This week’s fishing report is meant to entice you to get out there starting tomorrow, because Sunday is not looking so good to be outdoors! So, Go Fish…but Go Be Safe too!

In case you missed it:

Let’s get to those reports! Today, we have reports from Southeast, Southwest, Central and North Georgia. Get on out there, but watch the weather, 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)

The Okefenokee is producing ridiculously good fishing right now. The rivers are not right yet, but are providing some awesome fishing for panfish and bass. Take your pick this weekend and you should catch some fish, especially in freshwater. I have a backlog of photos, so I’m going to run some of the impressive catches from over the last month. First quarter moon is April 12th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The fishing in the swamp has been too good to not specifically mention. Last Wednesday, I fished the Folkston entrance with my daughter, Ellie. We fished the middle of the day and pitched yellow, pink, and orange (yellow was the best) sallies to shady spots and edges of vegetation in the canal to catch exactly 100 fliers in barely over 2 1/2 hours. On Tuesday, Jimmy Pruett came down from Eastman and fished the Folkston entrance with a friend and caught 75 fliers on yellow sallies and 5 warmouth, a few chain pickerel (2 giants pulled off), and several dozen bowfin (the biggest 2 were 7.9 and 9.0 pounds) on black/chartreuse Dura-Spin in-line spinners. Nate McMillan caught a few giant bluegills, warmouth, and flier on crickets from the Folkston boat basin on Tuesday morning. Matt Rouse has been regularly catching big warmouth, fliers, jackfish, and bowfin on the east side. Glen Solomon fished the west side (Fargo entrance) on Monday and caught a limit of quality warmouth and bluegills. All of his bluegills were between .9 pounds and 1.22 pounds. Those are monsters! Worms worked well, as did small plastic worms (pumpkin-chartreuse tail). After catching his limit of panfish, he started flinging crawfish Dura-Spin in-line spinners and caught 30 bowfin up to 7.4 pounds. Other anglers fishing the west side reported catching some crappie at the sill, a few bass, and tons of fliers in Billy’s Lake. The catfish bite has also been good at the west side. Put a piece of shrimp or piece of cut flier on the bottom to catch the tasty bullheads (butter cats).

Let’s enjoy some fun photos!

Glen Solomon caught this giant bluegill from the  Okefenokee Swamp (west side) on Monday. It ate a worm.
Garrett caught a couple dozen nice bass up to 2 pounds from a local pond. He fooled them with pumpkin/chartreuse ZOOM curly-tail worms.
Brian Hickox caught this 9 1/2-pound trophy bass from the Altamaha on Saturday. He fooled it with a black back/silver side/orange belly Rattlin’ Rogue plug. He released the whopper after the photo.
Quinn Brown put it on the big bass last month, catching 10 and 12-pounders from Atkinson County ponds.

 

Joshua landed this big sheepshead last weekend while fishing in the brine with his dad, Shane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOUTHWEST GEORGIA 

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

RESERVOIRS

Lake Blackshear: (Report provided by Brad McDaniel) — Suffice it to say if you put a hook in the water around here right now, something is going to bite it! Largemouth Bass are bedding, and Black Crappie are moving in around the trees. Catfish are being caught in large numbers (like always).  Finally, the sunfish/bream bite is cranking up, and fish are starting to bite more each day.  The full moon on April 19 is sure to turn the bream fishing on fire. If you’re a bream angler, take a few days off work right now so you can get on the water when the 19th rolls around! 

Black Crappie collected from Walter F. George reservoir

Lake Walter F. George/Lake Eufaula:

  • We’ve been getting a LOT of good-sized Black Crappie in our standardized sampling this spring. We are finding crappie still present on bedding sites along vegetated edges in pairs. Largemouth Bass are also present in spawning pairs along these edges. Great place to find an abundance of fish. We documented quite a few nice-sized Largemouth Bass, though there are also a good number of harvestable sized fish as well.
  • (Report provided by Les Bratcher of Big Bite Baits) — Fishing is on fire right now in George. It took almost 100 pounds in four days to win the ABA Championship this last week. I heard reports of fish being caught on all different bait types and lures. Shad are trying to spawn right now, so early bank fishing is good. The offshore guides and anglers are finding fish between 8 and 12 feet. The fishing should stay good providing no great weather changes or lake draw-downs.

