Well, look here, we took a week off from the blog and HERE comes the perfect cooler fall weather. Coincidence? Probably. But, we are still glad to see it!

I know ALL of you that escaped the unbelievable damage left by Hurricane Michael join our DNR Family in wishing and praying for all of those affected. 

Some quick news bits to get you started:

  • Bass Slammers Rollin’ In: We are now up to 25 total Georgia Bass Slam folks – that is awesome! Keep’em coming. 
  • Primitive Weapons Deer Season: We know you have to have variety in your life, so we hope you get out and enjoy primitive weapons season that opens tomorrow!

This week, we have reports from Southeast, Central and North Georgia. Get outside, take a nice, deep breath of cool air 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) 

Batten down the hatches, as Hurricane Michael will likely be arriving about the time this report is posted online. River fishing has been great this week, but the storm will likely change that. First quarter moon is October 16th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Shane and Joshua Barber fished the lower river and had 10 keeper bass on Saturday. Plastic worms fooled their fish. Britney at Jaycees Landing said that bream and redbreasts were caught with crickets over the weekend.  Limb liners using goldfish for bait made some nice channel and flathead catfish catches. J.J. at Altamaha Park said that bream were still being caught on crickets and worms in the main river. Minnows produced some nice crappie catches this week, as well. The river level was 2.0 feet and falling (79 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 3.6 feet and rising (76 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on October 10th.

OCMULGEE RIVER

Brandon Baker and I fished the river near Hawkinsville on the holiday (Monday) and caught 3 different species of bass. I finished up my GA Wildlife Resources Division Georgia Bass Slam  with a total of 6 species this year. You only need to catch 5 of the 10 black bass species found in Georgia in order to earn the slam. We flung Satilla Spins and a whole host of other lures at them, but the Satilla Spin fooled all but one of our bass. The hottest color was a black/red 3/16-oz. version. Brandon caught a bunch late in the trip on a 3/16-oz. black/chartreuse version. Our lures were custom-built with larger hooks to hold bass better than the smaller stock hooks on the panfish version. We had 6 shoal bass up to 16 1/2 inches, 6 largemouth up to 14 inches (we lost a fish in the 5-pound range that wrapped up in vines and then pulled off), and 3 spotted bass to 13 inches. The river level was 1.9 feet and rising (81 degrees) at the Hawkinsville gage, on October 10th.

SATILLA RIVER

SE GA John Gray Walker Redbreast 9 30 18
John Gray Walker caught this rooster redbreast this week on the middle Satilla. The track of Hurricane Michael will determine whether or not the river will be blown out or if we can fish it in the near future.

John Gray Walker fished with Ed Beckham in the middle river below Atkinson and caught some huge bluegills and redbreasts. They had enough for a good meal for their families, and crickets produced their fish. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the uppers Satilla has gotten low, but water from the storm will likely give us another shot at the fish in the coming weeks. Anglers reported catching bream and redbreasts on red-white beetlespins and Satilla Spins. Shrimp fished in deep holes accounted for some good catfish catches this week. A few bass were caught on topwater plugs in the lower river. The river level on October 10th at the Waycross gage was 6.5 feet and falling (78 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 4.2 feet and rising.

 

ST. MARYS RIVER

Bream bit well on crickets this week. Catfish bit about anywhere you dropped it down again this week. The St. Marys usually takes a little longer to jump up after rains, so it is likely that you will still be able to fish the tidal portion around Traders Hill this weekend, even if we get a good bit of rain out of the hurricane. The river level at the MacClenny gage on October 10th was 4.0 feet and rising.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The water level is still hampering the bite on the east side. I heard from a pair of anglers that fished a couple of hours on Saturday evening, and they only managed a couple of fliers on pink sallies. The high water still has the fish spread out. The west side is fishable, with catfish your best option, followed by fliers. Put a piece of shrimp on the bottom for catfish, and pitch a yellow or pink sally to lily pads to catch fliers.

LOCAL PONDS

Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, crickets fooled some nice bream. The crappie bite was decent for those fishing minnows under floats. Buzzbaits still triggered bass bites in the warm weather this week. Pink worms were the top bait reported for catfish.

