Happy Labor Day Holiday weekend y’all. Unless you have to work (sorry!). Hoping (regardless of your work or not work situation) you can find sometime to wet a line, whether it is during a nice 3-day trip, or just an early morning jaunt to the backyard pond.

News to Know:

  • Spotted 4International Bass Slammer! David Alcaraz of Granada, Spain became our first international visitor to get a Georgia Bass Slam! David was here for 2 weeks visiting family, heard about the Bass Slam last year, and decided to take it on as a challenge on his visit this year. He caught 6 of the 10 black bass species found in Georgia. Congrats David and we look forward to you visiting us again soon!
  • Cast and Blast: Join us at Flat Creek PFA on Sept. 7 for Cast and Blast – a kids fishing event and youth dove shoot.
  • National Hunting and Fishing Day: It’s not too early to make plans to attend a fun, free event near you on Sept. 28.  Activities will vary at each event, find out more HERE or see the event schedule HERE.
  • What does 750 pounds of trout look like? Click to watch!
  • Shoal Bass Project: How can you help the Upper Chattahoochee Shoal Bass Project? Find out more HERE.
  • Can you name the type of net used for rare fish studies? 

This week we have reports from Central, Southeast and North Georgia. Now get out there and 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 1.1 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Think shallow structure all day.  On days that a buzz bait works, it’s the lure to throw.  A buzz bait can be worked faster, allowing the angler to cover water faster.  It’s a good idea to fish a smaller quieter bait like a 1/8 or ¼ ounce size and a larger, noisier bait like a ½ ounce size.  Also, try the Pop R’s, Chug Bug’s, and Baby Torpedo’s.  Run the Lowrance Structure Scan beams across the main lake points and run the beam out to 80 feet.  After top-water fishing ends, bass can be caught on shallow rock points and any reef marker on the trick worms.  A few bass are being caught on Carolina rigged Zoom finesse or u tail worms in the green pumpkin or watermelon color.  Fish these baits on 12-pound test Sufix line with a 2 to 3 foot leader using 10 pound test line.  Fish the long main lake points and under water islands. A Texas rigged worm in watermelon color fished on 6-pound test line with a 1/16 ounce weight on the rip rap will catch a few fish.  Fish this bait slowly.  If you must use a crank bait, use a small Fat Free Shad in Citrus Shad and bump the bottom up-lake.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 2.23 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Fish with the trick worms and the Carolina rig.  Color will play an important role as the water near the feeder creeks and up in the rivers has a little bit of color to it.  The big key is to work all of your baits very slowly.  A lot of strikes are actually happening while the bait is sitting still for thirty seconds or more.  A Texas rigged Zoom U tale worm fished in brush piles or on long rock points will bring a few good bites.  Work the bait slow and be a line watcher.  Carolina rigged worm fishing the deeper end of long points or under water islands will also work for a few bites.  Run the Lowrance Structure Scan beams past the docks and run the beam out to 80 feet.  Use a good dipping dye like JJ’s Magic.  Use Sufix Elite 12-pound test as the main line with an 18 to 24 inch leader line of 10 pound test on the Carolina rig.  Working the bait from all sides of the points will help you find how the fish are holding.  A drop shot rig is also catching a few fish in brush.  Make sure when you feel the brush slow down and let the bait stay in the strike zone as long as possible.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL CLEAR AND 80’S

(Lake Oconee Line Side report brought to you by Mark Smith at Reel Time Service) — The lake is full.  The water temperature is 88-92.  The lake is clear.

Bass: Bass fishing is slow.  Buzz baits fished along sea walls and around docks will produce the first hour of daylight and the last hr. 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.  Some fish are under the deep water docks.  A Texas rigged worm fished up under the docks will produce some fish.  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.

