What is it that makes a favorite day of fishing for you? Great weather? The location? The people that come with you (or the solitude of fishing alone)? Catching your limit? Cooking up the catch later? I imagine it is a variation of all of these things, but I know this saying holds true: “A bad day of fishing always beats a good day at work.” 

Quick news:

Let’s get to the fishing reports! This week, we have reports from Southeast, North and Central Georgia. Enjoy and Go Fish Georgia!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA 

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

The panfishing in the rivers (except the Altamaha system) is excellent – some of the best of the season, so far. The Okefenokee fishing has remained great for warmouth, flier and pickerel. Pond fishing has been good for bass and bream, but the crappie bite has slowed in the heat. The whiting bite in saltwater was excellent this week on days when you could get out. New Moon is May 4th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Forget the upper river for now with the big slug of water making its way downstream. The tidal portion is still fishable. J.J. at Altamaha Park said that the huge shellcrackers have been biting worms fished on the bottom. Some bluegill and redbreasts were caught in the feeder creeks and backwaters not too swift for fishing. Some limb-liners caught flatheads up to 20 pounds. I crossed the Ocmulgee at Lumber City on Monday, and it was chocolate milk and flowing hard. It’s going to be great fishing when the river comes back down! The river level was 11.8 feet and rising (69 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 9.6 feet and rising (70 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on April 30th.

SATILLA RIVER

It’s redbreast time on the Satilla! These fish caught by Chris Nugent and Jess Anderson using crawfish Satilla Spins were truly impressive. Expect big catches when you fish the upper and middle Satilla this weekend, whether you are fishing the A.J. Strickland King of the River Tournament or just fun-fishing.

This is the weekend of the A.J. Strickland King of the River Fishing Tournament on the Satilla River. Weigh-in will be held in the Blackshear Park on May 4th from noon until 4pm. T-shirts (bluegills are the featured species this year) for the event are available ahead of time at local tackle shops and the day of the event. For more information or to register, check out the Satilla Riverkeeper website. The upper and middle sections of the Satilla are on fire for panfish, and crawfish Satilla Spins are the common denominator. That color is always good, but this year that seems like the best all-around color on all systems. Chris Nugent fished the extreme upper river and caught about 2 limits of fish (only kept a few of them) over the weekend. Jess Anderson day-tripped to the middle Satilla and ended up with a bunch of nice roosters by flinging Satilla Spins. His biggest was pushing a pound. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the redbreast bite was in full swing. Whether fishing from the bank or in a boat, some big creels were caught. Worms and crickets have worked well from the bank, and boat anglers have been catching roosters on crawfish Satilla Spins and crickets. A few anglers reported catching some big redbreasts on topwater flies they were pitching with a bream buster. Bass anglers report fooling them with buzzbaits and Rattlin’ Rogue plugs. Worms and dead shrimp produced good catches of catfish. Around Burnt Fort, some big flatheads were caught by anglers fishing limb lines. 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 April 30th at the Waycross gage was 5.6 feet and falling (72 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 5.1 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

Catfish are still biting like there is no tomorrow. The upper river is really low, so a paddle craft is the preferred method right now. In the upper river above Traders Hill, redbreasts were caught on crickets, Dixie Spins, and Satilla Spins. In the tidal river below Folkston, giant bream were caught with crickets. Shady Bream Tournaments will hold a panfish tournament on May 18th out of Traders Hill. For more information check out Shady Bream Tournaments on Facebook. The river level at the Macclenny gage on April 30th was 2.4 feet and falling.

CANOOCHEE RIVER

Chris Sheahan fished the river this week and slammed the panfish. They had about 60 fish (kept 22 of them). They caught their fish on crawfish and black/chartreuse Satilla Spins and jig spinners (1/16oz bare jighead) with a cricket threaded on it.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Matt Rouse of Okefenokee Adventures said that the warmouth bite is going strong on the east side, but the size is getting smaller than the last couple of weeks. He said that chain pickerel (jackfish) are hitting black/chartreuse and red/white Dura-Spins well. The water level is dropping and starting to concentrate the fish into the canals, so hold on…. The flier fishing is usually off the chain when it pulls off the prairies and into the canals. The water level is hovering just above 120 feet. Kathy at Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo said that anglers have done well this week, catching lots of warmouth (on crickets) and catfish (on worms and shrimp) in the boat basin at the park. Out in Billy’s Lake, the fliers have been eating yellow sallies well. As the water warms, my best approach with the sally is to use it unweighted and without a float on a bream buster and pitch it out and let it sink. Just as it disappears from sight, twitch it up and let it sink again. It will disappear when a flier sucks it in, and then you set the hook. Some big warmouth were caught from the bridge crossings along Swamp Road heading out of Waycross. Crickets were the best bait.

