If you can dodge the thundershowers and manage to not overheat the rest of the time, you might get time to throw out a line or two.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Burton Hatchery Featured: Along with Moccasin Creek State Park, the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Burton Trout Hatchery is listed as one of the top nine unique things to do in Rabun County in this fun news story.
- Southwest Georgia Podcast: Hitting up Lake Seminole anytime soon? Check out Chris Taylor’s podcast “Lake Seminole Ramblins” for local tips. Georgia Wildlife Resources Division fisheries biologist Emilia Omerberg was recently a guest on the podcast. Check out that episode HERE.
- Did He Get Ghosted?: Not a ghost, but a solid white catfish! 15-year-old Edwards Tarumianz reeled in this amazing catch while on a late June Tennessee fishing trip with guide Richard Simms. Beautiful fish!
This week, we have reports from Southwest, Southeast, North and Central Georgia. Stay weather prepared and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Mayflies continue to make bream fishing exciting on Blackshear. Worms and crickets are still hard to beat but the presence of mayflies opens up a lot of artificial options.
Flint River Outdoors has weighed in some large flathead catfish recently and the channels are biting too. Any smelly bait will work on the catfish, but you can’t go wrong with chicken liver and hot dogs.
Bass and crappie continue to be tough this time of year. If you must fish for them by stay close to vegetation and use top lures and hollow belly frogs.
Bass fishing on Lake Seminole has been good despite the high temperatures. Although early mornings and evenings are you best bet there are still some bites to be had mid-day. The Flint and Chattahoochee River arms of the lake are slightly stained but the spring creek side is clear. The water is in the high 80s and low 90s across the lake. The top water bite is is really starting to pick up and anglers suggest buzzbaits and spooks. Fishing the grass line on the main lake has produced some good fish recently. Bream are still bedding down at Lake Seminole and with the recent mayfly hatch crickets and beetle spins have been working magic on them.
LAKE WALTER F GEORGE
Warm temperatures mean increased vegetation and some lily pads have started in the shallow areas and on the flats. Frogs, surface blades, and chatterbaits have been getting a lot of action in the near shore vegetation. For offshore grass, a Carolina rig with a short leader is a good idea. Junebugs, watermelon red, and watermelon candy soft plastics have been golden out there. Deeper water bass have been hitting Carolina rigs with spinner baits and crank baits. The deep-water crappie bit is starting to slow down, but look for artificial or natural structure on the ledges and use minnows or jigs tipped with minnows to bring in some dinner.
The Flint River is very low right now due to the lack of rain we have received. If you are going to fish it, we suggest kayaks or float rafts and to stay away from a motor boat. Some shoalies have been caught as well as some cats and bream. Good luck out there and stay safe.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
The high temperatures mean bass are lethargic and most have moved away from their typical holds into deeper water. Slowly working suspending jerkbaits and weightless flukes is a good option for targeting the lazy lunkers.
Fishing the standing timber in Silver Lake is producing quality crappie in depths of 10-15 ft. A minnow tipped 1/8 oz jighead seem to be the bait of choice. Shellcracker and Bluegill are along lily pad edges and easily coaxed out with a cricket under a bobber or small beetle spin.
Frog Pond continues to produce channel cats in the 10-14 inch range, with a lucky few anglers hooking up on a 10-12 POUNDER.
Note to Anglers: Panic Pond is closed during the months of July and August but will reopen 30 minutes before sunrise on September 1, 2021.
(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 received some really good reports over the holiday weekend, even with the stormy weather each evening. The dog days of summer are barking at us with the temps in the mid-90’s most days now and humidity high. Fish early and late for the best bites.
River gages on July 7th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.3 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.4 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 4.7 feet and rising
- Waycross on the Satilla – 4.9 feet and falling (89 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 3.6 feet and steady
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.6 feet and steady
Bass fishing has been good this week. One Waycross angler caught about 30 bass on Monday, even with all the boat traffic. It has slowed some late in the week with the rising water, though. Mullet fishing was decent based on reports. The lower river reports were better – probably because the upper river was rising this week. Red worms fished near a bag of rabbit pellets and salt block was the ticket from those I heard from.
I got some good reports his week from anglers walking the bank and pitching crickets and bugs. Most caught a half-dozen to a dozen fish (mostly redbreasts and bluegills). I would float the river right now rather than try to fish from a motorboat. The upper river in the Waycross area is at a pretty good level to not have to get out of a kayak or canoe much but still have good fishing.
ST MARYS RIVER
The last event of the Shady Bream Tournament trail was this past Saturday (7/2). Daniel and Tamara won with 13.41 pounds (10 panfish limit). Bo and Butch earned second place with 11.45 pounds, and Dale and Emma rounded out the top 3 with 11.36 pounds. Dale and Emma Anderson repeated this year as the Shady Bream Tournament Champions for the 2022 season. Congratulations, Dale and Emma! Another angler fishing the Folkston area this week did really well for bluegills by pitching crickets. In the upper river, night fishing for catfish has been the best bite I’ve heard of. For more information on the Shady Bream Tournament trail, check them out on Facebook.
