Go jump in a lake. No, really…it might be the only option to staying cool while fishing. I mean, do it safely (like if you can’t swim, please wear a life jacket, etc.). It’s still hot. BUT, the good news is that there is a lot of fishing news to get us through these trying times. We will make it through, and soon enough, be complaining about the cold (doesn’t feel like it though, does it?). 

Be Like Cindy! Are you looking to land a lunker? If so, be sure to check out the requirements for the Trophy Bass Angler Program. You could get some nice swag, including a replica mount, if the fish meets all requirements!  

This week, we have LOTS of info with reports from Southwest, Southeast, Central and North Georgia. Now, Go Fish Georgia!

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 

(Report provided by Brad McDaniel of Flint River Outdoors) — Even though the heat has been getting the best of some of us, fish are still biting on Lake Blackshear. Bluegill and Redear Sunfish are biting in shallow water using worms and crickets. Catfish have been biting, usually in deeper water using worms as bait. The Largemouth Bass bite is okay. Fish are biting more often in pond areas where water is stagnant. A 10 pound Largemouth was caught a few days ago on a chatterbait. Lastly, a few folks have hooked into Black Crappie, which is unheard of this time of year. Crappie were caught in about six feet of water using live minnows.  In general, the best time of day to fish is early morning and at dusk – or go for the night bite! Stay cool and shaded out there.

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, back-to-school, and folks preparing for hunting conspired so that only fishing addicts (like myself) went this week. Last quarter moon is August 15th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

J.J. and Lance at Altamaha Park said that the crappie bite is on for anglers fishing minnows. Bream ate crickets, and pink worms accounted for some good blue catfish catches. A few flatheads were caught with goldfish. Mullet were still caught in good numbers on red wigglers fished on the back sides of sandbars. The river level was 3.5 feet and falling (89 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 5.1 feet and falling (90 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on August 13th.

SATILLA RIVER

A couple of Waycross anglers fished the river a couple days this week and caught some nice bass up to 3 pounds on buzzbaits. Their best trip was 10 bass. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that with the river up a little from recent rains, anglers reported catching redbreasts on Satilla Spins (red/white and black/chartreuse), and bass were caught with topwater plugs fished close to cover. The river level on August 13th at the Waycross gage was 6.2 feet and steady (83 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 4.2 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

A Waycross angler fished the upper St Marys on Friday and landed 15 panfish (mostly redbreasts) on zebra, rainbow, and dreamsicle Satilla Spins (dreamsicle was their best color). Anglers said that the catfish bite was great, with livers and shrimp producing best. In the Browntown area feeder creeks, some nice bream sucked down crickets. The river level at the Macclenny gage on August 13th was 4.3 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Alan Thomas and friend fished the east side of the Okefenokee Swamp over the weekend and slammed the bowfin. They used Dura-Spins to catch 37 bowfin and 3 warmouth in 4 hours of fishing. The heat chased them off at mid-day, just like it kept most anglers away from the swamp this week. On the west side, the catfish bite in the boat basin was good for anglers putting shrimp on the bottom. Check out Glen Solomon’s article about fishing for bowfin in the Okefenokee in the August issue of Georgia Outdoor News.

LOCAL PONDS

SE-GA-Jacob-Bass-8-19-IMG_1287.jpg
Jacob caught this nice bass and a bunch of catfish from an Alma area pond on Tuesday evening. Red wigglers were the ticket for him.

Some bream were caught this week by anglers pitching bugs to cypress trees at night. An angler fishing just a few minutes before dark on Friday caught a 2-pound bass that slammed a green pumpkin/chartreuse Keitech Noisy Flapper rigged on a 5/0 Gamakatsu Toad Hook. A couple of anglers fishing a Brunswick pond landed around 20 bass on 2 different trips. Their biggest was a 9-pounder. All of their fish ate plastic worms. Jacob fished an Alma area pond on Tuesday evening and caught a nice bass and a bucketload of catfish using red wiggler worms. Michael Winge reported that in Waycross area ponds crickets produced most of the bream. Some nice bass ate plastic frogs fished around lily pads.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

