While it might not be the kind of national holiday that gets you a day off of work, it is surely at least a great reason to plan a day on the water – National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW) is June 1-9, 2019! How can you celebrate NFBW

  • Free Fishing Days: Both June 1 and June 8 are free fishing days. What does that mean? It means, that on these days, Georgia residents do not need a fishing license, trout license or Lands Pass (WMAs/PFAs) to fish.
  • Kids Fishing Events: More than 30 Kids Fishing Events will take place between June 1st and June 9th – I bet there is one near you! Click HERE, select “Search Events” under Event/Volunteering and you can search for events near your zip code or on a certain date, etc..
  • Find a New Place to Fish: Great places to try include Georgia Public Fishing Areas or Georgia State Parks.

On to the fishing reports! This week, we have Central, Southwest, Southeast and North Georgia information. Go Fish Georgia!

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, 70’S

Bass fishing is fair.  As the fish set up in their summer patterns the largemouth can be tough to catch.  There are a ton of spotted bass and they can be a lot of fun to catch if you’re interested in a lot of action from smaller fish.  White Rooster Tails and Shad Raps all day on light line can take a lot of fish.  When they are moving water, you can set up on main lake structure and wear the spots out by cranking down with a deep diving crankbait, dragging a Carolina rig or vertical jigging with a shaky head or drop shot.  Rocky points with brush piles, the reef markers around the dam or vertical structure like bridge pilings can all be good.  Try picking off a few fish with your crankbait.  Then slow down and pick apart the structure with the Zoom finesse worm rigs once you locate some fish.  Watermelon is always a good color, and redbug will also produce. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 70’S

(Lake Oconee Report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service) —The lake is full and the water temperature is 79 to 84 degrees. The lake is clear.

Bass: Bass fishing is good.  The shad spawn is slowing down but still going on in some locations.  Bigger fish are coming up the rivers above I-20.  Jigs fished in blow downs on the deeper banks, white spinner baits on sea walls and rip rap are still producing.   Look for shad on the banks early in the morning at day light.  As the sun rises and the shad spawn stops switch over to a small crank bait and fish the same areas.  The Shad Rap in natural color have been producing very well.  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 very good.  You can find stripers and hybrids all over the lake.  Some fish are as deep as 30 to 50 feet.  Keep moving until you see fish on your Lowrance and then drop bait to them.  Down lines are the best producer.  Fish are showing up from 10 feet to 50 feet deep.  The umbrella bite has taken off this week.  So keep them on your boat and pull them over points and humps on the south end of the lake for some great action.

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 .73 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  Bass are holding on primary and secondary points.  They were still spawning and in super shallow water trying to find some clearer water.  Down lake in the creeks, ride the docks and old road beds and search.  There are still a lot of fish around shallow docks especially those that have brush under or around them.  This is when the Lowrance Structure Scan technology can help.  Ride in front of the docks and stay out 80 feet.  Set the Range to 80 feet and look for the brush and the fish will show up as small dots.  Once the fish show up then use the crank baits and top-water lures.  Use the trick worms, spinner baits in chartreuse, red colored crank bait and worms rigged either Carolina or Texas style.  Good colors are June bug, black grape and black.  The new Berkley Wake Bull Hard Bait can work on any structure, just cover a lot of water.  Try the Gary Yamamoto Tate’ Pencil Bait and work it quickly early and late.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.4 FEET, STAINED, 70’S

Bass fishing is good and most fish have spawned.  Some are still being caught shallow and some have moved to deeper structure near the spawning areas. Lizards, jigs, spinner baits, Carolina Rigs and shallow running crank baits are catching fish.  Down lake in the creeks, ride the docks and old road beds and search.  There are still a lot of fish around shallow docks especially those that have brush under or around them. This is when the Lowrance Structure Scan technology can help. Ride in front of the docks and stay out 80 feet.  Set the Range to 80 feet and look for the brush and the fish will show up as small dots.  The bass are on rocky banks, shallow humps, shallow road beds and main lake points.  Try the Suspending Rogue 18.  Cast the Livingston SgredderS3, Sxee Shad, Jerkmaster 1 AYU.  Keep a pearl Zoon Super Fluke rigged all day. 

