This weekend wraps up National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW), June 4-12, 2022. Were you able to get out on the water during this week or maybe attend a Kids Fishing Event (see listing of events HERE)?
There is another Free Fishing Day offered tomorrow (Sat., June 11) where Georgia residents do not need a fishing license or trout license to fish on public waters. Find out more HERE.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- River Closure: According to a Facebook post from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, a portion of the river will be CLOSED Friday, June 10 for installation of a bridge. The area extends from McGinnis Ferry to Abbots Bridge. Please note. This closure is conducted by the National Park Service.
- Boat Ramp Temporary Closure: The Meriwether County Landing Boat Ramp and Parking Area on the Flint River will temporarily close on Monday, June 12, 2022. This closure will allow for replacement and upgrading of this facility by the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division. The area is expected to re-open in August 2022. Boaters and anglers accessing the Flint River in this area may do so upstream via the White Oak Creek Ramp (Meriwether County) at Joe Kurz Wildlife Management Area or downstream at Sprewell Bluff Park operated by Upson County.
- The Best Therapy: Maybe it is a stress reliever, or a way to spend time with family, or a chance to compete with your buddies to see who can land the biggest catch of the day – we all have our reasons for going fishing. Check out this article by AJC writer Mary Welch for some more about “Nature’s Therapy.”
This week, we have reports from all over the state, including Central, Southwest, Southeast and North Georgia. No matter your “why,” we appreciate the fact that you are headed out to Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant
LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL 80’S
Bass fishing is good. In early morning have the top water baits ready and work the small creek points and coves close by. In the shallow water use the Chug Bugs and Skitter Pops. Use the red crawfish hot copper green shad Shad Rap Ott’s garage series crank baits. Main lake points still seem to be the best places to fish after the sun comes over the treetops. Carolina rigged and Texas rigged Zoom u tail worms in red shad around any wood on these points will find isolated big bass. The spotted bass are still coming in first place on the crank baits. Shad Raps in shad and fire tiger colors will catch a limit of spots during the day. Use the middle sizes of the Net Bait Paca Chunk and Paca Bug 3/8-ounce Alabama craw Black neon and Okeechobee 3 inch and Sapphire craw when the fishing slows down.
CLARKS HILL IS .61 FEET OVER FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is good. The bass are scattered all over the lake and the majority of those caught are isolated fish holding tight to cover. Almost any bank structure can hold several bass so pick this cover apart well. Have a Zoom Super Fluke in pearl ready and work it fast at twilight and then again mid-day. Try fishing in tight to the points and secondary points early and move back as the sun comes up. Before sunrise, look for rising bass and shad or herring. Slow cranking a number 10 or 12 Husky Jerk in Glass Shad or Shad color will catch these bass while they chase the bait fish. By mid-day, the bass seem to be holding tight to cover. Use the middle sizes of the Net Bait Paca Chunk and Paca Bug 3/8-ounce Alabama craw Black neon and Okeechobee 3 inch and Sapphire craw when the fishing slows down. Submerged stumps seem to be the preferred places to find quality fish during the afternoon. Split shot and light Carolina rigs will catch the bass holding to the tops of stumps and submerged timber.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S (This Lake Oconee fishing report is by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time Service)-
- Bass: Bass fishing is good. Start the day with a buzz bait fished on sea walls and rip rap. This bite will last for the first hr. of day light. After the sun gets up move to the deeper docks on the main lake. Start with docks in 10 ft. of water. Work the docks with a shaky head green worm. A Texas rigged green pumpkin worm will also draw a strike. A mid running crank bait fished down the sides of the same boat docks will also produce. Again, this week, if Georgia Power is pulling water move to the bridges and work a crank bait or a spinner bait on the down lake side of the bridge.
- Stripers: Line side fishing is good. The fish are holding in 15 ft. of water on points and humps on the south end of the lake. Use a 3 arm 9 jig umbrella rig fished 100 feet out at 3mph. A few fish will bite on live shad on the same humps, but the big number will come on the umbrella rig. The white bass are starting to show up on the humps from sugar creek north. Use the Lowrance to locate the schools on the humps and then drop a spoon down into the school.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. Locate the schools with the Lowrance and then drop a live minnow down to the fish. The fish are in the timber from 10 to 20 feet deep in the timber.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is good. Multiple patterns and techniques are working right now as the fish are still scattered all over the lake. There is still a good shallow bite going on in the pockets in 3-6 ft of water in both Little River and the Oconee River. Chartreuse colored buzz baits and spinner baits will catch fish around wood cover and sea walls for the first hour of the morning. Later in the morning use a Bass Hound square bill crank bait around lay down trees and docks near the mouth of spawning pockets. Midday when the bite slows down, it is time to move out deep or skip plastics under shady docks. A 3/16-ounce Buckeye spot remover with a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm has been best for catching fish under the docks. Make sure to get the bait as far under the docks as possible. One of the best lures out there is a Keitech Swim Bait. They have an erratic swimbait action that can be fished on its own or as a trailer on other lures. Use either sizes 2 inch to 4.5-inch sizes. The best colors are electric shad, chartreuse white and electric bluegill. They have EWG hooks that come in a variety of sizes. A Strike King 6xd crank bait in a sexy shad color and a Carolina rigged Zoom trick worm will catch fish on the offshore points and humps. These fish will be in 15 to 18 feet of water on these offshore structures.
