90 Years is a Long Time! Yesterday, June 2, 2022 marked 90 years that Georgia has held a world record largemouth bass record. In 1932, George Perry caught the world-record largemouth bass weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces from an oxbow lake in Telfair County, Georgia.
While the record was tied by Japanese angler Manabu Kurita in 2009, the Georgia record also retains the honor according to the International Game Fish Association.
Want to read more about the Perry bass? Grab a copy of Bill Baab’s book, “Remembering George Perry” HERE.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW) begins tomorrow – how will you celebrate? NFBW is 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.
- 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.
- Kids Fishing Events (KFE): Help your kid develop a life-long love of fishing by taking them to a KFE, there are lots of events happening during NFBW (see listing HERE), or just take them to your favorite local fishing spot. Find out more about fishing with kids HERE.
This week, we have fishing reports from North and Southeast Georgia. Whether you catch a record fish or your kid catches their first fish, we are glad that you 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)
Fishing has been hit-or-miss this week. The Okefenokee, Satilla, St. Marys, and ponds have produced very good fishing. Saltwater has been tough, and the Altamaha came back up and muddied this week.
River gages on June 2nd were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 3 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 4.7 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 7.9 feet and rising
- Waycross on the Satilla – 4.8 feet and falling (83 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.1 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.8 feet and falling
First quarter moon is June 7th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
Don Harrison and his friends Rob and Sira floated the upper Satilla on Saturday. They had a great trip and caught 80 fish, including redbreasts up to 9 1/2 inches, bluegills up to a pound, stumpknockers, crappie, and bass. They caught their fish on Satilla Spins of various colors. Crawfish, pink gold, and warmouth craw produced, but the black/chartreuse was their most effective color. The water has gotten low enough that it’s tough to get around in boats. Paddle crafts are the way to go right now.
ST MARYS RIVER
Chuck Deen fished out of Traders Hill on Monday and caught a nice mess of redbreasts, bluegills, and bass while flinging a popper with his fly rod. With the warming water, the bug bite should be good again this weekend. The next Shady Bream Tournament Trail event is scheduled for June 11th. Check out the Shady Bream Tournament trail on Facebook for more information.
Dionte Smith fished the east side with a friend on Monday morning, and they caught 5 warmouth (up to 10 inches) and 7 bowfin (up to 3 pounds). They caught the warmouth by pitching a Warmouth Whacker Jig, and the bowfin came on jackfish (red/white/yellow) and crawfish Dura-Spins. Brandon and his grandfather from Waycross fished the east side on Wednesday morning and caught a good mess of warmouth by pitching live crayfish. Okefenokee Adventures staff said that most folks aren’t catching many warmouth, but the ones they catch are big. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.08 feet.
John Ross caught another nice bass from a Waycross area pond while celebrating the holiday with his family. He slowly swam a green pumpkin Keitech Mad Wag Worm to fool several bass up to 4 pounds all by himself. Chad Lee has started catching bass in Alma area ponds with buzzbaits. He fished both day and night to catch several fish per trip on black buzzbaits. His biggest was a 6-pounder, and it ate a buzzbait rigged with a plastic lure. I had several reports of anglers catching some nice bream by pitching crickets around beds and shoreline vegetation.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
The catfishing has improved with the recent warm-up. Alanah and Aubree each caught youth angler award-sized channel catfish this week. Alanah’s weighed 7.3 pounds, and Aubree’s was 10.6 pounds. Both of them caught their whiskerfish on hot dogs. You can catch smaller bass cruising shallow or chasing schools of shad. A small finesse worm on a shaky head is hard to beat this time of year for numbers. The larger bass have moved to offshore cover, so give crankbaits, swimbaits, and big worms a try. Early in the morning, you should be able to fool some active bass with buzzbaits.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Capt. Greg Hildreth had a good week for trout and was able to get on some good fish this week in the St. Simons area. The tripletail bite should be good off Jekyll Island if the wind will lay down enough to let you look for them. Capt. Greg said that he’s caught a few, but not as many as usual this time of year. He said that the shark fishing behind the shrimp boats has been wide open, and some really big ones were caught. A Kingsland angler fished the St Marys Jetties Wednesday in the wind. It was choppy, but he managed to catch 4 undersized sheepshead and 8 black sea bass in the short trip. The key lately has been to get out at first light so that you can fish a few hours before the wind kicks up. I talked with an extremely skilled trout angler that went Thursday morning but didn’t do anything in the Darien area. The afternoons have been very breezy lately. The whiting bite has been the most consistent in saltwater when you could get out in the sounds. 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).
