Georgia anglers, where do you get your best fishing information? Family? Friends? This blog? We hope the information that you get here “stocks” you up with use-able and relevant tips that make your day on the water successful.
Here are some reasons we think the “Georgia Fishing Report” is great info: Who has better intel than GAWRD? Electricity beats a streamer and nets beat a diving plug nearly every time! We’re sampling the lakes, capturing river broodstocks, creating stocking lists, and loading our trout trucks. Some of us fish alongside you on the weekends and even on weekday evenings now, as daylight lengthens. Georgia anglers who take the time each week to read this blog and click on a few links should be right in the middle of great fishing opportunities. How are we able to provide this kind of information? It is all thanks to YOU because our sampling, stocking, and reporting efforts are a direct result of sportsmen and womens’ dollars. It’s a user-pay system. You’re paying and we are delivering to you, so you can enjoy your aquatic resources and sport fisheries.
- In case you missed it this week: Ocmulgee PFA: Fast Growing Bass – Worth a trip!
This week, we have reports from Central, North and Southeast Georgia. We hope the news shared below makes a difference on your next fishing trip. Now, Go Fish 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 .22 FEET, CLEAR, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. This is the best of the three border lakes as the water has remained stable. The bass fishing on Lake Russell has been scattered. There are bass both shallow and deep. The bass that are shallow are on points 10 to 15 feet deep. Fishermen are catching them on a Carolina rig with a green pumpkin finesse worm. Any bass shallow are after the shaky head with a green pumpkin worm. They are also out deep up to 30 feet but are suspended in 15 to 20 feet of water. Deeper fish are biting a drop shot with a watermelon finesse worm and darker color worms since the water is stained from all the rain.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN .69 FEET, STAINED, 50’S
Bass fishing is slow. Small schools of bait fish can be seen throughout the lake and especially on the warmer and sunnier days. The afternoon bite has been the best as the water tends to warm up a degree to two by that time. The river bass are still hitting crank baits, worms and jigs. Feeding times are scattered the past couple of days and the bass are scattered as well about the lake. A slow presentation along with downsizing baits and line is always a must during the cold winter months. A drop shot rig with small baits is a good choice to use this week. Medium diving crank baits and a lighter than normal Carolina Rig is fair on the edge of the ledges. Work crank baits later in the day with a slow retrieve and work rocks.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 50’S
(This report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service) — The lake is full. The rivers are still muddy; the main lake is stained. Richland Creek is light stain.
Bass: Bass fishing is fair. Small crank baits fished around docks and sea walls from the mouth of the creeks to the middle of the creeks can be productive. Jigs and trailers fished under docks and around wood structure in Lick and Sugar creeks have been producing bigger fish. It is a slow bite but good size fish. Richland creek has been producing better numbers and Lick and Sugar have been producing bigger fish. We are still getting a lot of rain and the water color will change overnight so be prepared to change with the conditions.
Striped Bass: Striper fishing is fair to good. The fish are from the dam up to Rocky creek. Use your Lowrance to locate the schools and you can drop a small shiner into the school. The down line bite has been best for me over the past week. The mini Mack fished on a down-line at 0.5 mph have been deadly on the down-line fish This is a new way to fish the mini Mack and it is working very well.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. Fishing jigs has been the way to catch the bigger fish. Dark color jigs tipped with a minnow are best. The fish are starting to move into the 5 8ft. water depth. You can still catch fish long-lining but the bigger fish are coming on the spider rigs. Sugar Creek has seen the best action over the past week.
WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 5.75 FEET, STAINED, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. The spots are heading to the old pond dams and long points in the creeks. These are holding on staging areas around docks, points and secondary points. The fish are biting jigs, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits and underspins depending on water clarity. Fishing creeks is best as the main lake water is off-colored and lots of flow. The chartreuse spinnerbaits in dirty water can produce. Look for schooling activity. Swimbaits and jigs can produce well in cleaner water.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.13 FEET, STAINED, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. Fishermen are still in this rainy cycle which is keeping the lake heavily stained. Look for the clearest water you can find and fish slowly. For the shallow bite, fish a SPRO Little John MD 50 slowly along rocky points and concrete sea walls. Chartreuse or Red Craw colors will be best. A worm or jig will also get bites in these same areas and around docks with brush. A Weedless Wonder lead head with a black Zoom trick worm will work around the docks for numbers. A ¼ ounce black and blue jig will get fewer bites around these docks but will produce a quality bite. There are plenty of deep fish to be caught right now as well. Look for rock structure in the mouths of the creeks just off the main river channel. Find these deep fish quickly by using the Lowrance HDS Structure Scan units. Once you have located these fish, drop a gold Hopkins spoon, a tailspin, or a drop shot vertically through the school. These fish will be located in 24 to 30 feet of water. This is a great way to catch numbers.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.03 FEET OVER FULL, STAINED, 50S
Bass fishing is fair on Jackson Lake. Much of the lake is cooler and stained from the heavy rains of last week. The crankbait bite has slowed briefly with shaky heads and finesse jigs working fairly well to get bites through the rain event. It shouldn’t take much to get the bite back to normal, and as always this time of year, some steady weather and warming will help out a lot. Expect the stained shallows and pockets to warm quickly in the sun and draw fish for a shallow bite. If the water temps rise just slightly look for bites on chartreuse spinnerbaits with Colorado blades and the crank baits. Try a fire tiger #7 Shad Rap and Rapala DT6 and DT10 in these conditions. Change to more natural colors as the stain falls out. Fish from points into the warmest pockets to locate the fish. As the water warms and stays up there, target more wood cover rather than concentrating on the rocks. A Rat L Trap should also be used to cover shallow water. Chrome, red, and “Sexy” colored traps are good choices. Fish Rat L Traps and the other cranks shallow on riprap, points, and inside the mouth of the pockets. Look for areas with rocky and or clay bottom. Patches of chunk rock in 6 to 8 foot of water will hold fish particularly well. A Carolina rig or heavy jig will help you quickly locate these areas and a 3/8 ounce football or 5/16 Finesse jig will help you clean it up. Go with green pumpkin on your jigs and shaky/trick worms.
BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE)
- Surface water temperature: 60o F
- Water visibility: Visibility is about 32”
- Water level: Water level is up 1” from full pool
In general, March water temperatures at Big Lazer are starting to warm up and so is the fishing. Late March and early April are one of the best times to fish Big Lazer as pre-spawn largemouth bass start to move into shallower water followed by bream. Good luck!
Bass: Good- There have been many reports of good largemouth bass fishing trips as they begin to move to shallower water. Try throwing spinning baits or crankbaits in 6 to 8 feet of water. Baits should still be fished slower. Casting your line near good cover should yield some decent bites.
Crappie: Fair- There have been reports of some good-sized crappie being caught with the spawning season beginning. Try locating groups of crappie by trolling the lake with minnows. Most bites will be in 8-10ft of water. You can also try bright colored jigs to try to entice bites. Remember: only two poles are allowed per angler.
Bream: Fair- There have been little reports of good bream fishing, but spawning season is quickly approaching. Anglers seem to be having luck fishing with worms around the fishing pier. This time of year, bream are located in 4-6 feet of water. Try locating woody structure for increased chance of bream bites.
Channel Catfish: Poor- Catfish bites are hard to come by this time of year but you may have good luck fishing with livers or shrimp near the bottom. The rip rap along the dam and around woody structures will be your best bet of landing a cat.
MCDUFFIE PFA (More info HERE)
- The Fish Cleaning Station is still closed.
Springtime is here, the dogwoods are budding out and the time to fish is now! Water temperatures have exceeded 60⁰ F so fish will begin to feed vigorously as they prepare to spawn (see map below). Lakes will begin to green up from here as they become more and more productive (see map below). Also, new fish feeders have been put out on Beaverlodge Lake and are in full operation!
Bass: As bass move into shallower water, the morning and evening top-water bite is picking up fast! The cormorants have mostly cleared out but the bass are still feeding on shad in Willow and Jones. Nice bass are being caught in Willow Lake on lures that imitate 3-4 inch threadfin shad (crankbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits). A recent survey showed that Jones is loaded with healthy 2–3 lb. bass that are aggressively feeding on shad and small bream. If the bass aren’t chasing shad, try slowly working jigs and shaky head worms in deeper water around structure. Lately this tactic has produced numerous 5–6 lb. fish across the PFA.
Bream: Quality bream (pictured) are already being caught in Bridge Lake on the warmer sunny afternoons we’ve been having. There have been no reports of bream biting in Jones Lake yet, but a recent survey showed that it’s loaded with smaller bream and a handful of trophy shellcrackers and bluegill. Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge Lakes are excellent spots to fish for bream.