Don Harrison and Ed Zmarzly fished the St. Marys Jetties and pitched bucktail jigs on Friday. The duo kept a redfish, 3 big flounder, and a nice trout and also caught throwbacks, as well as breaking off a couple giant bull redfish. They also caught ladyfish, jack crevalle, black sea bass, and gafftopsail catfish. They saw a couple scattered tarpon but couldn’t get any to bite. Their best bucktail color was chartreuse, but they also caught some fish on mullet and electric chicken colors. Michael Winge reported some good flounder catches around the St. Marys Jetties by anglers fishing finger mullet and mudminnows. In the Brunswick area, live shrimp fished around shell mounds and creeks produced trout, redfish, and flounder. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the heat kept the numbers of anglers down, but those that fished caught flounder, croakers, sharks, trout, and whiting from the pier. The big whiting and some small sharks ate dead shrimp fished on the bottom. Crabbers were still catching good numbers of the tasty crustaceans under the pier. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

Redfish are moving to the sounds to spawn over the next few months, and flounder are still around in good numbers. Tarpon are both in the sounds and inland. Seatrout are on the beach. As you can tell, saltwater is my recommendation. In the Okefenokee, bowfin are a blast to catch, but not much to eat, unless you bring them home and eat them the same day you catch them.

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 1.11 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass guide fishing is fair.  Head upriver and fish on very tight bank and river structure.  Flipping a black shad Culprit worm in the larger sizes is fair.  Later in the day casting or flipping the river overhangs and blow downs is fair on shallow banks with a Zoom motor oil lizard.  Use the Weedless Wonder heads to rig the worm so it can go through the structure better.  Down lake, all white buzz baits retrieved right on the rip rap early and late can work also.  Try this same tactic at night but use heavy line and a solid black buzz bait.  If the fish miss the lure, cast a large Texas rigged worm right back at the swirl.  Night fishing is fair with the Texas rigged Zoom U tail worms.  Just fish points and rip rap.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.2 FEET, 80’S

Bass Guide fishing is slow.  Fish the deeper waters and use a slow presentation.  Carolina rigs are the best all day baits.  Some nice bass are still being caught on jigs.  Try a soft plastic frog on the shallow grass in the shadows early and late.  If the sun is up, a Shad Rap on points is the best crank bait.  Drop shot rigs along the channel ledges up in the rivers are showing us a few good bass, but the weights are still low at the scales.  Hopefully, cooler weather isn’t far away.  A very slow presentation will be a must.  Keep a Zoom Super Fluke in pearl in case any fish pop up on the surface. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S

(Lake Oconee Line Side report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service)

  • Water temperature is 87-89.  The lake is clear.

Bass: Bass guide 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 hour of daylight.  Keep a trick worm tied on and if the fish misses the buzz bait pitch the trick worm in the same spot and hang on.  The humps on the lower end of the lake have also been producing when Georgia Power is pulling water.  Use a Carolina rigged worm on the humps.

Striped Bass: Striper fishing is poor.  There is a sporadic top water bite that is there one day and not the next.  Not much activity at the dam in the am either.  Hurry up fall!

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 feet 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. 

WEST POINT LAKE IS FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass guide fishing is fair.  Fish deep brush piles and road beds in 15 to 20 feet of water with a drop shot rig or a Texas rigged Zoom Mag 2 worm in dark pumpkins and greens.  White Water Creek and Sunny Point have some good places to fish and the spots are biting but just make sure to cover the water column.  Down lake fishing is tougher because of the clear water conditions.  Use the Weedless Wonder lead heads with a Zoom finesse worm in green pumpkin or any shades of greens. Also throw a Carolina rig in 15 to 22 feet on points and roadbeds.  Use a long 4-foot fluorocarbon leader for more and bigger bits.  Top water fishing is working also in the early morning and late evening and a Pop R and a Zara Spook has been best.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.2 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass guide fishing is fair.  The day fishing in the creeks is picking up but it is tough to get a keeper fish.  Early in the day use the Lunker Lure buzz baits with all white skirts and silver blades.  Stay in the shadows as long as possible.   Strom baby Bass Guide Chug Bugs have been working and cast them to the docks and move them quickly with a lot of noise.  The darker artificial lizards and flipping 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 a small green or motor oil French fry worm is the best lure.