LOCAL PONDS

Chad Lee fished Alma area ponds over the weekend and landed 30 bass up to 6 pounds, mostly on senko stick worms fished wacky-style. He broke a big one off and said that he’s going to get revenge this weekend. Michael Winge reported a good bream bite for those using crickets. Pink worms worked well for catfish. Plastic lizards fooled some good bass this week. Lake Ware is currently closed to fishing during the bream spawning season.

PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)

Chad Lee fished the area on Friday and caught a couple nice bass weighing 2 and 4 pounds on Keitech swimbaits rigged on a redfish magic jig spinner. He also caught 4 other bass on toads fished through lily pads. He also lost a 7-pound class fish. Night fishing will be allowed beginning May 1st. With the daytime temperatures heating up, putting a shrimp or worm on the bottom in the dark for catfish or flinging a lure for bass will be a welcomed respite from the heat.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

Dierks Altman fished with his family over the weekend and loaded a cooler with whiting off the King and Prince. The sounds produced some great whiting catches on days when you could get out. Some gator trout were reported this week in the St. Simons area. The key was to fish the mouths of small creeks on the outgoing tide. Tripletail were lurking around inshore buoys, and some were spotted off the Jekyll beach. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle reported anglers catching trout and bull whiting from the pier. A few croakers started showing up. Lots of sharks and a few redfish were caught over the weekend. Blue crabs were still thick under the pier. A couple of Waycross anglers fished the pier this weekend with mudminnows and caught 6 flounder, including 3 keepers. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

The A.J. Strickland King of the River Fishing Tournament sponsored by the Satilla Riverkeeper is going to be the place to be this weekend. For the first time in the history of the event, the river is going to be “RIGHT” during the tournament. I think it’s going to be a slugfest, and I would not be surprised to see a 3-pound or larger winning stringer for the biggest 3 redbreasts. My prediction is 3.05 pounds for the biggest 3 redbreasts and 14-lb., 6-oz. for the 3-fish grand slam (a big catfish, nice bowfin, and a decent bass is my prediction to win that category). Come out for the weigh-in and festivities beginning at noon and lasting through 4pm on Saturday. In addition to seeing some impressive fish, there will be vendors and concessions. It’s redbreast time on the Satilla. The river has dropped out well and it’s “right” in the upper river. Using a paddle craft is your best option in the extreme upper river. You should still be able to use a motorboat to get around in the middle and lower river. Other area rivers that are getting right are the St. Marys, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Ogeechee. The Altamaha and its tributaries are flooded, so fish elsewhere this week for panfish. The Okefenokee is in great shape, and the fish are biting well. The water is dropping into the perfect range. Pitching sallies for fliers is your best bet for numbers of fish. Warmouth will eat crickets, crayfish, or jigs fished around cover. Pickerel and bowfin will eat up in-line spinners and minnow plugs. Saltwater is forecasted to be calmer than the last couple of weekends at the time of writing this, but check before you go. The whiting bite has been excellent when you can get out to them, and this should continue through May.

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Batter up!  Instead of a bat, try a fishing pole, as all of our waters are still fishing really well.  With the absence of significant rain over the past week, many of our larger rivers have also dropped to fishable levels. 

This may change over the weekend, depending on where these forecasted storms pop up and how long they hang in each watershed.  Watching those USGS real time stream gauges will be the key.  Anything with a half-inch or less of rainfall should still be good.  Bigger streams with 3/4 inch or more may spike too high for weekend fun, and we’ll have to wait a few days for those waters to subside.  Tailwaters below dams are still tough due to managing agencies continuing their releases for flood control and summer lake level management.

