So, given that we have an “extra” day in February this year AND it is on a Saturday AND the forecast predicts sunny weather, I am pretty sure that all those signs mean you MUST go fishing on that day. 

News of the Week:

  • Buy or Renew Your Fishing License before midnight Mar. 1, 2020 and Get a 20% Coupon to use in-store at Academy Sports! More info HERE
  • March Means Spring Harvest at Go Fish Education Center: Visit the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the month of March and reel in and keep up to 8 fish (of your choice) to take home to the dinner table! More info HERE.
  • High waters may mean boat ramp closures: Stay up-to-date with Wildlife Resources Division boat ramp and other closures (such as Wildlife Management Areas or Public Fishing Areas or Shooting Ranges) HERE.

Reports this week come from North, Southeast and Central Georgia. Make those plans for your “Leap Year – Extra Day” and Go Fish Georgia!

NORTH GEORGIA 

(Fishing report courtesy of Hunter Roop, fisheries biologist, with help from Region Staff and local experts)

It seems this week that the collective prayers of hopeful North Georgia anglers has been met—the skies have cleared, revealing an unfamiliar yellow orb amid a blue canvas with intermittent waves of white clouds rolling through. Our rivers and creeks are steadily transforming from chocolate milk to gin clear once again, and by resuming base flows are beckoning river residents to cautiously continue preparing for the spring spawn. The reservoirs are similarly clearing up, though many anglers will take advantage of the waning stain during peak daylight as that slightly warmer water attracts bait, and therefore predators, fattening up for the spring. With the current forecast in mind, your best bet may be plan your weekend fishing adventure after church, as the temperatures are expected stay cool for the next two days, then briefly break 60 °F Sunday afternoon. The fisheries staff in North Georgia have been busy this week with the onset of Walleye broodstock collections, so keep an eye out for tidbits of intel on the timing of the walleye spawn and other “bonus fish” observed during those efforts. Otherwise, it seems the best fishing advice so far during this late winter/early spring transition is going to be patience, as the weather yo-yos from cold to warm, from sunny to rainy to (in some places) snowy, and re-positions fish making traditional patterns difficult to predict. Of course, you can cut down on the guess work by reading this here fishin’ report, brought to by North Georgia’s finest fisheries professionals, guides, and expert anglers that want to help you get more fish on the end of your line. Be ready to leap into spring next month! Now, let’s get to the good stuff:

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

LAKE LANIER

Lake Lanier is 5 feet over full pool, the main lake and creeks are very stained & 50s.

Bass: (This report courtesy of Jimbo Mathley): Currently the lake stands at 5.0 feet above full pool and dropping and the surface temperatures have been around 49 degrees with the recent cold front. The backs of the major creeks as well as the rivers are muddy.  Many backs of pockets and creek arms are stained, particularly if they have a live feed in the back. We have caught fish as shallow as 5 feet this week, out to about 40 feet.  There are lots of options right now.  You will find the fish are shallower in the stained water and further along in the pre-spawn process. Overall, look on rock and clay points start out deeper and move shallow to determine what depth the fish are holding in that day.  Remain flexible as you search for viable daily patterns given the conditions changing so rapidly. Crankbaits, jerkbait, underspin’s, jigs, swimbaits, and shaky heads will all still be viable options for rock fish and the ditch/pocket bites that are available.  In general I would chose the shallows early and move deeper as the day progresses.  Also, be very careful navigating the lake, there is still a lot of floating debris.

