Best to get on out there and get some fishing in today or tomorrow, cause it looks like several rainy days starting Sunday and through next week.


  • National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW): Make plans to celebrate NFBW from June 4-12, 2022. During this week, we want to place some extra emphasis on sharing YOUR love of fishing with your family and friends. Find out more HERE. #takemefishing
  • Two Free Fishing Days: Got a friend or family member that is interested in fishing, but hasn’t got a license yet? We have TWO FREE Fishing Days during NFBW that offer the opportunity to fish without a license. Find out more HERE.
  • Angler Academy: If you can’t get outside to fish, you can still have some “fishy fun” indoors. Let the kids go to the Angler Academy. At this website, developed by, you will find links to “fishy” crafts, games, informative videos and puzzles. 

This week, we have reports from Southeast, Southwest and North Georgia. Be safe, stay dry and Go Fish Georgia! 


(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) 

Pickerel are biting the Okefenokee. Capt. Bert Deener caught this 22-inch jackfish on a crawfish-orange blade Dura-Spin on Thursday. He released it and the other bowfin and pickerel he caught that evening.

Brenda Hampton caught her personal best flounder last week from the Jekyll Island Pier on her birthday. What a present! The 20 ½-inch doormat ate a mudminnow.

Dionte Smith fished the Okefenokee Sunday evening and caught this and several other chunky warmouth by dabbling a Warmouth Whacker Jig around cypress knees.

I only heard about moderate catches on the Satilla, but the Okefenokee had a great bite this week. Both warmouth and pickerel were chewing well in the swamp. With the calmer winds, saltwater catches were decent. In this week’s report I will catch up on my backlog of photos.

Your best bet for this weekend in freshwater is the Okefenokee Swamp for warmouth, pickerel, and bowfin. The Altamaha is getting right, and the bluegills should be chowing over the next couple weeks. The Satilla is warming up, but the river level is low for running a motorboat. Ponds are always a good bet for bluegills and bass, especially on days when pop-up thunderstorms could chase you off the water quickly. In saltwater whiting in the sounds are your best bet if the winds will allow it.

Last quarter moon is May 22nd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.


(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts) 

Excellent Largemouth Bass from Walter F George. Photo Credit – Tom Hargrove.

Now, that is a mess of redear sunfish, get the grease ready! Congrats to on what looks like an awesome fishing day. Photo Credit-Clay Elliot


Bass fishing continues to be tough at Lake George. The morning bite is really where its at. Anglers are reporting little to no action after 8:30am or so, so be sure to get out there early if you’re looking for bass. The shad spawn is still hot right now so use white lures. One angler suggested a double willow spinner bait for the areas off the grass before the shad schools arrive. Bream fishing is still hot. Use red worms and crickets for the shell cracker. Fish should be on or near beds at this time. Try following your nose to the mouths of creeks for the best results.

Norris Cooper with a nice bluegill from Blackshear.


The bream fishing at Lake Blackshear is fun right now! Crickets and worms are the bait of choice. The fishy smell of these guys on beds should lead you to their location but when in doubt try the mouths of creeks and near submerged brush and timber. They have also been reported at the base of cypress trees. The white bass are also out to play right now. Anglers see most success with white bass during night fishing. Try using a spoon or shrimp as bait.


Water level is a bit low right now which is driving water temperatures up. The majority of the lake is around the mid 80s. the bass fishing is great right now. The shad spawn continues to bring in great looking fish. Any type of lure that mimics a shad is a great choice. A white spinner bait has been giving a lot of success. Swim jigs are also producing a lot. As the day warms up you can also try Texas or a Carolina rig in some deeper water. You can also try some top water lures like popping frogs, like buzz baits, and walking baits. Work these over the edge of the grass for the best results.  Crappie will also take most of these lures, especially spinner baits. Focus your efforts in the deeper areas along the grass for best results. Bluegill and shell cracker are also still bedding all over. Use your nose to follow their smell and get to work!


