Will celebrating the Independence Day Holiday bring you and your family to the water? Then don’t forget the fishing poles!
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Make a SPLASH: Georgia DNR Law Enforcement reminds us about the water safety initiative called SPLASH. Each letter represents a tip to keep you, your family and friends, and others safe around any body of water. Find out more HERE and please WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET when on the water. This post and video shows why life jackets are so important to keep you safe and alive in the event of a boating incident.
- Tarpon Time: Learn more about tarpon handling best practices and request a free towel from Coastal Resources Division’s website at Tarpon Tips.
- Lake Sturgeon at Hatchery: Summerville Hatchery received ~6,000 lake sturgeon from the USFWS’s Warm Springs Fish Hatchery. The 1–2 inch fingerlings will spend the next several months at Summerville. They will be grown to a length of at least 6 inches before being stocked into rivers in the greater Coosa River Basin this fall. Summerville Hatchery has been raising lake sturgeon for 22 years in support of the long-running Coosa River Basin Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction Program – a program designed to re-establish this native species to the river system.
- Kayak Anglers Help With Sampling Trip: Staff helped facilitate the first sampling trip of the summer to collect Chattahoochee and Shoal Bass in the Chestatee River. This project utilizes anglers fishing from kayaks to catch bass before passing them off to DNR fisheries staff to measure and collect fin clips for genetic testing. Anglers enjoyed the opportunity to help collect fish for this project. Results will document the species composition and distribution of black bass in the Upper Chattahoochee River basin.
This week, we have fishing reports from Central, North, Southeast and Southwest Georgia. Put down the firecrackers, grab your life jacket and your fishing pole and 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 fair. Up in the rivers the water is clear, and these are good areas to fish. The only difference will be to use a shade darker while throwing any baits. The lighter watermelon green and pumpkin seed colors might need to be replaced with a darker shade of purple or green pumpkin. Red shad is a good color on this lake with stained water and especially when working depths of ten foot or more. Early in the morning the balsa wood Rapala OG8 in shad and parrot colors on 10-pound Sufix line work well. As always, the Rapala Shad Raps are working on and around shoal markers near points. Finding the right depth will be the key so start out in the deeper water and work all the way in. A good portion of the strikes are occurring between 7 and 15 foot and the #7 and #5 Shad Raps in the black and silver and natural shad along with fire tiger are working the best. On the lighter stained water throw the natural shad and up in the rivers where the water might have a little more color to it use the fire tiger and black and silver colors. After the sun comes over the trees, shade will become key areas. The bass are holding to wood and especially wood and rocky points. Texas rigged worms or lizards along with 1/4 to 3/8-ounce jigs are producing best during mid-day. Finesse worms on light Texas rigs are also good all-day baits and green pumpkin is the best color lake wide. The fish are roaming in and out throughout the entire day feeding so check each point and the sides at least twice. If it produces early in the day, try it again later in the afternoon. Use the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology to find the fish and then run the Active Target beams out in front of the boat.
CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Any current can be friendly to bass fishermen when the water is moving. If current is present, get on the crank baits like the Shad Rapa. Floating worms and long seven inchers like the Zoom Trick worms rigged with a split shot or no weight at all are also working on and around the grass mats. Trick worms in pink and white can work from one end of this lake to the other during the hot summer heat. As the water temperatures start to climb, a little trick of just slowing down the bait will increase the odds of getting bit. Worms seem to be the favorite for the last week. Use the Carolina rigged finesse worms in the smoke and purple color for the stained water and the motor oil and green pumpkin for the water that appears a little lighter in color. A 24 to 30-inch leader with anywhere from a 1/4 to a 3/8-ounce weight is preferred. Try the lighter weight line like 10-pound test Sufix Elite lines. Check out any small pockets along the banks that hold water in the 10-foot range. These deeper water pockets usually have a good bass or two just waiting to be caught. Switch up colors every hour or so and remember the shady banks will hold the bass longer and shallower than the sunnier ones. Just like ledge fishing, locate fish with the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology and then spot them with the Active Target beams. Now work that area. Do not be in a rush. Work it with several baits.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. The bass have now moved mostly deep and can be found on main lake humps and points in 12 to 18 feet of water. Dragging a larger Net Boy Baits football jig or a 1- and 2-ounce Carolina rig will work well and now anglers can cover the deeper water quickly with these baits. Tip the jig with a Wackem Crazy Baits Tater Bug in watermelon or green pumpkin. Adding chartreuse or red JJ’s Magic will help improve the number of bites. Fish eat the bait better and do not let go. Also work a big crank bait in these areas but expect to catch some hybrids and stripers on the crank bait out there.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.4 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Find a seawall or rocky bank early in the morning with the Strike King double willowleaf spinnerbait or a white buzz bait. The best topwater baits are a buzz bait, frog, or Pop R. Use the double prop bait in bluegill color. Use the bluegill colored swim jig and a shaky head worm. No one can doubt the values of the Rapala Shad Raps crank baits in the #5 and # 7. 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. Up the river, try the dark colors such as black or June bug. Down lake, use the green pumpkin, watermelon seed or light hues with glitter in it. The best bite is early in the mornings until 9:30 and later in the evening after 6. There are still some bites out there in between those times, but the bite is slower and not as consistent. Plan to drag a Carolina rig after lunch and use the 6-inch Zoom pumpkin lizard and paint the tail with red Spike It.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.0 FEET OVER FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is slow. It’s getting to the point where anglers are better off going at night. There is a little bit of an early morning top water bite right at daylight on the main lake. Run and gun as fast as possible on the main lake walls to catch a few good fish but it ends very quickly. Sammy’s, Spook Jr and Rico’s have all been good. Use a shad pattern with a white belly and a white feather. For the mayfly hatch some good fish are after the Net Boy Baits brown flipping jig with a green pumpkin chunk. Have the black and brown ChatterBait ready as well as the El Choppo for some top water on a bug hatch. After that it gets tough. Fish out on the main lake deep with the shaky head finesse worm and the Rapala OG8 but it’s slow. That big plug bite is better right at dark and after dark. Use the Norman DD22 in lavender shad and a Strike King 6XD in chartreuse shad and the old trusty Bagley DB3 in Tennessee shad. This is where the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology works best. Find the fish and now run the Active Target beams out in front of the boat.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Surface Temperature: 84.5 °F (29.2 °C)
- Water Level: 20” below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 20.5”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
The bass bite has picked up significantly with anglers reporting limit catches of 5-7 lb. fish. Fish attractor data can be found online to assist anglers with targeting those “honey holes”. Anglers are having continued success catching catfish from the dam and some anglers are reporting catches from the fishing pier. Experienced crappie anglers will find success by locating deeper, cooler waters. Here’s a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:
- Bass: Yum Dinger green pumpkin chartreuse rubber worms. Try using chatterbaits or buzzbaits due to a decrease in water visibility.
- Bream: Red Wigglers fished deeper and around structure.
- Channel Catfish: Cut baitfish and chicken livers continue to produce catches.
- Crappie: Live minnows in deep water.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water level: All bodies of water are full or near full.
- Water clarity: 16 to 48 inches.
- Surface temperature: Upper 80’s.
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Species and area tips for Marben PFA:
- Bass: As usual for this time of year, early morning and late afternoon have been the most productive for bass. Most bass are being caught on plastic worms, and lizards adjacent to creek channels and deeper structure. Many of the smaller ponds on the area offer opportunities for bank anglers to catch some nice bass.
- Crappie: Very few crappie are being caught at this time. Although we do have a few regular anglers that seem to catch a few with jigs from a boat even with the higher water temps.
- Bream: Anglers are still catching bluegill at most lakes and ponds. A few redear are being caught at Fox Lake. Crickets and wax worms continue to be the most consistent bait for bream.
