Twenty-eight years ago, Greg Davis, of Evans, began taking groups of kids to the north Georgia mountains to introduce them to trout fishing. The magic time for them starts the first week of June.
This year, 42 people including 20 adults – the kids ranging from elementary school to college – arrived at their destination. All, adults included, were on their very best behavior. Anyone messing up would not be invited back.
The rainbow trout populations in Rock and Coopers creek were reduced by successful fishermen, two of whom are shown on this page. It’s a positive experience for all concerned.
Next project for Davis and his friend, Barry Frazier, is a bass tournament for high school fishing teams on July 26 at Windmill Plantation Pond.
“We’ve got too many small fish in the 53-acre lake, but there are some in there that will weigh more than 10 pounds,” said Davis, who lives in the plantation.
Raysville Marina, (706) 595-5582 – Alfonso Lopez caught 12 stripers on minnows and worms. Danny Johnson caught 14 shellcrackers, four bluegills, 11 catfish, four white perch on catalpa worms near Holiday Park. Jackie Brown, Martinez, caught bream and crappies on wax worms and minnows. James McZilkey, Evans, caught six crappies on minnows and jigs.
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.crockettrocketstriperfishingcom) -– Water temperature is 85 degrees and the lake is clear. Three of Columbia County’s finest, Ray Blessing, Donnie Head and Fred Jennings, representing Engine Co. 2, went 10-8 on a school of stripers Thursday morning. They caught a limit of stripers and hybrids, two catfish and one nice largemouth by first light. When it gets too hot for everybody else, it’s just right for them. The rest of the week went pretty much the same way. Ed and Dana Berry scorched the fish. The famous Fishing Kennedy Family: Phillip, Denise, Grand, Reagan and Denise’s dad, Smitty, also caught their limits. Mickey Hudnall and his group of fish killers put 60 fish in the boat in little more than an hour. They gave me a standing “O” which made me feel pretty good. We look for fishing to get better (and the fish move deeper) through the hot summer months.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide specializing in largemouth bass. (706) 831-8756 – Reggie Cofer, Lester Lowry, Uncle Gene Lowry, Pastor Herman Bing, Bob Farr, manager-owner of the Golden Corral and I fished with pro guide Tony Sheperd Thursday morning. In one hour, we caught 60 fish as fast as you could bring them in. The area near the Augusta Sailing Club produced the fish. Last Tuesday, Ronnie Fuller and I fished for about four hours and caught one bass along the Little River riprap on the Hub’s Chub.
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).
Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – Our honey hole played out so Larry Freeman and I went looking. It took 45 minutes, but we found it. The fish were stocked like sardines in a tin. As of today, we have four honey holes, but truth is, the fish are everywhere. We had been fishing in the White Bass Island area above Little River Bridge, but we’ve moved back to the lower end of the lake around the Church Cove and that area. Last Wednesday, Jerry Olson and Robert King, from Grovetown, caught 10-fish limits by 7:15 a.m. Diane and Alan Robertson, of Evans, fished with me Thursday morning. Diane out-fished her husband by catching the biggest and the most fish. We are fishing live herring on downlines 20 to 40 feet. In 20 feet, we drop our baits to the bottom and then crank it up three times. If it’s 28 to 40 feet, we fish 24 to 30 feet down. I always update my Web site with photos and a fishing log. Check it out at www.doubletroublefishingguides.com.
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). (William) (706) 589-5468, (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Bradd: Water temperatures have remained in the high 80s and fishing is staying great, even through the small weather fronts that have moved in and out. Hybrids and stripers have stacked up on humps and points throughout the main river channel. Good fish continue to be caught around Parksville, the Georgia Flats and out Georgia Little River, staying on the main channel side of the Little River Bridge. We are also finding good schools of fish holding a little farther north around South Carolina Little River. Everything is coming from 30 to 40 feet down, fishing live herring on the bottom on the sides of humps, but good activity is coming 40 to 50 feet down off the main channel points. The Corps of Engineers have turned on the oxygen line around Modoc and there have been some good slab hybrids caught in that area. Fishing with us this past week were Brock Ballis, Evans; Ricky Clark, Wesley Clark, Appling, Ga.; Dennis Kirkland, Evans; Kevin Warren, North Augusta; Bill Gavales, Evans; Ben Nelson, Elyse Nelson, Waynesboro, Ga.; Shane and Tracy Ide, Waynesboro; Timmy Richland, Evans; Trevor Gillies, Evans, and Robert and Parker Garnett, Grovetown.
Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.
Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – My quality of fish has improved by moving up the lake. I’m fishing from Plum Branch to Soap Creek. During the early mornings, I am catching smaller fish on the humps in 30 feet of water. Where I am, the bait is living well. We caught some 10- and 11-pound hybrids this week. We’re saving gas and burning up bait. I fished through the 4th and there was no one out there fishing. It was pretty quiet and that surprised me. Matt and Mickey Sikes and Cricket and Crystal Penley from Portal, Ga., fished with me two days while camping at Elijah Clark State Park. They enjoyed fast action and limited out on slab hybrids up to 11 pounds. Don Wieman, son Eric and Grandson Cooper, visiting from New York, all seasoned fishermen, fished two days with me and had a great time pulling slab hybrids and quality stripers out of the trees. Mike Fondren, grandson Derrick, Mike Childs, from Commerce, Ga., and John Tyson, Savannah, Ga., had a great day, limiting out on big slab hybrids. Jerry Basch, from Savannah Lakes Village, son-in-law Joe Austin and grandson Joel, visiting from Indiana, had a fast morning, limiting out on slab hybrids and stripers to 9 pounds.
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.flyfishingnorthgeorgiacom) (facebook.com flyfishing northgeorgia) – We’re getting into that awesome time of the year when trout are on the prowl for big terrestrials. We’ve caught a lot of big fish this week on Madame Xs, PMXs and Hopper patterns. Just remember you don’t have to see rising fish to know they’ll come up and eat a big dry fly.
MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS
Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263) – Our bass tournament continues tonight. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Entry fee is $20 per man. Last week’s winners were Chris Davis and Robert Pope, who caught 6.96 pounds in the Garden Pond to win. Cole Eubanks and Mack Hutto caught the big fish of 2.20 pounds. There was no second place.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – The red snapper limited seasons have finally arrived. The first weekend the fish can be caught and kept is July 11-13. The second weekend is July 18-20. The third week is July 25-26 (no Sunday opening). Fishing cut squid on the bottom in the Savannah Snapper Banks is the best bet. You’ll catch many other bottom species, but perhaps one will be a red snapper.