Don’t be worried about it being Friday the 13th – any day is a good day for fishing! 

Need a light? Well, if fishing on Lake Sinclair is in your near future – check this out: Night-time angling on Lake Sinclair just got easier thanks to a great partnership effort between Georgia WRD Fisheries, Georgia Power, and Hydro-Glow, Inc. (a Georgia-based fishing company) with the installation of these “under-the-pier” lights on the public fishing pier on Lake Sinclair at Hwy 441. The lights are designed for near-water installation, and will attract fish to the pier at night while making it easier for anglers to see and fish. More info on Sinclair Fishing HERE.



(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

We are entering some of the best fishing of the year, but effort has dropped off due to folks preparing to hit the woods for deer.  Last quarter moon is October 12th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.


Shane and Joshua Barber fished the Ocmulgee (a tributary to the Altamaha) last week and landed 3 nice bass. Reports from Jaycees Landing Bait and Tackle are that several 30 to 40-pound flatheads were caught by anglers using goldfish as bait on limb lines. Some quality crappie were landed by anglers using both minnows and jigs. Crickets have produced bluegills. Mullet fishing has picked up again with the dropping river. Red wiggler worms worked for them. Altamaha Park reports included crappie and channel catfish as tops. Minnows produced the crappie, while goldfish fooled the channel cats. The sandbars are exposed now, and the mullet bite has been steady this week. The river level was 1.8 feet and falling (82 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 3.3 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on October 9th.


I floated the upper river with my daughter (Ellie) this weekend, and the river level was almost perfect. We had to get out and drag around 2 new blowdowns and duck under another new one, but it wasn’t too tough. The water was a little stained, but very fishable. We ended up flinging Satilla Spins and catching 22 fish. Most were redbreasts and bluegills, and 3 were bass. The best color Satilla Spins (all were 1/8-oz. models) were red/white, bruised banana gold, and bruiser (in that order). Our bass were all sub-keepers, but our panfish were good-sized. Most were 7 to 9 inches. If recent rains don’t muddy the water, it should be great for floating for at least another week. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that big redbreasts are biting crickets suspended under small floats on warm afternoons. Crappie were fooled by anglers fishing minnows and jigs early in the morning. Buzzbaits (black, white, and white/chartreuse) have been fooling bass. Rooster livers and shrimp have accounted for some good catfish catches from deeper holes. The river level on October 9th at the Waycross gage was 5.8 feet and falling (78 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 5.3 feet and falling.


On Saturday, an angler reported catching 21 big bream on crickets. Another angler reported catching big bream on crickets on Sunday before the heavy rains set in. The catfish bite has been on fire for those fishing shrimp and worms on the bottom. Rains early in the week will bring the river back up, so catfishing will probably be the best option by the weekend. One angler estimated that it should be some great fall fishing by the time the river crests and falls back out. He suggested that it could be the best fall fishing in decades based on what he has seen here in the early fall. The river level at the MacClenny gage on October 9th was 8.4 feet and rising.


The water is still very high, but coming down. The fish are spread out in the flooded flats. I would give it at least another week before hitting the swamp again.


Horseshoe 3 Lake opened on Monday with a good bit of fishing pressure. About a dozen boats worked the 15 acres all morning, and lots of bass and bream were caught. Dean Barber of Nashville fished with a friend and landed (and released) 25 bass up to 3-lb. 6-oz. Very few fish were crashing the surface, but subsurface plugs and shallow crankbaits produced some fish early. The prime presentation, though, was a 6-inch Bass Assassin black worm. The second best was a tequila sunrise Culprit curly-tailed worm.


The number of reports from ponds dwindled this week as anglers put up their poles and flung arrows at deer and prepared their rifles for the upcoming deer season. Michael Winge said that crappie fishing has been good early in the morning. Minnows have been the best offering. Bass were caught with bubblegum Trick Worms and live shiners fished under a float.         


