We have a lot of great fishing information for you today, including reports from Central, Southeast and North Georgia. So, sit back, read, make sure you got your fishing license and then GET OUT THERE and Go Fish Georgia! 

CENTRAL GEORGIA

(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.  

LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL, CLEAR, 60’S

Bass fishing is good.  There are lots of bass shallow and Flukes and the new Magnum Trick June Bug worms are working.  Spotted bass are being caught all over the lake.   Shad Raps, Ito Vision 110 stick baits, X Raps and all the regular plastics are hot.  With a little stained water change to bait’s with some chartreuse in them like the citrus colored Shad Raps.  Up in the creeks use a 3/8 ounce Strike King Spinner bait on anything on the bank and then add the dark colored Trick worm or a jig.  Sight fishing for bedding bass will be easy especially up in Rocky River.  As the water continues to warm, get a buzz bait on the banks especially afternoon’s. 

CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  The weather will cooperate and so will the bass and go shallow.  Go up the river for the more active fish.  Up the rivers, use a small craw worm and jig in dark reds or blacks.  It is a good idea to try the ½ ounce Strike King spinnerbait in bright blades and skirts and an all white Chatterbait.  Also flip a blue and black jig and pig combination late in the day.  The lower lake bass are up shallow and the Mann’s Baby Minus One crank bait and the Rattlin Rouge in clown color are both working.  For any soft plastic go to the pumpkinseed Zoom u tail worms and a Texas rig on points in the creeks at 8 feet or less.  Work any soft lures or live baits slowly.  On the dark overcast days, use a black Zoom trick worm on a super light Texas rig.  Never overlook a buzz bait all day, also. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, MID 60’S BY CAPTAIN MARK SMITH, REEL TIME GUIDE SERVICE

(Report From Reel Time Service): Lake Oconee is full, the water temperature is 60-64.  Muddy up the river, heavy stain on the north end of the lake, the south end is clear.  Richland creek is clear.   

Bass: The bass fishing as good.  The shad spawn is going on all over the lake.  Spinner baits have been producing over the past week.  Fish them from the middle of the coves to the out.  Sea walls and rip rap have been the best producer.  Match your spinner bait color to the water color.  White and chartreuse are the best all-around combinations.  Keep an eye on the sea walls and rip rap at first light; this is when you can see the shad spawn.  Small crank baits fish in the same areas will also be good producers.  There is also a worm bite under docks and around wood structure. 

Striper: Striper fishing is good.  The best location has been around the dam.  Some fish can be found in other locations on the south end but the dam bite is going strong.   Live bait fished on flat lines have been the way to catch these fish.  Fishermen are using bass minnows and shad.  Also pulling the mini Mack rigs in the afternoon has been the best producer that time of day.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair.  The spawn is all but over and the fish are starting to move back out of the coves and pockets.  Long lining has been the best producer over the past week.  Any jig color will work as long as it has chartreuse in it.  The fish are deep so you need to make sure you are getting your bait down to the fish.

WEST POINT LAKE IS 1.2 FEET OVER FULL, STAINED & 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  The lake is way up so watch for floating debris.  The bass are on the banks.  Zoom’s pumpkinseed lizard either on a Texas or Carolina rig has worked well.  Shad Raps and Bandit crank baits are good all day.  Upriver the dark blue jig and a Zoom salt trailer on the heavy bank cover can get a strike.  Stay close to the river current on points.  Buzz baits are working almost all day and use a silver blade and a white skirt.  It’s hard to beat the original Lunker Lure and can be good all day in the pockets lake wide.  The fish are at a lot of depths and moving shallow all day.  Watch the shallow for any shad schools and the bass are going to be there too.  The Rapala #5 Shad Raps in the shad and baby bass colors on 10-pound test line will load the boat.  Cast a Zoom Super Fluke in baby bas at them too.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN .73 FEET, STAINED, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  Water temperatures are still in the lower 70’s for the most part and current will be the key for that good bite this week.  Go down lake and work the docks and channel ledges with anything that resembles a crawfish.  Start off the morning with the crank baits.  Crawfish will need to be the color of choice here.  The Shad Rap in the brown crawdad is an excellent bait.  Use the smaller number five size for best results.  While cranking the channel ledges you can move up to the larger sizes but the docks and shallow water will work better with the smaller ones.  Perch is another great color and it’s time for these fish to be in the shallows to spawn.  Later on in the day if the boat traffic will allow, move out and throw a Carolina rig six-inch worm in the green pumpkin or pumpkin seed color.  Added scent will help the bass to hold on to the bait a little longer so use it often.  Some anglers are also using chartreuse dye to color the tail. 

