I know you felt it, right? I mean, I did. That air. That wonderful, cool, fresh air that has graced our beautiful state of Georgia. Instant fall vibes (imagine your own random Pinterest-y pumpkin/fall leaves/latte/mountain scene image here). Let’s enjoy it! 

Quick News

  • NHF Day: Remember to make your plans for National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sat. Sept. 28. Lots of stuff happening across the state, such as Outdoor Adventure Days and Kids Fishing Events.  Check out the schedule of events HERE and more info on NHF Day HERE
  • Water Willows in Hartwell: Two hundred water willow plants are now resting in their new “digs” in the Shoal Creek embankment of Lake Hartwell – find out more HERE

Refresh that cup of coffee, we have a lot of fishing news below, including reports from Southwest, Southeast, North and Central Georgia. Be sure to clear your schedule to include some time on the water this weekend and 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) — With the hot weather still hitting us hard, the sunfish/bream and catfish are main species that folks are currently catching at Lake Blackshear. Anglers are catching both on worms and crickets. Black Crappie have started biting in the last week or so. Anglers are catching them off of 10-15 foot brush piles with live minnows.  Stay cool 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)

Fishing report numbers picked up this week behind the hurricane. The best reports I received were from saltwater and ponds. Last quarter moon is September 21st. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

SE GA Tim Kegebein Bass - IMG_6581
Tim Kegebein had a great day on the Ocmulgee River on Friday. This nice largemouth was one of the 31 bass that he and a friend caught.

Bass fishing on the Ocmulgee (a tributary to the Altamaha) was great on Friday when Tim Kegebein and a friend fished. They managed 31 bass (including  couple spotted bass and shoal bass, and mostly largemouths) using Texas-rigged junebug worms, Keitech crazy flappers (black-blue flake), and Satilla Spins (green craw). Tim’s biggest was 3 1/2 pounds, and it ate his go-to junebug worm. J.J. and Lance at Altamaha Park said that bream bit well over the weekend. Crickets fooled bluegills, while worms were tops for shellcrackers. Channel cats were caught on cut bait and worms, while flatheads ate goldfish. The mullet run is still going on, and lots were caught on red wigglers on the back side of sandbars. The river level was 1.8 feet and falling (86 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 2.4 feet and falling (82 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on September 17th.

SATILLA RIVER

An angler floated the upper Satilla in his kayak and did really well for redbreasts, warmouth, bass, and stumpknockers using white Satilla Spins. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that anglers wading the upper river caught redbreasts by pitching bugs and crickets. Worms produced some good catfish catches from the deep holes. In the Atkinson area, catfish, bream, and redbreasts ate crickets and worms. The river level on September 17th at the Waycross gage was 4.2 feet and falling (81 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 3.0 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

Matt Rouse flung a crawfish Satilla Spin in the upper river over the weekend and caught some nice bluegills around a pound and bass up to about 3 pounds. Catfish were caught in good numbers again by anglers using shrimp and worms. Quite a few warmouth were also caught with crickets. The river level at the Macclenny gage on September 17th was 2.2 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Few anglers fished this week, but those who did caught catfish from the boat basin on the Fargo side and bowfin from the canals on the Folkston side. Shrimp fished on the bottom fooled the catfish, while Dura-Spin in-line spinners fooled the bowfin. We need rain, as the water is evaporating fast with the heat.

