We are being told to expect good amounts of rain in the coming days. If you are planning a fishing trip, be sure to take note of weather conditions before you head out – especially if rains become heavy and create high water or flooding conditions. Be safe!
NEWS TO KNOW
- Need Quick Tips? Check out our Fishing Forecasts. Updated every year by our fisheries staff, these forecasts contain information on fishing hot spots, lures, techniques, detailed interactive maps, boating and angling access points, fish attractor locations, stream gauge data and more for 31 Georgia reservoirs and 18 rivers.
- Trout Information: New to trout fishing or trying to find out the latest stocking information? Be sure to check out the Trout Page on the Georgia WRD website.
- Boat Ramp Openings and Closings: Want to know the latest boat ramp opening or find out when a ramp closes? There are two ways to do that. You can check the Alerts and Closures page on the Georgia WRD website or you can sign up and join the notifications group for “Boat Ramp Openings and Closings.”
This week we have reports from Southeast, Central, North and Southwest Georgia. Stay dry and stay safe this weekend and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, Region Supervisor and Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
ALTAMAHA AND OCMULGEE RIVERS
The mullet bite has been the most consistent I’ve heard of. Folks caught about all they wanted to clean as it started to fall out and clear up. The bluegill bite has been off and on. Some folks reported catching a couple dozen before the recent rise, while others didn’t do well at all. Bass fishing has been solid, with most folks reporting 6 to 12 bass per trip. Buzzbaits produce early in the day, and plastics rule once the sun gets up. The river level on June 17th at the Abbeville gage on the Ocmulgee was 4.4 feet and falling. The Doctortown gage on the Altamaha was 7.9 feet and rising.
Carlton and Mike Paulk had a great trip on Saturday to the lower, tidal river. It was the first time they had fished there. They bounced from cover to cover flinging Satilla Spins and ended up catching 20 nice, fat bluegills, 2 stumpknockers, and a warmouth. Slaw was their best color of Satilla Spin. Carlton had a monster bluegill on – he estimated the biggest he’s ever had hooked. As he got it up to the boat on its side, the fish made a big run, broke his Cherrywood rod, his line, and is still swimming around with a slaw Satilla Spin in its mouth. Hopefully it was able to get rid of the lure. Carlton was sick when the fish got away. From what he described, there’s a good chance he would have had the river record bluegill. The river level on June 17th at the Waycross gage was 6.2 feet and rising (84 degrees). The Atkinson gage was 4.4 feet and falling.
ST. MARYS RIVER
Matt Rouse and Travis fished the upper river on Saturday. They had some really nice bluegills, warmouth, and small bass on small Rapala minnows. Shrimp on the bottom produced some catfish and bowfin for them. The upper river is very low and hard to get around, so expect to drag if you fish there. Catfish in the tidal area where you can run a larger boat is a great bet. All you have to do is put a shrimp or worm on the bottom, and you should be pulling on some whiskerfish. Check out the Shady Bream Tournament trail on Facebook for information on upcoming tournaments. The river level at the MacClenny gage on June 17th was 2.3 feet and rising.
Okefenokee Bass Anglers held a tournament on the tidal Savannah out of Port Wentworth on Saturday, and they caught a bunch of fish. They had 20 boats blast off, and all but 2 boats caught 5-fish limits. First place was secured by Chad and Kevin with 12.03 pounds. Second was 11.32 pounds sacked by the father-son team of Layton and Brooks. Richard and Willie came in with 11.05 pounds to secure 3rd place. Big fish of 5.90 pounds was caught by Eddie and Cody. The Clyo gage was 7.0 feet and falling on June 17th.
Ron Altman, his mom, and a friend caught a half-dozen bass up to 4 pounds from a Brunswick area pond on Tuesday. Ron also caught a monster shellcracker on a fly. Chad Lee caught quite a few bass this week on buzzbaits. They weighed 2 to 5 pounds apiece, but he pulled off the biggest of the week. He said it was a monster, but he had his drag locked down because of punching plastics and didn’t loosen it when he tied on a buzzbait. David Freeman fished Monday afternoon and caught several big bluegills and a bass on a cricket-colored Satilla Spin. Also on Monday, Savannah fished with her grandfather and caught several big bluegills on crickets. David Montgomery fished a pond on Sunday and caught 8 bluegills and a bass on chartreuse bruiser Satilla Spins before getting run off by a thunderstorm.
