So, we skipped a week on the ole fishing blog, but with the rain that hit a lot of Georgia past Saturday and opening weekend of deer firearms season, we hope you had plenty to fill your time. Let’s get back to it!

It’s a great time to be at the Go Fish Education Center:

  • Harvest Time: One more weekend in October is left for the Fall Pond Harvest at Go Fish. This event takes place at the casting pond where you can cast out a line and keep up to 8 fish of your choice per person (channel catfish, hybrid bass or bluegill). Regular admission rates apply and a fishing license is required for anyone age 16 or older (Buy one HERE). Bring an iced cooler to carry home your catch!
  • Toad-ally Toddlers: This fun, educational monthly program explores different topics each month. Programs may include animal encounters, crafts, songs, story time and more. These programs are designed for toddlers between the ages of 2-4, but siblings may attend. Pre-registration required as space is limited. The next program takes place on Nov. 22 where we will talk about “Habitats.” More info HERE.  

One more news story worth sharing – Check out this awesome story about a Heroes on the Water event that recently happened at McDuffie PFA – great stuff!

On to our reports for the week – we have Central, North and Southeast Georgia news, 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 .31 FEET CLEAR 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  Try the Molix crank baits in chart silver blue back and use the smaller sizes to match the baits the fish are feeding on.  Bait schools are critical as the bass know to start feeding.  Cast the Profound Outdoors crank bait in the Brian Snowden signature series that runs 6 to 10 feet.  Watch for the bait schools and the Lowrance Structure Scan technology scanning out 100 feet each way will make this task fast and well worth the time.  If all else is not working get out the pearl Zoom Super Flukes and rig up a double fluke rig and fish all the sand banks and blow-throughs.  The bait fish are shallow and the upcoming full moon will get all these baits shallow.  Secret bait this week is the ¼ ounce Rat L Trap on 6-pound test on a spinning reel.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 5.33 FEET 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  The top water action has picked up and a clear original Zara Spook and a Sammy will work.  Watch for the bait schools and the Lowrance Structure Scan technology scanning out 100 feet each way will make this task fast and well worth the time.  Jigs catch fish and in the realm of versatility skirted jigs like the Strike King Tour Grade Football Jig are excellent year-round baits.  There aren’t many bass fishing lures that anglers can fish in 1 foot of water to 30 feet year round.  Flip them cast, 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.  Whatever you’re trying to emulate a jig can do it.  Around flooded brush and laydowns there is not a better bait much better than a Lucky Craft Redemption 3/8 ounce spinnerbait.  They come through cover well and bass like their combination of flash and thump. 

LAKE OCONEE IS DOWN 1.2 FEET, CLEAR AND 80’S

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

Bass: Bass fishing is slow.  Some fish are showing up on the road beds on the south end of the lake.  You can catch them on a Carolina rigged worm.  Buzz Baits fished along sea walls and around docks will produce the first hr. of day light.  Also fish the buzz baits along the grass beds on the south end of the lake.  Up the rivers look for fish on wood structure.  Fish a soft plastic in dark color, a jig or a worm will work.

Striper: Striper fishing is very 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 very good.  This is the best bite on the lake.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools in the trees at about 10 ft. deep.  When you find the fish in the trees drop your live crappie minnow down to them and hang on.  Long-lining should pick up as the water cools.

