What have you taught your kids about conservation? A great way to introduce the concept is to take them fishing. While enjoying a fun activity, you can talk about simple steps like the importance of clean water, picking up after ourselves to protect the natural resources, and things like respecting catch limits. Need more info about fishing with kids? Click HERE.
This week, we have reports from North, Central, Southeast and Southwest Georgia. Put your teacher hat on and get out there and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Jackson Sibley, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. Allatoona starts a positive transition this month. The last month or so it has been stale and slow to say the least. We are seeing the top water bite on the increase, and as we get cooler nights by the end of the month, it will be on fire. The buzz bait is a favorite fall baits on Allatoona. First thing in the morning, fishing the buzz bait parallel to bluff walls and blow downs is the most productive. Make sure the bait is banging off the rocks and wood for the best results. Fish like to feel as if they are trapping the bait against the shoreline. The swim bait bite is slow at the start of the month but it better as waters cool. Baits like the 6 inch BBZ, the HPH 6 inch Gizzard and the Triple Trout are hard to beat. The Carolina rig bite gets good by the end of the month as fish roam more and get active. A 4 foot leader, 1 ounce weight and a 3/0 Gamakatsu Skip Gap hook tipped with a green pumpkin Big Bite Fighting Frog is my setup.
Allatoona Bass (Reports courtesy of GON’s Fishing Report) — Tournament angler Matt Driver reports, “The month of August is extremely tough. Hot weather and boat traffic make it difficult to catch a good stringer. With patience, you can catch them. A lot of the fish that we are catching right now are small, but a few decent fish show up from time to time. The most consistent bite right now is on bluff walls with a drop-shot rig and a Ned rig. With all the rain we’ve had, the water has been up higher than normal, but water temps are slightly cooler. That could possibly change later this month if the rain slows down. Most of the time I am a run-and-gun style fisherman, but with summer heat and a non-aggressive bite, I am slowing way down. The Berkley PowerBait Flat Worm and the Missile Baits Bomb Shot are working the best right now. The Picasso Ned rig tipped with either a morning dawn or bluegill colored RoboWorm is the way to go. I am downsizing my line to 5 and 7 pounds fluorocarbon. The month of August is probably the toughest month in my opinion for good fish, but fall is coming, so be patient. Once the temperatures start to cool and the lake has less boat traffic, things will get better.”
Allatoona Lake Levels: Keep track of daily lake level changes HERE.
Allatoona Linesides (Report courtesy of Robert Eidson www.firstbiteguideservice.com) — Fishing is outstanding! The downline bite is in full swing, and the hybrids are just killing live bait right now. Our boats are having very good mornings right now. On most days, we are seeing 20 to 50 fish per boat on half-day trips. Shad is still out-fishing shiners, but the shiner bite is probably the best we have seen in years. But with that being said, shad is still out-producing shiners five to one. The better bite is on the south end of the lake. Stamp, Cooper Branch, Iron Hill, Red Top and Clark creeks are all fishing well right now. There is also a bite mid-lake, but it just doesn’t compare to the bite on the south end. The trolling bite is also starting to pick up. It is hard to beat a Captain Mack’s four-arm umbrella rig loaded with 9 1/2-oz. jigs fished 100 feet out at 2.4 mph. The topwater bite is also starting to get good early and then again right before sundown within eyesight of the dam. Fishing right now is as good as it gets on Lake Allatoona.
Lake Burton (Reports courtesy of GON’s Fishing Report) –
- Bass: Wes Carlton reports, “The bass bite has been great in the mornings and a little slow in the afternoons. We have been catching most of our fish on an underspin tipped with a paddletail in the backs of creeks over the grass. We have had some bigger fish come off a Whopper Plopper 90. This bite had been really strong between 8 and 10 a.m. Look for the grass midway back in the creeks in 16 to 20 feet of water. Most of these areas are holding good fish. This bite should continue over the next few weeks.”
- Trout: Wes Carlton reports, “The brown trout bite has been a little slow the last week or so. The few we have caught have been on small minnows weighted with a split-shot. We have been targeting the main river channel. Early morning seems to be the better time. This bite should pick up any day now as we head toward the end of August.”