LAKE JACKSON IS .52 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass guide fishing is fair.  It’s best to go to top water and target shallow fish in the early morning.  Look down lake on main lake riprap and seawalls.  Also look for fish feeding on open water shad during the early morning and in overcast conditions.  Fish shallow on rocky points very early and late in the day.  Fish can also be found in the main lake blow downs without fishing particularly deep.  Bass are being caught out to 15 feet and deeper.  When you find them on deep structure, you may have a group of fish.  Fishing for reaction strikes with the crank bait can be a good strategy.  Use Shad Raps to take fish from 8 foot of water.  Work the points, humps, blow downs, brush, docks, and rocks.  Drop Shot rigs are particularly productive this time of year.  Use the finesse worms and Trick worms for fish passing directly under your sonar and well above the bottom.  Also use the rig on short casts to deep fish holding on bottom. 

BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE

  • Surface water temperature: 87o F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 25 inches
  • Water level: Water level is 9 inches below full pool

Bass: Moderate – Bass fishing has slowed because of the very hot temperatures.  However, a few can still be caught in deeper water.  Anglers should try a shad look-alike in 3 to 8 feet of water and fish out from the bank at least five feet.  Sometimes, several larger bass can be found in the shade of the fishing pier.   Feeding bass will be most active during the early morning and later in the evening.  Try bass fishing with shallow presentation of dark colored crank baits and plastic-worms during the low light periods.

Crappie: Poor- Because of the warm summer temperatures crappie tend to move into deeper water as well as scatter themselves over much of lake. This will make them difficult to locate but you can try easing through the standing timber presenting live minnows and/or brightly colored jigs at different depths for your best chance of catching a good-sized crappie.

Bream: Good – Most bream are closer to the banks and seeking shady cover to keep cool.  Crickets and worms are excellent live bait for bream.  Also, small grubs like plastic jigs can work well anytime of the year; try black, white, and chartreuse colors.  Bream have small mouths so fish with small hooks for the best results.  Fish for them in shallow areas around shady spots with smaller hooks. The new pier may be a good spot.

Channel catfish: Good- The rocks along the dam are always a good spot to try and catch big channel cats.  However, catfishing has been good in deeper water over much of the lake.  Some catfish are being caught on cut bait and shrimp as well as worms (flat tails) and livers.

In general, August and September hot temperatures can make fishing at Big Lazer challenging.  However, cooler temperatures are on the way, which will improve the bite.   The new fishing pier is completed and ready to be fished!

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE)  

  • Water Temperature: 88⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 20 – 54+ in.

Bass: The bass bite has been tough lately with the warm days we’ve been having. Patient jig anglers fishing slowly in deeper water have had some luck lately. In Breambuster, bass continue to school and aggressively chase balls of threadfin shad that seem to congregate around the boat dock. Lures that imitate small (1-2”) threadfin shad have been effective at catching these fish, especially earlier in the mornings. The same tactic should work well in Jones, where shad numbers have been increasing. The jig bite has been good in Willow lately as well.

McDuffie PFA BreamBream: The bream bite has slowed with the heat, although a few bream (pictured) are still being caught in Beaverlodge, Jones and Bridge Lakes early in the mornings and late evenings. Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge Lakes are excellent spots to fish for bream. Fish a spot for 30 minutes or so then try another if it hasn’t worked out. The anglers really catching bream right now seem to be moving around a lot to find them.

Channel Catfish: The catfish action has been pretty good lately, with many anglers having a lot of success fishing in the mornings and evenings. Clubhouse has slowed down lately, but they are being caught throughout the area and especially in Beaverlodge. Most of the catfish being caught have come from deep water, so fishing around any of the siphon drain structures is a good place to start. Nightfishing in Jones Lake has been good and is an excellent way to beat the heat, if nothing else! Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge are excellent spots to fish for catfish. Remember, the PFA record catfish has not been set! Any channel catfish caught on McDuffie PFA that exceeds 12 lb. 2 oz. will qualify as an official PFA record fish. Please see application at kiosk for details.

Striped Bass: Stripers can be found in Clubhouse and Bridge Lakes. It may seem funny, but try using chicken liver and worms. It works.