Channel Catfish: The catfish action is picking up fast, many anglers are having a lot of success on the warmer afternoons. A few two-pounders were recently caught on chicken liver in Bridge and Beaverlodge. Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge are excellent spots to fish for catfish.
Striped Bass: Stripers can be found in Clubhouse and Bridge Lakes. Numerous 10-12 inch stripers are being caught in Bridge on chicken liver and worms. Believe it or not, chicken liver is the most reliable way to catch stripers out here! If it works, it works.
(Fishing report courtesy of Jeff Durniak, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Look outside! The grass is growing, the buds are breaking, the yard bugs have re-emerged, and the pollen count is increasing. It’s gotta be Spring in north Georgia! The days are warmer and longer and, after 1-2 inch totals last night, the rain will finally quit for a week! Here’s another great report as the waters warm, our target species head toward the shallows and we declare, only a week early, that spring has arrived for north Georgia anglers. While last night’s heavy rain will blow out our biggest trout streams for 1-2 days and the bass/striper/walleye rivers for a bit longer, smaller streams, our ponds, and the big reservoirs should fish well. Hopefully those bigger streams will drop to fishable levels soon, so stay tuned to the USGS streamflow gauges and local tackle shops for updates. In fact, if you choose a 2-4 week data interval on those USGS gauges, you can review past rainfall events and see how long it took those rivers to drop to fishable levels afterward. Then you can predict future fishable flows and plan your next trip. It will be cooler, but drier next week. After the morning chills, the afternoons should warm enough to restore decent stream temperatures and give us some good shots at our finned targets.
With spring’s warmth drawing our sport fish into the shallows, it’s now time for our annual sampling of several target species like walleye, stripers, and soon the bass when they hit the shallows. Enjoy the pics and reports from our managing biologists as they enter their busiest two months of field sampling for the entire year.
And for those anglers who don’t take advantage of GAWRD’s online resource, well, we’ll just wish them luck with their fishing trips. They may be more “fishing” than “catching,” but they’re still fun. And maybe, one day, they’ll discover these gub’mint gold nuggets and cash in. In the meantime, for the miners among you, get ready to load your wheelbarrows:
Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Ken’s detailed Friday updates from local fishing guides are worth reading before you burn your truck and boat gas on Saturday morning!
Lanier Ramp Update: More ramps are reopening as the lake level slowly drops
Fresh Lanier Bass Report: Check it HERE
March Striper Tips: Although this is a year old, it’s still great intel from Capt Clay that will put you on fish now
Roop’s Lanier Report: (This report brought to you by fisheries biologist Hunter Roop) — Your Lanier biologist has fresh walleye and striper intel. This week has been focused almost exclusively on wrapping up broodstock collections for walleye on Lake Lanier (see the videos to come). With Chestatee and Chattahoochee River temperatures now creeping up in the low 50s, the walleye numbers appear to be peaking in their traditional spawning areas. Many fish have moved from their lower, deeper pre-spawn staging areas into shallow, swift moving water over gravel bottoms. Many walleye we are seeing are ripe for spawning, and some have even already deposited their eggs/milt. While the “spawning walleye bite” can be a bit unpredictable depending on which stage of the spawn these fish are in (pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn), now is a great opportunity to go catch a walleye. Any interested Georgia anglers should give this fish a try, because they are fun to pursue and are tough to beat in terms of table fare. In an effort to increase anglers’ success rates, WRD Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern has created a “Walleye Fishing Guide” that anglers can read and prepare for a walleye fishing trip. Anthony is also featured on O’Neill Williams TV show about Georgia walleyes.
Oh, and by the way, walleye aren’t the only fish biting this early spring. These warm temperatures are triggering the natural instincts of Lanier’s Morone species (white bass & striped bass), and we are starting to see more and more activity on the lineside front. In fact, we ran into a hardy 20 lb striped bass in the Chestatee River this Monday (pictured) This early running adult had little company in the run of the river we were sampling, but there were plenty of pockets of small baitfish including shiners and blueback herring to maintain her appetite. In these relatively high flows, look for stripers foraging in deep runs, holes, and eddies where baitfish are seeking refuge from the current. Larger stripers may be found in swift shoals where higher quality forage is available. The fishing is expected to continue to pick up through the month of March, so be on the lookout for more tips and intel from WRD as we aim to improve everyone’s fishing knowledge and success!
Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie Report is brought to you by Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) –Lake Level is about 3 ½ feet over full pool, and there is still a good bit of floating debris to avoid. Everyone in the boat should be on the look-out. The backs of the creeks have moderate to heavy stain, which is where you find the warmest water, about 55 degrees and creeping up. Fishing is good to excellent. Simply follow the bait in the middle to backs of creeks and they will lead you to the fish. Also, there are lots of roaming fish. This means that long-line trolling can be very effective. We suspect that the fish are checking out their spawning grounds, and my guess will be that the spawn will begin around the coming full moon. The trees are blooming and the daffodils are in abundance, both signs that the spawn is near. I know the fish can’t see the trees and the daffodils, but their bloom is related to air and soil temps, which are affected by weather, as is water temperature. We are targeting and catching fish in docks in 15 feet of water and much less. The bite is suspended shallow in the water column, so expect bites quickly after the bait hits the water. Having said that, fishing is changing from day to day. You might catch a mixed bag in size one day, and the next day you may end up with nothing but big ones. I can’t explain that, but for me, any tug on the line is a win. But we are definitely catching our share of big fish! We are keeping a close eye on the blow-downs, and scanning the deeper ones. But so far, we are not seeing any fish on them. I do expect that to change quickly, though. Usually, when I see the turtles soaking up the sun on the blow-downs, I expect to find the fish there. This is a fun time of the year to catch them. If you happen to be one of those fishermen that get a chance to fish multiple times during the week, and are catching a lot of fish, keep in mind that our future fishery depends on a good spawn, so you may want to consider catch and release. Stay safe on the water, wear a life jacket!
OTHER FISHING NEWS
The Moran Report: (This report is brought to you by new fisheries biologist Zach Moran) – Zach is stationed at Burton Hatchery and traveling all across north Georgia to assist our region field staffs. After work, he fishes. A lot. From trout to bass to stripers, he’s enjoying his new home in north Georgia. Here’s the latest Moran report, combining both work and angling time to bring you some breaking news: Spring has sprung, and with it comes excellent fishing to Northeast Georgia. Fish (especially big fish) are beginning to move shallow to look for food in warmer waters. Now is the perfect time to go out and catch that trophy of a lifetime. The trick to catching these big fish is to throw bigger, slow-moving baits. For trout, try throwing egg sucking leeches and streamers in deep eddies. Striped bass and walleye are moving to the uppermost ends of reservoirs to spawn and can be targeted with shad-imitating lures. Largemouth and spotted bass can be found in creek channels leading into spawning areas using a jig or Texas-rigged worm.
Coosa Whites: (From fisheries biologist Jim Hakala) — Rain and continued water releases from Allatoona and Carters has kept river flows high in the Coosa River. Electrofishing surveys earlier in the week generally showed few white bass in the river between Mayo Lock and Dam downstream to the Old River Road Boat Ramp. The fish present tended to be holding on the inside river bends and back in the tributaries off the main river. Most were smaller male white bass, but a few larger egg-laden females were observed. River temps have risen into the mid-50’s F, which has brought a few striped bass into the river as well. Striper numbers should continue to increase in the coming weeks as they head upstream on their annual spawning run.
Blue Ridge Bass: (From fisheries biologist John Damer) — Staff in the Armuchee office captured and released these two bass over 4 pounds this week at Blue Ridge Lake while searching for walleye broodstock. Experienced anglers will know that the fish on the right is likely a smallmouth bass, but the fish on the left looks like a hybrid smallmouth x Alabama (spotted) bass to our trained eyes. Genetic data from each fish will confirm our visual ID. Alabama spotted bass were first illegally introduced into the lake around 1993, and by competing and breeding with the native smallmouth they have become the dominant bass species in the lake. WRD now raises and stocks pure smallmouth into the lake to combat the “spot” takeover and maintain the smallmouth bass fishery for anglers in the future.
We caught several walleye this week, but nearly all of the females were spawned out. That spring run is about over for the year, and the fish will now return to the reservoir.
Chattooga DH Hat Trick (3/10): Dredger gave the high water a shot last Sunday afternoon to see if any spots were fishable. During his morning “net” session on his Iphone, the river showed 2.8-foot height on the Clayton gauge, which equaled 1.8 feet and 400 cfs on the Burrells Ford gauge.