Striper: 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 DOWN .82 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Fish are on the deep structure and blow downs all day.  Use the smaller crank baits and jigs around the shade of bridge pilings lake-wide.  Fishing in the early morning is fair and use the shad patterns in the top-water baits.  All white buzz baits or small torpedo style prop baits are good choices.  Drop shot rigs, deep running cranks baits and Carolina rigged plastics should be fished during the day.  Before the sun gets up stick to fishing with buzz baits and bump any bank structure with the lure.  Covering water can be the key to success.  When fishing buzz baits be sure the bait is moving as soon as it hits the water and reel them back just on the surface.  Sammie’s or prop baits fish a little slower and try these baits in prime areas; near wood or rock structure, for instance.  Fish the main lake rock, riprap, and sea wall features.  Fish main lake areas with some depth at or near the banks.

Ken Sturdivant, Lowrance Pro Staff, will be at the NEOOutdoor EXPO, September 20 through 22, 2019.  The locations will be the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville Georgia.  Hunting, Fishing, Camping and more all at one show. For details call 404-422-7197.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.44 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  A Texas rigged or a Carolina rigged worm fishing the deeper end of long points or under water islands is the best bet.  Use 12-pound test main line with an 18 to 24 inch leader line of 10-pound test on the Carolina rig.  Working this bait from all sides of the points will help find how the fish are holding.  If you come across rocks or brush, let your bait stay in that area for a longer time.  A large crank bait will work better.  Spinner baits and Chatterbaits can work on shallow cover early if the fish shy away from top-water presentations.  If top-water is not producing, head on out to the points and use the Lowrance to find the fish in the 10 to 12 foot range.  Also, look for a crank bait bite out on the deep structure like points, humps, and bluffs.  The Bandit 300 or Shad Rap in a natural color is a good choice.  Up Little River go into Cedar Creek and when it narrows down, fish all the docks on the left hand bank.  Pull up to the points and try the crank bait.  Plastic rigged on 1/4 ounce jig heads will also be effective in deeper water.  Finesse worms, Speed Craws, Ole Monsters, and jigs will take fish out of the deep blow downs and brush piles.  Pay extra attention to blow downs later in the afternoon.  Work the jig and craw and Trick worms to the bottom and up through the limbs.  Fish the shaky rig on deep main lake docks.

LAKE JACKSON IS .49 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Start the day with a buzz bait.  Fish it around mid-lake docks, sea walls, and bridge rip raps.  As the sun gets up switch over to a crank bait and work the main lake docks.  You can also pick up fish in the main lake creeks especially Tussahaw Creek with the same pattern.  Run the Lowrance Structure Scan beams past the docks and run the beam out to 80 feet.  Deep running crank baits fished off of the deep water humps and deep water points on the south end of the lake have been producing some larger fish.  You can also pick up extra fish on the bridge rip rap with a square billed crank bait.  Most of these fish are coming off of the down lake side.  Follow up with plastic and be willing to move on.  Try the same areas again, later in the day.  Throw small cranks and a Shad Rap in baby bass or pearl will work.

FLAT CREEK PFA (More info HERE)

Surface Temperature: 85˚ F (29.5˚ C)

As the longer days of summer start shortening the water temperature will start to cool and the fish will be moving around more.  This will produce a quicker strike.  Even with the warm water temperature at Flat Creek anglers have still been catching fish, with two anglers reported catching their limit on bream.  Darker colored lures have been a better option for all fish right now due to the algal bloom that is still present.  Crappie are biting in the deeper waters off the dam near the riser in the early morning and late evening hours but are sluggish with a very light bite.  Catfish and bream are biting really well right now on red wiggler worms.  Worms seem to be the “go-to” bait right now for most fishes caught.  The cooler hours of morning and evening seems to be the best time to get a bass.

Bass: Dark colored Zoom Trick Worms, and Zoom Centipede worms, fished shallow (2-3’) in the mornings and evenings, and dark colored lipless crank baits fished in 6-8 foot of water.

Bream: Worms (Red Wigglers and Pinks NOT Glow worms).  Worms on a Texas rig.  Crickets fished 6-7 feet beneath a very small float.  Most bream were caught on the other side of the lake from the fishing pier along the bank.

Channel Catfish: Worms fished on a Carolina Rig.  Chicken livers fished deep.  Raw shrimp.

Crappie: Minnows fished near the concrete of the riser at the dam.  Light, live action jigs fished with very light tackle to feel the slightest bite.  Night fishing is expected to be good for September.