Bass: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr): Bass fishing is good, but the fish are all over the place and using a wide variety of depths and structures. The patterns are widely varied, although the bite largely revolves around soft plastics with jigs and crank baits having some application as well. I think the deeper structures are still the most productive, certainly in terms of consistency, although there are some big fish roaming in shallow water. I guess the biggest question here is what is deep? We’ll call deep 25 to 45 feet, and the structures are the usuals, timber edges, bluffs, and brush. Worms are the biggest producers, but Senkos, swim baits and other plastics can also be effective. Overall, worms on the drop shot are very consistent, as are the shakey heads. Bait is also a very big factor, if you can find good bait concentrations the fish should be nearby. The dock bite is also very strong, great for numbers, with a few big fish mixed in. Depth is the big variable here as well, with dock fish holding anywhere from 10 to 40 feet. To try and narrow this pattern down, try docks in 15 to 25, in the major creek arms. That is a very general guideline and on any given day those parameters may change dramatically. Another general guideline is  if the fish is at home, the bite will come quickly, so fish a dock thoroughly but don’t hang around too long as this is often one and done pattern. Look for the numbers of fish on the docks to increase as the water warms and we move into March.  Shallow structures are holding some fish, the numbers may not be great bit the average size is excellent. Worms and jigs will get it done, but a spinnerbait or a small crank bait may be a good choice as well.  Both of the latter two options should become stronger as the water warms in the coming days. You may want to try a # 5 or #7 Shad Rap, I know that is old school, but there is a reason that bait has been around for as long as it has. Target the backs of the creeks and coves, and finding stained water will be a plus. I think the fish are easier to trick and a little less weary if the water is dingy, it will often be slightly warmer as well. Cast the Shad Rap to any type of shallow structure adjacent to the bank. A slow steady retrieve with an occasion pause should catch whatever is around, Both Largemouth and Spotted Bass, White Bass and a few small Stripers are quick to respond to the Shad Rap. Light line, 6 to 10 lb test and this is a fun and productive way to fish.

Academy Jack Report: (This report courtesy of Jack Becker aka Academy Jack): Launched at Balus Ramp on Tuesday. Water was at the top of the ramp but all lanes were open. 1 courtesy dock is open also.  Fished rocky banks and ditches in the backs of long coves. Glad we had waypoints saved on our Lowrance. With the water level at a record high all the banks look the same. Water up in the trees.  Small swim- baits caught a few Spots in the ditches but a 3.5 Lb Spot came on a chatterbait with a Missle D Bomb trailer.

Stripers: (This report courtesy of Captain Mack Farr):  Striper fishing has remained very stable, and the majority of the fish are still holed up in deep water around the bait concentrations. With the repeated influxes of new muddy water the lake received in February, the shallow water and the water in the backs of the creeks and coves has been in a constant state of turmoil. The deeper water offers plenty of stability, and if the bait stays there is really no reason for the fish to move? I am sure that will that change as the water warms, however, in the short term it looks like downlines and/or trolling over deep water will be your best options to consistently find numbers of Stripers. Look for bait concentrations in the back of the creeks, or coves, it does not have to be a live creek to hold fish. The bait may show up anywhere from 50 to 80 feet, so keep your search area broad. Once you find the bait, send the down lines to them, staggering the depth of the baits based on what the sonar shows.  Dropping to the bottom and reeling up a couple of cranks has still been a good technique when you see the bait tight to the bottom, and the timber will allow. Herring have been the preferred bait, but a Gizzard Shad is worth keeping in the spread. Trolling has been a good technique as well, particularly in the upper reaches of either river. Once you get into the upper part of either river, there is more bait and fish in the 30 to 40 foot range, which makes them more accessible to the rigs. Pulling the Minis or the Big rigs are both effective, and with decreased amounts of floating debris trolling is a more viable pattern. Target the bait concentrations, flats along the river channels, and bends in the river or creek channels. Use the mud lines to your advantage and don’t be hesitant to troll in stained water. A slight stain can be good, and adding flash to the rig can be a plus, and now that the water is stabilized the off color water may be a plus.

Stripers: (This report courtesy of Captain Buck Cannon of Buck Tails Guide Service): Striper fishing is fair. It is challenging with all the extra water. North of the Chestatee Bay is stained and the bait and stripers have moved south. Water temperatures around 50 degrees, Look in the back of creeks for cleaner water. Down line blue backs has been the most successful method. Mornings have been productive early as the day progresses move to the River channel use your electronics to locate fish over the edges where the trees are 70 to 80 feet deep and fish 40 t0 50 feet deep with blue backs. Watch for any bird activity like the gulls and the loons and have a top water bait tied on. Remember, Buck Tales it like it is. 404 510 1778

LAKE ALLATOONA

Lake Allatoona is 8.47 feet over full pool, stained & 50s. 