(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Carters Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Bill Payne, Bill Payne Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — As of today, the spawn is largely over and the spotted bass are beginning to feed more aggressively. Topwater action can be fairly good in the early morning on surface lures like the Berkley El Choppo or a walking bait like the Berkley Cane Walker. Even after the morning bite subsides, and later as the sun gets up, there’s a good chance that you may be able get a few topwater strikes out deeper over brush on long points or on humps. It’s exciting when you get a wolf pack of aggressive spots charging up on your topwater bait out over deeper water. There’s also a little bit of a fluke bite happening around some of the numerous blowdowns around the lake. I don’t expect this bite to last much longer, but it may go on for another two weeks. A little rigging tip to increase your hook-up ratio on a fluke is to use a straight-shank 3/0 hook with the hook exposed out the bottom side of the bait. Also, you’ll want to place a barrel swivel up the line about 10 inches above the hook. I like to use 15-lb. fluorocarbon for this. Even though most of us think of jerkbaits as an early spring lure, quite a few fish are still being caught on these baits. Many times when the topwater bite just isn’t working, a jerkbait can be just the thing to get a few bites. Probably the most consistent bite has been the shaky head or the Ned rig. Picasso makes the Rhino Head and 3/16-oz. is my favorite for shaky-head fishing. They make a weedless Rhino Ned Head in 1/8-oz. that’s been working very well, too. We’ve been using FishCo Finesse Worms and Lil’ Deuce (Ned) worms in natural colors like browns and green pumpkin. We’re using the Ned rig around blowdowns and out to around 20 feet deep, and then for depths of around 20 to 30 feet, we switch over to shaky heads. Humps and long points with brush or pallets are the best bets. As we move into June, you’ll want to expand the depth to 20 to 35 feet around any cover you can find. Don’t forget to work the sharpest drops or breaklines that fall within the 20- to 35-foot depth range. Without a doubt, the most exciting thing about the month of June is night fishing. Of course, many of you have already been fishing at night, but I usually begin around the first of June. Cooler temperatures, less boat traffic and bigger fish make night fishing my favorite time to be out. We usually start our trips before dark and fish until 2 or 3 a.m. There’s nothing more calming and peaceful than being on the water after night settles in and suddenly those bone-jarring strikes interrupt everything! Jigs, worms and spinnerbaits all in dark colors rule the night. Many times, we’re fishing the same types of places where we catch them in the daytime. My favorite bait is the Picasso Rumbler spinnerbait which I designed, and it is a killer on big spotted bass. June is the time to get out and fish at night on Carters Lake, and it is a great time to catch the fish of a lifetime.
Carters Lake Walleye Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — Walleye fishing continues to be good on Carters. Like most species here, it’s quality over quantity. Our average fish has been holding true at 23 inches. We are fishing the backs of creeks and pockets with lots of bait. Live baits and crankbaits have both been putting fish in the boat. This pattern will hold true until mid July. Until then I’d focus on these areas.
Carters Lake Striper Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — June can be a great month for some and a struggle for others. I find timing to be the most important factor this month. The stripers tend to get on this early feeding pattern where they feed best from 6 to 8 a.m. and then slowly taper off and slip back down to deeper water. This time of year I’m starting with a mix of downlines and flatlines as the baits are all over the place and the fish can be anywhere early in the morning. After the first hour, I’d focus my efforts on the downline bite with baits between 35 and 50 feet deep. Fresh bait on Carters is a must and with a HydroGlow and a Humpback cast net you can make quick work of enough bait to fish for the day.
Blue Ridge Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Welch, Welch’s Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — The bite has been good. The spawn is pretty much over and the fish should start feeding on the herring soon. Starting at daylight, I’m targeting flats and long rocky points with a Whopper Plopper, Zara Spook and a Pop-R. Once the sun gets up, I’m using a Texas rig, shaky head, drop shot and tube around docks, deep, rocky banks and points. By midday, I start working my way up the river and fishing deep, rocky banks where the river hits on its way down. I’m targeting these areas with a shaky head, Texas rig and a drop shot. This month is also a good time to fish a Zoom Trick Worm and Fluke around docks and brush. If night fishing, I like throwing a Norman DD crankbait around rock and long points, a 3.5-inch tube and a Texas rig. Fishing should be good all month.