Okefenokee Adventures staff said that angler caught some jackfish, bowfin, and warmouth in the boat basin this week early in the morning. An angler fished just a short time on Thursday morning with a beetlespin in the boat basin and caught several warmouth. The middle of the day has been too hot for most folks to fish, but I’ve done really well in the heat for bowfin in the past. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.78 feet.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (Near Tifton, More Info HERE)
Anglers caught some bass over the holiday weekend, but they were on the small side. Topwaters early and then small, finesse plastics are the way to go for bass. Anglers caught some small panfish by pitching crickets and worms.
Ponds have been the place to go because of the ability to do a short trip during the heat and get out quickly if thunderstorms start building. Kellen and his PaPa (Jay Murray) fished a Baxley area pond over the holiday weekend, and Kellen landed a 6 1/2-pound bass all by himself. He was using a spinnerbait and baitcasting outfit and caught the trophy all by himself. Chad Lee and I fished an Alma area pond early Monday morning and had a really fun morning. We used Shad Buzz buzzbaits rigged with silver flash 3.8-inch Keitech Fat Swing Impact swimbaits to fool some of our nicer bass up to 5 pounds. We fooled several decent bass with a Keitech Noisy Flapper (green pumpkin-chartreuse) rigged on a Toad Hook, also. Some smaller bass ate a black-chartreuse with chartreuse blade Dura-Spins. We did not fish for them long, but 4 big (9-10 inch) bluegills ate a 1/8-oz. copperfield Satilla Spin. Gilbert Ellis, Jr. fished a pond near Nicholls on July 4th and caught 3 bass and 6 bluegills (some of the bluegills he could hardly get his hand around). He caught them on several colors of Rooster Tail spinners. A big bass ate his spinner, broke his pole and line, and broke his heart. I heard of some nice channel cats being caught from ponds this week by anglers fishing worms on the bottom. Night fishing is a great approach if you have permission at a good catfish pond.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
The tarpon have shown up in the Brunswick area this week, and several were caught around St. Simons Island. A couple anglers fishing swimbaits and live mullet jumped and caught some silver kings in the Darien area. Most were in the 50 to 60-pound range, but a few bigger fish are mixed in. Tarpon in the lower Altamaha were busting through mullet schools. Zane Gill pulled a beach seine on the south end of Jekyll Island on Wednesday evening with a couple of friends. It was slow, but they had a blast catching a pound of shrimp and a bunch of by-catch. Some sharks were caught by surf-fishermen this week on Jekyll Island. Cut baitfish (mullet was the most effective) worked for the sharks, but shrimp fooled a few. Whiting fishing was ok. Some anglers did well and others were not as successful. The tripletail are here. I heard of several keeper fish caught in the Brunswick area this week. 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 Hunter Roop, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
It’s scorching hot in north Georgia, which means the fishing windows start earlier in the morning, later in the evening, and sometimes continue deep into the night.
Reservoir bass are in full summer mode, which means topwater early in the morning and a cranking or jigging a worm until the heat runs you off the water. Trolling for stripers has also been productive and is great option to keep a steady breeze going under your canopy. Recent rains have provided revitalizing flows to our headwater trout streams, so trout fishing excursions from tailwaters to bluelines should be productive, and bust out the summer terrestrials to match the hatches that were recently washed in.
Rain chances are highest in the afternoon, so best bet is to get out early and keep the poncho handy for those afternoon boomers. This week’s report comes courtesy of Ken Sturdivant and his guide network, GON, our WRD folks in the field, and other helpful contributors. Want to tell your Georgia fishing story for the fishing report? Send us a message and we’d love to include it in the next report!
WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 1.8 FEET, 80S
- Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair. The spots are in their summertime patterns. They are in 18 to 20 feet of water on road beds, humps, main lake structure and the mouths of creeks. Try the Alabama rig with small fluke trailers in pearl on the small jig heads. Use a Carolina rigged worm any color will work right now but watermelon and dark blue are excellent. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important. The best jerk bait is a MegaBass Vision 110. This is a revolutionary jerk bait with realistic colors, sharp hooks, and great action. Use the 4 1/3 inch sizes and the best colors are Sexy Shad, French Pearl, and Table Rock SP. These baits have premium treble hooks. The realistic color options and great action in the water make these bait unbeatable. And the barbs are on the outside of hooks to help land more fish. Also use a larger DD22 deep diving crank bait in shad with some blue on it. The smaller bass are bunched up on the flats and best baits are small rooster tails, Rat L Traps, and small crank baits fished slowly.