NORTH GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts) 

You’ve heard it before.  How many times can we say it?  Hot, hot, hot, HOT… the broken record continues for this week’s fishing report too.  With air temperatures above 100 and heat index values near 110 in some local areas earlier this week, it has been exceptionally hot.  Meteorologists are saying temps will moderate slightly and we can expect an occasional pop-up shower to cool us off briefly, but it looks like things are going to remain hot for at least another week.  Most anglers will do well to fish early and/or late and avoid the hottest part of the day, although you can still find some shady, cool spots high in the mountains.  Wherever you go, stay safe and bring plenty of water!

RESERVOIRS

Lanier Profiles: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — Water quality profiles can be found on Lanier’s Fishing Forecast webpage. Water temps are steadily warming from top-to-bottom, with surface temperatures now exceeding 86 F. The thermocline is at 20ft – 40ft. Deep water oxygen concentrations are slowly declining, but depths of 90 – 100 ft are holding dissolved oxygen > 2 mg/L. As we move towards the end of August, expect larger striped bass to vacate the deeper water for a breath of fresh air (at the thermocline). This may create opportunities for even more exciting trolling action in the near future.

Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Jimbo Mathley, Jimbo on Lanier)— Lanier is full, clear, and in the 80s. Bass fishing is good. The fish we are catching have been on points and humps in 25 to 30 feet of water, depending on time of day and conditions. The mouths of the creek in the lower lake has been our focus area. We continue to see some schooling fish each morning as well top water has again been a viable option this week. In addition, a Spybait and a drop shot have also been options, depending on the conditions. We are using the Lanier Baits Fruity worms for drop shot. There are several fish also in the 25 to 40-foot depth range between the brush and the timber these fish are often best targeted with the flutter spoon and a drop shot. Want more detailed information on the bite this week? Subscribe to my weekly video fishing reports here:

Lanier Topwater Action: Lanier’s spots still biting topwater early.

Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Driver) –Lake Allatoona is full, clear, and in the 80s. Bass fishing is fair. Even though this sound like broken record the slower techniques like the drop shot and a small swim bait targeting suspended fish of long points continues to be best .We are using small baits to “match the hatch” Baits likes the tiny fluke and big bite 3.75 jerk minnow fished on 5 pound test Sunline fluorocarbon with a Gamakatsu drop shot hook. We are nosing the boat into the breeze and searching with sonar for fish. Sometimes you will only locate one or two fish at a time. We are vertically jigging the just over the fish. We are also using a small Keitech swim bait on a Picasso round ball swimbait head. Making long casts and counting it down to the depth we are seeing the best concentration of fish. Sometimes the fish will hit at the lure several times before getting it. Be patient the south end of the lake is fishing the best for me right now.

Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Southern Fishing With Ken Sturdivant) —  Lake Hartwell is down 1.37 feet, and in the 80s. Bass fishing is fair and early it is best to fish the steep rock banks with a Pop R or a Bonnie 95 in a shad color. As the sun starts to rise, find any shade and you can pick up a few extra top water fish. Mid-morning and throughout the day fish docks with a Shaky Head or a Slider Head. Use a Green Weenie Robo Worm or 4″ Shaky worm in green pumpkin. Another option would be to fish points with a deep running crank bait. Fish a DD22 in Tropical Shad or the Bandit 700 in Summer Shad. You can fish a Deep Little N or 300 Bandit, as well. In the evening, fishing around brush seems to be the best bet. Throw a Texas Rig Net Bait T Mac Worm a ½-ounce Stanley jig. Fish slowly and thoroughly to get bites. After dark, fish around any rocky banks.

WILL AND RACHEL LINGINFELTER CARTERS LAKE
Will and his daughter Rachel Linginfelter find success at Carters Lake

