Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so love is in the air. Well, at least a love for fishing. We love to fish, we love the challenge, we love the water, and we love the relaxation. Oh, and we love to eat the catch of the day! What is your favorite thing to love about fishing?
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Location, Location, Location: When adding a new fish condo to the water, Georgia WRD and their partners look for the best places to improve aquatic habitat, like West Point Lake.
- I’ll Have a Sample: Biologists recently did some aquatic surveying at Magnolia Springs State Park. Take a look at what they found HERE.
This week we have reports from Southwest, North and Southeast Georgia. Tell the loves of your life – be it partner, child, parent or other – to come with you as you get ready to 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)
The large amount of rain last week has Lake Blackshear very muddy. The crappy bite is still good but tends to decrease when water is being released from the dam. Sugar Bug lures from Flint River Outdoors have been a very popular lure choice for crappie fishing and have turned in some nice coolers full of fish. Focusing on areas with submerged structure is best for crappie fishing and using onboard technology can help put you right on those fish. They tend to be schooling right now so when you get a bite stay focused in that area to make a single bite turn into a full plate. For now, with the muddy water stick with darker colored lures that blend more into the muddy habitat we are seeing. Be patient and start using more natural and brighter colored lures if the water ever clears. Hang on just a bit longer for that spring bass spawn bite to hit. They are prolonged spawners, and we tend to see some early birds as well as late spawners that should keep things interesting into the summer. Warmer weather is predicted in the next few weeks and the bass fishing should be heating up!
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
The water temperature at Lake George is still quite low for prime bass fishing but they are out there for the dedicated angler to find. The fish seem to be hanging out in shallow water up under the grass. Try a chatter bait, or spinner bait in the grassy areas for a good response. You can also try a Big Bite Cane Thumper in and around the grass. One angler suggested pearl white and black-blue colors. As the temperatures rises, we should see the spawn starting and the fishing will explode. Stay patient for the water temperatures to rise and the water levels to decrease as this will be the magic combination. Stay safe out there as visibility can be limited and water depths can change quickly.
TIRED CREEK LAKE
The spawn is sneaking up on us over at Tired Creek Lake. The bass are moving to shallow water and hanging out under grass matts while they feed and wait for prime conditions. Try using hollow belly frogs and chatter baits in and around grass to lure them out. The bream are also out and looking nice. Try crickets and worms for these guys. The best fishing at tired creek right now is the crappie. They are schooling in 3-5 feet of water in the fingers of the lake. Look for vertical vegetation with flat sandy bottoms. You can also try deeper fishing around the trees in the middle of the lake. Jigs and minnows are the best bait for these delicious fish. We have seen some really nice crappie come out of this lake so head down there and give it a try!
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Spawning season is quickly approaching which will bring bass into shallower waters. For now, while the water is cooler, continue to fish plastic lures and crankbaits slowly in about 10 feet of water. Also, deeper waters near the new fishing pier may produce decent bites this time of year. Bream fishing is also fair this time of year. Try using red or pink worms near woody structure and the blowdowns associated with it. The fishing pier may also be a productive location. For now, bream will be in water that is 6 feet or deeper. Try using lighter tackle for a little added excitement!
(Fishing report courtesy of Hunter Roop, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Sun and warmth will fill the weekend until Sunday when cooler weather returns. Take advantage of the fleeting sunshine and wet a line this weekend! Rivers are dropping and clearing, while mudlines are quickly fading on our mountain and foothills reservoirs. The afternoon sun is already drawing reservoir predators from the depths to the shallows so you can find success from a boat, bank, or pier this weekend if you time your excursion right. Midday trout fishing opportunities similarly abound in our DH waters and tailwaters. The spring fishing frenzy is on the horizon!
WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 6.2 FEET CLEAR 50S
Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair. Schools of spotted bass mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers and even the occasional largemouth can be caught on jigging spoons and drop shot rigs on deeper offshore structures. Bass are after the suspending jerk baits, unweighted flukes, Senkos and spinnerbaits. This includes some shallow largemouth bass and spots. Try to fish these baits in or near any shallow cover or around schools of baitfish in the back of pockets. Fish the open water in the pockets with a ½ ounce Rat L Trap, a Strike King Lucky Shad crankbait or an Alabama rig. Crankbaits on rip rap or chunk rock is also a good pattern. Hopefully the shallow bite will get going as the water warms. The creeks seem to always warm first and pre spawn is just around the corner.
