Looks like this weekend is shaping up to be a good one, weather-wise, what have you done about making fishing plans? How about some suggestions? 

Did you know that the easiest way to support wildlife conservation in Georgia is to buy a license? Even if you don’t hunt or fish, the purchase of a one-day hunt/fish combo license $5 actually means $50 in total funding for Georgia wildlife! Find out more about how this works HERE.

The following reports provide even more need-to-know information. Today, we have reports from Southeast, Central and North Georgia. Enjoy and Go Fish Georgia!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

I’m going to take a different approach this week. Instead of describing what happened on

SE GA Mark Fletcher 3 18
Mark Fletcher caught this nice channel catfish from the Withlacoochee River this spring. Catfishing will be your best bet in the rivers while they are full bank.

the water, I am going to give a quick description of the peak bites during the dog-days of summer. You can go out there to your favorite place where you usually catch them in the spring and fall and do your usual things and you will likely catch a few fish. But, if you pay attention to the peak bite, you can absolutely whack the fish even in the heat…. if you are not picky about what you catch. Full Moon is July 27th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

 

REDFISH, TARPON, TROUT, AND FLOUNDER AT THE COAST

The fishing in early July  has been very good at the St. Marys Jetties, and it should continue throughout the summer. As water temperatures hit the mid-80’s (we’re almost there) the summertime bite is in full swing. Being from a bass fishing background, my favorite way to fool them is to pitch bucktail jigs or Jetty Jigs (heavy jigheads in the 1/2 to 1oz. range) rigged with Assassin Sea Shads to the St. Marys Jetties. I cast near the rocks and let it fall on a slack line (keep an eye on your line and set the hook if it twitches or stops earlier than it should) and then work it slowly back along the bottom. The bite is usually like a Texas-rigged worm bite, just a tick. But, sometimes the fish smoke it as you pick it up off the bottom. To fish this way, big tackle is a must. I like a flipping stick for a rod (Abu-Garcia Veritas Toro 7ft 9in) and 20-30-lb. test braid on a stout reel (Abu-Garcia Revo Toro Beast). I try to stay as light at possible so the line cuts through the water better and doesn’t allow as much bow in the line. But, when trying to tug on 40 to 150-pound fish, you don’t want to go too light. In the swift current at the jetties, you will want larger jigs – at least 1/2-oz. bucktails and jigheads and as heavy as 1-oz. if the current is really ripping. If there is any wind at all, the water at the jetties can get very choppy, so pay attention to conditions. On the half of the jetties closest to the beach, you can scale down your gear and lure size and chase trout and flounder around the rocks. I use a 7 1/2-foot medium action Ugly Stik Inshore Rod paired with a Penn Battle reel and spool it with 17-lb. test Nanofil braided line. I use the same lures (Sea Shads) but on smaller heads or even Flashy Jigheads that have a little willow blade (flounder like bling!). Cast to any nook and cranny and expect your jig to get inhaled.

BOWFIN (MUDFISH) IN THE OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The fishing in the swamp was surprisingly good this spring with the high water. Usually the water spread out on the prairies kills the bites, but Buck Johnson had some great trips for warmouth. He pitched jigs to cypress trees and knees for most of his fish. The flier bite was slow with the high water. If the water drops later this summer, the fishing should be excellent as the water pulls off into the canals. When the happens, the bowfin should also tear it up. While most folks would argue they don’t eat well (although they’re not bad if you ice them immediately and eat them the same evening you catch them), they make up for it in their battle. Bowfin fishing is REALLY simple and extremely productive. I took some kids fishing in the east side boat basin earlier this spring, and they had a blast pulling on dozens of the feisty fish in just a couple of hours of fishing. From a boat, just fish the middle of the canal on the east side or near a lily pad field on the west side and cast an in-line spinner (Dura-Spins, Mepps, Rooster Tails). Retrieve the lures slowly so that it is near the bottom half of the water column, and a bowfin will jump on it. Braided line helps you feel the fish, but make sure to not set the hook too early. I like to just keep reeling – don’t set the hook until the fish actually takes off and goes the other direction. Change colors if you are not catching them. Silver blades typically works best when it is sunny, while chartreuse or white blades have worked in all light conditions. Make sure to take a lip-gripping tool to attempt to subdue the fish and pliers to remove treble hooks (you definitely don’t want to forget pliers while fishing for bowfin!). After the water gets back down, it typically takes longer to unhook a bowfin than it does to throw out and hook another one.

