Hope your Independence Day fireworks celebration left you with all fingers, etc. intact, allowing you to grab your fishing pole and get outdoors.

Need extra incentive to get out on the water?

  • Get Your 2019 Bass Slam! Only 6 anglers have gotten their Slam, how far are you on getting yours? More info HERE.
  • Get rewarded with an Angler Award: If you catch a fish that meets or beats a specific weight, you may be eligible for an Angler Award. We have NEW categories for youth, PFAs, and trophy Bass! Find out more with a new video HERE and HERE.

Here is the news you want, those fishing reports! This week we have reports from Southeast, Central and North Georgia. Get out there and Go Fish Georgia!


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

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Independence Day and weekend! Instead of detailing all the bites this week, I will run some photos from a recent youth camp. The best bites over the past week have been flounder and trout on our coast, panfish and bass in ponds, and bowfin and warmouth in the Okefenokee Swamp, and those are the bites worth focusing on this week. First quarter moon is July 9th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

Photos Below come from a trip to Camp Rockridge in Franklin, GA with the Second Baptist Waycross youth group. At camp, several of the youth caught bass from the camp pond. Lucy got to go on her first fishing trip and caught her first fish on Saturday. Ahmad, Preston, Joey, Jaden, and Dierks all caught bass, as well. Great job guys – looks like fun was had by all!


(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.   


Bass fishing is fair.  First thing in the morning, there is a little bit of a top-water action.  Spy Baits are small and they mimic the food the fish are feeding on which are threadfin shad.  Try the Shad Raps also.  A few fish are up early and they may take a small shad imitating top-water bait.  Fish areas about halfway back in the creeks where the creek channel swings in against the bank.  Look for shad and fish activity on the surface and pay close attention to your Lowrance electronics to help pinpoint key areas.  Once the top-water bite is over use a Spro Little John MD in the spooky shad color.  Concentrate on areas where there are shad.


Bass fishing is fair.  The main baits will be jigs and spinnerbaits.  Use the black and ½ ounce blue jigs and Lucky Craft Redemption spinnerbaits.  Some anglers are still using the Zoom worms with u tails in green pumpkin and June bug.  The Weedless Wonder heads make fishing these baits easier as they are hard to hang up in almost all cover.  Use a Shad Rap crank bait in the shad color.  Try some P Line 8-pound test fluorocarbon line on a spinning reel to get these baits deeper. Use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the points and pockets for the old stump rows.  The bass will be dots close to the cover.  Isolated structure like stumps and rocks are excellent places.


(Lake Oconee Line Side report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service) — The lake is full.  The water temperature is 85-87.  The lake is clear.

Bass: Bass fishing is fair.  Buzz Baits fished along sea walls and around docks will produce good-size fish the first hr. of daylight and the last hr. of daylight.  Later in the day don’t forget soft plastics under docks from the middle of the coves to the main lake.  Sugar Creek has been out-producing the other creeks over the past week.  There are a few fish starting to show up on the humps on the south end of the lake.  Use a Carolina rig green worm to target these fish.

Striper: Striper fishing is fair.  The afternoon bite seems to be the best option.  The fish are starting to move up the lake toward the rivers.  Good fish can be found on humps and points as well as the pipe line.  Spoons, umbrella rigs as well as thread fin shad have been producing well.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  The fish are starting to stack up on the trees.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools in the trees at about 10 ft. deep.  When you find the fish in the trees drop your live crappie minnow down to them and hang on.  Long-lining down to the top of the trees has been producing over the past week. 


Bass fishing is slow.  Channel ledges and pockets with long ditches are good areas.  Use the smaller Shad Raps and Bandit crank baits and bright colors are best.  Use the Texas rigs and a Zoom Swamp Crawler, a Bass Pro jig rigged with a Zoom Fluke Jr., and a Lucky Craft Pointer 78 and a Lucky Craft Sammy.  Concentrate on the offshore areas with all of these baits.  Electronics are critical and scanning an area with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology before making a cast will pay off.  This is important so anglers can find schools of bass holding on the points and humps close to brush and structure.  Keep a small Sammy ready in case you see schooling activity.