LOCAL PONDS

Chad Lee had a good weekend in Alma area ponds, catching 20 bass during several trips. His biggest was a 4-pounder that ate a green pumpkin-red flake Senko. Most of his fish ate a hard, jointed, white snake bait. Michael Winge reported that in Waycross area ponds the best bite was for bluegills, and they ate crickets fished in the afternoons.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

The seatrout bite out of Crooked River has been good. A couple of anglers fishing on Thursday caught over 60 trout on both live shrimp and artificials. Only about a dozen were keepers, but they had a blast. They even had a few black drum on the shrimp. The sheepshead bite was good in the Brunswick area. A couple of anglers dabbling fiddler crabs fooled 42 into biting. Some that they kept were big convictfish. That bite will only get better as the water cools. Some whiting and redfish were caught from the Jekyll Island Pier over the weekend. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that some big bull reds were hanging out around the sound, and anglers caught them on cut bait and shrimp fished from the pier. Trout were also caught on live shrimp, and dead shrimp fooled lots of whiting. A Waycross angler fished the pier on Sunday and caught a few sharks. Cast-netters have started catching decent size and numbers of shrimp, and lots of blue crabs were caught. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

My favorite fishing of the year is just around the corner. In saltwater, seatrout, redfish and flounder will be chewing over the next couple of months. My favorite way to catch them is using artificials around shell mounds, current breaks, and creek mouths along the Intracoastal Waterway, but lots of anglers use live shrimp with success. If you like chasing tarpon, get in the sounds and give them a try before they head south. The mullet run is happening, and you should be able to fool one with a live mullet free-lined around pods of tarpon. The Altamaha system has been producing some good bass fishing, but the water is low, and getting around is challenging. Catfishing is also a good option in the Altamaha. Find the deep holes, and you’ve found the fish.

NORTH GEORGIA 

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

Well, here we are in the middle of September and it just doesn’t quite feel like fall is right on the horizon. The big North Georgia reservoirs have been stratified since late spring, we’ve seen strong blooms of phytoplankton and algae across the region, and these little photosynthetic critters have served as the foundation of the food web for our sportfish all summer. We hope our finger-sized reservoir stockers took advantage of the warm temperatures and buffet of microscopic plankton and larvae throughout the growing season and will, in years, be once again handled as a fighting prize on the end of your line. Cooler surface temperatures will soon invite forage, predators, and anglers alike to vacate the depths and occupy shallow flats, points, and creeks for some feeding and catching opportunities in the near future. Rivers and larger creeks have served as thermal refuge from warming reservoirs, and these productive flowing waters have been keeping our everyday river rats, angler award-seekers, and bass slam-hunters occupied with exciting and photogenic rewards all summer long. Until the all-natural A/C officially arrives and our heat pumps kick on, traditional summer fishing patterns and techniques remain intact, and we’ve got the latest intel to help keep you catching while you’re still sweating, courtesy of Region 1’s technicians and biologists, local anglers, guides, and anyone else willing to share their knowledge to better their fellow anglers’ fishing success. Kickoff is at 8:00 pm this Saturday, providing plenty of daylight hours to wet a line before the Dawgs take on the Fighting Irish at home. Go fishing, and go dawgs!

NORTH GEORGIA OUTDOOR ADVENTURE DAYS (PART OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY) COMING UP!

Aligned with one of three annual Free Fishing Days available to all Georgia residents, Outdoor Adventure Days (OADs) are a great opportunity to get friends and family outdoors to participate in a variety of family-oriented recreational activities. We have Kids Fishing Events (KFEs) and OADs occurring throughout the state on September 28 (National Hunting and Fishing Day), so check out the schedule and plan to show up and show out on September 28!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnicoi (from WRD Administrative Assistant Lauren Long): Come to the annual Outdoor Adventure Day at Unicoi State Park on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn how to catch trout, shoot guns, and watch live wildlife shows. Additional activities include fly tying and casting, airguns, archery, hayrides, and skeet shooting. Door prizes and activities for the whole family! Lunch and restroom facilities available. Call the Gainesville Fisheries office (770-535-5498) for more info, or visit Unicoi State Park.

Sloppy Floyd (from WRD Fisheries Biologist Jim Hakala): Bring the family to Outdoor Adventure Day  at James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park on Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 9 am to 3 pm.  The event is sponsored by the GA Dept. of Natural Resources.  Activities include kids fishing, archery, canoeing, BB guns, climbing wall, snake show, live animal exhibits and face painting.  Hot dogs and drinks provided on a first come, first serve basis. Parking is $5 per vehicle and event admission is FREE.  Call the Armuchee WRD office for more info (706-295-6041), or visit James H. Floyd State Park.