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 3.5 FEET CLEAR 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Start with a buzz bait early.  Then fish with a jig by flipping it into the heavy cover.  Run and shoot offense and fishing the windblown shorelines with a spinnerbait will find some fish.  Be sure that you are casting into the wind or at least cross wind.  The fish have to see this lure come by naturally.  Use a ½ ounce or larger spinnerbait with one willow leaf and one chartreuse willow leaf blade.  These colors are key especially in very clear water because they have a great calling distance.  Add a trailer hook on the back spinnerbait.  Make long casts with 12-pound Sufix Siege line.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.7 FEET STAINED 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  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 point’s humps and bluffs.  The Bandit 300 or Shad Rap in a natural color is a good choice.  Pull up to the points and try the crank bait.  Throw the big cranks like the DD22.  Fish can hold fairly deep so Carolina rig is the best bait for all day fishing.  A plastic trailer on the 1/4 ounce jigs 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 DOWN .72 FEET, CLEAR 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Probe around docks, blow downs, and brush piles back in the coves. Ride by the docks and use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology around wood, docks or main lake points.  Fish on the deeper main lake seawalls. Spinner baits, Chatterbaits and shallow running crank baits can work on shallow sea walls in the morning.  Cast the Livingston SgredderS3 Sxee Shad Jerkmaster 1 AYU.  Use the smaller Lucky Craft Square Bill Live Threadfin Shad Blue Gill 5/8 ounce.  If fish then shy away from top water presentations then the Zoom green pumpkin Trick worm weightless can work.  If the shallow fishing is not producing for you head on out to the points or work back into the pockets probing for fish that may have moved up on docks and wood.

 BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE

  • Surface water temperature: 78o F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 20”
  • Water level: Water level is down 36” from full pool

In general, the hot summer weather has finally started being replaced by cooler temperatures.  Fishing has improved slightly but anglers need to be patient and versatile for fishing Big Lazer in the fall.  However, many anglers are hunting this time of year, which means less fishing pressure for the dedicated angler.  Finally, the new pier is open, and fisherman are having pretty good luck fishing around it. Fishing pole holders have been added to the sides as well. The fish cleaning station is closed for repair, but we hope to have it running as soon as possible.

Bass: Fair –Incoming cooler weather should increase your luck.  Anglers should try shad type baits at several depths off the bank.  Also, plastic-worms fished around the deep water by the new fishing pier and around the wooden fishing pier may produce a few good bites.  Remember to fish plastic baits slower when water temperatures are cooler.

Crappie: Poor- A few crappie are being caught in deeper water but they are difficult to locate and target.    Live minnows and bright colored jigs work the best.  Try locating crappie near standing timber.

Bream: Good – Bream fishing has been good.  Target areas that have structure like woody brush and blow downs associated with it.  Also, fish the backs of coves and inlets around the lake edges.  Crickets and small red and pink worms are excellent live bait for bream.  Fishing with light tackle can make bream fishing more exciting.   However, make sure the hooks are small because the bream have small mouths.

Channel catfish: Fair- The rocks along the dam are always a good spot to try and catch big channel cats.   However, catfish are also located throughout much of the lake.  Catfish are being caught on worms and livers.  Try fishing both on the bottom and at several different depths but remain low in the water column.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE

  • Water Temperature: 77⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 14 – 54+ in.

Bass: The bass has been tough with the warm weather lately, but a few nice fish have CentralGA Image McDuffiePFAbeen caught. A nice five-pounder was recently caught in Willow along with numerous smaller fish. Patient jig anglers fishing slowly in deeper water have had some luck lately across the area. 

Bream: Bream have been tough but are still being caught throughout the area, especially in Beaverlodge and Bridge Lakes.  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 have still been good spots to fish.  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, especially in Jones and Breambuster.  Nice fish have been biting in Willow too, with a four-pounder 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. 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.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

The long-awaited fall season has finally arrived and the fishing in north Georgia has improved substantially. Cooler reservoir and river temperatures are invigorating for fish that have been sluggish and slow to bite during the latter portion of our extended summer season. As daily high temps and nightly lows continue to drop, predators are drawn into the shallows in pursuit of shad, herring, and other schooling forage fishes. Top water action peaks in the fall as schools of bait busting at the surface attract predators from below AND above (applied ornithology at work ). This is a great time of year to be on the water and take advantage of exciting fishing opportunities before cold winter temperatures will decrease metabolic demand and push fish back into deeper water. North Georgia trout fishing opportunities have been limited following the Labor Day weekend, but Delayed Harvest is on the horizon, and trout anglers can look to the first of November to maximize their trout fishing prospects once again. WRD Fisheries staffers have been busy prepping for upcoming fall gillnet sampling and shocking, which provides great insight into how successful spring production was for our self-sustaining and stocked fisheries. Final note, we thank so many of our great Georgia anglers for entrusting WRD with stocking and fisheries management decisions in Georgia’s waters, and we respectfully request that everyone adhere to state and federal laws regarding the possession and liberation of fish and wildlife, as the Fisheries Section has spent significant time and effort assessing an unlawful release of northern snakehead in a private pond in Gwinnett County.  That’s enough preamble, let’s get to the good stuff:

RESERVOIRS

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

Lake Lanier is down 4.0 feet and mid-70’s:

Bass: (This report courtesy of Jimbo Mathley)— Bass fishing is very good. The cool down has really helped the fishing. Rocky areas at the mouths of creeks as well as main river points are holding fish, and at daylight these fish are up and chasing bait. Moving baits are the ticket on these fish top water, Spybait, underspin, etc. We are also catching spots on points and humps in 15 to 25 feet of water, more towards the mouths of the creeks. The top water and swimbait bite has been strong this week. Note that with cloud cover, the fish will tend to be shallower and roaming more. With the sun up, the fish seem to concentrate more around the brush on structure as the day goes on. We are seeing some good schooling activity from daylight until around 10 am in the mornings, which will continue through October. During cold fronts like we had this week, make sure to change your approach to match the mood of the fish. Typically the fish are not as aggressive post front. Want more detailed information on the bite this week including specific strategy and approach for handling cold fronts? Subscribe to my weekly video fishing reports HERE.

Bass: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr)— The Bass really seemed to respond to the cooling water and they too have rolled into more fall like patterns. Top waters, Flukes, swim baits, and wake baits are all effective. We have schooling fish to cast at, or you can target pull them up to a bait by casting to humps points and other structures. You can catch some fish out of the main lake brush, but I think bait may be more of an attractant than the brush. Pull up to a point, or whatever structure you are fishing, and start fan casting. A few cast to thoroughly cover the area, the bite will be quick if is going to happen, then move on. If you see schooling fish and can get to them they have been quick to take the bait, and even if you don’t get to them before they sound try the fan casting technique where you saw the surface activity. There is a huge variety of baits that are effective, so go with the bigger baits in the wind, smaller baits with slick conditions. We also have a very good spinnerbait/swim bait bite on humps and shallow structures. As always, the wind will enhance this bite, and early or late may be the best times. On the spinnerbaits, the Mini Me’s in the White and Lavender Shad have been productive colors, the 3/4 oz baits seem to best especially in the wind. Use the painted blades on the cloudy day’s nickel with the sun. The Sebile swim baits are very productive right now, if I had to pick a favorite color it would be Green Back Ghost. With the long term forecast indicating quite a bit of cloud cover and rain over the next seven to ten days, these baits and patterns should be strong and even improve. Venturing back into the creeks can also be productive and adding a buzz bait into the mix may be a plus as well. If you are out and just can’t bring yourself to quit fishing at sundown, no worries! Some after-hours fishing can be very good, with pretty good numbers of fish showing top on the dock lights. Lights in the creek backs are probably best, and this can be a good way to catch some of Lanier’s Large Mouth Bass. Swim baits, Jerk baits or a Keitech on a lead head should all get the bite if the fish are there!