Crappie: Get the GON-tel here
WEISS LAKE IS AT 4 FEET 2 INCHES BELOW FULL POOL AND LIGHT STAINED TO CLEAR AND 42 46 DEGREE’S
Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair and they are on their winter pattern on the river and creek channels. Drop shot rigs and Carolina rigs are catching fish.
Crappie (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Crappie fishing is good and they are on the creek and river channel ledges at 18 to 25 feet deep. Spider rigging with live minnows and jigs over brush and stumps is the way to catch fish in the fall. A lot of Crappie have suspended in the Coosa river channel 20 to 25 feet deep. A few Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs. Some fish are starting to suspend in the river channel in Little River and can be caught long lining Jiffy Jigs or on a float and fly.
Other species (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Striper fishing is Poor, and no reports of any catches. Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water and cut bait is working best.
LAKE HARTWELL IS DOWN 2.4 FEET, 40’S (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report)
This Lake Hartwell report is by Capt. Cefus McRae Nuts & Bolts of fishing series 404 402 8329 direct
Winter is in full swing in North Georgia. Daytime temperatures averaging in the 30’s and 40’s have cooled down the water temperatures to the mid to upper 40’s in the morning, and a sunny day has been warming up the surface to as much as 52 degrees in the creeks. Right now the lake is a little low, and starting to expose some of the rocky points and banks.
Bass: Bass fishing is good. The pre spawn is here. Spotted bass are stacking up near rocky points and around long clay points. Fish are biting throughout the day and they are big. They will readily take a live bait like shiners, blue backs, gizzard shad, and threadfins. And they will eat mop jigs, cranks, and slow rolled spinner baits. When they show up on your Simrad SideScan or DownScan, you can pitch just about anything, and they will eat. Try throwing a slow sinking pitch bait toward the bank around rock piles and slow it down as the water gets deeper. A stop start technique has worked well the past week. Drop shot rigs are working well over brush piles but seem to be producing smaller fish. The larger fish, for the moment, have been roaming the channels as singles, and like their meals served around 5 to 10 feet below the surface.
Linesides: The Stripers and Hybrid fishing is good. The lineside bite has been off and on, depending on the day, and where you choose to fish. The upper reaches of the main lake, beyond the confluence of the Seneca River and Tugaloo River have been producing some nice stringers of hybrids and stripers. Try the major creeks like Beaverdam, Crane Creek, and the main channel in front of the creeks. There are also a good number of fish on the south end at the major creeks and covers near the dam. The key is to find the bait, and the gamefish won’t be far away. Start at the back of the creeks with planer boards and a free lined herring about 20 feet behind a balloon. Pull them all the way to the mouth and into the main channel. If you see gulls swirling and diving, plot an intercept course to be ahead of the direction they’re going, and pull your baits to toward that place. When you locate a school, drop live herring and position your baits about five feet above the schools. It’s a great idea to free line a large gizzard shad under a balloon behind the boat, and it will most likely draw the biggest fish of the day. Schooling fish will readily take a WhoopAss Bucktail jig too. Throw a 1 ounce Chartreuse or Blueback color tipped with a Project X 3” White Saucertail to the schools. Let it sink for about 3 seconds and then start a slow, erratic retrieve, and hang on. Get all your striper fishing gear and watch our Pro Tips for rigging planer boards, downlining and more at NutsAndBoltsFishing.com If you’d like to book a fishing adventure with Capt. Cefus and Buck, The Wonder Dog, email Cefus@NutsAndBoltsFishing.com
LAKE CHATUGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 7.3 feet below 1925. Temp: 47-49 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide Eric Welch reports: “Fishing has been fair. We’ve had all kinds of weather changes the past month, cold days and nights, then back to mid 70s in the day. The lake is at winter pool, and the fish are scattered. I’ve been catching fish using a drop shot out on deep banks and long points, also on a Ned rig and a shaky head with a 5-inch finesse worm. We’ve been getting some fish on a jerkbait out on points and around docks. Try throwing a jig around any brush or docks. I have also been marking a lot of fish deep in 20 to 35 feet of water. These fish are in areas where there is a ditch, drop-off or a long point. I target these fish with a Texas rig, shaky head, Ned rig and a drop shot. The water temps are about right to start fishing the Float-n-Fly. If you’ve never fished this technique, it’s amazing what size fish you can catch in the winter on the rig. A crankbait and the A-rig are also catching fish. Good luck.”
