Fishing for hybrids, striped bass and, yes, even white perch, has been tough on the lower end of the lake, but not in the Raysville Marina area (check the report below).
Four fishermen tested their spoon-jigging skills on Wednesday and after logging more than 50 miles going and coming from various so-called hotspots, two of them had only three fish to show for their pains: Two hybrids and a white perch.
Even professional guide Jim Ware and a friend, fishing with live herring, caught only two hybrids on Wednesday. But Ware solved the mystery of the "closedmouth bass" on Thursday when he moved into shallower water and plumbed the depths with a CC Spoon.
While the quartet dropped their spoons into depths ranging from 40 to 60 feet, Ware cleaned up on Thursday jigging spoons in 30 feet of water.
The huge flocks of sea gulls -- there are more on the lake this year than ever before -- haven't been a help, either. Instead of diving and feeding to reveal locations of fish to fishermen, they've just been sitting on spits of land or just on the water, apparently talking over their day and taking "cheep shots" at their neighbors.
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) -- Dave Ward of Plum Branch fished with me on Wednesday. We caught just two hybrids on live bait. Something was definitely wrong. We fished live herring 20 to 24 feet in 25 to 35 feet and later 75 to 80 feet. Then I went out by myself on Thursday and used a CC Spoon and I could have caught 'em all day. I caught some 4-pound hybrids and lots of white perch. Some birds were present, but none were diving.
Merry Christmas to all.
Soap Creek Lodge, Lincolnton, Ga. (Toye & Sue Hill, 1-706-359-3124) -- Merry Christmas to everyone.
Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington, 1-706-595-5582) -- Joe and Allene Reville of Dearing, Ga., caught some nice hybrids and striped bass trolling a Redfin. Largest striper weighed 9 pounds. The Revilles caught a 12-pounder on another trip. Chip Dollar and Marty Welch caught 10 hybrids and stripers 10 pounds and better on live herring. Dollar and his son, Michael, 9, caught four stripers -- largest 131/2 pounds caught by his son. On another trip, Dollar and sons Michael and Stephen caught three stripers, two 91/2 and one 171/2 pounds. Lute Bromagen caught a 71/2-pound largemouth and a 10-pound catfish jigging with a Hopkins spoon in Germany Creek. Buddy Tankersley caught six nice crappies weighing 1 to 2 pounds jigging. Jerry Kearner of Greensboro, Ga., caught a 35-pound striped bass fishing with Fred Goen of Oconee. He caught it on a 31/2-inch pearl Lil' Fishie cast beneath diving birds. Red Betsill limited out trolling a ShadRap in Germany Creek. The fish weighed 3 to 5 pounds. Do Beaty of Gastonia, N.C., fishing with Mike Tuttle, caught a 29-pound striper on a herring fished off a planer board.
Merry Christmas to all of our friends.
David Willard, Little River Marina, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers. (1 (803) 637-6379) -- .
Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373): Merry Christmas to my friends.
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) -- .
SAVANNAH RIVER, New Savannah Bluff, Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle and Finley Peel), 1-706-793-8053 -- Yellow perch and a few crappies are being caught. Some stripers are being caught for the sport of it and then released.
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.
Merry Christmas to all of our friends.
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 -- Jason Guillory, Shane Ledee and Joe Cormier, all Louisianans working in this area, heard about our good crappie fishing and came down to test it. They caught 35 nice crappies in the Front Ditch on minnows. Merry Christmas to all our friends.
FAYE & JOANN'S LAKES (Formerly Sears Lakes)
(706) 722-8263 -- Bobby Willis caught 23 crappies on minnows and a catfish on liver. John Bauserman caught 31 crappies on minnows. Ennar Bauserman caught 24 crappies on minnows and 10 catfish on liver. Albert Prescott caught 36 crappies on minnows and a 20-pound catfish on worms. Ron Hindeman caught 28 crappies on minnows and six catfish on liver. Andy Roman caught 40 crappies on minnows and 14 catfish on liver. Bob Burkhead caught two bass totaling 91/2 pounds on plastic worms and 18 crappies on minnows. Tim Cox 18 crappies on minnows and 21 catfish on liver. Nancy Moore caught 19 crappies on minnows, 11 catfish on liver and two bass totaling 9 pounds on artificial bait. Virginia Dupree caught 30 crappies on minnows, three bass totaling 111/2 pounds on spinnerbaits and 14 catfish on liver. Willie Lee Brown caught 28 crappies on minnows and 18 catfish on liver. Wilson Lott caught 38 crappies on minnows and 16 catfish on worms. Cliff Millner caught 27 crappies on minnows, two bass toting 81/2 pounds on spinnerbait and 13 catfish on liver.
Merry Christmas to our friends and customers.
ATLANTIC OCEAN, BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY, Includes Paradise Pier
Joe Mix, Island Outfitters, Ladys Island, 1-(803)-522-9900 -- Fripp Island charter captain Robbie Gilbert reports catching five king mackerel deep-trolling ballyhoo at the North Hole. One tipped the scales at 35 pounds. His party also brought back as many bottom fish as they cared to clean. Offshore bottom fishing for grouper, snapper, trigger and black fish peaks in the winter months. When these species move closer to shore, the less predictable kings frequently remain in our waters all winter.
Inshore, speckled trout and spottail bass fishing is holding up. Bass seem to prefer mud minnows, while trout are striking on live shrimp. Best drops include the creeks and bars around the tip of Parris Island, the western shallows of Morgan Island and the triple creek area of Trenchard's Inlet. Water temperature is holding at 58 degrees.
Merry Christmas to all our friends in the Augusta area.
SAVANNAH, GA. & VICINITY
Capt. Judy Helmey, P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410, 1-(912)-897-2478 -- Speckled trout and spottail bass are hitting plastic grubs a lot oftener than live shrimp, if you can believe that. Keep fishing the creeks' deep holes for the best luck.
Offshore fishing has been extraordinary for this time of year. Warmer water temperatures have kept the king mackerel closer to the coast than I have seen in years. No need to ride out to blue water when you can catch them close to our artificial reefs.
Bottom fishing in the Gulf Stream is excellent, when you can get the weather to cooperate.
Merry Christmas to my Augusta area friends.