Warmouth were the best bite this week. Most anglers caught anywhere from 10 to 30 fish per trip, but some caught limits. Some pickerel (jackfish) were fooled with spinners and minnow plugs. Yellow flies have been bad in the shady areas but bearable in the open sun. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.29 feet.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
The Southeast Georgia Kayak Bass Fishing club held a tournament at the area on Saturday. They catch, measure, photograph and immediately release their fish and then add the total length of their top 5 bass to determine a winner. Talk about a great catch, Adam Fournier won with a total of 101 inches. Yes, that’s right – he had 3 bass over 20 inches. Second place, William Sehr also had 3 bass over 20 inches, but he did not have the other 2 fish to go with them. His total was 65.5 inches. AJ Balbo also had 3 over 20 inches for a total of 64.75 inches. You can get more information about fishing with the club on their website.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Ed Zmarzly caught the first tarpon I’ve heard of being caught in Georgia so far this year on Monday. He and buddies were fishing the St. Marys Jetties, and he fooled the 100-pounder with a Jetty Jig and Z-Man Swimmer-Z swimbait. In addition to the tarpon, the group ended up with a dozen flounder (with an almost 19-incher being the biggest), 6 trout (up to 24-inches), 1 slot-sized and 4 oversized redfish and a few whiting. Sea Shads and Swimmer-Z swimbaits rigged on jigheads, as well as mudminnows rigged on jigheads produced most of the flatties, while the gator trout ate a live shrimp rigged under a slip float. After a long hiatus, Steve and Brenda Hampton fished for flounder off the Jekyll Pier last week and had a great trip. They caught a half-dozen flatfish, and Brenda caught her personal best, a 19-incher. For guide trip information, call Capt. Greg Hildreth at (912) 617-1980 or check out his website. Check with the Jekyll Island Fishing Center (912-635-3556) for the latest on the Jekyll Island Pier or St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) for the latest on the St. Simons Pier.
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and Fisheries Biologist with the 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 FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Carolina rigs are the most popular way to find and catch bass year-round but especially in the heat of summer. Downsize the tackle, especially the line size and weight sizes to catch more and bigger bass. Pearl Zoom Super Flukes are working all day and be sure to use a light weight 3/0 offset worm hook. The secret is to take along a variety of plastics and alternate them all during the day. Change from a six-inch worm to a Zoom green pumpkin to a finesse worm while fishing the same area. Try using a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce brass weight on ten-pound test Sufix line. Try the Yo Zuri Popper 70F with the weight transfer system for super long casts. It makes a lot of noise to wake up bass from great distances. All the popular colors are available.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.0 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. As the water continues to warm the fish have moved back to deeper water and stay there for much of the day. The best times to fish during the hot months are early in the morning until about 10:00 a.m. and then again later in the afternoon until dark. Use the Carolina rigs, jigs, jerk baits, and green pumpkin Zoom finesse worms on a light Texas rig on the docks. Bagley Baits are still catching bass and the Balsa Wake 1 is a bass catching lure. Try it and hold on. You might want to use some braid to get a good hook set. It has a Heat Compression Molding process that allows for the wire-through design to last. Be careful because the hooks are sharp. Smaller older docks are great isolated gold mines this time of the year to try this lure.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S
(This Lake Oconee fishing report is by Captain Mark Smith of Reel Time Service. 404-803-0741) —
Bass: Bass fishing is good. The temperature is 82 to 85 degrees. The lake is clear all the way past the I-20 bridge. The reservoir is also full. A 6-inch green pumpkin lizard fished on a Texas rig in brush around and under docks will produce good numbers. I would start the day with a buzz bait fished on the sea walls halfway in the back of the creeks and big coves all over the lake. White spinner baits fished on the bridge rip raps will also produce at first light. A lot of shad are still hanging out at the bridges in the first light of day.
Striped Bass: Striper fishing is good. Use your Lowrance to locate the schools all over the south end of the lake. When you find them, you should drop a live shad into the school and hang on. Over the past week I have picked up a lot of good fish on the mini Mack. The cloud cover has held the fish in the upper water column and the rig has been very effective.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. Most of the fish are starting to move into the timber and setting up for the summer pattern. Long lining over the timber has been the best producer. Live bait dropped into the timber will also produce.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.2 STAINED 80’S
Bass fishing is great. The shallow bite is a dominant pattern. The bream are still bedding in the pockets and the mayflies are starting to hatch in the rivers causing the bass to stay up shallow. Top water baits such as the Bass Hound prop bait and the Spro Bronzeye frog are catching fish consistently around grass, lay down trees, and sea walls around points and channel swings. Texas rigged soft plastics and shaky heads will also catch fish around the docks in these same areas. Strike King Hybrid Hunter and a small size Hybrid Hunter is a flat sided crank bait with a unique L Shaped 90-degree bill. It can be a jerk bait, crank bait, or a trolling bait. It runs a couple feet deep for the shallow water anglers. A Buckeye Lures spot remover with a Zoom trick worm is hard to beat under the docks. For those that prefer to fish deep, there is a decent offshore bite going on as well. Look for offshore humps and long points in the mouths of creeks and near the river channels for the best results. A cell mate colored Spro Little John DD and Buckeye Football Mop jig fished on these offshore spots will catch fish right now and for weeks to come. Look for hard bottom or stumps when fishing offshore. This bite is best when Georgia Power is moving water.
LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 1.0 FEET, CLEAR 80’S
Bass fishing is good. Bass, both spots and largemouth, are fair but finding big fish has been tough. The small fish are feeding on small 1/4-ounce Rat L Traps and #5 Shad Raps. Shad colors are the best choices and use light line to get the extra action and depths from the baits. Fish any rocky point or the rip rap on the ramps, rocks on the bridges and on the points and make lots of casts. The fish early and late are aggressive and will chase baits but try a stop and go retrieve. The best tip is to keep moving and cover a lot of water. Small shad Zoom Flukes on a lead head will work and cast them and reel them back with a regular retrieve. Rig a Zoom finesse worm in blue pumpkin on a split shot rig and swim it on the same rocks.