Bass (This report courtesy of Matt Driver)Normally the month of March is spectacular on Lake Allatoona with plenty of prespawn bass moving up to the shallows. They are feeding up and are fat and sassy. This year the weather has been mild and wet. So far wave not had cold enough temps for a shad kill. There will be an abundance of baitfish to compete with. We believe we will see COE draw the lake down quite a bit over the first few weeks of the month. This will all depend on rain amounts. With high water conditions try to stay shallow. The key is to cover lots of water with baits like the Spro Aruku ShadSpro Little John and Strike King 1.5 and 2.5 crankbaits. We gravitate toward red, orange and even blue colors in the spring. We tend to see more stained or muddy conditions. If you find clearer water, the jerkbait and Alabama rig bites are hard to beat. Use a Lucky Craft Pointer or a Megabass Vision 110 jerkbait. With cold water, we fish the bait a little faster and very erratic. The more stain or colder water we tend to slow it down. This is a great way to pick up numbers of fish. The Picasso School E Rig tipped with a finesse paddle bait like the Keitech Easy Shiner works great. A nice slow but steady retrieve wins every time. My final bait selection for March is the Picasso Little Spotty jig tipped with a Zoom twin tailed trailer. Bluffs and red clay banks around Little River is a great way to catch a big fish. Many times you will feel a thump, but a good bit of the time it will load up. When in doubt, set the hook.

Linesides: (This report courtesy of Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service):  Line side fishing is fair. We went from 15 feet below full pool to 10 feet above full pool in less than three weeks. All of the rain has completely trashed the lake. There are still pockets of decent water south of Red Top, but I think that will muddy up in the next few days. The good news is there is still a bite. Down lining small baits on the south end is still decent. All of our fish are coming 18 to 24 feet deep over open water. If you go out be careful because the lake is rising fast. There isn’t a ton of debris out there, but there’s enough to damage your boat if you’re not careful. Wear your PFD.

LAKE HARTWELL

Lake Hartwell is 2.14 feet over full, 50s.

Bass: Bass fishing is fair. Find the cleaner waters in the creeks. Action is slow down a lake as front after another front moves through.  Medium to deep diving crank baits and jigs are still catching most of the fish according. All lures must be fished slowly. Lake levels have already started dropping again as the Corps started releasing more water. It is going to get cold again but warmer days are coming. Good baits to use this weekend include the Rapala DT6, DT10, Clackin’ Raps and 1/4 to 3/8 ounce dark jigs.

WEISS LAKE

Weiss Lake is down 2.4 feet, and heavy stained to muddy and 47-49 degrees 

Bass: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins):  Bass fishing is fair and a lot of bass are being caught on culverts and anywhere there is fresh water running into the lake.

Crappie: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins):  Fish are being caught long line trolling in Bay Springs and Little River, and Yellow Creek. Jiffy Jigs in colors JJ13, JJ17, JJ24, JJ28 and Marks special blue by www. jiffyjigs.com

TROUT 

Winfield Scott stocking 2_27_20
Stocking Trout at Lake Winfield Scott

Stocking Update: (courtesy of Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thompson): Are you itching to get out and enjoy the sunshine? A trout fishing trip to the north Georgia mountains might do the trick. This weekend will afford you a couple of great opportunities to try and land some recently stocked trout. For the novice anglers and kids, look toward Amicalola Falls State Park and Lake Winfield Scott. Anglers fishing these small impoundments might try half of a nightcrawler, 18-24 inches under a bobber, on a #10 hook. And for you more skilled fly fisherman, try the Toccoa River and the Amicaloa Creek delayed harvest (DH) sections. Remember these DH sections are catch and release only and baits are restricted to artificial lures – Regulation Info HERE. If you are fishing the DH sections remembers to do it safely. A good wading belt is a must. Check the weekly stocking report HERE.

Unicoi Outfitters Report: Dredger’s UO fishing report from last week is still very relevant, citing similar conditions, cold weather, and solid intel to keep you catchin’

Toccoa Tailwater (by Cohutta Fishing Co.) The Toccoa tailwater is spilling and generating around the clock today, and the predicted outflow for the next two days is about the same.I wouldn’t anticipate doing any fishing on the tailwater until the schedule shifts, but if it does change, the water is clear with exceptions of tributary streams flowing in. Black Caddis and Little Black Stoneflies should be on the menu!