(Fishing report courtesy of Hunter Roop, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts) 

That cool and crisp feeling of springtime is quickly fading here in North Georgia, and while our sinuses and circadian rhythms are surely grateful to enter summer mode, many anglers will look back longingly on what has been an outstanding spring fishing season. Bass have been slammed, records have been broken, and (most importantly) long-lasting memories have been made! But fear not solar-sidestepping shade seekers, the often-oppressive heat of summer in Georgia can be used to your advantage, and the “catching” smiles can continue, albeit in the cooling comfort of a mountain laurel’s shade, or beneath your trusty Bimini top. With the exception of bream and whiskered fishes, most of our North Georgia sportfish are now entering their post-spawn summer mode, which entails vacating their shallow spawning grounds and setting up shop at intermediate depths where they will forage heavily on a plethora of emerging insects and baitfish to recover energy lost during the spawn. Surface temperatures are still in a comfortable range though, so May is a great time of year to entice bass and stripers to smash a topwater lure and get a real adrenaline rush! Our mountain streams are still cool enough for widespread trout fishing opportunities, though the general lack of rain and consequent discharges may cause trout to “stack up” in deeper holes and runs where they are both comfortable and safe from aerial ambushes of natural predators. The fishing reports below detail helpful strategies in adjusting to the emerging summer patterns, so we encourage you to read thoroughly, and then put them to practice. With school ending this month, planning a family fishing trip could be a great way to kick off the summer season and reward those little bookworms for their hard work!



  • We are happy seeing this happy angler with his spotted bass from West Point Lake.

    Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing has been good. Numbers are beginning to pick up as fish are winding up their post spawn phase. Just about anything is working right now, but better bites have come from fishing shaky heads and Carolina rigged trick worm. The best colors for both have been a green pumpkin. Spend time fishing rocky points and roadbeds. Look closely for water generation schedules as this will position fish for feeding. Fish are now in the summertime pattern holding on deep brush piles and ledges in 17 to 25 feet of water. The bait to use for largemouth is a Zoom pumpkinseed lizard fished on a Carolina rig with a full one ounce egg sinker to wake the fish up. Good places to fish are deep road beds, shoal markers and the mouths of the smaller creeks. The top water bite is still very strong in the mid lake area around rocky flats and shallow timber. Use a Rebel Pop R in the shad patterns or a 3/8 ounce Lunker Lure Buzz bait if the water is a little choppy. Also keep a Norman DD 22 crankbait on to fish the deeper points and ledges lake wide for some good action.

  • Linesides (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Excellent. Spawned out hybrids and stripes show back up down lake in May. Expect the downline bite on live bait to be awesome! Some fish have started schooling on the main lake and can be caught on small crankbaits, topwaters, popping cork rigs and Gotcha Swim Shad lures. Also fish can be caught trolling.”
  • Crappie (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Good. Spawned out fish will typically move out and hold on deeper brush and structure or under docks for a while to recover. Shooting or pitching under the shade of cover docks or on bridge pilings is the way to go. The crappie almost always like the shade on a sunny day. Night fishing is usually awesome in May, as well!”
  • GON-tel: GON’s Crappiecatchin corroborates Hudson’s story HERE.


  • Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Fishing is fair and a lot of fish have moved shallow in the bays and creeks in the spawning areas, spinner baits and shallow running crank baits are catching a lot of fish.
  • Crappie (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Crappie fishing is good and they are suspended in the spawning bays, 8-20 feet deep, and can be caught long line trolling with Jiffy Jigs in colors JJ13 and JJ17. Some fish are starting to be caught in 4-8 feet of water. Look for them to spawn over the next few weeks.  A lot of Crappie are being caught shooting docks with jigs.
  • Other Species: 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.


  • Two bass are better than one! Jacob N. on Lake Hartwell.

    Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is good. Many bass are in the summer areas in the ditches. Red Eye Shad crank baits and Shad Raps are excellent baits to use since this lake houses plenty of blue back herring. Spinner baits, worms and lizards are catching the fish and live bull head minnows around docks and blow downs will get a big bite. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a Texas rig, a Carolina rig or flip one next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike. Look on points in the creeks and the docks that are close and use the Lowrance Structure Scan to find the schools of fish. Flipping worms or jigs around and in heavy brush can draw a strike. The gourd green u tail Zoom worms on a Texas rig is fair just fish these baits slowly. Add scent using Jack’s Juice in the garlic flavor and work the lures in the same locations often. Most crank baits are slow but up the river use the 3/8 ounce Hildebrandt spinner bait with all silver blades and slow this bait on the wood on the banks. Shad Raps in the #7 size in shad color right on the banks cover later each day can draw strikes. The Strike King Spinner baits are working as well.