Buford Dam: A KFE will be taking place on Saturday, September 28th  from 9 am to 1 pm at Lower Pool Park below Buford Dam. Roughly 2,500 rainbow trout will be stocked bucket brigade-style promptly at 9 am, and then everyone is welcome to fish ‘em right back out (please bring a 5 gallon bucket if you wish to participate in trout stocking)! Fly tying, fishing demos, instructional shooting, and food and drink will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Bait will be provided to participants, but you are encouraged to bring a fishing pole as there will be a limited number of loaner poles available. For more information, contact the Gainesville Fisheries office at 770-535-5498.

RESERVOIRS  

Water Quality Profiles-Lanier: “The squeeze” is fully on right now on Lake Lanier. What’s “the squeeze,” you ask? The “scientific” answer describes a series of physical, biological, and biochemical processes that many may find uninteresting, difficult to grasp, or dare I say downright boring. The result of these processes, however, is key to most anglers locating and catching fish—especially coolwater species like striped bass—in large reservoirs. In short, the upper water column becomes too hot for striped bass, but the cold, deep water doesn’t have enough oxygen for the fish to breath. So, the fish hone in on that section of water in between the “too hot” and “too oxygen deficient” layers that best meets their needs. Based on the last round on Lanier profiles, that layer of water lies right at the top of the thermocline in 30 feet of water. At the 30’ depth, average dissolved oxygen concentrations are 3.70 mg/L and temperature is 80°F. Just below 30 feet, dissolved oxygen drops down to 1.41 mg/L O2 and temperature is 77.5 °F. So, when trolling Lanier this weekend, 30 is the magic number you want to shoot for. Check out the water quality profiles by clicking the thermometer icons and select the PDF with the most recent date, HERE.

(North Georgia reservoir reports are brought to you courtesy of Ken Sturdivant and other contributors specified below)

LAKE LANIER IS DOWN 2.3 FEET, SLIGHTLY STAINED, AND 80’S

Bass: (This report courtesy of Jimbo Mathley)—Bass fishing on Lake Lanier has continued to improve. Currently the lake stands at 1.8 feet under full pool, and the surface temperature sits at 83 degrees this week. Parts of the lower lake are stained and/or off color. 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. There are still a significant number of fish shallow, particularly on rocky areas at the mouths of creeks as well as main river points. We continue to see some schooling fish each morning as well. We continue to see some schooling action mid-morning. There are several fish also still 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. When drop-shotting in deeper water, make sure to use Lanier Baits Fruity Worms that have blue or purple flakes for better visibility at greater depths.

Bass: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr)— The bass bite is pretty good, and like the stripers they are also really focusing on the 25 to 35 foot depth range. I have mentioned contour trolling several times in the striper report, and while trolling is not really applicable to Bass Fisherman, contour fishing is. Because the water is really good s(from the standpoint of O2 levels)around 30 feet, many of the bass are roaming in that depth range. If you put your bait in 30 feet, and follow that contour around a hump, point, or even down a bank, you are keeping your bait in the area that holds the greatest numbers of fish. Of course this technique is most effective with a vertical presentation, so the bait choice is limited.

You will most probably find a worm on the Weedless Wonder is hard to beat. Basically drag the worm around that contour with the trolling motor, keeping in constant touch with the bottom. Smaller baits, (finesse worms on a 1/4 oz Jig head) have been a constant, and green pumpkin or the morning dawn Roboworm patterns have been producing well. We still have plenty of fish in the brush, 25 to 35 feet, and while the numbers are there, these are mostly average size fish. Finesse worms are the bait of choice, and you can fish them on the Weedless Wonder or the Drop Shot Rig. A spy bait is also a good choice, just be patient enough to let it get the necessary depth to get the bite. Plenty of questions about schooling fish, and they are showing up sporadically, but in greater numbers than in past weeks. They are up and down quickly, trying to get back to that good water in 30 feet, but if you can get a bait to them they are catchable. Smaller baits may be best, spoons are always a good choice, as are small buck tails. If you are really trying to catch some fish on top waters, it is not very strong right now but you can catch a few. Cast the plugs over 25 foot brush, the early am hours, a good breeze, or a little help from the Corps pulling some water will all enhance this bite!