Toccoa DH (by Cohutta Fishing Co.): The Upper Toccoa DH is at 1000 cFs and falling, so wading is out of the question. If we don’t get any more rain between now and Saturday, I would anticipate the DH being very good to float. Water on the delayed harvest is clear, and you may see some little black stoneflies, black caddis, or blue winged olives. Outside of hatches, I would focus on putting flies right in front of the fish – water temps have varied between 44-48 degrees, so fish might be less inclined to move very far for a fly, especially outside of the warmest part of the day. Dredge good looking water with split shot, stonefly patterns, and junk, and don’t be afraid to hit a run multiple times. I also like having some smaller patterns like Two Bit Hookers, Split Case BWO nymphs, and smaller caddis patterns like Thrift Shop Caddis in case I need to downsize. Don’t forget to fish the swing! 

Small Streams (NW) (by Cohutta Fishing Co.):  Small Streams have been clear but high for the past week. We’ve fished a few creeks lately that have been producing well, but tactics have been limited to high sticking heavy flies and splitshot through small pockets and eddies. These streams should be dropping out, so carry all the stuff you need to change tactics to dry-droppers and suspension rigs. The same flies that should work on the delayed harvest should work on these creeks, but don’t be afraid to downsize flies and tippet if needed. I like to use my standard 9 foot, 4 or 5 weight rod when the water is this high- if you’re going to catch a trophy fish relative to the size of the creek you’re fishing, this is when it’s going to happen, so bring a net! Our last Cartersville screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour will be taking place on March 5th. We’re going to have a pre-party at the shop, raffle tickets, cold beer, and a lot of fishy films, so get your ticket at either shop before they’re gone. Tickets are $15, $20 at the door if we have any left. You can call us at the shop and pay over the phone and we’ll hold the tickets for you if you can’t make it before the 5th. We’re also booking dates for Bass and Striper on the Etowah, so call us now if you want to try and earn your stripes this spring/summer. Check the generation schedule before you plan your trip! We do not recommend that you float the Etowah if Allatoona dam is releasing water. We do not recommend wading the Toccoa if the TVA is releasing water. Check the release schedules and be safe!

RIVER REPORTS

COS_WHB_22820Coosa White Bass (Courtesy of Armuchee Fisheries Technician Mark Bowen): It’s time for the white bass spawning run out of North Georgia reservoirs and into the rivers.  Fisheries staff from the Armuchee office sampled the lower Coosa River this week and saw increased numbers of white bass as the fish begin to swim upriver out of Lake Weiss for their annual spawning run.  The white bass bite should really pick up in the next couple of weeks as river levels fall and temperatures rise.  Most fish were under two pounds, but white bass near three pounds are not uncommon in the Coosa.  Fishing with smaller shad imitating crankbaits and soft plastics should trigger a bite.  Anglers on the Coosa River should target the section of the river between Mayo’s Lock and Dam Park and Brushy Branch Park (Montgomery Landing).

Upper Chattahoochee River (Courtesy of Region 2 Fisheries staffers): Water temperatures in the Chattahoochee River are hovering just below our magic threshold of 50 F, which, when paired with an extending photoperiod, triggers the spawning instincts of Lake Lanier’s Walleye population. This first Walleye spawning run marks the onset of spring spawning (for the fish), fishing (for the anglers), and fieldwork (for the fisheries folks), and so it really is significant in terms of the cascade of events that follow the Walleye run. This week, several trips were made to North Georgia rivers and small mountain lakes to collect Walleye broodfish to maintain the statewide stocking program for this species. The general trend we observed this week was, despite ever changing conditions in the river, from warm to cold, and from muddy to clear, the fish have remained steadfast in this initial spawning wave. The average size Walleye we are seeing right now is around 21″, and these fish can be caught at low light on live bait (nightcrawlers) or artificial lures (e.g., crankbaits, rattletraps). We saw a ton of age 1 (~13 inches) and age 2 (~20 inches) striped bass move into the muddy river runs just upstream of Belton Bridge, but as soon as the rain turned off and temperatures dropped, they vacated to deeper water downstream. We also ran into the occasional 20+ lb striper during our surveys! Shoal Bass were abundant in runs just downstream of shoal complexes, and we even ran into a rare Shadow Bass! We are also starting to see a few White Bass, which traditionally follows the Walleye spawn as water temperatures approach 55 F. Access to the Hooch is still limited due to high lake levels, so you may have to try the ramp at Don Carter State Park and make a longer trek up into the river, but fishing along the way would probably prove fruitful as well!