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .58 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  Top-water lures and spinner baits are producing during early morning from shallow cover such as blow downs, docks, rip rap, grass, and shallow points.  Experiment with varying types of baits because the best lure today may not produce tomorrow.  Try all these: Super Spook Jr., Pop R, Chug Bug, Bang A Lure, buzz baits and Baby Torpedo.  There are still a lot of fish around shallow docks especially those that have brush under or around them.  This is when the Lowrance Structure Scan technology can help.  Ride in front of the docks and stay out 80 feet.  Set the Range to 80 feet and look for the brush and the fish will show up as small dots.  A Texas rigged Zoom Dead Ringer or Trick worm can be worked along the bottom, through any brush and dropped vertically along each post.  Small groups of bass can be found on slow to medium tapering points at 5 to 10 feet deep.  The Carolina rig is normally best, but crank baits like a Rapala DT10 or ½ ounce Fat Free Shad are worth a try. 

FLAT CREEK PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Surface Temperature: 85.5˚ F (29.7˚ C)
  • Water Level: 3’ 3” Below Full Pool
  • Water Visibility: 17”
  • Flat Creek Fishing Guide 

The record-breaking heat in that latter half of May is starting to have its’ effect on the fish at Flat Creek.  Anglers fishing during the heat of the day have reported the bite of all species to be sluggish at best.  However, those fishing the cooler parts of the day or at night have reported that the fish are still biting well.  Bass fishing has been mediocre with most bites occurring in six to seven-foot of water where the bass seem be hanging out.  The large bream have been getting close to shore and some anglers have been very excited over the sizes caught, and several bream fisherman have limited out.  Crappie fishing has been great at night near the lights on the fishing pier.

Bass: Plum colored ‘Ol Monstor worms by Zoom. Watermelon or Pumkinseed Culprit worms.  White Buzz baits. Minnows and worms (Pinks). 

Bream: Worms (Red Wigglers and Pinks) on a Carolina rig.  Worms on a Texas rig. Near cover or near the shallower water during a full moon. 

Channel Catfish:  Insufficient data to report on. 

Crappie:  Minnows, jigs (John Deere or yellow and white colored Triple Ripple, or June Bug colored Teaser Tail) and light tackle at night near the lights of the fishing pier. 

MARBEN PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Water temps: High 80’s – Low 90’s- HOT!
  • Night Fishing: Remember that Marben PFA is now open 24 hours!!
  • Marben PFA Fishing Guide

 

Bass:  June weather patterns often bring afternoon showers that brings sudden changes to bass feeding behavior.   Anglers should look for bass feeding in early morning and late evening on schooling shad.  Bass have pulled away from the bank and are targeting schooling shad in open water.  Despite the warm days, anglers targeting bass should expect aggressive top-water action in early to mid-morning.  Remember that Marben is open 24 hours, so anglers can really target bass during hours just before day break and evening when bass are most aggressive.  Anglers should also target lay downs in approximately 5 to 10 feet of water mid-morning into early afternoon.  As the day warms up, anglers should target bass in deeper water.  Successful anglers mimic lethargic shad by casting jerk baits.  Mid-day can produce some big bass but look for these big fish in deeper water (10-15 ft.).  Additional habitat to target is submerged timber and rock beds at Marben PFA.  Anglers should expect catches of bass in the 1 to 2 pound range.

Crappie: Crappie will be most aggressive in early evening, crowded around submerged timber in deeper water.  Anglers should see a slight change as crappie become a little less aggressive during the day during warmer months.  However, anglers often see the crappie “bite” to be most aggressive in late evening and early morning. Flooded timber is the preferred habitat and the most popular bait is live minnows and yellow/white jigs.  Try fishing cover approximately 5-10 feet throughout the day, especially in the evening.