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair early in the day. Water temperatures are already very warm, and the bass are on the bank and wood structure early each day. Small top water lures and trick worms around blow downs and on docks and wood as well as main lake points have been fair. Concentrate on the lower lake points and around any overhanging wood to find these fish. This cover holds fish all day especially the largemouth. Spotted bass have been schooling early and late and Shad Raps are hard to beat. The post spawn fish are continuing to get more aggressive and the bite is improving each day. The main lake fish have been up shallower on the points and humps and are continuing to move out deeper. There are some shallow fish up early in the mornings. Look for 15 to 25 feet to be holding these bass and work the rocky points, also. Be ready for the top water action and have the Pop R and the smaller swim baits ready. Also try the fluke and a Fish Head Spin. When the fishing slows down go to the small Shaky Head and jig. Use the pumpkinseed mini lizard by Zoom on a light Texas rig and run the bank lay down all day. Spots are taking small green crawfish crank baits and Zoom mini craws on light wire hooks mid lake. There has not been much fishing in the rivers. Try at least an hour up the Alcovy and use an all-white jig and pig with the plastic or pork trailer and swim the baits around the creek bends and the stumps.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Surface Temperature: 82˚ F (28.2˚ C)
- Water Level: 21” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 30”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
Temperatures are heating up at Flat Creek PFA! Try beating the heat by going night fishing and take advantage of the dock lights at the fishing pier. Both largemouth bass and channel catfish are being caught in the coolness of the night. Here’s a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:
Bass: Black top water buzz baits and Yum Dinger green pumpkin chartreuse rubber worms are producing catches.
Bream: Red Wigglers continue to produce bream.
Channel Catfish: Chicken livers and cut baitfish are producing nice-sized catfish.
Crappie: Use live minnows and jigs while targeting deeper, cooler water.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Level: All ponds are full.
- Water Clarity: 14” – 36” depending on plankton bloom.
- Surface Temperature: 78 – 88 degrees. Surface temperatures will increase throughout the month of June.
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Early morning and several hours after dark are the more productive times to fish for bass. However, several nice bass have been caught late evening on schooling shad as well as soft plastics in deeper water.
Crappie: Few crappie are being caught this time of the year. Although we do see the occasional experienced angler with a limit of crappie from fishing for suspended fish on brush piles.
Bream: Bluegill and redear (shellcracker) are actively feeding now so your chance of catching them is great. Fishing on or near the bottom with red wigglers, crickets, or wax worms are your best bet. Bluegill spawn every month around the full moon from May-August so finding a bedding area in 2-5’ of water will be close to a sure thing.
Catfish: Several catfish have been caught at Bennett and Fox using night crawlers and crickets. Try fishing on or near the bottom for catfish.
Hybrid Bass: Hybrid bass have been schooling early morning and late afternoon at Bennett. These aggressive fish are feeding on schooling shad. Your best bet is to cast a shiny inline spinner or lure into the schooling shad. Hold on if you hook up.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
The morning bite is where it’s at right now on Walter F George. As soon as the sun gets up too high the bass fishing becomes very difficult. Hollow belly frogs around the edges of the vegetation and through the vegetation holes are producing well in the mornings. Shallow bass are still taking spinnerbaits and buzzbaits while deeper bass are enjoying jigging spoons and Carolina rigs. Catfish fishing is also good this time year. Try any bait that has a strong smell (hot dog, chicken liver, and stinkbait). Below the dam, at discharge pipes, and around docks are good places to look first. The bream are bedding right now. Follow your nose to the smelly areas where they are bedding. Use crickets and worms for best results. There is currently a may fly hatch happening so try you luck with a may fly lure.