RIVERS

Shoal Bass collected from the tailrace of Albany Power Dam

Flint River: We have had about two inches of rain down here in the last week, so water levels are up around 7 – 9 feet on Flint River tributaries (Kinchafoonee, Muckalee, Ichawaynochaway Creek), but they are peaking and starting to drop. Boat ramps on the smaller tributaries and the Ochlockonee River are little wet and flows are a bit high at this point. We are not forecasted to get much rain this next week, so getting on the water may be optimal within a few days. Everything seems to be spawning right now in these fluvial systems, from Largemouth Bass, to Shoal Bass, to Redbreast Sunfish. The Flint River is a bit higher than normal due to rain, though fishing in the tailraces of the Albany Dam and Warwick Dam has been pretty hot for Striped Bass and hybrids. Threadfin Shad have started showing up in large numbers, so there’s a lot of forage for these predatory fish. Shoal Bass are also numerous in the tailrace of Albany Dam. We were out looking for adult Striped Bass this past week and captured a number of 2 – 5 pound Shoal Bass in the tailrace.

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 1.23 FEET, CLEAR, 60S

Bass fishing is good.  The fish biting are all smaller spots.  Early morning use a Zoom trick worm and bright colors on a 2/0 offset worm hook and 10-pound Sufix Elite line.  Work the shallows all day just inside the small creeks and coves in shallow water.  Have a small Chug Bugs and Skitter Pops ready later in the day on main lake points in the afternoons.  Carolina rigs and Texas rigged Zoom green pumpkin trick worms around any wood on these points will find isolated big bass.  Spotted bass are still coming in on crank baits and the Shad Raps in shad and fire tiger will catch spots all day.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.96 FEET, STAINED, 50S

Bass fishing is good.  With the warm weather stabilizing and the water temperatures continuing to rise, expect great fishing as more and more bass migrate toward shallow cover.  Top-water lures such as a frog and buzz baits both become major players soon.  If you get a top-water strike and the fish misses the bait, you can often catch that bass by following up with a weightless Texas rigged worm or fluke.  Once the sun comes up, try a spinnerbait or a ChatterBait around grass and docks in order to generate a few extra strikes.  As fish enter their spawning stage, use a Texas rigged Zoom lizard with a 1/4 ounce bullet weight to catch any bass that may be on bed.  When covering water to find productive areas, try throwing a Shad Rap crank bait to give fish a different presentation when targeting that mid-depth water column.  Once the fish are active go to a Zoom trick worm and a shakey head. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 60S                                         

(Report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service) — The lake is full.  The rivers are stained, the main lake is clear.  Richland Creek is clear.  The temperature is 59 66.

Bass: Bass fishing is good.  The fish have started moving into the creeks and coves all over the lake.  A small crank bait fished around wood has been producing the best number.  Work the docks in the middle area of the creek.  Some good fish are also coming on main lake points going into coves and pockets off the main lake.  Texas rigged worms in the brown with a chartreuse tail have been very good under docks mid-way in the creeks and big coves to the back.  Spinner baits fished on the bridge rip rap has started to produce some fish over the past week. 

Striped Bass: Striper fishing is good.  The fish are showing up at the dam but the bite has been up and down like the weather.  We have found fish from Great Waters to the dam and then back up in Richland Creek to Rocky Creek.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools and you can drop a small shiner into the school.  The flat line, planer board bite has picked up this week; it is working all day at the dam.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair, good, great.  The long line bite has taken off over the past few days.  The fish are in the mouths of the coves and are feeding on double 1/16 jigs.  Match the color to the color of the water just make sure there is chartreuse in the jig.  The fish have been in the water column from 7 to 12 feet deep. 

