Originally created 05/27/05

Wind can be angler's friend



Many fishermen view wind as an enemy, but it can be the difference between success and failure on any given day.

Just ask Ralph Barbee Jr., of Evans, who, thanks to strong Tuesday winds and moderate Wednesday winds, landed a 35-pound striper and a 10-pound largemouth bass on successive days at Thurmond Lake.

Tuesday's winds gusted to 35 mph, effectively pinning bait fish against points in Cherokee Creek and adjacent to the Fort Gordon Recreation Area.

"It was tough fishing," Barbee said. "The wind was too strong for my boat's trolling motor so we'd drift past the point, getting in a couple of casts and getting strikes. Once we landed the fish, I'd crank up the outboard motor and return to the area, then do the fast drift again."

Barbee is fishing a 7-inch-long Pencil Popper plug that he's modified by replacing the factory hooks and scraping off the paint.

"It's now a bone color and they're eating it up," he said.

Wednesday's wind had lessened to 10 to 12 mph, but still was the key to catching fish. When winds died late Wednesday afternoon, the fish turned off as well.

- The Summer Saturday Night Open Team Bass Tournament will start at 6 p.m. and end at 11 on June 4. It's sponsored by the Carolina Bass Club. More information can be obtained from Lamond Annas at (803) 593-4771.

- The Fort Gordon Sportsman's Club will hold its annual Kids' Fishing Rodeo from 8:30 a.m., to 11 a.m. on June 4, at Claypits II and III. More information: Fred Perry at 791-5078 or 541-1057, Ext. 31.

- Tim Pruitt hooked and landed a 124-pound Arkansas blue catfish from The Mississippi River near Alton, Ill., last Sunday. It's a pending world all-tackle record. Check out a photo of it on CNN.com.

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina, near Thomson. (Doug Pentecost, Leon Buffington) (706) 595-5582 - Jason Lawson caught nine crappies totaling 61 pounds in our Fish House on minnows and jigs. Billy Partridge of Raysville caught a 53 pound largemouth bass.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers and trophy largemouth bass. Box 131, Clarks Hill, S.C. 29821 (803) 637-6379 (crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) - Fishing has been great despite the full moon and cooler temperatures. Ross McDaniel and his wife, Judy, and friend Jerry Miller caught a limit of stripers and hybrids. Judy gave everybody a fishing lesson. Paula Jones and husband Bob had a blast catching fish up in the shallows on live herring right before dark. Memorial Day Weekend fishing should be great and June ought to be a really good month for fishermen.

Ralph Barbee, professional guide, (706) 860-7373, 957 Windmill Lane, Evans, Ga. 30809 - John Holden and his grandson, Stephen, fished with me on a windy Tuesday. We arrived at 9:30 a.m., at Cherokee Landing and pulled out on the point just outside. Stephen caught three bass out of his first four casts on a Hub's Chub before I could get a cast in. I cast the Pencil Popper and caught a 41 pounder. John caught three bass on Hub's Chub. We went to the Fort Gordon point where there is a blow-through and about four fish knocked the Pencil Popper into the air. You've got to keep the retrieve going and never stop it going back to the boat and you work it really slow. John caught another on the Hub's Chub, then I caught a 6-pounder on the Popper. We caught 10 bass and missed 35 others that hit the plug and missed it. After taking a break, we went back to the point and a 35-pound striper nailed the Popper on my first cast. It's the biggest striper I ever caught, but not the biggest I've ever hooked. On Wednesday, I fished by myself, getting onto the lake about 11 a.m. Pete Glabas and his son, Tyler, did what I had told them. They caught three good bass off the Cherokee point and then went to the Fort Gordon point and caught three more. Pete had left that point to try another when I arrived. I tossed the Pencil Popper and had a 10-pound bass hit it three times before I hooked it. I caught a total of eight bass. All the fish were released, except for the striper.

