“Angling and the environment go hand in hand. The majority of anglers develop a deep sense of responsibility when it comes to protecting, enhancing and preserving the aquatic environment. Angling changes the way you look at the environment. It instils a respect for the natural world and teaches you the need for sustainability and a natural balance.” (From “Fishing and the environment: why the two are inextricably linked” by Robert MacDougall-Davis).
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Disease Discovery: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) is investigating Whirling Disease (WHD) and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) in hatchery-raised trout at the Buford and Summerville Trout Hatcheries. More info HERE.
- Electronics Workshop Scheduled for Tomorrow: Need something to do tomorrow (Sat. Aug. 28)? Head to the Go Fish Education Center in Perry GA for an electronics seminar by Pro Angler Clayton Batts.
This week, we have reports from Southwest, Southeast, North and Central Georgia. Thank YOU anglers for your protection of the angling environment. Now, let’s Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
It’s hot down at Lake Seminole and water temperatures are averaging about 87 degrees. The Flint and Chattahoochee arm are not muddy but have a slight stain to them. The Spring Creek arm continues to be pretty clear. After some rain associated with tropical storm Fred the water level is up in the lake. Bass fishing is still good and should keep using those top water lures like buzz bait and work them along the grass line and other vegetation. Early morning and evenings continue to be the best time to fish and cloud cover will also add to your success. While largemouth bass fishing has been good, Captain Paul Tyre of Lake Seminole Fishing Adventures reports that the hybrid bite is picking up. These fish are really fun to catch so keep an eye out. Birds feeding on the surface are a good indicator of hybrids in the water column. Try a deep crank bait or even a little silver spoon to mimic the threadfin which are the prey of choice.
The water level is up a bit in the flint after a bit of rain from the fall out of tropical storm Fred. Gar fishing can be a good time in high water conditions. Try using a jig head with some shredded nylon to pull in these neat looking fish. When the water level settles down again fishing will be really hot. Big shoal bass are being reported in the lower flint and these present a very fun opportunity for some fly fishing or just regular old rod and reel fishing. The bluegill and redear are also hot when the water level comes down and the waters clear a bit. Keep an eye out for those red “diver down” flags as the Flint River is also a popular scuba diving site.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
This week the hot spot at Silver Lake PFA is Frog pond. This 15-acre pond has been consistently producing 1-2 pound channel catfish with the occasional 10 pounder! Anglers have been hooking up on these cats with live worms under a bobber. Fishing is best in the morning before the sun gets high and brings out the gnats. It’s almost time to open Panic Pond! The gate opens 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday, September 4, so before you head out to the dove field on opening day, take a quick detour to wet a line in Panic Pond.
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
There are two bites to catch on Lake George right now. The first option is the shallow water bite. For this try using small top water lures and dragging them through the grass and other vegetation along the edges. This works well in the early mornings and on days with lots of sun. The other option is the deep-water bite. These fish are mostly hanging out on the ledges of channel bends and places with stumps or other natural and artificial structure. In places with current, use a deep crankbait or a slow rolled 1 to 1.5 oz spinner bait. Areas without current will benefit from a classic Texas rig. Watermelon candy, greens and Junebugs seems to be the best producing colors out there.
(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)
Daily, scattered rains have the rivers up and down (mostly up), so your most reliable bites will be saltwater and ponds again this week. The dog-days of summer are here!
Last quarter moon is August 30th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
ALTAMAHA AND OCMULGEE RIVERS
The Altamaha rose a bunch behind rains from Tropical Storm Fred, but folks still caught fish in the backwaters. Sterling Brumbaugh had a fun couple hours before he got run off by storms on Sunday. He fished an Altamaha River oxbow lake and caught 5 big purple-cheeked bluegills on 1/8-oz. purple tiger Satilla Spins. The river level on August 26th at the Abbeville gage on the Ocmulgee was 9.4 feet and falling. The Doctortown gage on the Altamaha was 8.9 feet and rising.