- Greenhouse Pond is heavily stocked with Hybrid bass, bluegill, and channel catfish
(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, 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 is fair. There some spotted bass located on just about every point that has rock on it. These spots are easy to catch on a drop sot or light Texas rig. With the water clarity in the very good range use a sand or green pumpkin finesse worm on a Weedless Wonder head and go to 10 pound test clear Sufix Elite line on a spinning rig. Fish a 3/16 ounce weight rigged either Texas style or Carolina rig in either green pumpkin or watermelon and fish in the shallows and slowly work the worm back to the boat. Most of the bites will come in 7 to 12 feet of water. Some scattered largemouth are holding tight to any wood cover on and around these rocky points. This is where the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology works best. Find the fish and now run the Active Target beams out in front of the boat. For the good largemouth head up to the South Carolina side to Fair Play or exit 11 at Broyles. There is an early top water bite on the sides of points and submerged humps. If wind is present, use Pop R or the El Choppo in shad patterns. The calmer water will need a good dose of a good side to side bait like the Skitter Walk. Stick with the natural colors in the shad pattern for beat results. The key to finding the big bass up the Seneca River will be to look for rocks and docks. Locate these two places near the deeper water and find the larger fish. Early in the day try the Shad Raps first on or near any rock. Later in the day go with the plastic.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. The bass are settling into their summer homes and patterns. There is still a topwater bite early but it tends to go away after ten o’clock. After that you will have to drop down on the fish or go to the blowdowns and the backs of pockets. For the topwater bite the fluke still remains a steady producer along with the Red fin, small Spook or Sammy and Lip Thrashers PJ bait. If there is enough wind the Whopper Plopper has also produce strikes. Work these baits over long points, humps in twenty to thirty foot of water and deep brush piles. Once the topwater stops move to the drop shot on the same deep areas. I am using the Blue Lily and Morning Dawn drop shot worms on a seven foot four medium action rod. I am loading the reel with fifteen pound braid with a fifteen foot leader of eight pound fluorocarbon. I like using a three eights weight most of the time to get the bait down quicker when I see the fish. The worm and jig bite continue to work on the deeper docks and rocky points. Work shallow earlier and slowly go deeper during the day. The green pumpkin and watermelon get trick worms have been the steadiest producers. If you want to beat the heat and dodge the heavy boat traffic head out at night. The bite tends to get started around ten O’clock and can last the rest of the night. A Georgia Blade half ounce spinner bait in any of the darker colors will get bites along with a DT10 crankbait in either red or blue. Work these baits on any rocky areas with deep water close by. If you’re getting strikes but no hook ups put on a trailer hook to catch them. It’s hot and the crazy boats are out there so be safe. They are still 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. The early morning bite has been really good until about 10:00am .Look for deep water brush up to 40 feet deep and bite is soft. I am using small 1 and 1.5 inch jigs on a 1/24 ounce jig head. Also look at blow downs off steep banks or trees that extend 50 to 70 feet deep off the banks. If you are using jigs I would recommend a black and green combination or a white and green combination. Remember to retrieve slow and give the jig time to sink to the level of the fish. 50% of this week’s catch came on minnows. I am setting minnows at 10 to 12 feet deep most of the time over a 30 to 40 foot bottom. Crappie love the shade so cast into the shadows or shaded areas of dock. When dock shooting the biggest fish are usually the first to bite. I’m using the skippers jig moon jigs tipped with a small minnow 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.