MULLET FISHING ON THE ALTAMAHA

At the time of writing this, the Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers are high, but they will probably fall back out again this summer. Surprisingly, the mullet bite was great back in June, even with the higher water. The last big pulse slowed the bite, but it will pick back up again once the sandbars start showing. Mullet are the ultimate angling experience for triple-digit temperatures. Why? Because you get right in the water with your quarry. Put out a salt block (like the ones for cows – you can get them at feed stores and farm equipment stores) and a bag of rabbit chow (some folks prefer pig pellets) in about 3 feet of water on the back side of a sandbar. Choose an area with just a tiny bit of current. Let the concoction sit for a half-hour or so while you get everything ready to fish. Then, wade out near the salt block (I usually put the chow in a mesh bag and hang it from a PVC pole so I can tell where the salt block is located.  For outfitting, I use a crappie jig pole, which has a spinning reel that will give and take line. Many folks use bream busters, but big fish will often break off. My rig consists of a small hook, then a split-shot a foot above, then a small balsa float. I usually use a #8 or 10 Mullet Master Hook (that 2x hook will not bend as easily as an aberdeen hook, so you can actually land a big catfish that inhales your worm). The most popular bait for mullet is a red wiggler worm. Skewer the whole thing on your hook (or maybe even two of them if they are small). Pitch your offering behind the bait station (try to get it close to the salt block, as the fish will sometimes be nosed right up to the block) and look for a slight wobble of your float (mullet bite softly). Jaycees Landing in Jesup and Altamaha Park in Everett are two of the most popular landings from which to chase mullet. You can catch mullet from a boat while the water is up, but the best fishing is when the river level is below about 4 feet at the Doctortown gage and the water starts to clear up.

Don’t just stay in the house because of the heat this summer. Try these ideas if you want to get on a peak bite.

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, 80’S

Bass fishing is slow this week as the heat wave continues.  The Dog Days of Summer have taken their toll on both the bass and the anglers.  During the early morning periods, Shad Raps and DT6’s along the banks are still producing some bass.  The rip rap rock is also showing us a bass or two but only until about 9:30 a.m. at the latest.  After about 10:00 a.m., the vast majority of the bass are being caught in the deeper water along the main lake points with Carolina Rigs.  A good place to try is just at the point where the Rocky River feeds into the lake at Markers 30 and 32.  This will be at the southernmost part of the McCalla State Park.  The Savannah River splits just north of this area and runs quite close to this side of the lake.  The big cove between the two needs to be fished too.  Here you will find fifteen to twenty five foot of water in the middle with narrow flats along the bank.  Fish depths anywhere from twelve to twenty feet deep.  Storm Rattle Tubes attached to a jig or Carolina Rig along with six inch U Tail Worms will usually catch you a limit during the day.  Adding scent and a little color to these baits wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Try different colors when the fishing gets slow.  Plenty of liquids and sun screen is a must if you plan to fish more than a couple of hours during the day.  Afternoon thunder showers are always a possibility, so stay on the alert mode, especially after 2:00 p.m.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN .98 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  There are still a good many fish that have held up shallow.  Get a Whopper Plopper or a Spro Frog and use them both all day.  Some fish are up shallow on grass lines at less than 10 feet deep.  Those shallow fish can still be caught on jig head/worm combo, top-water and swim baits.  Use a 3/16 ounce Texas rig with a Zoom Swamp Crawler in green pumpkin or watermelon seed around the shallows.  Fish top-water and buzz baits early and late.  If we have some wind or rain, fish a ½ ounce River 2 Sea Bling spinnerbait in the I Know It pattern with double willowleaf blades.  Once the sun gets up, you can stay shallow and grind it out or try to find some bigger fish out deeper.  If you stay shallow, your best bet is to cover as much water as possible.  Rig up a River 2 Sea Biggie Smalls crank bait in abalone shad and a green pumpkin Berkley Havoc Pit Boss.  For the deeper fish the numbers are not there but the size is good.  The deeper fish are really spread out, with some on points, ledges, brush but the one constant is bait fish.  When you find areas that are stacked with bait, crank a Rapala DT 10 in shad or green tiger.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S