A couple of Blackshear anglers fished the Brunswick area on Tuesday and landed 3 keeper trout by flinging artificials. The water was muddy with the big tides that day, so that wasn’t a bad catch. Surf fishing has been producing some whiting and sharks. Fish shrimp for whiting and cut bait for sharks. By the weekend, tides should be down some and fishable, and wind predictions look good for inshore at the time of writing this. Make sure to check again closer to the weekend in case the forecast changes. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the big bull reds are still chowing cut bait fished from the pier. Some were in the 40-inch range. Trout were caught under the pier on jigs and live shrimp. Mudminnows have been producing flounder. Blue crabs have been numerous and willing to play cat-and-mouse with chicken necks tied to crab drop nets. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE .


The wind forecast is not good for the jetties through Sunday (east wind makes it really bumpy!), but inshore should be decent. The tides are coming back down, so trout and redfishing inside is a great option. The rivers are in good shape for panfishing and bass fishing, so consider a float trip on the Satilla or fishing from a boat on the other rivers. Pond fishing should continue to be very consistent for whatever species you like to chase.


(Fishing report courtesy of Jeff Durniak, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

My apologies, as I had announced the beginning of fall in my last report.  Who knew that summer would simply not quit, and hang around with us at least until early next week.  It’s hard to believe that it’s mid-October and that we’re still slathering sunscreen on our cheeks to fend off the rays from eighty-degree days.  At least it looks like another attempted fall start is on its way next week.  Maybe this one is serious, as I’m seeing forty-three degrees predicted!

In the meantime, you have a mix of summer and fall opportunities for this weekend.  Just know where you’re going and how the hot, dry weather is affecting the fish habitat, and you’ll do well.  For example, the post-Nate bass river flows have dropped and water temperatures are still warm enough for a good bite, so take advantage of these bonus weeks for wet-wading and floating.


For trout stealth, thin tippets, and bushy orange stimulators at high elevations will still be the ticket in the mountains.   Bigger waters are starting to cool, so make some plans to hit places like the Jacks and Chattooga in Ellicott Rock WA, in addition to bluelining.  You might even go long for surf and turf- Smokies trout and elk-watching.

Streamer-chucking for the tailwater’s big browns, stirring from their summer slumbers and now on the hunt for dates, should pick up.  Tailwater rainbow trout catch rates will slowly dip, given the Labor Day-end of our stocking season, but the wild (Hooch) and holdover (Toccoa) browns will compensate for those anglers skilled enough to fool them.  Tip: match the hatch!  For the little guys, turn over bottom boulders and match the size and color of the bugs: typically midges, small stones, and maybe a few caddis.  For the big guys, the hatch is their little brothers or stray rainbow stockers, so throw something that represent enough calories to convince a big brown to leave its lair.  Check out, “I went back.”

And the reservoir stripers are sensing shorter days and feeling some slightly cooling surface temperatures, so they’re coming up.  Yesterday Terry Richards at Sherry’s Bait and BBQ told me that he’s selling a lot of gizzard shad, planer boards, and topwater lures, so the topwater bite on Lanier has indeed started.  I’ll bet most fish are still below Browns Bridge, as they slowly break away from their summer deepwater refuges near the dam.  They should soon spread all over the lake again.  Commuting to work this week, I’m seeing bait schools on the surface, and some breaking fish in the mouths of Sardis and Ada, so the upstream migration has begun.  And if Lanier is showing topwater action, it should be in full swing on the mountain lakes like Nottely and Chatuge.  Have those Bomber Long A’s and Something Else flies ready!