Stripers: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr)— The Stripers have been biting well, although a little more scattered as we are seeing fish on top, in deeper water in pockets and drains, and of course plenty of fish on top chasing bait. On top of that, fish are showing up in the middle parts of the lake as well so your search area will be bigger than it has been in recent weeks. With that being said, we have several good techniques that should get you hooked up! The topwater bite is very good, with two components to this pattern. The first, is chasing down the schoolers. They are showing up fairly consistently, and may be anywhere, but look for the greatest activity in the major creek arms or over the river channel. They are showing in big groups, pretty easy to see, but up and down quickly. I think the best bait to cast at the schoolers is a buck tail or lead head tipped with a Fluke. Why? It cast well, even in the wind, it is easy to get the fish off the hook and the bait back in the water. Other baits that are effective are topwaters, swim baits Steelshads, and small spoons. You have to be pretty aggressive when you see these fish, they will occasionally stay up for extended periods, which should become more frequent as the water cools, but many are only on top for a short period of time. When you see them, assuming there are no other boats on them, run right up to the fish, within a cast, and get a bait to ‘em. If you get to them before them sound you should get the bite. The second pattern is blind casting to humps and points. There are plenty of fish on this pattern so it is not necessary to see fish to catch them on the top waters. Target main lake humps and points 15 to 30 feet, if brush is present it is a plus. Many of your favorite baits will be effective, Zara Spooks, Chug Bugs, Surge Shad, etc. Go bigger and nosier in the wind, a little more subtle if it slicks off. Live bait is producing some nice catches, on down lines, free lines and planers. I think the down line is still probably the biggest producer, but don’t rule out the free lines/planers, especially weighting the bait down with a split or small weight. You may have success in a variety of places, drains, pockets or in the backs of the major creeks. That creek back pattern seems to be especially strong in the am hours. If you only see a few fish drop the baits, they will come to that activity if there are numbers of fish in the area. Trolling is still a very strong technique, with pulling Mini Mack’s on mono or lead core, depending on the depth you are targeting, or pulling the full size rigs over the humps. With plenty of fish on the shallower humps and points, contour trolling the Mini on mono (17 to 25 lb test)150 feet behind the boat has been a very good pattern, especially for numbers. If you are targeting deeper fish, put the Mini on the lead core or the down rigger to get the needed depth. On the deeper humps, 20 to 35 feet, use the full size Capt Mack’s’ 9 bait buck tail rig 120 to 140 feet behind the boat to get the bite. Typical, on those deeper humps, that bite will not be effectively until later in the morning and improves as the day goes on.

Lanier GONtel:

Lake Allatoona is down 9.1 feet, clear, and 70’s:

Bass (This report courtesy of Matt Driver): Bass fishing has been great this week. Water temperatures have dropped several degrees and fish are schooling and are very active. We are using jerk baits, crank baits and soft plastic jerk baits as well. Anywhere from 15 to 20 fish a day is not a problem right now. Use your Lowrance electronics to find concentrations of bait pods in the creeks and fish everything in that area. The key to catching fish is moving for success. If you’re not catching any fish run to the next area until you locate feeding fish. Electronics are playing a big part on finding active fish and bait with “spaghetti” anywhere from 15 to 20 fish. The key to catching fish is moving often. If you’re not catching any fish run to the next area until you locate feeding fish. Electronics are playing a big part on finding active finish. Most areas we find bass will have plenty of bait with “spaghetti “on the sonar.

Linesides: (This report courtesy of Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service)— Line side fishing is fair. The lake is starting to turnover. The cooler overnight temperatures should help move it along. The fish are on the move, but are willing to eat if you are right on top of them. Down lining tread fins and small gizzard shad will catch you a few, but the better bite is coming on a ½ ounce white Flex It spoon. The fish are starting to bust top water as well. As we head into late October we look for the top water bite to explode. When this happens and all white Rooster Tail will be our go to bait aboard our guide boats. It’s just and easy bait to fish, and more importantly it works. As we head into late October we look for the bigger stripers to start migrating out of the rivers back down to the lakes. The flats out in from of Clear Creek and the once in from of Little River will be key feeding points for these fish. Flat lines and planner boards with mid to large gizzard shad will be your best bet on catching an Allatoona monster striper. Trolling is decent right now. Umbrella rigs are working best and color doesn’t seem to matter. We are running our rigs 100 feet behind the boat at speeds between 2.4 to 3.1 miles per hour.