Fishing has been slow with the high water. A few folks fished in the boat basin on the Folkston entrance on Thursday, and they caught a couple fish each. The scenery is awesome, but don’t expect to catch many fish per trip again this week. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.6 feet.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
William Sehr of Ellabell caught his personal best bass on Friday at the area out of his kayak (he is a member of the SEGKBF). The monster was 24 inches long and weighed 9-lb., 11-oz.. It bit a crankbait.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
Charlie and Wyatt fished the area with their dad (Jason) on Thursday and caught 2 nice bass and a big bluegill, and they broke off a big bass near the bank. Wacky-rigged plastic worms and swimbaits produced their bass and a Rooster tail spinner fooled their bluegill. Charlie caught the biggest, a 2 1/2-pound bass on a wacky-rigged junebug stick worm.
Davis Summerlin caught another monster bass this weekend. He fooled the 10.6-lb. whopper with a big plastic worm. The biggest animal I heard about being caught on a rod and reel this week was an 8-ft, 10-in. alligator that was hooked, harpooned, and dispatched by Bill Janowsky of Colorado, Teddy Elrod, and Don Harrison. An honorable mention 7-ft., 9-in gator was caught by Chuck Coomer, Teddy Elrod and me this week, as well. A private pond near Brunswick produced those 2 gators and both groups used Gator Getter Rigs (2-oz. weights) for their catches.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Bill Janowski of Colorado and Don Harrison of Waycross fished out of St. Marys on Thursday. They tried to fish the jetties first thing, but the wind was already cranked up, preventing them from effectively presenting anything, so they came back inside and fished in Crooked River. They pitched shrimp on Redfish Wrecker Jigheads to catch about 10 different species. Their best eating fish was a keeper seatrout, but they caught plenty of other species that kept their poles bent. Capt. Greg Hildreth said that there were some tarpon around this week, but he didn’t fish inside because of the big full moon tides. One angler reported catching a few sheepshead on fiddlers and small flounder on mudminnows from a Brunswick area dock this week. Another angler fishing the St Simons Pier on Wednesday evening caught 8 flounder (3 keepers to 15 1/2 inches) on finger mullet. For guide trip information, call Capt. Greg Hildreth at (912) 617-1980 or check out his website. www.georgiacharterfishing.com 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 George Gavrielides, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
As expected, gamefish such as stripers and walleye are more difficult to catch than normal, but bass and bream fishing are good right now in our north Georgia lakes! As we transition towards cooler mornings and nights, bass, bream, and crappie will be on the lookout for topwater actions, so start tying on your Whopper Ploppers, buzz baits, and other topwater baits that make a lot of noise. As kids go back to school, a cool afternoon of fishing can be very successful and memorable. Use similar fishing methods in the mornings, and as you fish into mid-day, transition to ledges and river channels near deeper water to find bass hanging in cooler temperatures. Go-to baits include deep-diving crankbaits, drop shots, and shakey heads right now.
This time of year can be a great for fishing, but it will be hot! Remember to stay hydrated and enjoy the outdoors and all of our great north GA fishing resources healthy and comfortably.
Reports Brought To You Courtesty of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report, GON, and other contributors as specified below.
LAKE LANIER IS 1.45 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR, 80S
Bass (Courtesy of Phil Jonhson; Pjohnson15@hotmail.com; 770-366-8845): 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!
Striper (Courtesy of Buck Cannon; Buck Tails Guide Service; 404-510-1778): 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
Crappie (Courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493): 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
LAKE ALLATOONA IS 1.1 FEET OVER, CLEAR 80S
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.
WEST POINT LAKE IS FULL, CLEAR, 80S
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.
LAKE HARTWELL IS 1.7 FEET OVER FULL, 80’S
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.
WEISS LAKE IS FULL POOL AND CLEAR AND 84-86 DEGREE’S
Bass (Courtesy of Mark Collins Service; www.markcollins service.com; 256-779-3387): Bass fishing is fair and they are being caught on deep brush 8 feet or more, under deeper docks, and on the creek and river channel ledges. Pig and Jigs, Crank Baits, Spinner Baits and Carolina rigged plastics are all producing some good Bass. Tournament weights have really dropped the last few weeks.