Bream: Bream fishing will continue to be excellent in early June.  Look for the “bite” to drop a little in the later weeks in June.  Warmer water temperatures play a factor but overall this is just the best time of year.  Anglers really see a difference.  Anglers should expect bream fishing to be best throughout the day but a little slow when temperatures get really hot.  Remember bream are shallow when spawning this time of year so to be successful, anglers will have to fish shallow areas (4 to 5 ft.) in order to increase your chances.  Early morning is a great time to target bream at Marben PFA.  Bream fishing will decrease during nighttime hours.

Catfish: Catfish will pick up significantly this time of year.  Anglers will find catfish in 7-9 ft. of water and really aggressive.   Anglers should target days when it is sunny but patience is necessary when targeting these fish.  Anglers are also successful targeting catfish at night!  Livers, worms and stink bait are the preferred choices if targeting catfish at Marben.

SOUTHWEST GEORGIA 

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

LAKE BLACKSHEAR

(This report provided by Brad McDaniel of Flint River Outdoors) – Summer has begun in the southwestern part of Georgia. The biggest challenge this week will be the heat. Early morning and late afternoon would be the prime times. Try to target shady areas during the day, i.e. docks or under bridges. Lake Blackshear is at full pool. Water is clear and warm.

Bream: The hottest bite lately has been bream – they are being found shallow on beds – hottest bait has been worms and crickets, but artificial bait like Beetle Spins and flies are working also. Crappie are still being caught but are getting harder to find. They are scattered all over the place from shallow to back out deeper related to brush and bait. Crappie are being caught with minnows and jigs. Catfish never quit biting at Blackshear!  Size your tackle and your bait to what size range you would like to target.

Bass: Largemouth Bass are post spawn – relating to cover like grass and lily pads and structure like wood, docks, railroad trusses, HWY 280 bridge, and rip rap – the ticket for bass on Lake Blackshear is something brand new or something really old. Try to think outside the box and try to show them something different. Shiners work great if you want to go with live bait.

WALTER F. GEORGE

The reservoir has been producing nice-sized largemouth bass during tournaments and recreational angling. While spawning is definitely over for largemouth bass and crappie, locals have commented that this is the most productive year they’ve ever seen on the reservoir. Tournament anglers are easily catching 30 pounds of fish right off the bat. Aside from largemouth bass and black crappie, channel catfish and flathead are caught more regularly. Channel catfish typically throughout the entire reservoir, and Flathead Catfish caught more often near the upper reaches of the reservoir.

FLINT RIVER

The lack of rain this last week or so has not had much of an effect on river height below regulated sections, specifically around the city of Albany and below Warwick Dam. Water temperatures have been steadily increasing and are now around 25 C and 76 F and slowly climbing. While angling is less productive during warmer seasons, many fish will still bite. Casting around shady covered areas (i.e. log jams, rocky structures, vegetated overhangs) and in high velocity sections is likely your best bet for bass and bream. Shoal Bass fishing often remains good through the summer.

KINCHAFOONEE CREEK

This creek was sampled last week just north of Lake Worth. We had a surprisingly high number of sunfish species, large-sized chain pickerel, and largemouth bass. For kayak or canoe anglers, this is a beautiful stretch to float and fish, and water levels stay relatively high throughout the summer. Renovated boat ramps at Hwy 32 and Hwy 19 provide easy access.

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 heat is making it uncomfortable to fish in the middle of the day, but the catches in pretty much all locations have been impressive. The night fishing bite for bass has picked up this week. New Moon is June 3rd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Riley Britton and a couple of friends waded a small creek that is a tributary to the Altamaha two days this week. The first day they had 66 redbreasts and the second day they managed 52 redbreasts up to 0.85 pounds. Their best bait was a black/chartreuse Satilla Spin. J.J. and Lance at Altamaha Park said that the mullet bite has been great for anglers fishing off sandbars. Jolly Green Giant worms were the top bait. Limits of bream and shellcrackers were caught with crickets and worms. Redbreasts were also caught on the edge of the current and in shoreline cover. Goldfish produced some good flathead catfish catches in the Lewis Creek area. One group reported catching over 400 pounds of flatheads over the weekend. The Wayne County Catfish Tournament is this Saturday and Sunday (June 1st and 2nd) out of Jaycees Landing. First place will win $7,500 and the entry fee is $100 per angler!!!  The river level was 3.9 feet and falling (88 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 5.7 feet and falling (84 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on May 28th.