Bass fishing is fair.  The bass are shallow at dawn and dusk looking for food.  Go shallow and concentrate on cover with a Spro Hydro Pop top water lure, a Chatterbait and a spinner bait.  Fish near hard bottoms or shallow rock with a shallow crank bait like a Spro Fat John in nasty shad.  But keep the Spro Dawg top-water bait ready and make a few casts before leaving an area.  The shad bite only last for around 30 minutes first thing in the morning.  Use the Molix Jigs Live Skirt Systems 3/8 and ½ ounce.  When they are moving water set up on main lake structure and use deep diving crank baits and drag a Carolina rig or with a shaky head. 


Bass fishing is good.  Use a white 3/8 or 1/2 ounce spinnerbait with nickel willow leaf blades.  Also try a white ChatterBait and an Alabama Rig.  Rip rap and seawalls in the creeks are hard to beat.  Top-water is good so use the popping style baits like a white Zell Pop and a Rico as well as prop style baits, also in white.  After the sun gets high work the mid-lake docks and seas walls with the black brown Net Boy Baits flipping jig.  Any trees over the water can have a roaming bass around and a trick worm can fool them.  Also use the white Zoom Super Fluke shallow. 


  • Surface Temperature: 85.8˚ F (29.9˚ C)
  • Water Level: 3’ 3” Below Full Pool
  • Water Visibility: 16.5”
  • Flat Creek Fishing Guide

As the hot days have continued to warm the waters of Flat Creek the fish are seeking areas where they can remain cooler.  This has produced a more sluggish bite especially for bass, during the heat of the day.  Those that start fishing early or late and at night have had good luck catching fish.  The large bream have been biting well during the full and new moon phases.  Look for Catawba worms on one of the many Catawba trees on the area for an enjoyable bream fishing experience.  Crappie fishing has slowed down with night fishermen being the only ones reporting catches.

Bass:  Dark colored plastics, minnows and worms, all fished low and slow.

Bream: Crappie jigs, or worms (red wigglers and pinks) for Redear and crickets for bluegill.  Near cover or near the shallower water during a full moon.  Catalpa worms as they become available.

Channel Catfish: Fresh Catalpa worms will be the go-to bait.  In the meantime raw frozen uncooked shrimp.

Crappie: Jigs (John Deere or yellow and white colored Triple Ripple, or June Bug colored Teaser Tail) and light tackle.  If you are bank fishing, try the pier at night.  If on a boat try cover that creates shade (tree tops) or structure (gravel piles), or near lit cover at night. 


Bass:  July 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. Anglers have reported a lot of top-water action in the morning especially in Margery, Bennett, and Fox.  Anglers are targeting bass on lay downs in approximately 6 to 12 feet of water in early to mid-morning.  As the day warms up, anglers will target bass in deeper water.  Successful anglers mimic lethargic shad by casting jerk baits and crank baits.   Mid-day can produce some big bass but look for these big fish in deeper water (10-15 ft.).  Remember that Marben PFA is open 24 hours until September 30th.  There have been a few reports of success between the hours of 4AM and 6AM, just before sunrise.  Additional habitat to target is submerged timber and rock beds at Marben PFA.  Anglers need to be patient this time of year.  The water is hot and fish may take a little longer to chase.  Patience is extremely important this time of year due to the weather.  Bass are sluggish and have to be enticed in order to be caught!

Crappie: The crappie continue to be aggressive in early evening, crowded around submerged timber in deeper water.  Anglers should see a slight change as crappie become a little less aggressive as the water warms in the summer months.  Another technique used to catch crappie are boat mounted lanterns which attract bait fish during the late and early morning hours.  Flooded timber is a popular habitat to target and the most popular bait is live minnows and yellow jigs.  Try fishing cover approximately 10-12 feet throughout the day, especially in the evening.  Bennett Lake is the hot spot at Marben for anglers targeting crappie.