ADDITIONAL INFO

Free Fishing/Shooting for Kids at Wansley Farm: (From DNR Law Enforcement’s Ranger Tim Vickery): The fine folks at Wansley Farm are hosting youth interested in fishing and shooting sports this Saturday at 1570 North Clarks Creek Rd Martin, GA 30557. This event, free for kids, will take place from 9 AM to 3 PM, and will include trout fishing, shotgun/ skeet shooting, .22 rifle target shooting, pellet rifle shooting, archery, K-9 demonstrations, and even a Steve Scruggs Snake Show! Hope you folks can make it out this Saturday! 

Metro Area Lakes: (From WRD Fisheries Biologist Keith Weaver)For those of you in the Atlanta area that might like to get out sometime this early spring, WRD Fisheries Biologist Keith Weaver suggests the following local impoundments:

  • Marben PFA (Charlie Elliott) If you are willing to travel a little further out from Atlanta,  I would definitely recommend this Public Fishing Area.  Marben offers a variety of ponds from 1 to 95 acres.  Most importantly, there is ample bank access at all the lakes.  This time of year is really good if you are targeting Crappie.  Fox, Bennett, and Shepard Lakes are the most popular.  Minnows on yellow/purple jigs typically are the most popular baits used.  Spring is the best time to visit Marben as well as any other lake since this is the best time of year to fish in Georgia.
  • High Falls SP– Just a few miles south of Atlanta you will find High Falls SP.  This lake has an excellent fishery.  Bank access is limited so having a boat (renting a canoe from the park) is the best way to fish the lake.  Crappie fishing is excellent this time of year as well as bass fishing.  The lake is only 650 acres and these two species rival many of the larger Piedmont reservoirs in Georgia.
  • Stone Mtn. and Sweetwater Creek SP– Both these lakes have great bass fishing.  We have been actively stocking Sweetwater and anglers are quite happy with hybrid bass fishery.  Bluegill and Channel Catfish have also been stocked.  Sweetwater offers some bank fishing, and I have seen anglers standing on rocky outcroppings (to the right of the bait shop) “tearing up” crappie on sunny days.  Again, live bait will be your best option.  I have not fished Stone Mountain, but anglers give raving reviews about the bass in the lake.  This lake has limited bank access but there are boat rentals.  The upper end of the lake provides a lot of cover and is probably the most popular with anglers.
  • Hard Labor Creek SP – The lake at Hard Labor Creek continually produces big bass.  Again bank access is limited so having a boat is nice if accessing the whole lake.
  • Panola Mtn. SP We are finishing up the stocking of fish and our plans are to open the lake in September.  I mention this because if you are looking for big bass this will be definitely be a destination in the future.

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist and Southeast Region Fisheries Supervisor, with help from Region Staff and local experts)

First quarter moon is March 2nd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.  For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.

ST. MARYS RIVER

I did not receive any specific reports from the St Marys this week, but it’s the only river in our area that I would fish right now with all the high water. And, I would fish the lower river before the rising water gets there from upriver. You should be able to catch crappie, panfish, and bass in the tidal water below Traders Hill this weekend. The Shady Bream Tournaments will start back up beginning Saturday March 7th. For more details check out the tournament trail on Facebook. The river level at the MacClenny gage on February 27th was 8.9 feet and rising.