Blue Ridge Lake Walleye Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — The spring walleye bite is over and it’s on to summertime fishing. The last few weeks we have been on a good shallow-water bite, but it tapered off last week and the transition is on. As the fish pull out of the shallows and the baitfish head offshore, the walleye are spread out and are feeding on a typical summertime low-light schedule. Mornings and evenings are best, as well as after sunset. The fish are moving up and down shoreline contours following schools of bluebacks and feeding when the opportunity presents itself. Because the fish are not stationary, you can fish them a number of ways from spoons to crankbaits, live baits or jigs. Whatever you have confidence in really. Find the contour depth the fish are holding on and follow it. Fish bright colors on cloudy days and dark colors on sunny days. Having a large variety of tackle is a must when fishing this clear-water lake as the fish can get pretty picky at times. Most fish are in the 40- to 50-foot depth range in the daytime.
Blue Ridge Lake Trout Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Crowley, Lake and Stream Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — The trout bite has been getting better for a few weeks now, and we have them dialed in pretty good. They are chasing the schools of bait around on the main lake and up in the river until around 10 a.m, then they go deep. Again live bait or artificials fished near the schools of bluebacks is the way to go. Trout like shiny things. Gold, silver or any combination, as well as combined with live bait can work. We have seen some fish as big as 23 inches recently. These fish never stop moving, so figuring them out can be tricky.
Lake Nottely Striper Report: (This report courtesy of Jeremy Seabolt, Lake Nottely Fishing Charter via GON Fishing Reports) — We need some rain. Fishing has been good. All three of our boats have been catching good numbers of fish. Shad and large herring have been the ticket. We are pulling shad on boards and herring on freelines the first few hours of the morning. Mid-morning we have been switching over to weighted freelines and downlines. Fish have been holding in the mouths of the creeks on a 30- to 40-foot bottom. We had a good topwater bite for about two weeks, but the water warmed a little too fast for topwater. Going into June, it will be the start of fishing the summer patterns. Find the schools of bait and the stripers will be not far behind. The trolling bite should start producing good numbers of fish by mid-June, but downlining over schools of fish will be best. Start looking for the fish to show back up in the big lake, and watch your fish finder for fish and bait. The Bait Shack has all your live bait needs.
Lake Chatuge Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Eric Welch, Welch’s Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing has been good. Most of the fish have spawned and are starting to feed and move back out where they will spend the summer. I’m starting my mornings out fishing flats and small pockets off the main body of the lake where the bass will push the baitfish into during the night and wait to feed on them as they start back out at daylight. I’m targeting these areas with a Whopper Plopper, Ima Stick, Zoom Fluke and a Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr. Since we’re just coming off the spawn, you should also see fish around brush and docks. I target these fish with a Zoom Trick Worm and a Zoom Fluke. There will also be some fish that have already started staging off points and offshore structure. I’m targeting these fish with a 3/8-oz. pb/j jig, drop shot with a 6-inch morning-dawn Roboworm, shaky head with a 5-inch green-pumpkin finesse worm and a Ned rig. Night fishing should really start picking up since the water is getting warmer. That means Texas-rigged worms and black spinnerbaits. Fishing should be good all month.
Lake Burton Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Tyler Clore, Georgia Cast and Blast via GON Fishing Reports) — Largemouth: With the bass spawn finishing up, fish the shallows early in the morning with topwater. I prefer a white, 1/4-oz. doubled-bladed buzzbait. I also have success around the treetops and boat docks with a Pop-R. A weightless, merthiolate Trick Worm just under the surface is also a good technique for largemouth. For spotted bass, start early fishing points and humps with a white Zara Spook and a weightless white Super Fluke. Keep your eye out for fish schooling on the surface. As the sun gets higher, skip the Flukes under docks. This is also the month for the herring spawn. The bluebacks will spawn on solid surfaces. You will see them rolling along the seawalls. If you get close enough, they will actually follow the back of the boat around and will be so thick it blacks your graph out. You can fish white, double willowleaf spinnerbaits, Super Spooks, Super Flukes or jerkbaits around this spawn. You can literally throw anything that resembles a blueback into the massive schools of bait and catch fish. Keep an eye on your bait while you crank. You will feel the bait hitting your lure, and they will follow it all the way to the boat.
Big Largemouth from Lake Burton: (From Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — Kate Rathbone of Ashville North Carolina landed this monster bass off the courtesy dock at Moccasin Creek State Park. She was fishing with a minnow when she landed this beauty weighing 9 pounds 13 ounces. Now is a great time to wet a line and try your luck at landing a monster like this.
