(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant)
Big Lazer PFA – Largemouth bass: Slow – a few bass are being caught on buzz baits. Also, plastic worms fished around the deep-water by the picnic area and around the newly repaired fishing pier may produce a few good bites. Remember to fish plastic baits slower now that water temperatures are cooler.
Crappie: Poor- A few crappie are being caught in deeper water but they are difficult to locate and target. Live minnows and bright colored jigs work the best.
Bream: Slow- Bream fishing has been slow. Target areas that have structure like woody brush and blow downs associated with it. In the fall, the best strikes may be in water 6 to 8 feet deep. Crickets and small worms may produce a few late season bream. Fishing with light tackle can make bream fishing more exciting. However, make sure the hooks are small because the bream have small mouths.
Channel catfish: Slow- A few catfish are still being caught on livers. Fish the livers at or almost at the bottom and at several different locations around woody structures and the rocks around the dam.
In general, the weather has turned colder and the bite has become less consistent. Anglers have to be more patient and persistent to have a good catch. However, fall weather means many anglers are hunting this time of year thus less fishing pressure for the dedicated angler. Finally, the repair work on the old wooden fishing pier has concluded and is ready for use. Some of the fishing pier’s upgrades include sitting benches, rod holders, shelves for tackle, and gaps in the railing for landing fish.
Additional information at http://www.gofishgeorgia.com/PFA/BigLazer
McDuffie PFA – Largemouth Bass: Fair. Overall, Bass fishing has started to improve due to cooler water temperatures. A fisherman reported he caught and released a chunky 3-pound bass in Lake Willow. Willow Lake remains the lake with most potential for quality and quantity, followed by Breambuster which also has chunky bass. Rodbender (our trophy bass pond) closed at sundown on November 15th. This lake has been setup with multiple bait species for optimum feeding conditions for the all-female largemouth bass. The shad spawn was weak and no big schools of shad have been seen on any of the lakes. The hardcore bass fishermen are still fishing with hopes of hooking into a McDuffie PFA lunker. All legal Bass on McDuffie PFA must be 14 inches in length to be kept my anglers.
Bream: Fair. Best ponds have been Bridge and Jones for good catches. Fishermen were catching bream on the dam of Lake Bridge by bottom-fishing. The Bream can still be found around structure and aquatic plants as the weather cools but the bite will slow down as winter approaches. The best baits for catching bream are still red wigglers/worms fished deep in the lake channels as the water cools. Patience and finding the bream locations is the key catching bream during cold weather.
Channel Catfish: Bite is good! All lakes with the exception of Rodbender have been restocked with catchable-size channel catfish. Catfish are biting well but fishermen must find the right lake. The catfish bite should be good until water temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Fishermen reported the catfish bite well during last hours of daylight. The best fishing is on the bottom in shallow to deep water using chicken liver, worms, stink-baits.
Striped Bass: Stripers like cooler temperatures and the cooler the better. Striped Bass are located only in Bridge and Clubhouse Lakes. There has not been much striper activity seen but they will be chasing forage species in the coming winter months.
Additional Information: http://www.gofishgeorgia.com/PFA/McDuffie
Lake Russell (full, clear, low 60’s) – Bass fishing is fair. Early morning buzz baits and spinner baits are working along with top water baits. The crank bait bite is not really good yet, but this will improve very soon. Number Ten X Raps are working with good results on the main lake points during the windy part of the day. The key will be to fish the sunny points first. At high noon, switch to jigs, worms and tubes to finish up the day. Be sure to have a Super Fluke and a Senko rigged for the afternoon bite around the rocks on the bridges and on reef makers.
Clark Hill (over full, low 60’s) – Bass fishing is fair. A top-water bite is occurring early along with a decent spinner bait bite. The main lake points are still getting a lot of attention at this lake. The best bite is coming off the #7 Shad Rap in and around these areas. The key will be to fish a point or drop off thoroughly before moving on to your next location. Try a variety of baits before moving on to another location. Long points are still the best bet. Good baits to pack before heading out include the 3/8 ounce Strike King spinnerbait in white or chartreuse, the DT10 Shad Rapala as well as the olive green or glass ghost for the early morning feed. Don’t be afraid to use a jig or Carolina rig on the submerged wood, tree tops or stumps. There are some good bass being caught off various forms of wood especially low to up-lake.