  • Linesides (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Preston Harden, of Bucktail Guide Service,reports,  “Fish are shallow and eating. May is the most consistent and reliable month of the year. Most game fish have spawned and are hungry. Early mornings are the best time to find feeding fish. Hybrids and stripers are in their spring pattern. They are spread out mostly up the lake and in the major creeks. They are feeding on shad and blueback herring. Pulling a lively herring with no weight will get slammed by any nearby hybrid or striper. Largemouth and spotted bass will also eat the herring. Herring imitations like bucktail jigs and flukes will get bit. Stay shallow all month for all game fish. Try to fish early or late or all day when it’s cloudy.”

LAKE CHATUGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports)Level: 1.5 feet below 1925. Temp: 61-63 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Nice hybrid bass catch for Axel B. from Lake Chatuge.

Bass: Guide Eric Welch reports, “Fishing has been good, but mother nature has not been kind lately. We’ve been having some warm days and cold nights, cold and windy days, along with rain and sleet. Not to mention the lake is filling back up to summer pool and the bass have been trying to spawn. Most of the spawn should be completed by the first week in May. I’m starting my mornings out looking for areas where the spotted bass will spawn. I’m looking for pebble rocky banks, long points, and I’m targeting these fish with a shaky head, tube and Ned rig. It seems the bite has been better once the sun gets up and there is a little wind. You should start seeing fish protecting fry around docks and brush. Try throwing a Zoom Trick Worm and a Zoom Fluke. Then I’m going to start back fishing like I would in the summer by targeting long points, deep brush and offshore structure. I will be throwing a drop shot, shaky head, Ned rig and jig. If I have a windy day, I will try a small crankbait in a baitfish pattern or a spinnerbait. Good luck.”

LAKE NOTTELY: Level: 2.0 feet below 1775. Temp: 58-65 degrees. Clarity Clear.

Stripers: Guide Jeremy Seabolt reports, “Fishing has been sweet. The first of April started off slow, but the fish are setting up good on their spring pattern. We have been catching fish a lot of different ways the last few weeks. Freelined herring and shad have been performing the best during the first few hours in the morning. Then we have been switching to weighted freelines and downlines. Going into May, it can be a lot fun on Nottely. The herring get to spawning, and when that happens, it’s time to start throwing plugs up on the banks and pitching herring and working them back slowly. We will still be pulling herring and shad up shallow or on secondary points on creek and lakes. The key to catching fish in May is to find the bait, and fish won’t be far behind. Don’t forget The Bait Shack has all your live-bait needs.”

LAKE BLUE RIDGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 1 foot below 1681. Temp: 61-65 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

  • Bass:Guide Eric Welch reports, “The bite has been good. The lake has come up fast the past month, and the fish have been trying to spawn. It’s been a strange spring this year with all the rain and cold weather, with a mix of warm weather. But most of the spawn should be over by the first week in May, and then the fish will be protecting the fry around docks, brush and laydowns. I like targeting these areas with a Zoom Fluke or swimbaits. Once the bass leave the fry, they will start back feeding up to gain the weight back they lost during the spawn. When this happens, you should start seeing some topwater action on a Whopper Plopper and a Pop-R. The bass will start moving back to areas where they will spend the summer—around brush, laydowns and offshore structure. I will target these fish with a Ned rig, shaky head, drop shot and a Texas rig. If you have a day when there is some wind, throw a spinnerbait. Good luck.”
  • Smallmouth advice:Guide Eric Crowley reports, “I’m still looking for the smallmouth to show up. This is usually our best month for them. We don’t see many true smallies anymore, so it’s nice when it happens. If you’re looking for them, the break of dawn on the main lake or in Star Creek is your best bet. Look for busting fish and throw a topwater or a 4-inch spoon at them from as far as you can. As for the rest of the bass, we are always catching spots. Seems like if I’m fishing a spoon, we catch spots. If we are jigging with a minnow, we catch spots. We catch them trolling Rapalas. At times I can’t get away from them. With the super clear water and competition for food, I believe you can catch them just about anyway you like some days. Most of the bass hold at the same depth as the bait or just below it. Right now that’s about 20 to 30 feet. Look for groups of fish on your sonar just off the bottom around that bait ball.”