DODGE COUNTY PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Eastman, More Info HERE)

A couple of anglers reported catching 11 bass up to 3 pounds on Thursday using artificials. The lake is a great option for panfish and bass as the water cools this fall.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

A couple of anglers fished the creeks in the Brunswick area over the weekend and landed some nice redfish by fishing the grass. They were flinging Capt. Bert’s jigheads with Keitech 2.8-inch Fat Impact swimbaits. Another group of anglers waded the flats behind St. Simons during the recent big tides, and one of them landed and released a 30-inch redfish on a fluke. Steve and Brenda Hampton of Waycross fished the Jekyll Island Pier Saturday and had 3 keeper flounder measuring 20, 18 and 12 1/2 inches. Curly-tailed grubs and live shrimp fooled their flatfish. The finger mullet were not around as densely like they have been their last couple of trips. Luke Guadagnoli caught a 7-lb., 2-oz. sheepshead on a fiddler crab fished around pilings in the Brunswick area late last week. On Monday a couple big flounder were landed off the docks in Brunswick. Boat anglers fishing the Brunswick area reported catching tripletail, trout, reds, and flounder. Surf fishing has started producing some bull redfish and sharks for those fishing chunks of mullet. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that an angler landed a doormat flounder from the pier on Monday. They caught it using a finger mullet for bait. More details will be forthcoming. Limits of keeper trout were landed with finger mullet and dead shrimp.  The bull redfish were around the pier, and cut bait is how folks fooled them. The whiting bite has been solid for anglers fishing shrimp or squid on the bottom. Sheepshead and sharks were also in the mix on the pier. Blue crabs were numerous again this week. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

At the time of writing this, we are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Michael. Prayerfully, effects will be much less than anticipated. The rivers are likely going to be high and muddy by the weekend, but the track will determine that. Assuming the rivers are blown out, saltwater and ponds will probably be the place to go this weekend. Early and late in the day is going to be the deal for bass in ponds. Pitch crickets or artificials for panfish during the day or put worms or shrimp on the bottom for catfish. Trout fishing should be excellent in saltwater, unless the storm dumps huge amounts of rain.

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 DOWN 2.1 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S 

Bass fishing is fair.  Use the Carolina rigged worms, jerk baits and lizards.  A Texas rig will get some bites in the brush as well, but a drop shot rig will probably get more response.  Also, try a Shad Rap in perch and work the point with light line and dig the bait into the lake bottom then stop it.  The top-water bite is coming along.  Find the banks with some deeper water close by and use the Navionics mapping to show these areas with one foot contours.  Watch those flats right off the river ledges down lake.  Early in the day the warming shallows will help the shallow bite.  Use small buzz baits early but keep it ready even in the middle of the day.  Then use Carolina rigs with green Zoom lizards on the ledges, but the fish are striking baits very lightly.  Try a Sufix 832 braided line so setting the hook is super easy. 

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 3.26 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S 

Bass fishing is good.  Use a big blade 3/8 or ½ ounce spinnerbait in some shade of white.  You can mix white and chartreus or white and green together if you like but have several lade combinations available.  Double willow leaf, double Colorado or willow Colorado combinations seem to be the choice of anglers this week.  Also, take along some buzz baits and rats for the top followed by spinnerbaits.  Throw the spinnerbaits right along the edge of the weeds and crank it as slow as possible.  If you hit the weeds, a good hard jerk on the line will free it and then continue your retrieve. Also, look for any isolated weed patches.  Use a light jig like the Bitsy Bug; just letting it fall will trigger the most bites.  Split shot rigs with small Zoom worms in green or pumpkin colors are working.  Use the pearl white Sluggos with no weight.  Fish close to the main channel and stay out of the small coves and creeks.  The big bite has not kicked in yet.

LAKE OCONEE IS DOWN ONE FOOT, 80’S 

(Report brought to you by Capt. Mark Smith, Reel Time Guide Service) — The lake is 1 foot low and clear over most of the lake, light stain up the rivers.  The temperature is 83 to 87; same old story.