Lanier Striper Report (Report courtesy of Buck Cannon, 404-510-1778) — Stripers on Lake Lanier are still coming down the rivers working their way down the lake to the cooler areas. Water temp below Brown Bridge was 83.3 and 84.7 degrees above. Using your electronics locate the bait and put down lines in the mix, the bait of choice is blue backs, and the oxygen is low so change your bait offend. Trolling urgings and lead core can produce over points and humps trolling 8 colored at 3mph and urgings 120′ -140′ behind the boat at the same speed. Remember to wear your life jackets.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com)– Bass fishing is fair. The best bet is the first light top water bite. Start with top water a white ½ ounce white buzz bait. Throw them right to the bank and hang on. The fish generally nail it as soon as it hits the water or they won’t bite at all. Keep moving and fish on the main lake points and steep banks. Pay particular attention to the mouths of creeks and pockets. As the top water slows switch to a white pearl Zoom Super Fluke or Trick Worm and throw to shady areas and around boat docks. If boat traffic allows, a green pumpkin Zoom finesse worm on a light Texas rig on long points will also work. Use the 3/8 ounce green pumpkin jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer in Root beer green pepper. After dark use the big bladed spinnerbait along steep banks and long points. Crank baits are beginning to catch a few as well. The bigger fish are deeper and ride the ledges with the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology to find the fish. The Lowrance Fish Reveal on the Down Scan all but eliminates the need for Sonar. Remember as the day heats up slow the bait down.
Lake Weiss Mixed Bag Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service and www.southernfishing.com) –
- Bass: Bass fishing is good and they are moving to the creek and river channel ledges. Use the deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair and they are on deeper brush in 10 to 18 feet of water and can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy. Some Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs.
- Striped Bass: SStriper fishing is fair and they are starting to show up in the lower Chattooga River, and the Cave hole and Little Spring Creek.
- 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 has been fair. Fishing has been slow with the higher temperatures. Most fish are coming from deep water road beds and humps when there is current. Use Carolina rigs and shaky heads worked slowly. The best colors have been watermelon and green pumpkin. Anglers will have to wade through several smaller fish to get the quality bites, but this pattern can produce some really big fish. If current is present then use a deep diving crankbaits in shad patterns. There will not be as many bites, but these should be larger fish. This is where the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology works best. Find the fish and now run the Active Target beams out in front of the boat.
WARMWATER STREAM REPORT
Birthday Present: (This report courtesy of Paul DiPrima) — My birthday was this past weekend. For the past twenty or more years I have taken a fly rod to a local stream in an effort to catch my age in fish. I am usually successful but every year it is a little more difficult as another fish must be caught. This year I returned to a creek west of Rome that is one of my favorites. Over the years the stream has moved from its’ original channel and taken a shortcut through the woods leaving the old streambed dotted with only deep pools with dry rocky runs between. I fished only in the new streambed and I was not disappointed that day.
The fish were hungry and many times I made several casts in a row catching a fish on every cast. The fish were not large but I was using a 6 and a ½ foot, two-weight fly rod that was matched to the size of the fish and the creek. The smallest of the sunfish were only about two inches long with a couple of Redeye Bass going maybe nine inches. The majority of the fish were Green Sunfish and Redbreast Sunfish. I also caught Red-ear and Long-ear sunfish along with a few Creek Chubs. After catching almost fifty fish on my trip downstream I fished back upstream and just before reaching the car I caught my last fish, number 73. That matched my current age, seventy three. I averaged a fish every two and a half minutes. Steve and I both just had a lot of fun. We didn’t kill or have to clean any fish.
Fly Fishing Fun: (This report courtesy of Paul DiPrima) — Fly fishing has often been looked at as an elitists sport for catching trout but that is far from the truth. Fly fishing has been around for centuries and evolved in Europe from a simple method of catching fish for food with a wood or cane pole. There was a hook on a long line that had a lure fashioned to resemble something a fish might eat. As time moved on, the rods and lines became more sophisticated and modern fly tackle was born. Sailfish, snappers, striped bass and even sharks are now caught on fly fishing gear, not just trout. It is possible to find a high-quality rod and reel that will set you back several thousand dollars. There are also great rod and reel combos that can be found for less than two hundred that will catch just as many fish as the most expensive ones. A lot of the results of fly fishing, is not the cost of the rod, but is the skill of the angler. The main thing to look for in a fly rod combo is a rod that is thin, lightweight, flexible and sized for the intended fish.
