(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)
Hopefully all of us survived this last monsoon and are anxiously awaiting river and stream flows to drop to sane levels. Smaller watersheds will “shed” water much more quickly, so keep that fact in mind as we peruse USGS Real Time stream flow gauges for Georgia and plot our weekend strategies. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt
Lakes aren’t affected as badly, except for the strong high pressure fronts and bluebird skies that follow the storms. Finned reservoir targets should have their appetites restored within a day or two of these big blows. Just watch for muddy waters from reservoir tribs and maybe fish downlake from the mud, unless you’re tossing some big, bright, loud largemouth bass lures.
Here we go.
Chattooga DH Report –
Rabunites Treyman and Dredger hit the DH last Sunday afternoon to break in young dude’s new fly rod, a recent birthday gift. The water was cold (46F) and the duo resorted to a classic winter recipe of “legs and eggs.” They caught a decent handful of rainbows up to eleven inches, primarily on the infamous “Oreck egg,” with a few fish having a taste for the brown Pat’s rubberlegs. Treyman perfected his new skills of dredging with a half-pound (slight exaggeration) of split shot to get down to the frozen fish on the bottom. It was a great afternoon of fishing and fibbing between two generations of Rabunites. Dredger suggested that visiting flatlanders consider switching to winter mode just a bit earlier than normal this year:
Smith Creek Success – Flyfishing noob “Anna,” under the tutelage of her buddy, Suzy, enjoyed last Saturday’s GA Women Flyfishers outing to Smith Creek DH at Unicoi State Park. Anna learned a little of this “dredging” stuff from a local troll, gave it a shot, and caught her first trout ever! The duo had a big time and planned more trouting trips to north GA.
NOTE: Interested gals oughta get adopted like Anna did. Lookie here at her grip-n-grin moment: http://www.georgiawomenflyfishing.com/
That could be you, so consider joining the Women Fly-flingers!
Epic Battle – Enjoy this tall trouting tale: http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=108757
Hudson at Hammonds – Saturday
I wanted to let you know about a special fishing event this Saturday — “Trout Fishing Day” at Hammond’s Fishing Center in Cumming, just east of Ga. 400!
I’ve been asked to present three workshops that day focusing on various aspects of trout fishing — one an introduction to fly fishing, one an introduction to fly tying, and one a program on Georgia’s Delayed Harvest streams. I’d love to have you come by for any or all of these. They’ll be fun…and they’re free!
I’m attaching a copy of the flyer which describes the event.
If you’re looking for something to do (yourself or with your family) this Saturday, by all means check these out. It should be a LOT of fun!
Hope to see you there!
Lanier Stripers – Henry’s How-to: http://coastalanglermag.com/emags/atlanta/#p=30
Lanier Bait Sources – If you’re looking for Lanier fishing news, hot lures, or lively baits, here are some great local leads:
- East: https://www.facebook.com/Oakwood-Bait-Tackle-484469974916728/
- West: http://www.hammondsfishing.net/
- North: https://www.facebook.com/Sherrys-Bait-Barbecue-673188899372036/
Ken’s Detailed Reservoir Reports – http://www.southernfishing.com/current-fishing-report.html
WRD Walleye Whereabouts – http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Yonah
FYI- LWCF Reauthorization Hearings – http://lwcfcoalition.org/about-lwcf.html
Flight of the Magnum Trout Bird – In response to recent citizen reports, expert analysis was done on existing photographic data and eyewitness accounts,
and the results are now in: http://rabuntu.org/site/2013/11/11/helicopter-stocking-the-chattooga/
The SCDNR fish went in last week and our Georgia contribution took its ride this week, according to this reliable source:
“On November 16th, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service stocked nearly 10,000 trout with the aid of a helicopter. This effort was made in order to stock fish in remote areas that are inaccessible to our stocking trucks. Funding for this stocking was provided by the U.S. Forest Service and Trout Unlimited.”
John Lee Thomson
Trout Stocking Coordinator
GA Wildlife Resources Division
Note how YOU can help ensure further Chattooga UFO sightings:
Be a part of the success story.
Whether you’re of the spin or fly persuasion, good luck!
(Astute fishing report readers picked up a hint last week.)
Reminder- Nov 24 – Atlanta Bucket Toters Wanted – Calling all kids with buckets and fishing poles:
The Power of Barbie – How about this video to send us toward the holiday with a positive spirit and love for family?
Once again, dry out and get out there. The Chattooga bird has flown and the Lanier stripers are making guest appearances on top, so the rest is now up to you. Before you know it, winter will scare you back into those warm living room chairs, so go soon.
Good luck, and thanks for buying your licenses!
