What have Brycen Williamson of Wagener, S.C., Cy Casey, Corey Yaden and Blake Stephenson of Evans in common? All are rising stars in the highly competitive world of collegiate bass tournament fishing.
And each earned bass fishing scholarships. Williamson is a member of the inaugural bass fishing team at Erskine College in Due West, S.C.
Yaden and Stephenson some years ago signed with south Georgia’s Brewton-Parker College out of Greenbrier High School, while Casey is a recent signee, also out of Greenbrier, with Emmanuel College’s Lions in Franklin Springs, Ga.
All have qualified for berths in the FLW National Tournament on Lake Hartwell next year.
Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com 1 (803) 637-6379. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. – Fishermen who love to catch white perch will be pleased to know they are back! My clients are jigging ¾-ounce Berry’s Flex-It Spoons in 30 to 40 feet of water and catching all they can eat. Last Friday, Mark Cisco, an Ohio resident now living in Savannah Lakes Village, and his wife and friends had a great time catching a bunch of fish. Mark first fished with me in 1996 and grew to love the lake, which is why he moved down. On that trip 24 years ago, he and I cast Thing Poppers and caught 144 hybrids, literally acres of which were schooling on top. All were released. Last Saturday, Columbia County Firefighter Robbie Stevens and his crew caught striped bass, hybrids, Kentucky spotted bass and white perch.
Capt. Billy Murphy. His son, Brad, has recovered from a brief illness and is now back on the water. He can be reached at (706) 836-2873. – Last Sunday, my wife Alycia, daughter Abby and her boyfriend Will Thomas, from North Augusta, fished with me. We cast crawdad-colored Rat-L-Traps and No. 5 crawdad-colored ShadRaps along the ban k in two to 14 feet of water. We caught five largemouth bass weighing 2 to 4 pounds each. Last Tuesday, I took out Rick Robinson of Harlem, Ga. We caught one 3-pound hybrid and 11 largemouth bass weighing 2 to 7 pounds. The bass hit a green pumpkin plastic lizard and a green pumpkin Buckeye Lures Mop Jig.
Capt. Eddie Mason, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full-time professional fishing guide specializing in hybrids and striped bass. www.masonsguideservice.com. 1 (803 637-5395. Cell phone: (706) 829-0428. – The lake has dropped two feet, but has stayed clear. We have been fishing on the lower end of the lake, moving to the backs of creeks and ditches in the last 30 to 40 feet of water and we are having to chase down the fish. Here today, gone tomorrow. We are fishing live blueback herring on some humps and shoals and occasionally dropping the baits all the way to the bottom. Last week, we took out Scott Snyder and his friend Robert, both from North Augusta. We limited out and caught some big catfish as a bonus. Next day, we teamed with Tim George of Git R Bent Guide Service to take out a large family group from the Augusta area. We had a great time and caught enough fish to please everybody. Tim and I shared another great group from North Carolina. We had a great day of fellowship and caught enough fish for a fry. Last Monday, Ed Bowie, Brian Ruby, Peter Sonne and Timmy Williams, all from Aiken, and Tim as first mate joined me for another great trip.
BEAUFORT, S.C. & VICINITY
Capt. Ralph Goodison Jr., Fripp Island, 1 (843) 986-4070 – Inshore, the spotted sea trout bite is as strong as I have ever seen it. Trophy redfish, many too large to keep, have joined black drum and flounder in an active bite. The Fripp Artificial Reef 4 to 5 miles offshore is home to kingfish which also can be found at the 6HI buoy. Some of our skippers owning big boats made their way out to the Gulf Stream where a few wahoo, black fin tuna and kingfish were taken. Strong winds have kept many anglers ashore.
Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, 1 (912) 897-4921. www.missjudycharters.com. 124 Palmetto Drive, Savannah, GA 31410 – The bite of most species has been strong all week. They are killing the spotted sea trout. Live shrimp are working, but the bite reaches a point to where the trout are peeling and killing the shrimp. So I recommend switching to artificial baits like D.O.A. Shrimp or even Super Flukes, most any soft plastic bait. And fish shallow in less than 10 feet of water. The reason is temperatures have fallen and the trout are finding shallow water warmer than deep.