Stripers: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr)— Striper fishing is still good, and while the traditional summer techniques that have been producing well are still in place, we have some changes and new patterns that are applicable as well. One notable difference is the number of fish that are in 35 feet of water, whether it is over open water, in a drain or cove, or on humps or along the banks. Regardless of the technique, focusing on a roughly 35 bottom will keep you around plenty of fish. Fishing downlines or trolling over humps, points, or contour trolling along a main lake bank is a good strategy right now. There are also good numbers of fish, mostly smaller fish, that are pushing back into drains and pockets as far back as a 35 foot bottom.

The trolling techniques that have been so strong in recent weeks are still very effective. Lead core trolling with Mini Mack’s, Chipmunk Jigs, Hawg spoons, continues to produce very good catches. This bite is good throughout the day, just keep moving until you locate fish. The fish may be over creek channels, around the river channel, or in drains feeding into either. 7 or 8 colors has been the norm, or around 275 feet back if you prefer to use the line counter. Umbrella trolling has also been very effective, especially over the humps. Target humps that top out at 35 feet, and pulling the 4 arm 3 oz buck tail rigs 140 feet behind the boat has been the standard. For the most part, this pattern has been producing a very nice average size fish. Read the footnotes on this report HERE. 

Lanier GONtel:

LAKE ALLATOONA IS DOWN 4.3 FEET, CLEAR, AND 80’S 

Bass: Bass fishing is slow. Try fishing the bridges and points by some deeper water and maybe you can catch some good fish. Hopefully, we will get some rain to cool our water down. Fish are being caught on Shakey Heads with a red bug or green pumpkin finesse worm. Fish points and ledges with deep water nearby. Mid lake and south bass are being caught a Lucky Craft Sammy s and a suspending jerk baits in silver or shad pattern. Deep cranking is still catch fish however 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 every so often.

Linesides: This report courtesy of Cpt. Joesph Martinelli of Heron Outdoor Adventures

ALLATOONA_AQUATIC PLANTSAllatoona Aquatic Plants: (This report courtesy of Region 1 Supervisor Jim Hakala): More than 1,000 aquatic plants were planted in the Tanyard Creek area of Lake Allatoona earlier this week.  Over a dozen volunteers, US Army Corps of Engineers staff, and WRD- Fisheries biologists and technicians completed the work.  The plants were obtained from the aquatics green house at WRD’s Walton State Fish Hatchery and included a mixture of native species such as American water willow and button bush.  They were planted in the shallow drawdown zone of the lake, which will be inundated by 1-3 feet of water when the lake returns to full pool next year.  The plants are expected to naturally spread along the shallow shoreline and will provide beneficial habitat for young bass, bream and crappie in this aging reservoir.  Similar plantings conducted in other areas of Allatoona have yielded positive results.

LAKE HARTWELL IS DOWN 2.3 FEET, 80’S 

Bass fishing is fair. The spots are feeding and small bait schools are the targets. So find the bait balls with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and the bass will be close. Fish the spot stickers on the main lake points. Some good bass are now being caught on Shad Raps early before the sun comes over the tree tops. Use spinning tackle and eight pound test Sufix line on those Number five Shad Raps. A good bit of wind has been blowing across the lake and the shad are now starting to follow the breeze to the mouth of the large coves and points. As with most lakes, the jig and Carolina Rigs are still getting the majority of attention and this is because they are producing. Fish the drop shot rig on the ledges and any brush on points at 30 feet.

