If weather conditions ever settle down, the Zara Spook and Zoom Super Fluke will continue to be the artificial lures of choice to catch bass on Strom Thurmond Lake.
Tommy Shaw of Leah, Ga., fished an individual tournament on Thursday and wound up with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces. Shaw said the fish hit the regular Spook and a glitter-white Super Fluke about equally.
"The bass are hanging around red clay banks and shallow water blow-throughs," Shaw said. "They're coming up now and then on the hump around White Bass Island. I hit it twice and didn't get a fish, but two others checked it out and caught fish there today."
Cold fronts shut down the hybrid fishery this week, even for super guides like David Willard, who scratched out eight fish and a black bass for Waycross, Ga., clients.
David and Bonnie Annis of Trenton, S.C., also had problems catching hybrids. They went to "Pavey Point" where Chronicle outdoor editor Rob Pavey and the writer cleaned up some weeks back.
"We had at least 20 hits on the Gotcha Shad, but couldn't catch anything for awhile," David Annis said. "We finally caught two tiny white bass, so we went bream fishing in the back of Bussey Point Cove. The bream weren't on the beds, but were hanging around a stump and I caught some beauties on Louisiana pink worms."
Update on Loyd Crow, a Georgia BASS Chapter Federation director who assisted during the Top 6 Classic on Thurmond Lake: He is a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of Fame. He trained with the International Rifle and Running Target sections and was world champion on running deer targets in 1961. He was national champion in 1963 and earned four silver medals and one bronze in the 1969 and 1970 world shooting championships.
Crow is a Class A judge with the International Shooting Union and was a judge in the 1980, 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympics. He is also a judge in this summer's Games in Sydney, Australia.
Ninety-four fishermen, including Georgia's Top 12, will compete in the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society's Chapter Federation Southern Division fishoffs on Lake Eufaula (Walter F. George on the Georgia side) out of Lake Point State Park on June 21-23.
Professional fisherman Byron Velvick of Boulder City, Nev., shattered the all-time Bass Anglers Sportsman Society three-day catch record with 15 bass weighing 83 pounds, 5 ounces. The feat took place in the California Western Invitational on Clear Lake last week. Old mark was 78 pounds, 3 ounces set by Robert Lee last April on the California delta. The catch also gave Velvick the win.
STROM THURMOND LAKE
Buddy Edge, professional fishing guide specializing in stripers and hybrids, (803) 637-3226. Scott, Brad and Eric High of Spartanburg, S.C., and a friend nicknamed "Doodle" fished with me last Saturday. We caught 20 hybrids and stripers, with a 10-pound hybrid. That's the only day I fished.
Soap Creek Lodge, Lincolnton, Ga., Toye & Sue Hill, (706) 359-3124 -- Linda and George Young of Lincolnton fished with us this week. Linda caught a crappie weighing 3 3/4 pounds. They had 20 fish caught on minnows fished eight feet down in about 18 feet of water over manmade brushpiles. James Turner of Lincolnton caught 10 crappies and a 4-pound catfish on minnows and the same pattern. Harry Embry of Augusta caught 36 nice crappies on Wednesday. The key is getting out of the wind to where you can anchor and fish over the brush.
Raysville Marina, near Thomson, Ga., Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington, (706) 595-5582 -- Eddie Hawes of Thomson, fishing cut herring, caught a 12-pound striped bass. Jim Seigler caught a 34-pound, 2-ounce striper on live herring around the marina. Guide Stan Howell and his party caught 12 hybrids over an all-day trip in the Raysville area.
David Willard, Little River Marina, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers. (803) 637-6379 -- You know fishing's tough when Bonnie Annis is fishing for bream. The water just won't warm up. I talked over the situation with several people this week and came to this consensus: we're going to have a restart of the spring season next week, starting on Wednesday. Ron and Debbie Nix of Waycross, Ga., fished with me on Wednesday. They came inland since the water along the coast has been so rough. We fished hard for eight hybrids and a largemouth and a couple of LDRs (long distance releases). This was their first time on "The Hill" and they loved the lake. I'm on the water right now with Elwin Bedingfield and Alvin Postell of Augusta and Al Day of Hilton Head. The wind's kicking pretty good from the northwest and the water temperature is 68 degrees. We're throwing cut bait back into 10 to 12 feet of water right now and have had no hits. Mr. Postell is hoping that Elwin doesn't get seasick, which Elwin says he is prone to do.
Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373: I fished with Paschal Owens of Evans on Tuesday. He caught a 4-pound bass on a Little Earl and I never caught a fish. I tried top water on Tuesday and again Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., had three fish on a Super Spook and a Hub's Chub and lost all three. The cold front really shut the fish down, but this weekend ought to be red-hot.
