Planning ahead here…if you were going to be a famous angler for Halloween, who would you choose? Pretty sure I can make a Bill Dance character happen in our household.
NEWS TO KNOW
- BOW Workshop Scheduled for November: Ladies, have you ever wanted to head out to go backpacking or fishing or shooting, but not sure where to start? The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Workshop, scheduled for Nov. 5-7 at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, provides a practical introduction to a wide variety of outdoor recreational skills and activities. Deadline to register is Oct. 20. More info including activities/classes and a registration link HERE.
- Record Fish: Have you ever wanted to take a look at some of the record-breaking fish from Georgia? You can do that HERE. David Hubbard’s shoal bass record was recently added to this page thanks to his family recently getting a copy of it to us!
This week, we have reports from Southwest, Central, North and Southeast Georgia. Enjoy the reports and 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)
TIRED CREEK LAKE
Fishing at Tired Creek Lake continues to be slow. There is an occasional bass bite to be had but its very early in the morning and in the evening if you can find it. We are waiting for the temperature to cool consistently and then the crappie bite will heat up! When that happens be sure to target underwater structure to grab yourself a tasty bite for dinner!
Crappie: The Crappie bite is continuing to pick up as we move into fall. It will really pick up as the temperature drops but now is as good a time as any to get out there and try your hand. Use the tried and true minnow method for crappie or give local SugarBug crappie jigs a try!
Catfish: The catfish bite continues to be good. If your tired of your old smelly bait for catfish try using a piece of ivory soap to lure those suckers. You might be pleasantly surprised with your catch and the nice smell of your bait!
Bass: The bass bite is also a good option on Blackshear. You need to be out there early in the morning or at dusk to have much luck. A hollow belly frog in chartreuse or green pumpkin are always a crowd favorite. Work them along the edge of vegetation for the best results. And be sure to stop by Flint River Outdoors to weigh in your catches for their monthly big fish contest.
The water is way up on the Flint River and now is a great time to get out there in a boat and try you luck with the bream, catfish, and shoal bass. The red breasted sunfish are looking particularly nice right now. To catch them try crickets on a small hook. Remember that they have small mouths so use a hook that is the appropriate size for the fish you are targeting. The flathead catfish are also out in forces right now and any smelly bait should get their attention. Chicken liver, hotdogs and shad are all crowd pleasers.
(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. The temperatures are starting to cool. Work the main lake rocky points leading into the creeks. Fish with Zoom U Tail green worms and spinner baits along with a variety of crank baits and an occasional top water bait. Glass Shad Raps are working up in the rivers where current is present on the windblown points and banks. Use natural color Rapala DT10 hot mustard on the bigger points and make many casts quartering the wind. Bounce the baits off the bottom on the rocks and use the Shad Raps in the same manner. Also, keep a sharp eye out for any top water activity and fire a Zoom Super Fluke in pearl.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN .72 FEET, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early morning and late evening are the best using top water baits. Later in the day try Carolina and Texas rigs with worms and lizards and crank baits like Fat Free Shad, Bill Norman and Bomber Series on the deep-water points and drops. Use deep running crank baits or pig and jigs from 20 to 30 feet deep. The crank bait bite is picking up and medium size bright baits are best. Light 10-pound test line can get the baits a little deeper and this can help the action of the baits as well. Use the brightest lures and try a 7A Bomber in crawfish or fire tiger colors right on the ledges. Up the rivers, flip a large worm or spinner bait around the banks and drop them into the cuts under the big trees right on the bank. In the lower lake creeks flip docks with a Texas rigged Culprit black shad worm. Use larger worms in dark colors and add the Real Craw scent. Cast to the same spot with several casts.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 70’S
(This Lake Oconee fishing report is by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time Service. firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 404-803-0741) —
Bass: Bass fishing is fair. The best advice is to slow down and downsize your bait. Soft plastics fished around docks and wood structure work well. Match your bait color to the water color. You can also pick up a few fish with a spinner bait fished slowly around the rip rap.