Bass: The bass cannot decide if fall is here or is it still summer.  The fishing is still on the slow side.  With the shorter days the water temperature has stopped rising.  The bass have started to move out of the deep water and a few are chasing bait into the coves and creeks all over the lake.  A buzz bait at first light will still produce for the first hour of daylight.  Soft plastics fished under docks and around wood structure in the mouth of the coves mid-lake will produce during daylight hrs.  Crank baits fished around bridge rip rap will also produce when Georgia Power is pulling water in the afternoons.  Some fish are still on the lower lake humps around the dam area.  A Carolina rig with a dark worm will catch these fish.

Striper: Striper fishing is poor.  Don’t look for much improvement in the striper fishing until fall.  I tell ever one the striper bite will start after the middle of October.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair to good.  This is the best fishing on Oconee right now. Some better fish have been showing up this past week.  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 and on ledges on the main lake at 10 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 DOWN 1.65 FEET, CLEAR, and 80’S 

Bass fishing is barely fair.  The water up-lake is cooling some and this will get some fish shallow.  Early top-water action has been fair up the rivers.  At daylight, the bass head to the shallows and are feeding on small thread fin shad.  This shallow action will last until the sun makes its way onto the water.  Start the day with an all-white buzz bait, and cast all white spinner baits and small ¼ ounce chrome Rat L Traps.  The chrome and black back Crazy Shad silver top-water lures right on the banks as well as white Lunker Lure buzz baits are drawing strikes from bass.  The fish are shallow at and before daylight and it’s best to be on the water as early each morning this week as possible.  These bass are after recently hatched small shad and small sunfish right on banks both up and down lake.  Use Zoom u tail worms in June bug and gourd green on a Texas rig on the bank cover.  Keep baits in the structure as long as possible.  The bone and parrot Deep Wee R cranks baits in the rivers and creeks are good choices and again, cast these lures right on the bank.  All lures should be worked in a stop and go technique and move around often.  A green Zoom trick worm with a # 2/0 Mustad wide gap hook on a spinning reel will get the fish out from under docks.  Skip this bait as far into cover and into docks.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.54 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  Most fish are feeding in shallow water in the coves and creeks.  Top-water baits should be tried during early morning, late afternoon, and during overcast conditions.  Some larger fish will hit buzz baits, Pop R’s, Spooks and weightless Flukes near the back of coves around any type of cover.  Make several casts to a likely looking piece of cover such as blow downs, stumps, rocks, or grass.  After catching a fish from cover, return later and try the spot again.  Don’t waste time fishing areas with little or no bait so the Lowrance Structure Scan technology can see the baits out to 100 feet from the boat.  Use small crank baits like a #5 Shad Rap RS in fire tiger and shad.  Try to bump the posts on docks on each retrieve.   Rat L Trap’s and spinner baits from ¼ to ½ ounce should also be tried.  When it slows down, worms and jigs will work.  Try pitching a 5/16 ounce Stanley Rattlin’ jig with a Zoom Tiny Brush Hog trailer.  A good pitching worm rig is a Zoom 6-inch Dead Ringer in June bug or green pumpkin on a 3/0 hook with a ¼ ounce weight.

LAKE JACKSON IS .62 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  The top-water bite is fair early but shuts off around mid-morning.  Use a 1/4 or ½ ounce spinnerbait in white or white/chart.  Other colors are also working but these two seem to be the favorites among anglers.  Isolated stumps or any isolated cover in the small variety is your best bet while using the blade.  Several casts at each target will be necessary and using a slow retrieve will aid in the process.  Another good technique to try is slow swimming a pumpkin/chart u tale worm around the same type of cover.  These bass seem to get on the slow baits a little better than the faster moving ones.  Try different colors as well.  Stay on the main rivers and away from the back of coves and small creeks.  The spots seem to be more aggressive while working the points while the largemouth tend to be holding tight to the cover.  Try deep water docks but don’t stay on them too long if the bite isn’t happening.  The ¼ ounce Rat L Traps are catching a few but it is still a little early and too warm for the lipless cranks to be real productive.  Use pig n jigs in blue or black but be sure to downsize for the better bite.  Use the ¼ ounce or smaller in all blue.  This is catching the larger bass while slow rolling it right along the bottom. 

BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE

  • Surface water temperature: 81° F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 26”
  • Water Level: About 13” below full pool
  • With hunting season in full swing, you may notice a dip in fishing pressure around the lake. This could be very beneficial to the more dedicated fisherman.
  • Effective Oct. 1, Georgia Public Fishing Areas are open to fishing daily from sunrise to sunset only (no night fishing).

Bass: Fair- When targeting bass, try shad as well as other fish look-alike baits at a variety of depths.  As the water cools, try pitching crawfish and plastic worms in deeper waters, particularly near the picnic area as this method has produced quality bites. In cooler waters, try slowing down your plastic baits to increase chances for bites.

Crappie: Poor- There have been very few reports of crappie catches.  Crappie are difficult to pinpoint and target.  However, cooler temperatures may increase catch potential.  Attempt to locate the depth they are hanging out and drop down live bait such as minnows.  Colored jigs may also prove to be an effective method for quality bites.  Remember, only two poles per person are allowed!

Bream: Good- Bream fishing is generally good this time of year and that trend should continue with the cooler water temperatures.  Woody structures in shallower water all around the lake are good target areas.  Live bait such as crickets and worms are extremely productive.  Also, small jigs, grubs or spinner type baits can be used to entice a bream bite.  Bream fishing is one of the more popular fishing experiences for young or beginning anglers so be sure to bring your child with you to the lake!  Bream fishing with light tackle can increase the experience even further!

Catfish: Good- The water is still warm enough that the cats are biting fairly well.  Channel catfish are located throughout most of the lake but for best results try locating the channel in the upper end of the lake or the rip rap along the dam.  You can fish on the bottom or at varying levels while remaining low in the water column.  Chicken liver, cut bait or even shrimp are successful channel catfish baits. Remember, gas motors are allowed but at idle speed only.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE

  • Temperature range is hovering at 79-81⁰.
  • Water Visibility: 14 – 54+ inches
  • Effective Oct. 1, Georgia Public Fishing Areas are open to fishing daily from sunrise to sunset only (no night fishing).
  • The Fish Cleaning Station is open. Please call MCDPFA staff (706-595-1684) if it’s not working.

Bass: Bass action has picked up with anglers catching bragging-size bass in Lake Willow.  On Thursday [October 11th] an angler reported catching a bass that weighed 5.37 pounds from the Old 6E pond on East side of Willow.  Another angler reported catching bass in the four-pound range in Breambuster Lake as they are feeding on shad.  The bass are feeding throughout the day across the PFA lakes.  No reports of anglers catching bass from Lake Rodbender. Bass should be in their Fall feeding pattern for the reminder of the Fall. The trophy bass pond is open year-round and anglers can harvest one bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer per day.

Bream: Bream action has slowed down.  No reports of bream being caught.  Bream should continue feeding until the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Channel Catfish:  Catfish are being caught across the PFA!  The catfish action is steady with anglers catching catfish in every lake. Night fishing at Jones Lake has ended for this year. The fish feeders at Jones Lake are still operating and feed 5 times day, 6 AM, 9 AM, 12 PM, 9 PM, and 12 AM. Additional catfish will be stocked in all lakes during the month of October except for Rodbender.

Striped Bass: No reports of stripers being caught this week.  Each angler can keep (15) stripers but only two of them can be over 22 inches. That means if all stripers are under 22 inches then all 15 stripers can be kept.

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Well, it looks like fall is finally here! There’s a beautiful weekend ahead of us in north Georgia.  But it’s a real struggle for our southern neighbors in the path of Hurricane Michael.  Please join me in supporting their recovery through prayers, donations, and assistance.  Our north Georgia teams deployed days ago and are in the middle of security, searches, and vital road clearing duties.  Game wardens, fish and wildlife techs, and biologists with dozers, chain saws, boats, blue lights, and RTV’s are down there now, serving your friends and family members in south Georgia.  Two folks you may know, Burton Hatchery techs and champ sawyers Colt Martin and Leon Brotherton, were part of our first wave of emergency responders.  Along with their Game Management counterparts, they can clear a road for police and ambulance access in no time.  We are very proud of our Critical Action Team (CAT) members up here and I know you are, too.  And more folks from my staff have already raised their hands to replace our first wave in a few days and give them a rest.