MCDUFFIE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Temperature: 84 F
- Water Visibility: 19-48+ in
Bass: Bass are biting. Warmer water temperatures have the bass moving in shallow water. Nice bass are being caught across the area on a variety of lures in shallow water and around structure. Recent successful fishermen have been using super flukes, creature lures, black worms, and spinners. Several nice bass have been caught in Willow, around fallen trees and culverts, and in Bridge in the corners near the pump house and in the cove on the far side near the bridge peninsula.
Bream: The bream bite is still picking up. Nice shellcrackers are being caught around the Clubhouse and Bream Buster docks using worms and crickets. Nice bluegill are being caught off the Willow peninsulas and points, and around the fallen trees on both Clubhouse and Bream Buster.
Channel Catfish: Catfish are biting well and being caught across the area. They are biting on all the usual baits: pink worms, red worms, stink baits, and chicken livers. Several nice stringers of fish have been caught on chicken livers from deeper water in Bridge, Willow, and Jones lakes.
Striped Bass: Striped bass bites have been slower. No recent reports of striped bass being caught.
(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Carters Lake Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — Summertime fishing is just getting fired up on Carters. After the last two months of cold fronts and flooding rain, I think everyone is ready for some steady summer weather. Despite the non-favorable conditions, the fishing has been good. Time to get the HydroGlows out and catch some fresh bait. The stripers are schooled up in small groups cruising for baitfish early. We’re not looking for big summer schools yet, but we are seeing groups of five or six fish in 30 to 40 feet early in the morning. Downlining big threads or alewives has produced the best bite. The hybrids are more active and are a bit shallower right now in the 15- to 30-foot range typically cruising on points looking to ambush bait. They will try to eat the big baits, but the better hook-up ratio is on smaller baits in the 3-inch range. Most of the fish are near the creek mouths on high spots, humps or points. Starting early is key as usual on Carters. The striper bite tapers off most days by 10 a.m. The spot bite has been on fire since they spawned and come off the bed. If you’re fishing live bait nearshore, you can’t escape them. On artificials, our best fish have come on spoons fished vertical in 20 to 40 feet of water. Chrome or gold colors usually triggers the bite. If the fish don’t want it, keep moving because the next ones will.
Carters Lake Walleye Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — The walleye bite has been consistent for the last few weeks. The fish have moved to the main and secondary lake points and are most active before dawn and the first few hours of daylight. Live bait and artificials are getting them in the boat. For live baits, a 4-inch threadfin is hard to beat. Small hook, 10-lb. line and a split-shot has been the go-to setup. For artificials, again the spoon is a productive approach. On overcast days, we are throwing deep-diving crankbaits on the points, digging the bottom with them making as much noise as we can. Two to five fish days are good ones, with an average size of 22 inches. They make for good eating.
Blue Ridge Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Welch, Welch’s Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — It’s the time of year that we’ve been waiting for. The lakes are at full pool, and the bass have just come out of their post-spawn funk. The bass are moving out to deeper water in brush and laydowns where they will be for the summer. I have been seeing some fish chasing bait early in the mornings, so I’m throwing a Whopper Plopper and a Berkley Drift Walker the first couple hours in the morning. Once the sun gets up, I target docks that have access to deep water. I am fishing those docks with a drop shot, shaky head, jig and a 3.5-inch tube. I will then move on to fish points, brush and laydowns with a Texas-rigged 6.5-inch Strike King finesse worm, a drop shot with a 6-inch morning dawn red flake Roboworm or a pb&j jig. In the summer, there are different depths you can fish. Once the water temps get up in the mid-70s to 80s, there are two depths to look for fish. You have your smaller fish that will stay in 8 to 12 feet of water, and then you will have fish in the 20- to 40-foot range, and most of the time these are the bigger fish. The reason is they won’t waste the energy to compete with the smaller fish with the water temps being warmer. Summertime is a great time to really learn to use your electronics. Everyone was amazed years ago when Down Image and Side Image came out. It was a game changer because you could idle around points, docks and humps and find brush, trees and rock. But now with the Garmin LiveScope and the Lowrance ActiveTarget, it just takes fishing to a whole new level. You can idle up 35 feet away to the brush you have marked and scan it before you even make a cast. You can tell if there is any fish and what size fish is there before you ever make a cast.”
Blue Ridge Lake Walleye Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — After an amazing spring, the walleye have spread back out across the river and main-lake points. They are holding anywhere from 10 to 40 feet deep, depending on what the bait and weather is like that particular day. Cloudy days keep the fish shallow and feeding. Live bait is the slower approach to finding fish, but if you find them with baits down, you will get bit. Live shiners, small shad or herring will all do the trick. A simple split-shot or downline rig will work just fine or a slip bobber to keep so many snags from happening. Adjust your depth accordingly, and keep the baits close to the bottom. Use 8- to 10-lb. line max on this lake since the water is really clear. Also, use the smallest hooks you feel comfortable with matching the bait size. On the artificial side of things, spoons are my favorite. Also, trolling crankbaits can be productive at times with the right speed and color. Finding the fish before you start fishing is the key to putting fish in the boat. Don’t waste time fishing an area because it looks good if there’s no fish there. The bass bite is good as always. Unfortunately it’s about 99% spotted bass versus smallmouth. I’ve been targeting big wide points on the main lake or in the larger parts of the river, especially if there’s any structure on the points. Use the same gear as above for the walleye.”