Bass Slam on GON — HERE is a nice GON post from “fredw” talking about his success with the Georgia Bass Slam and how much fun he had doing it. More info about our bass slam can be found HERE.
Cave Spring Fly Fishing Days: (This report courtesy of Paul DiPrima) — Veterans and Women’s’ Fly Fishing Day returns to Rolater Park in Cave Spring on Saturday, July 16th and a chance for all to have some fun. Veterans and ladies will be able to learn fly casting or improve their skills at using a fly rod and catch trout at the same time. A complementary hot dog lunch is available for the vets and lady anglers and door prizes will be given out during both fishing events. You must register to qualify for the drawings. Veterans Day is for all veterans and active duty military personnel. Pond fishing time for vets is from 10am until 12noon with the creek open for fishing all day. If the vet has a fly rod, please bring it but if the fisherman does not have a fly rod, a loaner will be available to use in the pond. TU members will be around to assist and teach the novice anglers. Women’s Fishing Day is for ladies of all ages but the young ladies under twelve must be accompanied by an adult. The pond fishing time for the ladies is from 1pm until 3pm with the creek open for fishing all day. As with the vets we will have TU folks at the pond to teach and assist the lady anglers. Loaner rods will be available for pond use. We will supply barbless flies to enable quick release to allow the angler to catch as many trout as possible. You can only keep five fish from the pond and a cumulative total of eight trout from the pond and creek. A trout stamp and fishing license are required for 16 year-olds and older fishing the creek.
Stocked Stream Report: (This report courtesy of Paul DiPrima) — I got a fishing report a few weeks ago from Steve Thacker. Steve had fished a heavily stocked NW Georgia stream with his fly rod. He just happened to fish the stream in an area that the DNR had stocked recently and he found a lot of fish. That first day he fished he caught and released over seventy trout and all were caught on a fly. The next day he returned to the same location and caught and released another fifty or so and many if not most were caught on a “dry fly”. Fishing with a dry fly or floating fly is exciting because you actually see the trout rise to the surface and sometimes totally jump from the water when they grab the fly. Other anglers should thank Steve for leaving the fish in the creek so that they could be caught again.
Trout Stocking Video: (From Summerville Hatchery Manager Josh Tannehill) — HERE is a cool video from Paulding County about our trout stocking activities on Raccoon Creek. If you have never been there, Raccoon Creek is a gem of a stream located in the heart of Paulding County. The video features Summerville Hatchery’s Fisheries Technician Matt McDaris and volunteer Pamela Patchinko.
Stocked Streams Report: (From Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — A great way to spend the sometime this holiday weekend would be to land some stocked trout to grill out for the 4th. GADNR and the USFWS will have stocked over 30,000 trout this week and fishing should be great where the water is still cool. Need to know if your favorite spot was stocked? Check here for the weekly stocking report Friday after 3:00 pm. Thank you to all the anglers who have purchased a fishing license and trout stamp.
Trout Plus Some: Check out Unicoi Outfitter’s regular “trout and more” fishing reports HERE.
Parting Trout Note: Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia? Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs. Hatcheries and wild trout efforts both benefit from the trout tag.
(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)
I hope you have fishing plans for the holiday weekend, as the bites have been good. Fish are set up in their summer pattern now, and so is the weather. For the next few months we can expect evening thundershowers some evenings and heat every afternoon. Morning fishing is usually most productive this time of year, but catfishing or bass fishing with buzzbaits at night can be great.