Lake Oconee (full, the main lake is heavaly stained, clearing on the south end) & Richland Creek (lightly stained, 60-66 degrees) – Bass fishing is fair. The backs of the creeks like Lick and Sugar have been the most productive over the past week. A spinnerbait fished along sea walls and docks can work so fish to the back of the creeks. Chartreuse has been the best color. A low running crank bait fished around the docks and wood structure have also been productive. Jigs fished along the riprap in these creeks is also working when Georgia Power is pulling water.
Striper report by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time guide service. Call 404-803-0741 firstname.lastname@example.org
Striper fishing is good. The stripers are in the major coves and creeks looking for bait, and cleaner water. Use your Lowrance to locate the schools of bait in the creeks and drop a live bait down in to the fish. Live bait and spoons have both been producing over the past week.
Crappie fishing is fair. The fish are in the mouths of the creeks and large coves. They have moved into the timber and you can find them with your Lowrance in the top of the trees. When you find them drop a live minnow into the school and start catching. Some fish are also coming on jigs trolled at a depth of 10 ft. over the same timber.
West Point Lake (down 1.4 feet, stained & low 60’s) – Bass fishing has been fair. Spotted bass have been biting well lake-wide and depth dependent on water clarity. The northern end has a little more stain with the clearest water being on the southern end. Largemouth have been scattered which is unusual this time of year. A little rain fall should pull the larger fish up and hold on wood. The best pattern has been on shallow wood in three to five feet of water in the pockets. The best pockets have been from the railroad trestle to the 219 bridge. Use a 3/8 ounce All Terrain AT jig in black/blue with a Z man chunz. Also use the shaky head with a Z Man floating worm in green pumpkin. On cloudy days with an approaching front use a 3/8 ounce white buzz bait in the same areas.
Lake Sinclair (down 3.7 feet, low 70’s) – Bass fishing is fair and top-water baits continue to produce a few bites on most mornings and during low light conditions. Buzz baits to ½ ounce in black, chartreuse or white have been producing well. Other lures like Pop R’s, Chug Bug’s, and Torpedo’s have also enticed a few bites. Most active fish are now located in coves and creeks where they’ve followed large numbers of shad. For the last few days, soft plastics and jigs have been the most successful baits, with crank baits and spinnerbaits catching a few fish. Try a Zoom U Tale worm in green pumpkin, red bug, or June bug, with a 1/8 ounce weight rigged Texas style on 12 to 15 pound line. Cast these baits right on bank or sea wall and slowly retrieve it a short distance before reeling in and casting again. A 3/8 ounce jig with a Zoom Super Chunk will work too. Fish the stumps, blow downs, brush, and docks. Later in the day use a short leader Carolina rig. Crank baits like Shad Raps, Thunder Shads and Bandits can catch fish also. Fish a spinnerbait, especially around wood cover and during early morning. Riprap along the Little River channel continues to yield a few fish, mainly during power generation. Various crank baits will produce a few bites when the fish are active.
Jackson Lake (down 1.3 feet, stained & low 60’s) – Bass fishing is good. Quality size bass have moved into the pockets following the movement of bait fish. Focus more of your fishing in the pockets rather than the main lake. Long deep pockets may be most productive. We have been through a full moon phase and the bite after dark has been good, particularly for larger bass. A green jig/craw combo is ideal for targeting larger fish. Probe docks, brush, and other structure as you work the pockets. Texas rigged Finesse worms are also good for a bite and crankbaits should certainly be tried. A Bandit 200 and a #7 Shad Rap are good choices. Spinnerbaits and a small shad crank bait are good choices early and late. Use a white buzz bait on sea walls around shallow cover. Work your crank through wood, rocks, and around the docks. Always take the opportunity to work the wood cover and docks more thoroughly with your plastic and jig. Fish the shaky head rig for all-around plastic fishing, but Texas-rigged baits are preferable for working brushy cover. Finesse worms and crawfish patterns have been working on shallower rock, dock, and wood structure. Trick worms in watermelon seed will work on the shaky head. Throw the plastic baits and jigs into the wood cover and let it soak a while before working it up and out through the tree limbs. Shad are primary forage for good numbers of schooling bass. Look for seasonal congregations of bait in the deep pockets. Target the feeding bass with a crank bait and vertical presentations such as a spoon or plastic on a drop shot rig.