Lake Nottely Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Jeremy Seabolt, Lake Nottely Fishing Charter via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing has been off the hook for the boats of lakenottelyfishingcharter.com. The fish are scattered all over the lake, and we have been catching some big numbers of fish about any way you can think of. We have been catching lots fish pulling herring on boards and freelines first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon. We’ve been finding fish over deep-water points and humps and then dropping downlines around 20 feet deep over a 30- to 40-foot bottom. We have also had one of the best topwater bites I have ever seen for May with some 20- to 30-fish mornings on topwater plugs and flukes. Going into June, it will only get better. You just have to find the bait. Most fish will pull out to the mouth of the creeks and river. Find the bigger bait balls, and the fish will be close by. June is also a good time to pull u-rigs mid-morning and all through the day. I pull the Captain Mack’s rigs. You can pick them up at Jack’s Creek Bait and Tackle or you can run down to Oakwood Bait or Hammonds Fishing Center and pick them up. June means it’s time to focus on more downline fishing as fish should start to school back up in bigger groups. We also want give a big thanks to the DNR. We have some big groups of 1- 2- and 3-year-old fish showing up with a good number of 6- to 8-year-old fish, so that tells me the fish are making a good comeback. You can also go on to our Facebook page and get weekly fishing updates, and don’t forget The Bait Shack On Nottely has all your striper candy. They are located at 696 Deaver Road. They have herring, shad minnows and worms. Be safe and try to get the fish back in the water as quickly as you can. The water is getting warmer, and that means the fish will start stressing out faster.”
Lake Chatuge Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Welch, Welch’s Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — It’s that time of year that we’ve been waiting for. The lakes are at full pool, and the bass have just come out of their postspawn funk. You need to make sure you have a topwater bait tied on and on the front deck of the boat all day when fishing Chatuge. At daybreak, there is normally some topwater action happening around in the pockets and flats. My baits of choice are a Strike King Sexy Dawg, a Whopper Plooper and a Berkley Cane Walker. Chrome or white colors are hard to beat. If it’s a cloudy day, you can fish this pattern all day, but once the sun gets up, it’s time to start fishing deep. There are so many different ways to target fish on Chatuge. You can just run banks fishing laydowns with a Texas-rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin or watermelon. Target docks that have a drop or access to deep water. Fish these with a shaky head, a drop shot or a jig. Then you can just target points. There is some kind of brush on about every point on the lake. Sometimes there will be what we call shallow brush 12 to 20 feet deep and then farther out, you will find the deep summer brush in 25 to 35 feet of water. Target those fish with the same lures. Then you have your offshore fishing. Look for humps and brush that have access to deep water. Target these areas with some of the same lures, but try throwing a 1/2-oz. Carolina rig with a Senko. This is the best time of year to use your electronics, and if you have the new LiveScope or ActiveTarget, it’s like watching a video game.”
Lake Burton Report: (This report courtesy of Wes Carlton, Georgia Lake Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — The bass bite has been very strong the last few days. We have caught fish on top and shallow every trip. I haven’t seen the topwater bite this good in several years. Plastic worms have been working well midday around brushpiles on pumpkin-seed finesse worms. We have had some luck with Sebille swimbaits working the shallows around docks for bigger largemouth. Look for this bite to continue for the next few weeks as we head toward the summer pattern. The trout bite has been good the last couple of days. We have caught most of the fish in shallow water in the mouths of the creeks. Try using perch- or herring-colored Lucky Craft small jerkbaits. We are finally starting to see some bigger trout in the 5- to 6-lb. range being caught. We have caught a few rainbow trout while trolling crawler harnesses for walleye. Look for the brown trout bite to get better every week as the water warms up. These fish will congregate toward to deeper water as it gets hotter. The walleye bite has been slow the last week or so. Most of the population of walleye seem to be heading toward deeper water. Look for this bite to pick up as the schools of herring get deeper.
Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Justice, via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing has entered a true summer pattern and has become quite tough on the weekends with the excessive boat traffic. Fishing during the week has been good when the dam is generating power. Two good methods have been a deep-diving crankbait and walking topwaters on points in 10 to 30 feet of water. Look for brush and rocks in these areas. Shallow fishing has been tougher than usual. Look for a frog bite to develop in the backwaters. Keep an eye out for groups of bluegill as they are sure to have largemouth nearby.
Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is fair. The bass are now hanging out in deeper water. Locating and fishing wood cover below the surface is a good start. Yo Zuri Popper 70F has the weight transfer system for super long casts. It makes a lot of noise to wake up bass from great distances. All the popular colors are available. Texas rigs or jigs will work up in the creeks and deep diving crank baits are still catching fish on the lower lake. Rapala DT10 crank baits and the Deep Down Husky Jerks with ten pound test line and a slow, steady retrieve is working the best. Find the humps and fish all sides with these baits. Up in the rivers and creeks, stay in the deepest water possible and pick apart the structure. Downsizing your tackle and baits just might get you a few extra bites.