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 3.45 FEET, STAINED, 60S

Bass fishing is good.  Fish are in shallow with the warmer water.  Focus on the northern end of the lake to take advantage of the warmer water.  Look for creeks and pockets with flats that have ditches running through them.  Fish have been really shallow in three feet or less in a pre-spawn pattern.  Alabama rigs with small Zoom pearl flukes will work.  Cruising fish are being spotted lake wide so make sure you have a good pair of polarized sunglasses.  The best pockets are from the Hwy 109 Bridge north.  Stick with your soft plastic creature baits, lizards, and jigs.  Use a 3/16 ounce Texas rig with a Zoom Baby Brush Hog or Zoom 6 Lizard in green pumpkin or watermelon with red flake.  With a jig presentation use a Texas craw 3/8 ounce tipped with a green pumpkin Zoom chunk.  Spotted bass have begun to move up on shallow rock on the main lake to spawn.  Once you have located fish you can catch multiple fish without moving.  Use a 1/8 ounce Weedless Wonder head with a Zoom green pumpkin trick worm.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.5 FEET, STAINED, 60S

Bass fishing is very good.  Focus your efforts in major creeks like Rooty Creek and Crooked Creek and fish from the bank out to 4 or 5 feet.  Texas rig plastic continues to be your best option with tubes and crawfish type baits producing the best.  Green pumpkin, June bug, blueberry and redbug have been producing well, as color options.  Shallow docks are holding some of the larger fish that have spawned and can be caught on a beaver or creature bait in June bug or other darker color patterns.  If the front of the dock has more than five feet of water, don’t waste your time fishing it.  Move on to a shallower dock.  The best news of all is that a decent top-water bite has started in the last couple of days on shallow flats.  Fish a Pop R or other type chugger bait slowly with long pauses, or try a Zoom horny toad over the grass beds moving it as slowly as possible.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .60 FEET, STAINED, 50S

Bass fishing is good.  The lake and rivers remain clear throughout, with bass scattered throughout the pockets.  Fish from the main lake to secondary points and on to the back of pockets.  Target any wood cover between the docks.  Senko’s, grubs on a jig head and small flipping jigs will work. Rig jig heads with trick worms or Senko’s in watermelon variations.  Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits can be effective all day in the 3 to 10 foot range.  Baits should be white and pearl.  Hard baits can be used to cover shallow water and should be fished close to cover.  In the clear water use natural shad colored hard baits.  Sometimes a citrus shad will trigger a bite. Shad Raps, Bandit 100’s and 200’s will be productive. 

BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE)  

  • Surface water temperature: 69°F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 30”
  • Water level: 3” Above Full Pool

In general, April water temperatures at Big Lazer are warming up and so is the fishing.   April is one of the best times to fish Big Lazer PFA because spawning fish move into shallower water.  Also, spring is a great time to not only fish but also picnic at Big Lazer with the whole family.

Bass: Fair to good- The bass fishing is improving as they begin to move into shallower water to spawn.  Try throwing spinners and crankbaits at about 4-6 feet of water.  Fishing plastic worms and lizards near spawning beds should produce decent bites.  You may have luck by locating feeding shad near the banks and throwing a crankbait or spinner in the area.

Crappie: Fair- Crappie fishing has slowed a bit from last month’s peak.  However, there are still a few being caught.  Minnows are still your best bet.  You can also try trolling with bright-colored jigs and minnows at varying depths to find bunched up crappie. 

Bream: Good- We’ve had some good reports of bream catches lately.  They are getting ready to spawn so look for beds to fish near.  Red worms and crickets are still your best bet for bream.  Woody structure and areas near the pier may produce some good bites. 

Catfish: Fair- Catfish fishing is improving as of late and your fishing should continue to improve.  Try using livers or worms at or near the bottom of the lake.  Woody structure as well as the rip-rap near the dam may be your best bet at a good cat.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE

  • Water Temperature: 73⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 14 – 54+ in.
  • The Fish Cleaning Station is open. 