Lake Hartwell Linesides Report: (This report courtesy of Cefus McRea, via www.southernfishing.com ) — Stripers & Hybrids: The lineside bite is starting to really crank up. As a matter of fact, most of the fish we’ve been catching have been on the larger size, compared to what we saw this time last year. Stripers in the 8 to 15 pound range are showing up regularly, and hybrids in the 3 to 5 pound range are coming to the boat as well. That’s a good sign that this fishery is healing up from the stress it saw a few years ago, and our smaller fish are maturing nicely. We’ve been finding fish virtually all over the lake from the upper reaches of the two rivers, all the way to the dam. The highest concentrations, right now, seem to be about mid lake, from the confluence of the Seneca/Tugaloo, and southward. As he water continues to warm, the fish will make a beeline for the deeper parts of the main channel and large creeks. The Crane Creek area, and the pockets on the south side of Andersonville Island have been good producers over the past week, especially for schooling hybrids. Downlinked herring and medium sized gizzard shad are still the go to bait. But keep a topwater plug tied on, as surface action can occur just about anywhere. Red fins, Top Dogs, and Zara Spooks are good choices in silver/blue or silver/black colors. Planer boards with larger baits, as well as free lined herring behind a balloon have both been productive in the creeks off the main channel. Because the population is still a bit scattered, I suggest staying in ‘search mode’ until you see fish on your Simrad, and then put your bait spread out. Since you’ll be moving less than five mph, you should consider trolling a 4 arm Capt. Mack’s Umbrella loaded with 9 jigs. You’ll pick up a few fish this way, and you’ll also have something in the water when you do locate the schools. Get all your striper fishing gear and watch our Pro Tips for rigging planer boards, downlinking 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 Hartwell Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is fair and the water temperature is still climbing and with all these hot days, don’t expect bass fishing to get any easier. The good news is that good solid bass are still showing up. Continue to fish the deeper docks and try to focus on those located out on the main rivers or near deep water. Jigs and Texas rigged worms seem to be working the best right now. Another good area to pay close attention to is the submerged humps that are located all over the lake. Have the new OG Rapala crank baits in shad and baby bass ready all day. They will run only 8 feet deep and the action is very good since it is a Rapala. Deep diving crank bits like the Rapala DT 10 and the DT 14 will work. Also try using a four inch worm or lizard on the Carolina rig on the humps too. Downsizing is a key factor during those hot summer months. Now the bite is getting stronger every day. As the water temperature continues to rise the fish will begin to set into their summertime patterns. So be ready for feeding periods early in the morning and late afternoon and early evening. But have a top water bait ready in the middle of the day right.
Trophy Walleye from Tugalo: (From Fisheries Supervisor Anthony Rabern) — Chris Edlund from Roebuck, SC was fishing for walleye on Lake Tugalo when he hooked and landed a 10lb 1oz trophy. This scenic, mountain lake in Northeast Georgia meanders along the Tallulah River on the border with South Carolina. Although Chris’ trophy walleye weighed 4 lb less than the Georgia state record, his fish tied the state record for South Carolina. Walleye fishing uses simple techniques such as dragging a nightcrawler along the bottom at a slow trolling speed.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com ) — The bass fishing on Lanier is good. Many of the spotted bass right now are post spawn with bloody tails but they are still biting. There is starting to be more schooling fish now but only one or two fish at a time that only stay up for a minute. If you get a cast right on them you stand a good chance to pick up a fish. The first two hours of the day have been most productive but the bite is starting to be solid all day. You may have to move areas a bunch but when you find them its game on. This week the Sebile, Fluke and Spook have been steady producers. With the Fluke and Spook be sure to try different retrieves to see what the fish want for the day. The fish have been relating to the deeper brush, twenty foot humps and the ends of long points and will get stronger on these areas over the next couple of weeks. The drop shot bite is starting to show up especially on calm sunny days when the fish tend to bury into the brush. When you are targeting any of these areas be careful not to crowd the fish. The clear water of Lanier makes your electronics even more important to be able to know the structure and stay a cast away from it. My Panoptics has been a great tool to be able to pull into an area and actually scan for the fish. If I don’t see them I simply move on. The worm bite is still an option around the docks and on rocky points but I just love