Carters Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Louie Bartenfield of Carters Lake Guide Service) — Surface Temp: 87, Clarity: 8ft+ visibility.  Fishing is in a typical “dead-of-summer” pattern right now.  Spotted bass are roaming depths from 20-30ft on bluff banks and off-shore structure.  Drop Shot Worms, Shakey Heads (typical plastic finesse presentations) are working best in this depth range.  Woodlawn archery coach Will Linginfelter and his daughter Rachel can attest.  The duo boated a number of quality sized spotted bass “finesse fishing” on a recent trip.  The bass all seem to be keying in on very small fingernail sized shad/alewife right now.  On cloudy calm days I’ve seen hundreds of schools of tiny bait fish on the surface across the lake.  This makes the fish tough to catch since Spotted Bass in particular, have amazing eye sight and are hard to fool with larger baits when they’re primarily feeding on these tiny bait fish.  I’ve been using small minnow imitation plastics like tiny flukes and tiny hand poured worms.  With the crystal clear water, down-sizing your line is key right now.  I’ve been using no more than 7lb fluorocarbon and most days I’m using 4-5lb test on my drop-shots.  Keep an eye on the Carters generation schedule too.  During generation periods you will see more activity on the surface and on your electronics.  As we progress into August/September, don’t be surprised to find more and more bass moving shallow to feed on Bluegill.  It happens every year as the days get shorter, the bass move to the shallows regardless of the temperatures.  When this happens I like switching to a bluegill style topwater baits like pop-r’s and propbaits.  Good luck on the water! – Louie

Blue Ridge Lake Profiles: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — New profiles from yesterday at Blue Ridge are available for viewing on the Fishing Forecast page on our WRD websiteJust click the thermometer icons on the map.  We collect profile data from two sites at Blue Ridge; near the dam and in the mid-lake area.  Temperatures at these sites are similar to each other (as they typically are), but you’ll notice the dissolved oxygen levels at each site are drastically different from those at the other site.  TVA operates an oxygen diffuser system at Blue Ridge, where liquid oxygen is distributed throughout the forebay of the lake to increase oxygen levels in the Toccoa River below the dam.  As an added benefit, oxygen levels are also boosted in the lake near the dam which is great for our lake resident sport fish populations (bass, walleye, catfish, etc.).

23in WALLake Rabun Walleye: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern) — Local walleye specialist Gordon Van Mol says he has been catching some nice walleye on Lake Rabun lately, including the 23-incher (see photo).  He said to try using a deep diving crankbait, like a Rapala Deep Tail Dancer.

Tallulah Lakes (Burton, Rabun, Seed, Tugalo): (Report courtesy of walleye fishing guide Dave Pedone) –Just wanted to give you a report.  Lakes are very warm with surface temps of 80 to 84 degrees.  Fish are deep and in search of cooler water via current.  If you put the time in you can scrap up a great meal this time of year!

RIVERS 

Cody_81419_SHBSoqueUpper Hooch Black Bass: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — Headwaters to Lanier are warming up as is the bite for shoal, Chattahoochee, largemouth, and spotted bass in the Chattahoochee River. A group of volunteers lead by Habersham County Extension Agent Steven Patrick recently floated the stretch from Duncan Bridge to Mossy Creek State Park and collected and tagged 88 fish for the Upper Chattahoochee Shoal Bass research project. A variety of soft and hard plastics are working really well right now. Weedless rigs are recommended to help you hang more fish than snags. Black poppers popped once and drifted 8-10 feet work well on the fly. If you catch a tagged fish, please proceed as you normally would with respect to keeping or releasing the fish, but give our office a call at 770-535-5498 to give us the tag number from that fish, and a precise measurement of length is definitely appreciated! Pictured here (see photo) is a shoal bass tagged last year on the Soque, and recaptured this year in the same stretch of river (thanks to Soque angler Cody for the recapture data!). Be sure to check your trusty USGS river gauges before departure, to ensure your chosen stretch of river has dodged these inevitable pop-up afternoon thunderstorms. 

TROUT 

BurtonHatcheryConstruction_08.13.19Burton Renovation Project: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern) — The Lake Burton Trout Hatchery was built in the 1930s and it is long overdue for a major facelift and overhaul.  To that end, the hatchery has begun a large-scale renovation project that will utilize new technologies to enhance production. All of the trout typically stationed at Lake Burton Fish Hatchery are being held at other trout hatcheries or have already been stocked.  The facility has operated 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year for decades. However, during construction, the hatchery will no longer be open on weekends or holidays, but will still be open to visitors Monday-Friday (8:00 am-4:30 pm).  We are sorry for any inconvenience, but we look forward to many more decades of trout production in the future.

