This week, we’ll take a look at how you can lockdown the Tallapoosa bass on your bass slam list with some help from Dr. Steve Sammons, Fisheries Research Professor at Auburn University. With 9 of the 10 PFAs now open to night fishing, there is no excuse to miss out on a bass slam year and be sure to include the Tallapoosa!
How big do they get?
Between 5–16inches long.
Where you can find them:
You can find Tallapoosa bass in the Tallapoosa River basin in Georgia, but you’ll want to focus on fishing the mainstem and the little Tallapoosa River. Smaller streams may have some, but it’s not a guarantee. Like most other redeye bass, Tallapoosa aren’t found in lakes and reservoirs. You’ll have to head to flowing water to snag one.
Public access points:
The Dub Denman Canoe Trail on the Tallapoosa River is the best access to target these fish. This 27-mile reach of river has 4 access points allowing for easy float trips on the Tallapoosa River before it flows into Alabama. Access to the Little Tallapoosa River and other tributary streams is more difficult. Most lands along these streams are privately owned, so make sure you have landowner permission before wading these streams!
View an interactive map of where to find Tallapoosa bass and public access points highlighted in this blog. If you’re looking for other boating and fishing opportunities around the state, check out the new Georgia Outdoors Boating and Fishing app, here.
How to Fish Them:
Tallapoosa bass like rocky habitat with flowing water, so concentrate on these areas. They can also be caught around wood and undercut banks.
Lures you should use:
These are small fish, so using light tackle or fly gear will give you a better shot at catching them. They’ll strike a variety of lures, including small jigs, grubs, crankbaits, minnow plugs, and 4” plastic worms. They’ll aggressively strike topwater lures in the summer. Tiny torpedos or small chuggers are great lures when targeting these fish. Good flies for Tallapoosa are wooly buggers, small crayfish imitators, and cork poppers. Natural colors such as green pumpkin, watermelon seed, or other shades of green, brown, and black are safe bets.
Recommendations from Dr. Steve Sammons:
“Small crayfish-colored crankbait can absolutely slay these fish when they are active. Small four-inch worms fished with a light sinker will always work, regardless of how active the fish are. They are a fly anglers delight, as they readily take small cork poppers. I enjoy using crankbaits or spinners over the worm, because you will catch a variety of other species along with the Tallapoosa bass, which is pretty cool. Last summer I did a trip on a local stream and ended the day with over 40 fish of 9 species, including several Tallapoosa bass in the 12”, which is a true trophy.”
So you want to catch a bass slam in Georgia? Learn about the Georgia Bass Slam.