We have a lot of great intel this week to aim you toward success.  Bottom line: Bass are shallow, shad are spawning, stripers are on the banks early and on docklights late, stockers are taking truck rides, DH stream bugs are still hatching, and bluelines are in prime condition for hiking trouters.  What’s not to like?  Here we go:

TROUT

Hooch DH News: (From Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — This is an announcement for all of Atlanta’s Chattahoochee River Delayed Harvest (DH) anglers – The consistent rainfall we experienced in 2018 is carrying over into 2019. While we really can’t complain about the rain, especially for the City of Atlanta whose residents depend on Chattahoochee River flows for their drinking water supply, it does have some downsides. In the fishing world, and more specifically the trout fishing world, a lot of rain means rising rivers—and when rivers rise the fishing falls! This winter we saw Lanier’s lake elevation reach historic highs. The subsequent generations from Buford Dam to draw the lake down translated to 10,000 cfs of Lanier’s deep release sweeping through Atlanta and sometimes over the Hooch’s banks. During this time, WRD Fisheries staff opted to delay stocking a portion of the nearly 50,000 rainbow and brown trout that are allocated to the Chattahoochee River’s Delayed Harvest (DH) section until fishing conditions improved. The current generation projections for Buford Dam don’t show signs of any significant decrease in flows, and DH season ends on May 15th! Rather than stocking these fish in essentially unfishable waters that will soon become too warm for trout survival, we have decided to reallocate them upstream, to the Buford Dam tailwater section where their chance of survival, and availability to anglers, should be higher. We hope our Atlanta DH trouters understand the reasoning behind this decision, and if any have questions they are welcome to call our Gainesville office at 770-535-5498. We look forward to starting DH again in November, but until then there are plenty of great opportunities for trout fishing in Georgia! Check them out at our weekly fishing blog.

Stockers:

  • Nearly 33,000 trout will hit north GA waters this week.  WRD trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson (706-947-
    Andrea says thanks for the specks!

    1508) listed these best bets for success: Soque, Hooch on WMA, Tallulah, Nimblewill, Cooper, Dicks, Middle Broad, Holly, Rock, and West Fork Chattooga.  Enjoy this video on one of our popular stocker streams.

  • Andrea says thanks for the fresh specks in Tallulah! Fernrock Creek was good to us as well (from Landon)

New GA Flyfishing Book! Find out more about Jimmy Jacobs new book HERE.

Bluelines:

  • Slam in BR WMA 
  • North of us
  • Need a reason to hike high?
  • After Work Advice – Dredger snuck above Helen after work on Wednesday (5/1) and had a great two hours with his short
    Dredger showing off a nice rainbow trout

    pole and fluffy dries (#14 caddis, stimmies, and adams).  The best fly was the one that floated.  Since he reached in his sling pack and found his Lanier striper box instead of his fly floatant, he had to change flies often.  He didn’t mind, since that meant abundant takes and subsequent fondles of small, colorful mountain jewels.  He said to go bluelining soon, before summer’s low water makes those little wild rainbows a lot more suspicious of your offerings in slower currents.

  • Slammin’ 

DH Home Stretch Overview: Georgia’s Delayed Harvest season ends on May 14, so this is a last call for fly flingers and a heads up to harvesters.  It’s been a steady pick through the daytime sunshine on DH streams, while the Dark30 action has been hot.  Have tans and yellows in your fly boxes for the last of the cahills and caddis and the first of the yellow sallies and stoneflies.  The very best action will be the very last hour of daylight, so eat supper early, stay late, and bring two flashlights to return safely.  Before Dark, try a dry/dropper combo of a parachute adams and a small pheasant tail or hares’ ear (nymph or soft hackle wet) about 3-4 feet off the bend of the dry’s hook.   A #16 back fur ant (wet fly) is another killer dropper.

Tooga: Rabunites BenD and Dredger hit Chattooga DH after work yesterday (5/3).  Here’s their report: Main bugs tonight were #14 Cahill spinners, 16 cahill emergers, some small (18) cream caddis, and a few big yellow stones. No yellow sallies seen yet. We got in DH at 630 and started with a #14 stimulator on 5X and a 16 para Adams on 6X, off the back of the stimmy. Both worked well as “prospectors” while we waited for the Dark30 switch to turn on, which it did around 7:30.  Then we traded the Adams for a Cahill as the sun set. Worked well, especially in the shallows where fish could look up easily. I’d expect a similar bug buffet up at Burrells Ford. Hope this helps our locals and our special guests from out-of-town. PS – don’t forget the skitter if the dead drift is not calling them up.