Bream: Bream fishing is just slow in July.  Look for the “bite” to continue to drop as late July approaches.  Even with this drop in aggressiveness, bream will remain the most sought after fish on Marben PFA.  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 shallow areas (4 to 5 ft.) in order to increase your chances.  Early morning is a great time to target bream at Marben PFA.

Catfish: Catfish will start to slow a little this time of year. However, Margery and Fox are producing some nice stringers and are popular destination for anglers targeting catfish.  Anglers will find catfish in 7-9 ft. of water and most aggressive in the morning and late evening.   Anglers should target days when it is sunny but patience is necessary when targeting these fish.  Catawba worms, livers, night crawlers and stink bait are the preferred choices if targeting catfish at Marben.


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

Welcome to the rainforest.  Indeed, the southern Appalachians are a biodiverse rainforest and we are very thankful for these storm fronts and afternoon pop-up thundershowers.  While they may be inconvenient, and sometimes muddy-up our favorite rivers, their benefits far exceed their costs to our angling adventures.  They recharge our rivers and cool off our stressed mountain trout streams, which have to dip below 70 degrees nightly to maintain trout through the summer.  They water our vegetation to keep watersheds intact, the streams clear of sediment, the streambanks stable, and the riparian (streamside) zone heavily shaded, which preserves trout stream temperatures.  They also cool off the air and spare us from some excessive heat.  Pop onto your favorite pond or trout stream after a summer storm and see if both you and the fish are refreshed and hungrier.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.  It’s gonna be hot and steamy, but you can dodge that heat by fishing early, late, or in the daytime shade of a mountain trout stream.  Some popular reservoirs and forest recreation areas will be packed solid with ATL escapees, but you can still find casting and camping room if you hunt carefully and aim for the lesser known and more remote locales.  And if you fish early, late, or at night, most weekend warriors are usually back at camp or home, eating or sleeping.  Despite the daytime 90’s, it’s still a great fishing season for smart anglers with good aim at their sites and times.

As I transition to a new chapter of life, beyond the agency, I hope that you will transition, too.  Please bookmark and follow our WRD web pages on a) the weekly fishing blog and b) trout fishing.  You’ll catch more fish by continuing to follow our biologists and hatchery managers who are in-the-know.  Link up soon to keep your stream of WRD intel flowing!

And here we go with some fishing fireworks for your long holiday weekend.  I gotta get home tonight and stuff my sling pack with the latest/greatest Z-man crawdads for our holiday shoalie float.  Are you ready, too?


Striper Steve on Lanier: Jeff, Those recent rains turned the water temperatures down again slightly and while they were back on the increase it was Fish On today. Bob & I caught 9 Stripes this morning 20′ down over a 25′ bottom in 80° water temperature. Rods were going down left and right until we ran out of bait. No telling how many we lost. We were down to one Blueback in the tank so we cut it half and both of us tried to catch one more each using the cut bait method each holding a rod. We even caught one Largemouth bass. More info HERE.

Lanier on Top:

bass lmb Lee F lanier June 2019

Lee F with a Largemouth from Lanier

Lee F’s Report: Date: JUNE 14TH, Time: late afternoon, Location: lower lake: The fish we caught when we started were in 15-25 ft deep. All around brush. We used drop shots and shakey heads. As the evening progressed we started noticing some schooling activity over some brush and around docks. These fish were caught on poppers and sammys. We caught 10 fish in a couple hours ranging from 2 lbs to 3.5 lbs.

Lanier – Capt Mack’s Report: Get the report HERE.

Latest Lanier Profile: (From Hunter Roop, Fisheries Biologist) — Please see the reservoir profile from July 1. It looks like habitat for Lanier’s coolwater species is great at this point in the summer.  DO and temperatures at depths of 25’ to 60’ are great for striped bass feeding and survival.