With this proper perspective, we can count our north Georgia blessings and maybe even find a little time to celebrate the cool weather.  While the bass rivers will be a bit high for a few more days (due to 2-3 inches of rain), they will drop and clear soon and provide good fishing as long as the water temps stay above 60 degrees.

Your best bets this weekend will be a) cooling lakes, b) headwater wild trout, and a nice dose of fat fall-stocked trout, thanks to your License Revenue funds.  We’ve been super-busy up here this week, so here’s the best report that I can compile while working through some major priorities for the Division.

TROUT

Your License Money Gift- Fall Stockers: Thanks for all of you supporting the small bump in the prices of Georgia hunting and fishing licenses a year or so ago.  Some of those funds were targeted at trout feed and have helped us to grow a larger trout for all you stocker fans.  As we explained months ago, some of the slower-growing critters each year would need more growing time.  We had hoped to provide some fall fishing opportunities when those little guys finally hit their size targets.  Well, here comes your fall weekend fun!  Federal and state hatcheries will stock at least 13,000 FAT trout this week. Where? Tune into the trout stocking report update here, after lunch today. Hint: worms and crickets might outfish corn this weekend….

Hooch Tailwater: The water is still stained and smelly from Lake Lanier stratification, but the trout are still biting.  Stay downstream from Highway 20 to let the river re-aerate and the dissolved metals and hydrogen sulfide to drop out of solution.  You’ll find happier, hungrier fish in the better water quality. More news HERE, HERE and HERE.

trout BNT big Hooch TW Jerry Oct2018

Wild Trout: Find new about Mountain Browns, A first speck, and here is a hint: use pink san juans, dead-drifted among the fall leaves.  Check the October 2018 issue of Tightlines (Rabuntu.org) for Tammy’s tips.

Casting for Smiles: Here’s a big shout-out to Casting for Recovery (CFR)- Georgia’s Beverly Booth and her army of volunteers for pulling off their second annual retreat for Stage 4 breast cancer survivors last weekend.  A big time was had by all!  Here’s a special thanks to Chattahoochee National Forest Service public affairs director Steve Bekkerus, who won grants funds from his Washington office and provided the fly rods (and two more great USFS employees) and streamside help to Beverly’s special guests.  For all of you who donate time or money to the CFR cause, these smiles are for you!

BASS NEWS

Electric Bassin’: Electric Bass Opens 2019 Schedule

Bassin’ Reruns: Following are a couple of good reports from last week.  Since we skipped a week on the WRD statewide blog, I’ve added them now so they will make it onto that Big Page.

Our Bassin’ Biologist: From Zachary Moran, fisheries biologist – Fall is when Bass put bass lmb big Zach GPC lake Oct 2018on the “feed bag” for winter. This presents excellent opportunities for anglers on north Georgia’s lakes. Look for these hungry fish on woody structure adjacent to deeper water. Top-water plugs such as the Zara-Spook and soft plastics such as the Zoom ‘Ol Monster are quintessential for catching a big fish this fall. Here’s my 6 pound, 12 oz Largemouth and an even bigger brother caught on Georgia Power reservoirs, in Rabun County, last weekend while using a big, Texas-rigged plastic worm. Get the Fishing Forecasts for lakes in Georgia HERE.

bass smb 5.5in GoFish to BlueRidge Sept2018Stocking More Smallies: How about a little “Sport Fish Restoration” in action? The Go Fish Education Center hatchery harvested 2 smallmouth bass ponds this past week.  A total of 7,154 fish were stocked into Lake Blue Ridge. Their average length was almost 5.5” and in total, they weighed 343 pounds.  These are new production records for smallmouth bass at Go Fish. Watch this video of excited smallies, leaping for joy when they learned the news about their upcoming road trip!

LAKE LANIER 

Lanier Bass: Monday Bass with Julian; Lanier Windy and Chewing

Where are the fish?: Here’s a really nice article (p.33) by Capt. Cefus, who took a ride on our special boat with the most effective bait in the world, electricity! Also, biologist Hunter Roop’s most recent Lanier profile should indicate that stripers have moved up in the water column, where they are tolerating hot water to find some oxygen.  Most of them are in a very thin layer of the coolest water with adequate oxygen.  Watch the lake reports from Ken S and combine them with Hunter’s DO profile to aim your striper baits and lures at the best depth.