Lake Hartwell Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Preston Harden, Bucktail Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — June is a transition month. The water is warming, and the fish are looking for cooler water. Bass and crappie do not migrate far. They move from the shallows to offshore brush and other structure. Hybrids and stripers migrate from the creeks and upper reaches of the lake to the lower lake. The creeks and upper lake develop a thermocline as the water gets hot. I look for fish suspended above the thermocline as they migrate toward the lower lake. Live blueback herring work great. Do not lower the herring below the thermocline since this will kill them quickly. There is very little oxygen below the thermocline. The thermocline is usually about 30 to 40 feet deep. Early morning will show the thermocline on most sonars. It will look like a fuzzy layer about 35 feet deep. Bass and crappie transition from the shallows to offshore structure 20 to 30 feet deep. As the summer pattern sets up, good bass fisherman will throw a topwater plug over the brush. If nothing comes up, they will look down at the brush with their sonar. If fish are seen, they will fish vertically with a drop shot or a shaky head.
Lake Hartwell Striper Tracking Update: (From Fisheries Biologist George Gavrielides) — You may recall from previous reports that WRD has an ongoing project focused on Lake Hartwell striped bass to figure out their seasonal movement patterns. The following update from WRD Biologist George Gavrielides may give striper anglers some up-to-the-minute clues as to where to find them right now: “We continue tracking striped bass (STB) on Hartwell in the creeks and the main Seneca River arm. Last week we found a tagged STB far up one of the creeks, then a few days later we found that same STB ~2.5 miles downstream near the mouth of the main Seneca River arm. We will continue manual tracking through the Fall to see if they go back into the creeks or make their way lower in the system towards the dam. We set out fixed telemetry receivers on Hartwell two weeks ago and downloaded the data. The upstream receivers closer to the creek arms had more records than the main lake near the dam. This occurrence along with our manual tracking support the idea that more striped bass are in the upstream creek areas right now since water quality is more suitable. Based on our water quality profiles earlier in the month, water quality is suitable at the dam throughout the water column, but striped bass seem to be more prevalent in the upstream creeks right now.”
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good to very good. The fish have made it to their summer spots and are feeding up after the spawn. You will still catch some long slender fish but there are also plenty of footballs to be caught. The top water bite is very strong right now particularly on windy days. A Chug Bug, Wake Bait, Spook, Sebile, Fluke and a Swimbait are drawing the most strikes. There still some shallow fish to be found early in the morning but this bite has slowed due to the shad spawn ending. The prime offshore off shore depth is fifteen to thirty feet range but stay a good cast away from the brush to not spook the fish. Begin work over the top of the brush with a surface bait then move to a Sebile or Fluke if the fish will not break the surface. If you are seeing fish suspended in these areas work a Spybait on six pound line through them. Be gentle with the Spybait setup since it is a smaller line and the bait has smaller hooks. It’s not a race to see how fast you can land a fish but rather if you get it in the boat and get your lure back. Worms will also work in the same location whether it is on a drop shot or a shakey head. On the Dropshot Lanier Fruity Worms are working well and on the SpotSticker either some form of watermelon or green pumpkin. The docks in the ten to twenty foot range are also holding some fish for the worm bite. The night bite has been a hit or miss proposition. Georgia Blade spinnerbaits and dark blue or red deep diving crankbaits have been the most consistent producers for the bite after dark. It’s a great time to fish Lanier so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ryan Coleman, LanierSpots Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — Excellent, and the fish are eating. Most of the spotted bass have spawned, but there are some main-lake fish still left to move up. These fish will spawn on the offshore stuff, so don’t look for them in the creeks. I have been having some great trips on Lanier lately fishing up shallow and out on structure. My shallow fish are around reef poles and shallow, rocky points in less than 10 feet of water on rock anywhere you can find it. My best baits have been an electric-shad SpotSticker Finesse Stick and a 5-inch Senko rigged on a 3/16-oz. screwball shaky head. Work this rig very slowly around rocks up on the humps, and be persistent. As for the offshore fish, topwater has been doing well for a week now. I’ve been doing most of my damage on a Chug Bug or a Ima Skimmer in white or chrome. Not being too aggressive with these baits just yet has been key for me. Some of the herring are still spawning around the shallow stuff in the mornings. I can get them to commit to the topwater or a 3/4-oz. Mini-Me spinnerbait with silver blades. As long as the water is in the 70s, we will have a spinnerbait bite on Lake Lanier, so keep it rigged and throw it as much as you can.
Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493) — Crappie fishing is good. The water temperatures are in the upper 70s to low 80’s. The hot bite target zone is 15-25 foot deep. The crappie are on the docks and also can be found on deep water brush piles and blow downs. I always put out a Crappie minnow. If you have live scope or active imaging set the minnows just above the fish. Right now I am setting the minnows around 15’-20’ deep. For best results use a alive minnow! Look under docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water near a main channel and have brush or structure use your electronic charts to locate these areas. Remember crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows of a dock. Try different Jigs colors and jig styles jigs can be used for short casting, vertical jigging, trolling or dock shooting. The most productive jigs this week have been the translucent and light colored jigs. When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to hit. Let your jig sink and give it time to get down to the fish and retrieve your jig slowly. I’m using ATX lure company’s plastics that can be purchased locally at Sherries bait and bbq or the dam store. I use the k9 5 pound test high visibility yellow braid for my line (unless I am using a bobber) and a Piscifun reel on an Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages @crappieonlanier & @fishingwitheverydayheroes
Lake Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Clay Cunningham, Catching Not Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — Now that June is here, look for the stripers to progressively move deeper as the water temperature rises. At the beginning of the month, look for them to be 10 to 20 feet deep. You will still see some topwater action as the stripers push herring to the surface, so be sure to have a Sebile Magic Swimmer or a Berkley Cane Walker ready to cast. Day in and day out it is hard to beat these two baits. All the colors in the Magic Swimmer work. Early in the morning, the Magic Swimmer in white liner is hard to beat. On sunny days, try the chrome Magic Swimmer. The chrome is the hot new bait. Cast these lures on 10- or 12-lb. Trilene Big Game on a spinning rod. A good setup is a 7-foot medium-action Fenwick spinning rod paired with a Penn Conflict 3000 spinning reel. As the fish move deeper, look for the downline to take over. Spool up a Penn Fathom Line Counter reel with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game on a Shakespeare medium-light action striper rod. Tie on a Capt. Mack’s 2-oz. Swivel Sinker, a 4-foot leader of 15-lb. 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Herring from the local tackle shops will be the key bait. Look for the stripers on your electronics before you drop baits. You can use traditional 2D sonar or Down Imaging to see these fish. Great electronics like the Humminbird units are a must. You can see your bait swim around the sinker. Overall, June is usually a great month on Lanier for stripers. The spawn will be over and the striper metabolism is wide open. See you on the water.
