Father’s Day provides one great excuse (do you really need one?) to get out and go fishing. Whether you are taking your dad or your kids are taking you – have a great time wetting a line this weekend.
Wanted to share this great Dad-related story. William Dunn helps kids that don’t have fathers experience the joy of fishing. What a great resource he has become for kids that need that father figure in their life.
Need a Father’s Day gift idea? So many great fishing-related options to choose from, here are just a few ideas:
- Gear: tackle boxes, new reel, spools of fishing line, a line cutter, measuring tape (to show it wasn’t just a tall fish tale).
- Boat-related: fish finder, new life jacket, kayak
- Clothing: fishing shirts, water shoes (with no slip grip for river rocks), sunglasses
- Other: camp chairs for some bank fishing, cooler, fish recipe cookbooks, or a lifetime fishing license
This week, we have fishing reports from Southeast, Central, North and Southwest Georgia. Dads deserve some fishing time, so make sure yours gets to 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)
The summer pattern is here! Fishing early and late or even at night is the way to go during the heat.
River gages on June 16th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.5 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.2 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.4 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.5 feet and falling (85 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.8 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.7 feet and falling
On Thursday evening, Steve Phillips and Winn and 4-yr old Kai (all from Douglas) fished the middle Satilla. They flung purple tiger and crawfish Satilla Spins all evening and hammered the panfish. They had 38 bream and a catfish. Their bream included bluegills, redbreasts, and shellcrackers. Chuck Dean fished the tidal Satilla on Monday and didn’t do much for panfish. He did manage to catch a couple bluegills on a fly and Satilla Spin, and he cut them up for catfish bait. He put them on the bottom and caught 5 channel catfish and a flathead catfish. They were nice fish, as all of them were between 18 and 24 inches. The river has been up and down in different areas with the torrential downpours scattered throughout the basin. Overall, it’s very low and dropping, except the middle river. The upper river will be good for float trips by the weekend if we don’t get much rain late in the week.
ST MARYS RIVER
Matt Rouse said that the upper St Marys was stained from heavy thunderstorms earlier in the day, but he was still able to fool a few bluegill and redbreasts on Monday by flinging electric chicken Satilla Spins. For the latest on the Shady Bream Tournament trail, check them out on Facebook.
Teddy Elrod and Chuck Dean fished the east side on Friday afternoon and caught a bunch of bowfin. They had 37 mudfish to 27 inches in just a few hours of fishing. They trolled and cast Dura-Spins, and color didn’t matter that day. They caught them on every color they tried and had 8 double hook-ups during the trip. I had a few reports of people catching warmouth on crickets and crayfish on the east side, but it’s a little slower than the last few weeks. Mark Williams took his grandson (Wesley) to the east side. They fished early and had a dozen warmouth and fliers by pitching crickets. Their bite was done by 8. They said that the yellow flies were pesky but not too bad. The key this time of year is don’t give them anywhere to bite. Cover up with light-weight clothing that will protect you from sun and biting insects. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.92 feet.
Dionte Smith fished a Kingsland area pond on Tuesday and put it on the big bluegills. He used worms on a jighead and kept a half-dozen big ones up to about 11 inches. Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond but had a slow go of it. The highlight was when they were both flinging black buzzbaits and they doubled-up with a couple solid bass. Most of their fish this weekend were under 3 pounds.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Chuck Coomer and friends Dan Holder and Mike Gennings fished with Capt. Richard Latham (stsimonsfishingguides.com; 912-571-6322) on Friday and caught 37 trout to 18 inches, an undersized redfish and tripletail, several sharks, and a bunch of other species in the Brunswick area. They mostly used live shrimp and mudminnows suspended under floats, but some of the larger trout came on a chartreuse pearl 3-inch Keitech Swimbait on an 1/8-oz. jighead. Late in the day, they bounced the live bait on the bottom pinned to a 1/8-oz. Shrimp Hook, and that was the preferred presentation. Capt. Greg Hildreth said that the whiting bite on the beach is hot right now. Shrimp on the bottom has been the best presentation. He has had some trout this week, but they are mostly on the small side. A Waycross angler caught some small sheepshead from a Brunswick area dock while dabbling fiddler crabs on a Sheepshead Slammer Jighead. A Brunswick anger fished the Cumberland beach on Sunday and had some really nice trout up to 21 inches on live shrimp. 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).