The Flint River is low and clear. Shoal bass are coming off spawning activity and are very hungry. We have been getting a lot of reports of 4 pound plus fish coming out of the middle and lower Flint. Try no weight or lightly weighted flukes or topwater rigs. Big Bite baits and fighting frogs in pumpkin green have been lucrative. Staying by the rocky shoals should give you some bites. Shoal bass can also be fun to catch on a fly rod. Anglers have had success using streamers and hellgrammite flies.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
With hot weather and surface temps flirting with mid 80’s fishing pressured has slowed significantly in the last few weeks. Like many anglers, most fish are seeking relief from the heat, so anglers are having luck fishing mainly shad pattern cranks and rattle traps targeting bass suspended in 5-7 ft of water. All of the ponds on the PFA are following the trend. Also, Frog Pond has just been stocked with several dozen 10+lb channel cats. These kitties are hungry so get after it in the early morning to beat the heat!
This is a tricky time of year at Blackshear. The bass are post spawn and are in what some call a funk. Bream are in closer to shore to spawn. If you want to target bass looking for bream, lures that resemble bream such as a popper or prop bait are a good choice.
When the bream move off the beds the bass will follow them to the ledge and using a Carolina rig in this situation should get you some bites. Bream fishing right now is hot! Crickets and worms from Flint River Outdoors are working very well right now! There is also a may fly hatch happening and the shell cracker are on fire right now. Some anglers have also been having a lot of success with crappie right now. Look for shad balls and target fish with sugar bug jigs.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
The post-spawn bass fishing is decent right now. Bass can be found in the upper 3 to 4 feet of the water column. Due to the incoming hot temperatures, bass fishing will be at its best early in the morning and late in the day just before sundown. Top-water and shallow presentation of bait is your best bet this time of year. Bream fishing has been good. They are actively spawning and will aggressively guard their beds, which improves your chances at catching several for the table. Crickets and worms are good bait for spawning bream. Also, small grub like plastic jigs can work well this time of year; try a variety of colors. However, make sure the hooks are small because the bream have small mouths. The rocks along the dam are always a good spot to try and catch big channel cats. However, angling for catfish has also been good in deeper water over much of the lake. Catfish are being caught on worms, livers, and sometimes shrimp.
Bass: The top water bass bite at Seminole has been tough this year. We are fully into the summer bass pater right now and anglers are suggesting bream colored lures when fishing the river. Anglers have seen success with fishing creeks and creek mouths by hitting the grassy protrusions from the bank. Try June bug or June bug red or watermelon red. Another option is a swimmy worm or paddle tail worm. Smoke red flake worms have also been producing well.
Bream: The bream fishing continues to be good on Seminole. They are bedding in deeper water so try targeting 8-9 feet of water for bream on bed. As always, follow your nose to the precise location.
(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 summer pattern is setting up. That means low rivers, calmer winds in the mornings in saltwater, and heat. Fishing early or late or even at night are good approaches as the summer bears down on us.
River gages on June 9th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 4.8 feet and steady
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 2.8 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 6.2 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.4 feet and steady (82 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.3 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 4.5 feet and falling
Teddy Elrod and a friend fished the river around Burnt Fort on Friday evening and Saturday morning and did well for bluegill and warmouth. On Friday evening they had about 30 fish, including 4 bass, a 20-inch pickerel, and a bunch of warmouth and bluegill. The warmouth and bluegill were really nice size. On Saturday morning they only fished a few hours but still caught 15 fish. They fooled their fish with 1/16-oz. copperfield Satilla Spins, poppers and sinking flies fished on fly rods, and live worms. My family and I floated the upper Satilla on Saturday, and we had to drag a good bit around fallen trees. It was more of a paddling than fishing trip, but my daughter and I made about 100 casts. The bite was good, as we caught about a dozen fish in those casts. The first 4 were largemouth bass and a redbreast that ate a prototype buzzbait. The biggest bass was about 2 pounds. The next half-dozen were decent redbreasts, and one was a 10 3/4-inch rooster that was right at a pound. We also had a pair of bluegills (biggest 10 inches) and a stumpknocker. All of the panfish ate a 1/16-oz. bruised banana gold Satilla Spin. I talked to another angler who said that he did well for catfish by putting worms on the bottom. Jay Murray fished the middle Satilla on Wednesday and caught 40 panfish, mostly bluegill. He fooled them with a crawfish Satilla Spin. This week’s rains brought the river up some, but it has dropped back out to where floating is the way to approach the river right now.
ST MARYS RIVER
Ricky and Jaime Beckham went to the lower St. Marys on Saturday and had a great day. They pitched cricket-colored Satilla Spins and beetlespins and caught 54 panfish (redbreasts, bluegill, warmouth, and crappie). They kept 15. The next Shady Bream Tournament Trail event is this Saturday, June 11th out of the Kings Ferry Boat Ramp. Check out the Shady Bream Tournament trail on Facebook for more information.