BURTON (courtesy of GON Fishing reports)Level: Full. Temp: 62 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Tyler Clore reports, “Largemouth are pulling up into the shallows in the creeks to bed. You can see the beds from 2 to 8 feet deep. I use a Texas-rigged Senko to pitch around the beds. The spotted bass are in the 10- to 15-foot range. Fish sandy/rocky points and also the shallow-water humps. I like to use a shaky head with a green-pumpkin Trick Worm. As the water continues to warm, look for the blueback spawn. You will find them rolling along the seawalls and on any solid surface they can find. Sometimes they will actually find the back of your boat and follow you around as you fish that area. When casting into those pods of bluebacks, I like to use a McStick jerkbait in the blueback color. You will see the fish come through and feed on the baitfish that are spawning.”


Bass catching on Lake Allatoona.

Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fish is good and is pretty much a typical early summer patterns. Fish are suspending and holding on shad and fry. Fish can still be caught on top early on buzz bait, Spro Hydro Pop and walking type baits. As the sun comes up fish suspend in the 12 to 17 foot range. Watch for bait to stratify and bass to move the same range. Use a Big Bite jerk minnow on a 1/8 ounce jig head and also a Big Bite Shakey squirrel worm fished on a 1/0 drop shot. Fish will be working there to brush soon. Start the day by fishing some form of top water. Cast to main lake points and flats. My topwater choice right now is a Jackal SK Pop Grande in a shad color. As the day progresses, fish the same points as well as pole markers with a Carolina Rig. Cast a 2 to 3 foot leader with a ½ to ¾ weight. Use a 4 inch Net Bait finesse worm in green pumpkin/watermelon color. You can also fish a Shaky Head in these same areas.

Linesides (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Line side fishing is good. The spawn run is almost over. Most of the fish are back on the main lake and are starting to set up on a summer pattern. Big schools of Hybrids can be found anywhere from the S turns to as far south as Tanyard Creek. The down rod bite is the most productive bite going on the lake right now. Fishing live shad at depths from 20 to 30 feet is producing for our boats from one end of the lake to the other. Our bait of choose has been big Thread Fins with small gizzards running a close second. These fish can be found on the Lowrance on or around most points, humps and flats. Good electronics can be a big help during the summer months. Summer time is awesome for numbers on Lake Allatoona.

CARTER’S LAKE (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Level: 2.7 FEETABOVE 1074. Temp: 67 degrees. Clarity: 3 feet.

  • Walleye:Guide Eric Crowley reports,  “Walleye fishing has been consistent all spring, and we are seeing some real quality fish. After the spawn, the fish have pulled back out to the main-lake points and humps. They are holding offshore during the day in 35 to 55 feet of water and coming up in the evening to feed on baitfish in the shallower water. Daytime presentations can be anything from trolling crankbaits to jigging and fishing spoons or live bait fished on or near the bottom with light fluorocarbon leaders and small circle hooks. Use your electronics to locate small groups of fish holding on drop-offs. At night, jerkbaits, crankbaits and live baits worked around shallow baitfish can produce some really nice fish. Bright colors are best. The mouth of the river and around the islands has been the most productive areas as well as around the dam and rip-rap in that area. Look for the full moon night bite this month to be really good.”
  • Stripers: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The striper fishing has been better this spring than the last couple years. We are seeing some really nice-sized fish. As usual, it’s quality over quantity here. With the water still being relatively cool, the fish are still up shallow in the morning feeding on bait. This is planer board time. We run multiple lines with big baits spread out as far as we can and cover water at about 0.7 to 0.8 mph. I prefer the biggest baits I can catch. After the sun is up over the trees, I prefer to troll artificials over fishing downlines. These fish are typically on the move after sunup and can be next to impossible to stay on top of with live bait. Captain Mack’s umbrella rigs, bucktail jigs with trailers or bucktails tipped with fresh baitfish 35 to 45 feet deep can be a better option as you can cover more water. Typically, we troll these between 2 and 3 mph on 50-lb. braid. The night bite has been good as well by throwing artificials and fishing live bait around the boat ramps.”
  • Striper/Bass (Report courtesy of Carters Lake Guide Service): May is topwater month!!!  Live bait with planer boards & free-lines have been producing quality fish but keep your favorite topwater lure handy – all day! You might catch a big striper, hybrid, or spotted bass. We have been running planers & free-lines along the bank half-way back in creeks first thing in the morning then switching to a mix (couple of planer boards & couple down-lines) focusing on long tapering main lake points mid-morning to afternoon. Keep throwing topwater lures throughout the day as you troll live bait. You just might catch your pb.  Last of all…Remember to keep it fun! You are out on the water away from everything else. Enjoy!