Okay, pick your season, summer or fall.  Here we go:



Bass: (This Bass fishing report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley, 770-542-7764) –Well that stuff I said last week about fall finally being here I was wrong! It has felt like summer all week with the high temps and humidity. It has made the fishing a little tougher for sure. I don’t think they like these hot spells we have had over the past few weeks. When the water is cooling the bite is strong. When it’s warming however, in October for goodness sakes, the bite suffers. Not as many fish are up shallow as should be by this time of year. I think once we finally start a cool down and return to more seasonal weather, you will find the bite improves dramatically. It’s not bad now, it’s just not what it should be. Yet. You will still find the majority of the spots at the mouths of creeks around points and humps. There continues to be a good schooling bite just after daylight in these major creek mouths around points and humps. After that, we have been focusing on running brush in those same locations. Stay back off of these locations further than you normally would, as you may find some schooling through the day over the deeper water as you approach these humps and points. Be on alert as soon as you take the boat off plane, as the schooling can initiate quickly after your arrival. We have been throwing 3 things most days all day: top water, swimbaits, and a fluke. A Sebile and a Spook have worked well on the schooling fish. If the fish are chasing smaller bait fish, try a spy bait. Any top water lure you like is potentially viable through the day (as long as you throw it in the right place), and the afternoon bite has actually been better than the morning bite of late. Here are the open dates I have left in October. Please note these dates have changed due to cancellations: 17, 18(PM), 19(PM) 27, 30, and 31. Give me a call and let’s get out and have some fun. You really do not want to miss this incredible top water and swimbait action.

Striper: (This Lake Lanier Striper report is from Big Fish On Guide Service) — Striper fishing is fair. The good news is the fishing should improve this week. Schools of surfacing fish are beginning to showing up in the early morning from the Browns Bridge to the Dam. The action is fast and the Stripers do not stay on the surface very long. If you see surfacing fish reject the temptation to roar up to them with the big motor. You will spook the fish and they will move off. Instead move to within 50 yards at idle speed and then use your trolling motor to get into casting range. A 5/8 ounce buck tail jig with a fluke continues to work well. Your traditional top water baits like Spooks, Red fins and Chug Bugs will also work. You can also use a light spinning rod to pitch a blueback Herring into a school of feeding Stripers for some exciting action. You should also deploy a Blueback Herring on a free line out the back of the boat. As the sun gets up the fish have been moving to deeper water and will suspend 30 to 50 feet deep over a 70 to 100 foot bottom. Use your Lowrance Structure Scan to locate the fish in the trees and deploy down rods to get deep to these suspended fish. The key for this week is to stay flexible and be prepared to fish deep and/or shallow. The water is clear in the creeks and main lake. The weather forecast for cooler temperatures this week should allow the water temperature should dip below 70 degrees which will only increase the top water bite and help complete the turnover process. Look for the some of the stripers on the south end to move mid lake and north this week. The water temperature is in the low 70’s. The water is lightly stained in the creeks and clear on the main lake. The lake is 5.75 feet below full pool.

Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) — Fall is here (sort of) and Crappie Fishing is on the rise! After the above normal average temperatures this week, water temperature is nudging back up close to 80 degrees, with early morning surface temps a little cooler. The lake has begun to turn over, and if you are fishing the northern part of the lake, you’ll notice the gas bubbles coming off the bottom. You’ll also notice that the bait is starting to move north. That being said, there are still a lot of fish holding in some areas on the south end of the lake, and fishing is good in Four Mile Creek and Six Mile Creek. Standalone brush piles in twenty to thirty feet of water are producing best. Your Lowrance down scan and side scan electronics play a big part in finding fish. Some brush piles will hold a lot more fish than others. Soft body jigs and hair jigs are producing equally well, such as Bobby Garland jigs. If you prefer a hair jig, Jiffy Jigs are still my preference. The fish are holding tight to the brush, and you can expect to lose a few jigs in the trees, so always carry extras. The bigger fish are scattered, but the smaller fish are in abundance and willing to bite. You may have to try six or eight brush piles, but when you find them, the fun is on! Don’t get discouraged, just keep moving until you find them. It’s always a good idea to have several spots in mind to try when you head out. The number of the smaller fish that we are seeing indicates that our lake is healthy and producing new crappie. Until we have water temps consistently in the low 70’s, the bigger fish will remain more difficult to catch. Be safe on the water! Wear your life jacket, it can save your life!