River gages on June 30th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 4.9 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 1.0 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 3.6 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.1 feet and cresting (84 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 3.3 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.4 feet and rising
First quarter moon is July 6th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
Lester Roberts and Joe Dixon won the Thursday evening tournament (Thursday Night Thunder on Facebook) this past week out of Altamaha Park with 8.83 pounds. Lester and Whitey Hendrix followed it up on Saturday with a 18.13-pound sack that won the Poor Boys Trail tournament, as well. Lester had a 9.15-pound lunker in that tourney. Shane and Joshua Barber fished out of Paradise Park this week. They caught 20 bass (15 keepers) and a gar on Trick Worms, Mann’s Jelly Worms, and crankbaits. Their biggest bass was about 3 pounds. They also caught 2 panfish on beetlespins. They had one mouth of a creek where they caught about 9 or 10 of their bass. Mullet fishing picked up this week from the reports I received, especially in the upper Altamaha and lower Ocmulgee. Red worms fished near a bag of rabbit pellets and salt block is the way to do it. It’s a great activity for a hot holiday weekend, as you just walk out the sandbar into the water to cool down when you get hot.
I missed a report back in early June from Daniel Woodcock (sorry Daniel!). He fished a tributary to the Ogeechee and landed his personal best river bass. The 25-incher ate a Texas-rigged junebug ZOOM Ol’ Monster Worm. You can see the catch and release on his You Tube channel Southeast Georgia Kayak Bass Fishing.
The reports have been fairly slow in the heat since it has dropped out. That is mostly because folks have quit going in the heat. It’s work, but if you want to float in a kayak, you can do really well in the summer. The best bite is usually early and late, but mid-day shady areas hold fish, as well. There is no other way to put it – float the upper Satilla when it is low and leave your motorboat in the garage.
ST. MARYS RIVER
The Shady Bream Tournament co-ed event this past Saturday (6/25) went well, with the top 4 teams bringing in over 8 pounds (biggest 10 panfish). Ernie and Brittany took top honors with 8.53 pounds. The last Shady Bream Tournament of the season is this Saturday (7/2). For more information on the Shady Bream Tournament trail, check them out on Facebook.
I saw photos of several folks who caught warmouth (about 10 to 15 per trip) on the east side this week. Some used crickets and some jigs. A few anglers fishing the east side boat basin on Thursday morning caught fliers, warmouth, chain pickerel (jackfish) and bowfin (mudfish). I didn’t hear of anyone fishing specifically for bowfin this week, but they bite great during the heat of summer. Throw a Dura-Spin in-line spinner down the middle of the canal and hold on. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.67 feet.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, More info HERE)
The King of the Kayak bass tournament series held an event at the area on Saturday. A total of 21 anglers participated, and all caught at least one keeper during the catch-measure-release format event. They tallied a total of 38 bass for 557 total inches. Several of the bass were quality fish with 8 of them over 20 inches. The longest was 23 1/2-inches. Al Rawlings took first place with 4 bass at a total length of 73 1/2 inches. Orville Newlin fished the area on Thursday morning for a few hours and caught 3 bass for just over 10 pounds. His biggest was a 5-pounder.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
A group of Waycross youth from Second Baptist Waycross surf fished and beach seined on the south end of Jekyll Island on Tuesday evening. The group had a blast and caught 15 sharks and a stingray on cut mullet. They dragged the seine about 10 hauls for 2 pounds of (mostly bait-sized) shrimp. Kent had the biggest shark – a 4-footer. Jim and Garrett Page fished the Brunswick area on Saturday and managed to catch about 15 whiting for the cooler. They had to work through lots of bonnethead sharks that ate their shrimp offering. Steve and Brenda Hampton tried a new spot from the bank on Friday and caught a small keeper flounder and a bunch of sharks. Capt. Greg Hildreth had some really nice trout at the beginning of this week using live shrimp under a Harper’s Super Striker Float. The whiting bite was good around St. Simons on Tuesday for those putting shrimp on the bottom. Catching big sharks behind shrimp boats is wide open right now, as well. 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).