Lake Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Ron Mullins, The Striper Experience via GON Fishing Reports) — June means the fun is over, at least the fun of watching Captain Mack’s Perfect Planer Boards skipping across the lake and drag screaming flatlines bent double behind the boat. It’s downline time on Lanier and the excitement of four to six rods buried under the boat and the Humminbird SOLIX looking like someone threw a can of SpaghettiOs on the screen is just ramping up. Downlines are very simple rigs to set up. Rods are 7.5-foot Okuma Striper Rods that have a very fast action, Okuma Coldwater 203 Line Counter reels with 17-lb. Hi-Seas mono main line. Attach a 1.5- to 2-oz. Captain Mack’s Swivel Sinker to 5 or 6 feet of 10- to 12-lb. Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader and tie on a No. 1 or No. 2 Gamakatsu circle hook. We will be adjusting leader length and line test as the summer progresses, but this will be the rig for bait fishing until November. Stripers will start to get in bigger schools this month as they start to move to the south end looking for cooler, better-oxygenated water. More fish on less water means bigger groups. The feeding areas they are looking for are main lake and major creek pockets that have big bowls toward the back of them that have 40 to 60 feet of water. The stripers will be using these areas to push bait into and essentially trapping herring and shad in these bowls so that they cannot escape back to the big water. Move around in these pockets with your Minn Kota Ulterra i-Pilot Link at 0.4-0.6 mph looking for multiple fish with your Humminbird electronics with your downlines 20 to 30 feet down. Once you see a few fish, hit your Spot-Lock button, and dangle your herring in front of them and start tapping the deck with your thump stick and get ready. Take a look back at last year’s Lanier striper report at www.gon.com/fishing/georgia-fishing-reports/lake-lanier for what a thump stick looks like. Heck, look back at those for great historical info as well. Don’t put your herring pitching rods away either. Put a small No. 7 split-shot on your main line in front of the swivel and drag these behind the boat about 50 feet back with your downlines. These flatlines will get you an extra bite or two on the fish that haven’t gone deep yet and will drift down when you hit Spot-Lock and give you a couple more baits in the water.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is fair. The fish are solidly in their deeper summer haunts and the brush pile bite is starting up. The Sammy top water bite is good early. Once the sun gets high the main lake fish are going deep at 15 to 18 feet. Use a 3/16th ounce camo colored Spot Stalker with a 4.5 inch Yamamoto Cut Tail worm in pumpkin and green colors. Also a small drop shot using a ¼ ounce drop shot sinker and a #4 Splitshot Dropshot Gamakatsu hook. Nose hooking a 3.5 or 4 inch Yamamoto Cut tail in either blue pearl, cinnamon brown or smoke color to mimic the small threadfin and spot tail minnows will work. Bagley Baits are still catching bass and the Pro Sunny B Spin is a top water machine. Rip it and splash it and bring bass to the bait from great distance. The key is still small baits and this will continue throughout most of the summer. Be patient and be sure the bait is in at least 15 feet of water. Also, a weightless Senko skipped under docks and let them sink down a few feet will produce some fish as well as the water under the docks is quite a bit cooler. It takes some patience but it will get you bit. The spot stalker head is a great tool for fishing the brush piles due to its specific design.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Driver, via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing in June becomes a little more challenging. With hot temperatures and tons of boat traffic, early morning and night fishing is the best option. The early morning bite has a short window from 5-8:30. Fish can be caught on popper and walking-style baits, and as the sun comes up, move toward shady areas to prolong the bite. The nighttime bite is the most predictable and productive. The crankbait bite is good. The Strike King 5XD and Spro Little John are good choices. I like blue, black or orange baits this time of year. Long points in 10 to 12 feet of water seem to produce the best quality for me. The Picasso 1/2-oz. football head jig in brown and orange is a great choice, as well. When fishing is tough, the drop-shot rig over and near sunken brush is good. I will use it even at night. If you’re targeting crappie or white bass, lighted boat docks with minnows and small jigs is the ticket. The Allatoona Creek arm of the lake is a good place to start.”