LAKE WEISS IS DOWN 0.80 FEET, CLEAR, MID-80’S 

Bass: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins)—Bass fishing is fair. Our bass are on a deeper, summer pattern on road beds and main lake points, and creek and river channel ledges. Crank Baits, Spinner Baits are catching fish. With the latest heat wave the water has heated back up, and the fishing has got a lot tougher. A good cooling trend in September, should trigger some better fishing. Any time they are generating power, the point at the mouth of the canal is producing some good fishing.

Crappie: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins)— Crappie fishing is fair. The most fish are out deep, showing up on deeper brush, spider rigging with minnow is producing some fish. Night fishing under lights, in the main river channel, is the ticket for catching Crappie right now. A good cooling trend in September, should trigger some better fishing.

North GA Mountain Lakes: (This report brought to you by WRD Fisheries Biologist Anthony Rabern): I’ve been noticing that spotted bass are feeding at the surface on the North Georgia mountain lakes, especially when there is a slight chop on the water.  Surface lures like the Sammy, Spook and Fluke in herring color patterns are effective this time of year.

RIVER INTEL 

Toccoa River (Blue Ridge tailwater): (This report brought to you by WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer): Armuchee Fisheries staff sampled the Toccoa River below Blue Ridge Dam this week to collect genetic data from largemouth and smallmouth bass.  We expected to only find a handful of largemouth in this cold tailwater river, but found good numbers of them in the area just below the dam.  Genetics of these Toccoa fish will be compared with largemouth from lakes and rivers all over the state as part of a statewide genetic inventory of the species.  Smallmouth bass were scarce, but we did find a few specimens.  Genetic data from these “bronzebacks” will be used to assess the level of hybridization with non-native Alabama spotted bass.  As you might expect, we also saw many rainbow and brown trout, especially on the upper end of the tailwater along with a handful of big walleye like the twin 8-pounders pictured.

Etowah River: (by Cohutta Fishing Co.): The Etowah River is hit or miss. We’re seeing water temperatures in the low 80’s coming out of the dam, so get out there early or late and throw some topwater for bass. I like boogle bugs, swim frogs, and pole dancers, but it’s a dealer’s choice out there. Watch the USGS page for the next couple of weeks for temperature change out of the dam. If it cools off a little, the fishing should really turn back on.

Hooch below Morgan Falls Dam: Mark Rigglesford and I spent quite a while on the Hooch directly below Morgan Falls Dam yesterday to collect black bass tissue samples for EPD. Weather was very comfortable, the sun was high, water was cold and dingy thanks to a combination of generation and dissolved metals. We normally see striped bass piled up near the penstocks, but the best schools of striped bass we observed were below the first bend downriver on the west bank in deep holes with woody structure. Selectively casting a large swim bait such as a Bull Shad into these habitats may land you a trophy striper like the one wearing on Mark’s shoulder muscles in the picture provided. If you don’t get a bite after the first few casts, move on the next hole, these striper are schooled up tight and we rarely found one solitary fish. One interesting observation was the abundance of black crappie that we sampled throughout the ~1.5 miles river reach below the dam. Around nearly every downed tree and holding in slacks and eddies were abundant hand-sized crappie. Given the poor visibility, anglers should try their luck fishing by jigging flashy hair jigs or soft plastics like Bobby Garland’s Electric Chicken. We were able to collect our target species of black bass and then some. Pictured are some beautiful juvenile shoal and spotted bass that were released back into the river to live to bite another day.

Hooch above Lanier: (This report brought to you by Amazon-bound Unicoi Outfitters fishing guide Jake Darling): Water on the river is low and clear, but a stealthy approach and smaller offerings have been producing well. With the drop in air temps, the fish have become more active the past few days. Go early and late, as lower light hours produce a better bite. With the weather prediction over the next week, fishing should continue to improve as we move forward into fall.

