Last Tuesday morning, the writer left wind-swept Bussey Point Cove and boated to Catfish Creek at Parksville, S.C. He used his field glasses to scan the area for breaking fish and saw some splashing made by swimmers at the Parksville Day Use Area beach.
Swimmers? At 8:30 a.m.?
Investigation proved the swimmers were striped and had tails and fins. There were hundreds of them. While they turned up their collective noses at The Thing Popper, they hit the chrome-finished, half-ounce Little George tailspinner with wild abandon. The writer caught six nice fish and went home.
He returned to the area on Wednesday and spotted a school of hybrids several hundred yards away from the swimming beach. Huge schools of fish ranging from 1 1/2 to 4 pounds started surface-feeding about 7:40 a.m., and continued to do so until 11:30. The Thing Popper, white Roostertails, small ShadRaps and Rapalas, the Little George and Hopkins Spoons all worked.
If the fish were there on Thursday, high northeast winds prevented them from being seen.
If winds moderate, schooling hybrids will continue to come up at Bussey Point Cove behind Bass Alley and in Dordon Creek across from the helicopter pad, in addition to Catfish Creek.
Other reports on somewhat smaller fish are coming from the Germany and Hart creek areas near Raysville.
The 20-minute video is titled "What to do when your child says...`Hey, Mom, I Wanna Go Fishing." Both brochure and loaner video are available free by writing Single Parent's Fishing, Zebco, P.O. Box 270, Tulsa, Okla. 74101. The video is to be returned to the company after viewing, or may be kept by making a $10 donation with a check payable to the FishAmerica Foundation.
STROM THURMOND LAKE
Little River Marina (Pam Bugg, 541-1358) .
Jim Ware, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and striped bass, Plum Branch Yacht Club, Plum Branch, S.C. (1 (864) 443-5399) -- Last Friday, Warren Jones of Greensboro, Ga., and Sandy Herbhiser and Jim Crislar of Atlanta, had a fairly decent day. We caught mostly small fish up to 31/2 to 4 pounds. Clark Sharpe of Washington, D.C., and nephew, Vince, had eight fish one day, 10 the next on last Saturday and Sunday. Today (Thursday), Vince Jones, Doug Knight and Jim Stewart, all of Abbeville, S.C., battled north-northeast winds 16 mph and gusty. We caught some fish, but a largemouth bass 51/2 to 6 pounds was the biggest. I'm hoping the cooler weather will improve fishing.
Soap Creek Lodge, Lincolnton, Ga. (Toye & Sue Hill, 1-706-359-3124) .
Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington, 1-706-595-5582) -- Miss Andrea Stix of Landshut, Germany fished for the first time of her life and caught three catfish and one crappie from (where else?) the Germany Creek area. One catfish weighed 31/2 pounds and the crappie was a quarterpounder. She is visiting her family in Thomson. Cliff Crow and Diane Crow of Thomson caught six largemouths up to 4 pounds on Zoom 6-inch sour grape plastic worms fished around the bank. Mack Walker and Averett Mobley, both from Thomson, caught eight hybrids from 2 to 3 pounds and two white perch 1 1/2 pounds each trolling with Mepps spinners. Ray Bryant of Covington, Ga., limited on hybrids 2 to 3 pounds each schooling on top around Raysville Campground, fishing with a halfounce green spinnerbait. Buddy Tankersley and Jim Sigler have limited out on hybrids for two straight days trolling Roostertails in the Germany Creek.
David Willard, Little River Marina, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers. (1 (803) 637-6379) Ä Fishing remained on the tough side, with the hybrids and stripers being hard to pattern. Surface action is unpredictable and I haven't found any large schools in the afternoon, unlike this time last year. The water is hot - 88.5 degrees on surface - and the fish are scattered. Maybe this cool weather will get them started. Rodney Green, Tony Bellamy and Ron Massey, all of Beech Island, fished with me on Wednesday afternoon. Heat index was 104 and there was no wind when we started out. An hour later, we had two-to-three-foot waves, rain and a 30-degree drop in temperature. This weather change moved the fish up on the 24-foot humps. We caught eight hybrids in the 5-6-pound range and missed that many more because of the rough water.
Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373): Roger Williams of Idaho, who learned about our lake on the Internet, fished with me on Monday and Tuesday. We tried Bussey Point Cove and caught five small hybrids apiece on half-ounce white Roostertails and Zoom's SuperFluke.
Gene Fallaw, professional guide on Lake Murray and Thurmond Lake, (803) 819-3027: .
Billy Murphy, professional guide, Mike's Marina (706-733-0124) : .
Tony Penland, professional guide, Elberton, Ga., 1-706-283-8760 .
Mary "Groovie Granny" Delage, Chapin, S.C. -- U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in striped bass. (1-803-345-2401) - .
New Savannah Bluff
Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle and Finley Peel), 1-706-793-8053 Water has been lowered in the river for the purpose of getting the boat ramp extended. It's our understanding that the ramp will be ready for use by Saturday, Sept. 13. Stay tuned.
People are launching at the Augusta Riverfront Marina ramp, as well as the public ramp above the lock and dam.
Someone found a school of stripers and hybrids hitting the surface in the first curve of the river above the lock and dam. This is the first reported instance of the fish schooling in the river.
Fishermen are reminded that striped and hybrid bass cannot be lawfully caught and kept from the river's mouth at Savannah to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. The moratorium is in effect until at least the year 2000.
Upper Savannah River
(From Riverfront Marina to Thurmond Dam)
Broadway Bait & Tackle (Larry Lesser), 1-(706)-738-8848 .
Lower Savannah River
Jackson Boat Club Landing & Vicinity
Fischer Road Bait and Tackle, Jackson, S.C. (Dennis Chauncey and Vickie Rutland, 1-803-471-2054) .
MERRY BROTHERS BRICKYARD PONDS
Bill Gibson 1 (706) 722-2980 -- Daniel Owen landed a 3-pound, 4ounce bass in the Shack Pond on a Rattlin' Chug Bug. Eddie Miller Jr., was particularly proud of his 11/2 pounder caught in the Ditch on a buzzbait. Memberships are on now on sale.
Harrison and Honey Sears, (706) 722-8263 .
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Includes Paradise Pier
Joe Mix, Island Outfitters, Ladys Island, 1-(803)-522-9900 -- Last Saturday, 41 boats participated in the seventh annual Fripp Island Invitational. Although the $4,000 first-place prize went to a 25-pound, 8-ounce king mackerel. one unlucky angler caught a 38pounder which had to be disqualified because a shark or barracuda bit off a large chunk of its tail. Other category winners included a 32pound wahoo, a 14-pound, 8ounce dolphin, and a 3-pound, 10ounce Spanish mackerel. Most of the kings were taken live-lining menhaden within eight miles of the beach. A total of $11,000 in prize money was awarded.
Labor Day weekend produced excellent catches of spottail bass in the surf and near creeks entering the ocean. Black drum up to 8 pounds also are being caught in the surf near high tide over mud outcroppings, using shrimp tails for bait.
Farther away, speckled trout action is heating up, particularly around the tip of Parris and Daws islands and the Rose Island cut. Water temperature has dropped to 82 degrees and creeks are jammed with shrimp.
SAVANNAH, GA. & VICINITY
Capt. Judy Helmey, P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410, 1(912)-897-2478 -- Lots of spottail bass and speckled trout are being caught in the area creeks, but most of them are under the size limits. Trout have to be 12 inches in length, with a creel limit of 25 daily. Spottail bass must measure at least 14 inches, with none over 27 inches to be kept. Creel limit is five daily.
Bottom fishing at the Savannah Snapper Banks has been exciting, with cut squid the best bait for trigger fish, black sea bass, porgy, hog noses and vermilion snappers. Large red snapper and grouper prefer live fish as bait.
Gulf Stream bottom fishing really picks up this time of year, but you've got to keep a weather eye focused since it's also hurricane season.
I've found bottom fish like trigger, porgy, tile and sea bass are bigger than usual. We trolled for king mackerel and wahoo and landed fish over 35 pounds. I had to troll fast and deep to get hookups.