Well…here we are, staring at the end of the year. How did 2019 go so fast?
Starting year 2020 sounds momentous, like we need to make extra special goals, right? How about a few fishing goals for 2020:
- Take a kid fishing. Need tips? Need to find a Kids Fishing Event (they typically start around March and last through September)? Need to recognize a kid for their first fish with a certificate? Find all that info HERE.
- Earn an Angler Award! Did you know that you can be recognized for catching a fish that meets or beats a specific weight? Just follow the rules found on the applications! More info about the Angler Award program (adult and kids angler awards, PFA records and Trophy Bass program) HERE.
- Get a Georgia Bass Slam! By catching 5 of the 10 available Black Bass species found in Georgia, you can earn a Georgia Bass Slam. Learn more HERE.
To close out the Georgia Fishing Report for 2019, we have a short report from Southeast Georgia. Check it out and then be sure to get out there one last time in 2019 and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
As we wrap up another year, I hope that each of you met your angling goals for the year. I’ve had a great year sharing time in boats, on sandbars, and on docks with friends and family. As I look forward to the coming year, I think my goal is to catch-tag-and release over 100 redfish. The more important, non-numeric goal is to continue to share awesome experiences with friends and family while fishing from boats, sandbars, and docks……
SOUTHEAST GEORGIA RIVERS
Forget it. Rains over the last week have swollen almost all stretches of rivers, and it’s a better idea to fish elsewhere for the next few weeks.
Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson had a great week in Alma area ponds, and the bigger bass ate their lures. During their best trip of the week they each caught a dozen bass, with their biggest pulling the scales down to 6 1/2 pounds. That big one ate a chatterbait, while the rest ate spinnerbaits and plastic crayfish. Chad had a 7 1/2-pounder on Monday. That one ate a Rat-L-trap. He also had 2 bass over 5 pounds on spinnerbaits. A group of Waycross anglers fished a Brunswick area pond on Christmas Eve and caught 106 channel catfish and a bluegill. They were using Catfish Catcher Jigheads baited with cut bluegill or shrimp. The warmup this week should have catfish biting well in local ponds. With the recent rains, the spillways below ponds should produce some great fishing. The water flow attracts fish from downstream, and they follow the flow up until they hit the base of the dam. Typically, you can have some really good fishing in the plunge pool below dams. From my experience, crappie and bass are tops in that situation, but every now and then you can find a good bluegill or catfish bite below a spillway.
An angler fishing on Thursday morning caught 35 warmouth in the canals on the east side. Typically, flier and pickerel (jackfish) are the targets this time of year, but they figured out the warmouth. I don’t have details, but they probably caught them in the wood along the canal. The water level came up with recent rains, and that usually puts off the jackfish and flier bites until it starts falling out again. I’ve had great luck over the years targeting the areas where the canal floods out into the prairies. Those areas are like highways where the fish come and go between the prairies and canal.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
Area staff said that the fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks. Lots of crappie have been caught around structure by anglers suspending minnows under a float or dropping jigs down to them around the cover. Horseshoe 4, Patrick, and Russell lakes have had the best bites. Bass fishing has been decent. The biggest bass that staff heard about was 5 pounds. Bream and catfishing has been good. Several anglers caught limits (15 sunfish per angler) of bream using worms and micro jigs. Most of the ponds are still down several feet due to the drought this fall.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
Anglers caught some really nice crappie up to 2 pounds, but numbers were a little low this week. Most folks are long-line trolling curly-tail grubs for their fish. A few nice bass were caught this week. I’ve heard of one bass over 10 pounds being caught at the area so far, but the fish was not certified. This winter and spring several double-digit fish will be caught. Remember that the area is catch-and-release for bass.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
The weather (cold and windy) slowed most of the saltwater effort again this week. A few black drum and sheepshead were caught from Brunswick area docks, but that bite was slow. The best report I heard was a group of anglers fishing a creek in the Brunswick area. They caught 110 seatrout (didn’t keep all of them). That’s typical wintertime fishing – feast or famine. Many areas you check will not have fish, but if you find some fish you usually have found a mother-lode during winter. Check with Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) for the latest on the St. Simons Pier.