Striper (Courtesy of Mark Collins Service; www.markcollins service.com; 256-779-3387): Striper fishing is fair and they are being caught in the lower Chattooga River, the Cave Hole and Little Spring Creek. Use live shad down lined about 8 to 10 feet deep and flat lined live shad.
Crappie (Courtesy of Mark Collins Service; www.markcollins service.com; 256-779-3387): Crappie fishing is good and they are on the Coosa River channel ledges in 12 to 15 feet of water on stumps and brush piles. Spider rigging with live minnows on the creek and river channel ledges and deep brush in the flats is the way to catch these summer Crappie. Shooting docks is producing a few Crappie also. Night fishing has turned on over the last few weeks, and they are being caught on live minnows.
Chattahoochee River (Courtesy of Orvis Atlanta): The Hooch is looking good. The flows are not too bad and if you time it right you can have great fishing all day. Some late night flows have been leaving the lower parts of the tailwater (Jone’s Bridge and Island Ford) a bit high and unfishable until later in the day. When this happens, the fishing at Buford Dam after the generating has ended and the flows have gotten down around 600 CFS is usually your best/ only bet. Midges, soft hackles, emergers and the Dirt Snake (worm patterns) are the go to’s in this area. Never be scared to throw a streamer! Look to smaller flies when fishing the upper section of the tail-water. Have a great selection of zebra midges from size 18-24 in red, black, and olive and 6X tippet for that gin clear water. For prospecting, a Pat’s Rubber-leggs Stone Fly imitation with a size 16 tungsten bead Rainbow Warrior as a dropper is hard to beat, Fish them under an indicator and it is sure to fool the timid of trout.
Unicoi Outfitters Report: From their blog Angler Management.
Disease Discovery: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) is investigating Whirling Disease (WHD) and Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) in hatchery-raised trout at the Buford and Summerville Trout Hatcheries. More info HERE.
(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 DOWN .62 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. There is a fair jig bite first thing in the morning just inside the mouth of Beaverdam Creek. Use the 1/2-ounce jigs on a rocky bottom in ten to fifteen feet of water. Have the Carolina rig ready and use it on the main lake points. The south end of the lake is slow. The Savannah River and Rocky River is the best area. Finding structure on the ledges near deep water will be best. Use the Lowrance Down Scan technology to find more fish spread out across the bottom. An occasional top water bite is not out of the question even with the warm water. Fish the east bank side of the rivers first. As the sun comes up, this will be in the shade longer and hold more bass.
CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 80S
Bass fishing is fair. Early in the mornings, head up into the rivers and bigger creeks. Try downsizing small finesse worms on a drop shot rig and light Carolina rigs. Fish along the channel ledges and use a #5 Shad Raps and along the banks from daybreak until around 9:30 a.m. Fish shallow water and use a slow retrieve. Use a finesse worm and small jigs. Fish deep water structure during the heat and fish slowly with a Carolina rig. Keep a Zoom Fluke on a light lead head as this will match up to the sizes of the baits the bass are eating. Keep a pearl Zoom Super Fluke rigged all day for any action on the surface.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80S
Bass: Bass fishing is fair. At first light fish a buzz bait on sea walls and rip rap from the middle of the coves and creeks out to the main lake. White or white/chartreuse have been the best color. TTT can also find some fish up the rivers on wood structure on the deeper banks. Use a dark color jig around and in blow downs. This area is also a good place to work the buzz bait at first light. As always during the summer fish the rip rap around the bridges when Georgia Power is pulling water in the afternoons. A rattle trap, spinner bait, or a small crank bait will all produce a strike. Deep diving crank baits off the south end humps will also pick up as we move into summer.