LOCAL PONDS

The big bass have been shallow then pulled off then shallow again as the fronts roll through every week. I heard of fish up to 8 pounds this week, but I’m sure some bigger ones were caught. On Monday, John Ross O’Berry caught a big bass (looked like about 4 pounds in the photo) using his dad’s 4 1/2-foot ultralight rod that I built him and a smoke-colored curly-tail grub. Talk about a fight! The cold mornings this weekend will slow them down, but they will push shallow again as the water warms into next week. Chad Lee fished in the cold this weekend and caught bass mostly on jigs and rage craw trailers. His biggest was a 4 1/2-pounder. With all the rain, fishing a pond spillway is a good option if you can safely access the spillway. The flow attracts fish from downstream, and they usually stack up in the plunge pool below the pond.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Only a few folks fished the east side this week, and they caught some fliers and warmouth. Chris “The Turtle Man” Adams fished in the boat basin for just a few casts with a crawfish Dura-Spin and landed a big warmouth. That bite is about to start as the water warms over the next month. On the west side, the best bite has been catfish. Put a piece of shrimp on the bottom for whiskerfish. The level on the east side is 120.5 feet. You can get around well, and I would recommend concentrating your efforts on the east side in the areas where the prairies connect with the canal. Fish use those areas like highways to come and go from the shallows to the canals.

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

SE GA Ed Zmarzly Bass - IMG_0059
Ed Zmarzly electrofished, took measurements, and released these two big bass in Lake Patrick on Paradise Public Fishing Area on Monday. The crew had 6 big bass in the 7 to 8 1/2 pound range during their couple hours of sampling. The bass will be shallow and feeding well over the next month.

Panfishing and catfishing was slow in the cold weather over the weekend, but the fish began biting later in the week when the water warmed. Wildlife Resources Division staff electrofished Lake Patrick on Monday and sampled a very healthy bass population. The fish had moved to the hill, but this weekend’s cold nights will probably push them off again. Look for them to move shallow again on warm afternoons. If you fish this weekend, try minnows for crappie or use some slow-moving lures like plastic worms and jigs for bass in the colder water.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

The number of reports in the cold and wind were down. One group fished the Brunswick area on Wednesday in the rain and managed 2 nice trout and a doormat flounder by bouncing rootbeer Keitech Swing Impact Swimbaits on Flashy Jigheads and round jigheads. Redfish eluded them, although the water clarity was good on the outgoing tide. Tides should be more favorable this coming week if the wind will let folks fish. Check with Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) for the latest on the St. Simons Pier.

CENTRAL GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, fisheries biologist and Region Fisheries Supervisor, with help from Region Staff and local experts)

Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant

LAKE RUSSELL IS 3.1 FEET OVER FULL, 50’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Now is the time to get shallow with large rattling crank baits like the Red Eye Shad.  With the water temperatures on the cold side now, stay down lake and find any clear water.  Bass can be caught in very shallow water along the banks.  Slow rolling spinnerbaits along with a good slow-moving crank bait will get the job done.  The areas between points and secondary points is a good place to start but don’t overlook the rocky and wood cover found up in the rivers.  Throw small Bandit’s and the Husky Jerks as well as the Shad Rap.  Take along some Zoom green lizards with a Texas rig and throw directly in the heavy cover.  Work lay down trees all the way out to the deeper water with this bait.   The lizard bite is working as these early moving bass are clearing out a path and getting ready to make their move.  Use the Shad Raps on the rip rap on bridges.

CLARKS HILL IS 3.6 FEET OVER FULL, 50’S

Bass fishing is slow.  Watching the level rise and stay up has anglers going shallow.  Get out the larger pumpkinseed lizards and Carolina rig them with a one-ounce sinker.  Get the larger ¾ ounce all black or all brown jig and pig combos and use the Uncle Josh pork frog trailer.  At midday with the sun out, use the Husky Jerk.  Use the blue and silver combinations around points.  Use the lighter fluorocarbon lines and make sure to cover the points and work the bait with a slow to medium retrieve.  Chatterbaits in white and chartreuse colors will work and just swim them on and over the grass area.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 50’S

The lake is full.  The water temperature is 53 to 56.  The north end of the lake is muddy.  The main lake is a heavy stain and Richland creek is stained.

Bass: Bass fishing is fair.  The fish are starting to get used to the muddy conditions and are starting to move into the coves and creeks.  You will need to match your bait to the conditions.  Add sent and noise to your bait for best results.  Fish spinner baits with big blades around rip rap at the main bridges.  The large rocks on the south end of the lake are also holding some feeding fish.  Small crank baits are drawing some strikes around docks in Richland Creek. 

