Originally created 08/27/99

Striped bass, hybrid fishing heating up



Schools out for the summer for children, but not for hybrids, who can be found schooling in a variety of places in Strom Thurmond Lake.

Toye Hill at Soap Creek Lodge on Lake Thurmond said a lot of fishermen have been limiting out on hybrids each day.

And Bobby Turner at Raysville Marina said schooling hybrids are plentiful. But hybrids aren't the only fish that fishermen are braving the sweltering heat to catch.

Striped bass fishing is the best it's been in years according to Bob Baurle of the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam.

"The fishermen are catching so many stripers that they aren't catching much of anything else," Baurle said. "Catching stripers is the best I've seen at this time of the year in quite some time. I guess maybe it's because the water is so low."

STROM THURMOND LAKE

Soap Creek Lodge, Lincolnton, Ga. ,Toye & Sue Hill, (706) 359-3124 -- . Sleepy Scruggs of McCormick, S.C. has been limiting out on hybrids everyday, fishing on live herrin. Most of the hybrids he's been catching have been in about 30 feet of water, about 25 to 28 feet deep.

Bill Essex and Grant Winstead of McCormick, S.C. have also been hybrid fishing this week and have been limiting out on hybrids.

Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington, (706) 595-5582) -- Mike Arrington and his son Michael Arrington caught 47 pounds of channel catfish fishing with chicken liver. Debbie Cox and her husband Wayne of Winder went fishing and Debbie outfished Wayne, reeling in a nice 6-pound bass on a green pumpkin zoom worm. As if Debbie didn't get to rub it in enough by catching the 6-pound bass, she got to really rub it in when Wayne didn't catch anything.

Doug Pentecost and Bobby Turner caught 18 nice crappie fishing brushpile in about 20 feet of water jigging.

Fisherman can take advantage of one to two pound hybrids that are schooling early in the morning and late in the evenings.

David Willard, Little River Marina, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers. (803) 637-6379 -- . Fishing has been generally good, although the triple-digit temperatures and the July 4th boat traffic slowed them down a little, Jack Widener from Augusta brought not only his sons Ky and Ken, but also his grandsons, 12-year old Jim and 8-year old Kurt fishing. He doesn't have to worry about the fishing trait being passed on as Jim and Kurt are definitely fish killers. They caught and released over 30 fish, keeping a few to eat.

Most of the fish were hybrids with a few stripers mixed and the fish were running at 30 feet.

Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373: . WRDW sports Director Paul Davis and I went fishing on Wednesday and both caught two fish that weighed about three and a half pounds each. However, with every good catch, there comes a few losses as we lost five nice size fish, the biggest weighing about four and half pounds.

Later Wednesday afternoon, I went back and caught a 6-pound largemouth bass, a 4-pound bass and a 2-pounder. But I lost three good fish that weighed some four pounds each. All of the fish were caught on a pop/r.

Most of these fish are hitting short and they're not really taking the lure. Therefore, you have to pop the lure slow. Pop the lure three times and then sit and hang on. All of the fish are being caught in the hydrilla. If you're not in the hydrilla, you're not going to catch anything. Fish early in the morning from 7-10 and late in the evening from about 7:30-dark. The places to fish are Cherokee Boat Landing (across from Mike's Marina) and Bussey's Point area. You have to fish in the green grass. If you're not, you're not going to catch anything.

SAVANNAH RIVER

New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), (706)-793-8053 -- .

If you like catching stripers, then the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam is the place to be.

Mack Peeler of Wrens has been catching quite of bit of mullet. Earlier this week, Peeler showed off his cooler box of mullet to Richmond County Sheriff Charlie Webster. Mr. James Howell and his grandson caught some nice red bellies and a nice mess of blue gill on Wednesday.

And Steve "Buckshot" Jones has been catching a lot of bass down the river. The mullet fishing is still good, especially around the mouth of Butler's Creek.

Fishermen are reminded striped bass 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 BROTHERS

BRICKYARD PONDS

Bill Gibson (706) 722-2980 -- . Fishermen are catching good-size large mouth bass and crappie late in the evenings.

Tournament hours each Friday are 6 p.m., to 10 p.m., with a $20 per person entry fee.

FAY & JOANN'S LAKES

(706) 722-8263 -- . Billy Williams caught an 11-pound and a 7 2/3 pound catfish on chicken lover. Jimmy Corley caught a 35-pound catfish on a small bream. Fay Stringfellow caught a 7 3/4 pound bass and an 8 1/2 pound bass on large minnows. Bobby Boone caught 35 catfish weighing a total of 63 1/2 pounds on nightcrawlers. Ron Henerman caught one 16 1/2 pound cat, one 9 3/4 and one 7 1/2 on liver and black herrin. Jack Mays caught two bass total weight 14 1/2 pounds on spinnel bait. Johnny Carnell caught 32 catfish weighing a total of 59 pounds on liver. Nancy Moore caught a 7-pound bass, one 6 1/2 pound and one 4 3/4 pound bass on large minnows. Carl Smith caught 38 bream on red worms. Mike Miller caught one 6 1/2 and an 8 3/4 bass on spinnel bait and also caught 14 bream on red worm. Chuck Miller caught 28 bream on red worms.

SAVANNAH AREA

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 -- . Spot tail bass, whiting and sharks are hanging around inshore looking for easy meals. Your best bait to use for this type of fishing is cut mullet. However, stripped pieces from a larger fish works just as well. It's the smell/taste, not the shape that gets the fish's attention.

Offshore, red snapper fishing is the best it's been in years as fishermen are catching them in 105 to 120 feet of water. Look for the ledges that are holding bait and you will probably find the big fish lurking. Most fishermen have been using live bait, cigar minnows and whole squid for bait.

Tim More is a sportswriter for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at 1 (706) 823-3216.