New Savannah Bluff
Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle), (706) 793-8053 -- Newton and Diane Parker of Augusta caught 20 shellcrackers on Louisiana pinks. Carrie LeBlanc caught a crappie and 10 bream on worms and crickets. Chip Moore seven bream and two 7-pound catfish on worms and crickets. Minnie Griffin caught 25 mullet and a few shellcrackers and her Auntie Gussie Robinson caught a nice mess of shellcrackers and redbellies. Mack Peeler and friend caught a cooler full of mullet down river on red worms. Billy Church and his great-granddaughter, 4-year-old Amy, caught some nice redbreasts and catfish down river. The biggest catfish was caught by Amy. Scott and Tony Bailey and D.W. Glascock caught 27 shellcrackers down river on crickets and worms. Gil Smith caught 19 shellcrackers down river on crickets and worms. Shad continue to hit.
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 2001.
Bill Gibson (706) 722-2980 -- Jay and Joe DiLorenzo won the bass tournament with a 7-pound, 6-ounce catch, including big fish of 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Mike DiLorenzo and Steve Ebenroth tied for second with Donnie Hawkins and Marty Toole, each with 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Nine teams entered. In other news, Danny Rosenberg caught a 3-pound bass on a plastic worm in the membership pond. Greg Chisolm caught four or five bass in about 10 minutes on a plastic worm in the same pond. Roy Overton caught a nice mess of shellcrackers in the Willow Pond on pink worms. Wilbur Maner caught a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass fishing live minnows from the White Elephant Pond bank.
Bass tournament hours are 6 p.m., to 10 p.m., each Friday and entry fee is $20 per person. Check out our Web site: www.merrybrothers.com.
(706) 722-8263 -- John Kim caught 25 catfish 3 pounds or better on shrimp. James Jewell caught 31 catfish 3 pounds or better on liver. Holly Bridges caught a 13-pound catfish on shrimp. Erna Bauserman caught 33 catfish a pound or better on shrimp and a 4-pound catfish on liver. Fay Stringfellow caught 12 catfish 1 to 2 pounds each on shrimp. Richard Allen Hutto caught 60 catfish a pound or better on liver and four big bream on red worms. Phillip Crawford caught a 6-pound catfish and 10 more a pound or better on chicken liver. Antonio Childs caught 13 catfish on liver. Jesse Newman caught a 12-pound carp on liver. Brandon Barton caught 25 catfish on liver. Joe Moore caught an 8-pound catfish on cut shad. Tim Cox caught 10 channel catfish totaling 25 pounds on shrimp. Frank and Lee Legrand caught 40 catfish 2 pounds or better on shrimp. Cynthia Crider caught 11 catfish on chicken liver and a pair of bream on worms. Gerald Watts caught 21 catfish on chicken liver. Edward Williams caught 22 catfish on flat-tail worms. Honey Sears caught 16 catfish on liver and worms. Robert Crider caught 10 catfish on liver. Rosa LaFavor landed 31 catfish on liver and nine bream on red worms. Ryan Handerson caught a 10-pound carp, a 30-pound carp and 18 catfish 6 to 7 pounds each on cat food. Eddie Jones caught seven catfish toting 56 pounds. Arthur Prescott caught channel catfish weighing 8 and 7 pounds and 15 blue catfish totaling 20 pounds on worms. Robert Jackson caught two 7-pound catfish and two 3-pound catfish on liver.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Includes Paradise Pier
Joe Mix, Island Outfitters, Ladys Island, (843)-522-9900 -- Despite strong winds, two bottom fishing boats made it out to the North Hole last weekend. One paused at marker 6HI to catch live bait jigging Sibiki Rigs tipped with small bits of squid. Fishing at 105 feet, they caught 150 pounds of bottom fish, including about 30 vermilion and gray snappers, 10 lesser amberjacks, two big-eye snappers, several trigger fish and their limit of black sea bass. The second boat posted similar results. The tire reef continues to produce outstanding catches of large sheepshead up to 11 pounds.
Though still early in the season, at least four cobia were caught last Saturday in the Broad River. Sharks also are beginning to show up. Both species will strike eels and live and or dead fish such as mullet, menhaden, shad, de-finned catfish and herring. Many anglers chum to attract both sharks and cobia. Charter captains are reporting nice catches of spottail bass, but surf action remains slow.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921. Charter captain Eric Traub has been sharing some good information on speckled trout. He says it's been incredible, with the larger trout schooling in the sounds and beach inlets and smaller ones schooling in creeks and rivers. Live shrimp and artificial lures have been hot for the fish.
Offshore, the artificial reefs in 40 to 60 feet of water are producing good catches of black sea bass and an occasional grouper. Squid remains the best bait. Spanish mackerel have arrived in the sounds and out to the near-shore artificial reefs in 40 feet of water.
Reach Bill Babb at (706) 823-3304