Lake Hartwell Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. Fish are on the deep structure, deeper docks and blow downs all day. Also try throwing crank baits and jigs around the shade of bridge piers. Try fishing in the early morning with top water baits. Throwing buzz baits or torpedo style prop baits are good choices. Drop shot rigs, deep running cranks baits and Carolina rigged plastics should be fished during the day. Before the sun gets up stick to fishing with buzz baits. Covering water can be the key to success. When fishing buzz baits be sure the bait is moving as soon as it hits the water and reel them back just on the surface. If a normal presentation isn’t producing, try “dead sticking” the bait, allowing it to sit motionless for 10 to 30 seconds before moving slightly. Open water structure fishing has gotten tougher, but bass can still be caught around some points and ledges, especially up both rivers. Depths are mostly 6 to 15 feet deep up the lake. Sammie’s or prop baits fish a little slower and try these baits in prime areas. Near wood or rock structure for instance. Fish should strike on or after a pause. Focus on main lake rock, riprap, and sea wall features. Fish main lake areas with some depth at or near the banks.
Lake Hartwell Bass (Report courtesy of Rick Owen www.captmacks.com) — The Lake Hartwell Largemouth Bass as well as Spotted Bass bite continues to be good. Most of the bass boats are still focused on shallow points and around underwater islands, shoals and old road beds. I’m seeing a lot of boats fishing the rocky banks around the dikes close to the dam later in the day. Largemouth and Spotted Bass are still being caught on Weedless Wonders rigged with several different plastics, SteelShads, Mini Mack’s as well as your various Crankbaits, Spinner baits, Topwater baits, Jerkbaits and swimbaits. The evening bite is still good and the fish are pulling up on the points and around dock lights.
Go-to baits for this week:
- SteelShad in all sizes and colors are working great. The mini SteelShad is working the best on points in the mornings when the bait is shallow. The Heavy Series is working over schools of bait in the main lake. Be prepared to throw this bait at schooling fish for a guaranteed hook up.
- Captain Mack Mini Mack’s with or without blades, both work great. This bait is effective while being fished off of deeper points or around bridges and docks.
- Ned Rigs and hard and soft Jerk Baits of your preference. We are catching some good fish on swimbaits as well.
- Captain Mack Weedless Wonder Shakey Head in Green Pumpkin. Use the plastic of your choice. This is the BEST Bass bait that I know of for Lake Hartwell and I recommend that you not go to the lake without rods rigged with the Weedless Wonder Shakey Head!
- Blade Baits and Swim baits. There are too many types to mention but my two favorite are made by SteelShad and Sebile. Now that the fish are moving deeper the Heavy Series SteelShads will cover the deeper bite over schools of bait and fish.
Lake Hartwell Linesides (Report courtesy of Rick Owen www.captmacks.com) — Striper and Hybrid fishing on Lake Hartwell is excellent! Most of the fish are now being caught from the middle of the lake past Portman Marina all the way to the dam on the Seneca River side. On the Tugaloo Side, concentrate your search from Harbor Light Marina to the dam. Don’t overlook the many coves and pockets off of the main river channels. The fish are still bunching up in coves and pockets early in the mornings and when you find them the bite will be quick. As the day progresses the fish move into deeper waters and look for a clean bottom near trees or off a major river channel. Currently most of the Stripers and Hybrids are being caught in thirty-five to seventy feet of water. We have also seen some early morning and late afternoon schooling activity. The live bait bite is the best and fastest way to catch a good box of fish. If you find fish suspended in the deeper waters be sure to Power Reel these fish for a fast hook up. These fish are typically much larger fish than the ones you will catch off of live bait on down rods.
Go-to baits for this week:
- Live Blueback Herring fished on down rods and freelines. Try rigging these bait on the new Okuma Striper Rods that Captain Mack Offers. I have tested these rods and the action they provide makes the live bait bite a lot of fun!
- SteelShad are still working great for schooling or breaking fish. This bait will catch all bass species when cast to points or fished in deep or shallow waters.
- Captain Mack Umbrella Rigs. I will not go to the lake without them!