(Report from Capt. Mark Smith of Reel Time Guide Service)

Bass: Bass fishing continues to be slow.  The lake is full.  Stained up the rivers, the main lake is clear.  Richland creek is clear.  The buzz bait bite is producing the first hour of daylight as well as the last hr. in the evenings.  White and chartreuse seem to be the best all-around color.  Keep a trick worm tied on and if a fish misses a buzz bait follow it with the trick worm.  You can also pick up a few fish on soft plastics fished under docks on the main lake.  There have been a few fish on the humps on the south end of the lake.  They will take deep diving crank baits in a natural shad pattern.  Don’t forget to check out the grass beds on the south end of the lake at first light.

Striper: Striper fishing is slow.  The early morning pump back bite at the dam is the best thing going and it is only fair at best.  Spoons, live shad, small crank baits, popping corks are all working.  This bite will work as long as Georgia Power is pumping back into the lake.  The only other bite is going on with the umbrella rig fished off the usual location on humps and points from the pipe line to the dam.  The dissolved oxygen levels in the lake are dropping fast and the fish are heading up the rivers for the summer. 

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair to good.  Some days you can catch big slabs and other days only the small fish will bite.  Long-lining (trolling) will produce some nice catches.  You will need to run your jigs about 10 to 12 feet deep.  Down-lining crappie minnows into tree tops at 12-15 ft. deep will also produce a lot of fish.  Use your Lowrance to locate the fish in the tree tops and then drop your bait down to the fish.

WEST POINT LAKE IS FULL, STAINED & 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  The fish are shallow early and late and there is a mix of largemouth and spots chasing bait schools.  So use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the area for bait.  During the day the fish have moved into their summertime pattern.  Use the Carolina rigged worms in black grape and June bug and dark blue.  Fish the mouths of Wehadkee Creek, Veasey Creek and Stroud Creek right before dark.  Old road beds are good summer locations.  Cranking main lake and river points with a deep diving crank bait has been productive for early morning action.  Let the bait sink deep enough before starting to reel it in.  The bass might be just a foot or two deeper than you are fishing.  Check out the Liberty Hill area upriver for some good crank bait fishing with the Rapala DT10 shad and hot mustard lures.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.36 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Recent rains have changed the lake conditions a bit, but have done little to improve the bite the past few days.  The creeks are slightly stained up some; try flipping jigs on and behind the docks in the creeks.  Brush piles in 8 to 10 feet of water on the docks are holding a few fish.  Try sticking a Texas rig but the bite is slow so be patient.  Expect the top-water bite to only last a short time early and late along the blow downs.  Water temperatures are in the mid 80’s and highs in the low 90’s this week should warm the lake up a bite more, making the shallow bite tougher than it already is.  It is hard to set up a decent a pattern out on the ledges.  The fish are not staying in the same place day in and day out so it is a hunting game.  Catching a few fish at varying depths on different structure and moving on using the slow moving plastics is definitely the only way to go.  Now is a great time to ride the lake and scan the points, humps and ledges with the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology.  Anglers spend less time searching and more time catching once this technology unlocks the lakes secret.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 1.35 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Top-water action is limited so target shallow fish in the early morning.  Look down lake on main lake riprap and seawalls.  Also look for fish feeding on open water shad during the early morning and in overcast conditions.  Fish shallow on rocky points very early and late in the day.  Fish can also be found in the main lake blow downs without fishing particularly deep.  While the fishing can be hit and miss, quality fish are being caught out to 15 feet and deeper.  Fishing for reaction strikes with the crank bait can be a good strategy.  Use Shad Raps to take fish out to 8 foot of water.  Jigs work well for catching fish in all depth ranges, particularly on wood and other structure targets.  If the top-water bite isn’t happening in the early morning, throw jigs, shaky heads, and crank baits instead.  Cranks will cover water and jigs or worms will take fish from specific shallow structure and sea walls.  Work the points, humps, blow downs, brush, docks, and rocks.  Drop Shot rigs are particularly productive this time of year and use the finesse worms to fish passing directly under boat on the Lowrance.  Also use the rig on short casts to fish holding deep on the bottom.