to see the topwater action. Memorial Day means the start of boating season for a lot of boaters. Please be careful on the water with them out there and a lifejacket should just be a part of your every trip. We lost a very good young High School fisherman this week on Lake Hartwell so please take every precaution and be careful out there. They are chewing so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Jimbo Mathley, Jimbo’s Spotted Bass Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — It is hard to beat the topwater bite in June on Lake Lanier. Spotted bass chasing a topwater bait in wolfpacks from brushpiles provides unmatched excitement and fun. In this month’s installment, we will review the different options to take advantage of the incredible offshore topwater fishing on Lake Lanier in June. By June, most of the spotted bass have completed the spawn and have transitioned into replenish mode. This June may be a little different in terms of timing based on the delayed spring and spawn we have experienced. Keep that in mind in terms of the timing of your pursuit of this bite. In postspawn, many fish will be relating to key features at the mouths of the major creeks as well as main-lake areas and can be found on key structure such as long, running points and humps. Locating these areas and the man-made cover that is often found on them, which will often concentrate the fish, will be important to your success. Now that we have explored the location that the spots can be found in June, as well as how to find them, let’s examine some of the techniques and lures that can be used to catch these fish. Topwater is the No. 1 choice in June. There are many bait choices in the topwater category—poppers, walkers, wakers, etc. The preference of the fish will change day to day, so make sure to experiment daily to identify the mood of the fish, as well as their preference in presentation. Excellent topwater baits for Lake Lanier from Berkley include the J-Walker, Cane Walker, Hi Jacker, Surge Shad, Choppo and the Bullet Pop. These lures as well as all the rods and reels you will need to present them can be purchased at local tackle shops such as Hammond’s Fishing in Cumming. Make sure to check out those G-Loomis rods and Shimano reels. Swimbaits offer great versatility as they can be fished at any depth you wish. Popular hard and soft swimbaits are made by several different tackle vendors, to include many local options. As far as the mechanical-type swimbaits, one of my favorites is the Berkley Magic Swimmer. Vary your retrieve speed and depth with this bait until you find the retrieve for which the fish are searching. Look for these baits to be a big producer of monster spotted bass in June. When the topwater/swimbait bite is tough, pick up your Underspin and go to work. Fish the bait over and around brush for your best success, especially when the sun is out. The sun will concentrate the fish in this type of cover, and the Georgia Blade Underspin offers the perfect solution for the finicky fish that won’t come up. You can tip your underspin with either a straight-tail or boot-tail style trailer. When the topwater/swimbait action slows, and you see fish in the brush on your Humminbird, try the worm and jig. I like the Georgia Blade Jig head and worm combinations. As far as jigs go, I prefer Georgia Jigs. Explore different worm and jig sizes, shapes, textures and colors when you are fishing. Something different presented appropriately can make a big difference on certain days. Keep trying until you find the presentation for which the fish are searching that day. For topwater action, you should utilize either a medium to medium-heavy bait-casting or spin-casting outfit, rigged with 12- to 17-lb. monofilament line. Also an option is spooling with Seaguar Smackdown braid/mono leader combination. Monofilament (and braided) fishing line floats, where as fluorocarbon line sinks, which makes either monofilament or braided line the best option for presenting topwater baits correctly. As far as choosing a rig for fishing these topwater baits, consider the weight of the bait as your deciding factor. Lighter poppers and smaller walking baits are often better presented on spinning gear, which allows for easier casting of smaller baits. For swimbaits, I like to present the larger, heavier, mechanical-type swimbaits on a heavy-action rod that is at least 7 feet long, and I will utilize 20-lb. test monofilament or Seaguar Fluorocarbon line. My big swimbait rod is a G-Loomis IMX Pro Swimbait Rod, which is perfectly matched for these baits. I appreciate the extra rod strength to cast these big baits and manage the big fish you will catch on them. As far as the many other soft and hard swimbait options, you can scale back to a medium-heavy rod if you prefer, but I recommend keeping the length at 7 feet or more. G-Loomis also offers some outstanding topwater rods from which to choose. I really like the IMX Pro options. Check out the options at G-Loomis.com and hit up Hammonds Fishing for the best local selection. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing on Lake Lanier during the month of June!
Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of “Academy Jack” Becker) — This week I went back to Balus Creek on Lake Lanier late one afternoon to fish a brush pile where I caught nice crappy earlier this spring. I was surprised to still find some there. I caught several big ones. One was 15 1/4”. Big enough to qualify for the Georgia Angler Award. I released her. Hope she will produce more big ones. All of them were caught on a black and chartreuse 1/8th ounce hair jig on 2 pound test line. Go On-line and check out the rules and application form. —Academy Jack
Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493 via GON Fishing Reports and www.southernfishing.com) — I am finding crappie in the summer pattern. Look at the docks for suspended fish in 20 to 45 feet. Also look for crappie in shallow blowdowns. 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. Always bring minnows. I mainly use jigs, but the biggest fish of the month came on a minnow. I am setting minnows 10 feet deep and putting them in a rod holder while I shoot jigs. Don’t fall into the trap of staying too long just because you see a pile of fish on your electronics. If they are not biting, move on and look for some that will bite. Crappie love the shade, so cast into the shadows. When dock shooting, the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. I’m using Skippers Jig Moon Jigs. Use the promo code ‘heroes’ when ordering. I’m using ATX Lure Company plastics. I use 5-lb. test high-visibility yellow braid for my line (unless I am using a bobber) and a Piscifun reel on an ACC Crappie Stix. I use Garmin LiveScope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages @crappieonlanier and @fishingwitheverydayheroes.
Lake Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Ron Mullins, The Striper Experience via GON Fishing Reports) — June is one of our big transition months. There will still be quite a few fish up on major points that have steep drop-offs in the mid lake and south end of the lake that can be caught pitching herring the first of the month. Spot-Lock your boat upwind of these areas and toss your herring on a 7.5-foot medium-action Okuma Reflections spinning rod with a 3000 class Okuma Helios SX loaded with 20-lb. braid. Attach 3 to 4 feet of 12-lb. Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader with an Alberto knot to the braid and tie on a No. 1 or No. 2 Gamakatsu circle hook, depending on the size of the herring that you will be pitching. These points will hold stripers, spots, largemouth and channel cats, so there is no telling what is going to eat your herring. After you pitch your herring up to the point, just let the herring swim around as natural as possible, so let out some line if you feel it swimming away from you and reel in a bit if you lose contact with the bait. Most of the bites that you will get will be pretty aggressive and the fish will be moving up into shallower water to eat your bait and then hauling it back down into deeper water, so hang on and enjoy that screaming drag. The stripers will begin moving out to deeper water and start feeding primarily at depth versus chasing herring and shad on the surface as the water warms into the 80s in mid-June. Pockets with 40 to 60 feet of water from Chestatee Bay south to the dam will be the areas that will hold the majority of the fish going through June. This is the beginning of our downline season, and quality electronics will be your best friend through October. The Humminbird Solix or Helix units will allow you to look for fish in these pockets on the big motor and avoid fishing in spots that are not holding fish. Once you have marked fish, then you can put your MinnKota trolling motor down and begin deploying your four 7.5-foot Okuma Striper rods with Okuma Coldwater 15 or 25 models spooled with 15-lb. Big Game monofilament with a 1.5- to 2-oz. Captain Mack’s Swivel Sinker, a 4- to 5-foot length of 12-lb. Tatsu leader and a No. 1 Gamakatsu circle. Drop your herring down just above where you have marked the fish and begin moving around the area at 0.4-0.6 mph. Most of the fish that you will find in these pockets will be moving around the pocket, so keep moving so that you have a better chance to run back into them. As the fish migrate to the south end of the lake this month, the lead core trolling bite will also pick up this month. This historically gets very good in the Chestatee Bay area this month, so make sure your lead core is ready to go. The 1.5-oz. Striper Tackle Super Spin Shad, available at Oakwood Bait and Tackle, in white head/white shad body or white/glow will be a great lure to start with. Troll these five to seven colors back at 3 mph on the main creek channels or river channels for the schools that will be forming up as they move south. In this culture of who is the GOAT and pressure to be the best, remember that Jesus told us in Mark 9:35, “anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Serve others and put others first as Jesus Christ did for us.
Lake Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Clay Cunningham via GON Fishing Reports) — Now that June is here, look for the stripers to progressively move deeper as the water temperature rises. We are still seeing some topwater action as the stripers push herring to the surface, so be sure to have a Berkley Magic Swimmer or Jaywalker ready to cast. Some of our biggest fish this past month have been on the Magic Swimmer. Walking baits like the Berkley Jaywalker will also be a good choice in bone and chrome. The topwater bite has been fun but unpredictable. Cast these lures on 12-lb. Trilene Big Game on a spinning rod. A good setup is a 7-foot medium-action Abu Garcia Veritas spinning rod paired with a Penn Conflict 3000 spinning reel. Don’t be afraid to blind cast the points. You do not have to see them schooling on the surface. That being said, we have been seeing some schools of 20 to 40 fish schooling on the surface on a daily basis at random times throughout the day. As the fish move deeper with the heat, look for the downline to take over, which is usually the first week of June. Spool up a Penn Fathom Linecounter reel with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game on a Shakespeare medium-light action Striper Rod. Tie on a Captain Mack’s 2-oz. Swivel Sinker, a 4-foot leader of 15-lb. 100% Trilene Fluorocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Herring from the local tackle shops will be the key bait. Look for the stripers on your electronics before you drop baits. In June, points will be the key structure. You can use traditional 2D sonar or Down Imaging to see these fish. Great electronics like the Humminbird units are a must. You can see your bait swim around the sinker. Overall, June is usually a great month on Lanier for stripers. The spawn will be over and the stripers will feed. The fish will be heading south looking for cooler, oxygenated water.