KEATON BEACH/STEINHATCHEE, FLORIDA
(Report from Capt. Pat McGriff of One More Cast Guide Service Phone: 850-584-9145) — Reported some really good catches this week when the wind was blowing. On Sunday his charter had 13 trout, kept 4 reds, and released 9 more reds. On Tuesday they caught their limit of 10 trout in under 2 hours in 3.5 to 4.5 feet. Live pinfish and shrimp fished 32 inches under a Back Bay Thunder Float was the recipe for those 2 days. On Wednesday, his charter coolered 9 trout up to 24 inches. They also threw back 2 trout over 19 inches. They got into 5 short redfish that day, as well. He doesn’t have a good read on the scallop season yet. He said he heard a vacuum going (folks use them to clean the scallops), so someone found some.
(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 has slowed down. Find and fish biggest cluster of rocks in the shade and fish with a 1/4-ounce jig while using no more than 10-pound Suffix Line. Also, use a Rapala DT6 or DT10 along these same areas and be sure to bounce the baits off the rocks. After the sun comes up, head to the bridge pylons. On a spinning rod, use a 1/4-ounce Strobe Tear Drop Spoon by Blue Fox on 8 to 10-pound test Suffix line. Use a Robo worm in morning dawn and fish this vertical jig on all the pylons under the bridges starting at one side, then move to the other. Most strikes will come on the fall of the bait and watching your line is a must. These hot summer patterns will work until the water cools back down. Use the Rapala Dives To series DT8 crank bait. These crankbaits cover shallow to deep waters. They offer subtle to aggressive crankbaits so you can adjust to the depths the fish are holding. Experiment with these baits and their unique features.
CLARKS HILL IS .6 FEET OVER FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is good. There is a good top water bite particularly in the mornings. A wake bait has been the best bait and the fish are really responding to it. Other baits are working well, and it just depends on the conditions at the time. Experiment with different baits to determine what the fish are in the mood for on the day you are out. For numbers and size use a 3/16-ounce Davis shaky head and worm combo and a fluke continue to work well. We are still targeting humps and reef poles in creeks and on the main lake. Most bites have been coming from 15 feet of water or less. When you cannot get the fish to come up, go down to them with a Fish Head Spin or weighted fluke. There are some good bass out on the deeper side of the main lake humps. Have a Zoom Super Fluke rigged all this month and use it on every stop.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S (This Lake Oconee fishing report is by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time Service) —
- Bass: Bass fishing is good. The temperature is 82 to 84 degrees. The Lake is clear from Hwy. 278 to the dam. At first light fish a white spinner bait on sea walls and rip rap banks. Then switch to a small crank bait in a shad pattern and fish the same areas. Lots of bass are showing up under docks in Richland Creek. Fish a small lizard on a light 1/4-ounce weight under these docks from the middle of the coves out to the main channel. Some fish are showing up on the main lake humps on the south end. Large crank baits fished from the top of the hump down the side will draw a good fish.
- Striped Bass: Striper fishing is fair to good, Trolling umbrella rigs have all been producing. The Mini Mack is also producing when trolled at 3 mph 100 feet back. The fish have been from Long Shoals to the dam. The bigger fish have been coming on the umbrella rig fished on the main lake humps.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The crappie are starting to move into their summer locations. Long lining and live bait dropped or pulled over the trees will produce good catches.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Top water baits and square billed crank baits continue to be the best choice when fishing shallow. Look for mayflies around the main riverbanks and overhangs for a good top water bite. A Bass Hound prop bait and a black Buckeye Lures buzz bait fished around these areas will produce some big bites. Another wave of bream started bedding in the pockets this past week on the full moon. A top water prop bait, square bill crank bait, and a Buckeye Lures mop jig are the baits of choice around these bream beds. A Spro Fat John square bill has been a good crank bait around the bream beds recently. There are fish biting out deep. Offshore humps and points in 15 to 18 feet of water will be productive when Georgia Power is moving water. Look for hard bottom or stumps on these structures to find the best spots holding fish. A Strike King 6xd crank bait or a Carolina rigged Zoom trick worm are good baits to fish on these deep summertime haunts. Many fish can be caught on the deeper docks that have brush present. Fish a Buckeye Lures spot remover with a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm to get the most bites.