FLAT CREEK PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Surface Temperature: ˚85 F (˚29.4 C)
  • Water Level: 4’ 9” Below Full Pool
  • Water Visibility: 17”
  • Night Fishing available May 1until September 30

The anglers that have braved the summertime heat have reported catching large (9.2 & 6.2 pound) bass, and large redear.  However, most of the catches have been during the cool mornings or late evenings (bass, crappie, and redear) and during the days before and after a full moon (bluegill).  As each day warms the fish have been retreating into the deeper cooler water and the strike has become slower.  The smaller bream can be enticed easily throughout the day using worms.  Daytime crappie fishing has been mediocre at best.  Crappie have still been reported being caught during the coolness of the night.  While there have been signs of anglers fishing for catfish, there weren’t any interviewed that reported fishing for catfish. Most successful fishermen were those in boats or kayaks that could pursue the fish in the deeper water or bank fishermen that fished from the pier.

Bass:  Plum colored ‘Ol Monstor worms by Zoom. June Bug, Green Pumpkin Watermelon, Watermelon Candy, Tequila Shad or Pumpkin Seed Culprit worms. Minnows and worms.   Six-seven foot of water near cover. 

Bream: Crickets or Worms (Red Wigglers and Pinks).  Near cover or near the shallower water during a full moon.  For larger redear try blue/black or white/yellow 2” Rage Tail grubs with the tail cut down 75%. 

Channel Catfish:  Insufficient data to report on. 

Crappie:  Daytime – minnow and teaser tails.  If on a boat, try cover that creates shade (tree tops) or structure (gravel piles). Nighttime – Lights and minnows

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE)

  • McDuffie Public Fishing Area: Temperature is hovering at 86⁰.
  • Water Visibility: 22 – 54+ inches
  • The Fish Cleaning Station is open. Please inform MCDPFA staff if it’s not working.  Call 706-595-1684
  • Night Fishing continues May 1 until September 30.  Jones Lake is the only lake open to night fishing on McDuffie PFA.  All parking is outside of MCDPFA main gate at Jones Lake.

Bass: Bass action should pick up as water and daytime temperatures start dropping! Breambuster has good top-water opportunities because the bass are feeding on shad during early mornings and late evenings.  Many anglers have down-sized to small plastic worms, small top-water plugs and crankbaits to continue catching bass.  Anglers are using Finesse worms and fishing them slowly, while other anglers are using Jerk baits in shad patterns.  In Lake Rodbender, the bass activity has been very slow.  The trophy bass pond is open year-round and anglers can harvest one bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer. 

Bream: Action is Excellent!  Memorable bluegill and redear are being caught across the PFA and limits of 15 are being caught.  One angler said his success is based on patience and fishing slow with hook and worm with “no lead” on the bottom.  Crickets are also a good bream bait and both bluegill and redear will take them.  Breambuster has redear bigger than 10 inches on beds but they are especially spooky so a soft presentation will get them to bite.  Anglers are catching bluegill and redear fishing worms on the bottom around structure near the shoreline in Beaverlodge, Bridge Lake, Jones Lake, Willow Lake and Breambuster. 