- Captain Mack Mini Mack’s – they will catch good fish if trolled or pulled behind your Perfect Planer Boards. The fish are still biting the Mini Mack behind planer boards and will do so until the water temperatures get above eighty five plus degrees.
- Capt Macks Underspin Jigs. These baits are excellent for trolling on Lead core line, or to pull behind the down rigger. Tip them with your favorite plastic trailer or a Herring and Hang on!
- Chipmunk Jigs for Power Reeling, it time to stock up as Power Reeling will soon take off. I suggest the 2oz with stinger hook rigged on a Captain Mack Power Reeling Mustard Stick Rod. You will not find another rod that will work better for Power Reeling.
- Parker Spoons/Hawg Spoons. Fantastic for power reeling, pulled on the lead core, or behind the down rigger. This bite will only get better as the bigger fish move into deeper water.
Lake Hartwell Crappie (Report courtesy of Rick Owen www.captmacks.com) — The Crappie bite has continued to be good on Lake Hartwell. Many of the fish are still suspended over or around the brush in thirty plus feet of water. We are also seeing Crappie around deep bridge columns and under the docks that are in deep water near river channels. If you Crappie fish year round you most likely have your own way of locating and following Crappie during the hot summer months. During the summer transition spider rigging jigs while watching your electronics is a must to catch Crappie during this time of the year. Fishing stake beads stumps and brush piles with your favorite Lake Hartwell Jigs will get the job done. If you have the right electronics with down imaging and side imaging the Crappie will be much easier to locate. I will suspend this Crappie Report as the fish move deeper and I will stop fishing for Crappie until it cools off again. If you love to fish for panfish now is a great time to get the red worms and crickets out and take a kid fishing. The bream bite has been great! If you have a group of kids that would be interested in taking a SCDNR Fishing Class at no cost to them and a fun day of catching Bream just let me know. I furnish everything that’s needed.
- Blue Ice Jigs seem to be the go to color on Lake Hartwell right now. You may want to move up to bigger jig heads as the fish move deeper. When every other color fails on Lake Hartwell we find that chartreuse still will catch fish. Bobby Garland is my choice but many other brands also work great.
- Small Minnows under floats. This may not be your cup of tea but it still works and the bigger Crappie will take live bait when they won’t take anything else.
- Chartreuse and white jigs are working well when blue ice or blue grass colors fail.
- Custom Jigs are working if you can find the right ones. It’s still a good idea to see what is selling the best at your local bait shops. If the bait shop is out of certain bait you may want to see when they are scheduled to get their next shipment so that you can give it a try.
Lanier Habitat Enhancement (Report courtesy of fisheries biologist Hunter Roop) — On Thursday this week, Gainesville Fisheries Technician William Sims and Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop planted 500 American Waterwillow (Justicia americana) along the shoreline of the Flowery Branch cove on Lake Lanier. The aquatic plants were reared at the Walton greenhouse and will serve as beneficial shoreline habitat for fish and aquatic organisms, in addition to providing shoreline stability. After 64 years of watershed development and shoreline erosion on Lake Lanier, fish habitat enhancement opportunities like this can potentially increase the carrying capacity of sportfish populations while giving anglers habitat to target when fish move shallow in the spring and fall.
Lanier Bass (Report Courtesy of Phil Johnson via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lanier has been good to excellent. The August blues of bass fishing seem to have skipped Lanier this year. Usually this time of year the fishing gets very tough as the temperature gets miserable but not this year. The bass are still actively feeding and it is not uncommon to see schooling fish. This past Monday was one of the magical days on Lanier when it seemed like fish were everywhere. I spoke with several other boats that also had an excellent day with reports of catching thirty plus fish for the day with some good size included. It was a day where they pretty much bit everything. The bite was driven by wind and the approaching tropical storm. Top water and Weightless Jerkshad did most of the damage. With the wind the Chug bug, Gunfish and Whopper Plopper were the main baits for good top water action. All three of these baits will perform better with wind. The fish are on main lake humps and long points in fifteen to thirty feet of water. Brush on these areas is definitely a plus. One thing to be aware of is if you catch a fish from over the brush be aware that the entire school of fish there may follow your caught fish to the boat. If so, you may want to leave for a while and return. This gives the fish time to reposition. A white pearl Jerkshad produced a lot of fish this week. Make a long cast and work this bait very quickly for ten feet and stop it. Be ready for a bite on the fall. There were several days over the last week with no wind and just hot temperatures, this is when the Dropshot paid off. Working the Fruity Worm Blue Lily or Morning Dawn on the Dropshot with a two foot leader seemed to be the magic ticket. Use your electronics to determine whether you need to drop this bait directly into the brush or if the fish are scatter around it. While the fishing is good please be aware of the temperatures. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to not let the heat knock you out of a good days fishing. The bass are chewing so Go Catch “Em!
