to fish streamers for bigger trout holed up in the depths of what is by now pretty frigid water. Always experiment with stripping line at different speeds and frequencies until you find one that is clearly getting more attention from the trout. Try various sizes and colors, including patterns such as a Sculpzilla, Hot Flash Minnow or some type of crawfish pattern.
We hope all our friends have a Happy New Year!
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, Gene Kirkland, (706 722-8263) – Matt Williams caught 32 crappies in the Expressway Pond on minnows. Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Sweat caught 42 crappies in the Ditch on minnows. Joy Wallace caught 20 catfish on liver in the Ditch. Tony Collins caught 18 crappies and five bass on minnows in the Cornell Pond. Sam Martin and friends caught 10 catfish, five bass and 25 crappies in the Ditch on minnows and liver. Happy New Year, everybody!
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – Lots of redfish, spotted sea trout and black drum are being caught in the creeks and sounds around Fripp. Happy New Year to my friends in the Augusta area.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Happy New Year!