Bass: (This Bass fishing report is from tournament angler Matt Driver) –Bass fishing on Lake Allatoona is good right now and only getting better. With water temperatures in the high 70s fish are feeding and active. There has been a good jig bite shallow and mid depth. With all the lakes docks scan any of the many lakes docks check them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and look of the fish suspended under the docks. No fish, don’t fish it. The 3/8 ounce Kaci’s Custom and bull bluegill, as well as Brown tipped with a Big Bite green pumpkin trailer. Around cover, brush and shallow did you areas are working best. We use a medium heavy 6 foot three jig rod with 15 pound Sunline sniper Fluorocarbon. Serval fish are being caught on a jig head as well. There has been a decent top water bite. The Whopper Plopper, buzz bait bite, And soft plastic jerk bait are working great. Right now black or white Seems to be all you need. A very typical call pattern.

Striper/Hybrids: (This Lake Allatoona fishing Guides Report for striper and hybrids is by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service, 770-827-6282) –Line side fishing good and the bite is starting to pick up. It will get better as we head into fall. The fish are really starting to move up on the flats and points from Clear Creek north to Little River. Our best bite has been fishing big threadfins just off the bottom on the flats on most main lake points early and then again right before the sun goes down. As we move into the month, the bigger stripers and hybrids will start to show up on the main lake. The flat line and planer board bites will start to take off. Middle to large gizzard shad will be your best bet for big fish. If you’re after numbers, large threadfins will work best. Fall is one of the best times of the year for spooning. I normally have my best luck on a 1/2 oz. white Flex it spoon fished right off the bottom. November is just around the corner. And is one of my favorite months to fish Lake Allatoona. The summer boat traffic is over, and with deer season being in full swing, not too many people are on the lakes. It’s just a peaceful time of the year to wet a line.


Bass: (This bass fishing report is by Josh Panyard) –Most areas of the main lake are clear with some of the backs of the creek arms having stained water to them. The water temperatures are in the mid 70’s. The bite continues to get better out there. We have had to continue to work deeper water from 20 feet all the way out to 45 feet. We are fishing humps, major creek arm points, and main lake points and the key with all of these areas is that they have to have some really deep water next to them specially a ledge which has been a key component. We have had some blow ups on top water and the fish are starting to feed a little better on top. Don’t forget to have a weightless fluke on deck if it is calm you can get them to eat it and if it is windy throw the fluke on a weighted hook you can get that extra bite doing so. One key for us was to find the bait once we found out what depth the bait was holding at we would work the key structure in that area at the same depth as the bait. The key is to be patient and keep moving if we do not get bit within 10 to 15 minutes we would go and with this cooler weather at night the fish are going to start their fall migration. Remember this time of year is all about the bait find it and you are more than likely going to find the fish. The lake is still low and there are a lot of objects sticking up out of the water and not marked so be safe out there and we hope to see you on the water.


Dredger slipped out at dawn on Saturday, right before T.S. Nate swayed north Georgia trees and dumped several inches of rain on the mountains later that day.  The upper Hooch was low and clear and the catching was a bit slow as he force-fed a small handful of shoalies some big, white, homemade poppers.

Best fish of the morning, around 12 inches, was bagged on the infamous brown hairy fodder.  As the sun rose and sent the fish toward cover, Dredger completed his bottom-bouncing through a deep, slow run.  As he began his swooping pickup for the next cast, the fly didn’t budge, and an accidental shoalie was attached to it.  Hey, he isn’t proud and will take them any way they come.  The fish was dressed for success; hope you like his colors.

By the way, the best fish hooked was not seen.  It inhaled the popper in a shallow, shady, bankside flat, known for a fish around 10-11 inches.  The big boy engulfed the popper in a striper-sized swirl and scared ole Dredge.  In true Buck Fever form, he reared back and set the hook like he had fifty pound braid to rip a 4/0 hook thru a 9-inch plastic worm.  Of course, the eight-pound tippet snapped at the popper with a “ping,” and the waves quickly subsided.  As he sat there, dejected, he looked upstream at the scene of the embarrassment.  And, blip, up popped his popper, and that consolation prize drifted downstream into his waiting hand.  He swore he heard underwater chuckles, and therefore vowed a rematch.  And maybe some 15-pound tippet….