TU Southeast Regional Rendezvous: Join TU at this event May 3-5

Ronan gripp’n and grinnin’ with a nice brown

UGA Road Trip: The UGA Five Rivers Club took a recent Spring Break trip to NC and had a big time. Their rookies, trained in north GA this winter by talented club leaders and a few old TU’ers, showed off their new poles and new skills.  One successful rookie, Ronan, even showed off his perfected “grip-n-grin” technique on a nice Davidson brown.

Northcentral GA: Cohutta Fishing Co Report

RESERVOIR NEWS

Northwest Reservoirs: (From Steve Hudson of Flykits.net) — I took one of the folks from the church program to Little River after work. White bass are slowing down – only a few tonight – but some nice hybrids and an overachieving 5-inch bream and a tiny but equally enthusiastic spot and one wildly enthusiastic 10-inch striped bass!

Toona: (Fishing report courtesy of angler Matt Driver) — Fishing on Allatoona has been great. Number are up, size not so much. Fish continue to be caught on whatever you have confidence in. My favorite way to catch them this week is a Zara spoon and a soft plastics jerk bait. Most fish are post spawn now and schooling up. They are chasing shad in open water. The late day bite is the best right now. We are catching 30-40 a day. Definitely not the “Dead sea” right now.

Nighttime Bananas! This video is great.  It also shows the docklight bite is where it’s at. Thanks HenryC!

Lanier: The shad spawn is on.

Lanier Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie fishing report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) — The lake level is a little over a foot higher than full pool.  Water temps are in the low 70’s. Water is clear on the south end of the lake, and moderately stained in the middle of the lake and north.  As we mentioned last week, spring weather brings out a greater number of fishermen and others enjoying the lake, so I encourage you to continue to be respectful of others on the lake.  Even though the dogwoods and daffodil blooms are gone, crappie fishing remains strong.  As predicted, the pattern has changed.  We are launching our boats before daylight and we are getting back to the boat ramps before mid-day, especially with the 80 + degree temps over the last few days.  Another option is to fish late in the afternoon/early in the evening, with the bite being just as good as in the morning.  We are moving around, practicing the “run and gun” method – fishing as many docks as possible.  It is against the law to board private docks, so when fishing, we take that into consideration and keep our boats a good distance from the docks.  We have noticed a small number of fish starting to move to stand alone brush piles from the middle of the creeks to the backs of creeks.  But we are still targeting river channel docks and creek channel docks where we are catching the bigger fish.  I suspect some of those fish will start moving slowly to stand alone brush piles soon.  Since we are targeting docks in 20 to 35 foot depths with structure, the fish tend to be deeper at first so we are using 1/24 ounce and even 1/16 ounce jig heads.  Bobby Garland and Jiffy Jigs remain our “go-to” jigs.  When the weather is good and the fish are biting, my advice is to call a friend and Go Fish!  See you on the water! Wear your life jacket it can save your life!

Big Burton Bass: (From Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern) –The morning air temperatures around the mountain lakes continues to hover around the 50 F mark and water temps remain in the low to mid-60s.  These cool temperatures are in the target zone for bass spawning.  Today on Lake Burton, we collected a number of big largemouths including the 9 lb fish (seen in photo) plus a couple of 8 lbers  and several 6 lbers.  The big fish are holding tight to downed trees and the back corners of docks that are located near deep water.  Several fish are spitting up large herring so big swim baits are the lure of choice.

This nice 2-pound crappie was caught by Josh Higgins at Carters Lake.

Carters (From Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala) — The two-pound white crappie Mr. Higgins caught from Carters Lake met the minimum qualifications for an adult angler award.  I verified the species as a white crappie.  Mr. Higgins had the fish weighed on a certified scale at a local IGA supermarket in the presence of two witnesses.  Congrats on a fine catch Josh and fantastic supporting documentation!

WALLEYE

 

Rocky PFA: (From Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala)Rocky PFA received 18,000 walleye fingerlings.  Walleye stocking has been occurring at the PFA since 2008 as a means of diversifying the sport fishery.  Over that time, anglers have caught walleye up to five pounds, but larger fish are certainly present.  The walleye fry were produced at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry Georgia and reared to 1-2 inches in length in ponds at the Walton State Fish Hatchery before being stocked into Lake Antioch on the PFA.  Rocky is the only PFA in the state offering anglers the opportunity to catch walleye.

More Walleye: Senior biologist and champion fish hauler Anthony Rabern said that the latest batch of 83,000 Walton Hatchery walleye were distributed among lakes Blue Ridge, Rabun, and Seed this week, thanks to a western assist from Armuchee’s Bowen/Damer team.