Lake Allatoona Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Robert Eidson, Firstbite Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing is good! The lake is back down to its normal level, and there is very little debris. The fish are starting to set up on a summer pattern. Big schools of hybrids can be found anywhere from the S-turns to as far south as Tanyard Creek. The downrod bite is the most productive bite going on right now. Fishing live shad at depths from 20 to 30 feet is producing for our boats from one end of the lake to the other. Our bait of choice has been big threadfins. These fish can be found on or around most points, humps and flats. Good electronics can be a big help during the summer months. Summertime is awesome for numbers on Lake Allatoona. Give us a call, and let’s take the kids fishing.
West Point Lake Report: (From Fisheries Biologist Brent Hess) — The weather has been beautiful this week. Because of the nice weather, the West Point Lake bass catch has been plentiful. If the weather pattern holds look for the fishing to be excellent this weekend, especially in the mornings. The bass are spread out but still holding in shallow water. Fishing with light-colored spinners and swimbaits should be effective. When fishing during the mid-day, try fishing shaded banks with dark wacky worms. This weekend is shaping up to be a great time to be on the water but as always boat safely.
West Point Lake Report: (This report courtesy of Keith Hudson, Lake West Point Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) –
- Bass: At the beginning of the month, topwater baits such as Pop-Rs, Zara Spooks and buzzbaits can be effective for shallow and aggressive postspawn fish, especially around bream beds. Another effective pattern in June is to fish shallow grass and cover north of 219 bridge with popping frogs and Senkos. Later in the month, some fish should start showing up on deeper brushpiles and roadbeds as well as the water warms. Try deep crankbaits or Texas-rigged Ol’ Monster worms in these areas. As usual spotted bass are still being caught by casting Spot Remover heads loaded with Zoom green-pumpkin Trick Worms in blowdowns or brush or just dragging a Carolina-rigged Zoom Finesse Worm or Mini Lizard around sloping gravel banks.
- Linesides: Excellent. Hungry, spawned-out white bass, hybrids and stripes are down the lake in good numbers. Expect the downline bite on live bait to stay good through June. Areas near the dam and also in the mouth of Yellow Jacket have been producing. Most fish are holding right around 25 feet. Some fish have started surface schooling on the main lake and can be caught on small Rooster Tails, popping-cork rigs and chrome spoons. The trolling also will pick up in June. Main-lake humps and flats trolled with deep-diving crankbaits will produce, especially during water generation.
- Crappie: Good. Spawned-out crappie will typically move out and hold on deeper brush and structure or under docks. Try drop-shotting minnows or shooting docks for the best results. Night fishing is usually really good in June.
- Bream: In the last few years our bream and shellcracker fishing has improved. Finding an active bed can take a little effort but when you do, you can have a ball. Bedding usually takes place on the full moon cycle in June. Look for shallow cover in the backs of pockets. Sandy flats and stump beds tend to draw the fish like a magnet. Use live pink worms, crickets and small jigs for the best results.
- Catfish: Lots of channel cat can be caught using live bait, cut bait and worms fished on bottom. You can catch cats all over the lake as long as fairly deep water is nearby. Jug fishing is also fun and productive and works about anywhere using cut shad. To target flatheads, go to a larger bait like a 4- to 5-inch bream or large shiner and fish the deeper holes in the river above 219 bridge. Increase the size of your rigs, as fish in the 20- to 30-lb. range are fairly common.
West Point Lake Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is good. Using a buzz bait or a Pop R any time of the day. Fish these baits parallel to the bank as close as you can. After your morning bite move to long points and fish a Carolina rigged worm slowly. First, use the Lowrance to see if the bait fish are in the area. You may spend more time riding than fishing but when you find the bait fish you will find fish. Big crank baits are also working well in the same locations. Bagley Baits are still catching bass and the Pro Sunny B Spin is a top water machine. Rip it and splash it and bring bass to the bait from great distance. On sunny days flipping a jig and pig under the docks will bring you a few bites but they should be good fish. Also, fishing a finesses worm on a jig head fished around rocks will bring you numbers of fish and maybe a couple of good ones.
Lake Weiss Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Mike Carter, via GON Fishing Reports) — Weiss has gotten exciting with the consistent grass bite from postspawn bass feeding back up from their stressful spawn. Choo Choo Lures swim jigs with Lip Rippin Lures Craw trailers has been the ticket for some consistent action. Another fun bite for this time of year is using Snagproof Frogs in these grass areas. These Weiss bass absolutely crush a frog when they see it in the grass. The numbers may not be as much with a frog compared to a swim jig, but the quality will dang sure enough make up for it. The lake is at summer pool level, and even though the recent cold front caused the water temps drop into the upper 50s, the warmer days ahead will definitely get things back to normal and push the water temps back up into the upper 60s where they’re supposed to be for this time of year. Get out and have some fun!” Guide Mark Collins reports, “Bass fishing is fair, and most fish have spawned. Spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits in and around the grassbeds are producing fish.
Lake Weiss Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports and www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair and most fish have spawned and a lot of fish are starting to move to a summer pattern on main lake points, and the creek and river channels, Crank baits and Carolina rigs are working well. Spinner baits and chatter baits in and around the grass beds are still producing some fish. Crappie fishing is fair and they have spawned and started moving to deeper brush. Spider rigging with live minnows over brush near the spawning areas is the way to catch these post spawn fish. Striper fishing is good and they are in the upper Chattooga River and the Cave Hole, live Shad down lined and free lined is catching fish. Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water and cut bait is working best.