My fishing show features Pete Glabas and I catching big striped bass on the Savannah River. The show runs each Saturday at 11 a.m., on UPN Augusta and each Sunday at 2 p.m. on UPN Augusta, including Knology Ch. 7, Comcast Ch. 21, Charter Ch. 9 (Fort Gordon), G Force (Aiken) Ch. 7, Northland (Burke County, Statesboro, Swainsboro) Ch. 9 on Sundays from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

Ron Figueroa, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, hybrid bass, (706) 832-7230 (ronfig@comcast.net or his web site at buckeyelures.com/figs) - No report.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (web site doubletroublefishingguides.com) with twins Brad and Jim) - No report.

Craig Johnson, professional guide specializing in largemouth bass, hybrid bass, striped bass. (706) 564-9564 - Darren Whisenhunt, of Charlotte, N.C., fished with me on Tuesday. We caught 19 hybrids and stripers and 20 largemouth bass on the Buckeye Custom Super Spook. We fished the Savannah River arm of the lake from Shriver to Soap Creek, hitting the main lake points in less than four feet of water. Largest striper weighed 10 pounds and our biggest bass weighed 8 pounds. Howard Suggs, of North Augusta, fished with me on Wednesday morning. The lack of wind turned off the bite a bit, but Howard caught six hybrids 4 to 8 pounds and nine largemouths from 4 to 5 pounds. All the fish were caught on Zoom's white ice Super Flukes. Don't forget to tune in to my Outdoor Destinations show each Sunday on UPN Augusta at 1:30 p.m..

SAVANNAH RIVER

New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam

Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle

(Bob Baurle), (706) 793-8053. - Mack Peeler and John Norris, of Wrens, Ga., just left here today (Thursday) with more than 250 mullet and one big carp. Lee Miller continues to catch lots of redbreasts off the dam. Brad Harris, of Aiken, and a friend caught 25 nice bream down river. Charlie Dickens also has been catching some good redbreasts, bream and bass down river. Wayne Shelley and his brother caught limits of redbreasts. Buffalo Winter and Winston Walworth caught some nice redbreasts down river. Shad fishing is still great, hitting brightly colored grubs and the Sabiki Rigs. Lots of bass, bream and catfish have been caught in the Mayor's Fishin' Hole.

MERRY BROTHERS BRICKYARD PONDS

Harrison Sears (706) 722-8263 (www.brickyardponds.com) - Eric Elliott has been catching lots of bream in the Cornell Pond. Bream also are being caught in the Warren Pond. There were 25 boats in last Friday's bass tournament. Richard Dickerson and Craig Myer won it with 14.4 pounds for five bass. Gene Fallaw and Michael Johnson caught 11.99 pounds, including the big fish of 4.5 pounds. Our bass tournament will be held today, weather permitting, starting at 6 p.m., with a $20 entry fee. Weigh-in is at 10 p.m.

ATLANTIC OCEAN

BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY

Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530, and Doug Gertis, professional guide, (843) 524-5250 - Goodison: Water temperatures have reached 75 degrees. A potential state record cobia was caught at the Cobia Hole in the Broad River last week. It weighed 87.4 pounds. Good catches of red and vermilion snapper and black sea bass have been reported by offshore head boats. Clients in charter boats venturing out to the Gulf Stream have been catching dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo and sailfish. The Fripp Island Memorial Day Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday. A captains meeting and dinner will be held tonight at 7, with fishing getting started at sunrise, and weigh-ins starting at 4 p.m., and closing at 6. Prizes will be given for the best catches of dolphin, wahoo, kingfish and Spanish mackerel. More information: Fripp Island Marina, (843) 838-1517. Gertis: Redfish have been slow because of the full moon and high spring tides and high winds. Live eels have worked for my clients after cobia, with a 64-pounder caught on Wednesday. Trout fishing has been poor. Inshore fishing for whiting has been superb.

SAVANNAH AREA

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 - The Tybee Island Pier has been producing some good catches of summer trout, spotted sea trout, bluefish, whiting and even sharks. The sea trout are good-sized. Redfish and spotted sea trout are hitting as are Spanish mackerel. King mackerel are being caught on trolled Drone spoons around the Savannah Snapper Banks.