Ken’s Reservoir News: Stay tuned for his Friday updates.

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD

The Roop Report: (From Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — This week, our Gainesville work unit has been indoors, making good use of our time entering and organizing data collected this spring. Though the surrounding walls hold us prisoner from the siren sounds of the field, intel abounds from the outside world:

  • Jack Becker fished Lake Rabun this week. Though pursuing walleye, his success came in the form of 9 quality yellow perch caught on a worm harness bouncing nightcrawlers strategically along the bottom. Yellow perch are aggressively feeding on Corbicula (Asian clams) and benthic macroinvertebrates (bugs on the bottom) right now on Rabun, so try your luck this weekend and load up a livewell like Jack!
  • Last week Gainesville Fisheries staff sampled Fort Yargo’s Lake Marbury. With surface temps at 70 F, largemouth bass were abundant along Yargo’s steep banks, with buck bass guarding nests and females roaming close by. There are good numbers of quality largemouth in this lake, and they are feeding heavily on 6” gizzard shad that are perfect for growing big, healthy bass. We netted several 4-5 pounders, missed an 8, and there are plenty in the 2-3 lb range to keep you busy all day. Best bets this time of year will be shad imitating spinnerbaits, shallow crankbaits, jerkbaits, and flukes. Water clarity was moderate at 2.5 ft., so consider natural color patterns that have hints of flashy yellow, red, or orange. Foul hooking a buck bass guarding his nest may be inevitable this time of year.
  • Gary Turner of Atlanta caught a 26” walleye while trolling live herring on Carter’s lake last Monday. For more information on DNR’s statewide walleye stocking program, click HERE.
  • Clay Cunningham guided a duo in pursuit of Lanier stripers this week, they caught good numbers of quality fish free-lining herring.
Fisheries Tech Leon Brotherton shows 2 nice largemouth from Nottely

The Moran Report: (From Fisheries Biologist Zach Moran)

  • Last Friday DNR was invited to “Outdoor Night” at Coolray Field to watch the Gwinnett Stripers take on the Toledo Mud Hens. Biologists Hunter Roop and Zach Moran were well received by fans entering the game.
  • WRD Fish Tech Leon Brotherton shows off two very nice 6 pound Largemouth collected during standardized sampling on Lake Nottely.
  • WRD was represented last Saturday at the Blue Ridge Trout Festival by Sarah Hanson, Michael Sellers, and Zach Moran. Attendance was awesome and fun was had by all.
  • Last night (5/2) we stocked some nice Richmond Hill Hatchery hybrids into lakes Chatuge and Nottely. The one-inch fingerlings will add to those sport fisheries when they grow up in 2-3 years.
Fish Truck Meets Gwinnett Stripers Stadium

Zach and Hunter suggest that you step up to the plate and take a swing at some fine fishing this weekend.  Grab both your sunscreen and your raincoat and be flexible.  Dodge the bad storms and hit your favorite waters after they pass.  If the big streams get blown out, have your small stream Plan B ready to implement.  Good luck for another great spring week of north Georgia fishing.  And thanks for your license revenues and TU brookie car tag funds that make much of this possible.

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 .36 FEET, CLEAR, 60’S

Bass fishing is good.  Lots of fish are shallow and they are smaller males.  Use the Super Flukes, X Raps and shallow running Shad Raps on points.  Look for any stumps up shallow along the bottom and use a jig or Weedless Wonder lead head and a pumpkinseed worm or lizard.  Pull a Carolina Rig through an area to find the type and color of the grass.  Use the Berkley Flicker Shad 4CM and 5Cm fire tiger, shad and clear shad.  Small flats that run near a deep ditch or river channel are the best places to catch your limit this week.  Try the RA Shad Reel Action swim 3-inch soft baits Multi color grub.  Be sure to try the Scrounger with a Super Fluke as the trailer.  Trick worms can also work.  Bass will use the reef markers for feed areas and a Pop R or a Zara Spook can work.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.2 FEET, STAINED