  • Catching bass on Lake Lanier.

    Bass (courtesy of guide Phil Johnson via Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Water temperatures have finally stabilized in the upper seventies and the fishing has become more consistent. The topwater bite has been good but not quite great yet The morning bite has been the best but even it has been scattered. The key is to find the herring and the fish will be close by. Red fins, small Spooks, Wake baits and Flukes have been the most productive baits. The bass has been scattered and so have the bass. Long points, blow through’s, reef poles and humps are all subject to have fish on them. The key is to work different areas until you find the bait. Wind has been a big factor also by positioning the bait and improving the bite. The drop shot is another bait that has been effective on days that the fish don’t want to come to the top. You don’t have to fish it in the usual straight down method but instead work it the same way you would work a regular worm. Look for the rocky points and steep banks with this bait. The wacky rig and a trick worm on a three sixteenths lead head have been producing fish on the docks and blow downs in less than fifteen feet. Summer is almost here an as the water temperature continues to climb the fish are going to be pulling out to their summer homes in twenty five plus foot water so you may find a few already there. If you are doing any tournament fishing now be sure to take plenty of ice for your live well’s along with some G Juice to be sure the fish survive. Summer is the highest time for fish kill. And if you’re out on Lanier on the weekends, do it early as the fun seekers are knocking down the reef poles so you don’t want to be part of that. They are biting so Go Catch ‘Em!

  • Striper from Lanier – see Captain Mack’s Striper Report

    Stripers (courtesy of Captain Mack Farr): Striper fishing is overall good, if you find them they have been quick to bite. The fish are still scattered out, but they are beginning to bunch up making it easier to get better numbers. Live baits are very productive, and while free lines and planers have been the go to, we have some fish taking the down lines as well. Herring and Gizzard Shad are both great choices for the live baits. The fish are using a variety of structures, with shallow humps, points and saddles being primary areas. In addition, anywhere the Herring are congregated may also hold fish. Pull the baits on shallow places early, expecting the fish to move a little deeper was the day progresses.  You can target the same structures, just deeper, as the day progresses. After the early morning the Stripers will often be around the structures as opposed to very tight to the structure. In addition to the live baits, there are some casting opportunities. We have a few sporadic schooling fish, enough that you need to be looking for them as you move around the lake. The schoolers have been quick to bite if you can get to them, Flukes, top waters, and small buck tailsare excellent choices for this application. If you see single fish surfacing in an area, but the density is not enough to warrant casting, put out the spread and you’ll catch them on the bait. You will also not have to see surfacing fish to catch them casting. Wake baits, swim baits or OG’s cast to the previously mentioned structures have been producing well. This bite is very good in early morning, but will have all day applications. Some of the fish are very shallow, often in 2 to 8 feet of water.  Dock lights continue to be productive and are worth an early start, or a late finish. The fish on the lights are quick to bite so almost any bait will do. Buck tails, flukes, and jerk baits are always reliable choices for the lights. Lights in any depth can hold fish, so do not ignore shallow lights or lights in the backs of pockets and coves.

  • Crappie (courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton via Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): The water temperature is 76 and will be rising quickly with several days of hot weather conditions ahead. I am finding crappie in the summer pattern. Look at the docks for suspended fish in 20 to 45feet deep. Also look for crappie in shallow blow downs. If you are using jigs I would recommend a white and Chartreuse or a translucent body with sparkles. Remember to retrieve slow and give the jig time to sink to the level of the fish. 10% of this week’s catch came on minnows almost all jigs but the biggest fish of the month came on a minnow this week. I am setting minnows at 10 feet deep. 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 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 and a Piscifun reel on a Act crappie Stix.