Northwest Georgia River Stripers: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — Our WRD crew recently wrapped up our annual monitoring of the striped bass run in the Coosa River basin, including the Coosa, Oostanaula, and Etowah Rivers. The spawning run finished weeks ago on the Oostanaula, and fish have headed back downstream toward the lake or to the normal summer refuge areas with cooler water. Fish are piled up in the cool waters of the Lower Etowah, especially on the upper end toward Allatoona Dam. We collected this 31-pound female (pictured) along with some other really nice fish on the Etowah during our final trip of 2021. Angler reports suggest that live bait in king, as usual, unless you catch the fish off guard when visibility is reduced by stained water or by fishing at dusk/dawn. Overall, we were encouraged by the numbers of one-year-old stripers found in the rivers this year, which are only in the 9-13” range now. Next year they will be 15-22” and 2-4 pounds, and by age-3 they should be in the 4-8 pound range.
Northeast Rivers Report: (This report courtesy of “The Dredger”, at Unicoi Outfitters) — When I crossed it this morning, the Hooch at Highway 115 was off-color, with maybe 3 feet of visibility due to the afternoon storms. Rivers will fish well when and where the bass and stripers can see your bugs. For bass, aim for the shady, shallow (3-4 ft deep) banks when it’s dingy, or toss big, bright streamers with lots of flash or a spinner blade (ex:Coyote) in slightly deeper water. For stripers, toss BIG (4-9 inch) streamers in muddier water than what is acceptable to bass. You can fish deeper water as the storms subside and rivers clear next week. Striper success is indirectly related to visibility. They need bad eyesight to be fooled with a fly.
WRD Trio Wild Trout Report: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — I showed a couple WRD coworkers (Phillips, Sibley) around one of my favorite small wild trout streams near Ellijay this past Sunday. This stream has two distinct sections, each with its own feel. The lower section runs through old farmland, and has lower gradient and a rocky gravel bottom. The upper section is high gradient with a mostly bedrock/ boulder bottom, surrounded by huge old growth oaks and hemlocks. Phillips and I started out in the morning on the lower section, and we had a blast throwing dry flies. Tiny midges were dancing above the riffles along with a larger caddis or mayfly appearing here or there, and we would see the occasional rise before casting our imitations into the mix. We both caught 7-8 rainbows in about two hours, along with a few creek chubs, Tennessee shiners, and warpaint shiners to complete the slam (haha). We met up with Sibley on the upper section after midday. Fishing was maybe just a bit slower, but we still managed to handle at least another half-dozen apiece, all on dries. Fish ranged from 6-10” with a good number of them on the larger size of the range. I caught one of the most beautiful rainbows I’ve ever seen early in the day on the lower section (see pic, though it does not do it justice). I thought for sure it was a colorful 10” male brookie before I actually had it in the net! A great time was had by all, and I’m sure we’ll be back soon.
Trout Stocking Helpers: (From Summerville Trout Hatchery Manager Josh Tannehill) — A group of kids from Whitefield Academy (Smyrna, GA) met our Summerville Hatchery crew on Stamp Creek in Bartow County this week. Thanks to the help of their bucket brigade, we were able to spread 800 rainbow trout nicely along the creek. We hope the kids enjoyed catching at least a few of these recent transplants later that day, as a reward for their efforts!
Trout Streams Report: (This report courtesy of “The Dredger,” at Unicoi Outfitters) — Little streams are low, clear, and cold. They get big and slightly brown after each heavy shower, but drop and clear within just a few hours. Try the usual fluffy or foamy dries for skinny water, and toss shot-laden squirmies or stonefly nymphs when the water is high and stained and the bigger fish come out to eat. Our larger trout streams are fishing decently in the mornings. The action is over by 11 or noon, as water temps nose toward 70 degrees. Low, clear rivers are tough on rookies, but great fun for experienced folks who want to perfect their dragless drifts before venturing West this summer. Find Unicoi Outfitters full weekly report on their Facebook page HERE .
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
Bass fishing at Walter F George is still going strong. At the Alabama Bass Trail 100 series last week, the first place bag weighed in at 25.26 with the biggest bass weighing 6.32-lb. It wasn’t just one team that lucked out on the lake. The third place team hauled in a bag weighing over 20 lbs. Anglers were successful when they found productive brush piles and standing timber that created shade for fish. There was little to no success in deep water. Teams used big bite baits worms with Texas riggs, plum apples, and creature baits.
Mayflies are here! And with them comes a fun new way to catch bream! Catching bream on a fly rod is a great challenge and very rewarding when the mayflies are around.
Be sure to stop by Flint River Outdoors to weigh in your fish for their monthly big fish contest! Both flathead and channel catfish are biting at Blackshear and your imagination is the limit on what bait to use.
Bass are not very hot right now but there are still some bites to be had, especially if you focus in on the vegetation and use topwater lures and hollow belly frogs. Like bass, the crappie bite is waning. Some anglers are still getting bites, but good electronics are critical to find them.
With the temperatures heating up so is the shoal bass fishing on the Flint! Fly rods are a fun way to go down, there but a traditional reel is good as well. The bait of choice for anglers have continued to be anything from big bite baits to fighting frogs in green pumpkin. Staying close to the rocky shoals is a good plan and the outflow of ditches and dams are good bets as well.
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