SATILLA RIVER

The river is getting really low, and dragging is required just about anywhere you go in the upper half of the river. Anglers have still been wearing them out, though. A Blackshear angler reported catching a great mess of rooster redbreasts on pink Satilla Spins. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that bank fishing is the way to go during the low water. Reports were good, with redbreasts, bluegills, and catfish topping the catches. Crickets worked for the panfish, and worms for the catfish. 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 May 28th at the Waycross gage was 4.0 feet and falling (82 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 3.0 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

On Sunday, David Burkes fished the middle river and caught a bunch of catfish and brought home 16 of the bigger ones. Between the whiting fishing and his trip to the river, David said that he had a “great weekend.” Others also reported some excellent catfishing, with shrimp and rooster livers topping the bait list. Some redbreasts and big bream were landed in the tidewater areas on crickets. Shady Bream Tournaments will hold their second artificial-only panfish tournament of the year on June 8th out of Kings Ferry boat ramp. For more information check out Shady Bream Tournaments on Facebook. The river level at the Macclenny gage on May 28th was 1.8 feet and falling.

OGEECHEE RIVER

Jess Anderson caught several dozen redbreasts (kept about 2 dozen) over the holiday weekend using yellow and black/yellow Satilla Spins. He also managed a couple stumpknockers and a nice chain pickerel (jackfish).

ALAPAHA RIVER

Keegan Livingston and his uncle (Tanner Serrano) limited out on redbreasts and bream this week. They also caught a few catfish and 2 crappie during their trip. They caught their fish on white-red dot beetlespins and a few bottom fishing with worms.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

The water level in the swamp is getting low and concentrating the fish. The bite has been great, but the yellow fly numbers are increasing. June is usually the month I fish elsewhere and let the yellow flies have it. By July 4th, the numbers of the little yellow nasties usually drop off, and I return to the swamp. That being said, anglers still caught some good warmouth and a few big jackfish on the Fargo side. Warmouth and bluegill were caught on crickets in the boat basin at the Folkston entrance.

BANKS LAKE (NEAR LAKELAND)

The bream bite has been pretty consistent lately. With the heat, expect pitching glow bugs to the base of cypress trees to produce some “grown” bluegills. On June 8th the South Georgia Medical Center is hosting a bass fishing tournament at Banks Lake to raise money for the Jay Shaw Scholarship Fund. The entry fee is $100 per boat. For more information, check out their website.

LOCAL PONDS

Scout Carter started off the holiday weekend on a great note, catching a 7-pound bass, a 5-pounder, a 2-pounder and a couple smaller bass on a white (shad-colored) buzzbait. They also hooked a big bass on a black buzzbait, but it wrapped them up and broke off. David Montgomery caught a crappie, 6 bass, and 18 bluegills using black/yellow and catalpa gold Satilla Spins this weekend. At the crack of daylight on Saturday, Warren Budd landed a 9.57-pound monster bass on a Deps Buzzjet lure from a Emanuel County pond. On Sunday night, Chad Lee flung white buzzbaits from dark until 11pm and landed 4 bass in the 5-pound range. He also missed a couple monster bites that scared him to death when they slammed his buzzbait right at the boat. On Tuesday evening he caught a 5-pounder on a hollow-bodied frog right at dark and Daniel Johnson caught a 7-pounder at about 11pm on a black Whopper Plopper. On Sunday and Monday, a group of Waycross anglers fished a Telfair County pond and caught a bunch of bass. Luke Steedley had the hot hand with a deep-diving crankbait in the deeper water of the pond. He caught them all day long. Lane Steedley caught quite a few on a brush hog fished on a small shaky head. Julius Conner slammed them (including the biggest of the trip – a 3-pounder) on a white Rebel Pop-R in the late afternoons and mornings. Lewis and Landon Harding caught them all day long on pearl-colored Perch Hounder Spinnerbaits (like a Satilla Spin on steroids) and gold 3.5-inch Keitech swing impact swimbaits on an 1/8-oz. jighead. Angelo Miles fished for bluegills and caught lots on crickets and worms. Michael Winge reported that the bass were active in the warmer temperatures. Black-blue tail lizards produced some good catches this week.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