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Fish early and late for best results and avoid the weekend boat traffic if possible. Surface temps have finally spiked up and put most fish firmly in a deep summer pattern. Target offshore structure like points, bluffs, and humps. Wood cover in 12 to 25′ should be targeted when you put yourself in its vicinity. Downsize baits when it is necessary throwing up to a 3/8-ounce Net Boy Finesse Jigs and small plastics like Zoom Finesse and U Tail worms. Use Texas rigs or shaky heads and the Texas rigs work much better when targeting brush and wood. Crank the points and other offshore structure with deep runners like the DD22 before following up with the finesse baits. During the early and late day window, you can look much shallower on the rocky points with something like a Shad Rap followed by lighter finesse baits. You can also go for top water bites in the early mornings. Throw Pop R’s, Spooks or Sammie’s, and buzz baits on open water schoolers and deep-sea walls. Late in the day we are having some mammoth waves of Mayfly hatches coming off and you can throw about anything from jigs to Pop R’s to catch bass in those areas. The main lake lay downs can hold good fish and they often fish best early with a swimming jig presentation. Deep stationary docks can be a good form of wood cover when skies are clear, and the sun is high.
(Fishing report courtesy of Jim Hakala, Fisheries Region Supervisor and Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com ) — Bass fishing has slowed down some due to the increasing heat and heavy boat traffic. This is normal for June, July and August. Getting out on the water really early or night fishing will increase your odds-on quality bass this week. There are some good bass out on the deeper side of the main lake humps. Have a Zoom Super Fluke rigged all this month and use it on every stop. There is still a good number of fish being caught on top water baits and crankbaits on the points and around some boat docks. Up in the rivers you can catch some solid bass along the steep rock bluff, especially those near the bridges. The Rapala DT10 will work well here along with small jigs. Try using a 1/4 ounce jig with a Zoom green pumpkin Fat Albert grub trailer. Trim the trailer some if necessary. For the points and dock, use a Skitter Pop or Chug Bug and a twenty-inch Carolina rigged finesse worm. Try the Rapala Ott’s Garage tiny 4. They offer a subtle to aggressive crankbaits so you can adjust to the depths the fish are holding. Experiment with these baits and their unique features.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Not too much has changed from last week as the spotted bass are still very active on top especially in the mornings. The fish are beginning to be located more in the deep brush and humps. This week the Jerk baits have still been a major producer along with topwater walking baits, Sebile and Red fins. There are a lot of schooling fish now that are a little frustrating to catch. They are feeding on smaller shad and herring so don’t be afraid to down-size on any of your baits. A quarter ounce Spotchoker with a two eight Keitech has also been effective with them feeding on the small baits. Work over twenty-five to thirty-five foot brush, on humps and long points for the most action. Move until you find the schooling activity and be ready to make a cast directly into the school. Be prepared though, the stripers are mixed into the schools also. After the early morning bite slows down approach the same brush, humps and ledges with the drop shot. I’m working this on fifteen-pound braid with a six-pound fluorocarbon leader and a three eighths weight. My Panoptics has allowed me to be sure there are fish in the areas before I even start to fish. The worm bite will still produce fish around the deeper docks and rocky points. A three sixteenths spot sticker with a green pumpkin trick worm or Senko will draw most of the strikes. Look to work the shady areas around the docks. It’s beginning to be typical summer fishing with most of the fish activity in the morning and the boat activity in the afternoon so be careful. They are definitely biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493 via www.southernfishing.com) — Crappie fishing is good. Look at docks in 15 to 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. 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 and a Piscifun reel on an Act Crappie Stix.