MARBEN PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Water temperature: Low 90’s
  • Marben PFA Fishing Guide HERE 
  • Temperatures remain warm at Marben PFA. Sunscreen, plenty of water and ice are necessary. Don’t forget the picnic lunch!!

Remember early morning and late evenings remain the best times at Marben PFA. Mid to late September expect the “bite” of all species to pick up.

Bass: Similar challenges for anglers targeting bass remain at least for the first part of September.   However, anglers willing to test the waters in early morning (before sunrise) or right before sunset might be surprised with a bass being caught in the shallows.   Shad are still schooling on cloudy days and are seen near the boat ramps in early morning hours.  Hot water techniques are still recommended if targeting bass until mid-September.   Popular lures anglers should try are crank baits and other deeper water lures.   Anglers should target bass in the 8 – 12 ft. even in early morning and moving deeper as mid-day approaches.  Early morning and late evenings are still the best times for anglers targeting bass.   As temperatures cool in the later part of September, look for bass to remain in the shallows longer and most importantly the “bite” to pick up.

Crappie: Crappie fishing remains slow and most likely will until October.  Anglers may see the crappie “bite” tends to pick up as late evening approaches.  Even though the “bite” picks up, the window for catching crappie in the evening is small.  Anglers need to be prepared using live minnows and yellow/brown jigs, as these tend to be the most popular.  Try fishing cover approximately 8-10 feet.  Remember, once the crappie start biting keep at it, this frenzy will be short-lived in these warm temperatures!

Bream: Bream are the most popular fish targeted at Marben PFA.   The best thing about bream is that this fish will hit a variety of bait.   Meal worms are proving the most successful bait.   However, do not be afraid to experiment, you never know what bream are targeting that day.  There have also been reports of anglers using micro lures to catch hand-sized bream.   Most of the bream caught have been in six to eight feet of water.

Catfish: When the other fish begin to slow, anglers will often turn their attention to catfish at Marben PFA.  Catfish are reported being caught throughout the day.  Based on angler reports, Bennett still remains a popular lake but some of smaller lakes (Greenhouse and Dairy) are favorite targets.  Anglers are most successful using worms, liver and stink bait.  A handy shade tree seems to be important too!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA 

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

I felt a hint of fall in the air a couple of mornings this week, and I liked it. It felt like seatrout and redfish to me…..  New Moon is August 30th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Catfishing has been great on the Altamaha. Brentz McGhin ran limb lines on the upper Altamaha by himself on Friday and kept 10 nice channel catfish and 3 softshell turtles. He used cut baitfish (mullet worked best) on his lines. J.J. and Lance at Altamaha Park said that mullet were caught from sandbars over the past week. Big bream were fooled with crickets. Goldfish produced some big flatheads. The bass bite has been good, with just about everyone weighing in fish during 2 tournaments held over the weekend. The river level was 2.3 feet and falling (86 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 3.3 feet and steady (86 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on August 27th.

SATILLA RIVER

Chris Nugent walked the bank for just a short time this weekend and flung crackle-head shad Satilla Spins. He landed 10 fish, 2 that were BIG – a rooster redbreast and a slab crappie. The other 8 were hand-sized or smaller redbreasts. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that bass were biting ZOOM worms in the Atkinson area of the river. In the Waycross area, catfish bit best for those fishing with limb lines and rod-and-reel. Rooster livers and shrimp were the top baits. Crickets fooled a few bream and redbreasts. The river level on August 27th at the Waycross gage was 7.0 feet and falling (81 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 5.4 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

As usual, catfish were thick, and livers and shrimp were the best baits. Big bream were caught around Traders Hill. Warmouth were caught with crickets in the Browntown area. The river level at the Macclenny gage on August 27th was 4.0 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Catfishing and bowfin fishing have been tops in the swamp during the heat. On the west side, put a piece of shrimp on the bottom for bullhead catfish. On the east side, throw an in-line spinner like a Dura-Spin and hang on when a bowfin (mudfish) slams it. The hotter it is, the better the bowfin bite, and don’t worry about getting there early because they bite better as the sun gets up. But, bring lots of water and some shade…..