One Busy Biologist! WRD fisheries biologist John Damer has been there, done that over the last two weeks.  Enjoy his trip reports:

  • WRD Fisheries staff led a team of over 20 professionals and volunteers from WRD Game Management, US Forest Service, Forest Watch, and the Nature Conservancy to sample the fish populations of the Jacks and Conasauga Rivers in the Cohutta Wilderness Area in Fannin County.  These remote sites had not been sampled since 2001.  The results of the sampling, still being analyzed, will be used to assess the effects of recent drought and wildfire on trout and other species.
  • WRD Fisheries staff stocked 992 fingerling lake sturgeon raised at the Go Fish Education Center into the Oostanaula River as part of a continuing effort to restore the species to its native waters.  The fish were from two different year-classes and ranged from 4 inches to 18 inches.  Approximately 50 third-graders from Floyd County Schools assisted in stocking these fish.  Local news media and WRD Public Affairs staff were on site to document the stocking event.
  • WRD Fisheries staff recently stocked another 1,453 smallmouth bass into Blue Ridge bass smb stocking Blue Ridge Damer 10-10-17smallLake, bringing the total for this year to over 8,541 fish.  The latest batch of fish was raised at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, GA.  These “phase 2” fingerlings were bigger than those stocked earlier this year, averaging an impressive 4 inches.  This larger size should help them avoid predation, and increase their survival and contribution to the unique smallmouth bass fishery in Blue Ridge Lake.


Delayed Harvest Prep: Any fly tiers out there should ensure a healthy supply of the fly called Pat’s Rubberlegs.  It’s a killer on fresh stockers and also mighty appealing to wild and holdover fish.  Use it as the first fly in a dropper rig, with a small pheasant tail trailer 18 inches behind it.  The legs are tough to tie, so here’s some tips that I found on

Black and mottled brown are my favorite colors: Here is why 

Help a Vet: If you’ve “taken” enough photos, stories, and lifetime memories from our Georgia fisheries resources and finally feel like you’d like to give a little back to this resource and the sport, the next few stories demonstrate some great opportunities.  Find your volunteer niche, give it a shot, and you’ll soon realize that creeling a bunch of smiles is often as satisfying as catching fish yourself.  Try it; you’ll like it!!!  Ask any Sept 23 Adventure Day volunteer, like NGTO’s Big T or Trout R.  Wanna help a vet who served our country?  There’s a spot for you in Georgia’s Healing Waters.

Like Chili? TU Chili Cook-Off

Chattooga DH- The Partnership for Better Parking (Excerpt from Rabun TU’s October newsletter): Parking and access to the trails going up both sides of the River got a little better this summer thanks to the USFS folks and four of the local TU chapters in Ga and SC. The parking areas on both sides of the Chattooga Delayed Harvest (DH) section at the HY 28 bridge received much needed surface grading followed by installation of a top-surface finish of “crusher run” gravel.

The project was completed on June 21 by USFS labor/equipment and with funds for the gravel provided by the four local TU chapters: Rabun and Foothills chapters in Georgia and the Chattooga and Mountain Ridge chapters in South Carolina. The SC highway #28 access portion was also improved by SC DOT for better/safer access into the parking lot. Surface grading by USFS folks in advance of the gravel place-ment has significantly improved the surface drainage for both sites and should give fishermen and other trail enthusiasts a better parking site from which to access the DH section of the River. (Rabunite Wayne Prosser reporting) 

  • Rabun Trout Unlimited: Website for this fine bunch of hillbilly “givers,” who welcome new members, is HERE.
  • Learn to Speak Rabunite: Be sure to learn their dialect first so you’ll understand the secrets they bestow upon you.