LAKE BLUE RIDGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 12 feet below 1681. Temp: 44-49 degrees. Clarity: 12 feet.
Bass: Guide Eric Welch reports, “The bite has been good. The lake has come up about 3 feet due to all the rain we got at the end of December. We’ve been marking a ton of bait in the 15- to 18-foot range, but most of the fish have been in the 28-foot and deeper range and right on the bottom. I’ve been starting my mornings out throwing the Float-n-Fly on deep, rocky banklines until the sun gets up. Then I will switch over to fishing a Ned rig in the same areas, along with on main-lake points. By midday, I will start my way up the river fishing the deep, rocky banks and laydowns with a Ned rig, drop shot and jig. Without a doubt my Garmin LiveScope locates fish that you will never see with 2D sonar until your boat is on top of them. I start seeing my fish 45 to 50 feet in front of the boat, then with Spot-Lock you can sit there and work on these fish before ever being on top of them. I’m also throwing a 3.5-inch tube bait, along with a No. 5 Shad Rap and Flex-it spoon. The A-rig works good this time of year, too.”
Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “February can be a tough time to fish. Cold fronts, uncooperative weather, there’s a number of reasons not to go fish this month. Yet there’s one main reason to go, and that’s big fish. This month is the month to find big walleye on all the north Georgia lakes. On Blue Ridge, look for fish to be in the mouth of the river from Point 5 upstream. Small vertical presentations fished right on the bottom are going to be key. Small spoons, jigs or a combination with minnows should all be ready to go to the bottom. Look for small groups of fish in the 40- to 60-foot range near bait balls in the river. The fish are cold, so gently work the baits versus snapping and moving erratically. Light, 8-lb. fluorocarbon will increase your bites. The fish should continue upriver over the rest of the month preparing to spawn. Later in the month the night bite will be key as we switch over to running jetboat trips in shallow water.”
LAKE BURTON (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 7 feet below full. Temp: 49 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide Tyler Clore reports, “Bass fishing has been good. You can catch them with several techniques. I have good luck with the white Fish Head Spin and a herring-colored Lucky Craft Staysee 90 in the ditches. A lot of the bass are already loading up in the ditches to get ready for the spawn. You can also catch them off rocky points with the jerkbait or a green-pumpkin shaky-head worm. As the day goes on, try pitching a jig with a Zoom craw around deep docks on sunny days. The best days to fish are the days leading up to the fronts that we have been getting hit with.”
Trout/Walleye: Guide Tyler Clore reports, “We are seeing a few trout schooling shallow early in the mornings but seem to disappear quickly as the sun climbs above the mountains. As the water warms this month, the walleye will be moving in and out of staging areas up the river for the yearly spawn. Try cranking Rapala No. 7 Shad Raps in the deeper holes of the river for the walleye.”
LAKE ALLATOONA IS DOWN 15.5 FEET, 40S
Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair. Many fish are still deep and they are as deep as 50 feet and but size has not been great. Bigger fish can be found on those warm days up shallow. Look for a few largemouth showing to be caught on the Spro Rock Crawler, Little John and the Chatterbaits. These lures will only get better as it warms up. Even though the main forage for bass is threadfin shad, crawfish are also a great late winter staple for bass. Lots of time bass can be found hugging close to the bottom. This time of year mix it up between the crankbait and a jig. Use the chartreuse and brown crankbait and orange and brown for the jig. Target areas where red clay and gravel/rock mixes. Soon the bass will begin to move to transition areas and prepare to move shallow as it warms up. Fish slow and keep the bait in contact with the bottom. The bite is subtle almost like pine straw hanging up on the bait. When in doubt, set the hook. The mouth of McCaskey Creek, Stamp Creek and Little River have good concentration of fish. Remember sun is the key this time of year. Water temperatures that are only 2 to 3 degrees warmer can make fish way more active. Where there’s bait, there’s bass.