Bass:  Many nice bass are being caught in Jones, Willow and Breambuster on baits that imitate shad.  This past week, a 7 lb. 11 oz. bass was caught in Beaverlodge Lake and numerous 3 – 4 pounders have been caught throughout the area.  This has been an excellent spring for bass fishing so far and things are only looking up!

Bream:  Quality bream are already being caught in Bridge Lake on the warmer sunny afternoons we’ve been having.  Bream are finally biting in Jones Lake as anglers continue to catch numerous limits of large bream!  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 fishing in the evenings.  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.

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Just like the azaleas in my front yard, our north Georgia fishing action is now in full bloom.  It’s time to burn a vacation day or two and wet a line NOW.  Our water temperatures are entering the “optimum” window, and stream flows are receding to very fishable levels, at least until this expected heavy rain on Sunday.  This week’s message: Go soon and go often.  I have.  Why don’t you?  Here we go!

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD

The Roop Report (Lanier, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Bear Creek Reservoir): (Report from Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — This week Gainesville staff sampled Lanier striped bass and we conducted standardized sampling on two small water supply reservoirs in our region: Cedar Creek Reservoir (Hall County) and Bear Creek Reservoir (Jackson County).

On Lanier, lake temperatures are rising quickly! Earlier this week we were seeing surface temperatures in the low 60’s, and as of 4/11/2019 we recorded a surface temperature of 68 F near Vann’ s Tavern boat ramp. These temperatures are bringing black bass shallow to spawn (Largemouth) and feed (Spotted bass). Sunfish, black crappie, and catfish can be found shallow as well, as they forage and find refuge to avoid the aforementioned predators. Structure holds lots of fish, so anglers should target blowdowns, submerged stumps, rip rap embankments, and anything else that contrasts the otherwise desolate clay flats that make up a significant portion of Lanier’s shoreline on the lower end of the reservoir. So what’s useful about these shallow flats then? They can hold stripers this time of year if you are fishing the right spot. Humps and flats in 10-15 feet of water in the low 60’s are ideal playgrounds for striped bass, so feel free to pause for a couple of casts if you are inbound from the big water, you might hook up with a photogenic lineside or two to diversify your catch.   How do I know?  We sampled and released 50 small and medium stripers on Monday morning at our midlake station.

Cedar Creek and Bear Creek reservoirs’ temperatures are in the upper 60’s (F) now, and largemouth bass are extremely abundant in the shallows (< 8 ft). You may have to employ a stealthy approach to avoid spooking fish, as both of these water supply reservoirs are extremely clear. Even so, anglers can expect very high catch rates for largemouth bass in the 12” size range, so these reservoirs are perfect for kids and adults new to fishing, or those that just want to go out and catch a ton of small fish. I encourage anglers to catch and keep their legal limits of largemouth from these impoundments to help reduce bass crowding. A few pictures (attached) demonstrate that, while largemouth abundance is high, their overall condition is low because the “groceries” are in high demand—but extremely limited! Quality crappie are also in good abundance in Bear Creek reservoir. Small schools of crappie can be found around the submerged brushpiles that are easily located along the shoreline of Bear Creek.

The Moran Report (Nottely, Chatuge, Trout): (Report from Fisheries Biologist Zach Moran) –– Fishing just keeps getting better and better with lake temperatures reaching the low 60’s. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are moving shallow to chase shad and herring. Largemouth are starting to look for spawning areas.  Look for these fish to be staging around docks midway in the backs of coves. A whacky-rigged worm or Texas rigged soft plastics is an excellent choice for catching these shallow fish. Be sure to make a subtle presentation as these shallow fish can be spooky.