Channel Catfish:  The catfish bite is still excellent across the PFA!  The catfish action has been very steady with anglers catching catfish in every lake except Rodbender.  Anglers are catching limits of catfish across PFA but much sometimes keep moving to find where they are biting best. Jones Lake is still producing eating-size catfish.  Night fishing is still drawing anglers who want fish in the coolest part of the evenings.  There’s room for more anglers. Speckled-catfish a.k.a. bullheads are in Willow and Clubhouse mainly.  The old 6E that is located on the East-side of PFA/ Willow Lake also has a good bullhead/speckled catfish population. 

Striped Bass:  Striper action is excellent in Bridge.  Anglers are reported catching stripers up to twenty inches (20”) using chicken liver on the bottom.  Each angler can keep (15) stripers but only two of them can be over 22 inches, which means if all stripers are under 22 inches then all 15 stripers can be kept.

MARBEN PFA (More info HERE)

  • Water temps. : High 80’s or just plain HOT!
  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen when visiting Marben PFA.
  • Be patient this time of year
  • Night Fishing available May 1 until September 30

Bass: August weather patterns will follow those experienced in July.   Patterns often supply afternoon showers that brings drastic and sudden changes to bass feeding behavior.   Anglers should look for bass feeding in early morning (between the hours of 3AM and 5AM) and late evening on schooling shad.    Despite the HOT days, anglers are targeting bass on lay downs in approximately 11 to 15 feet of water in early to mid-morning.  As the day warms up, anglers should target bass in deeper water.  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.).  Additional habitat to target is submerged timber and rock beds at Marben PFA.  Anglers need to be patient this time of year.  The water is hot and fish may take a little longer to chase. 

Crappie:  The crappie will slow a little as the hot days of summer begin to take a toll.  Crappie can still be found crowded around submerged timber in deeper water.  Anglers should see a slight change as crappie become a little less aggressive as the water warms.  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.  Bennett and Fox Lakes remain favorites for anglers targeting crappie.     

Bream:  Bream fishing will be very slow in August.  Even with this drop in aggressiveness, bream will remain the most sought after fish at Marben PFA.  Anglers should expect bream fishing to be best in early morning and late even.  If anglers are patient a few bream can be caught even in the hottest part of the day.  Remember bream are shallow when spawning this time of year so to be successful anglers will have to fish shallow areas (4 to 5 ft.) in order to increase your chances.  Early morning is a great time to target bream at Marben PFA.

Catfish:  Catfish will continue to be slow this time of year.  Anglers will find catfish in 7-9 ft. of water and most aggressive in the morning and late evening.   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.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

“It’s hot and has rained again today. This is a recording.”

And that’s the broken-record story for north Georgia’s summer of ‘18: warm and wet.  The afternoon storms continue to mess with our bigger rivers, limiting their clarity and fish-ability.  But the rains sure are good for mountain trout waters.  Each cool shower resets the clock on headwater trout thermal stress, while washing some terrestrial calories into these food-poor headwaters of low calcium.

This weekend’s weather forecast is bringing us some good news, however, with rain chances way down from the last two weeks, so take advantage of this dry window of opportunity at hand to wet a line without wetting your head.

Headwater wild trout continue to rock for our high elevation, blueline fans.  Trout stockings continue in a more limited set of streams, but those waters getting weekly doses of trucked trout are still putting smiles on the faces of our “catch, keep, and eat” fans.  On the lakes, summer mode continues, with deep techniques paying off for bass, stripers, walleyes, and even a few trout.  The good news on big lakes is that stratification is in full force. The summer squeeze of a) hot water pushing down from the top and b) low dissolved oxygen pushing up from the bottom will start sandwiching these coolwater predators into thinner middle layers of the lake.  Pay close attention to guide reports and WRD’s monthly lake profiles to find that thermocline for your minnows, umbrella rigs, and gigantic Parker spoons.