‘Toona ‘Tractors (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Jackson Sibley): Did you know that the Georgia DNR installs fish attractors in reservoirs and small lakes across the state? Last week, Region 1 field staff partnered with the E3 Bassmasters to assemble and deploy 18 new fish attractor structures on Lake Allatoona. These PVC Georgia Cube-style structures were originally designed by Georgia DNR fisheries staff in the early 2000s, and have since become popular with fisheries agencies across the country for their unique fish habitat properties. Over the last several months, a total of 28 attractors of this style have been deployed in the Stamp Creek area of Lake Allatoona at specific depths in order to provide habitat for sportfish, and their locations have been added to a growing public map of habitat structures on Allatoona.
Allatoona News: Check out Jeremiah’s Allatoona fishing report here!
CARTERS LAKE (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Level: 2 feet below 1,074. Temp: 45 degrees. Clarity: 4 feet.
Carters Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “From now until April is the time to see a trophy-sized female walleye in this lake. Look for the fish to start stacking up around deep structure in the river channel staging for the spawn next month. These fish are as big as they are going to get all year right now and are still packing on the prespawn pounds. They will be deep with the alewifes in the 50- to 70-foot range. Vertical presentations are still my go to in cold water. Jigs and spoons tipped with minnows have been key. Expect the fish to stay deep until spawn. You can get spawn updates every few days on our Facebook page.”
LAKE LANIER IS 2 FEET OVER FULL, 50S (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report)
Mudline Mixed Bag (courtesy of blog contributor “Academy” Jack Becker): Caught four spots, one largemouth, and an eight-pound channel catfish fishing slow on the bottom in 18 to 25 ft of water in Balus creek this week. We fished the mudline during the sunny hours of the day. Water temp was 49.7 F and warming. Also caught one spot on a red craw patterned crankbait in four feet of water on a rocky bank, which goes to show not all fish are deep this time of year.
Bass (courtesy of Phil Johnson: Pjohnson15@hotmail.com 770 366 8845) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The only problem with the fishing over the last week is to stay warm. The cold weather has dropped the water temperature into the high forty’s and the fish have responded in typical winter fashion. There are fish to be caught early shallow and lots of fish located now in the deeper depths. The patterns are fairly steady now with only slight adjustments for each day. Crankbaits, Jerk baits, Worms and Jigs are all producing fish especially early in the day. It is possible to run the patterns later in the mornings on given days. The DT6 and Rock crawler in Crawfish, red and black or Citrus Shad are still the crankbait colors of choice. Work the sunny red clay banks and rocky areas to draw these strikes, having deeper water nearby is also a plus. Green pumpkin and Redbug trick worms have been producing well around the docks in ten to twenty feet of water and on brush. A crawfish jig with a root beer trailer will work well in the same areas. Don’t be afraid to use these two baits in the thirty to fifty foot range in the ditches. Hopping the jig with tend to draw strikes in the deeper water. A three eights or half ounce Spotchoker underspin worked with a pearl super fluke has been producing good fish in the deep ditches. Work this bait on twelve to fifteen pound fluorocarbon with a slow drag across the bottom. Make sure on your long cast to give the bait time to get to the bottom before starting your slow retrieve. The Pearl, Silver Back and Lavender Spotchoker have produced best. There are pods of shad now that you can locate in the deeper water and this offers a great opportunity to drop directly on the fish with either a Georgia Blade spoon or a drop shot. The white half ounce Georgia Blade Spoon has been the first choice along with Morning Dawn and Blue Lily for the drop shot. I have been amazed at the ability to see and stay on this fish with my Garmin Panoptic Livescope. Your electronics are critical this time of year to locate these fish and follow their movements while watching how they react to your bait. The winter bite will be pretty consistent until the water temperature goes back above fifth degrees so use your electronics to locate and catch the winter fish. If you’re interested in learning this deep winter bite just contact me for a trip. It’s cold but they are biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
Spotted Bass Tactics: GON’s Jeremiah details excellent winter spotted bass fishing tactics here!