HATCHERY REPORTS 

Summerville Update: (This update courtesy of Summerville Hatchery Manager Josh Tannehill): This week, Summerville staff conducted monthly sample counts of trout on all raceways. We are now gearing up to open the B raceways to spread out the rainbow trout in order to aid a quicker grow out. In the hatching house, we’ve worked on grading and thinning our lake sturgeon to facilitate grow out as well. We are now preparing to ship out 1700 lake sturgeon to make room for the next rainbow trout egg shipment, due to arrive next Tuesday. These lake sturgeon will be destined for the Oostanaula River as a conservation effort to restore that population which was negatively impacted by habitat alteration over the last century.

Burton Update: (This report courtesy of Burton Trout Hatchery Manager and Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thompson): Burton Hatchery is closed for construction and the renovation of the hatchery water supply intake is ongoing. Hatchery hours are now 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. For those who like to fish for naive freshly stocked trout, make sure you are signed up for the WRD Trout Stocking Report. There were not any trout stockings scheduled for this week due to reduction in allocation after the Labor Day holiday, but stay tuned as there will be several stockings coming this fall.

OTHER NEWS

NOEoutodoor Expo: The NOEoutdoor Expo is this weekend (all day), Friday through Sunday, at Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville, GA.

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 2.6 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Spots and largemouth are being caught up in the rivers and larger creeks.  Lake levels are only about three to four feet down and should remain there unless extra heavy rain occurs for at least a week or so.  Try the Suspending Rogue 18.  Cast the Livingston Shredder 53, Sxee Shad, Jerkmaster 1 AYU.  Carolina rigs, jigs and drop shot rigs are all working.  Early morning fishing is good and don’t be surprised to find a short-lived top water bite from safe light until the sun comes up.  After the sun is up get on the main lake points especially up lake as the current will help the bite.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 4.0 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is slow.  The fish are backing off to deeper water and suspending.  Start early morning with a Pop R in bone color and as the day continues throw a shallow running crank bait.  Bandits, Strike King and Bomber are fair and use the pearl, citrus and chart/blue back.  Fish around brush piles and points and follow your crank bait up with a Shakey head worm in motor oil, green pumpkin, and kiwi.  Chatterbaits Strike King Pure Poison is the secret bait.  This bait with its 3D eyes works in clear water and not just muddy like it’s past competitors.  And try different sizes and all colors.  Also down lake the big worm bite has turned back on with a Carolina Rig in 8 to 16 feet deep.  Use chartreuse pumpkin, green pumpkin and watermelon seed.  So far the 10′ Yum Ribbon Tail seems to work the best. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, CLEAR AND 80’S

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

Bass: Bass fishing is slow.  The lake is full, water temperature is 85, and the lake is clear.  Buzz baits fished along sea walls and around docks will produce the first hour of day light.  Also fish the buzz baits along the grass beds on the south end of the lake.  There is a jig bite up the rivers above I-20.  Wood structure in the water on deep banks has produced a few fish over the past week.

Striped Bass: Striper fishing is poor.   There are some small hybrids showing up at first light at the dam.  Use a popping cork or a crappie jig.  Not much size but a lot of fun on light tackle.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  This is the best bite on the lake.  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.  Dropping a jig into the trees has also been producing as well as the minnows. 