Despite his height and 30+ years of experience on the Tooga, that intel indicated BIG water and he proceeded with caution. Walking the bankside trail, he found a few spots right at the river edge to hop in and cast. He never wandered far from the bank and never crossed the raging river.
Before rigging, he scanned the surface for hatching bugs and poking noses. The bugs were scarce and the noses, nonexistent, so he set up for high-water dredging: bobber, long leader, split shot, and big attractor bugs (brown Pat’s rubberlegs and red squirmy). He did try some dropper bugs (pheasant tail, hares ear) but had no lookers on those smaller targets in the raging river.
He found enough slow eddies and pools to make the trip worthwhile, and ended the day with about a dozen rainbows, three browns (two were hefty fish at 16 and 17 inches), and one fat brookie to give him the “trout hat trick.” The catch was split evenly between the legs and the worm. Despite the warm afternoon and 53-degree water, the real bugs weren’t thick, except for a slow stream of tiny (#22) caddis that only drew about three rises. At least until his late afternoon hike out. A pod of fish set up shop in the glassy tail of a long pool and were sipping microscopic emergers. He rigged tiny, cast, missed one, and put down the pod. It was still a nice afternoon on the Chattooga, with size compensating for numbers. It will only get better as the water warms, flows drop, and bugs and trout noses meet on the water surface.
After the two-inch rain last night, it will be several days before the river is fishable again, but at least you can glance at those gauges, check the hatch charts in last week’s WRD blog, and plan your next trip to this wild and scenic river.
Spring Dries and Droppers: Bullet #3 in here = a veteran’s tips for your next three months of Southeastern fly flinging.
Trouting Home Run: When we swing for the fences, we often strike out. But sometimes we connect and the ball sails into the bleachers. Here is the story of one such trout homer hit on a north GA river. The choice is ours. We can bring dry/droppers to the plate and hit many singles and a few doubles this spring. Or we can take a swing with some big, meaty calories and hope to put one in the upper deck. Good luck as you stroll into your own on-deck circle.
Trout Stockings – Weekly Intel: Our weekly stocking lists are getting longer. This week, more than 13,000 trout will be spread among 30 streams and small lakes. I’ll bet Carmen (in photo) will be out there again this March, ready to string up some stockers for supper! Have you signed up yet for your Friday afternoon “dings” on your smart phone? and Where?
- March 22: Lanier Striper Tourney: Join us this next weekend for our 2nd Annual Southern Striper Open on Lake Lanier! Anglers will have a great opportunity for friendly competition, as well as thousands of dollars in giveaways, prizes, and raffles, all while raising funds for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Let’s get our veterans fishing! -Jeff Wright, manager (Alpharetta Outfitters)
- March 23: Hooch Hoot, This is where the GATU Dream Trip’s winning tickets are drawn.
- March 30: NGTO Fling at Buford Hatchery
- March 30: 30th Annual Helen Trout Tournament
- April 6: Rabunite 101 (Learn to Flyfish)
- April 6: Smithgall’s Flies and Fly Water
- April 26: Fish and Learn
As always, thanks for your fishing tackle taxes, license purchases, and TU brookie car tags. We’re putting those funds to good use on your north Georgia sport fisheries. And good luck in dealing with a true angling anomaly this year: A DRY WEEK! I’ll bet you’ll figure it out quickly and make some fine fishing memories in the days ahead. Don’t forget a friend, especially one who’s good with a camera.
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The current warming trend has spurred bites in both fresh and saltwater. The Okefenokee bite has picked up, and the bites in ponds have not slowed down. If you have been waiting for a good time to catch a big bass, now is the time. The rivers (except the St. Marys) are still high from recent rains. First quarter moon is March 14th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.
The upper river is still too high and swift for good fishing. J.J. at Altamaha Park said that the rising, muddy river slowed the bite, but anglers still caught some smaller flatheads, blues and channel cats on limb lines. The river level was 13.0 feet (flood stage is 13 feet) and rising (61 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 10.6 feet and falling (62 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on March 12th.
The river has risen again with this week’s rains, and Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that nobody reported fishing the river on the hard rise. Take note of the Highway 158 Bridge landing being closed due to construction of the replacement Hwy 158 Bridge. This will affect anglers fishing that upper river area this spring, so plan accordingly. The river level on March 12th at the Waycross gage was 13.1 feet and falling (62 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 12.1 feet and rising.