Stripers (courtesy of Buck Cannon Buck Tails Service. Buck Tails 404 510 1778): Lake Lanier Stripers have been putting on weight and are hitting down lines with blue backs over 50′ bottom. Fishing over bait schools all through the water column. Using Lowrance electronics locate the bait and start fishing. Water temperature is 46 degrees so wear your life jackets, Look in the creek channels and near humps the fish are cold too so drumming up will activate the bite. Pulling Mini Macs and umbrella rigs at 3 mph has produced over the river and creek channels. Remember to wear the life jackets.
Crappie (courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton 770 530 6493): The water temperatures are in the upper 40s. The water is clear right now but we have 4 days of rain in the forecast. I am using all techniques right now just trying to get a reaction bite out of the crappie. Dock shooting and vertical jigging have not been producing well this week so I shifted to trolling. I set my trolling motor at .9 mph and setting jigs and minnows at a depth of 10 to 14 feet deep. Look for bays and river channels or creek beds with lots of bait for best results on trolling. Try smaller, lighter jigs with little to no action go slowly. Try several color combinations until you find one that works and that will probably be your color for the day. The bite is slow and soft keep a close eye on your line you may see the line swimming away before the rod bends over. Crappie Minnows work great year round. Try a free line minnow (no sinker) when the crappie are schooling near the top. I am setting minnows 10 to 1’ feet over brush. Look for covered docks that have brush under or near by a good depth range would be 20 to 30 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. I’m using the skippers jig moon jigs use (promo code heroes) when ordering. I use ATX Lure Company’s jigs atxlures.com. I use 5 pound test high visibility yellow k9 braid for my line unless I am using a bobber then it’s the k9 6 pound high vis line k9fishing.com and a Piscifun reel on a Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.
GON-tel: Get the latest from GON about crappie on Lanier HERE.
Fly Fishing (courtesy of Lanier guide Henry Cowen via UO’s Angler Management blog): “Fishing is still relatively slow. BUT this is February and it’s supposed to be slow if we look at how Lanier has fished the past 15 years. There is however a way to go out and fly fish Lanier with low expectations and still make lemonade out of lemons. First, fish on the moons (both new and full). 3-5 days before up to 3 days after. Second, fish early or late. Most feeding will be done in lower light conditions. Third, if you want to get a tug on your line then maybe concentrate on bass (both spotted bass and largemouth). There is always a decent bass bite in February if you want to toss sinking lines. The stripers are still deep so this is another option. If however you’re wanting to catch a winter striper then you must cast small flies, sinking lines and use your fish finder to locate big schools of fish in the 20′-30′ range and count your line down 40 to 50 seconds before retrieving.”
‘Hooch (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop): WRD Fisheries staffers conducted an early reconnaissance of walleye in the Chattahoochee River above Lake Lanier this week. The river was still running ~50% above what we would typically see this time of year, thought the water clarity was greatly improving from the chocolate milk-stained color produced by last week’s five-inches of rain. Regular ‘Hooch angler “G3” was sampling the chilly 47.5 F waters with his 8 wt. and a black Gamechanger. Though no bites had yet materialized for G3 as he was floating past us, we did find a few “Passovers” further upstream, including a handful of beautiful shoalies, a couple of stripers in the 8-10 lb range, and the occasional spotted bass. The bona fide winter weather we’ve experienced so far this year has apparently kept the walleye on their traditional spawning schedule, and we expect to see numbers increase in the coming weeks. The prominent baitfish in the river this time of year are shiners ranging between 4” – 6”, like the ones pictured here. When the blueback herring begin their annual migration to Lanier’s headwaters next month, you’ll want to size up your presentation accordingly.