The reports I received this week were a little slower than the last few weeks. People are still fishing amongst the yellow flies. Most warmouth catches were about a half-dozen, and even the bowfin reports were only about a dozen fish per trip. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.98 feet.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (Located Near Tifton, More Info HERE)
Scotty Storey had a great day on Thursday fishing for bream. He had a 15-fish limit of nice bluegills. One of the biggest Kids’ Fishing Events will be held at the area this weekend and is sponsored by the Tifton Kiwanis Club. Children 16 and under can fish in some great catfish ponds for the morning. The fishing starts at 8am and ends at noon.
Kellen fished with his PaPa (Jay Murray) on Saturday, and they had a blast catching bass and bream in a Baxley area pond. Jay had the biggest bass of the day, a 7-lb., 3-oz. trophy. It ate a big pumpkinseed-colored ZOOM lizard. They had a total of 25 bass and about 15 bream. Kellen put it on the bream with bruised banana gold Satilla Spins and crickets. Dionte Smith fished a Kingsland area pond on Monday and caught some big purple-cheeked bluegills. He fooled them with worms fished on a jighead. Daniel Johnson and Chad Lee fished an Alma-area pond on Tuesday evening, and Daniel caught several bass on a black buzzbait. Chad caught a couple small bass on plastics, and he caught a half-dozen big bluegills on a fly rod and lime-colored Bert’s Bug.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Steve Hampton caught a 15 1/2-inch flounder and several throwback flatties on Saturday from the Jekyll Island Pier. It ate a mudminnow fished on a jighead and suspended under a float. Another angler fishing the pier caught a 22-inch seatrout on a live shrimp. Shane and Joshua Barber fished the Brunswick area on Wednesday and caught a mixed bag of fish. They had 8 trout, but none of them were keepers. They fooled the trout with plastic grubs. The caught a nice sheepshead, a shark, a dozen bluefish, and some other bottom fish on live shrimp. Joshua put it on the fish with shrimp. Capt. Greg Hildreth had a quite a few trout in the St. Simons area this week, but they were all small. 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 Jackson Sibley, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Matt Driver via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Allatoona in the month of June begins the summer pattern that will last until somewhere around August. Post spawn 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 buzz bait. 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, go to a drop shot and a small paddle tail swimbait over brush. Sometimes fish will be more deeply in the brush and can be caught on a 1/8 or 3/16 ounce Texas rigged worm. For the evening bite we go to the soft plastic swimbait and a dark colored crankbait. We still target the same areas use moving baits because the bass roam a lot more in the evening and at night.
Allatoona Linesides (Report courtesy of Robert Eidson www.firstbiteguideservice.com) — Lineside 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 choice has been big threadfins 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.
Blue Ridge Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Welch via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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 Walleye (Report courtesy of Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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 Trout (Report courtesy of Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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.
Burton Bass (Report courtesy of guide Tyler Clore via GON’s Fishing Report) –
- 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.
- Spotted Bass: Start early fishing points and humps with a white Zara Spookand 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.
Carters Lake Bass (Report courtesy of Bill Payne via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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 Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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.”
Carters Lake Walleye (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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.
Lake Chatuge Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Welch via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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 Hartwell Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. The warmer surface temperatures are driving the largemouth bass down to deeper and cooler water. Keep a Zoom pearl Super fluke ready all day. The spotted bass are still roaming the banks early in the morning and by using a Number 5 RS Shad Rap or jointed Shad Rap will catch a limit of small keeper bass. Use the red crawfish hot copper green shad Shad Rap Ott’s garage series crank baits. Try the flat sided body with VMC Black and an occasional three pounder will show up crank baits on ten pound test line and a good cranking rod. Wood and rock combination on the main lakes seems to be the favorite places to fish this week. Carolina rigged plastics on wood and docks near deep water are where most of the s are concentrating their efforts. Use the middle sizes of the Net Bait Paca Chunk and Paca Bug 3/8 ounce Alabama craw Black neon and Okeechobee 3 inch and Sapphire craw when the fishing slows down. A very slow presentation will be the key here.
Lake Hartwell Linesides (Report Courtesy of Captain Cefus McRae via www.southernfishing.com) — 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 the fish show up on the Simrad, and then put the bait spread out. Since anglers will be moving less than five mph consider trolling a 4 arm Capt. Mack’s Umbrella loaded with 9 jigs. Anglers will get a few fish this way and also have something in the water when we do locate the schools.