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Buck Cannon via www.southernfishing.com) — Stripers are moving south to the deep water where the oxygen level is healthy. You can use your electronics to locate bait and the top water activity will indicate fish in the area so use the down lines with blue backs at a depth of 40 feet deep that seems to be where the bait last the longest and after 9:45 am the heat is notoriously uncomfortable so switch to umbrella rigs or lead core and troll around humps and points at around 2.8-3.5 mph most jig head will produce tipped with a swim bait or a blue back , 8 colors behind the boat. Buck Tales guide service 404-510-1778.
Lanier Crappie (Report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton via www.southernfishing.com) — Crappie fishing is good. The water temperatures are in the mid 80s. The hot bite zone is 10 to 15 foot deep. Don’t be afraid to look at your shallow water spots you might like what you find. Just because someone told you crappie only bite in deep water in the summer they might not have told the fish. The crappie are on the docks and also can be found on open water brush piles and blow downs. I always put out a Crappie minnow this week the crappie just wanted a minnow 98% of the time. If you have live scope or active imaging set the minnows just above the fish. Right now I am setting the minnows around 10’-15’ deep. For best results use an active minnow not a dead minnow. Look under covered docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water and near a main channel look for 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 this week’s hot color is a solid white soft plastic. Jigs can be used for short casting, vertical jigging, trolling or dock shooting. When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. Let your jig sink and give it time to get down to the fish and retrieve your jig slowly. I’m using ATX lure companies plastics I use 5 pound test high visibility yellow braid for my line (unless I am using a bobber) and a Piscifun reel on a Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages @crappieonlanier & @fishingwitheverydayheroes
West Point Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. Lots of rain and runoff this week. Try fishing the bridges and points by some deeper water and maybe catch some good fish. Hopefully we will get some rain to cool our water down. Fish are being caught on Shakey Heads with a red bug or green pumpkin finesse worm. Fish points and ledges with deep water near by and watch the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology. Mid lake and south bass are being caught a Lucky Craft Sammy’s and a suspending jerk baits in silver or shad pattern. Deep cranking is still catch fish however not the hottest pattern going. Try a Poe’s 400 in the shad and Crawdad pattern. Feel the bottom and change the retrieve every so often.
To learn about Georgia’s diverse trout fishing opportunities including the latest stocking information, check out Georgia DNR Trout Fishing page.
North Georgia Trout (Report courtesy of Jeff at Unicoi Outfitters) — This week’s theme is “Recession,” as we all wait for streams to recede from Fred’s overabundant rainfall. Your best bets, or really your only bets, will be very high or very low: small headwater streams and impoundments. Even with the predicted afternoon storms for the next few days, bluelines have small watersheds and typically shed their high flows very quickly – within a day or so.
Flat water- ponds, lakes, and reservoirs- is your second option. Beware of washed-in debris such as logs, which are boating safety concerns. Find the “mud lines” where blood-red stormflows mix with clear lake water. Those zones of stained water are hotspots, where food and cooler water wash in, the lower clarity gives predators a sense of safety, and the stain hides you while disguising your flies and lures.
As stormflows recede, be ready for some “stream rearrangements.” Old pools might disappear and new ones will show up. Same goes for logjams. You might enjoy fishing a “new” stream or two after these major flood events.
In terms of future trout, these floods really loosen up stream gravels and flush fine sediments from them. That’s good news for romantic specks and browns this fall and the rainbows next spring. Clean gravel is vital to mountain trout reproductive success here in Georgia.
