(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region Fisheries staff)
The slow transition to fall continues. Headwater streams have cooled off quite a bit, so wild trout (pic1) and leftover stockers should be much more eager to grab our bait, fly, or lure than they were a month ago. We’re no longer restricted to the cool mornings for our best fishing. Burton Hatchery manager John Lee Thomson reported morning water temps from Moccasin Creek at 53 degrees this week.
Rivers are transitioning, too. While we were still catching some good bass and bream through the summer, their fights were often lethargic in the hot water. Long runs were nonexistent, and jumps were scarce. As river temps drop back down into the 70’s and even the 60’s, fish feeding activity will be sparked. Instead of a sloooow drag of the plastic worm, we can reunite with our spinnerbaits and jerkbaits, turn that reel handle, and expect some nice leaps and strong runs. And we don’t have to share these waters with as many recreational yakkers and tubers, as the water cools and schoolwork keeps them closer to home.
Our reservoir fish will be the slowest to respond, as these large lakes are “heat sinks” and take a long time to lose their stored summer heat (see “turnover facts;” http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Hatcheries/Buford).
Coolwater species like walleye, stripers, hybrids, and Burton brown trout will still be deep, where the temperature/dissolved oxygen combo suits them best, so we’ll still have to pay close attention to the reservoir profiles that WRD fisheries techs are measuring each month (Chris Looney’s out probing Lanier right now, as I write this lunchtime report).
The transition to fall is also marked by many upcoming festivals. We’re no different as we prepare for National Hunting and Fishing Day next Saturday (9/26), which is also a free fishing day for all Georgia residents. http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/FreeFishingDays
Take note of the events at the end of this report and make a family plan to attend one next Saturday.
It looks like we might have some warmer weather for the weekend, but that shouldn’t hold back our transition too badly. Grab your trout rod and squirrel gun and return to the mountains as they cool off. We’ll plan around our beloved football teams, but still find time to enjoy a great fall season of sights (pic2) and sounds in the outdoors. Let’s celebrate our survival through another hot summer and look forward to the cooler weeks ahead, in the woods.
Here we go:
· Stocker Best Bets:
Hit remote or rugged sections of our most heavily stocked streams and fish fast through them (two casts to a spot, then step upstream) to have a fine fall harvest of the stocking season’s leftovers. All one million trout we’ve stocked haven’t been found and caught yet, so go hunt them down. Just remember to cover a lot of ground. Best bets: lower Holcomb, Tallulah, Wildcat between the campgrounds, lower Warwoman, Cooper in the Scenic Area, lower Rock, away from the road, Hooch at Jones Bridge, and the upper half of Blue Ridge Tailwater.
Wild Trout Are Looking Up – Great report and fishing tips: New at headwater trouting? Don’t know what “histicking” means? Watch this video and catch more trout! Headwater trout are a definite “best bet” right now!
New Nottely Fish Condos – WRD says thanks to our partners, the US Forest Service and the Lake Nottely Improvement Association, for their recent helping hands toward homeless fish. http://www.lakenottely.org/
Young Yakkers Video – This will get your heart pumping.
Where’s the Summerville Blue Trout now? – See the 2:50 mark of this great video.
River Monsters – Thanks to David A. for this video fishing report.
Screaming Reels – Fall reservoir primer.
Sept 26 Events – Pass the word and plan to attend