Lake Lanier Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Buck Cannon 404-510-1778 via www.southernfishing.com ) — Lanier’s stripers are still scattered up north of Brown bridge to Gainesville park. Water temp was a warm 78 degrees, locate the bait using your electronics and put out your down lines first then put out planer boards at 30 to 35 feet behind the boards and 60′ from the boat on each side, after the boards put weighted flat lines out, I’ve been putting the split shot approximately 12 inches above the hook it will keep the bait down a little. The top water bite today turned out to be White bass so have something ready to throw. Remember to wear your life jackets. Buck Tales 404 510 1778 Available opening in June!
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Matt Driver, via GON Fishing Reports) — Fishing on Lake Allatoona in the month of June begins the summer pattern that will last until somewhere around August. Postspawn bass are feeding up on the shad spawn and migrating to deeper water. Most schools of bass can be found on main-lake points. In June, target 12 to 20 feet of water. Typically most fish are caught in less than 20 feet of water. Baits range from topwater to deep crankbaits. The fish are still chasing shad, so early mornings until around 9 a.m. are on fire for topwater! Fast-moving walking baits are the most productive. Running and gunning rock and rip-rap is the ticket. Some really good hybrids are in the mix, as well. After the sun gets up, target shady areas with a Pop-R style bait or buzzbait. Bluff walls are most productive for this pattern, and it will only last for about an hour or so, and then the sun will be on those areas, as well. After the topwater bite dies down, I go to a drop shot and a small paddletail swimbait over brush. Sometimes fish will be more deeply in the brush and can be caught on a 1/8- or 3/16-oz. Texas-rigged worm. For the evening bite, I go to a soft plastic swimbait and a dark-colored crankbait. I still target the same areas, but I use moving baits because the bass roam a lot more in the evening and at night. Be safe, there is a lot more boat traffic this time of year.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is good. There is a great top water bite. Later in the month, expect it to get a little tougher due to the bass being in transition to summer hideouts. Start the morning before daylight with top water. Buzz baits paralleled on bluff walls and walker type baits like the Spro Dawg, Zara Super Spook and a Pop R work the best for spots and hybrids and white bass will mix in. After the sun starts to come up, try shady areas with a popper type bait like the Spro Hydro Pop. Look for small bream in the area. Bass will be around to feed on them so sunfish color poppers work best. There is also a swim bait bite as well. The bites are fewer but the size is good. Sebile Swimmers are best and use the slow sinking models. As the days go on drop shots and jig head finesse worms like the Big Bite Squirrel Tail Worm are good for numbers. Fish are not quite in the brush fully but it won’t be long. Points, ditches and bluffs in the mid and upper lake are best. Up the river there is a frog bite in the grass in the river and a good chance at a largemouth.
Lake Allatoona Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Robert Eidson, Firstbite Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports) — 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 downrod 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 choice has been big threadfins with small gizzards running a close second. These fish can be found on your Lowrance on or around most points, humps and flats. Good electronics can be a big help during the summer months.
Lake Weiss Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service via GON Fishing Reports and www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good, and they are shallow and spawning in the bays and creeks in the spawning areas. Spinnerbaits and shallow-running crankbaits are catching a lot of fish. Crappie fishing is fair, and they are still shallow and can be caught longline trolling with Jiffy Jigs in colors JJ13 and JJ17 and on minnows. Some crappie are being caught shooting docks with jigs. Striper fishing is poor, and no reports of any catches. Catfish are biting good in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water. Cutbait is working best.