LAKE JACKSON IS 0NE FOOT OVER FULL, 70’S

Bass fishing is very good and just spend all day fishing docks.  Start out early and use a jerk bait, a spinnerbait and a buzz bait.  After early top water stay in the creeks and fish the docks and any wood with Senko’s and Stick O’s on a 3/0 Mustad hook.  Add a nail weight to the center of the bait so it will sink and also use a light Carolina rig.  A Rapala DT 10 in hot mustard on ten-pound test Sufix line will also work.  There are fish biting up the river in the current and again stay shallow.  A Zoom trick worm is deadly on the shallow targets all day.  For a bigger fish, head up the river and use a 3/8 ounce Redemption spinner bait with white skirts and gold and silver blades a silver bade and white skirt buzz bait on anything on the edge of the water. 

FLAT CREEK PFA (More Information HERE)

The weather is in its warming phase, and the lake temperatures are beginning be more consistent from morning through evening.  The fishermen at Flat Creek have also noticed this with their catch rates.  Several anglers have reported great fishing for bream mid-morning, using crickets beneath a bobber.  One angler limited out on bream in under two hours, using all of his crickets and was even catching bream on the dead crickets!  The crappie are still biting but have moved off the shore into a little deeper water.  The bass fishing has been good with one angler catching and releasing two over five pounds!  There has been limited data on fishermen targeting catfish.  Here’s a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had success: 

Bass: Lucky Craft Kelly J Prop Baits in a Ghost Minnow fished near the aerators. Green Pumpkinseed, Plum or June Bug colored plastics in worm or crawfish. Buzz bait. 

Bream: Crickets or Red Wigglers fished 18”-36” beneath a bobber and near cover. 

Channel Catfish: The last anglers had success catching catfish using chicken livers, and uncooked shrimp. 

Crappie: Minnows (worked well for catching smaller Crappie), a Rocket bobber six foot above a 1/8 ounce jig head with a John Deere 2” Kalin’s Triple Threat with an orange jig head.

MARBEN PFA (More Information HERE)

Bass: May weather can be a little unstable at times.  Afternoon showers can bring sudden changes to bass feeding behavior.  The bass spawn is still on-going so look for bass feeding in early morning and late evening on schooling shad.  According to some anglers, now is a great time to target bass at Marben PFA.  Threadfin are spawning this time of year so especially look for bass in early morning feeding on shad mostly around boat ramps and rocky areas.  Successful anglers mimic lethargic shad by casting jerk baits and crank baits.   Mid-day can produce some big bass but look for these big fish in deeper water (10-15 ft.).  Anglers can try numerous techniques as bass move back into shallow water as night approaches.  Night time will offer an excellent opportunity for those anglers seeking “lunkers.”  Submerged timber and rock beds are good habitats to target when seeking bass at Marben PFA. 

Crappie: The crappie are most aggressive in early evening and night.  Look for crappie crowded around submerged timber in deeper water.  Anglers should see a slight change as crappie become a little less aggressive then in April but as night approaches look for the crappie “bite” to increase.  Flooded timber is the preferred habitat and the most popular bait is live minnows and yellow jigs.  Try fishing cover approximately 10-12 feet throughout the day, especially in the evening.        

Bream: Bream fishing will start to pick up significantly in May.  Warmer water temperatures play a factor but overall this is just the best time of year.  Anglers really see a difference.  Anglers should expect bream fishing to be best throughout the day and decrease slightly during night time hours.  Bream fishing turns a little slow when temperatures get really hot.  Remember that bream are shallow with spawning this time of year so to be successful anglers will have to shallow areas (4 to 5 ft.) in order to increase your chances.  