Crappie: (This report courtesy of Jeff Albright of CrappieMan Guide Service): The Allatoona crappie bite is getting pretty good. Find brush piles in water 10-20 ft deep and the crappie will be there. With the water temps dropping it’s only going to get better. I mostly troll for them and am having pretty good luck trolling over the brush piles using Red Rooster jigs. I just started learning to spider rig and it’s paying off too. I went out with a good friend, Stewart Wright, aka CrappieKing, to show me some tips on how he does it and it’s really an easy way to catch them. We caught 50+ Saturday with 46 keepers! Went back out Sunday with a few of my friends and we caught 26 spider rigging and 16 trolling (long-lining). Not a bad weekend at all. Water temps were between 73-76 deg and with air temps dropping into the mid 40’s, I look for water temps to be in the mid to high 60’s in no time.

Allatoona Report: (Report brought to you by Heron Outdoor Adventures) — The fish are hungry here on Allatoona and we have been enjoying multi-species outings with great fortune on the Striper and Hybrid schools gathering under the boat this week. Current lake level is 830.88 feet – 9 feet below full pool. We are seeing turnover water come down the Etowah but when they are eating in it, that’s our favorite soup. Fish it like a River, and you should have some success finding bait and fish on the channel edges as well as primary and secondary point ledges.  Downlining and Freelining frisky threads has been doing it. Don’t be afraid to lighten the leader and go to size 1 or smaller hooks with any small threads – they are working well. Small and medium gizzards are also getting chewed on, just not as frequently through today. Have the right size hook for the bait and mix it up for your adventure. Throwing a topwater at sunrise is always a winner especially when you get a rise. Just don’t get too wrapped up waiting for that bite and miss all the Livebait hits. If trolling is your jam, then get your jam on – these fish are stacked north to south! The Spotted Bass bite is good and very steady. They are stacked up on the ledges in so many holes we fish, and they are eager to strike a thread but LOVE a small jig bounced around their business. I like a hand-tied Red Rooster and have had the bucktail eaten off of one this week by those rascals. We fish all week, all season, all year to stay with the fish in hopes of providing you with a great experience when you book your Adventure with us. Call for availability: 404-919-4918. And when you can’t, we hope the report helps. Tightlines!! 

 

Lake Hartwell is down 4.11 feet, 70’s: Bass fishing is fair. There is a top water bite occurring early along with a decent spinner bait bite. Early morning and late evening are the best using top water baits. Later in the day try Carolina and Texas rigs with worms and lizards4and crank baits like Fat Free Shad, Bill Norman, and Bomber Series on the deep water points and drops. Use deep running crank baits or pig and jigs from 10 to 20 feet deep. Fish the main lake points with the Shad Raps and the Bandits in and around these areas. The key will be to fish a point or drop off thoroughly before moving on to your next location. Try a variety of baits before moving on to another location. Use your Lowrance electronics to find concentrations of bait pods in the creeks and fish everything in that area. Fish the long run out points with the 3/8 ounce spinner bait in white or chartreuse, the Rapala DT6 in shad or in olive green or Glass Ghost and a blue chrome Chug Bug for the early morning action. Use the jig or Carolina rig on the submerged wood, tree tops or stumps. Bass will relate to the exposed wood as it warms during the day and this will bring the bait fish up also.

Lake Weiss is down 2.6 feet, clear, low-70’s: 

Bass: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins)— Bass fishing is good. A lot of fish have moved shallow in the creeks and bays, chasing shad, feeding up for the fall. Rat L Traps are working well and other flat sided crank baits.

Crappie: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins)— Crappie fishing is good. Most of our fish are out deep, on the river and creek channel ledges, they are showing up on structure in the 12 to 16 foot range. Try spider rigging with minnows is the best way to target these fish.

TROUT

Etowah River (by Cohutta Fishing Co.): The Etowah River is fishing well. The topwater bite on the river is getting very good, and this window may not last long, so come armed with a 5-7 weight with floating line and some Boogle Bugs, swim frogs, Pole Dancers, and Flat Freds. We’re keeping some streamers on deck just in case: any color Clouser Minnow, sculpin/JJ special Sparkle Minnows, Flashtail Whistlers, and Lunch $’s in tan or shad.