And, for total relaxation, just paddle that yak, canoe, johnboat, or float tube on a small lake near sunset, as the shadows fall, and cast a cricket or a popper toward that submerged tree along the bank.  Light-tackle bream and bass, on summer evenings, will give you great memories to reflect on when you’re housebound during next January’s ice storm.  And you never know when of those stocker-eating Polaris submarines will crash your bait and make you a member of the double-digit club.

Here we go.  Don’t miss the Rocky report and its big bass photo.

LAKE LANIER

Bass: Check out these two stories, HERE and HERE

Stripers:

  • Catching Not Fishing
  • How? 
  • Fresh Report From Steve Scott with TeamLanier – With a little bit of wind and a plethora of boats on Lanier today it was a bit rough on the water. We left Vanns Tavern ramp at 7am and headed for the Six Mile crossroads. Surface temp was 89.1°. Bait care would be of great concern as Blueback Herring need 50-65° in the bait tank to be lively not just alive and we would have to drop the bait quickly to our desired depth which was 40 to 80 feet over a 100′ bottom, else the bait would die in less than a minute on the hot surface. I kept checking the bait tank temp for the next 40 minutes adding ice until the temperature stabilized at 62°. We staged four rods in the rod holders with enough line to get them 60 to 70 feet down holding the hook at the gunnel. Using the bait net we hooked a Herring and released the bail so that the bait plummeted downward immediately with the help of the 2oz. pencil weights. We had a couple of nice Stripers on within 10 minutes. We took some pictures and realized with the hot surface temp the fish were not going to make it even with the seaqualizer. So I threw them on ice to be fileted later. We decided to move out to find a little cooler water finding 84° between the last Three Sisters island and the mouth of Big Creek not very far where we just were. By this time more boats were cruising in all directions and the wind picked up causing the water to be like a washing machine. We remained successful with our Downlines and caught 2 more smaller Stripers releasing them to the water torpedo style.

OTHER LAKE NEWS

Hartwell: Captain Mack’s Hartwell Report found HERE 

Ken’s Lake Reports: Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant Reports HERE 

Sweetwater State Park Lake: State Park Lake News HERE, More about Sweetwater Creek State Park HERE 

trout brown 11lb 14oz Lake Burton May 26 2018 pic2smallLake Burton Trout: As the “summer squeeze” of water temperature and dissolved oxygen starts to restrict the habitat for coolwater species in our reservoirs, late summer is a good time to aim for a trophy brown trout on Lake Burton.  Managing biologist Anthony Rabern reminds us of his written Lake Burton trout fishing guide.

Burton Bass: A late add that you are more than welcome to include in your next report

bass lmb burton Ms Cote 070618
Mrs. Cote’s personal best bass from Burton!

if you like.  My wife…new to fishing, caught her personal best on Burton last weekend at 4.96oz…released to be caught another day.  Caught trolling a perch color crank bait over 20’ish feet of water – Chris Cote

 

Small Lakes: Dredger had to detox from work at midweek, so he tossed the yak in the back of the truck and took off again to Local Honeyhole (Unicoi Lake), where he was greeted by a brand new set of steps at the dam.  He came fully armed this time, and caught the early bass on Texas-rigged worms.  As the sun set, he switched rods and pulled close to shallow cover.  bass lmb on top UnicoiLake 7-17-18smallHe ended the evening with a few more bass on top via the white stealth bomber.  The key to fishing that thing is patience- twitch it once and wait a millennium before moving it again.  And pay attention!  Dredger swears that those Unicoi bass know he’s ADD, and they wait until he turns his head away before silently sucking down the foam bug.  He’d catch a whole lot more if he kept his eye on the bug, but the distractions of wildlife, rising fish, and the next great brushpile down the bank keep his eyes wandering.

Thinking about Yak fishing?  The boat doesn’t have to break your bank and the vehicle just needs four tires.  I started out with a third-hand Ocean Kayak “Yahoo” model snatched off Craig’s List for $200 and roped it to the top of my Civic with two pool noodles and two of these long straps thru my car windows. Fish don’t care what you float in and what brand of rod you toss; they care about what you’ve offered them for supper!  Good Intro Info HERE.  AND Always, always wear your PFD. It will guarantee more fishing days in your future.