Catfish: Catfish will pick up significantly this time of year.  Anglers will find catfish in 7-9 ft. of water and really aggressive.   Anglers should target days when it is sunny but patience is necessary when targeting these fish.  Livers, worms and stink bait are the preferred choices if targeting catfish at Marben.

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA 

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

Bass fishing in ponds was the best bite I heard of this week. Whiting fishing was good, as well. Full Moon is April 31st. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Heather at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that a few catfish were caught by limb-liners using goldfish for bait. Worms produced some big shellcrackers. One angler caught 36 shellcrackers on worms and a few crappie with minnows. Mullet have been seen jumping in that area of the river, so it will only be a few more degrees of warming until they bite. Donald at Altamaha Park said that redbreasts were caught on crickets. A few bass were reported on plastics and crankbaits. Some of the bass were still pre-spawn with the cool temperatures. I’ve caught a trophy bass (10lb 1oz) in early May that was still pre-spawn, so that is not too surprising with the cool weather. The river level was 7.3 feet and rising at the Baxley gage, and 8.6 feet and falling (68 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on April 24th.

SATILLA RIVER

The Satilla Riverkeeper is holding its annual Satilla River fishing tournament on Saturday, May 5th. For more information, check their website at www.satillariverkeeper.org and then click on Fishing Tournament. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that anglers reported some good catfish catches on shrimp and rooster livers. Crawfish Satilla Spins fooled some redbreasts before the rains this weekend. We’re just a few warm days away from the artificial bite taking off. The river level on April 24th at the Waycross gage was 6.6 feet and falling (68 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 5.9 feet and rising.

ST. MARYS RIVER

Catfish have been biting like there is no tomorrow. Several anglers also reported catching creels of 15 to 20 big warmouth on crickets. A few redbreasts were caught in the upper reaches with crickets. The next Shady Bream Tournament is scheduled to be held out of Traders Hill on Saturday, May 5th. Check the club out on Facebook for more information. The river level at the MacClenny gage on April 24th was 5.0 feet and falling.

WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER (NEAR VALDOSTA)

John Darling and Mark Fletcher fished the lower river on Thursday and set out some hooks baited with livers. They caught catfish on 4 of the 12 hooks. They also pitched crickets for redbreasts and caught lots of them, but most were on the small side. They had a few big ones up to about 10 inches. They said that the river level was good for getting around and fishing, but the temperature was still a little cool for a good bite.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Very few folks reported fishing the swamp, but I did hear that some warmouth were caught on the east side, with crickets and worms producing most of the fish. John Darling and Mark Fletcher pitched sallies on the west side over the weekend and caught fliers about equally on pink and yellow colors. While the bite was slower than expected, they still ended up bringing home 10 nice fliers.

SE GA John and Trevor Darling 3 18
John (right) and Trevor Darling have been fishing area ponds and catching some nice fish like these bass and crappie.

LOCAL PONDS

Ponds are where most of the better catches were made this week, and bass were tops. The biggest bass I heard of this week was an 8-pounder caught on plastics.  Chad Lee fished Alma area ponds over the weekend and caught about 50 bass up to 6 pounds. He caught them mostly on a wacky head rigged with senkos, but some of his fish bit a chatterbait and a Live Target Field Mouse topwater. Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, bream bit crickets, and pink worms fished on the bottom caught catfish.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

The whiting bite was great on the very few days this week that anglers could get to them in the sounds. Anglers reported seeing some tripletail. On the Jekyll Pier, there was a good whiting bite on Saturday around the slack high tide in the afternoon. After the tide started ripping, the bite stopped. Several anglers made nice catches Saturday afternoon using dead shrimp as bait. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the pier is the place to catch bull whiting – and lots of them. Some anglers filled coolers this weekend. Dead shrimp fished on the bottom was the ticket. Black drum and sharks were also caught from the pier. Crabbers caught lots of the tasty crustaceans over the last week. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

The forecasted stable (dry) weather pattern with highs around 80 and lows in the mid-50’s should be perfect for spurring lots of bites this weekend. The Okefenokee will be the first to warm because of the shallow, black water. Fliers and warmouth should bite well. Ponds will be the next to warm up, and bass and bream should be great targets there. In saltwater, whiting, black drum, and bull redfish should be caught in good numbers from the sounds, if winds allow you to get out there. Get after the redbreasts by pitching crickets or casting artificials in the Satilla or St Marys if you like catching the hard-fighting panfish. It’s still a little cool for the peak panfish bite, but you should be able to fool a good mess this weekend.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

