Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff

Fisheries technician Chris Looney shows off two stripers, a 26 pounder and 28 pounder, collected during a sampling survey of Lake Lanier last week.

Fisheries technician Chris Looney shows off two stripers, a 26 pounder and 28 pounder, collected during a sampling survey of Lake Lanier last week.

The weather and the water are great, so nearly all of our north Georgia fisheries should be in their prime this weekend.  Make your fishing plans soon!  Hopefully this long list of reports and fishing tips will help you determine your next destination.  So much water, so little time….

Stocked Trout: Best Bets

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is planning to stock over 1 million catchable trout in Georgia this year. Almost 250,000 of these fish have already been stocked, and daily stocking will continue until July 4th on most streams and until Labor Day on those waters that remain cold through the summer. Trout fishing will continue to be excellent while springtime water temperatures are optimal. Please visit our website to find a stocked trout stream or lake near you. Target streams with a high stocking frequency for your best opportunity at trout fishing success.  For this week, try Owl Town (Gilmer Co), Long Swamp, Stamp, Holly, Cooper, Lake Winfield Scott, Lanier Tailwater, West Fork Chattooga, Wildcat, and Tallulah. – John Lee Thomson, Stocking Coordinator / Hatchery Manager at Lake Burton Fish Hatchery

Bass Reports: Stripers, Hybrids, Spots and more

LAKE ALLATOONA IS FULL, STAINED & LOW 60 DEGREES – Bass fishing is great and the jerk bait bite is on fire. We are catching good numbers of spotted bass and a few largemouth. Right now it’s your choice on baits and anglers can get bit on just about everything. Top water, swim baits, shaky heads, soft plastic jerk baits and more. Put the trolling motor on medium and make as many casts as you can. The spawn is still going on but we we’ll see it taper off soon. Warm water and wind are great combos. The mid lake area is good for all day fishing. – This Lake Allatoona Bass fishing report is by Matt Driver,


Lanier stripers – Fisheries technicians Chris Looney and Matt Hill sampled and released about thirty striped bass from Lake Lanier on April 18.  Here are 28 and 26 pounders found in the Four Mile Creek area of the lake.  Chris reports that the fish were scattered along the shoreline rather than schooled-up.   Chris samples again yesterday (April 23) and found sixteen fish up to 32 pounds, along with a handful of nice walleye.    These fish were in the Johnson/Latham Creek areas of the Chestatee arm, where water temps ranged from 61 to 64F.  Big bluebacks and gizzard shad are attracting these larger predators, so search for the bait and the predators should be close behind. – Anthony Rabern, Senior Fisheries Biologist

LAKE LANIER IS .77 FEET UP FROM FULL POOL, THE MAIN LAKE IS CLEAR AND CREEKS ARE SLIGHTLY STAINED & 64 DEGREES (April 25) – Bass fishing is good and we have had a great week for numbers with 25 to 30 fish a day as our average. The fish can still be found in the back of creeks, on secondary points at the mouth of creek arms as well as pockets near the main creek channels and in the back of creek arms. There are many fish very shallow in the weed lines in the backs of creeks and pockets. A small jig head and worm combo will catch these fish. The main lake fish are moving up shallower on the points and humps. A Davis Shaky Head, a jerk bait, and a Fish Head Spin have been our best weapons for the main lake fish. The dock bite is still there, particularly when the sun is out, and is getting stronger. Look for the docks in the 10 to 20 feet range at the front to be the best right now, and if brush is around, even better. As the water continues to warm this week, look to those shallower docks to be better producers. Jerk baits, worms, flukes and Senko’s will be your best bet around the docks. There are some fish bedding now, but I don’t believe the main wave of spots has gone on bed yet. Look for this to happen soon as we are finally forecasted to maintain a long stretch of stable, warm weather.  – This Lake Lanier Bass report is from Jimbo Mathley

Hartwell – The hybrid bass run is in full swing on Lake Hartwell.  This week, hybrid bass were concentrated on the shoal marker points from Eastanollee Creek to Spring Branch.  Some of these points are holding both hybrids and stripers, like the 8-pound hybrid and 14-pound striper shown in the photo.  If the wind is really blowing, work flukes or  jigs on these shallow, wind-blown points .  On calm days, fish will be concentrated over the river channel and live herring is the bait of choice.  Good numbers of hybrid bass were also in the mouth of the Chauga River this week.  The run will continue to progress for the remainder of the month as more fish move upstream of the Highway 123 Bridge. – Anthony Rabern, Senior Fisheries Biologist


Lake Lanier – Crappie fishing is good. Water temperatures are hovering around sixty degrees, and the bite remains good to excellent in the backs of creeks. Pretty much everything is working. Whether using crappie minnows or a jig under a cork, cast your bait or jig through the weed lines and retrieve slowly. Some blow downs are still holding fish in pockets and backs of creeks. Shooting docks remains the best method of catching the bigger fish. (Check out last week’s fishing report for a detailed description of the dock shooting technique.) Target docks in twenty feet of water or less that have some type structure below. The fish are also moving back onto submerged brush piles located in twenty feet of water or less. Your electronics can be very helpful in locating that type structure. We’ve been catching fish on docks and brush piles pretty much all day long. Blow downs and weed lines are doing better in the mornings and late in the day. Jiffy jigs or Bobby Garland soft body grubs with 1/24 ounce jig heads remain our number one choice. Get out there and fish while fishing is good and before the lake gets busier in the summer! Wear your life jacket; it can save your life! – This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, President of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club

Good luck.  You waited all winter for spring to arrive.  It’s finally here, so let the grass cutting slide for a few extra days and go make some fishing memories.