Striped Bass fishing on Nottely is superb right now with local guides running out of bait before they run out of fish to catch. These fish are in the backs of creeks and along clay banks just gorging on shad. Hybrids on Lake Chatuge can be caught in a similar areas. Live shad and shad imitating lures are your best bet for catching fish.  During our annual spring sampling this week, we caught, measured, and released a 43-inch striper that will be a trophy for the lucky spring angler who finds her cruising the bank during low light. Enjoy the photo.

Catfish and sunfish fishing is also picking up. Bluegills can be caught on crickets and night crawlers around woody brush. Catching sunfish is a great way to spend time and introduce children to fishing. Catfish will be in the backs of creeks, and can be caught on nightcrawlers or live herring.

Trout stocking is in full swing. Catch these stocked fish on spinners, artificial flies, artificial bait, and worms. Be sure to follow our weekly stocking reports that are published on Fridays. Fishing for wild fish is also starting to pick up. Warmer weather means more hatches of aquatic insects. Catch these wild fish on small topwater flies and nymph patterns as droppers.  Best of luck and hope to see you on the water this weekend!

Hak’s West Side News (Coosa, Oostanaula, Rocky PFA): (Report from Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala)

Coosa/Oostanaula River Striped Bass: The annual spawning migration of striped bass from Lake Weiss is underway.  Stripers can be found in the Coosa and Oostanula Rivers as far upstream as Calhoun.  While most of the egg-laden females will be in the 15-20 pound size, fish over 30 pounds are present.  Males typically run 5- 15 pounds in size.  The largest striped bass encountered during DNR electrofishing surveys this year was a 34 pound fish caught in the Oostanaula River.  The fish pictured was measured, weighed and released.  Live bait such as shad or bream are best, but artificial lures that mimic a shad will work too.  Cut bait may pick up a striper or two as well.  Look for striped bass to be holding in the river just downstream of fallen trees which provide a current break for the fish.  Striped bass numbers in both river should continue to increase through the month of April as more fish head upstream to spawn.

Rocky PFA: The largemouth are starting to wind down their spawn and beginning to move out of the shallows. A recent DNR electrofishing survey noted bass holding in 6-8 feet of water on points or on the deep end of fallen trees like where these 6, 7, and 8 pounders were captured.  Rip-rap banks were another area holding decent largemouth numbers.  The shad are close if not already spawning. Find the shad and there are usually largemouth close by.  The crappie have finished spawning and have shifted to deeper water.  Very few crappie were observed holding on shallow brush during the survey. The big shellcrackers are getting ready to spawn. Look for them to go on bed around the next full moon. When they do, key in on fishing near downed trees or other woody debris along the shore. Look for deeper bedding fish off gradual points or flats in 4-5 feet of water. 

Damer’s Additions (Coosawattee River, Lower Etowah, Oostanaula): (Report from Fisheries Biologist John Damer) —

Coosawattee River (below Carters): Flows have dropped to a very fishable level after the high water for weeks. Water temp 58 F. Good numbers of hybrids, spotted and largemouth bass.  A few stripers.  Even a couple sturgeon. Tons of bait (shad). Fishing decks on both banks make for great angler access.

Lower Etowah River (below Allatoona): Water temp 56 F. Tons of white bass, small stripers, and hybrids.  A few monster hybrids in the 12+ pound range.  Very few large stripers yet, but numbers should increase soon. Anglers should pay attention to generation schedules.  Call USACE automated line at 706-334-7213 for daily release schedule.

Oostanaula River: Stripers just starting to show up .  Low numbers seen at all three sampling stations on Oostanaula. Warming trend and pulses of water from rainfall will push more into the spawning grounds over the next week. Peak spawning and highest numbers of fish should be over the next two weeks.

The Long Report (Lake Burton): (From Region Secretary Lauren Long) – Even our region secretary is getting in on the great spring action! Yesterday evening I caught my very first Largemouth Bass on Lake Burton! Our Biologist, Zach Moran, offered to get me out of the office and on some nice fish. After four close ones, I finally got my beauty! My face was like a child when I reeled that fella in! Zach was so helpful…I couldn’t have had a better teacher. I am used to being behind the scenes, but I see why this passion is so contagious now!

