This week we have a surprise Wednesday Fishing Blog Report.  And, just so you know…there won’t be a report on Friday…we will be out shopping…err, I mean fishing.

What do your Thanksgiving weekend plans include? I mean, besides the obvious of wearing our stretchiest pants to the dinner table. I hope they include at least one trip to the water, and that you include some of the family and friends that might be with you on this special holiday. Keep it simple by planning ahead:

Extra News: Have you ever seen Santa scuba? Here is your chance at the 4th annual Go Fish Education Center special event on Dec. 3. More info HERE

May the upcoming holiday weekend provide you a time to relax, reflect and enjoy. We are thankful for YOU. 

This short week, we have reports from Southeast and North Georgia. Now, get ready to eat up, gear up and then Go Fish Georgia!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

First quarter moon is December 4th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.

LOCAL PONDS 

Chad Lee worked on the bass again this weekend in Alma area ponds. On Saturday he had 4 bass and 10 crappie. He fished Tuesday during his lunch break and landed a 4-pounder on an old Bagleys crankbait. The crappie bite should be good until the next cold front late this weekend.

SALTWATER (GA COAST) 

SE GA IMG_7237 - Copy
Hayden (left) caught his first redfish on Saturday while fishing with his friend Timothy. His fish bit a figichix Keitech Swing Impact swimbait rigged on a 3/16-oz. jighead with a locking spring.

Saltwater fishing has been excellent this week. On Thursday, Brentz and Claudia McGhin fished out of Crooked River, and Claudia caught her first seatrout ever. The pair ended up with 7 keeper trout and threw back 23 trout. They did best with plastic shrimp under Cajun Thunder Floats. Lots of Waycross folks fished the coast on Saturday in the warmer weather. I took my son Timothy and his friend Hayden to the Brunswick area, and we did well for redfish and trout. We fished a hole around low tide and caught, tagged, and released 5 redfish and broke off another 6 of them on shells. One fish ate a shrimp on the bottom, but all of the others inhaled a figichix-colored Keitech Swing Impact swimbait rigged on a 3/16-oz. jighead with a Gamakatsu hook and spring keeper. The key was to bounce the lure along the bottom near cover. We also landed 9 seatrout to 17 inches (had 5 keepers). Half were swimming the figichix Swing Impact, and the other half ate an electric chicken Swing Impact suspended underneath a Cajun Thunder Float. Shane and Joshua Barber fished Crooked River and St. Marys on Saturday and landed 15 sheepshead and a few trout. They ended up keeping 5 sheepshead and a trout. Their trout ate grubs, while the sheepshead inhaled fiddler crabs. Another group fished out of Crooked River and landed 15 trout (2 keepers) using Calcasieu brew Sea Shads under Equalizer Floats. Two of the

SE GA IMG_7254 - Copy
Hayden caught his first seatrout using an electric chicken Swing Impact underneath an Equalizer Float.

folks in the boat insisted on fishing dead shrimp on the bottom and ended up catching a trout and a black drum. Another group fished the Brunswick area and caught trout in the back of a creek on jerkbaits (hard minnow plugs) and Sea Shads fished on a 1/4-oz. Flashy Jighead. Their fish were in about 4 to 8 feet of water, and they were hitting the lures hard. Trout are biting and the St. Marys Jetties also. A group caught a limit on jigs on Friday. Justin Bythwood fished a Brunswick area dock on Tuesday evening for 1 1/2 hours and caught, tagged, and released 8 black drum up to 18 inches while using dead shrimp on the bottom.  A few flounder have been caught. Some were big flatties, and a white plastic was the lure of choice. During this week, a bunch of trout were caught both from the Jekyll Bridge and from boats in that area. Live shrimp fished over shells was the ticket. Other anglers fishing docks caught quite a few trout on white curly-tail plastics fished around dock pilings and shells.  Check with Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) for the latest on the St. Simons Pier.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

A lot of folks have an extra day or two off from work during the Thanksgiving holiday and the weather forecast is pleasant, so this may be a good opportunity to wet a line.  The best bets for this holiday weekend will be for Delayed Harvest trout, Upper Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters trout, Vogel State Park trout and reservoir stripers and spotted bass.

DELAYED HARVEST TROUT STREAMS 

trout stock Hooch DH w vols 11-24-15 pic2
Thanks to the many bucket-toters who helped us stock trout this week in the Delayed Harvest Section at Whitewater Park access in the Morgan Falls DH section. Find out how to volunteer for activities like this HERE.

Georgia’s DH streams received a pre-holiday re-dosing of fish, so this holiday week will be a great time to take a child or new angler trout fishing.  The weather looks good but wait until mid-morning to arrive streamside, as the best fishing will be when the sun is on the water from about 10 am – 3 pm.  Thanks to the many bucket-toters who helped us stock trout this week in the Delayed Harvest Section at Whitewater Park access in the Morgan Falls DH section (see photo).  Dredger offers the following tips and tactics for DH trout fishing this week, “GA DH streams: still fishing well. Smith’s been hammered, so go light on tippet (6x) and small on flies (eggs, midges, pheasant tails), especially during the high sun of midday. Search for shade and shadows, where fish feel safer. Get there at first or last light to fish around the midday crowds and the fish might hit a small stonefly, leech, or bugger. Again, when GAWRD redoses our DH streams, average Smith Creek fish IQ will plummet and you can toss your big, gaudy junk flies once again. Chattooga DH has fished well. It’s bigger water, so the fish aren’t as easily picked on (most rookies don’t fish deep enough) and trained up. Angler intel to the shop this week say that a girdle bug and pheasant tail dropper has been the winning combo. Try the same techniques on the Toccoa. Just do it soon, since that big watershed takes a long time to drop to fishable levels after big rains.” For more information about the Delayed Harvest program, visit our website HERE.

RESERVOIR FISHING CONDITIONS 

crappie JeffPayne_BCR-1.93lb_L.Rabun_10.29.18
Nice crappie caught by Jeff Payne on Lake Rabun

After the frigid temperatures from a couple of weeks ago, the water temperatures have rebounded into the low-60s and the fish catching has improved.  In most North Georgia reservoirs, spotted bass are hitting jerk baits well and crankbaits are getting bit in the creek channels and along main lake points.  When the sun shines bright against a bluebird sky, switch to deep water presentations over brushpiles where your favorite soft-bodied plastic on a dropshot rig will likely get the attention of a hungry spotted bass.  Stripers and hybrids are also feeding actively, especially in late-afternoons.  Be on the lookout for sea gulls and loons that will point you to the baitfish and the linesides that are lurking nearby.  Swim baits and jerk baits are drawing strikes from schooling fish and getting the attention of those fish that are cruising the shoreline during the early-morning hours.  Check out the video footage submitted by a Lanier angler on the GON forum. During the daytime, stripers tend to move deep so drift along the mid-channel in the main cove arms with down-lined herring.  Last but not least, several anglers are catching crappie over brushpiles using small jigs and minnows (see photo).  If you can find the brush, they ought to be there. For more details on local reservoir fishing conditions, check out Ken Sturdivant’s reservoir fishing report HERE.