Striped Bass: Striper fishing is improving. Live shiners have produced some good fish around the river bend area. Look for the schools on your Lowrance and drop a minnow down to the depth you see them. Flat lines are also working, with a split shot.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. This is the best and most consistent bite going. The summer down line bite on top of timber and brush piles has produced large numbers and size over the past week. Find the fish in the top of the timber with your Lowrance down scan and drop a minnow or a jig into the school and hang on.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.1 FEET, 70’S
|Bass fishing is good. Fish are starting to get on an early fall pattern with this unusually cool weather. Fishing shallow has been best for both quantity and quality. Covering a lot of water with shad colored Tru Trac Lures spinnerbaits and Bass Hound square bill crank baits have been productive in the first half of creeks. Lucky Craft Sammy’s and ZMan Jerk Shadz will also catch fish on points and shallow flats that have bait present. As always in the fall, make sure to stay around the baitfish. The shad are moving towards the back of the creeks and the bass are following them. Cover a lot of water and fish any good-looking shallow cover. Blow down trees, brush piles, and grass beds are all holding fish. The best bite has been from Rooty Creek up to Crooked Creek. Concentrate on water 5 feet or less and try to find the coolest water. On post front days when reaction baits don’t produce, toss a Buckeye Spot Remover jig head with a green pumpkin Trick Worm around docks leading into the creeks.|
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, CLEAR 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early morning top water strikes are occurring in the shallow water along the banks or on the sides of the points. Try using a Chug Bug or Thunder Stick on ten- or twelve-pound test line and a 6 1/2 to 7-foot medium to medium heavy action rod. Always keep the bait moving, even if the fish miss the bait. Follow up any short strike with a trick worm or a Number Five Jointed Shad Rap. Slow cranking a Thunder Stick or a Husky Jerk will also work. Sebile Swimmers in the smaller sizes in a shad pattern will work. Use those plastics and light jibs around the heavy wood and brush piles. The Rip Rap is now starting to produce a few bass while cranking Bandit crank baits in greens and white. Be sure to fish the Rip Rap early in the day. Spots love a fat Albert Grub on a 1/8-ounce lead head and use both bright and dark colors with or without the sunlight. Mix up the colors all day and cast and reel them slowly.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Surface Temperature: 81.5˚ F
- Water Level: 1’ 2” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 19”’
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
The cooler temperatures of fall are a great time to fish while enjoying some better temperatures outdoors. The fish also appreciate cooler temperatures. This should improve the bank fishing as the water cools allowing the fish to move shallower creating good opportunity to catch fish. Those fishermen that were fishing for bream or bass were most successful when fishing around cover. The cooler temperatures should have the crappie fishing improving.
Bass: Try fishing around cover or near the shallows in the mornings and evenings. During the heat of day, try cover 6’-8’ deep. Here’s what the successful anglers have suggested to catch bass: White spinnerbait or Flukes. Watermelon or Pumpkinseed Culprit worms.
Bream: Worms, crickets, and frozen Catalpa worms
Channel Catfish: Chicken livers tied to hook with sewing thread. Frozen Catalpa worms and uncooked shrimp.
Crappie: Mister Twister Curly Tail Grubs in bright colors. Strike King Mr. Crappie Scizzor Shad Jig in any of the four available colors.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Level: All open ponds are full.
- Water Clarity: 24” +
- Surface Temps: Mid 70’s at beginning of the month.
- Greenhouse Lake is closed due to Renovation
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: October should produce a good bite. As water temperatures cool the bass will move into shallower water. Early October may be very different than late October. Keep the temperatures in mind. Top water early and late as well as spinner baits and plastics should work well.
Bream: Redear and bluegill harvest will greatly depend on water temperatures. Mild October temps will offer better bream bites. Red wigglers and wax worms will work best.
Crappie: The crappie bite should get better throughout the month of October. Jigs and Jigs tipped with minnows are the go-to bait. Margery, Bennett, Fox, and Dairy are your best bets.
(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Carters Lake Mixed Bag (Report Courtesy of Carters Lake Guide Service) — Fall is one of the best times of year to catch a lot of fish and big fish on Carters Lake. Cool temperatures make for comfortable fishing and sends the bass into feeding mode. Look for schooling fish half-way back in creeks as well as the mouth of creeks. When you see fish bust the surface throw your favorite topwater lure or a white fluke and hang on! These fish can be spotted bass, hybrid or striper all mixed together. Every method of fishing will produce: umbrella rigs, planer boards, free-lines, down-lines, crankbaits, spoons, swim baits, etc.
Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) —
Lake Hartwell is down 0.62 feet, and in the 70s. Bass fishing is fair. The lower lake fish are shallow to mid depth and are starting to school in the creek mouths over deeper water, as smaller pods of bait are starting to form. We have been catching these schooling fish on pearl white flukes, Sammy 115 in Ghost Minnow and the Spot Shocker lead head. When the bite slows, switch to a drop shot finesse worm in Morning Dawn Red. Focus on bridge pilings or points on the side the drops the sharpest for this bite. There are also fish being caught on a Fish Head swarm umbrella rig. Consider using Fish Head Spins provide more flash. Some fish are under and around docks by pitching worms and jigs around them. Now that the shallow water back in the creeks has started to stabilize, the black popping frog bite along with a skinny dipper retrieved on the surface has started to work again.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good to very good. The cooler weather we have been experiencing has the bass on Lanier starting to feed up for the winter. The fish are scattered all over the lake and schooling activity is not uncommon anywhere. Always have some type of long distance bait ready to reach these fish. I am keeping a Spot Choker underspin with a super fluke tied on to quickly throw to these fish. The top water action is typical of the fall bite on Lanier with a bunch of baits producing. The Chug Bug, Jerkshad, Sammy’s, Gunfish and Sebile’s will all produce bites right now. Don’t be surprised to see the Stripers join in on the action as some of the schools are a mix of bass and stripers. There have even been some surprise Largemouth showing up over deep water. On the days that the wind has been strong the wind-blown points with structure as well as the windblown pockets have been full of shad and Spots. On the windy days be sure to check the blow through’s as the bass will use this as a feeding ground. When the wind is not blowing the drop shot is still a good option around the deeper brush piles. The Morning Dawn and Blue Lily colors are still my main producers. As the water temps drop more with the cold front coming through the bass should be moving even more into the shallows. Right now a green pumpkin worm on a three sixteenths spot sticker around docks and rocky points will catch some fish early in the day. After the sun comes up simply fish a little deeper with the worm or cinnamon pepper jig on docks and points. This is really a fun time to be on Lanier as you can pretty much pick your favorite bait and go catch fish. They are biting so Go Catch “Em!
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 with all the recent rain the water is muddy or stained so use dark colored jigs. I like a jig that’s royal blue with a chartreuse split tail. This week’s catch was 60% minnow’s 40% jigs if you have been following the report this is the most jig action we have had in several weeks. Right now I am setting the minnows around 10 deep. For best results use an active minnow not a dead minnow. Look for covered docks that are in 20 to 40 feet of water and near a main channel. Use your electronics locate structure or bush piles. Crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows. 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 k9 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 Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tales Service, 404 510 1778) — Stripers are moving to the middle of the rivers and the down lines are still the best bet. Fishing 30 to 40 feet deep over 50 to 100 foot bottom. Bluebacks are still working. Put out flat lines with small split shot 60 100′ behind the boat trolling.05 mph over areas that have structural change in the bottom, points and humps.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) —Lake Allatoona is down 0.74 feet, clear, and in the 70s. Bass fishing is great. With the winter drawdown and decreasing water temps, the bass are in full feed up mode. This is not the time of year to sit around. It’s time to drop the trolling motor, and fish for active fish. The Spro Fat John fished in 3 to 5 feet of water in creeks in the north and mid lake areas have been producing spots and some largemouth. Watch for stumps, logs and rocks that the bass might use for an ambush point. There is also some schooling activity around Stamp Creek and the Red Top Mountain area. We are using pearl white Big Bite Jerk Minnows on 3/0, 1/8 ounce jig heads as well as Spro McSticks. The fish may only stay up for a few seconds. The buzz bait bite is also good. Throw the buzz bait parallel to bluff banks. Bang the bait off the rocks when it’s being retrieved. The bass will use the shoreline to trap the bait. For bigger fish, even though there may get a few less bites, the swim bait is hard to beat. Throwing the fast sinking Spro 6 inch BBZ in shad patterns and covering water is an awesome way to get a big spot this time of year.
West Point Lake Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — West Point Lake is full, clear, and in the 70s. Bass fishing is fair as the water cools down. The lower part of the lake is clear and the bass are moving and scattered. The largemouth and spots and hybrids and whites are mixed together and moving and feeding. During the early morning and late afternoon the bass are moving into the coves and can be caught with shad imitation lures like Rat L Traps and all white 3/8 ounce Rooster Tails. During the day the bass are moving out deeper and can be caught using crank baits and Carolina rigged worms. The bass are still holding on deep submerged road beds, and they are also on the edges of flats on the lower end of the lake. Cranking around main lake rocky points is productive early and late in the day. Fish the steep banks of main creeks in deep blow downs using a crank bait or a brown on black pig and jig. Look for the fish to start moving out on the points as the lake level drops.
Lake Weiss Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports and www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Weiss is 8 inches below full pool, stained, and 76-78 degrees. Bass fishing is fair. The fish are on off shore structure, and the river and creek channel ledges, spinner baits, Carolina rigs and medium to deep running crank baits are working well. Spotted Bass are doing well on main lake points and the creek channel ledges, Carolina rigs and crank baits are working well. Look for the fishing to be slow until the first cooling trend hits. Crappie fishing is fair. The bite is starting to get better. They are on deeper cover in the main lake and bays, and on the main Coosa river channel ledges from Cedar Bluff to Leesburg. Spider rigging, over brush, with live minnows and jigs is catching fish. Look for the fishing to get better over the next few weeks.