Trout Stocking Update: (From WRD Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — Regular trout stocking continues in north Georgia and will through Labor Day. The current heat wave could redirect fish to cooler waters, so for the latest stocking information sign up to receive the weekly trout stocking report. Best fishing opportunities will occur in the morning while mountain streams are still cool. Additionally, anglers could try our cool tailwater resources below Lake Blue Ridge and Lake Lanier.

LAS1Summerville Trout/Sturgeon Bottleneck: (From Summerville Hatchery Manger Josh Tannehill) — Summerville Hatchery staff always have a difficult task trying to rear lake sturgeon and rainbow trout at the same time and in the same building, due to limited space.  Each species grows faster, survives better, and has less disease problems when they have lots of space to themselves.  But with Burton Hatchery out-of-service, Summerville staff have crammed as many trout and sturgeon as they can into whatever space they can find.  Despite the limited legroom (fin-room?), both species are doing great (see sturgeon pic).

819_fatBNT_postfingstock_scalleyHooch Browns and Bows: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — Thanks to Lake Lanier’s deep release of cold water from Buford Dam, the Chattahoochee River brown and rainbow trout have relatively few worries during this summer’s extreme heat. According to seasoned River Through Atlanta fishing guide, Chris Scalley, anglers are finding success using a variety of techniques, from in-line spinners (Panther Martin, Rooster tails) to Rapalas (countdowns #3-9). Flies imitating terrestrials are also a good choice: Pat’s rubber leg with a bead head prince nymph dropper will double your chances for a strike. When fishing woody structures, stripping an olive wooly bugger can draw fish out of a snag. Match the terrestrial hatch by looking up! Look for Catalpa trees donning green, 4”-6” leaves shaped like an elephant’s ear, with lots of Swiss-cheese like holes, the best indicator of hungry Catalpa caterpillars. Also look for tent-like caterpillar nests in overhanging tress that resemble cotton candy. By using spin and fly patterns imitating these larvae, you’ll increase your odds of landing fish. Outside of the artificial only section (Hwy 20 south to Medlock Bridge), hunter/gatherer anglers can collect a tin of Catalpa worms and impale them on a  #8-#12 trout hook for a “real deal” presentation. Whichever is your flavor, the Hooch offers a lot of opportunity for a cool fishing trip this during this hot summer, for those willing to give it a shot.

North Georgia Trout Online: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer)– If you’ve been around a while you already know this, but for any newbies out there check out the “NGTO” message board.  This site continues to provide a wealth of knowledge for all things trout fishing in Georgia, including recent fishing reports.  If you’re new or just haven’t been there in a while, you should give it a shot. 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Chestnut Lamprey 1 (Albanese) CroppedToothy Suction-Cups: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer): Our WRD offices get calls each year from concerned anglers wanting to know what these “eels” or “worms” are that they have found attached to fish.  Well they are not eels or worms at all!  They are a primitive fish called a lamprey.  The one pictured is a Chestnut lamprey, one of several lamprey species that live in Georgia.  Most of these species are non-parasitic filter feeders and harmless to other fish, but the Chestnut lamprey does have a parasitic stage where it will attach to other fish.  It is important to note that these fish are native to Georgia waters, and have evolved with our other native species and generally do not negatively affect populations of game fish.  They are a completely normal and natural part of our river ecosystems.

Reducing Summer Mortality: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — All fish fry enthusiasts (including myself) can stop reading here. For everyone else: it’s hot out there, and increasing water temperatures generally mean less dissolved oxygen and higher metabolic demands for fish. Essentially, fish are asked to do more with less in the heat of the summer, and so they may be more vulnerable to handling stress during these periods of extreme heat. If catch-and-release is your goal, here’s a great reminder on the best practices to help your fish swim away, courtesy of B.A.S.S.

Outdoor Expo: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — Consider putting this one on the calendar – Calling all Outdoor Enthusiasts!!! Join us for our first annual 2019 Outdoor Expo, a trade show featuring sources for all of your hunting, fishing, camping and hiking needs. Great prizes available for attendees. Come to the OUTDOOR EXPO, August 24, 2019 from 10 am until 5 pm at 6140 Highway 400, Cumming Georgia 30028.