Lake Lanier is Full, Clear and 80s – (Report from Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant) –Spotted bass are at depths of 15 to 25 feet and the lake has settled into the summer patterns. There are still lots of top water action. Large Chug Bugs and a Zara Spook Jr. and even a 3/8 ounce white buck tail can work. Most of the bites have been on main lake humps and main lake points both day and night. Cast the big baits over open water and the big spots will nail them especially if the sun is high anytime of the day. The humps in the middle of all the major main lake creeks are good summer home. Zoom u tail worms in natural blue and green pumpkin are good choices on the Weedless Wonder heads. Also use the #5 and #7 silver black back Shad Raps and 8 pound fluorocarbon line on the same locations can work. Do not spend a lot of time in one place. Watch the Lowrance sonar and Down Scan technology and many of the bass are dead on the bottom. Down Scan technology with the Fish Reveal up to 89% can spot these fish better than sonar. But, use the HIGH CHIRP to see them too.


Toona Intel: (Bass fishing report courtesy of angler Matt Driver) — Bass fishing on Lake Allatoona is good with slightly lower water temps this year than last. The fish are mostly out deep during the daylight hours. When surface temperatures are in the mid/low 80’s, the majority of bass are in the 15-25’ depth range (shallower at night). “Night time” I’m targeting shallow cover and boulders with a Picasso night thumper spinner bait. “Day time” main lake points and channel swings are the ticket for good schools of fish. I have been doing well with deep crankbaits like the Spro Little John DD and the Strike King 6 and 8 XD in blue gizzard. I crank with a 5:2:1 Shimano Curado and 7’11 fiberglass Shimano glass rod lined with 10 Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon. The lighter line allows the bait to get to the desired depth easier. Bass are still holding on brush piles and rock. I am mixing up how I’m targeting these fish. I start off with big bite 4-inch cane thumper and a Picasso double weed guard tungsten swim bait head while searching for active fish and then switch to a dropshot to catch those suspended fish that are a little more finicky. I use 6 lb. Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon, a number 4 Gamakatsu dropshot hook and a 3/8 oz Picasso tungsten teardrop weight. These fish are sometimes scattered on points and must be located with sonar. As I always say, “The key is not to spend time on fish that show up on sonar, but don’t bite”. Fish the area and move to find active fish. Last but not least I am still catching quite a few fish on The Picasso Suijin tipped with a 3.75 Big Bite jointed jerk minnow. This bait works year-round on Allatoona. I’ve been throwing the 1/2 oz. head on 10 lb. test Sunline sniper Fluorocarbon. It allows the bait to get down in the water column and fish it slowly. Also a key to fishing Allatoona in the heat, “if all else fails fish bluff walls” have a fun and safe trip!  

Fish Attractor Info: Looking for some of Allatoona’s 70+ fish attractors?  Look no further-click HERE.  Sites 67-71 are the newest!  Bank anglers – All of Allatoona’s six public fishing jetties have been sweetened with brush piles over the years.  Bass, bream and catfish should all be holding in these areas.

Linesides: Striped and hybrid striped bass fishing is currently as good as it gets at Lake Allatoona and a great time to introduce a child to lineside fishing.  Schools of stripers and hybrids can be found just about everywhere in the lake right now.  Look for surface activity in the morning and evenings and rely on your sonar later in the day to locate shad and actively feeding stripers and hybrids.  Major creek mouths and the old river channel are good places to start looking.  Once located, fish live shad or minnows about twenty-feet down.  That should put your bait in the strike zone.  Shad-imitating diving lures may also elicit strikes from hungry linesides.  If you have ever been interested in striper and hybrid fishing, now if the time to hone your skills.