Striper: Striper fishing is good.  Live bass minnows fished on flat lines have been producing good catches.  Spoons will produce good catches.  The shallow trolling bite has also picked up.   Mini Mack’s have been working very well, as well as Shad Raps and Rat L Traps.  Most of this action is on the south end of Richland Creek.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair.  The spider rig bite has been the best way to put big fish in the cooler.  Use darker colored jigs tipped with a minnow.  Locate your fish on your Lowrance and drop you jig to that depth.  This is big fish time.  They are feeding even with all the muddy conditions.

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 1.96 FEET, STAINED 60’S

Bass fishing is slow.  Search out clearing water in major creeks Wehadkee, Maple and Whitewater Creeks.  The bites have come from slower presentations with jigs and shaky heads.  For numbers throw a shaky head Zoom trick worm in any color green.  A 3/8 ounce All Terrain jig rigged with a NetBait Paca chunk is producing bigger fish from deep blow downs and brush piles in 8 to 15 feet of water.  A couple days with warming afternoons will turn the fish onto a crankbait and jerkbait bite.  Fish baits that run mid depths for fish spread in the water column.  Stick to shad-imitating baits for these presentations.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS .52 FEET OVER FULL, STAINED, 60’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Weather will still make it a guessing game but with any warm up, get shallow.  Look for any Rip Rap rock that the sun has been shinning on as this area will be warmer by a degree or two and is bound to hold a few fish.  Use small crank baits like a ½ ounce Rat T Tap in chrome/back and red crawfish or a #5 Shad Rap in the crawfish color.  Work this bait using 8-pound test Trilene line.  Work the baits with a slow but steady retrieve and if there are any docks near to the rock, work the dock area also.

FLAT CREEK PFA (More Info HERE)

The rains have provided a full pool at Flat Creek, which in turn has provided new areas for the fish to feed.  Anglers have also been having to learn how to fish the new habitat.  The anglers that have been successful were mainly fishing the warmer days and evenings.  Although we have had some warmer days the water has remained chilled and the fish bite has still been light.  So far (except for catfish) the difference between those catching or fishing has been the size of tackle being used.  Light tackle is still catching the most fish.  The lights on the dock have currently been turned off due to the high water that is above the electrical wires on the fishing pier.

Bass: Minnows fished in around five foot of water have been what most bass are currently biting.  A red crankbait had one angler’s arms tired from catching so many.   White Zoom Flukes®(or Berkley Gulp! Alive!® Minnows) thrown when bass are feeding on schooling shad have been working great.

Bream: Worms fished on the bottom in 4-5 foot of water

Crappie:  Crappie fishing has been great so far! Chartreuse jigs underneath a Rocket Float® and cast in the shallows have worked great.  Renosky® Natural Shad Minnow jigs are also catching many fish.  Minnows beneath a float cast near structure are very successful.

Channel Catfish: No anglers at this time were reporting fishing for catfish.  The last ones that were fishing for catfish were catching most within the hour after it became dark.

MARBEN PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Water Level: Full, except Bennett and Margery are under construction.
  • Water Clarity: Stained
  • Surface Temp: 52o-58o
  • Marben PFA Fishing Guide

Bass:  March weather is very unpredictable.   Several days of warm sunny weather will surely turn on the bite.   As the month progresses look for the bite to do the same as the bass begin to move shallow.   Bass are seen early morning and late afternoon busting schools of shad.   Anything that mimics a shad is a good bet.   However, it never hurts to try something completely different.   If you are throwing a crank bait amongst a school of shad your bait is one in a million.   The idea is to present something that attracts or triggers the bass’ feeding instinct.

Crappie:  The crappie are hitting bright colored jigs.   Try fishing a jig under a float.   Don’t get discouraged.   The trick is to find where they are and at what depth.   Remember crappie want to feed up so fish above where the crappie are located.  Minnows are always a safe bet.

Bream:  The bream bite is a little slow but several anglers are catching a few by bouncing from pond to pond and fishing on the bottom with pink worms.

Other:  The water temps are likely to fluctuate in March and the water clarity will vary with rainfall.    When fishing slightly stained water try bright colors and when fishing heavily stained water use darker colors like black and brown.