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 3.1 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  The bass can be caught deep or shallow lake-wide.  Fish down-lake in shallow water in Rainbow Creek, Alligator Creek and the mouth of Maple Creek.  Jigs catch fish.  The Strike King Tour Grade football jig works.  There aren’t many bass fishing lures that you can just as effectively fish in 1 foot of water as you can in 30 feet.  Flip them, cast them, drag them, hop them, swim them and it all works.  Throw a white jig to imitate shad, a brown one to imitate crawfish, and a green one to imitate bream.  Try the 1/8 ounce Shakey Head rigged with a Net bait finesse worm in a Key Lime Pie color.  Fish around the deeper structure like road beds, blow down’s and around shoal markers.  Also use the Lucky Craft Pointer 78 in the chartreuse shad.  This bait was most productive where there are small clumps of trees and grass that are isolated from everything else.  Also as a tip, the harder that the wind blew the better the fish hit my jerk bait.  The top water bite is still working and the spots are after any small top water lure.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.5 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Shad are starting to make their transition to the backs of the creeks and pockets.  As the shad migrate to the backs of the creeks, the bass will setup on ambush points and flats looking for an easy meal.  Crank baits, spinner baits, jigs, and soft plastics are the baits of choice for this fall transition.  Try the iShad by Jackall in parrot or crawfish patterns.  The crank baits and spinner baits will be best in the morning or evening, or on overcast days.  The Spro Fat John and Little John 50 crank baits in shad imitating colors have been producing really well.  A lipless crank bait, such as the Spro Aruku Shad Jr. or the Aruku Shad 65, will catch a ton of fish by fan-casting shallow flats and points in the creeks.  As the sun gets higher throughout the day, a Buckeye Mop Jig and a Spot Remover stand up shaky head is hard to beat fished around docks and brush piles in 5 to 8 feet of water.  The larger creeks such as Cedar Creek, Crooked Creek and Potato Creek will all hold good populations of fish throughout the fall months.  Fall fishing is a great time to catch a ton of fish and big fish too!

LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Try fishing in the early morning with top water baits.  Throwing buzz baits or torpedo-style prop baits are good choices.  Drop shot rigs, deep running cranks baits, and Carolina rigged plastics should be fished on the main lake.  Before the sun gets up, stick to power fishing with buzz baits.  Covering water will be the key to success.  When fishing buzz baits, landing your bait close to deep sea walls will be important.  Cast the Profound Outdoors crank bait in The Matt Reed signature series that runs 2 to 5 feet deep in bream and baby bass. Sammie’s or Prop baits fish a little slower, but try these baits in prime areas.  Jigs catch fish all year, not just in the winter months.  Use the Strike King Tour Grade Football jig.  It works all day and at all depths.  Stay with the smaller sizes on this lake.  There aren’t many bass fishing lures that you can just as effectively fish in 1 foot of water as you can in 30 feet.  Flip them, cast them, drag them, hop them, swim them and it all works.  Throw a white jig to imitate shad, a brown one to imitate crawfish, and a green one to imitate bream.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE

  • Water Temperature: 83⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 21 – 54+ in.

Bass: The bass bite is improving as the water temperatures begin to drop.  A nice five-pounder was caught in Breambuster on a shad-imitation lure.  I’ll bet we see even more nice bass caught in Breambuster as soon as 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.  Jones Lake is loaded with shad as well.  Also, the jig bite has been good in Willow lately.  Patient jig anglers fishing slowly in deeper water have had some luck lately

Bream: Bream are still being caught throughout the area but especially in Beaverlodge and Bridge Lakes.  There may still be a few catalpa worms left on the trees (pictured), that are excellent bream bait!   Be sure to check out the tree by our office.  The afternoon bite is improving as water temperatures begin to cool off.  Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge Lakes are excellent spots to fish for bream.  The feeders at Jones Lake have been shut off to help improve water quality but they should still be good spots to fish.  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 good lately.  There may still be a few catalpa worms left on the trees (pictured), that are excellent catfish bait!  Be sure to check out the tree by our office.  Nice fish have been biting in Willow, with a four-pounder just caught off one of the ADA piers on the peninsula.   Deep water around the siphon drain structures continue to be good spots for catfish, but shallower areas are improving as well.  Fish feeders at Jones and Beaverlodge are excellent spots to fish for catfish.  The feeders at Jones Lake have been shut off to help improve water quality but are still excellent spots to fish.  A nice catfish was caught yesterday next to one of the Jones feeders.  Remember, the PFA record catfish has not been set!  Any channel catfish caught on McDuffie PFA that exceeds 12 lb. 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.  We’re getting into the time of year where the larger stripers start biting crankbaits.