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Check out the Southern Fishing Report HERE.

Jimbo Mathley’s “Jimbo on Lanier” Report: LAKE LANIER IS DOWN 1.08 FEET, THE CREEKS ARE STAINED AND THE MAIN LAKE IS CLEAR THE RIVERS AND UP LAKE COVES ARE STAINED. 70’S DEGREES. Find more reports and info HERE – The lake is in good shape from top to bottom right now. The water looks good! Above Brown’s Bridge the water is slightly stained in the creeks, but fairly clear in the main river channel up to the Gainesville Bridge. The recent weather changes have been fantastic for the fishing. The fish are really in their fall patterns now and we have enjoyed some great results in the last couple of weeks. The top water and swimbait bite has been strong of late for both spots and now some stripers. Traditional humps and points with brush in the 20 foot range have been a good option for this approach. When the wind is up, we have also found fish fairly shallow on windblown rocky points on the main lake as well as in the mouths of the creeks. Walking baits, Whopper Ploppers, and a Sebile have been our best options overall, which is no surprise. That’s about all I’m going to have on my deck for the next month. Add the jerk bait and a SuperSpin as soon as the water cools some more. And maybe a crankbait for the early morning rock bite that will strengthen as the cooler weather arrives as well. Overall though, I’m really looking forward to power fishing for a while. We are really seeing lots of bait starting to move back into the mouths of the creeks recently, and a lot of schooling going on both in the main channel as well as in the mouths of the creeks. October, November, December are some of my favorite months on the lake I hope you will make plans to come join me. Come enjoy some fantastic fall fishing. Here are my open dates for October: 18(PM), 19, 25(PM), 29(PM), 30, 31(PM). I am also booking dates for November. Lots of great fishing ahead of us in the coming months, both morning and afternoon! Give me a call and let’s fish.

Stripers: (This Lake Lanier Striper report is from Big Fish on Guide Service) – Striper fishing is good. It looks like summer is over and fall temperatures have arrived. It is time to get out your planner boards and top water baits out and put away your Lead Core rods. Look for the Stripers to break out of their summertime pattern and start feeding aggressively on the shallow bait you have been seeing all over the Lake. You have spent the last several months with your head down looking at your electronics for fish. How is the time to lift your head up keeping your eyes on the water looking for surface activity? You should carry several spinning rods with the basic top water baits tied on including Chug Bugs, Red Fins and Spooks and a 1/2 ounce buck tail jig with a small fluke. Focus on reef markers and long sloping points with your top water baits and live bait. Vary the free line distance for your planner boards and the boat from 20 feet to 100 feet. Use split shots to weight some of your free lines. The umbrella rigs will work when pulled shallow over points and reef markers. The stripers will also start to move north and from the mouth of the creeks to the middle of the creeks. We have been fishing the south end of the Lake but the fish will be on the move this week and can be anywhere. Fish the areas where you find a large concentration of bait fish. The water temperature is in the high to mid 70’s. The water is lightly stained in the creeks and clear on the main lake. The lake is 1.3 feet below full pool.

Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie fishing report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) – Water temperature is hovering around 80 degrees, a little cooler in the morning. I suspect that the backs of the creeks are moderately to heavily stained with around 4” of rainfall this week. Except for this past Monday, the combination of rain and wind kept most anglers off the lake. The ones who fished on Monday, did well targeting deeper docks with structure below or nearby. Also, submerged brush piles have plenty of fish on them. Having said that, put your electronics to use side scan and downscan can be very helpful this time of year. If I’m fishing a dock, the Bobby Garland soft body grub seems to be working well. When fishing brush piles, you might get more action using a hair jig. There is good weather ahead of us, with cooler temps which will lower the water temperature and increase the bite even more. There is almost certainly a great deal of debris in the water, so be vigilant, and be careful. Be safe on the water. Wear your life jacket, it can save your life.

