Fishing Report: S.C. biologists tracking cobia via satellite – The Augusta Chronicle

What will they think of next? So, you want to know where cobia hang out? When and where they migrate? Just ask the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Agency biologists are using their “eye in the sky” to learn the answers.

And, if you’re an angler who fishes in the Palmetto State’s coastal waters, you can help.

The fish do not live just off South Carolina, but frequent all the waters along the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico so the study is a joint effort with biologists in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida cooperating.

They’ll be tagging 27 cobia with pop-up satellite archival tags and acoustic transmitters. An additional 20 cobia will be tagged with just acoustic transmitters. All the fish will receive an orange streamer-type tag with alphanumeric codes beginning with the letter “M.”

So if you catch one of those cobia off Beaufort, you should use a landing net or lip-grip and gently release it. If you accidentally catch and keep one of the project fish, please save the acoustic transmitter located in the body cavity on the underside of the fish, along with the satellite tag, and contact project biologist Justin Yost at 1 (843) 953-2011 or e-mail him at,

• S.C. DNR Director Alvin Taylor has decided to retire, ending a 42-year career including seven years as director of the state agency.

“His integrity and friendly demeanor have set him apart as an agency leader and he will long be remembered for his steady and honest dealing with political leaders, agency administrators and department employees,” said Norman Pulliam, SCDNR board chairman.


Raysville Marina, Thomson, Ga. (1 (706) 595-5582 – Kim Herndon of the marina staff reports William Hawkins and Cliff Crowe caught 35 crappies earlier in the week.

Capt. Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in crappie, hybrid and striped bass fishing. (706) 339-4784. – The fish are hungry and full of eggs. We are pulling live herring behind planer boards in the shallows, on long points and shallow humps. The fish are aggressive. Some of the stripers are hitting so hard that the planer board is skiing across the surface at a high rate of speed. The tips of the rods holding the free lines are being bent almost to the surface on the strike. Lots of excitement! Last Saturday, Larry Freeman, of Grovetown fished with me and caught 12 nice stripers, hybrids and bass. Last Tuesday, Jim Thouvenot, of Evans, caught 10 nice fish. Tip: Get on the lake early. We start fishing about 6 a.m.

William Sasser’s Guide Service (Charter Captains William Sasser, Bradd Sasser, Andrew Tubbs), full-time U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrid bass and striped bass. Contact William at (706) 589-5468, Bradd at (706) 267-4313 and Andrew at (803) 507-5083. Bradd – Surface temperatures are in the high 70s and once hit 81 in some creeks. Hybrids and stripers are stacking up in 15 to 25 feet of water and their bites are aggressive, to say the least. Majority of our fish are coming off the sides of points and humps. Majority of our fish are being caught off the sides of points with a steep red bank drop-off. As the sun rises, the bite slackens until afternoon. Planer boards and down lines are still producing. Lots of fish are still coming from mid-lake areas and around Cherokee Creek and Little River Bridge. Meanwhile, crappies have moved back onto brush piles and are 10 to 12 feet deep.

Eddie Mason’s Guide Service, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (803) 637-5395. Cell phone (706) 829-0428. – The water level is 328.93 feet and the surface temperature is 69 degrees. Water is muddy from Hickory Knob State Resort Park all the way to Broad River. I took out Craig Hardy from Cameron, N.C., and Bob Payton from Hephzibah. We fished the lower end of the lake and used planer boards. We went back the next day and the fish weren’t there. We’re still catching fish, but we have to try something different every day. Early morning fish are schooling on long-running points, blow-throughs and shallow humps. We are fishing planer boards and free lines. As the sun comes up and the day gets warmer, the fish move deep and we’re fishing downlines.


Hunter Morris, (706) 833-1083. – Stephen Drane reporting: Stick to the smaller mountain streams for your best bets to catch trout. Most of the tributaries that feed into the Toccoa River are clear at the moment. They could get muddy after the rains today and Saturday. Yellow Sallies could be hatching any day so it might be worthwhile casting yellow-bodied dry flies as long as the rain doesn’t hit too hard. For those wanting information on the cost of our guided trips, check out the web site at

To save time, check the Toccoa generation schedule, click on the following and check the flows for Blue Ridge: https.// And call the Cohutta Fishing Company in Blue Ridge at 1 (706) 946-3044 for the latest Toccoa tailwater updates, including the very best times to be on the water.


Check-in station at 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway (706) 722-8263. The tournament runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., each Friday, the entrance fee $22. There are multiple ponds offering good fishing for largemouth bass, bream and shellcracker, crappies and catfish.


Capt. Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, 1 (843) 838-2530. – Here’s a really good report: The bite is on for big red fish and it’s good for spotted sea trout and flounder, the latter being caught off the rocks at New Haven. Near shore are sheepshead, black drum, more trout and small black sea bass. Offshore in the Gulf Stream, trolling is just fair for wahoo, but the bull dolphin bite is on the upswing.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, 1 (912) 897-4921 (, P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, GA 31410-0771. – By the time this month rolls around, the spotted sea trout bite joins the flounder bite, meaning two types of fish can be caught on one type of bait: live shrimp.

Fished beneath a popping cork or adjustable float, live shrimp works like a charm. But if the bait needs to be fished on the bottom, simply adjust the float on the line, but be sure the float is standing upright. Otherwise, you might miss a bite.

If you’d like to try an artificial bait, I’d recommend the Berkley Gulp Alive in various sizes and shapes. Choose one that closely matches the size of the shrimp.

Cut pieces of squid and fresh fish fillets are among the top baits for bottom fishing. Black sea bass, trigger fish, summer trout, flounder and other bottom feeders love the option of a free meal. If it has a hook in it, you’ll love the results, too. Lip hook the baits, use a Carolina rig with a 3-foot leader below a one-ounce slip sinker above a barrel swivel and you’re in business.

By the way, cobia have arrived in our waters.


« »