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August 2003
Clarks Hill

Clarks Hill - by Brian Ely

At present time, Clarks Hill remains a bit above full pool with surface temps in the low to mid 80s.  Bass fishing is traditionally fairly slow during August on Clarks Hill.  At the time of this report, bass that are being caught are still holding in a mid-summer pattern on main lake humps and points.  Night fishing with dark-colored soft plastics is a good bet to avoid the heat and pleasure boat traffic.  There have been reports of easier fishing on the extreme northern end of the lake just below the Lake Russell Dam.  The water released from Russell is cold and, therefore, cools the lake water in Clarks Hill in the area.  This may not be of great assistance to tournament anglers fishing the weekend tournaments because power generation usually occurs during weekdays. A bright spot in the fishing forecast is the striper and hybrid bite.  Locals and guides report very good catches in the early morning hours in deep water off of humps in 20 to 30 feet of water.  Herring fished just off the bottom have been producing results. 

As August comes to a close, schooling action should become a factor in both bass fishing and hybrid/striper fishing.  The fish will begin herding shad and feeding heavily on the small bait fish. 

After a long day on the road, Advertising Manager of the Georgia Fish and Game Finder, Steve Powell, always gets a good night’s rest at Cullars Inn in Lincolnton.  For years, the Cullars Inn has been helping fishermen and hunters get the rest they need for a productive “next day.”  Cullars Inn is located conveniently close to all the restaurants in Lincolnton.  Stay there for one night or for a whole week while you are hunting or fishing in the Clarks Hill area.  Call ahead at (706) 359-6161 to book a room.

While at Soap Creek Lodge, I spoke with Bob Guillebeau.  He reports that the crappie in his area of the lake are now being caught in deeper water around brush. They will remain in this type of cover for the remainder of the summer months. Minnows fished just above brush will be more productive than jigs.  Experiment with the depth at which they are fished.   Call Bob at the Lodge for a report. The fine folks at Soap Creek will also tell you about their seafood dinners and the “all you can eat” specials.   He has also added a deck at the restaurant overlooking Soap Creek.  Check with Bob about rental cabins, rates, and availability. You can rent for a weekend or for a week.   Call today (706) 359-3125. 

I met with Mrs. Cornelia Davis at the Home Café of Washington earlier this month.   As usual, her crew was busy preparing for the lunch crowd that always gathers at the café.  They have the best old-fashioned home-style meals in the area, and the portions served up there are huge.    Mrs. Davis’ desserts, whet her cakes, pies, or pudding, are not to be passed on, so try to leave a little room.  If you need a cake cooked for an occasion or if you just want one for yourself, call Mrs. Davis.   When you are in the area on a hunting or fishing trip, stop in visit with Cornelia, Gerald, and Ty.  Mrs. Davis has added a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night All-U-Can eat Catfish and Shrimp dinner to the menu.

When I stopped in at Allen’s Country Store on Washington Rd. in Evans, I was informed that the blue back herring sales were still high. Both live and frozen herring are being sold to Clarks Hill Striper fishermen.  Fishermen are looking forward to large catches this summer.  Allen’s is still regarded as the place to buy the most lively herring in the area.   Check out Allen’s selection of Mad Man soft plastic baits.  Gas prices are as good as prices at the bigger chain stores, so why not gas up while you get your other fishing supplies?  Allen’s now has “pay at the pump” gas service.

The nice people at Cliatt Crossing continue to be gracious advertisers in this magazine.  They make me welcome, and I know that they will do the same for you.  They are located at the intersection of GA 220 and Hwy. 47 in Lincoln County.   If you are heading to Clarks Hill or anywhere else to fish or hunt, stop by and stock your cooler at Cliatt Crossing.  The prices and the supply on hand will have you returning again and again.  Jason and his staff also pride themselves on having a complete supply of bait and tackle.  His gas pumps are ultra-modern, and I know of several local folks who refuse to buy gas for their boat and truck anywhere else.