We do have some good pre-flood reports from local waters and some nice intel from friendly western trekkers. Wes’ hot fly list and some recent angler reports follow on our Facebook page and at blog.angler.management. Enjoy the weekend while being careful in post-storm flows.
- Wes’ Hot Fly List: Dries: Quick-site beetle, hard body ant, micro dchubby, yellow humpy, yellow stimulator, parachute Adams, tan elk hair caddis.
- Nymphs: brown pats rubberlegs, San Juan and squirmy worms, tan mop, sexy Walt’s worm, flashback pheasant tail, mini leech, prince nymph, Green weenie, and black fur ant when waters clear.
- Streamers & warmwater: Black woolly bugger, chartreuse-over-white Clouser, Kreelex,sweet baby cray, polar changer, Mr Wiggly, CK baitfish.
Headwaters: We had no recent reports. The key here will be to high-stick the flood refuges while flows are higher. Boost your dry fly a size or two (12’s and 14’s) to give residents enough reason to rise. Scale back down to smaller size 16’s or so once the waters recede and clear and those wild fish resume their summer nervousness.
Wash-Down Stockers: Watch the Friday GAWRD stocking list. Look at last Friday’s list and head to downstream flood refuges (pools, logjams, etc) to prospect for wash-downs from upper stocking sites. Then check streamflows tomorrow and Saturday to see if this week’s stockers will hold in place or get displaced to those downstream refuges, too.
Rivers: Dredger waited for the sun to fall and then hit a Hooch shoal at 7pm last Friday. He stuck with “dries” in hopes of some summer surface action in the low, clear water. The black stealth bomber was eaten twice. He switched to a white one as dusk creeped in at 8 and had one more bite before quitting at 8:30. All three Shoalies bent his 6-weight rod and then took to the air, with one successfully shaking the hook. He fondled two up to 15 inches and called it a successful trip.
Recreation Conditions Alert following Tropical Storm Fred: Please visit the Recreation Condition Report to learn the current status for developed recreation sites.
Summertime Trout Considerations: Check out this article written by “Trout Professor” Robert Prytula for tips on best practices for trout fishing during the summer.
Parting Trout Note: Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia? Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs. Hatcheries and wild trout efforts both benefit from the trout tag.
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant.
LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Think shallow structure all day. On days that a buzz bait works, it’s the lure to throw. A buzz bait can be worked faster, allowing the angler to cover water faster. It’s a good idea to fish a smaller quieter bait like a 1/8 or ¼ ounce size and a larger, noisier bait like a ½ ounce size. Also, try the Pop R’s, Chug Bug’s, and Baby Torpedo’s. After top water fishing ends, bass can be caught on shallow rock points and any reef marker on the trick worms. A few bass are being caught on Carolina rigged Zoom finesse or u tail worms in the green pumpkin or watermelon color. Fish these baits on 12-pound test Sufix line with a 2 to 3-foot leader using 10-pound test line. Fish the long main lake points and under water islands. Slow down and watch the line for any movement. A Texas rigged worm in watermelon color fished on 6-pound test line with a 1/16-ounce weight on the rip rap will catch a few fish. Fish this bait slowly. For the crank bait use a small Fat Free Shad in Citrus Shad and bump the bottom up lake.
CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Fish with the trick worms and the Carolina rig. Color will play in important role as the water near the feeder creeks and up in the rivers has a little bit of color to it. The big key is to work all baits very slowly. A lot of strikes are happening while the bait is sitting still for thirty seconds or more. A Texas rigged Zoom U tale worm fished in brush piles or on long rock points will bring a few good bites. Work the bait slow and be a line watcher. Carolina rigged worm fishing the deeper end of long points or under water islands will also work for a few bites. Using a good dipping dye like JJ’s Magic will improve the chances of catching more fish. Use 12-pound test as the main line with an 18 to 24-inch leader line of 10-pound test on the Carolina rig. Working the bait from all sides of the points will help discover how the fish are holding. A drop shot rig is also catching a few fish in brush. Make sure when to feel the brush to slow down and let the bait stay in the strike zone if possible. Find the fish with the Lowrance Side Scan and Down Scan technology. Now use the Active Target to spot the fish out in front of the boat.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S
- Bass: Bass fishing is fair. The temperature is 86 to 89 degrees. The lake is clear from above the I-20 Bridge to the dam. It is also full. There are still a lot of shad around the bridges at first light. A white/chartreuse buzz bait fished along the rip rap will draw some good strikes. Make sure to have a trick worm tied on and ready with a follow up if they miss the buzz bait. There is also a good crank bait bite on the south end of the lake on the main lake humps. For a lot of bites, fish the main lake docks around deeper water with a small Texas rigged worm in a dark green color. These are smaller fish but a lot of fun to catch.