There are some great days ahead for all survivors of this past week’s monsoon, which dropped from three to seven inches of rain across north Georgia watersheds.  The upside is that our streams and lakes are full and will now warm up with the forecasted sunshine from seventy-degree days.  Best bets this week are bass, especially in the smaller lakes that will warm quicker.  Bass should also start coming shallow in our larger reservoirs as water temperatures stay above sixty degrees.  The heavy rain has created mudlines in these lakes, and that muddy water will warm quicker and attract shad and herring.  Remember to hit that murky water transition zone between red mud and clear water, and you should have the successes that we do when we electrofish these reservoir sweet spots.  Nighttime fishing at docklights and by tossing bombers to long points is also producing bass and stripers on the reservoirs.  Additionally, WRD-Gainesville fisheries technician Chris Looney said he found bluebacks and gizzard shad spawning along the bank during his last Lanier striper sampling trip, so hopefully, finally, we should all begin to see the spring topwater action that we’ve longed for.

Trouting should continue to be good to excellent.  Heavy stockings continue for our stocker fans, while blueliners will find plenty of flow in headwater creeks, along with slightly higher water temps that should really turn on those little wild trout to dry flies.  Caddis, cahills, and adams are hard to beat. Don’t forget the Frog’s Fanny to refloat them!

Since we’ve been stocking for a good month or longer, and we’ve had several high flow events, this is a great time to prospect for stockers in remote stream reaches below known stocking sites.  Some examples that come to mind: lower Holcomb, Wildcat’s gorge, the Hooch below Low Gap, Panther below 441, and Cooper in the Scenic Area. Smart stocker chasers will review last week’s WRD fishing report, with all of its map links, and our 2018 master trout stocking list on our website and plot their own courses to lesser traveled streams.  The key to these searches is to cover a lot of water, as the wash-downs will be scattered.  But those trouters who are looking for less crowded, scenic trips will enjoy this fishing experience much more than standing among the “catching crowd” at the bridge pool.  Remember to take a friend, who can take your picture with your catch or, if it’s a rare bad day, can help you to limp out safely if you sprain your ankle on slick instream boulders.

 

The only downside to our very wet spring is that the largest trout and bass streams (Ami, Toccoa, lower Chattooga, lower Hooch, etc) may be too high to fish for another day or two because of the heavy rainfall and runoff.  Again, check those USGS gauges and call local tackle shops for the latest intel before burning your (expensive) gasoline on a trip north.

 

It’s still hard to fuss about too much rain.  Only a year and a half ago, we were in extreme drought and worried about 20,000-acre forest fires decimating our favorite trout streams, campsites, and even our homesteads.  Our hatcheries, our wild trout resource, and this angler will take high, cold water over low, hot water any time!

VARIOUS LAKE REPORTS

Rocky PFA: (From Rocky PFA Manager Dennis Shiley) – Bass are eating topwater.   Nothing big, ten in the boat so far, biggest 5 just hit 15 pounds. Crappie are done spawning and a few are being caught in 10 ft water on Jigs and Minnows. Some walleye are being picked up in 10 feet of water on a curly tail jig tipped with a minnow. Small shellcrackers are starting to move to the bed shouldn’t be too long till the big ones get there. Nine-year old Kaylin Bryson caught this 23 inch walleye while fishing Lake Antioch at Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area earlier this week.  Kaylin and her dad Allan, were slow trolling stump knocker rigged minnows when the fish hit.  Way to go Kaylin!

Small Lakes: The Rocky PFA photos remind us that north Georgia’s smaller lakes will warm up quicker than our big reservoirs, so this is a good time to break out your small boats and kayaks and hit state and county park lakes, water supply reservoirs, and local ponds where you have permission to fish them.  Several of these are also stocked with trout, so you have a great chance at a spring buffet, from bass to crappie to trout.  Here’s a brief menu of opportunities:

Lake Burton Bass: (From WRD Burton Hatchery Fisheries Tech Colt Martin) – On 4/21/2018 Tim Moore and Daniel Henson of Winder Georgia caught these three nice bass from a canoe on Lake Burton. The largest of the three weighed 8 lb, 3 oz and was Tim’s personal best. More on Burton fishing HERE.