Lanier Striper Report (Report courtesy of Buck Cannon, 404-510-1778) — Lake Lanier stripers are scattered all over the lake, but north and middle lake is your best fishing areas. Locate the bait using your electronics and watch the bait movements because the stripers will be near. Water temp is in the 80s. Herring is the bait of choice on planer boards, flat lines and down lines. Use split shots for that extra depth. Look for change in the river channel around points, humps and drop offs on a 30 to 60-foot bottom.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. The bass are settling into a summertime pattern. Some fish can be found in mid depth brush, but not in large numbers. Fish can be found on the ends of points and the river channel. The medium to deep crank bait like the Spro big papa, the Little John DD and Little John tiny DD are good search baits. The 3/8 or 3/16-ounce green pumpkin jig and jig head are a pretty solid choice to put fish in the boat right now. For some reason the drop shot has not been very productive. Several good fish being caught on Weedless Wonder lead head and Zoom green pumpkin finesse worms and small Strike King Jigs in the same colors. Shallow to mid depth brush has been key early. There is also some schooling activity just before dark. We have been catching them on big bite jerk minnows and spy baits. The water is clear main lake and south and has a slight stain to it on the north end toward the river. For the early activity have the small Zara spook or a Popper style top water bait is a fun option till around 9 AM. The bite will slow and docks with lots of shade will be good targets.
Big Allatoona Gar (Report courtesy of Fisheries Supervisor Jim Hakala) — Angler Tim Garner (Pictured on left) of Rome recently caught a 16.75-pound longnose gar from Lake Allatoona. His catch may set a new lake record for the species pending GON magazine review. His catch also easily qualified him for a Georgia Angler Award.
- 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 moving out to deeper brush in 10 to 18 feet of water. Fish 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 Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. The bass fish are biting on deep points with structure and bait nearby. This week a 10″ Yum Ribbon Tail Worm in the grape color has been working great. A Carolina rig has been the best way to fish the big Yum worms. Use the Norman DD22 and Bandit 400 in the shad patterns. Mid lake and down lake is where most of the fish are biting around the 15 to 22 foot depth range. The top water bite is good in the early mornings and late evenings. Use the Z Man Razor Shad Swimbait in shad or perch colors. Try the Rapala Ott’s Garage tiny 4. These crankbaits cover shallow to mid depths. They offer a subtle to aggressive crankbaits so s can adjust to the depths the fish are holding. Experiment with these baits and their unique features. 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 is a good chance that anglers may be able get a few topwater strikes out deeper over brush on long points or on humps. It’s exciting when a wolf pack of aggressive fish charge up on a 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.
Tugaloo River Monster (Report courtesy of Lake Burton Hatchery staff) — The Tugaloo River arm of Lake Hartwell recently produced a 54-pound 3-ounce flathead catfish for angler Cody Vandergriff of Demorest. The behemoth cat measured nearly 4-ft. in length. Cody told Burton Hatchery staff the fish fell to a live bream fished on the bottom. Congrats to Cody on catching a fantastic Angler Award caliber flattie!
Knowledge is Power — Georgia offers some of the best, most diverse, fishing opportunities in the Southeast with more than 500,000 acres of lakes and 12,000 miles of warm water streams available to anglers. Find detailed fishing forecasts for 31 of Georgia’s lakes and 18 rivers in Georgia on our website at georgiawildlife.com/fishing-forecasts. Each prospect was compiled by fisheries biologists and is based on sampling efforts by the Wildlife Resources Division and on knowledge of past fishing trends, fishing experiences and discussions with anglers and marina owners. They contain information on fishing hot spots, lures, techniques, detailed interactive maps, boating and angling access points, fish attractor locations, stream gauge data and more!
What did I catch? With well over 300 fish species (mostly freshwater) calling Georgia “home,” it can sometimes be tough to identify your catch. Is it a green sunfish or a warmouth? What kind of minnow is this? The next time you find yourself in such a situation, check out the “Fishes of Georgia” website. The site’s color photos and state range maps may just help you figure out what you’ve caught!
Georgia Bass Slam! Do you have what it takes to complete a Georgia Bass Slam in 2022? The idea behind the Georgia Bass Slam is to recognize anglers with the knowledge and skill to catch at least five (5) different species of black bass in a variety of habitats across the state, and to stimulate interest in the conservation and management of black bass and their habitats. North Georgia anglers have a great opportunity to complete a slam, as seven of Georgia’s ten program eligible bass species can be caught in various waters from Atlanta north. Give it a shot and maybe you too will make the distinguished list of successful “slammers!”