RESERVOIRS

Allatoona: Check news HERE.

Lanier:

  • Stripers on Top
  • Shallow Bass
  • Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie fishing report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) — Water temperature is in the mid-sixties and above.  In the last month, we’ve been taking advantage of fishing shallow docks while the fish were staging for spawning.  This week, the anticipated change is taking place as we see signs that the spawn is nearing completion and we are headed to the post-spawn.  The fish we have been catching on shallow docks have moved to deeper docks, 15 feet and deeper.  In the next 3-4 weeks, we expect them to move to stand-alone brush piles.  With this change occurring, some may say that the bite has slowed down.  This is somewhat true, but the bite is still there if you cover a lot of water.  Don’t expect to catch the same number of fish in a single spot.  The numbers have gone down significantly.  The early morning bite is definitely the best part of the day, and the bite lessens significantly by 10:30 or 11:00 on a sunny day.  The bite picks up late in the evening around 7:00 and continues until dark, and on certain days, is even better than the morning bite.  As the water temp warms up, the fish should begin to move to the brush piles that are now deeper than normal for this time of year.  The water remains moderately stained, so experimenting with various colored jigs is helpful.  Certain color jigs may work better in one pocket over another.  It is a good time to be on the water in the last weeks before school gets out, but there is still some floating debris in the water, so keep an eye out.  Get out there and enjoy some good fishing and some good weather! Wear your life jacket it can save your life!

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Find the News HERE

WRD Walleye Tips: Work This Walleye Info to Your Advantage!!

Mack’s Hartwell Report: Report HERE

Hartwell’s Wired Stripers: Remember our tagged fish and report them before you release them.  Don’t be surprised if you see Anthony and Tony out there, cruising the lake with their headphones on.  By the way, that is the boat’s safety rail behind Anthony in the attached photo, and not a huge antenna on his head.   And, no, Anthony’s receiver rig is not for rent.  Nice try, though… J

Slamming Bass: Start your hunt now to be a winner in 2019. There are lots of species in north Georgia and you can pick off the minimum of five easily this spring and summer. Try it; it’s fun.  I fly-slammed in 2018.

TROUT

From Academy Jack: First trip up to the Toccoa River.  Water was high but fishable.  Caught a limit on Joe’s Flies. Jack Becker-Academy Sports, Gainesville

Academy Jack Caught His Trout Limit

Stockers: Over 49,000 trout will hit the water this week.  Where?  Sign up for our Friday stocking lists and you’ll be in-the-know, too.

Careful readers of this report might find a few spring surprises in the Tallulah, Holly, Dicks, Boggs, Panther, Middle Broad, and the Hooch in Helen.

Headwater Wild Trout: Are hungry! Grab an adams, caddis, or light cahill, and go now.

Tumlin’s Travels: (From Rodney T. Cohutta TU. North Paulding High School Flyfishing Club Director) — Nine days off for spring break.  I fished eight of them.  Hit some wild trout headwaters with Dr J from Athens and we landed specks, rainbows and browns from several streams.  Which ones?  ISBIS.  Hit local ponds for crappie, bluegill, shellcrackers, and little largemouths on poppers.  Even fished some stocker streams and caught some fat rainbows.

Tough Tailwaters:  The fish are there below Buford and Blue Ridge dams, but the fish-ability just has not.  Reservoir operators like the Army Corps and TVA are still in their flood control mode, so dam releases have been relentless this winter and spring.

If you can find the rare window in the release schedule, give it a go.  If not, stay away from those dangerous high flows.  The fish will wait on you.  A few experienced folks have hit the high flows, but it is not recommended for the vast majority of our anglers.  There are just too many great opportunities on our lakes and mountain streams right now to take higher risks on tailwaters.