Shout-Out to Our Girl Champs: Fishing is pure joy.  Fishing is hydrotherapy.  My close Rabunite friend often uses this quote, “fishing is life; the rest is just details.”  Enjoy this heartwarming story and beautiful photo album of our latest, greatest bunch of Trout Tacklers, the Met4 Divas, courtesy of Orvis senior writer and former Georgia Bulldog lineman Paul Fersen!

And a special thanks to Beverly Booth and all of her volunteers who made this wonderful weekend at Smithgall Woods happen.  For any of you past and future donors to Casting for Recovery, Paul’s story is a generous return on your investment.  And for us all, it is an inspirational reminder to live each day to its fullest.  And each day is certainly better with a fishing pole in our hand!

Good luck this week.  And if you get skunked, it’s still okay.  It was a pretty day to be outside. At least that’s what I’m telling myself after THIS.   Sometimes, fishing even beats football.

Sincerely, Forty-One to Zip


(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant


Bass fishing is fair and there is a fair top-water bite all day.  Use all white buzz baits and spinnerbait early along grass lines.  Keep moving and leave the trolling motor on high and cover a lot of water.  If fish miss the baits, come back to them with a Zoom speed worm in June bug and pull the baits really fast on the surface.  Mid-day after the current moves, get on the ledges and drag a long leader and any green bait made by Zoom.  If they turn on, go to the June bug and red bug trick worms and then throw the #7 pearl Shad Rap on 10-pound line.


Bass fishing is good.  The upriver fish are biting in the creeks mouths and a Bang a Lure in gold black back or a buzz bait in all chartreuse will draw strikes.  After the sun is high use a 1/2 ounce spinner bait with gold and silver willow leaf blades.  Scan any of the many lakes docks with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and look for the fish suspended under the docks.  Up the rivers flip a large worm or spinner bait around the banks and drop them into the cuts under the big trees right on the bank.  The fish are on grass lines, points and docks all day.  The river is still stained and use a bright Stanley spinner bait with all white or chartreuse blades in the willow leaf style.


Lake Oconee is full, the water temperature is 75-78 degrees.  Most of the lake is clear with some stain up the rivers.  Bass fishing is fair to good.  There is a strong top-water bite from the I-20 Bridge south to river bend.  White buzz baits fished along sea walls and bridge rip rap have been producing well at first light.  Then switch to a small crank bait or rattle trap; fish these around boat docks and the deeper sea walls.  In the afternoon when Georgia Power is pulling water the bridge rip rap have been producing good catches with crank baits fished in 5 to 10 feet of water.  You can still catch fish on the deep water humps on the south end of the lake with deep running crank baits.  Fish these baits from the top of the humps into the deeper water.

Striper fishing is very strong early in the morning on the pump back at the dam.  Spoons have been the best bait at the dam.  The large schools of fish have not returned to the lake as of this time.  If we can get some cool weather and rain and wind the larger stripers will return to the main lake and they will be looking for the large schools of bait.  When this happens use your Lowrance to locate the large school of bait, the stripers will not be far away.  At this time live bait will be the best bait to use.

Crappie fishing is good to very good.  The fish are still on the submerged timber from 5 to 15 feet deep.  Use your Lowrance to locate the trees with the most fish on them and then drop live bait or jigs into the top of the tree.  This will produce good catches of crappie.


Bass fishing is fair.  The best bet is to head to the river.  Look for points that stick right out in the river above the 109 bridge.  Throw ½ ounce tandem blade spinnerbait in shad or chartreuse and blue colors.  f all else fails, get out the Shad Raps.  Work the 3/8 ounce Stanley jigs with Zoom Fat Albert twin tail trailer in green pumpkin and this can be a good all day bait.  Pitch and also swim them to visible cover.  It’s a fisherman’s choice right now.  Pick a technique and stick with it and you’ll catch fish.