(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)
Saltwater is on fire right now, especially for seatrout. Unfortunately, November is a month you can typically only fish the big water a couple days per week because of high winds. Get the boat ready to go so that you can get out on the good weather days. Pond fishing has really picked up for crappie. Full Moon is November 25th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.
Altamaha River – Donna at Altamaha Park said that the crappie bite was still really good before the river started rising. On Friday a 2-person crew caught crappie and big bream in lakes off the river. A white Satilla Spin landed most of their crappie, while Georgia Giant worms fooled many of the bream. On Saturday the bite came to a screeching halt with the dropping temperatures, rising water, and wind. The upper river is too high for effective fishing with the big slug of water making its way to us from the upper basin. Channel and white catfish catches have been good and will continue throughout the winter in the Darien area. Put shrimp on the bottom to connect. The river level was 12.5 feet (a record high level for the date) and rising (60 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 9.8 feet and rising (66 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on November 17th.
Satilla River – The river came up fast this week but is heading back down again. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the best bet this week is the Hwy 158 area of the river, as it is falling fast there. The catfish bite has been good for the anglers who went in the upper river. A few folks caught crappie and bass while the river was rising. Buzzbaits fished fast fooled the bass, while minnows duped the crappie. The river level on November 17th at the Waycross gage was 10.0 feet and falling (62 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 8.4 feet and rising.
St. Marys River – The St.Marys is still very fishable. With the warm temperatures this week, the bream have been killing crickets. Anglers reported creels of around 20 fish per trip this week. Some crappie were caught on minnows, and catfish are still being caught about wherever you drop a shrimp, rooster liver, or pink worm. The river level at the MacClenny gage on November 17th was 2.4 feet and falling.
Okefenokee Swamp – Anglers reported catching some warmouth this week on the Folkston side. Expect the flier bite to pick up with the cooler temperatures this weekend. Pitch yellow or pink sallies with a bream-buster pole, and suspend the little fly underneath a small balsa float to keep it in their face. Check out Craig James’ article about warmouth fishing on the swamp in the November issue of Georgia Outdoor News.
Local Ponds – Chad Lee caught 4 nice bass up to 4 pounds this weekend on chrome Rat-L-Traps. He also broke a big one off and could hear it shaking its head under the boat for what seemed like forever. That’s a bad feeling! He also added a nice mess of crappie to the creel by throwing jigs. Michael Winge said that Waycross area ponds were producing good catches of crappie and bass. Both minnows and jigs fooled the crappie, while free-lined shiners worked best for bass.
Saltwater (GA Coast) – Herb Deener, my dad, and I fished with Justin Bythwood last Wednesday at Crooked River to celebrate their birthdays. What a celebration it was! We landed 58 seatrout and a bluefish, all on artificials. Early in the day, a Sea Shad suspended under an Equalizer Float fooled them best. Panhandle moon, copperhead, glitterbug, Texas roach, and sexy shad worked on the first of the outgoing tide around shell mounds. The fish were not too picky about color, but wanted you to place it near the shell mounds. Late in the trip as the tide got low, Justin put it on my dad and me. He threw a copperhead Sea Shad on an 1/8-oz. Flashy Jighead and whacked them. He caught and released our biggest fish of the day, a 21-incher on the rig. I threw a larger red Flashy Jighead and could not fool them. They wanted that little, subtle bait fished on a steady retrieve. We ended up bringing home 36 trout, although we had our limit of 45 that were legal size. We caught fish everywhere we stopped, but the first of the outgoing and just before low tide were the most concentrated bites. The trout bite was excellent for another group of Waycross anglers who fished on Monday and brought home 17 nice seatrout from the Brunswick area. Michael Winge reported that Waycross anglers caught lots of sheepshead from jetties, pilings, and bridges. Fiddler crabs were the best bait. He also reported good catches of trout, redfish, and whiting from the Brunswick and St. Marys areas. The Hampton River area produced good catches of trout, redfish, and flounder. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that sheepshead averaging 3 to 5 pounds were caught in big numbers from the pier this week. Creels of 6 to 12 fish were the norm. Big bull reds to 54 inches were caught again this week at night. On Tuesday, anglers landed a few trout. Nice-sized blue crabs were still around. You can monitor the marine forecast at www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/.
Best Bet: Trout fishing has been excellent, but keep a close eye on the winds before deciding to go. This weekend’s forecasted cold front should get the crappie biting. Try to fish before the front for the best bite, as the fish will likely turn off for a day or so after the front. Ponds are a great place to get away from the winds this weekend. Fish late in the afternoon for your best shot at a good bite. Catfishing on the lower St. Marys River or White Oak Creek on the lower Satilla is an excellent bet if the winds aren’t too high. Put shrimp on the bottom at the mouth of creeks during the outgoing tide and hold on.
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