Jim and Garrett Page and Brian Carter fished for tripletail off the Jekyll Island beach

SE GA Wylder Williams Dolphin 5 19
Wylder Williams, Chris Dorminey and friends fished the blue water this week and slammed the dolphin. That’s a yummy catch!

during the middle of last week and ended up catching 8 up to 16 1/2 inches (all were non-keepers). They said that they saw over 75 of the floaters, but they were very finicky in biting. If you’ve never done it, it is a very exciting fishery. It’s more like hunting than fishing, as you stalk the fish floating on the surface and have to make a great presentation to catch them. Whiting reports were good again this weekend in both the St. Simons and Cumberland sounds. David Burkes fished out of Blythe Island Regional Park on Saturday and caught several whiting, some eels, and a sea robin. A 6-year old girl fishing with him hung her first shark and had a blast fighting it, but it broke off right at the boat. Steve and Brenda Hampton fished the Jekyll Pier on Friday night and Saturday but had slower catches than last weekend. Brenda managed a nice keeper on Friday night along with throwbacks, but they only had throwbacks on Saturday. Steve had a bluefish and some other non-desirable species. Their fish ate mudminnows. The biggest flounder they saw caught from the pier was a 15 1/2-incher fooled with a bucktail jig. Also on the Jekyll Pier, an angler caught a good mess of black drum. In the St. Simons Island area, Spanish mackerel were caught in the sounds and trout, redfish, and flounder were caught off shell mounds and creek mouths back in the rivers. Michael Winge reported that some Waycross anglers made good catches of whiting on shrimp and flounder on mudminnows and finger mullet in the Brunswick area. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle reported anglers catching whiting, trout, flounder, big bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks from the pier. Shrimp and curly-tail grubs fooled the trout and flounder, and dead shrimp was the ticket for whiting. Crabbers filled buckets with the tasty crustaceans. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

Nighttime trophy bass fishing has started now that the extreme heat is here. Flinging black buzzbaits over the deepest water in the pond is how a friend of mine caught over 1,300 double-digit bass during his lifetime. Pat Cullen was the most patient person I had ever met at flinging the bait, working it thoroughly, and repeating for an entire night. I usually fell asleep during the early morning hours, but he never stopped until after sunrise. He worked through various models of flat blades and quad blades (all of them were black) until he figured out if they wanted the extra squeak of the flat blade or slow speed and gurgling of the quad blade. The current heat wave is what he would wait for to trigger a great bite. Several guys have followed in his footsteps and have started catching some whoppers this week. In saltwater, whiting fishing should be great, and the good reports of seatrout on the beach should start any day.

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

stripers upHooch DavidD 5-30-19
Stripers – Upper Chattahoochee

We are hot and dry in the mountains, which means that most of our sport fisheries have already kicked into full summer mode.  Bigger, low elevation trout streams are now warming up too much for good fishing through the day.  Even the morning low temperatures are marginal for good trout appetites, so start heading uphill or to an icy trout tailwater for your most consistent catches. While this May heat wave has been tough on our largest freestone trout streams and small, trout-stocked lakes, it’s good news for all of our large river fans.  On the river front, lower flows and clearing water equal great fishing for resident bass and bream and some migrants like spawning reservoir gar and early summer vacationers – stripers.  There is another small dose of good news in our extended forecast, as we finally dodge the nineties and drop back down into the eighties.