Chad Lee and I had a trip to remember on Saturday evening. We headed to an Alma area pond at 4pm and didn’t start fishing until 5. We fished across that dam with no luck until a 2-pound bass sitting in a pocket of grass inhaled a crawfish Dura-Spin. The next 100 yards saw Chad fooled several bass up to 2 pounds with a shad-colored wacky-rigged stick worm. I flung a copperfield Satilla Spin to a little offshore stick-up and caught a couple one-pound bluegills. After a couple fruitless casts I switched to a smaller black/chartreuse Satilla Spin and picked up several more purple-cheeked rascals. As we eased down the bank, Chad caught a couple solid 2 and 3 pound bass on a Capt. Bert’s Shad Buzz buzzbait rigged with a hollow-body swimbait. Near a deep hole, the water erupted as a big bass inhaled his buzzbait right at the boat. The doubled rod didn’t break and the line held until I could lip Chad’s 6-lb. 4-oz. lunker. We eased just around the point from where he caught the big bass, and I had a bite, lost a fish, or caught a bluegill on about 20 to 30 straight casts. I alternated between the copperfield and black/chartreuse Satilla Spins. The biggest of the panfish was a 1 1/4-pound shellcracker that ate the copperfield version. We fished 2 hours into dark with buzzbaits and had 4 more bass up to 4 pounds on buzzbaits (black skirts and blades) before calling it an evening. And what an evening it was! We had a total of 46 fish, with about 30 of them giant bluegills and the other 16 bass. We released all of them on that trip. Austin Knowles of Folkston fished a farm pond this weekend and had one of the biggest bass I heard of this week. His trophy pulled the scales down to 8 pounds.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Fishing is pretty good right now on Lake Seminole. Water temperatures are quite high and most parts of the lake are clear with only a slight stain. The top water bite has been picking up lately and you can feel pretty confident about using flukes, worms, and swim baits in the mornings. The frog bite is also starting to pick up. You can also target bass in the grassy shallows and on the ledge in both the Flint and Chattahoochee arms. If you are going to fish the ledges use crankbaits, spoons, and Carolina rigs for the best results.
Crappie fishing is still hot and many anglers are reporting limiting out as the crappie are still feeding on shad fry and grass shrimp all over the lake. You will have the best luck using a 16 oz shad color jig when fishing near shad and use a 16 oz brown and chartreuse gig when aiming to mimic grass shrimp. Make sure to keep plenty of water with you and water out for submerged obstacles when you are fishing Lake Seminole.
Check out Chris Taylor’s Lake Seminole Ramblings Fishing Report (podcast) for more tips.
Catfish fishing is a good choice this time of year at Blackshear. Use hot dogs or chicken breast soaked in your favorite type of Jell-O to get those big fish coming to you. Angler report lots of success near bird island and by the railroad trestles.
Bream fishing is really good right now on Blackshear. Lots of beautiful fish are being caught and eaten for dinner. Crickets and worms are your best bait for these guys. Try fishing under Smoak Bridge, in Boy Scout Slough or in Cannon Branch. Night fishing for bream is also very popular. Make sure to have you boat lights set up to avoid and safety issues. Anglers are also reporting a mayfly hatch south of the 280 bridge.
The EPA will be on the lake for the next few days conducting some training. Please do not be alarmed if you see barrels and other things floating. There is no issue at present just training exercises.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Bass fishing has been slowed by high summer temperatures. Try locating bass in 3 to 8 feet of water. During the middle (hottest) part of the day, fish for bass in and around heavy cover, like the standing timber near the island. Feeding bass will be more active during times around sunrise and sunset. Dedicated anglers on the water right before sunrise may have the best chance of getting that trophy bass*!
It is common for bream to be close-in to the banks during spawning season. Crickets, as well as pink and red worms are excellent live bait for bream. Also, small, brightly colored spinning lures will be hard for those spawning fish to resist. Fishing with light tackle can make bream fishing more exciting, especially for kids. However, bream have small mouths so fish with small hooks for the best results. Chicken livers, night crawlers, or shrimp fished at or almost at the bottom near woody structures and the rocks around the dam should produce a good bite. You may also want to try catching some small bream and use them as cut bait, some good size cats have been caught using this method.
*We are looking for a certified lake record Largemouth Bass. Check out the information we have available at the sign in kiosk. The fish should be either 26” long or over 10 lbs. to qualify, good luck!
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