Striper: Striper fishing is fair. There are some small fish feeding at the dam first thing in the morning. Live bait and spoons will catch these small fish. The next option is umbrella rigs on humps on the south end, but this is not very predictable. Also catching a few up Richland Creek on live shad.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The fish have moved into their summer locations. Look on the creek ledges as well as in the deeper timber. Use the Lowrance structure scan to locate the timber with the crappie in it. Once the fish show up use a jig or drop a live bait into the school.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Top water baits have just about stopped producing, but it’s probably still worth trying for the first hour after daybreak. The best locations should be along main lake banks and a short distance inside the mouth of coves. Seawalls and blow downs have been best, but grass can also produce, especially if the lake is less than one foot below full pool. Baits like Pop R’s, Chug Bug’s, and Torpedo’s have produced most of the summer. If the water is calm, also try a Spook Jr. or similar bait. Rip rap along the bridges in Little River are still holding fish, but the angler will have to fish slow and thorough to catch a few. Try a lightweight Texas rig and a jig head and worm. Fish the underwater rocks from shallow to where they end in deep water. Dock fishing is slow, but it’s still possible to catch a few fish from around or under them. Dead sticking a Texas rig worm is probably the best chance for success. Carolina rigs and crank baits are producing a few fish around humps, points, and ledges at 10 to over 20 feet deep. If fish are located on or near the top of said structure use the crank bait like the Norman DD14, the DD22, and the Rapala DT10 and DT14 all in the chartreuse and shad patterns. A Carolina rig is usually best when the fish are holding slightly deeper along the sides of the structures. Try a Zoom Finesse worm on a 1/0 Mustad hook with a 3-foot leader and ½ to ¾ ounce weight.
LAKE JACKSON IS .70 FEET OVER FULL, CLEAR 80S
Bass fishing is fair. Lots of water came through recently. During the day, go to backs of the creeks early and work out toward the main lake. Spots are after small top water baits like the Pop R and the Zara Spook Jr. in shad patterns. The best pattern on catching numbers of bass early and late is to stay up in the rivers. The Alcoy River or the Yellow Jacket is fair, and the bass are on the docks. Docks with any structure are easy to find on Jackson with the Lowrance Structure Scan down Scan technology. Just ride and look under every dock until the best brush pile shows up. Use a Zoom u tail worm on a Texas rig and use a light 3/16-ounce Tungsten sinker for the smaller profile. Flip, pitch or cast the red shad color up under the dock starting with the areas nearest the bank. Work the entire dock, both sides and the front, then move to the next one. The brush piles between the docks as well as the lay down trees needs to be checked out as well. The red shad color can be seen better in the stained water and lighter colors need not be considered. The Texas rig will prevent hang ups in the brush piles and allow the built-in rattle to work at peak performance. Try the Weedless Wonder lead head with the worms. The rivers will have current from the constant moving water so go no further than mid-way up for best results.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Surface Temperature: 87.6˚ F (30.9˚ C)
- Water Level: 23” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 17”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
The lake is a little lower than from the last report, but this hasn’t affected the available structure much. The reports from bass fishermen has been a slow bite but we are still seeing a few good bass in the 4lb. range. Bream are still being caught by bank fishermen. The early morning before the heat of the day kicks in and late evening have been the most popular times.
Bass: Buzz baits, Plum-colored worms. Watermelon or Pumpkinseed Culprit worms. Any shad-colored lures fished around the aerators.
Bream: Worms – Red Wigglers and Pinks. The bream have been reported to be biting from the boat ramp area over to the cypress trees. The gravel beds continue to produce some good catches of bedding bream
Channel Catfish: Red Wiggler and pinks worms have been reported to produce good catches of catfish; fishing the deeper water along the dam and from the back side has produced some good catches.
Crappie: We are seeing some fishermen having good luck fishing overnight and early morning. The fishing pier continues to produce good mixed catches of bream, crappie and bass caught fishing at night and early morning. Try casting a minnow in the shade of the pier.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water level: All bodies of water are at full pool except Greenhouse pond.
- Water clarity: 18”- 40”
- Surface temperature: 75-85 degrees.
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Bass fishing may improve as the water temps cool towards the end of the month, although most of the fish will still be in deeper water. Many nice fish have been caught this summer. Most of the nice fish have been caught late in the evening or early in the morning. Look for feeding activity at these times and test your skill and luck.
Crappie: Crappie fishing will improve later in the month if water temperatures decrease enough. Try fishing for fish that are suspended over brush in deeper water (>7’).
Bream: Bream fishing has remained steady. Waxworms and pink worms fished on or near the bottom are popular.
Wondering what effects Climate change will have on my favorites fisheries Lakes Rivers ,Streams and Ocean