LOCAL PONDS

SE GA Scout Carter 7lb Bass 8 19 - IMG_0133
Scout Carter caught this 7-pound class bass from a Waycross area pond on Wednesday evening using a Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider topwater.

Scout Carter tied for the biggest bass I heard of this week from a Waycross area pond. He caught a 7-pound class bass and a couple 2-pounders on a Lunkerhunt Phantom Spider topwater. Chad Lee had the other 7-pounder on Friday afternoon on an old school red shad curly-tail worm, and that was the only bite he had that trip. On Saturday morning he used a sexy shad crankbait to fool 3 bass around a pound. Dinks are all he could manage Saturday afternoon on Christie Craws, but they were active Sunday morning when he caught a half-dozen 2-pounders on Senkos. Michael Winge reported that in Waycross area ponds the best reports were from panfish anglers who caught some big bream on crickets.

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

Fish were biting well this week for anglers at the area. Scotty Story and Joe Chargualaf fished last Wednesday and had 3 big channel catfish, a 4-pound class bass, and just shy of a double-limit of bluegills up to about 10 inches. Scotty fished again Monday and caught a limit of bluegills up to 10 inches.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

In the Crooked River area, an angler reported catching over 50 seatrout (only 4 were keepers) and a big sheepshead. They were using artificials for the trout. In the creeks around Brunswick, redfish, trout, and flounder were caught, and a few tripletail were reported around the markers. Some doormat flounder and whiting were landed from the Jekyll Island Pier over the weekend. The biggest flounder I heard of was 24 inches! It ate a live baitfish. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that trout, flounder, whiting, and sheepshead were caught from the pier this week. Small sharks and whiting ate dead shrimp on the bottom. Crabbers caught good numbers of keeper crabs under the pier. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

The Altamaha is at a good level for mullet, bass, catfish, and panfish. Catfishing is a great option in the swollen Satilla. In saltwater, trout and flounder fishing has been good. Lots of bull redfish should show up in the sounds any day. You can’t eat them, but they sure are a lot of fun to pull on! Get some river fishing in this weekend in case the forecasted storm dumps a bunch of water. Good luck fishing during the holiday weekend!

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Labor Day weekend is upon us!  It’s a celebration of the nation’s work force and marks the “unofficial end of summer.”  While summer’s official end is still several weeks off, the cooling rains earlier in the week have given way to sunshine and more seasonal temperatures across north Georgia.  So take advantage of summer’s slightly weakened grip on Georgia this holiday weekend and hit the water in celebration of your labors. And be sure to take a kid along and turn that celebration into memories!

Lulah_LMB_82519Hunter Roop, WRD Fisheries Biologist, shares this story: As my daughter Lulah made her third lap around the track of life this past weekend, she achieved another great milestone by catching her first fish.  We tried our luck on a small private pond in Royston.  The water was dingy, warm, and the fish were shallow and tight on the banks.  To avoid snagging the bulrush and to keep things simple, we went with a Blue Blood Whopper Plopper 90 and kept it two to three feet from the bank, quickly dragging across blowdowns and any structure we could pick out.  We landed five largemouth within an hour, all in the 10” to 14” size range. A coppertreuse Z-man finesse worm on a 1/10 oz jighead fished tight to the banks also landed a couple of fish.  Overall, it was a great day of catching and creating memories—which is what fishing is really all about.

ALLATOONA

Searching for Stripers: Looking for Toona linesides this weekend?  We got you covered!

  • (Striper/hybrid report courtesy of Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service): There are two lineside bites going on right now. The first one is from Allatoona Dam to Holiday Marina. The other one is from the mouth of Kellogg Cr. back to Bartow Carver. The morning bite is very good as well as the afternoon bite.  So there are options for those of you that don’t like to get up early.  Trolling is good!!  The U-Rig bite is finally taking off.  We are starting to see multiple hook-ups on our trips. I am fishing my rigs 120–150 feet behind the boat at speeds of 2.4–3.3 MPH.  The rig bite should be on fire by the end of next week.  The top water bite is also really good right now.