Lanier Bass (Report Courtesy of Phil Johnson via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. We are not having our traditional topwater season but the activity has definitely picked up Right now it seems the best action is before ten o’clock in the morning. The fish are beginning to school and feed on a variety of topwater baits. The fluke has been the most consistent bite for a couple of weeks now. We are using the fluke nose hooked on a spinning rod loaded with fifteen pound braid backing and a fifteen foot leader of ten pound fluorocarbon. We prefer to throw this bait on a spinning rod rather than a bait caster especially on windy days. Usually I will have a pearl white super fluke tied on. With the fluke, Sebile, Gunfish or Spook we are working it over brush in twenty five to thirty foot of water or long points and humps of the same depth. Be prepared to throw these baits at the schooling fish along with a quarter ounce Sporchoker with a three eight Keitech. The worm bite is steady around the docks and rocky points with some good fish being caught this way. Green pumpkin worms tend to be the ticket. As the boat traffic and heat continue to climb don’t forget about night fishing for bass on Lanier. A half ounce Georgia Blade spinnerbait in the dark colors along with a red or black Rock Crawler will catch a lot of fish right now. The fish are up shallow and located in the same areas you would worm fish during the day. Be especially careful out there at night and life jackets are a mandatory thing. They’re biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lanier Bass (Report Courtesy of Jimbo on Lanier via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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!
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Capt. Ron Mullins via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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.
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Captain Clay Cunningham via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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.
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Buck Cannon via www.southernfishing.com) — Lanier Stripers are still coming down the rivers. Locate the bait using your electronics and watch for top water action. The down line herring seems to be the best method at the moment. Water depths from 20 to 40 feet out has held fish in backs of creeks and over drop offs near the river the channel. Flat lines 80 to 100 feet back will also produce spots and stripers. Water temp ranges from 72-79degrees. Trolling umbrella rigs over points and humps can be effective. Remember to wear your life jackets.
Lanier Profiles (Report courtesy of fisheries biologist Hunter Roop) — Vertical water quality profiles measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen were collected on lakes Lanier, Nottely, and Chatuge this week. Check out the WRD Fishing Forecasts and click the temperature icon on your lake of interest to view these data. As expected, there is an abundance of quality habitat available for coolwater species like stripers, hybrids, walleye, and their prey (mainly, blueback herring). A shallow thermocline is setting up around 16 – 20 ft deep and extending down to ~40 ft deep. If you are fishing the north end of Lanier around Bolling Bridge or Gainesville Marina, expect to find stripers shallow early in the morning and then retreating to thermocline depths throughout the rest of the day. Further south (i.e., below Brown’s Bridge), stripers may be located at even greater depths midday. A mix of freelines and downlines with live blueback herring near humps and points will be productive for a variety of species.
Lanier Crappie (Report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton via www.southernfishing.com) — The water temperatures are in the low 80s. Look at docks in 15-40 foot of water near a main channel for suspended fish 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. 20% of this week’s catch came on minnows still almost all jigs. I am setting minnows at 10’ feet deep most of the time. 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 on a lip thrashing lure. 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 Act crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. Find me on Facebook and like my pages #crappieonlanier & #fishingwitheverydayheroes
Nottely Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Jeremy Seabolt via GON’s Fishing Report) — 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 Weiss Mixed Bag (Report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service www.markcollins service.com) –
- Bass: Bass fishing is good, and they are shallow and spawning in the bays and creeks in the spawning areas, spinner baits and shallow running crank baits are catching a lot of fish.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair and they are done spawning and they are moving out to deeper brush in 10-18 feet of water and can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy Jigs, Some Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs.
- Striped Bass: Striper fishing is fair and they are starting to show up in the lower Chattooga River, and the Cave hole.
- Catfish: Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water. Cut bait is working best.
West Point Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good. Most of the largemouth bass have already spawned and the fish are small males. The fish are now roaming the points and pockets looking for food. Continue to move around as the bass will bite the #5 Shad Rap in baby bass and shad patterns. Most of the day Texas rigged and Carolina rigged worms and lizards will work best. One of the best lures out there is a Keitech Swim Baits. They have an erratic swimbait action that can be fished on its own or as a trailer on other lures. Use either sizes 2 inch to 4.5 inch sizes. The best colors are electric shad, chartreuse white and electric bluegill. They have EWG hooks that come in a variety of sizes. Be sure the hook is centered to swim right. Use the spinner bait in small to medium sizes as well as buzz bait. Use a white buzz bait in any main lake pocket lake wide. The fish are very shallow early and be sure to get a white buzz bait and the same bait in the ½ ounce all white with some green in it and cast lures all the way to the bank.
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.
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.