Brrrr…feel that? It’s getting chillier. But, no worries, we can layer up and still get outdoors and hit up our favorite watering holes. 

How about a few quick things to get us started:

  • Celebrate Veteran’s! Looking for a way to honor the men and women who serve our Country? Ask a veteran to join you on a fun fishing excursion to a local water body or support groups like Project Healing Waters.
  • Fishing Workshop: Join us at the Go Fish Education Center from 10 am – 2 pm on Nov. 17 for a fun day of learning how to fish. This workshop is available to participants of all ages. But hurry — there’s only 25 seats. Email Michael Fulghum (michael.fulghum@dnr.ga.gov) to reserve your seat today!
  • What a Whopper!! Reid Fuller landed this beast on opening day of delayed harvest season on Smith Creek at Unicoi State Park & Lodge.
  • Looking for Trout? See where fish are hitting the water each week by signing up for weekly trout stocking updates.

This week, we have a brief report from North Georgia and a report from Southeast Georgia. Go Fish Georgia!

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Our GA WRD Northeast Georgia Fisheries staff is thankful for your trout program support via your purchases of fishing tackle, fishing licenses, and the TU brook trout license plates.  Those funds have translated into more hatchery fish food, new backpack shockers, replaced hatchery pumps, a restored trout biologist position (Zach), reprinted trout maps, and an improved stocking truck fleet, among other program improvements. Here’s a look at one such result of your license monies in action – the “Hooch DH trout sundae.”  Here’s the recipe: Burton-bnt-to-Hooch-dh-11-8-18.jpg

Start with 750 gallons of clear, cold National Forest stream water, add a big scoop of chunky 11-inch Burton browns, then add a second heaping scoopful of Buford 10-inch rainbows.  Finally, sprinkle some 15-inch Buford rainbows and browns on top.  Drive to destination and serve at ambient temperature.

We handed off the truck to biologist Roop and tech Rigglesford at Buford, who then delivered the goods to the Hooch DH at Whitewater Creek Park yesterday afternoon, where four volunteers helped serve them for our weekend metro anglers.

Enjoy lots of big fish.  You paid for them.  Happy Thanksgiving, early. Now help this old guy to get ‘em into the stocking truck tank.  Grab that net rim!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA 

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

Crappie fishing has picked up and bass fishing has remained good. Saltwater has been off and on. First quarter moon is November 15th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

SE GA Paul Teague Pickerel 11 18 - IMG_0306
Paul Teague caught this nice 19-inch chain pickerel (jackfish) while fishing the Altamaha River in Wayne County on Thursday. It ate a Texas-rigged black 6-inch Bass Assassin curly-tail worm. 

Paul Teague and Butch Windham fished the middle river for just a couple hours on Thursday and caught several nice fish, including bass, chain pickerel (jackfish), warmouth, and bowfin. All of their fish ate black 6-inch Assassin curly-tail worms. Their most impressive fish was a 19-inch pickerel that Paul landed. Shane Barber fished Saturday morning and caught 8 bass (kept 5 of them) in the lower Altamaha River. All of his fish ate Texas-rigged jelly worms. With the cooler temperatures, the bass that spent all summer in the main river are starting to transition to the lakes. So, try several different habitats next time you bass fish the river. Brentz McGhin and Greg Nelms ran limb lines over the weekend and caught 9 nice channel catfish up to 6 pounds. Their fish ate cut bait and shrimp. J.J. at Altamaha Park said that the crappie bite was good in the oxbows this week. Both minnows and jigs fooled them. The flathead bite was solid, with an angler landing 5 of them in a couple hours on Saturday night while using goldfish for bait. One of the fish was a 29-pounder. The river level was 3.8 feet and steady (66 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 5.3 feet and rising (68 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on November 6th.

SATILLA RIVER

Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that bream and redbreasts were caught on crickets, worms, beetlespins and crawfish Satilla Spins in the upper river. Rooster livers fished on the bottom in the deeper holes accounted for some good catfish catches. In the lower river below Atkinson, anglers caught shellcrackers with worms fished in the deep holes. Some redbreasts and bream were also caught with crickets. In the Burnt Fort area, flatheads from 35 to 40 pounds were caught, and some blue and channel cats were caught, as well. The river level on November 6th at the Waycross gage was 5.1 feet and rising (68 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 4.1 feet and rising.

ST. MARYS RIVER

The catfish bite has been hot. As usual, shrimp and rooster livers produced whiskerfish practically wherever anglers dropped them to the bottom. Bream and redbreasts were caught in good numbers on worms and crickets. Creels were in the 20 to 25 fish per trip range. The river level at the MacClenny gage on November 6th was 3.6 feet and rising.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The east side is still not ideal water levels for fishing (120.41 feet). Fishing has been slow, but a few fliers and bowfin were caught on the east side. This week’s rains may keep the water up, so it’s probably going to be most productive to go elsewhere this week. On the west side, a few catfish were caught on shrimp.

DODGE COUNTY PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Eastman, more info HERE)

Joe Rykard caught a 5-pound bass last Tuesday while fishing the area. Anglers have been catching decent numbers of bass, crappie, and bream this week.

LOCAL PONDS

Pond reports for bass have been decent. On the warm mornings, a few folks found topwater bites. After the sun came up, plastic worms and lizards were tops for bass. Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, the crappie bite picked up on minnows and jigs. Bream were caught with crickets, while worms produced some catfish. Lake Ware produced some good crappie catches for anglers using both jigs and minnows.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

I talked with an angler who has been fishing the piers and bridges in the Brunswick area and catching redfish and black drum. On Tuesday evening he had 8 black drum and reds (keepers) in a half-hour. He used Vudu Shrimp suspended under a Cajun Thunder Float to catch his fish. Sheepshead were not around the inshore areas much this week from the accounts I received. Crabs were caught lots of different places around the backwaters. Trout and redfish reports were good from anglers fishing live shrimp around oyster mounds and creek mouths. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the bull redfish were the deal this week from the pier. Most of the fish were over 36 inches. One over the weekend was reportedly over 50 inches. Cut bait has produced most of the bulls. Flounder, whiting, and keeper trout were also caught from the pier. A few sheepshead were caught on fiddler crabs. The biggest reported was a 20-incher. Crabs were numerous this week. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

Crappie fishing is probably going to be your best bet over the weekend with the forecasted cooler weather. Try ponds, area lakes, and river oxbows for your best chance at some specks. Seatrout is another good option if winds allow. The lower tides this weekend should clear the water some and spur a trout bite. Rivers will probably be rising and muddy for the weekend with this week’s rains, so check levels before planning a river trip.