Congrats on this Beautiful Tailwater Trout: Photo Credit Chris Scalley

Lanier Tailwater Trout (courtesy of Orvis Fishing Reports): GO FISH!!! The warmer weather is here to stay, and with that the fishing has already started to heat up. The Department of Natural Resources has released the 2022 stocking information. Stocking began this month and will continue through October. The weekly stocking report can be found on the Georgia Wildlife website. You can sign up for their weekly stocking report email. Fishing many of the popular spots on the Hooch tailwater have resulted in great fishing. The North Georgia streams have been fishing well when the releases have been good. With stocking in full swing, these fish are not used to eating the local bugs, making your junk flies a great choice to fool these fish. For now, worms, eggs, and attractor patterns, such as rainbow warriors, lightning bugs, and blue assassins are great to have in the box. It is also a great idea to have the Hooch classics, stonefly nymphs, caddis, and midges. For fishing on the Hooch in the late afternoon, hatches are in full swing. Small BWO and caddis patterns have proven effective. Patterns such as, WD-40’s, RS2’s, and midge drys are the ticket. Along with Spring time trout fishing, the bass fishing is starting to heat up. Fishing the lower sections of the Hooch, below Morgan Falls are great places to fish! This is also a great time to pull all of your gear out to make sure that you have everything you need for this year’s season. If you have any questions at all, feel free to come in and we will be happy to get you set up! For the Chattahoochee, state regulations require a certified personal flotation devise be worn by all anglers from Buford dam south to highway 20. Pay special attention to water release info online or call the number below for release schedules. Make sure to call the Corp of Engineers release hotline at 770-945-1466 before making your trip.

Don Anderson with his river record carp

Chattahoochee Carp (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop): In addition to premier trout fishing and bass fishing, the lower Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, just above Morgan Falls dam, is an excellent place to target large carp this time of year. When the river is running low and clear, there are abundant shallow flats below Roswell Road, and cruising these flats are hefty carp, lazily grazing on periphyton, vegetation, and any form of detritus worth an attempt at digesting. For Chattahoochee angler Don Anderson, that digestion-worthy offering came in the form of a chartreuse mop fly affixed to his 5-weight fly rod. Once netted, the carp weighed out at 9.66 lbs and met the minimum weight requirements to establish a new record for this section of the Chattahoochee. Congrats to Don! You can check out the story and video of Don fighting his Chattahoochee River Bonefish HERE!

Chris Bergquist with a nice striper from Chattahoochee

Chattahoochee Stripers: In the case of the two Chattahoochee River sections in North Georgia containing striped bass (above Lake Lanier and below Morgan Falls), the main question these fish are now pondering is “up or down?” As water temperatures continue to rise, stripers will either push further upstream where they will seek out cool, flowing water or a nice deep hole; or, they will migrate back downstream to the depths of their home reservoir (Lanier or West Point). For those that choose upstream, impediments and an eventual impasse will be encountered along the way. If you’re striper fishing on the ‘Hooch(es) this May, you gotta think like a striper, as Atlanta striper angler Chris Bergquist well knows. Striped bass are now foraging on shad, herring, and meaty crayfish, so consider a variety of options, including jerkbaits, flukes, bucktails, and crawfish-patterned jigs and crankbaits to successfully bring these river monsters to hand.

Toccoa Tailwater Trout (courtesy of Orvis Fishing Reports): Variable daily flows with some good opportunities. Streamer and nymph fishing with some dry fly action starting to kick off. For more information, call Dane Law at 770-655-9210.

Ian Shaw with his Youth Angler Award Rainbow Trout

Award-worthy Trout (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Region Supervisor Jim Hakala): Youth angler Ian Shaw of Armuchee caught a nice 20.5-inch rainbow trout from Armuchee Creek in Floyd Co. Ian was fishing a topwater plug for bass when he caught the trophy fish. While Armuchee Cr. is not directly stocked with trout, streams farther upstream in the watershed are routinely stocked. It is likely the big trout was a “holdover” that migrated its way downstream during the winter and spring months. Ian’s unique catch easily qualified him for a Georgia youth angler award. Way to go Ian!

Stocking Update: Many truckloads of hatchery-raised trout hit Georgia trout waters this week thanks to the fine staff at Summerville, Burton, and Buford state trout hatcheries and our federal partners at the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery. By checking this week’s weekly stocking report, Georgia trout anglers will see there are fresh trout fishing opportunities in our lotic (flowing) and lentic (lake) trout waters alike! The current heat wave will push these stockers into deeper/cooler holes, so be sure to get your offerings down to their level and forgo the temptation to sample and resample those shallow runs that quickly heat up in the absence of substantial riparian cover.

Guide Reports: The Unicoi Outfitters blog is fresh every Friday and can be found HERE.  Cohutta Fishing Co. updates periodically—get the latest Toccoa intel HERE. Alpharetta Outfitters provides an excellent quick reference to trout stream conditions throughout North Georgia HERE.

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.