Whopper Oconee Cat: He’s at it again.  Ken R is rubbing in his retirement to all of us working folks.  This time it’s a huge flathead catfish on a jugline.  His weekly reports and grins are tough to bear.  I might need another dose of hydrotherapy myself.

Carters Lake:

  • Check This Out 
  • Carter’s Lake Report (Louie Bartenfield, Founder, Carters Lake Guide Service) — Fishing is good and Spring is finally getting here slowly but surely.  Spotted Bass are starting to spawn and with the full-moon and lots of sunny days coming over the next few days I look for the biggest wave of fish to move up over the next week.  I’m still catching the majority of my fish on 1/8oz Spotsticker Jigheads tipped with finesse style worms and trick worms.  The straight worm is the way to go-vs-curly style worms this time of year.  Focus on transition areas where the bank flattens up and mixes rock or gravel with clay, the Spotted Bass love to spawn on this type of area.  Topwater baits are also producing.  There are tons of bluegill up shallow already too, so I’m using bluegill style topwater lures like Pop-R’s and small bluegill shaped prop baits around shade and anywhere I think Spots are holding near the shore.  It’s a fun pattern and a great way to catch aggressive male bass. Striper: The Herring spawn is in full force and has Stripers feeding very heavy at night and the early morning hours.  Flatlines and Planer boards rigged with any lively aggressive bait fish will get bit in the early morning.  At night I’m throwing a variety of baits but my best producer is a Strike King Sexy Dawg walked very fast to mimic the Herring.  If you haven’t tried this pattern it will work on Carter’s, Lanier, Hartwell, essentially any lake that has Stripers and Herring.  It’s truly the perfect storm for fisherman.

Lake Allatoona: (From WRD Senior Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala) — Water temps 62-66F.  Lake elevation approx. 2.5 feet above full pool.  Electrofishing surveys this week noted bass moving into the shallows and crappie pulling back into deeper water.  If they haven’t already started to spawn, the bass should do so very soon.  Spotted bass were located anywhere from main lake points to the very backs of coves.  Largemouth were typically found in the backs of coves and tributary mouths near woody debris.  Large schools of threadfin shad were found in the backs of many of the coves around the lake.  Good sized spotted bass and crappie were often keying-in on these dense schools of 3-4 inch shad.  We also noted that the bigger redear sunfish (shellcrackers) have started pulling onto woody debris in the shallows this week.  No beds were observed, but they too should soon start to nest and spawn.  The key is finding downed trees and other woody debris in 1-2 foot of water on a sandy to muddy bottom.  The shellcrackers are holding very tight to cover, where they will presumably soon be building their nests.

LAKE LANIER

Stripers:

  • The Unicoi Guru treated young grandson Charlie to some docklight fishing on Lanier and the duo scored on some small stripers after dark.
  • Mack Farr’s Report

Crappie: (Lake Lanier Crappie fishing report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) — The combination of high wind and rain has kept most of the fishermen, including the die-hards off the lake the last several days.  Today, I did not see water temps above 59 degrees.  Normally for this time of year, water temps are around mid-sixties or above. Lake level is about 6” above full pool, and the backs of the creeks are moderately to heavily stained.  There is also a lot of floating debris on the water, so be careful.  Currently, these conditions have made fishing fair at best.  The up side is the projected temperatures in the area for the next week are more in line with those typical of this time of year, so we should see a rise in the water temperature and fishing should pick up significantly in the next few days.  Currently we are still targeting docks, but with the rise in water temps, the fish should be moving to stand alone brush piles.  So, as the weather warms up, get out on the water and try your luck!  Wear your life jacket it can save your life!

white bass stock lanier Looney 4-26-18More White Bass for Lanier: WRD- Gainesville fisheries tech Chris Looney stocked 88,000 white bass fingerlings, raised at Cordele Hatchery,  into Lake Lanier on April 26.  This is the third year of WRD’s efforts to restore this popular Lanier sport fish, known for its spring runs up both rivers. We are excited about the Hooch and Chestatee angling prospects for upcoming springs, so get your jonboats and kayaks ready.  A big thanks goes to Cordele Hatchery manager Josh Tannehill on his great fish production, even while short-staffed!  We think so much of Josh that we’re stealing him.  When he’s done with his south Georgia ponds, he will join us in May as the new manager of Summerville Hatchery!