Lake Allatoona is Full, Clear, and 80s: (This Lake Allatoona Bass fishing report is by Tournament angler Matt Driver) — Bass fishing is good. The fish are mostly out deep during the daylight hours. When temperatures are in the mid to low 80s, the majority of the bass are in the 15 to 25 foot range but shallower at night. At night we are targeting shallow cover and boulders with a Picasso Night Time Thumper spinnerbait. During the day, main lake points and channel swings are the ticket for good schools of fish. We have been doing well with deep crankbaits, like the Spro Little John DD and the Strike King 6XC and 8XD in blue gizzard. We crank with a 5:2:1 Shimano Curado and a 7’ 11” fiberglass Shimano glass rod lined with 10 pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon. The lighter line allows the bait get to the desired depth easier. Bass are still holding on brush piles and rock. We are mixing up how we are targeting these fish. We start off with a Big Bite Baits 4 inch Cane Thumper and a Picasso double weed guard tungsten swimbait head while searching for active fish. Then, we switch to a drop shot to catch those suspended fish that are a little more finicky. We use 6 pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon, a No. 4 Gamakatsu drop shot hook and a 3/8 ounce Picasso tungsten teardrop weight. These fish are sometimes scattered on points and must be located with sonar. The key is not to spend time on fish that show up on sonar but don’t bite. Fish the area, and move to find active fish. We are still catching quite a few fish on the Picasso Suijin tipped with a 3.75 inch Big Bite Baits Jointed Jerk Minnow. This bait works year round on Allatoona. We use a 1/2 ounce head on 10 pound test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon. It allows the bait to get down in the water column and fish it slowly. If all else fails, fish bluff walls.

Lake Allatoona Report: (This Lake Allatoona Fishing Guides Report has been brought to you by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service) — Line side fishing is great. The bite is awesome and very consistent right now. The summer bite is in full swing. Down lining threadfin shad in the mouths of Stamp Creek, Cooper Creek, Iron Hill, Stamp Creek and Clark Creek will be the ticket for July. Downlines are working best fished between 20 and 40 feet deep. The schools are huge right now. Our boats are averaging more than 25 fish on four hour trips right now. The bite just doesn’t get any better than it is right now. If you are thinking about introducing your kids or grandkids to fishing, the time is now.


Nottely: Today on Nottely 

walleye mtn lake DaveP June2019

Mountain Lake Walleye from DaveP-Follow The Son Guide Service

Mountain Walleye: Anthony, hope you’re doing well.  Haven’t seen much in the weekly report so I attached a walleye pic if you want to use it for the holiday weekend.  If you’re willing to put up with the boat traffic / skiers and jet skis they fish are still out there and can be caught with some patience.  – Dave P

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: Check the Current Fishing Report HERE

Rocky Report: Catching Bass at Rocky Mountain PFA

Good Article on Hartwell Summer Stripers: Summer Heat Hits Striped Bass Hard

Lake Hartwell is Full, Clear, Down Stained Up Rivers, 80s: (Report from Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant) — Bass fishing is fair. Go early as the boat traffic is tough. It would be better to head up the rivers and avoid the main lake traffic. Day fishing in the creeks picking up but it is tough to get a keeper fish. Early in the day use the small Lunker Lure buzz baits with all white skirts and silver blades. Stay in the shadows as long as possible. Strom baby bass Chug Bugs have been working and cast them to the docks and move them quickly with a lot of noise. The Zoom mini lizard in pumpkinseed on a Weedless Wonder lead head can work and dip the tail in JJ’s Magic. Also try flipping this same bait. Up in the upper rivers can be fair all day on the wood and shallow bank cover. After mid morning the fish are holding on points at 8 to 10 feet on points in the mouths of the creeks. A short Carolina rig with the same zoom mini lizard is the best lure. 

Small Lakes: These are still a best bet, especially for anglers with small boats- john boats, canoes, yaks, or even float tubes.  Check the boating regulations by the lake owner before you launch to ensure your craft is allowed.

Weiss Lake is at 0 feet 1 inch below full pool, and Clear and 76-80 degrees: (Report brought to you by Mark Collins Service) — Bass fishing is fair. The bass moved to the grass beds, shallow docks and sea walls. Jigs, worms and shallow running crank baits and spinner baits are catching a lot of fish. Some fish are starting to show up on secondary points and road beds in 4 to 10 feet of water. Keep a top water bait ready for any top water action but it is not a consistent bite unless there is some current.

Unicoi Lake Mixed Bag: Dredger launched his yak into Unicoi Lake one evening after work last week.  He followed the shadows around the lake perimeter, tossed small white poppers and stealth bombers under the overhanging limbs, and was treated to a mixed bag.  He uncapped more tail-walking bass than he landed (3), and the biggest was only twelve inches, but the 2.5 hour trip was great because of the steady topwater action.  Trip highlights were a) the variety in his “pot luck supper”: largemouth, redbreast, bluegill, and green, and b) the good size of the sunfish that he found on two separate brim beds.