 

Most importantly, the morning low air temperatures will drop back down to the sixties or even the high fifties.  Those chilly nights will cool off our trout streams and rejuvenate their residents, both wild and stocked.  Small wild trout streams are at their peak.

For our flat waters, big reservoirs have quickly headed toward full summer mode.  bluegill paulding lake tumlin yak May 2019Increasing surface temperatures have a lot of fish heading toward deeper, cooler waters.  Check out Ken’s reports for the best reservoir intel from guides and tackle shops that are tuned in to their local sport fisheries.  Small lakes will still fish well, especially when anglers avoid the midday heat and bright sun.  The shadows of dawn and dusk, when air temperatures drop back down to the seventies or low eighties, will be the best times to hit the shallows for bass and bream. Find the shade and shadows and you may find cooperative predators, willing to grab your surface plug or popper.

It’s National Fishing and Boating Week, too, so use the two free fishing Saturdays to introduce fellow Georgians to fishing.  A great way of doing this is to attend one of the kids fishing events (KFE’s) across the state.

National Fishing and Boating Week:

North Georgia Kids Fishing Events: Courtesy of Gainesville Fisheries Secretary Lauren

kfe Smith cr June 04 photo 3
Kids Fishing Events Bring the Best Smiles!

Long, check out some of these upcoming fun events. This upcoming month will be PACKED full of family fun to start the summer break off right! Most will have activities and prizes to go along with the fishing frenzy! Here is a link with more information on the locations of these Kids Fishing Rodeos and KFE’s!

  • June 1, 2019: Kids Fishing Rodeo-Lake Winfield Scott: 9am-2pm
  • June 3, 2019: Kids Fishing Event- Dellinger Park Lake: 7am-12pm
  • June 8, 2019:
    • Kids Fishing Rodeo- Vogel State Park: 8am-4pm each day
    • Tallulah River Campground KFE:  8am-12pm
    • Kids Fishing Rodeo- Kenview Farms: 8am-2pm
    • Kids Fishing Rodeo-Rock Creek at Chattahoochee Natl Forest Hatchery: 9am-12pm
  • June 15, 2019: Buck Shoals KFE- Buck Shoals WMA: 8am-12pm

RIVERS

catfish ETW BCF 24lb 5_16_19River Fishing: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — While the heat wave and short-term drought continues, our local river temperatures are rising quickly.  Temperatures on the Oostanaula and Coosa Rivers are in the high 70s, which is getting too high for stripers, and we saw none on either river this week.  Cooler waters (around 70 degrees) can be found on the Etowah, and stripers are migrating there now to take advantage of the coolwater refuge.  If you are in search of river stripers, the Etowah may be a great option.  However, other species that prefer warmer water (catfish, spotted bass, gar, drum, carp) are still abundant and happy in the warmer waters of the Coosa and Oostanaula.  We have seen some big flatheads and blue cats over 20 pounds recently.

Upper Hooch: Holiday floaters Dredger and Accomplice launched their holiday yaks on bass shoal 19in Guru upHooch 5-25-19the upper Hooch, in search of shoalies in the clearing water.  The morning bite was unexpectedly slow and the sun’s bright rays brought an end to the action rather quickly.  At least for Accomplice, the only one who actually had some action.  His best fish was a 19 inch shoalie that inhaled his Golden Retriever streamer that was dropped off the back of his big popper.  As for Dredger, he had more capsizes than catches, and is considering a stencil set to scribe “Titanic” to the side of his yak.  One 8-inch spotted bass to hand was insufficient salve on his broken body and wounded pride.  At least Accomplice retrieved his fishing pole, paddle, and other flotsam for ole Dredge…  Wet Rat chalked up this trip to “paying his dues” and learning the correct yak track from 115 down to Duncan Bridge.  Knowing Dredge, he’ll heal both wounds soon and saddle up again.  Did I mention that the shoalie was 19 inches?