 

 

LAKE HARTWELL

(Ken Sturdivant’s Weekly Fishing Report) – LAKE HARTWELL IS .65 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR, 60’S. Bass fishing is good. Use a Zara Spook and a Pop R top water bait and try to throw it as close to the bank or across a wide flat. With a steady retrieve, walk the dog and don’t stop the bait for any reason. Some short strikes will occur but keep the bait moving. Follow up all short strikes with a green pumpkin lizard, a worm and then a Zoom pearl Super Fluke. On the sides of the points, use a #5 Shad Rap or a jointed Shad Rap in the crawdad or green crawdad color. Use ten pound test line while cranking for best results. Any lay down trees that are near a creek channel needs a good working over as well. The crank baits cranked and then stopped right at the end of the tree will draw a strike if one is hiding in the tree. Many anglers are finding the bass way up in the rivers on small isolated trees and new flooded willow grass. If all else fails, use the Carolina rigged Zoom lizard and both small and large ones anywhere on the lake from the bank out to 15 feet deep. The bass will find it.

TROUT

Trout-Cool Copter Story: Read It HERE 

Southeast Fly Flinging Circuit:

  • Chapter 1: Dredger took full advantage of a weekend without “on call” duty and took a ride on his trouting circuit.  On Friday, he sprinted out the office door at 4:30 and headed north to the Chattooga DH.  He hike up a bit and hit the water at 6:45 in the nick of time, as the infamous river “switch” turned on a 7PM.  Size 16 cahills popped like popcorn.  He had a lot of refusals in the clear water, but his hookup ratio climbed as the sun set.  He caught two on the emerger for every one on the parachute chill dry, and convinced more lookers with a twitch rather than simply a dead drift.  That switch was stuck on the ON position for 90 minutes, and he landed a big handful of chunky rainbows and two browns.  He didn’t want to go home, and caught two bonus fish after dark by simply swinging his dry/emerger combo in the current below him on a classic wet fly swing.  Hooksets are harder downstream and at night, but he was happy at two for five.
  • Chapter 2 found Dredger and young buddy Landon swinging north on Saturday afternoon to Nan DH.  Dredger tossed larger dries and was humbled, but Young Dude lit ‘em up by matching the lazy afternoon hatch.  His dry/dropper combo of a Blue Winged Olive and a tiny (18?) brown Egan’s iron lotus nymph was deadly in the pockets, especially those with shade.  As the sun set behind the ridge, the two anxiously awaited the big cahill and caddis hatch.  And nobody told the bugs.  Despite a lack of a good hatch, the catching was still great, as the Dark30 fish were also anticipating their evening meal.  The duo each took a stream bank and worked upstream, together, tossing a small (16) adams in the shallows and in the calm pockets behind boulders.  Shallow fish crushed the dry, while trout in those deeper midstream pockets had to be lured up with some twitches and skitters.
  • Chapter 3 found Dredger glued to his internet weather forecast on his Iphone.  It looked like Sunday afternoon would be another rainout, especially in Georgia.  He tried to delay the inevitable by driving far east and north, away from the approaching front.  Alas, his Smokies stream was low and clear and the fish were glued to the bottom.  He was too burned out on winter dredging to go down to them, so he tried dries and droppers to celebrate spring.  He even chucked big streamers for an hour to entice a trophy brown from the deeper pools.  The catching was very slow, but the fishing trip was still a success, mainly due to the abundant wildflowers and wildlife- an elk traffic jam on 441, numerous gobblers in the fields, and two streambank wanderings by foraging mink, unaware of his midstream observer.  The rain finally set in at 7PM and killed any chance of a Dark30 hatch, but it was still a nice day on the Southeastern trout circuit.