Bass fishing is good.  Bass are in the shallows with the warm weather warming up the water at a steady pace.  Throw a Lucky Craft 5/8 ounce Redemption white spinnerbait with silver and nickel blades and cast this bait close to wood and rock cover.  Bump the cover and use a slow retrieve.  Also use the jig and craw trailer.  A green jig should work well for finding big fish and taking fish that didn’t jump on the blade bait.  Try the floating worms weightless around shallow brush piles and dock posts.  These bites will likely be smaller fish.  Rig it whacky or no weight Texas style, in white or green pumpkin.  Several baits like the spinnerbait, Husky Jerk baits and jigs along with Shad Raps will catch bass.  Fish the coves and all the shallow water.  There will be a concentration in many areas where the water is warmest. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 70’S

(The Lake Oconee Line Side report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Guide Service) —The lake is full.  The lake is muddy from the rivers down to Lick Creek, stained down to River Bend, Richland creek is clear.  The temperature is 70-76

Bass: Bass fishing is good.  Nothing has changed from last week.  The shad spawn is still going on.  Now is the time for spinner baits on sea walls and rip rap.  Look for shad on the banks early in the morning at day light.  This is some of the best fishing of the year and should last for two or three weeks.  As the sun rises and the shad spawn stops switch over to a small crank bait and fish the same areas.  Later in the day don’t forget soft plastics under docks from the middle of the coves to the back of the coves.

Striper: Striper fishing is good and getting better.  You can find stripers and hybrids all over the lake, but the bigger fish are up the rivers or down at the dam.  The bite has changed as the fish are starting to feed better on the shad.  Still catching a few on shiners but most are coming on shad.  As the water gets warmer the down line bite will overtake the flat line bite.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  The long line bite has taken off over the past few days.  The fish are starting to stack up on the trees.  Long lining down to the top of the trees has been the best producer over the past week.  Use your Lowrance to look for the fish in the timber and then pull your jigs over the tree. 

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 1.76 FEET, STAINED, 60’S

Bass fishing is good.  There are lots of small bass shallow with the warm water.  Use the Revenge all white buzz bait and a Zoom Trick worm.  Use the soft plastics like a Zoom pumpkinseed lizard on a Carolina rig and the trick worms or creature baits.  Fish from Highland Marina to Wehadkee Creek and work pockets and points all day.  Also later in the day head up lake and fish north to the 109 bridge.  Work the isolated cover and depressions.  These fish are most likely relating to small ditches waiting to pull up for the spawn. A Weedless Wonder lead head will be effective in these same areas.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, STAINED, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  The morning bite and evening bite is best, but fish can be caught consistently throughout the day time period.  Early in the morning there is still a chance at finding a shad spawn on sea walls, rip rap, or grass beds near the mouth of pockets.  A white spinnerbait and a pearl white Zoom super fluke will catch the active fish feeding on these spawning shad.  Mid-day, try fishing a green pumpkin Zoom super fluke or a Yamamoto Senko around the docks to catch numbers of fish.  Fish the Little River Bridge rip rap with a Spro Little Jon crank bait in cell mate or fire tiger colors depending on water clarity.  Fishing parallel to the rip rap will get the most bites as your crank bait will stay in the strike zone the entire time it is in the water.  Top-water baits have been best during the morning and evening time and will even produce a big bite occasionally during the day time.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 1.01 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S

Bass fishing is good and the water is a light stain on the main lake, creeks are clear.  The shad spawn is in full swing and a lot of bass are shallow.   Start the day early fishing sea walls and rip rap banks.  Use a white or white and chartreuse spinner bait.  You can also use a small crank bait, in a shad pattern and fish the same areas.  Use the Realis V Tailshad 3 and 4 inch for spinner baits, jigs, Alabama rig and Ned rig.  As the sun gets up switch to a soft plastic.  Fish the same sea wall and also the docks.  A Weedless Wonder lead head and a zoom green pumpkin finesse worm are working.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE)  

  • Water Temperature: 78⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 30 – 54+ in.
  • The Fish Cleaning Station is open.
  • Night Fishing is Now Open 

Bass: Bass are still being caught in Jones, Willow and Breambuster on baits that imitate shad, but the heat has really slowed down the afternoon bite.  Especially in Breambuster, shad are schooling where the siphon drains flow into the ponds (especially after a rain) and schools of nice bass are aggressively chasing them.  This has been an excellent spring for bass fishing so far and things are only looking up! 

Bream: Quality bream are being caught in Bridge Lake mostly in the mornings and evenings.  The bream bite in Jones has been hit-or-miss lately but nice shellcracker are being caught in Willow. 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.  Many nice catfish have been caught in Bridge Lake lately and numerous smaller catfish have been caught in Jones Lake.  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.