Noodling isn't for everyone

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Today's fishing reports includes one from Albert Moody about two Langley, S.C., men who went "noodling" around Thurmond Lake's boat ramps.

The technique involves diving and then reaching into the crevices around the ramps and pulling out whatever denizens may be found. Knowing the lake's creatures include turtles, particularly snapping turtles, makes it unlikely that I would ever become a full-fledged, or even half-fledged, noodler.

But Jeremy Byrd and Keith Cunningham are brave souls and on this particular trip, one (or maybe both) came out with a 33.4-pound flathead catfish.

Personally, I'd rather catch my fish using conventional -- and safer -- methods, like with a rod and reel.

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 -- Jerry Jenkins, of Hephzibah, with a party of two, caught 50 nice crappies and two catfish in the Raysville area. Our fireworks show will be held Friday, July 3, and start at dusk. There will be a live band, too.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and stripers and trophy largemouth bass. (Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) -- June has always been one of the premier months for fishing and this one has been no exception. As the summer heat approaches and the fish spawn concludes, the fish become eating machines. This is especially true of my favorite fish, the striper and the hybrid. These are a few of the local groups who have been fishing with me: Michael Graziano and his sons, Ted and Tom, and David Barnes, all of Martinez. They had a great morning, catching stripers up to 10 pounds. Sam Stevens, from Aiken, brought his boys, Andrew, Matthew and Nathaniel. They slaughtered the fish, catching the most and biggest fish of their young lives. The Rev. Buddy Myers, his grandson, Nick, and friends David Elam and Johnny Gant, caught 40 stripers and hybrids before you could say pass the peas. The famous fishing Posey family, Richard, Jamie, Alex, Robert and Rob, caught their limits on a great morning. They caught 3-5-pound hybrids and 6-8-pound stripers. This great fishing should continue until the oxygen level gets low. All our fish were caught on live herring fished on downlines 24-35 feet down.

Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide, (706) 860-7373 -- No report. My new show is all about family catching fish. It features my son, Ralph Barbee III, and my grandsons, Houston, 11, and Christopher, 23. Billy Murphy and his son, Jim, and grandson, Johnathan, took us out hybrid fishing. We caught some great fish in two days, with Johnathan outfishing me, but I caught a 10-pound striper. It airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Stations are Comcast Ch. 21, Knology Ch. 7, G-Force, Ch. 7 (Aiken), Northland Ch. 9 Statesboro-Swainsboro) and Ft. Gordon Ch. 9. You must have a special box from Comcast to view my show. The box is free.

Billy Murphy, professional guide, (706) 733-0124 (Web site www.doubletroublefishingguides.com) with twins Brad and Jim) -- Last Friday, Wayne Bland, of Snellville, Ga., and Al Bland and his wife, Karen, from Metter, Ga., fished with me. Wayne caught a 40-pound striper out of my boat on a previous trip. Karen was too fast for the men this time and caught the bulk of the fish before we ran out of bait at 8:30 a.m. That meant it was Capt. Mack's umbrella rig time. Again, Karen slayed the stripers, catching two at a time while the guys were catching only one. We trolled the rig over humps in 25-36 feet of water and found the fish stacked up. Last count totaled 53 stripers and most were released. Karen caught a 10-pound striper on a downline and an 8-pounder on the umbrella rig. Last Tuesday, my son, Jim, and grandson, Johnathan, and I found fish in 24-38 feet of water in different areas. We trolled umbrella rigs over humps 25-42 feet down and wound up with 11 stripers. On Thursday, Johnathan and I went scouting and caught 32 stripers and hybrids fishing 30-42 feet of water on downlines. We had 20 fish by 7 a.m. Check out new photos on my Web site. My VHF radio handle is doubletrouble on Ch. 68.

Mark Crawford, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in hybrid and striped bass. www.teamsaveonemore.com (706) 373-8347 -- Donald Foreman, his son, Donovan, of California, Harry Millard and his wife, Fred, of Evans and their daughter, Tedwin Millard, of Davis, Calif., started early on downlines in 30 to 50 feet of water. We limited out on nice hybrids and stripers by 9:30 a.m.