Come to Augusta Marine Superstore and you will find friendly and professional sales staff and an expert service department.  Owner Barry Frazier is now carrying the hot new line of Bentley Pontoon Boats.   Augusta Marine Superstore is excited about this new company and its excellent product.  Right now Barry is selling the 2004 year model 20ft. Bentley with a 50hp Mercury, oil injection and tilt and trim starting at $9995. Standard features on this Bentley include AM/FM stereo/CD player, 9ft. Bimini top, 8ft-6in beam, and 25 inch diameter pontoon tubes. Tubes and the ¾ in. thick deck carry a lifetime warranty.  Come by or call for more information.  Augusta Marine also carries Caravelle, Bennington, and Key West in the pleasure boat lines and Stratos, Javelin, and Triton bass boats.  Mercury, Yamaha, Johnson or Evinrude outboards are available.  Augusta Marine Superstore provides “Factory Authorized service” on these outboards also.  The service department is super clean, organized and mirrors Barry’s intentions to provide the best to his customers.  Augusta Marine Superstore also has a good selection of quality used boats on hand.   The Boat Center is located at 4751 Washington Rd. in Evans, Georgia which is conveniently located on the way to and from Clarks Hill.  Owner Jimmy Beasley is well known for his expertise on Mercury and Mercruiser but he and his crew are just as efficient with other brands also. Jimmy has a large supply of fishing and pleasure boat parts and accessories on hand. If he doesn’t have what you need he can have it for you in a short time.  The Boat Center is now proud to carry the BULLET Bass Boat line. Bullet is a top of the line, extremely fast boat and Jimmy is now the authorized dealer in this area. You will not beat the price The Boat Center can offer on BULLET.  Mr. Beasley also has on hand a selection of Sylvan Pontoon boats. Stop by today and see for yourself.  CSRA Camperland has been long regarded as the place to go for RVs, trailers, and folding campers.  They proudly carry the Fleetwood line.  On the lot you will find Pace Arrow motor homes, Prowler Trailers, Mallard Trailers, Wilderness, and Coleman.  CSRA Camperland also has a large selection of used units to fit every budget. Camperland’s parts and accessory department has everything from the smallest bolts to AC units.  Everything you might need for towing and brake systems is also available.  A large catalog is also available from CSRA Camperland.  The large 10 bay service department is second to none. LP gas and a dump station are located on the premises.

Richard, Heidi and the crew at the Huddle House of Lincolnton know how to cater to the hungry fishing and hunting crowd.   One of the Bass clubs I fish with traditionally meets here before each tournament. Also, you know a hunting or fishing trip is just not complete without a trip to the Huddle House in the pre-dawn hours for breakfast. When you are in town for your next tournament or hunting trip, stop in and you’ll see why we’re always there.  The service and the food are second to none.  The Huddle House is located at 115 Elm Street in Lincolnton GA.  You can also call in an order ahead of time at (706) 359-5360.

Jason Waters, owner of Outriggers Seafood House, invites you to come and enjoy a meal with him and his courteous staff.  Outriggers Seafood House is located at 6002 Clarks Hill Rd., Appling, GA (Pollard’s Corner near intersection of 221 and 104).  The “all-u-can eat” buffet is top notch and includes plenty of fresh shrimp, salmon, scallops, catfish, oysters and just about anything else you can imagine along those lines.  A full salad bar and dessert bar is included.  On Thursday night Outriggers features prime rib and fried quail as well as senior citizen discounts.  On Friday nights kids aged 5-10 eat for 99 cents.  Sunday lunch is only $7.99.  Jason welcomes the bass tournament fishing crowd as well as you hunters.  So if you’ve been on the lake or if you and your family are in the mood for a relaxing meal out, be sure to make it Outriggers Seafood House.  Please see their ad for detailed serving hours.  Outriggers Seafood House can be reached at (706) 541-0405.

I visited Harry Davis at Harrisburg Bait and Tackle, and he was hard at work as usual.   The fishing in Clarks Hill, Savannah River, Lake Olmstead and the canal is great.  Don’t get caught with reels that needed servicing. That can ruin the trip faster than anything.   Remember, Harrisburg is the place to buy your bait, tackle, ice, drinks and snacks before heading out.  If you catch a big one, bring it by for Harry to photograph, and I will get your picture in the Fish and Game Finder.  Harry has plenty of new and reconditioned reels for sale.  Check them out; you’ll be impressed.  Harrisburg is still the number one choice for work on your spinning, spin casting, bait casting, and all salt-water reels.  Come in and see for yourself.  Harrisburg Bait and Tackle is located at 2001 Broad Street, Augusta GA.

Preferred Marine Service is a full marine service center.  Their location on Washington Rd. just before the Keg Creek Bridge makes them the perfect choice for your marine service needs. Preferred Marine specializes in repair and restoration of boats and motors.  Ken and his crew will diagnose any problems you might be having and/or tune that boat up for upcoming fishing and pleasure boating.   Plan ahead now to avoid problems later.  If you are a first-time customer, tell Ken that you saw his ad in this magazine and you’ll receive 10% off.  Also inquire about financing.