Updated Profiles: Updated temperature and dissolved oxygen profile data for Lake Allatoona can be found HERE. Just click the “thermometer” icons and download the attachment.

Bass Fishing on Allatoona: (This report courtesy of Matt Driver):  Bass fishing is good. The bite is steady and a variety of baits are working. Try small swim baits like the Keitech 3-inch paddle tail fished on a 3/16th ounce Picasso 2/0 round ball head. The bait can be fished around blowdowns or open water for schooling Fish. Both areas are producing right now. The key is a count it down to the depth you are marking fish and retrieve it at a slow/medium pace. There is also a good shaky head worm bite around Red Top Mtn. State Park this month. Areas around the mouth of Stamp Creek are also producing. Use a 1/8th or 3/16th Picasso shakedown head and a Big Bite bait 6-inch green pumpkin finesse worm. We use 7 pound test Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon and a medium heavy 6’6 Shimano spinning rod. Flat points have been best early and late in the day and the stiff breeze has been positioning the fish lately. Typically only 2 to 3 Fish caught per point and the school moves off or slows down. Keep moving to find active fish and always keep an eye on your sonar for baitfish and actively feeding bass. When the water drops into the mid to high 70’s, we’ll experience some slow periods of fishing as the bait and bass begin to transition toward fall locations. Shallow will be the most consistent bite when fishing gets tough.

CARTERS LAKE

Updated Profiles: Updated temperature and dissolved oxygen profile data for Carters Lake can be found HERE.  Just click the “thermometer” icons and download the attachment.

LANIER

Captain Mack Report: Check out Captain Mack’s report for stripers and bass HERE.

Updated Profiles: (Courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop)–Fresh temperature and dissolved oxygen profile data – New water quality profiles for Lanier are available HERE. With the recent (and welcome) cool weather, surface temperatures have dropped and some surface mixing has occurred. As a result, the thermocline has been pushed down and is now situated between 30 and 46 feet deep. Hypolimnetic (deep water) oxygen concentrations are dwindling, and surprisingly the Six Mile Creek location had better hypolimnetic oxygen than the forebay. The wind picked up and we weren’t able to get a profile at the Flowery Branch site. Given this information, anglers targeting stripers should focus in the middle of the lower lake areas which appears to have the best combination of temperatures and oxygen.

Bass Fishing on Lanier: (This report brought to you by Jimbo Mathley)Currently the lake stands at 1.1 feet under full pool as the Corp has been pulling water this week, and the surface temperature sits at 83 degrees this week, which is a significant drop for this time in August. It is nice to see the return of some cool mornings! I can’t wait for more!  Bass fishing has again been a little tough this week. The fish we are catching have been on points and humps in 15 to 25 feet of water, depending on time of day and conditions. In general, we are noticing that the fish have moved shallower with the cooler weather in recent days. 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. A Spybait and a drop shot have been my best options this week, post front. 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.

HARTWELL

Southern Fishing Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing) Bass fishing is slow. Try fishing the bridges and points by some deeper water and maybe you can catch some good fish. Fish Weedless Wonder heads with a Zoom red bug or green pumpkin finesse worm. Fish points and ledges with deep water near by and watch the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology. Mid-lake and south, bass are being caught on Lucky Craft Sammy’s and suspending jerk baits in silver or shad pattern. Deep cranking is still catching fish however it’s not the hottest pattern going. Try a Poe’s 400 in the shad and crawdad pattern. Make sure you feel the bottom and change your retrieve.  Try using a slower retrieve, especially mid-day.  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% of fish better than sonar. But, use the HIGH CHIRP to see them too.

Linesides, Bass and Crappie: The Captain Mack report HERE.

Updated Profiles: WRD Fisheries Technician Tony Anderson provided updated temperature and dissolved oxygen profile data for Lake Hartwell HERE. Just click the “thermometer” icons and download the attachment.

BLUE RIDGE

Blue Ridge Smallie Dose: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer): WRD Fisheries staff stocked another load of smallmouth bass into Lake Blue Ridge this week.  These 2.5-inch fingerlings were raised by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery.  More than 35,000 smallmouth have been stocked into Blue Ridge Lake so far in 2019 in a collaborative effort between Georgia DNR and USFWS to restore the last reservoir smallmouth bass fishery in the state.