Bass fishing is fair.  More bass are moving toward the creeks and coves.  Early morning top-water action is good and possibly getting better.  Most any surface lure could catch a few fish, but buzz baits are really starting to shine.  A good approach is to have at least 2 baits ready to use, one a 1/8 to ¼ ounce model, and the other a 3/8 to ½ ounce size.  Generally a white or chartreuse white bait is good, but black, June bug, or other dark colors can be better at times, especially on cloudy days.  Scan any of the many lakes docks with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and look for the fish suspended under the docks.  No fish, don’t fish it.  Try using multiple casts to the same likely looking cover.  At times, many of the fish will not strike at the first or second offering.  Other baits like a Sebile Swimmer, Pop R or Chug Bug can also be best on any given day.  Docks and boathouses are holding some large fish that are hitting jigs and large worms.  Lightweight Texas rigs and jig head and worm rigs may catch more fish from the docks, but the jig and large worms should catch one or two kickers.  Rat L Traps and shallow to medium running crank baits are catching a few fish now.


Bass fishing is fair.  Stick with the 12 to 18 foot depths all day.  The good catches of fish are still coming off the old river channel.  Texas rig Zoom u tails in natural blue and Poes 300 cedar shad bait.  Naturally, early and late is the best.  Fish docks with a dark worm on a light Texas rig and doodle the baits.  Small top-water lures early and late on the banks is barely fair.  Fishing up in the narrow rivers is also another good place to find bass.  Jig, worms and deep diving crank baits is just about all that you will need.  Brown and green combinations of jigs and worms along with a little bit of chartreuse Garlic Dip N Glow added to the tail.


  • Surface water temperature: 74o F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 21”
  • Water level: Water level is down 10” from full pool

Bass: Good –Anglers should try minnow-like baits fished a good ways off the bank while varying the depths.  Also, plastic baits like worms and crawfish fished around the deep water by the picnic area and around the fishing pier may produce a few good bites.  Remember to fish plastic baits slower when water temperatures are cooler.

Crappie: Poor- A few Crappie are being caught in deeper water but they are difficult to locate and target.  However, Crappie fishing may improve the deeper we get into the fall.  Try live minnows and bright colored jig.

Bream: Good – Bream fishing has been good.  Target areas that have structure like woody brush and blow downs associated with it.  Try the backs of coves and inlets around the lake edges.  Crickets and small red and pink worms are excellent live bait for bream.  Bream fishing is a good choice when fishing with youngsters.  Also, 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: Fair- A few good cats are being caught.  The rocks along the dam usually hold large cats most of the year.  However, catfish are also located throughout much of the lake.  Catfish favor live worms and livers.  Try fishing both on the bottom and at several different depths but always remain low in the water column.

In general, the weather has remained hot but should be cooling down some.  Fishing has improved slightly but anglers need to be patient and versatile for fishing Big Lazer in the fall.  However, many anglers are hunting this time of year, which means less fishing pressure for the dedicated angler.


  • McDuffie Public Fishing Area: Water temperature range across lakes: 81-82 ⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 13 – 54 inches

Bass: Bass fishing has remained steady across the PFA.  The bass are chasing the shad in Lake Willow so increased feeding activity should translate into better fishing.  As the fall temperatures settle in the bass fishing should improve until the water temperatures drops below 50 degrees.  One angler reported landing a 6 pounds plus bass this week. Lake Rod Bender, the trophy bass pond, is open year-round and anglers can harvest one bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer.

Bream: Steady.  The PFA’s anglers have reported they are still catching some bluegill and shell cracker around the PFA.

Channel Catfish:  The channel catfish bite has remained steady.  Catfish are biting especially well in Bridge Lake but can be caught in all PFA lakes.   A full fall stocking of channel catfish has been put into Lake Jones and Breambuster this week, so the catfish should be biting next week after settling down in their new home environment. The Lakes that have received a supplemental fall stocking of catchable size channel catfish are Jones, Willow, Clubhouse, Breambuster, Bridge, and Beaverlodge.

Striped Bass: No reports of stripers being caught in Lake Clubhouse or Bridge.  Stripers should begin biting once the water temperatures cool down to seventy degrees or below. Stripers are school feeders so if one striper is feeding they are all feeding.  Keep casting!