Rocky PFA – The Home Field Advantage: (Ed note: you can’t get a better report than one from a lake manager who also fishes himself!  Enjoy the pic of his nice bass.  His commitment to PFA management and his angling avidity has sure given him a home field advantage… and has given us some great angling intel!  Thanks Dennis Shiley!) – Some reports of good size and good numbers of bluegill are being caught. Fish crickets on a bass lmb 9.5lb Rocky PFA DennisS July 2018cork and keep moving until you find the spot. The most productive areas are pockets and around shallow structure.

  • Bass are chasing shad schools in the morning but aren’t staying up long, fish in and below the schools with lipless crankbaits and tube jigs. Some larger bass are being caught in the 10’ range, fish structure with soft plastics and square bills.
  • Catfishing is slow.
  • Walleye fishing is slow.
  • I found a real good’un myself last week.  Enjoy the photo.
  • More about Rocky Mountain PFA HERE.

RIVER NEWS

Hooch Bassin’: The Guru and Dredger first checked the interweb river gauges and weather forecasts, predicted a couple of windows between Sunday afternoon storms, grabbed their raincoats, and finally yakked up the upper Hooch.  They first had to take shelter from the storm, but the app said it would soon pass, and it did.  They were able to get a good two hours of prospecting done in some shoals that were clear enough for shoalies and they scored.  Guru did better than Fly Flinger on his shaky-head worm, on braid and a spinning rod, and he caught more and bigger fish.  Dredger stayed purist and caught a few on top (in long shallow flats) on his beloved white stealth bomber, and more on the bottom of deeper pockets with his hairy fodder.  After a busy work week and weekend for both, the two-hour Sunday respite recharged their batteries and got them in a better mood to face their Mondays.

Bluelining: These summer opportunities continue to be a best bet.  With our abundant rainfall this season, streamflows are great and the fish are scattered out instead of taking drought-cover in a few deep pools, so there is much more fishable water for the mountain climbers among us.  All you need is a 6 or 7 foot rod, a 7.5 foot 4X leader, and three size 16 tan elk hair caddis dry flies. If you like rises, you’ll have trouble counting them all in a day of high-elevation bluelining. Here’s a great BL-101 article for rookies.

Cohuttas Closed: FYI for fans of this part of your national forest.

MISCELLANEOUS

Are you Bear-wise? Whether you’re at your national forest weekend campsite or at home in the mountains, this video is a great reminder about securing all potential bear vittles and saving you the heartache of destroyed property.

TROUT

From “Academy Jack” (Jack Becker, Academy Sports, Gainesville) – Trout fishing is addicting. Fished Upper Hooch last week and did well on spinners.  Cold water and beautiful scenery!

Toccoa TW: Had a great time on the Toccoa Tailwater last weekend with my son, Jackson – Ted W from Athens; More news HERE

Stocker Best Bets: Check John Lee’s new weekly list here, each Friday afternoon. Your weekend best bets are: Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters, Hooch on WMA, Dicks, Boggs, Warwoman, Wildcat, Tallulah, Rock, Cooper, and Johns.

Thanks Uncle Leonard: Enjoy this article and the attached pic of Summerville

Summ Hat loading trout 7-24-18small
Summerville Trout Hatchery staff loading up the “goodies”

Hatchery staff in action with the goodies for Saturday’s vets event!

Hooch Tailwater:

Speck Vol Call for Saturday: Lend a hand and sling a sledge hammer for specks.

Good luck as we continue storm-dodging and sun-screening to treat our angling addictions.  While it’s usually not the payday of spring, there are still some great opportunities to spend the rest of your summer vacation with a rod in hand on some north Georgia waters.   And if you think YOU have it tough today, remember these little guys and their mad dash to freedom! Enjoy THIS video.

Tight lines, and thanks for buying your fishing licenses and TU brookie car tags.