Capt. William Sasser, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass. (706) 589-5468 -- Last Friday, Dave and Bing Tuttle, of McCormick, S.C., caught limits of stripers and hybrids in 11 hours. Fish weighed from 3-8 pounds. Later in the day, Wade Commings, Joe Richardson, Becky McGowan, Brian McGowan and Bill Commings, all of Augusta, braved high temperatures to catch 21 stripers. It got so hot, my party asked me to hose 'em down, which I was glad to do. Last Saturday, J.B. Gordon, Diane Gordon, Olivia and Natalie Gordon, all of Grovetown, did their annual family trip with me. We caught an ice chest full of fish. Dick Kalb and Jeff Kalb, of Westminister, Md., and Sam Pursley Jr., and Dewayne Walden of Appling, Ga., and Mike Benoit of Martinez caught a heck of a lot of large stripers. Michael Tomberlin, of Martinez, Bill Easterlin and his son, Will, from Louisville, Ga., and Adam Harris, Martinez, caught 24 really nice fish on another trip. Don McNeill, Kevin Hyman, Tom Wood and Bill Hopkins, all of Thomson, caught limits of hybrids and stripers in about an hour and a half. The fish were quality. Adam Harris, of Martinez, and his father, Joey, from Evans, with Tom Banks and his son, Thomas, from Evans, just blistered the fish. We started fishing at 5:45 and had our limits by 7:15 a.m. We've been chumming with cut herring and catching fish on downlines 25-40 feet, mainly in open water. Check out my Web site at www. williamsasserfishing.com.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 -- Fishing remains on the good side, with downlines the key technique. Water temperatures are in the 85-degree range and I am finding deep pockets with low oxygen content in which my bait wouldn't live at 40 feet. I've caught fewer big stripers this week than previously, but slab hybrids have been sort of making up for that. Mike Johnson, son-in-law, Sam Sinner, and grandsons Justin and Samuel and friend, Mike Garland, all of Atlanta, enjoyed fast downline action, keeping 36 slab hybrids and stripers. Dave Harper, his daughter, Rachel, and son, Jacob, of Hickory, N.C., and granddad Frank Snaski, visiting from Michigan, had a blast bidding to see who could catch the most. Jacob edged Rachel by one in their 34-fish catch. Bill Sietes, of Savannah, was treated to a Father's Day trip by his son, William. The limit came fast so we went on catch and release until the bait was gone. My VHF radio handle is Boat Racer and I can be reached on Channel 68. My Web site is www.fishlake thurmond.com.

Albert Moody, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 -- Jeremy Byrd and Keith Cunningham, of Langley, S.C., caught a 33-pound, 4-ounce flathead, noodling around boat ramps on the lake. Wade and Sharif Sapp, of Evans, caught a limit of stripers in the 7-12-pound range downlining in mid-lake in 30 feet of water. Mike Kent, of Martinez, caught a 32-pound catfish on cut bait. Gary and Ginny Hutton, of Martinez, caught 12 big stripers and hybrids up to 12 pounds, fishing live herring 25 feet down in 50 feet of water.

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Harrison Sears (706) 722-8263 (www.brickyardponds.com) -- Mike Johnson caught a 5.95-pound bass in the Clayton Pond on a black plastic trick worm and leads the Big Fish of the Month contest. William Kelly and Kim Dumas caught 16 crappies in the White Elephant Pond. Greg and Mike Leaptrotte won our bass tournament with a 5.50-pound catch and J.J. Dixon and J.C. Dicks had a 2.36-pounder for big fish. Our bass tournaments run from 6 p.m.10 p.m., every Friday. Entry fee is $20 per fisherman in each event. A fishing license is not required to fish in our ponds.

SAVANNAH

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com.) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 -- Well, it's hot, but that's not news. What is news is that flounder fishing also is red hot. Mud minnows, small finger mullet or live shrimp are the key baits. You can fish them beneath a float or Carolina rig them. The latter technique features a half-ounce egg sinker threaded onto the main line above a barrel swivel and about a three-foot leader. Don't forget your landing net. King mackerel are being caught from the beachfronts to the Gulf Stream. I fished old school, which means trolling a Drone Spoon deep in about 95 feet of water. Some kings are being caught on rigged ballyhoo pulled behind downriggers at different depths.


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