LAKE ALLATOONA

Bass: (This Bass Fishing report is from Captain Todd Wynn) – Bass fishing continues to be good on Lake Allatoona with great fishing in sight. With the weather starting to change and the water temperature dropping, the pattern is starting to change towards winter. The mane lake points are producing fish on crank baits, jerk baits and spinner baits. The wind blown points have been the most successful because the bait stacks up on these points, which intern draws in the spotted bass. Also, look for bass still in deep water. Look for trees or boulders in 20 to 30 feet of water. The best techniques for these fish are either drop shot or Shaky head.

Striper: (This Lake Allatoona Fishing Guides Report for Striper and Hybrid report fishing report has been brought to you exclusively by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service) – Line side fishing is good. It looks October is going to be as good as September. The fishing this week prefrontal of the storm has been off the charts. Live bait has been good. But the top water bite has been incredible. The spoons along with trolling is also working right now. If you’re in the right place at the right time you can boat a mix bag of 30 plus stripers, hybrids, whites, spots and catfish in a very short time. Live bait like threadfin shad is still fishing best on free lines and down lines. But when their busting top water there’s nothing that’s going to beat a white Jr Fluke. The morning bite has been really good. But the afternoon bite may be better especially if you’re chasing the top water action. Trolling has been really good this past week. We are pulling the 4 arm light rigs loaded with 1/2 ounce buck tails with chartreuse trailers at 3.2 miles an hour a 120 feet behind the boat. Mid lake has been best midday. The top water bite can be great at times. The better bite seems to be at sun up and again at sun down. Someday these schools will stay up and active for an hour.

LAKE HARTWELL IS DOWN ONE FOOT, CLEAR, 70’S

Before the storm the fishing was good and it should recover quickly. The spotted bass are feeding on the shallow bait balls in the creeks. In the shallows the Zoom Super Fluke and Zoom trick worm. If the sun is shining the spotted bass are easier to catch. Shad Raps are hard to beat and use the #5 and the # 7 sizes in shad and baby bass are good choices. The spotted bass are on the main lake points and secondary points and humps at the mouths of the creeks, and you can catch them on a drop shot or shaky head worm. There is some schooling activity and Pop R’s and small Sammy’s are working and use a braided line for the strength and the extra long casts this line will allow. When they are schooling and keep an eye on the Lowrance and you can see them. Drop the drop shot or shaky head worm down on them. Watch for the bass and the bait and to bunch up more in the creeks and ditches. These fish will be a little easier to catch as the water stabilizes.

WEISS LAKE IS AT 1 FEET 6 INCHES BELOW FULL POOL AND CLEAR AND 77 80 DEGREE’S

(Report by Mark Collins Service) – Bass fishing is fair. It is top water time so use the smaller Zara Spooks and Pop R lures. Mid day go to the Shad Raps and Strike King crank baits and work all types of wood structure. If the bite slows, get out the jigs and work these same places. They are being caught on deep brush 8 feet deep or more, under deeper docks and on the creek and river channel ledges. Jig and pigs like the Booyah Baby Boo jigs 3/16 ounce black and blue, crank baits, spinnerbaits and Carolina rigged plastics are all producing some good bass. After the rain we have had, look for some good bass to move to culverts under roads and the falls at Yellow Creek where fresh water is running in the lake.

FREE FISHING CLASSES IN OCTOBER

Ken Sturdivant will be hosting FREE Fishing classes at Forsyth County Library Branches. These seminars will cover Bass Fishing, Striper Fishing, Crappie Fishing, Fly Fishing and Sonar. Anglers DO NOT need to pre-register. Please come to the event 30 minutes prior to start time. All events are subjects to change without notice.

  • Sunday October 14, 2018: Hampton Park Branch (5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming, GA 30041), 2 to 4 pm, Basics of SONAR.
  • Sunday, October 21, 2018: Sharon Forks Branch (2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30041), 2 to 4 pm, Basic Bass lures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood luck this week.  Hopefully our southern neighbors will recover soon, with our help, and then join us for a great fall in the mountains of north Georgia.  Thanks for your fishing license and car tag money.  Go cash in your return on that investment in a stocker stream tomorrow!