- Striped Bass: Striper fishing is fair to good. A lot of white bass are schooling on top early and late. You can target these fish with a small inline spinner or a small jig head with a paddle tail grub on it. These fish are feeding on very small baits so match the hatch. For the hybrids troll a Mine Mack around the schooling whites. The hybrids are just below the white bass. This bite can happen anywhere on the lake so be ready.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The crappie are in their summer tree tops all over the lake. Use your Lowrance to locate the crappie in the tree and then drop a live crappie minnow into the tree top and start loading the cooler.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.3 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is good. The rain the past few days has helped the shallow bite. A lot of shad and baitfish have already started moving back in the pockets and creeks, giving us a preview of what the fall transition will be like. Shallow crank baits and top water are hard to beat in the morning and evening. The best crank bait for both quantity and quality has been the Spro Little John 50 in the Nasty Shad color. Fish this crank bait around sea walls, docks and points adjacent to the main river channel. Try to bump the crank bait off dock posts or any wood cover. Deflection is the key to getting reaction bites when fishing a crank bait. A Spro Bronzeye frog in the Leopard color will also produce around grass beds near points or under overhanging trees in the morning and evening as well. A jig and a shaky head are still catching fish around brush piles and shady docks. A green pumpkin Buckeye Mop jig has been the bait of choice around these brush piles and docks. If no bites on the jig, try a Spot Remover shaky head in the same place to get a few extra bites. A green pumpkin Zoom trick worm is the best plastic to pair with the shaky head. The deep bite is still consistent in depths of 18 to 23 feet. Carolina rigs, drop shot rigs, and a Spro Little John DD crank bait are best in the offshore locations. As always, the deep bite will be best when Georgia Power is moving water.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.1 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. A Texas rigged or a Carolina rigged worm fishing the deeper end of long points or under water islands is the best bet. Use 12-pound test main line with an 18 to 24-inch leader line of 10-pound test on the Carolina rig. Working this bait from all sides of the points will help find how the fish are holding. Any rocks or brush, fish that area for a longer time. A large crank bait will work better. Spinner baits and Chatterbaits can work on shallow cover early if the fish shy away from top water presentations. If top water is not producing, head on out to the points and use the Lowrance to find the fish in the 10 to 12-foot range. Also, look for a crank bait bite out on the deep structure like points, humps, and bluffs. The Bandit 300 or Shad Rap in a natural color is a good choice. Pull up to the points and try the crank bait. Follow up with plastic and be willing to move on. Try the same areas again, later in the day. Throw big cranks like the DD22. Fish can hold deep, so Carolina rigging is a good idea. Plastic rigged on 1/4-ounce jig heads will also be effective in deeper water. Finesse worms, Speed Craws, Ole Monsters, and jigs will take fish out of the deep blow downs and brush piles. Pay extra attention to blow downs later in the afternoon. Work the jig and craw and Trick worms to the bottom and up through the limbs. Fish the shaky rig on deep main lake docks.
MCDUFFIE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Temperature: 87 F
- Water Visibility: 25-48+ in
Bass: Bass are biting well in both shallow waters and in deeper waters near structures. Creature lures, whopper ploppers, super flukes, and crank baits are all still yielding nice bass. Fishing late in the afternoon in the shallows of Willow Lake, casting near the pumphouse or fishing peninsulas on Bridge consistently yields nice catches.