Smith DH:

  • Small Streams Report
  • Healing with Fishing: Last Saturday BenD and Dredger helped teach Rabunite 101 to 28 flyfishing wannabe’s in Clayton.  Half the class was composed of special, new anglers from Project Healing Waters. Then they followed a caravan to Smith DH, where they joined a small force of volunteer anglers, ready to guide the 14 great vets on their afternoon fishing trip.  A good time was had by all.  When the PHW guys and gals departed at 6PM, the local duo stayed for Dark30.  And were glad they did.  Caddis and mayfly spinners flew and had the fish looking up.  BenD ended their fine evening with a plump 16-ich rainbow that crashed a skittered caddis at sunset and ran two pools downstream before coming to the net.  Young Ben was convinced that the fishing gods had looked down upon him kindly for his day of service, and put that chunky rainbow on his hook.

Tooga DH: I borrowed Rabern’s Hartwell receiver this morning, just to give it a try.  And I must have intercepted some top-secret text among Rabunites last night (4/11).  Luckily, I had some code books on my shelf that allowed me to decipher the Rabunite narrative. Help found HERE, HERE and HERE.

Here was the message: 4:00 pm note: “Got home from Dr appt early. Gonna head to Tooga dh. Black xxxx on Sc side about 530. If you can join me, bring Cahills, Caddis, and a flashlight. Dredge” 9:00 pm note: “530:Parking lot empty. 545: crash thru the ford and hump it up the trail.  River ALL MINE! Dead at 6. A few lookers at 630. Switch flickered at 7. Switch turned on high beams at 730. Bugs and poking noses below best bug factories. Double hat trick. Ton of fat Walhalla browns. Last fish 815. Cold drink and bluegrass in lot at 845. Back toward reality at 9. Cahills and Caddis. You better skitter them if you want three dozen takes instead of three.  I settled on a 16 tan Caddis; a great skitter tool. As Adams would say: HAPPY NEW DRY FLY SEASON!” Sincerely, Weekday Warrior

Distant Trouting: Dredger likes diversity. He has a springtime circuit through the mtns of GA and NC when the spring Dark30 hatches are in full bloom.  Here’s a report on his April 6 bus stop: Another good trip before end of May would be Nantahala DH. Go late and come home late.  Leave home around 2 or 3 and get up there around 4. Dredge or try the shadows early.  The dark30 switch should turn on at 6 or 7 and last til 8 or later. That’s when you go double dry, or dry and emerger.  Eat streamside supper as you take your waders off, then drive home. They ate the skittered combo of an Adams and gray Caddis tonite. A ton of stocked brookies, a few browns, and a few of the coveted resident rainbows were fondled.  Flavors change daily with the hatches, so bring a diversity of dries and droppers til you dial in that day’s flavor. Don’t forget yer camera. Sincerely, Late Nite

MORE INFO

Last Week’s Report: This is simply a link for anyone who missed last week’s WRD intel, especially about our white bass runs.

Awesome Artists: Check out this amazing artwork by these young artists for the Youth Birding Competition!

Colt Martin, an Eagle Scout, teaches a group at Rainey Mountain

Congrats to Colt: Please join us in wishing Burton Hatchery Tech 2 Colt Martin the best of luck, as he has accepted a promotion to the manager’s position at the Go Fish Georgia Hatchery in Perry.  In his five short years with our agency, Colt has helped grow a million trout at Burton, stocked many north GA streams for our angling pleasure, and cleared numerous roads, in disaster areas across the state, as a member of WRD’s Critical Action Team.  An Eagle Scout, he’s also served that organization well at their career days and kids fishing events.  Since Colt will now be a part of the Go Fish Team that provides us with walleye, smallmouth bass, and sturgeon, among other species, his future success will be ours, too.  Go get ‘em, Colt!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Nuff said. This is not the time to sit around writing or reading.  Either go fishing now, or sell us all of your equipment at a deep discount and take up chess or something.  It’s April, by golly.  You’ve waited all year for this month and its awesome spring blooms. Buy or renew your fishing licenses and….Go. Now!