Hooch tailwater (courtesy of Mo & Co., Unicoi Outfitter’s, and the Angler Management blog): “Hey Jeff, I hope you’re doing well. Here’s a little fodder from the tailwater over the weekend. We started about 10am just below Lower Pool and worked our way upstream with Euro rigs. Ron was throwing a streamer all day and managed a few fish to hand. Kurt and I were catching the wild browns on tiny stuff, 24-20 midges and frenchies. A few rainbows also came to hand on the same flies. Nothing bigger than a foot but they sure were pretty fish. It was a sunny but chilly and blustery day with higher winds making the whole affair little more challenging. Tough conditions but the fish cooperated most of the day. Had to be on the bottom tho, in their lane with perfect drift. We walked off the river thoroughly chilled but happy with fishing and catching. With everything else blown out curtesy of the pre-weekend rain, it felt good to have a fishable stream nearby.”
And Mo’s accomplice, Ron W reported: “I committed to throwing streamers all day. I had several chases but only 2 to hand, a nice chunky bow and a colored up wild brown. My new position at work has doubled my workload and is eating into my fishing time!” PS: we had a report of the annual Shad/blueback winterkill. If you want a shot at a trophy Tailwater brown, it will be a good time to Chuck big, white zonkers in the upper Tailwater.
Latest Intel: Former WRD Region Supervisor Jeff “Dredger” Durniak lays out the best trouting bets this weekend in UO’s Angler Management blog. Dive in to his helpful intel here!
DH Update (courtesy of WRD Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson): The heavy rains last week thwarted our plans to re-dose the DH streams, but low, clear, and sunny conditions this week beckoned our stocking trucks to visit Amicalola, Smith, and the Toccoa. Chattooga is probably a good bet too if you’re in the northeast area this weekend. We have not stocked the Chattahoochee DH this year due to limited fish supply. To keep a regular pulse on trout stockings in North Georgia, check out our weekly stocking report on our Trout Fishing webpage, and thanks in advance for your purchase of trout stamps, TU vehicle tags, and fishing gear that provide the funds to support trout management in Georgia.
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 Bert Deener, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The consistent cold has set in with a vengeance. If you find the fish you can catch a bunch, but it’s also possible to zero in the winter. The slight warming trends had crappie biting. The rivers (except the St. Marys) are still high, and your best bites will probably be in ponds and saltwater again this week.
River gages on February 10th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 9.0 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 11.5 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 9.3 feet and rising
- Waycross on the Satilla – 10.0 feet and rising (52 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 9.6 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 5.3 feet and falling
The river is back into the floodplain with this week’s rains. It’s going to be great when it comes down!
ST. MARYS RIVER
Matt Rouse of St. George fished with a friend (George Lowe of Jacksonville) in the middle St. Marys on Friday. They couldn’t get panfish to bite, so they put shrimp on the bottom and caught several nice catfish. The first Shady Bream Tournament will be held on February 19th out of the Kings Ferry Boat Ramp. Check out the Shady Bream Tournament trail on Facebook for more information.
Staff at Okefenokee Adventures said that more folks fished this week than the last few. The catch included warmouth, fliers, bowfin, and pickerel (jackfish), but the bite has not fired off yet. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.06 feet.
The crappie bite has been best, but the bass are moving shallow. Tommy Davis fished a Baxley area pond twice this week and caught his limit of crappie each trip. He spider-rigged 1/16-oz. Specktacular Jigs (black/chartreuse, tan shad, and Tennessee shad) tipped with minnows for all of his fish. Chip Lafferty fished a Brunswick area pond on Thursday evening and caught a 6-pound bass on a vibrating jig (copperfield color). I heard of other reports of folks catching a few bass or crappie per trip, but the winds and cold slowed the number of folks going this week. The forecasted warm-up next week should bring some great bass and crappie reports.
SALTWATER (Georgia Coast)
The Friday cold front ramped up the winds and kept folks off the water this weekend, and the cold mornings early in the week did the same. I heard of a few folks catching sheepshead from docks using fiddler crabs. On Thursday a group of Brunswick anglers caught and released a handful of redfish. A trout trip on Thursday came up almost empty for a Brunswick angler. The expert angler only caught 3 trout during his trip, so it is possible to miss the bite. For guide trip information, call Capt. Greg Hildreth at (912) 617-1980 or check out his website (georgiacharterfishing.com). For the latest fishing information or live shrimp in the Brunswick area, check with J&P Bait and Tackle on Hwy 303 (912-282-9705).