NORTHEAST LAKES

Becker_Chnpkrl_8_26_19Academy Jack’s Award-winning Jackfish (Courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — Among the diverse selections of gamefish in North Georgia, pickerel are arguably the most overlooked and underappreciated.  Not so much for our regular blog contributor, Jack Backer (aka Academy Jack).  Jack’s a fishing enthusiast to put it modestly, and angler award fanatic, so it was only a matter of time before he was able to cross one of Georgia’s two native pickerel species off the list.  Jack went back up to one of his favorite North Georgia mountain lakes earlier this week and fished the edges of grassy ledges, dragging his home made spinnerbait just above the snags in about 10 feet of water. As you can see from the picture, this 24” chain pickerel was just enough to qualify for an angler award, and to the untrained eye one might mistake this fish for a quality northern pike! Kudos to Academy Jack for his persistence, and thanks to him for providing the intel that might help some other anglers diversify their creels with a jackfish in the future.

“Sloppy” Floyd Lakes: (Report courtesy of WRD Fisheries Technician Collin George)— If you’re like me and find yourself struggling to get a bite on the shoreline structure scattered around James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park’s lower lake, fishing the deeper open water has been the “juice” of late. For the past two weekends of fishing, once the sun has come up over the mountains surrounding the park, threadfin shad have moved to the open water to feed and the bass have followed. To best target those bass, I’ve been throwing a deep diving crankbait (10-15 feet) in a sexy shad or blue back char color pattern. The bite has been best if you can get that crankbait under busting shad, but it has still produced good bites by simply covering some water.  Keeping a spare rod with a white super fluke jr. tied on, for when shad are busting near you, has also been an almost guaranteed bite. If you’re limited to bank angling because you don’t have a boat, keep in mind the park staff can get you set up with a rental canoe or kayak.

Bass and Bream on the Fly: (Technique brought to you by WRD Fisheries Technician Matt Phillips) — In last week’s fishing report we discussed a summertime trout fishing technique called the “hopper-dropper”, but now let’s talk about a summertime bass and bream fly-fishing technique called the “popper-dropper”. This technique is effective for all species of black bass and bream, can be used in all types of waterbodies, and is also a lot of fun to use! To rig this up, tie a popping bug (the “popper”) on your leader, then tie on a length of tippet around 10-12 in. long to the hook of the popper. Then tie a small baitfish-imitating streamer (the “dropper”) to the end of the tippet. My go-to dropper is a white or black woolly booger, but various colors will work too. Unless, if the water you’re fishing is muddy, then black is the most effective choice. Keep in mind, the dropper must be light enough so that it doesn’t pull the popper underwater. When fishing the “popper-dropper”, cast it to a likely holding area for bass or bream (submerged wood, rocky banks, eddies, deep pools, etc.) and use short, quick strips of your fly line to make the popper splash and bubble on the surface. This will also cause the dropper to rise toward the surface and appear to be a small fish checking out the tasty meal making all the commotion on the surface. After each strip, pause for half a second to three seconds to allow the streamer to fall in the water column. When you first start fishing, try pausing for different amounts of time to see what the fish prefer.  Bass and bream won’t be subtle when eating either your baitfish imitation or the popper. In either case, the popper will disappear in an instant!

TROUT

Weekend Trouting: Rain-recharged streams and more seasonal temperatures should make for good “trouting” this weekend.  Oh, and the 30,000 catchable trout stocked by Georgia DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service staff earlier this week should get you motivated too!  “These fish will provide excellent opportunities for trout anglers hitting the water this Labor Day weekend,” stated Georgia Trout Program Stocking Coordinator John Thomson.  Check out where those stockers went in Friday’s Weekly Stocking Report.

Hatchery Peek: Take a quick peek into the daily operation of Georgia’s largest trout hatchery, courtesy of Streamlane Adventures.

Want to Do a Little More? Ever consider providing additional support to Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs?  Check out a special license plate that is making a difference.