Small Lake Memories: Hit a small lake near you at dusk.  A canoe, a kid, and a cage full of crickets is a sure-fire recipe for a lifetime memory. Here are some great places to try!sunfish trio Zwerner AR spring 2019


Etowah: Fishing Report for July 20 

A Flatlander Scores in the Mountains: Check it out HERE


trout stocking jlt Pautzke pic2Stockers: Avoid the heat by wet- wading in the shade of a mountain trout stream.  Nearly 40,000 trout will be stocked during this holiday week.  Enjoy this video and a river fishing report.  Grab your ultralight rod, some worms and powerbait, and some kids and go have fun on some north Georgia trout waters this week.  John Lee’s best bets: Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters, Hooch on WMA, Rock, Cooper, Dicks, Tallulah (Report 1, Report 2), Wildcat, Holly, and Johns.

Hooch Tailwater: The Ten-Dollar Refund

FF Technique (at end of thread): Like Riding a Bike

Family Affair: Report HERE

Sidearm the Big’uns: Enjoy another great article by Dominick.  I learned this technique from an old steelheader on the banks of the St Joe’s River (MI) about two decades ago.  It has worked well for me, from river stripers and shoalies to Dukes trophy trout, and I’ll bet it will work for you, too.

Fishing Friend’s Gone Around the Bend: Can one man make a difference?  Rabun TU founder Doug Adams sure did!   We just lost Doug, but still have his legacy of accomplishments to be thankful for. Here’s a partial list of his coldwater kudos:  Rabun chapter president and newsletter editor, lobbied NC DEM to designate Chattooga River headwaters as Outstanding Resource Waters, TU leader in our cooperative research and improved trout management of the Chattooga River, led USFS/TU habitat work projects in Rabun trout streams, represented anglers and coldwater habitat in National Forest management planning and development of recreation plan for the upper Chattooga River, guest columnist in GON magazine, helped USFS acquire trout stream mitigation from the Smithgall estate during its trade for Dukes Creek (if you ever fished Cooper Creek Scenic area, you have Doug to thank), participant on GA TU’s team  to support Amicalola Creek (Forestar Tract) acquisition by DNR. He started the famous Rabun Rendezvous at Dillard House, with those banquet revenues going far and wide: Rabun TU stream work projects, Project Healing Waters, Casting for Recovery, TU-National Embrace a Stream program support, Chattooga copter stocking, GATU Trout Camp for kids, and the Smithgall Woods youth education program. He was given TU -National’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004. On the personal front, Doug mentored many anglers, including WY/Hooch guide Kyle Burrell, Unicoi Outfitters owner Jimmy Harris, author/photographer David Cannon, and even the Dredger. Doug taught us all how to speak Rabunite, decipher bug hatches, wait on the coffin flies, catch more fish, and marvel at the tiny lights of fairies and twinkies during our pitch-black hikes out of His River (page 8). He and buddy Bill Kelly even piled me into their pickup truck for my first “out west” trout trip in 2000.  Doug opened his fish camp every spring break for my young NJ buddy, Patrick, and helped Pat overcome the loss of his 9/11 hero dad. Doug Adams showed us all how to fish, conserve aquatic resources, live life to its fullest, and pass on a love of fishing, family, friends, and life to those young folks who follow in our footsteps.  May my “friend around the bend” now find great fishing with his reunited buddies.  And may each of us continue Doug’s legacy by helping out a new angler and getting involved in the conservation of our Georgia trout waters.  Tight lines, Ole Rabunite.  Tie on your favorite fly, an Adams dry!

Young Cade, his dad, and I wish you good luck this holiday weekend.  Dodge the midday sun and find the cool fish in the shade and shadows.  Catch one and shout out a hearty Waah- hoo for dear ole Doug.  He’d like that.