Schools Out, Time to Fish — Fishing together with your child and family can build some powerful memories, so make this a summer to remember! Don’t know how or where to fish with a child? No problem! Check out these great resources: Fishing With Kids and Take Me Fishing to get you pointed in the right direction this summer.
Stockers: Trout stocking season is rocking and rolling and over 20,000 quality trout hit Georgia public waters this week. Want to know where trout were stocked in north Georgia this week? Check out the “Weekly Stocking Report” found HERE. You can even sign up to get the “Weekly Stocking Report” emailed directly to you each week!
Trout and More (Report courtesy of Unicoi Outfitter’s) — Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Welcome to “real hot and dry.” Fishing conditions are tough this week with high heat & humidity and low, clear, warm water in our trout streams. A few exceptions may happen as summer thunderstorms pop up and briefly cool off the waters, but those stormflows aren’t lasting very long after the clouds pass. A hefty front from the north is due here around 6pm tonight, so check USGS gauges or call our shop tomorrow for Saturday stream conditions. Continue reading the full report HERE.
Bluelining 101 — Check out this upcoming (6/23/22) virtual event on the art and science of finding and fishing small streams.
Parting Trout Note: Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia? Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs. Hatcheries and wild trout efforts both benefit from sales of the trout tag.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
- Bass: Bass are firmly in a summer pattern right now. Fishing has been a little tough with the high temperatures, but they are still out there if you know how to look for them. There are a ton of shad right now. That being said, the bass seem to be full and tend to strike out of curiosity rather than hunger right now. Senkos and flukes right off new grass or hydrilla should give you a few bites. The top water lures are not working well except at first light and sunset for about 15 mins each. Anglers has also reported some luck with spinner baits just at daybreak.
- Crappie: The crappie bite is pretty good right now. Keep your eye out for a willow fly hatch and head to the grassy areas for a sure bite. The closer the color of your lure to the water the better. Bream colored with a chartreuse or orange tails seems to be working well. The crappie are hanging out both off grassy points and in the river channels on both the Hootch and Flint arms or on the lake at a decent depth. Keep plenty of water on board and watch out for those soaring temperatures while you’re out fishing.
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
Fishing has been tough on Walter F George especially with the high temperatures, but things seem to be picking up with this week’s full moon. A tournament this past week took a 27lb, 5 fish bag to take home first prize. Other tournaments have needed around 20 lbs to win. Anglers have had success fishing ledges near Kiwiki creek all the way up to the causeway. There has also been success targeting schools of fish in 10-20 feet of water around mid-lake and north. Chartreuse and shad colored seem to be the way to go. There have also been good bites on bladed jigs and crankbaits.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
In general, June and July temperatures at Big Lazer are getting hot. Fish tend to hang out in shady cover during the hot days and feed in the mornings and evenings. Night fishing could offer productive fishing and a reprieve from the heat for dedicated anglers.
- Bass: 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 continuing 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.
- Crappie: Warm summer temperatures have caused crappie to move into deeper water as well as spread out over most of the lake making them somewhat difficult to locate. Fishing deep water around standing timber with live minnows is your best bet.
- Bream: 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.
- Catfish: 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.
Crappie: Anglers are reporting good crappie fishing at the mouth of cedar creek in the last couple days. Locally made sugar bug jigs that can be bought at Flint River Outdoors are helping anglers bring in the limit!
- Bream: Worms and crickets continue to bring in the bream on Blackshear. Plenty of anglers have had lots of success in the early mornings and evenings bringing in a full cooler for dinner. The mayfly hatch also opens some artificial options that can be fun to try.
- Catfish: Blackshear Catfish are good this time of year, the standard smelly baits will get you bites. Hot dogs, chicken liver and stink baits are all good options.
- Bass: Bass are a hard sell this time of year. Try using top lures and hollow belly frogs near aquatic vegetation and you just might find a lone fish or two. You can also try in 10-15 feet of water, slowly working suspending jerkbaits and weightless flukes might get you a bite if you are lucky.