Toccoa River and Oostanaula Sturgeon (This report brought to you courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist John Damer): It is a beautiful time hit the mountain streams of north Georgia in search of spectacular fall colors, both on the leaves and on the trout!  Both brown and brook trout spawn during the fall months, and the males of these species are getting ready for this annual event by putting on their most colorful wardrobes.  WRD staff saw some incredible colors on the male browns of the Toccoa River tailwater this week, including the 6-pounder shown.  Now is the time to catch these pre-spawn monsters as they become more active with the cooler weather.  Just don’t forget to have your camera ready!

Students from Armuchee Elementary School had a great time with us stocking lake sturgeon into the Oostanaula River this week.  Local schools like AES have been involved with our stocking efforts every year since the lake sturgeon reintroduction program started back in 2002, and teachers, kids, and WRD staffers always look forward to this annual event.  Our staff often encounter grown adults that remember stocking sturgeon with us when they were kids!  Big thanks to our partners at the US Fish and Wildlife Service Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery for raising and delivering the quality fish that were stocked at this year’s event.

Toccoa Tailwater (by Cohutta Fishing Co.): The Toccoa Tailwater is in turnover. We’re still in a drought and the dam has been generating for small, 2 to 4 hour windows each day. If you do plan on fishing the tailwater, Tammen Park was blocked off while the city paves the parking lot. I’m not sure if they’ve completed the paving yet, but the turnover water from the dam is much warmer than we would like to see up higher, so Tammen probably wouldn’t be your best option anyway. Fish anywhere from Curtis Switch to McCaysville; we’re seeing cooler water downstream. Standard tailwater fare should work in addition to a few good gray/tan caddis imitations, Blue Winged Olives, black and red midges, and big black stoneflies.

Chattahoochee Tailwater (this report brought to you by Chris Scalley of River Through Atlanta Guide Service & others): Chris Scalley has reported some beautiful fall spawning colors on quality browns in the Lanier tailwater this fall. Scalley recommends dead-drifting nymphs to imitate stoneflies, mayfly, caddis, scuds, sow bugs, black fly, and crane flies. Use dry flies that imitate blue-winged olive (BWO) and Light Cahills. Streamers and good, old-fashioned spinners are also productive techniques you can employ to bag a quality ‘Hooch brown. Consider a crayfish streamer this time of year, especially below Morgan Falls Dam, as the spawning crayfish are quality prey items for hungry pre-spawn browns. Oh by the way, big browns aren’t the only big predator in the Lanier tailwater. Need proof? Check out this fat largemouth caught this October by Alex in the tailwater. To bait a bass like this one, the bigger the better in terms of presentation.

Hatchery Reports: 

  • Summerville: (This update courtesy of Summerville Hatchery Manager Josh Tannehill): Summerville moved 30,000 rainbow trout to B raceways to facilitate better fish health and increased grow out. The raceways can only be utilized when the weather is cool enough to facilitate cool water. Lake sturgeon are continuing to thrive with zero mortality’s for the month and continued growth.
  • Burton (This update brought to you by Assistant Hatchery Manager Jeff Stewart): Fall is finally here. Brisk nighttime temperatures and comfortable daytime temperatures have allowed an unusual opportunity to arise. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be stocking trout in 6 counties this week to bolster angling opportunities across North Georgia. In addition, Lake Burton, the only large reservoir in Georgia to be stocked with trout annually (peep the video HERE), has received 12,000 10-inch brown trout in the last week. With a steady diet of blueback herring found in the Lake, they can grow big quickly and put up a pretty good fight. For more information on locations, check out our Weekly Stocking Report on Friday. So whether you’re planning to go hunting, leaf looking, or just out to enjoy the day, bring your fishing gear along to take advantage of some great angling. Happy Fishing!

