How was your turkey day? Did you consume enough calories for a whole month? Need to get out and work some of that lethargic feeling out? We know what you can do – Go Fish!
Looking for somewhere fun to take the family this holiday weekend – and still be able to talk about fishing? Visit the Go Fish Education Center in Perry. This facility provides you with fun activities, sound learning opportunities, ability to see a working hatchery, amazing aquariums representing Georgia waters and the fish found in each, and even a fishing pond to test out your skills! Note – the facility is open Friday & Saturday (9am-5pm) and Sunday (1 pm-5pm). More info found HERE.
This holiday weekend, we have a short report from both Southeast and North Georgia. Should you need information about other areas to fish, be sure to visit our Fishing Prospects where we detail great information about Georgia lakes and rivers!
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
I would like to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Seatrout, redfish, crappie, and bass fishing were tops this week. First quarter moon is November 26th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.
I didn’t receive any specific reports from the Altamaha this week, but I did get a great
report off the Ohoopee River, a tributary to the Altamaha. Corey Solomon and Allen Smith had a great day bass fishing, and Allen broke the existing river record by over a pound. Here is the report from Corey, “First trip ever to the Ohoopee River for us. Awesome experience on the first bite. Cast my Capt. Bert’s Dura-Spin into a pocket and a 3 1/2-pounder nailed it immediately. Another fish the same size started ramming it trying to snatch it away. I let them run so Allen could get cast in to get him, but when he cast just beyond them, a 5 1/2-pounder came out of nowhere and drilled his Dura-Spin. That third fish followed them all the way until we picked them out of the water. Man, that Dura-Spin stirred up the whole wolfpack.” They were throwing white Dura-Spin in-line spinners. They ended up with 5 bass and a chain pickerel (jackfish) for the morning, with the 5 1/2-pound river record topping their catch. The river level was 2.8 feet and falling (58 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.5 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on November 21st.
Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that anglers caught crappie by dragging minnows. The river level on November 21st at the Waycross gage was 4.4 feet and falling (62 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 3.2 feet and falling.
ST. MARYS RIVER
Catfish were the best bite this week, and shrimp or worms on the bottom were the best baits. The river level at the MacClenny gage on November 21st was 3.2 feet and falling.
The east side is still high, and the few anglers who went did not do well. On the west side, not many people went out fishing from boats, but anglers fishing the boat basin over the weekend caught quite a few catfish on shrimp and worms. The water level on the west side was 114.28 feet and the east side was 120.48 feet on Monday.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (NEAR TIFTON)
Davey Allen of Valdosta took Craig James fishing at Paradise PFA on Monday for a story that Craig is writing for Georgia Outdoor News (GON). The pair used NED rigs and small green pumpkin stick worms and fooled 14 bass up to 2 1/2 pounds. They fished really slowly behind the cold front, but the fish cooperated. Check out the story in the January issue of GON.
Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson had a great weekend, catching 40 bass in the 1 to 5 pound range. Both of them caught 5-pounders. Chad’s hit a moss boss frog fished over lily pads, while Daniel caught a pig on a shallow-diving sexy shad color crankbait. Throughout the weekend, their best baits were NED heads and stick worms, crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, jigs, and plastic crawfish. Michael Winge said that crappie were tops in Waycross area ponds, and minnows were the best bait.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
On Friday the redfish were chowing. A couple of Waycross anglers fished out of Crooked River and caught 25 keeper-sized redfish (they only kept their limit of 10). Sea shads fished on Flashy Jigheads and under Equalizer floats were the deal. On Saturday, another pair of anglers fished out of Crooked River and caught 37 trout and 2 redfish during the morning before the wind kicked up. Their biggest was a 19-incher. Their 2 redfish were 20 and 29 inches. Assassin Sea Shads underneath Cajun Thunder floats worked best for them. The most productive Sea Shad colors were Mississippi hippie and lemon candy, but the fish hit several colors. A pair of anglers fishing the Brunswick area reported catching sheepshead up to 4 pounds on Sunday behind the front. Sheepshead don’t seem to be affected by cold fronts as much as many other species. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.
For the Thanksgiving weekend, changing weather is forecasted. Winds will probably make saltwater a little bumpy, so finding some protected waters will probably be a good bet. Bass or bream in a pond will be a good option, as would bass fishing in one of our smaller rivers. Sheepshead fishing from a pier or bridge would be a good option in saltwater on the windy days. If winds allow, you should be able to catch a bunch of trout and redfish from our protected inshore waters.
(Fishing report courtesy of Jeff Durniak, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Best bets this holiday weekend: Delayed Harvest trout, Upper Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters trout, Vogel Lake trout, reservoir stripers under diving gulls, and some deep reservoir bass.
DH Stockers: Georgia’s DH streams received a pre-holiday redosing of fish, so this holiday week will be a great time to take a child or new angler trout fishing. The weather looks good. Just wait til mid-morning to arrive streamside, as the best fishing will be in that 11AM to 4PM window of highest daily water temperatures.
Chattooga Backcountry Copter Drops: Kudos to all players in our thirty-year partnership of copter-stocking the Chattooga backcountry from Burrells Ford down to Reed Creek. USFS Public Affairs specialist Steve B posted a great note and video on last week’s stocking effort. Hike-in anglers will enjoy the backcountry experience.
DH Stocking: (From fisheries biologist Pat Snellings) – This week we held our first Delayed Harvest volunteer bucket stocking on the Chattahoochee River at White Water and it was a huge success! We had a record turnout of over 100 volunteers who were eager to bucket 1500 rainbow, brown, and brook trout into the Chattahoochee River to later be caught by Georgia anglers.
We try to hold these stocking events near the holidays so parents can bring their young anglers along to learn a little bit about conservation and wet a line afterwards. If you missed this event don’t worry there will be another opportunity to help stock the Hooch on Presidents Day. A very special thanks goes out to National Park Service and North Georgia Trout Online for making sure these events go smoothly once the stocking truck arrives.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer for these and other events in the future be sure to click HERE.
I hope all our Georgia sportsmen and women have a great Thanksgiving! if you plan on hitting your favorite fishing spot over the holiday be safe and let us know if you catch a trophy!
DON’T LET POACHERS STEAL WILDLIFE FROM YOU
Reporting Poachers: Remember the 24-hr DNR LED ranger hotline: 800-241-4113
More advice on dealing with violators: Click HERE
NEED SOME LAKE INFO?
Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Click HERE for the latest reports.
Good luck during this long weekend. We here at WRD are thankful for your license purchases and for your conservation and youth education efforts. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone.