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

Stripers from Lake Lanier.

Stripers from Lake Lanier.

While out on a chilly Lanier yesterday for annual sampling, biologist Patrick O’Rouke and yours truly found that our seasonal guests have arrived. Flocks of gulls and loons have taken up winter residence on the lower end of Lanier.

The birds have to eat, too, and are some of the best fishfinders that an angler can employ. Follow the birds and they should lead you to the spots and stripers chasing threadfin shad and bluebacks. The fish may be shallow or deep (that’s what we saw in our nets), but the birds will be above them. Do a little more birdwatching around Lanier Islands and it may help your fish-catching!

After a couple of artic blasts, we finally have some warmer air heading our way. Cure your first dose of cabin fever this season and get out soon on a reservoir or year-around trout stream of your choice. Don’t forget the handwarmers… and the binoculars.

Georgia Trout Season Survey – Feel free to contribute to this public process.

Winter Trouting Tips – Trouters will need to get into “full winter mode” and change their tactics to match declining water temperatures. There are some time-tested tips in the next link that might help new anglers to fish deeper and slower than they’re accustomed to. Thanks to Blue Ridge Mtn TU for the resource.

DH How-to for New Anglers – Great resources exist for new anglers learning Georgia’s Delayed Harvest trout waters. Do a little reading and then call or email an experienced friend to receive an onstream lesson. Your catch rate will skyrocket!

Holiday Planning – Grab your kids and head to a DH stream during the upcoming holiday weekend. We plan on spicing them up for you (hint- try the lake at Vogel State Park, too).

Dukes Epic Battle – (Subtitle: how to turn a four piece rod into a five piece…)

Chattooga DH – “Hope you guys had a good weekend. Just wanted to drop you a quick report from the Chattooga. I got a chance to go up on Saturday morning (definitely needed a mental health day), it was 28 degrees on my car temp. when I pulled into the SC parking lot at 9:20. Had a great start to the day as I approached the river an eagle took flight from the GA side (wasn’t quick enough with my camera, was buried under too many layers). Took a water temp. when I first got in and it was about 39 degrees, water level seemed low and very clear.

My third cast hooked and landed a 9” brown. Picked up several more in first run and worked my way upstream.
Landed several 13”-14” rainbows during the day that had very nice color. Action was a bit slow in the afternoon for me (I must have been fishing behind the guys that posted they caught 163 on Saturday) landing about a dozen, but it was great being on the water. Everything took a rubber leg prince nymph and Y2K (only two flies I used). No trophy brookie’s.

Fished up to Reed Creek and landed a brown and rainbow in the run just below it, started walking back to the parking lot at 3:40, left the lot at 4:30 and car temp registered 38. Only saw 6-7 fisherman during the day. Have a great week and take care! “- Alan

Lanier Secret Spot – Trophy catfish hunters should try the right bank, looking upstream, above Lanier’s Olympic rowing venue. We shook out a 30 pound and a 50 pound flathead catfish from our nets yesterday. Use a bait big enough to make it worth their while to sniff out your offering.

Allatoona Report, Research

Hartwell – GON Article

Free E-Magazine – You’ll recognize many authors in here. Enjoy a creel full of fishing reports from north Georgia lakes and streams.

Why recruit anglers? – If you’re married to the river, you’ll care about it. Enjoy this lady’s story and video, courtesy of

Good luck. May you enjoy your holiday time with family and friends, and use some of it to make memories in the woods and on the waters of north Georgia.