Go for Gar! A boatless and more confident Dredger “unraveled” some fresh rope flies, and he and the Guru gave the upper Hooch’s spawning gar population a try on Monday evening, as the holiday crowds finally died down along the upper Hooch.   The gar are super-abundant right now, but their minds are on something other than food.  The wading duo still had a couple of eats.  Dredger’s fish cartwheeled about two feet above the water surface and tossed his rope fly back at him.  He did nail a four-pound striper on an olive/white clouser as his consolation prize.  Guru was more skillful and brought one of the smaller male gar to hand.  If you want a shot at a three to four-foot long, tailwalking, freshwater “marlin,” give these gar a try while they are upriver on their spawning runs.  You’ll enjoy their aerial acrobatics!

 

LAKE REPORTS

Lanier Bass: Ole Sid is Still kicking

Hydrate on Hartwell! Lake Hartwell Fishing Report

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Check out his Friday updates

TROUT

Nantahala DH Last Hurrah: “Mobile Vic” and a Georgia buddy hit the Nantahala DH on Sunday evening.  It was another bug buffet and the fish cooperated, with steady topwater action from 7pm til the last fish fondled at 8:55 pm.  The best double-dry combo seemed to be a #14 or 16 yellow stonefly (stimulator or yellow sally) in front and then the trusty #16 tan elk hair caddis as the dropper.  The double-dry combo brought a ton of brookies, a few browns, and some spunky, wild rainbows to hand.  Once again, the twitch-and-skitter technique attracted more takes than the straight dead drift.  Vic declared his three-day trout campout a resounding success, and was reluctant to head back down to the Bama coast.

Rabunite Trouter23 hit Nan DH on Wednesday (5/29) and had a big time.  He Euro-dredged the deeper, shady water during the day and had a high score.  Best fish in that big bunch included a 16-inch brookie, 17-inch brown, and 20-inch rainbow.  A TU chapter buddy joined him at 7pm for some Dark30 action and the duo ended the day with another dozen or two on top.  Their double-dry combo of a #16 yellow sally and #16 tan caddis dropper was the ticket.  About half the risers ate the dead drift and the other half attacked the skittered dries. Last fish to net was around 8:50pm.

North Carolina’s DH season ends this Saturday as the harvest begins.  Many streams will still fish well for a couple weeks, however, before most of the stockers are invited home for supper.  The higher elevations of many NC streams allow them to fish well for several weeks longer each spring than most Georgia trout waters. The Smokies are a great bet for any trout addicts that don’t yet know the value of a shoalie or gar on the fly.

Stockers: Head toward Georgia’s higher elevation streams or the two big tailwaters. Also fish the mornings, when the water is coldest.  WRD trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson suggests these weekend best bets: Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters, Holly, Rock, Cooper, Dicks, Boggs, Tallulah, Warwoman, Hooch on WMA, and Lake Winfield Scott after the kids fishing event (hint: aim for the deep, cold water near the dam or up in the mouth of the feeder stream).

 

Well, Have you? Have you signed up yet for our Friday afternoon updates to the weekly “trout stocked” list? You’ll have that week’s stocking list right on your phone via text or email.

 

trout stockers RockCr JeffW May2019
Jeff W and his daughter caught a nice trout stringer from Rock Creek last week

Rock Creek Report: Jeff W and daughter had a big time last week on Rock Creek, with a bunch of rainbows and brookies to hand.

Headwater Trout: This is a best bet as our larger trout streams, which aren’t totally shaded due to stream width, suffer through the current heat wave:

We are hot, but not as hot as last week.  At least we don’t have to worry about getting cold when we fall in, and we do dry out quickly.  Just ask Motrin Man, err Dredger, who has lots of recent experience with this concept.  Grab a pole, a bunch of kids, or a prospective Georgia angler and give it a go as we head into full summer mode. When on those lakes and large rivers, remember to wear those life jackets, too.  Dredge said that you’ll float better and live longer to achieve all of goals on your fishing “bucket list.”   Good luck floating, fishing, and funning with friends in this north Georgia summer.