SMALL LAKE REPORT
Lake Seed Report: (This report courtesy of “Academy Jack” Becker) — Cooler nights found me heading up north to Seed Lake, a Georgia Power lake, below Lake Burton. The air temperature was 52 and water temperature was 69.7 when I arrived. This highland reservoir is very clear. I use 15 lb. Flurocarbon line on my bait-caster and 20 lb. braided line with a 5 ft. Flurocarbon leader on a spinning reel. I like fishing over the dying grass for Pickerel. You can’t beat a Spinnerbait, fished fast this time of year. I hope you can get out and fish the fall transition. Here’s a picture of my best fish of the day and the bait I caught it on…..Academy Jack
Small Lake Walleye Report: (This report courtesy of Bob Jessop) — Bob Jessop reported catching walleye this week from one of our smaller NE Georgia lakes that are stocked annually. He found hungry walleye just off the bottom tucked into the branches of submerged trees along the 40-ft contour. It takes finesse to work minnows, worms, or small jigs among the branches and then a lot of horsepower to muscle them out quickly. The tactics for catching walleye in the fall months are very much like fishing for crappie – small baits (live, wiggly ones preferred) presented vertically in structure and worked slowly. The only significant difference is that walleye tend to be just a little bit deeper than crappie.
TU’s “Clean My Water” Campaign Ends this Week (Sept 25 – Oct 2): (From Fisheries Biologist Sarah Baker) — The Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited founded the Clean My Water campaign to encourage people to get outside and make a difference in their local waterways, and it is happening now during Trout Week. Simply take a quick picture or video while cleaning up your local waters, then post it to Instagram. Here’s a great example of WRD’s Leon Brotherton cleaning up trash on a local trout stream. You still have time to participate and you can even win some great prizes! We always appreciate everyone’s commitment to keeping our rivers, lakes, and streams healthy and beautiful. Check out their video HERE.
Toccoa Tailwater Report: (This report courtesy of Cohutta Fishing Company ) — TVA has dropped the flow to 150 cubic feet per second until further notice! This is a Wade-able flow, but watch the TVA app as we don’t know when this will change! Blue Winged Olives, Caddis, and streamers should all be on the menu. Don’t leave the waders at home!
(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)
What a gorgeous week! While the weather has been very comfortable, the southeast Georgia rivers are still flowing hard. You can probably find some backwaters to fish, but your time will be better spent on ponds or saltwater.
New Moon is October 6th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
ALTAMAHA AND OCMULGEE RIVERS
The river is still high, but Brentz McGhin was able to access some backwaters last weekend and catch fish. He fished an Altamaha River oxbow and pitched crickets to catch 5 catfish and a warmouth. He also worked plastic worms around cover to catch 5 bass to 17 inches, and he lost another one. The river level on September 30th at the Abbeville gage on the Ocmulgee was 4.9 feet and falling. The Doctortown gage on the Altamaha was 9.8 feet and rising.
The water is still high, and the fish are spread out in the prairies. The swamp is absolutely gorgeous in the fall (October is one of my 2 favorite months), so plan your trip for the scenery, not necessarily the catching….. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.55 feet.
Tommy Davis of Baxley has been back at fishing this week after a long hiatus for health reasons. He let the crappie know that he has returned to the water! He caught limits or close to limits on Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Baxley area ponds. His specialty is spider-rigging for them. He rigs with a Specktacular Jig tipped with a live minnow. He usually does really well with the Tennessee shad and tan shad colors, but black/chartreuse seemed to work best for him in the afternoons. The fish were mostly in the 6 to 7 foot range, but he found some deeper in 10 to 14 feet of water on Wednesday. He fished with a friend on Tuesday and Wednesday. His friend caught them in the back of the boat by casting 2-inch Keitech swimbaits (shad and white-silver worked best) the first day. On the second day his friend has some good fish on a black/chartreuse Specktacular Jig tipped with a minnow and bounced along the bottom. He also had a 3-lb channel and brown bullhead. Their biggest crappie was a little over a pound. The crappie bite should be on in any pond with a good crappie population.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
The Outdoor Adventure/ JAKES Day on Saturday was another huge success. Nearly 1,000 people fished the area and enjoyed the other outdoor activities, as well as a lunch provided by the National Wild Turkey Federation and their co-sponsors. Kids caught LOTS of catfish, including 22 that were big enough to earn them youth angler awards. Nathan of Doerun took his sons Kamryn and Jakayden to the event, and they caught some nice bass and bluegill. Crickets fooled their bluegill, while watermelon-red plastic worms were tops for bass. Their biggest bass was 19 inches, and they had a couple of bluegills big enough for youth angler awards. Elsewhere on the area, a few crappie bit this week with the cooler weather. Bass are still schooling around shad, so look for them with topwaters early and late in the day.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Capt. Greg Hildreth’s charters have been busy catching bull redfish all week in the Brunswick area. Bill and Winters from Louisville, Kentucky fished with him on Thursday and had a “double” of big bull reds. They have been catching them by using pogies for bait. 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.
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