OTHER NEWS

LAN_BLC_blacknose
Black Nose Crappie = Black Crappie with a rare recessive gene

Black nose Crappie?: I’ve received two pictures and reports of the elusive “black nose crappie” caught out of Lake Lanier this week. Some wonder if they are a different species or if this is just wardrobe error. The truth is, black nose crappie are black crappie expressing a rare recessive gene that comes in the form of a black line on the rostrum and dorsal portion of the anterior body. A subtle yet beautiful and rare trait that you may unexpectedly find on the end of your line this fall! Whether you decide to hang it on your wall or fillet-and-fry it with the rest, well that’s your decision. Thanks to Academy Jack and Gary Moore for bringing up this topic!

Celebrating Generosity: Huge thanks to Jamey Harshaw of Buford, GA for his generous donation of an massive accumulation of fishing rods, reels, and fishing tackle to WRD. The figurative “trash” has instantly been converted to treasures that will be passed along for use in Kid’s Fishing Events, future WRD Outdoor Adventure Days as prizes, and allotted to WRD partners that can use this tackle to help introduce more kids to the joy of fishing. I hope and suspect a solid dose of good karma is in store for Mr. Harshaw.

Well that’s it. As you open your windows to welcome a cool fall breeze in, here’s a good window of intel and opportunity to get outdoors and bag some quality fish before colder weather and holiday shopping strain your fishing time and budget. Good luck 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)

New Moon is October 27th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.

OCMULGEE RIVER

A Fitzgerald angler fished the river on Friday before the rains, and he and a friend caught 34 bass up to 2 1/2 pounds. On Sunday he fished by himself and caught 23 bass from 1 to 5 pounds. Both days, pitching plastic worms to heavy cover was the ticket. The water has come up this week after the weekend rains, and it’s swift and muddy again.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Alex and Mallory Cribb fished the boat basin on the east side over the weekend and landed some nice bowfin using Dura-Spins with silver blades. You can also catch some fliers on sallies and warmouth on sallies and crickets in the boat basin.

LOCAL PONDS

SE GA Chad Lee Catfish 10 19 - IMG_1628
Chad Lee bass fished Alma area ponds this weekend, but his biggest fish was this 12-pound channel catfish that hammered his spinnerbait.

Chad Lee had a great weekend in Alma area ponds, even in the rain. On Saturday morning he landed 10 bass (most under 3 pounds) on jigs and spinnerbaits. He and Daniel Johnson fished the afternoon in another pond and ended up with about a dozen bass on the same lures. The catch of the weekend, though was a giant 12-pound catfish that inhaled Chad’s spinnerbait. He thought he had a monster bass at first until it didn’t fight just right. On Sunday morning he landed his biggest bass of the weekend, an 8-pounder that also ate a spinnerbait. Some Blackshear area anglers trolled minnows in a Blackshear pond on Friday and caught 3 nice crappie. They also caught a couple big bluegills on beetlespins.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

Saltwater produced some of the best catches this week. Last Tuesday an angler took 3 young boys fishing in Sapelo Sound and they pulled on a bunch of bull redfish. They landed 10 adult redfish between 15 and 24 pounds using cut bait fished on the bottom (it took 5 ounces of lead to keep it down). He suggested trying near sandbars on the incoming tide. On Friday, several bull redfish were caught from the St. Simons Pier on cut bait. Some whiting and sharks were also caught. The cast-netters caught some shrimp from the pier this week. On Tuesday afternoon, Ed Zmarzly fished with a friend in the St. Simons area and caught 12 seatrout (7 keepers) on artificials. Ed caught the biggest fish, all over 15 inches, using a topwater walking bait (shad color). His friend caught half the fish, but most were throwbacks. His friend’s barely-keepers ate clown colored jerkbaits and plastics under an Equalizer Float. The best colors of plastics (both Sea Shads and Keitechs) were electric chicken, rootbeer, and Calcasieu brew. He rigged them on 3/16-oz jigheads and suspended them under the float. They also had 2 bluefish attack their lures. Check with Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) for the latest on the St. Simons Pier.