Wild Trout Habitat Enhancement: Placing trees into streams is very beneficial to trout ChainsawWinch_WalnutFork_04.17.18smalland other aquatic life but it can be back-breaking work.  Tools like the chainsaw winch pictured in the attached photo certainly make the work easier, such as the Rabun County efforts of WRD fisheries techs Tony Anderson and Leon Brotherton on April 17.  Tools like chainsaws, peavies, and chainsaw winches are purchased with the revenue generated from the sale of the Brook Trout specialty car tag.  The specialty tag costs 25 extra dollars, but of that amount $20 is dedicated to funding trout programs in Georgia.  Thanks for your continued support.

Stocker Stream Reports: Report #1 and Report #2

 

Hooch Tailwater: Nice GON article

Toccoa Tailwater: Check it out HERE 

MORE NEWS

Walleye Update: To date, almost 600,000 walleye fingerlings have been raised at Richmond Hill, McDuffie, and Summerville hatcheries and stocked into the following lakes: Lanier, Hartwell, Yonah, Tugalo, Rabun, Seed, Rocky PFA (both Antiochs), Carters, and Blue Ridge.  Enjoy the photos of WRD-Armuchee district staffers John Damer and Mark Bowen stocking 87,000 walleye fingerlings into Blue Ridge Lake on April 24.  Walleye stockings will wrap up next week.  The fingerlings will be growing large enough in the next 2-3 years to add to the sport fisheries in these lakes.  More Georgia walleye fishing intel HERE.

All Hands on Deck at DNR: We Fisheries folks really appreciate the springtime assistance of our Law Enforcement Division’s (LED) brothers and sisters.  It’s all hands on deck during our busiest season of the year, and the wardens often give us a hand with critical “stocking and shocking” missions. Enjoy the pics of Ranger Shane Brown helping Chris Looney on Lanier and Sgt Brian Keener helping Armuchee District fish tech Danny Johnson on Rocky PFA.  While our shirt colors may vary a bit, the DNR Green Team is solid, from hurricane response to fish scooping!

bass LMB est 4lb Pat S Lanier 4-10-16 smallCongrats to Pat! We wish Gainesville fisheries biologist Pat Snellings well as he joins the team at Johnson Outdoors.  He says he’ll be testing the new models of Humminbird sonar units before they go to market.  Sounds like a tough job (cough…), but somebody has to do it. Pat did a great job in his two years here as our newest biologist in the region quartet, as he was fresh out of his MS program at Auburn University. We wish him well in the private sector, and now begin our own search of another “keeper” biologist to manage Lanier, its tailwater trout fishery, and a lot more water in our north Georgia region.  Hopefully we’ll have as good luck in our future as we did in landing Snellings!

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 4/28: Blue Ridge Trout Festival
  • 4/28: OWL on Lanier
  • Beginning in June – Ken Sturdivant will be hosting FREE Fishing seminars at 4 Forsyth County Library Branch’s: These seminars will cover Bass fishing, Striper fishing, Crappie fishing and SONAR. These are the dates and times. Registration will be open soon. Events at Cumming Library Branch Cumming 585 Dahlonega Street, Cumming, GA 30040 Session 1 Tuesday, June 12 at 7pm Bass Session 2 Tuesday, July 10 at 7pm STRIPERS! Location is Sharon Forks Branch Sharon Forks 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30041 Session 3 Sunday, June 24 at 2pm Crappie Session 4 Sunday, July 22 at 2pm SONAR! Location is Hampton Park Branch Hampton Park 5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming, GA 30041 Session 5 Saturday, June 16 at 2pm Crappie Session 6 Saturday, July 7 at 2pm SONAR! Location is Post Road Branch Post Road 5010 Post Road, Cumming, GA 30040, Session 7 Saturday, June 2 at 2pm BASS Session 8 Saturday, July 14 at 2pm STRIPERS!

Thanks for buying your fishing licenses, fishing tackle, and TU brookie license plates.  We appreciate the operating funds for fish feed to trout maps to fish hauling tanks to chain saw winches.   Good luck in the beautiful days ahead.  The monsoons have stopped briefly and the best weather of the year is now upon us.  Tip that teen-aged lawn mower you hired last week and grab your fishing pole again this weekend – It is GAME ON!