Pollard’s Corner at Hwy 104 and 221 is a long-standing Clarks Hill tradition.  Come in and see them.  They have live bait, tackle, hardware, gas, grocery items, and so much more.  In short, Pollard’s Corner is a friendly old-fashioned kind of place that still offers everything you might need for a day out fishing, camping, boating, or hunting.  Give them a visit.  I spoke with Mike Patrick of Clarks Hill Guide Service just before this issue went to press.  He told me that the recent heavy rains and run off had the fish scattered but things were getting better.  He has been fishing in the northern end of the lake for stripers.  He informed me that at this time of year the striped bass begin their annual run north.  While the striped bass do this, hybrids will pretty much stay down lake and not do a lot of migrating.  You can expect Mike to follow these schools of big stripers and stay with them throughout the year.  Mike Patrick and his Clarks Hill Guide Service continue to maintain his reputation for catches of large striped bass.  Call Mike Patrick and set up a trip today.  You will be pleased and impressed.  Mike can be reached at 864-333-2513.

Larry Moore and his professional crew at Trucks and Moore Accessory Center are located on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez GA. They can outfit your truck, jeep, or SUV to tow, go deeper in the woods, and get out if you go too far, or make your vehicle look better.  Trucks and Moore has been in business for over 8 years and sells every accessory imaginable with expert installation.  Started in 1995 by Larry Moore, they were known as Rhino Linings of Augusta.  Since that time they have expanded to offer an ever increasing slate of products and services.  Spray on bedliners, towing accessories, a full range of audio/video equipment, winches, brush guards, step bars, window tinting, glass repair and replacement, dual exhaust and the list continues. Trucks and Moore has started lifting trucks and offering tires and wheels for the ultimate OFF ROAD look.  So come by and see Larry at Trucks and Moore Accessory Center.  They can be reached by phone at (706) 868-0008. Business hours are 8am-5:30pm M-F and 8am-4pm on Saturdays.   SEE THE COUPON WORTH $50 OFF A SPRAYED IN BEDLINER IN THIS MONTH’S AD. 

Jack and Sandi Hayes at Pair of Jacks appreciate your continued support.  Their supply of ZOOM products continues to be the best on the lake.  If you are looking for a particular soft plastic color or brand, Pair of Jacks probably has it.  They have plenty of spinnerbaits in various brands and every color of Sided crankbait that you might need. Jack has also received a shipment of Lucky Craft baits.  If you need live bait, they have it too.  Stop by on your way to the lake and pick up your ice, drinks, and snacks.  If you forgot something for the boat, they probably have it also.  They carry outboard oil, rope, and even boat batteries.  Pair of Jacks also has turkey hunting supplies and outdoor type gift items. 

Another of my favorite places to shop, eat, and hang around is Ridge Road Bait and Tackle.  Jason and Melissa are doing well with this business.  In the store area they have an excellent supply of the soft plastic baits and hard baits you will see producing catches of bass on Clarks Hill and local ponds.  They also stock the popular “extra small lively” minnows for you crappie fishermen and fisherwomen.  Ridge Road serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner.     Stop by before or after your next fishing or hunting trip. Call ahead for take-out or stop by and order from the menu.  Ridge Road Bait and Tackle now has the equipment to fill propane tanks for your RV, camper, grills or other propane needs. They would also like to remind you all that they accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and they also take personal checks.  The restaurant and store can be reached at (706) 541-9424.  Bring your catch or your turkey to Ridge Road for a photo and we will include it in next month’s issue.  Stephen Bay Jr. and his son Stephen III own and operate Ultimate Outdoors at 522 Edgefield Rd., North Augusta.   Ultimate Outdoors was been a longstanding tradition at its location on Eve Street in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, but now Stephen is in another much larger building in North Augusta.  I met the Bays several years ago and I am happy to congratulate them on the new store.  Ultimate Outdoors will be noted for its premium tackle and fishing supplies.  Stephen is especially targeting the bass fishing community.  Call for details. If any of you readers know Mr. Bay, you already know that he is quite a character and his enthusiasm will be reflected in his new location.  He and his son are gathering an impressive product line.  Stephen has said, “I’m not wasting time or money on products that are second rate or have not been proven successful.”   Ultimate Outdoors stocks soft plastics by ZOOM, Illusion, V&M, Gary Yamamoto, Kalin tubes and grubs, and the very realistic Mad Man Baits.  

The line of “hard baits” will include YoZuri, Rapala, and Lucky Craft to name a few. Speaking of Lucky Craft, Ultimate Outdoors stocks the largest quantity and variety of Lucky Craft in 15 states. This is according to Lucky Crafts sales representative.  Folks, that is more than the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World locations stock.  Ultimate Outdoors is now stocking the entire line of Buckeye Lures. If you fish the Clarks Hill area you probably already know about these fine lures. On my last visit to Ultimate Outdoors, Steve showed me a bait I was totally unfamiliar with, the Chain Gang Spinnerbait. This is the first totally flexible arm spinnerbait. It consists of a rubber coated stainless steel chain arm and interchangeable blades.  Ultimate Outdoors is open 7 days per week. All types of live bait are available. Call for more information or directions (803)613-1255.

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