West Point Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Keith Hudson, Lake West Point Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — There are a few different patterns that seem to work well for largemouth in June. Topwater baits such as Pop-Rs, Whopper Ploppers and buzzbaits can still be effective for shallow and aggressive fish, especially around bream beds. The shallow bite is usually better early or late or on overcast days. A second pattern that can still produce in June is to look for spawning shad and blueback herring. The herring population seems to have exploded this year. So, I would expect many of the tactics that Lanier anglers use to catch open-water fish to really come into play over the next couple years. Try fishing rip-rap around bridges with spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and Zoom Super Flukes, Also, this year with the water being down and clear, I expect deeper brush and cover to pay off in June. Try dragging a Texas-rigged Ole Monster worm or a jig around brushpiles (a lot of deeper docks have brushpiles near or under them) and old roadbeds in 12 to 20 feet of water. At times, a big crankbait can also be effective. Some spotted bass are being caught by casting shaky heads or Spot Remover heads loaded with worms into blowdowns with fairly deep water near them or just dragging a Carolina-rigged Zoom Finesse worm or Mini Lizard around sloping gravel banks or around the many shoal marker poles scattered around the lake.
West Point Lake Bass Report: (This report Courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing is good. Now it is time for some great top water action. Start with top water during the low light hours, early and late and use Rebel Pop R’s, Sammy’s and buzz baits are the best bets. Other good choices are the Lucky Craft Top Gun and the ½ ounce Strike King Buzz bait. Throw them right to the bank and the fish will nail it right away or they won’t at all. Keep moving and cover a lot of super shallow water in any main lake cove Fish back into the coves about half way and then turn around and work back out the opposite bank. The gold #11 Rapala is a great back up if they won’t commit to top water. During the day the best bet is going to be a white pearl Zoom Super Fluke or trick worm. Have a jig handy and cast it to the swirl if the fish takes a swing at a top water bait and misses. Have the new OG Rapala crank baits in shad and baby bass ready all day. They will run only 8 feet deep and the action is very good since it is a Rapala. The jig will usually get a strike on the fall. Use a 3/8 ounce Strike King flipping jig in green pumpkin and add a Zoom Super Chunk trailer in Root beer green pepper. Concentrate on whatever brush the Lowrance can see from 2 to 10 feet. If all else fails, cast a #5 silver black back Shad Rap on ten pound test Sufix line.
West Point Lake Lineside Report: (This report courtesy of Keith Hudson, Lake West Point Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — Excellent. Spawned-out hybrids and stripes are back down the lake in June. I have been catching them near the mouths of most of the major creeks from Yellow Jacket all the way down to Maple Creek. Expect the downline bite on live bait to stay good through June. Trolling usually gets really good in late June, especially during periods of power generation. Some fish have started schooling on the main lake and can be caught on small crankbaits, topwaters, popping rigs and Got-cha Shad lures.
West Point Lake Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Keith Hudson, Lake West Point Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — Good. The crappie fish will typically move out and hold on deeper brush and structure or under docks during the summer. Shooting or pitching under the shade of covered 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 June, as well!
West Point Lake Bream Report: (This report courtesy of Keith Hudson, Lake West Point Fishing via GON Fishing Reports) — Good. The shellcracker population over the last few years has exploded with some really nice-sized fish and good numbers being caught. They seem to love worms fished on the bottom. Finding an active bed can take a little effort, but when you do, you can have a ball. Bedding usually takes place on the full moon cycle in June. Look for shallow cover in the backs of pockets. Sandy flats and stump beds tend to draw the fish like a magnet. Use worms, crickets and small jigs.
Lake Record Brown from Burton: (From Fisheries Supervisor Anthony Rabern) — Our congratulations go out this week to Tom Fox, a local Rabun County angler, who caught this beast of a brown while fishing Lake Burton on Memorial Day! The behemoth weighed 12 pounds 4 oz on a certified scale, and would eclipse the current lake record if our friends at Georgia Outdoor News decide to certify Tom’s catch. What an awesome fish!
Trout Stocking Report: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — More than 25,000 trout were stocked this week in North Georgia. You can find out where they went on the Trout Fishing page on our website. Stocking reports are posted weekly on Fridays (just in time for your weekend adventures), and you can even get them sent automatically to you by signing up for an email sent directly to you.
Trout in Georgia State Parks: (This report courtesy of On the Fly South) — The June newsletter from On the Fly South does a great job detailing the six Georgia State Parks that are stocked with trout. You can find the article HERE.
Trout Streams Report: (This report courtesy of “The Dredger”, at Unicoi Outfitters) — Find Unicoi Outfitters’ full weekly report along with other great nuggets on their Facebook page HERE.
Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia? Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate for you car, truck, and trailer this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports our trout hatchery and wild trout management programs.
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