Bream: Bream bite has been slow, but nice bream are being caught around the area. Fallen trees and docks on Clubhouse and Bream Buster are doing well, while working the dams on Bridge Lake has landed some nice bream.
Channel Catfish: Catfish bite remains consistently steady. Fishermen are catching limits on chicken liver and the usual stink baits. Best lakes for catfish are Willow, Clubhouse, and Beaver Lodge.
Striped Bass: Striped bass bites have been slower. No recent reports of striped bass being caught.
Caption – Kris Irwin (left) caught a monster 42 1/2-inch redfish on Friday while fishing with his friends Robert Bringolf and Bert Deener (right) at the St Marys Jetties. He caught it on a 3/4-oz. mullet-colored Bucktail Jig.
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Saltwater and ponds will be your best bets again this week. The southeast Georgia rivers didn’t get too much additional rain from Fred (they were already high), but the Altamaha system got pounded by the storm and is rising again. The dog-days of summer are here!
Fishing has been slow with the high water. On Thursday, an angler who fishes the east side regularly caught a warmouth and a couple small fliers by pitching crickets and worms for 3 hours. The fish spread out into the prairies when the water is high, and it is hard to find a concentration of them. The scenery is awesome, but don’t expect to catch many fish per trip this week. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.65 feet.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
Despite the heat, anglers caught some big bass this week. On Sunday evening, several kayak anglers did really well. I know of 4 bass between 21 3/4 and 23 3/4 inches that they caught. The crappie bite has been slow in the heat. Remember, bass are catch-and-release at the area.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Bobby Thompson fished the St Marys Jetties on Friday and caught a great mess of good eating fish. He threaded a piece of shrimp on a 1/4-oz. jighead and caught 12 small jack crevalle, 20 big croaker, 2 trout, a short redfish, a black drum, and a whole host of bait-stealers…..and a 100-pound stingray… Robert Bringolf and Kris Irwin came down to fish the St. Marys Jetties with me and had a great day on Friday. We caught 4 redfish up to 42 1/2 inches on Capt. Bert’s Bucktail Jigs and Jetty Jigs with Keitechs and Sea Shads. A 31-incher ate a mudminnow on a Jetty Jig. We also had 3 bulls power across the rocks and break off. We had a couple trout, bluefish, and several other species, as well. On Saturday the winds swung around from the east and made it really choppy. The east breeze also kept the tannic, fresh river water around the rocks. I think those two factors were key to slowing down the bite. We jumped a big tarpon and had a bunch of bait stealers eat squid and Sea Shads and trout eat bucktails, but the big bull reds eluded us for the 4 hours we were on the water before storms ran us off. Capt. Greg Hildreth said that it was slow this week. He fished Thursday and saw a handful of tarpon but wasn’t able to get any of them to eat. 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 Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Bream fishing has been good on Blackshear. Worms and crickets are still the bait of choice for these guys. Early mornings and evening have been good, but the night fishing is also excellent. Catfish have been providing nice bites recently and are attracted to any smelly bait you can think of. Some anglers have been catching some nice bass as night around the docks in about 4 feet of water. If you catch a nice fish be sure to take it by Flint River Outdoors to have it weighed in for their monthly Big Fish Contest!
TIRED CREEK LAKE
Bream fishing has been hot at Tired Creek Lake. There are still some bream bedding down there and worms and crickets are a good bet. Since there is a cricket shortage out there you can also try using some small plastic jigs. Ealy morning and late evening fishing are the way to go to beat the heat and if you have a good set up night fishing can provide some good catches! Bass and crappie fishing is not great this time of year but if you are up for the challenge, you may be able to snag a bite or two.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Bream: Most bream are closer to the banks and seeking shady cover to keep cool. Crickets and worms are excellent live bait for bream. Also, small grub like plastic jigs can work well anytime of the year; try black, white, and chartreuse colors. Bream have small mouths so fish with small hooks for the best results. Fish for them in shallow areas around shady spots with smaller hooks. The new pier may be a good spot.
Catfish: The rocks along the dam are always a good spot to try and catch big channel cats. However, cat fishing has been good in deeper water over much of the lake. Some catfish are being caught on cut bait and shrimp as well as worms (flat tails) and livers.