"I feel so lucky I might have to buy one of those mega-million tickets in the Georgia Lottery," the Evans angler said earlier this week.
"But I am either sixth or seventh in points in the Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division and I feel that I must fish the last tournament of the year this weekend on Lake Sinclair."
His presence might still be felt, however, depending how David Brown, of North Augusta, fares in the Mr. Clark Hill, the 36th tournament of which sees 200 boats leave Wildwood Park this morning.
"David is tied with his brother, Noel, with four Mr. Clark Hill titles each, so I've been trying to help David break that tie," Hutto said. "I've shared some tips that might help."
Noel Brown could not be reached for comment, but his wife said, "Let's just say that David probably needs help."
l Cooler temperatures also have turned on hybrids and stripers. Schools of the fish can be found in the Cherokee-Mosley creek section of the lake, the Savannah River channel opposite Hamilton Branch State Park, the channel between Dordon Creek and Parksville, Keg Creek near Petersburg Campground and even Mims Branch (Fort Gordon Recreation Area). Best times to go vary from pre-dawn hours to early afternoon to late afternoon. The Thing Popper appears to be the best lure.
l John de la Howell School's 10th annual Rufus Sawyer Memorial Children's Fishing Tournament is set for Oct. 10 at the Dorn Boating and Fishing Complex on Hawe Creek.
Volunteer boat captains are needed to take out about 30 children. Those interested can contact David Annis at (803) 215-7474, or firstname.lastname@example.org, using JDLH as the subject.
Raysville Marina (Leon Buffington and Doug Pentecost), (706) 595-5582 - Joe Lynn, Willie Lynn and Joe Denton, all of Augusta, caught 24 crappies in our fish house on minnows.
Ralph Barbee Jr., professional guide, (706) 860-7373 - I fished on Wednesday from Cherokee Creek to Mosley Creek and in Mims Branch (Fort Gordon Recreation Area) and caught five hybrids. They wouldn't touch the Roostertail, but did hit The Thing Popper. My new show features Capt. Mack of umbrella rig fame, fishing in Lake Lanier for striped bass. 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.
Capt. William Sasser, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass. (706) 589-5468 - Our fishing trips this week for hybrids and stripers have found fish in the transitional phase, normal for this time of the year. Mike Thomas and Lewis Kolb, both of Lexington, S,C., and Jay Godfrey, of Augusta, caught just a few fish. We halted the trip, they left to go home and before I could get the boat on the trailer the whole area came alive with schooling fish. Go figure. Jerry A. George, Aaron George, Leslie George and Harry George, all of Aiken, with Michael Lawing, of Columbia, caught 19 fish during a rainy morning. Once again, the fish started schooling during the early afternoon. Check out my Web site at
Albert Moody, Clark Hill Herring Hut, Clarks Hill, S.C. (864) 333-2000 - Joe Burg has been catching schooling fish in mid-channel opposite Hamilton Branch State Park and around Pavey Point on the Georgia side just above Parksville. Fishermen unfamiliar with local place names can pick up a free map at the Herring Hut.
New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam
Lock and Dam Bait and Tackle (Bob Baurle, Billy Hambrick), (706) 496-1173 - Cooler weather has turned up the crappie bite, not only in the river, but Butler Creek. Small shiners are the best bait. The bream bite has improved, with crickets the main baits, and catfish are hitting rooster livers.
Beaufort, S.C. & vicinity
Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 - Fishing is red hot for channel bass (redfish), while large flounder and spotted sea trout also are biting. Spanish mackerel fishing near the shore is excellent, while king mackerel can be caught around the 6HI buoy and Betsy Ross wreck. Offshore, king mackerel fishing is good and wahoo and dolphin are showing.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 - Ever check a live shrimp to see what it looks like under water? Its legs move, the tail fans up and down, and the eyes glow. Shrimp have strange anatomies that help one see its moving parts. Shrimp are among the most desirable baits because fish know they don't offer much resistance. Anglers need to handle the shrimp with care. Redfish, spotted sea trout, flounder, black drum and sheepshead all have their feeding bags on. Artificial reefs are holding bottom fish and king and Spanish mackerel, while the Savannah Snapper Banks are red hot.