ST. MARYS RIVER
The river has started rising again. A few anglers reported catching bluegills and redbreasts on crickets even with the slight rise. The catfish bite was consistent all along the river for anglers fishing worms or shrimp on the bottom. The river level at the Macclenny gage on March 12th was 6.9 feet and rising.
The water is still high (21.90 feet on the gage), but the flier and warmouth bites have been great on the east side. Brentz and Claudia McGhin fished the Folkston entrance on Sunday and landed 40 warmouth and 30 fliers up to 8 inches. They kept 8 of the biggest warmouth for a meal and released the rest. They caught the fish on a bream buster and small popping bug, a split-shot and cricket, and a white crappie jig fished tight to cover (as in….right in the roots and limbs and tangled up mess). He said that it wasn’t hard to get a bite, but it was very hard to get them out. Staff at Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo reported anglers catching bluegill in the boat basin over the weekend on worms. On Tuesday, anglers fishing the boat basing landed good numbers of warmouth on worms. At the Folkston entrance, anglers also caught bream and warmouth on worms in the boat basin. The catfish bite at the bridge crossings out Swamp Road continued this week. Put shrimp or worms on the bottom, and catfish should eat it. Don’t be surprised if you catch an occasional warmouth, also.
HUGH M. GILLIS PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Dublin, more info HERE)
Fishing has been great at the area during the current warm spell. Crappie have been the best bite for anglers using both minnows and jigs. Several coolers of nice fish were caught this week. Quite a few bass were caught, also, but I didn’t receive reports of any giants.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
Bass and crappie were caught this week. The crappie are spawning around shoreline vegetation and wood. You can catch them on both minnows and jigs. Fish up to 2 1/2 pounds have been caught this spring, but most of them are 1/2-lb. to a pound. The Wildlife Resources Division staff electrofished the area this week and collected (and released) bass up to 9.45 pounds. They also sampled some big crappie over 2 pounds. The crappie were on shallow cover and getting ready to spawn. The big bass fishery is about to boom. You won’t set the hook constantly at the lake, but when you set the hook on a bass, it will pull back….hard!
Chad Lee only had an hour to fish on Friday evening, but what an hour it was! He caught several fish working the shallows with a square-bill crankbait for the hour. While headed back to the landing, he decided to grab his Senko rod and fling a green pumpkin stickworm to the shallows near the landing. A giant inhaled his offering, and he landed an 8-pound bass right at the end of the trip. He followed that big fish up on Sunday afternoon with another toad – a fat 5-pounder that also inhaled a stick worm. A family fished a Blackshear area pond on Sunday afternoon and caught lots of bluegill on bread. One of them was big enough for a youth-division angler award. They also had a brown bullhead big enough for an angler award. It measured 18 inches and 3 1/2 pounds. On Saturday, a group of anglers fished a tournament in a Brunswick area pond. The winning 5-fish weight was 29.5 pounds. Their fish ate vibrating jigs, crankbaits, and Mad Wag Keitech worms. Second through 5th place were between 20.4 and 26.1 pounds. It was a GREAT tournament! The big pre-spawn females were shallow and eating. Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, crappie fishing was tops, and anglers caught them on both minnows and jigs.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
On Saturday a group of Blackshear anglers fished the St. Simons area for whiting and landed dozens, keeping 14 of them for a meal. They caught them on dead shrimp and small pieces of cut-up chicken. Michael Winge said that Waycross anglers fishing in the Brunswick area caught sheepshead on hard cover. Anglers reported catching a few smaller striped bass in the saltwater rivers. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the most impressive catch was a 69-lb. black drum caught from the pier on Friday. The angler fooled it with a blue crab as bait. The whiting bite has still been strong, and good numbers of sheepshead were also caught. Blue crabs are still thick under the pier. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.
Fishing late this week during the warm weather should be great, but another cold front is forecasted for Friday night. Expect crappie and bass to be feeding well on Thursday and Friday. The cold front will probably shut down the crappie fishing, but you should still be able to catch some bass shallow if you fish heavy cover and down-size your lures on Saturday. Fish protected water, if possible, because it will probably be windy behind the cold front. The water temperatures should still be warm enough that catfish will still bite well this weekend. In saltwater, you will probably want to fish from a dock or pier if the winds are bad. You should be able to drop a fiddler crab around pilings or rocks and catch sheepshead, or you can drop a dead shrimp to the bottom for whiting, black drum, and redfish.