- Linesides(courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Good. Spawned-out hybrids and stripes are back down the lake in July. Expect the downline bite on live bait to be decent throughout the month. The linesides have started schooling a little on the main lake and can be caught on Rooster Tails, popping-cork rigs and Got-Cha Shad lures. Also fish can be caught trolling with the Flash Mob Jr. or the West Point trolling rig.”
- Crappie(courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Good. Crappie like deeper water in the summer and will typically move out and hold on deeper brush and structure or under docks. Shooting or pitching under the shade of covered docks or around bridge pilings is the way to go. Tube-type jigs seem to work the best. The crappie almost always like the shade on a sunny day. Night fishing is usually awesome in July, as well!”
- Crappie GON-tel: West Point Crappie Intel
- Bream(courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, Good. Don’t forget about our bream and shellcracker. The shellcracker population over the last few years has exploded with some really nice-sized fish and good numbers being caught. They seem to really love worms fished on the bottom. Finding an active bed can take a little effort, but when you do, you can have a ball! Bedding usually takes place on the full moon cycle in July. Look for shallow cover in the backs of pockets. Sandy flats and stump beds tend to draw the fish like a magnet. Use live worms, crickets and small jigs for the best results.”
- Catfish(courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Guide Keith Hudson reports, “Good. Lots of channel cats are being caught by the few anglers who target them. Live and cutbaits and worms fished on the bottom will catch cats all over the lake, as long as fairly deep water is nearby. Jug fishing is also fun and productive. To target flatheads, go to a larger bait, like a 4- to 5-inch bream or large shiner, and fish the same areas. Be sure to increase the size of your rigs, as fish in the 20- to 30-lb. range are fairly common. Most of the big flatheads are caught in the Ringer/Grayson’s Landing area north of the 219 bridge in the Chattahoochee and the mouth of the smaller feeder creeks in that vicinity.”
West Point Lake Habitat Improvements (Report courtesy of fisheries biologist Brent Hess) — Fisheries staff spent time evaluating aquatic planting sites on West Point Lake. Over the last several years, fisheries staff have been planting native water willow and maidencane plants along the shoreline of West Point Lake to improve fish habitat, especially for largemouth bass. The plantings have been slow to take hold, but staff were encouraged this year by the return and growth of numerous aquatic plantings from last year’s efforts. In addition, fisheries staff continue to put out fish attractors in the Wehadkee Arm of the lake. A total of 20 fish attractors constructed from long-lasting artificial materials and bamboo have been sunk in recent weeks. Find these and other fish attractor locations at West Point HERE!
WEISS LAKE IS AT 0 FEET 3 INCHES BELOW FULL POOL, CLEAR AND 85 – 88 DEGREES: All Species (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is good. The bass and they are on the creek and river channel ledges. The deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish. Crappie fishing is Fair, and they are on 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. Striper fishing is fair and they are starting to show up in the lower Chattooga River, and the Cave hole and Little Spring Creek. Catfish are biting Good, in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water, cut bait is working best.
LAKE HARTWELL IS 0.6 FT OVER FULL, 80’S
- Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair. Early the fish remain all over lake until 10am. Then it will take lots of work to find the better fish by mid day. The top water bite remains good with Zara Spooks in clear or chrome and pearl white Zoom Super flukes being best. The swim baits in the blue back herring color worked fast on fish, especially early in the morning, has also been very successful. If there is some wind this technique can be successful all day. If not, switch to a drop shot worm in green weenie as well as a green pumpkin craw jig for numbers. A Keitech and lead head in albino continues to work well also. Back in the creeks work a swim jig in bluegill color and a black popping frog next to shore line cover. Look for pockets with a little deeper water that has a lot of submerged grass. Throw bait’s next to the shore or cover and just swim it back with a hopping retrieve and they will bust it.
- Bass (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Tournament angler Kerry Partainreports, “The fishing is in on fire at Hartwell right now and is the best it has been in several years. There is a lot of schooling activity going on right now with both bass and hybrids. Most of the fish are offshore and located on the main-lake humps and points. We have been catching them on a variety of topwater lures and the Zoom Super Fluke, especially late in the evenings.” Guide Matt Justice reports, “Fishing has been surprisingly good for the most part with the high temperatures this time of year that usually cause oxygen problems. Fish are biting well on topwater plugs off of points over brush in 20 to 30 feet of water. When fish are reluctant to surface on topwaters, they can be caught on drop-shot rigs and shaky heads in the same areas. As always, some fish remain shallow and are feeding on bream. Target these fish with topwater frogs, Pop-Rs and weightless worms. Fishing at night around lights can produce large bags this time of year. Fishing these areas with 12-inch worms and swimbaits can be effective.”
- Linesides/Crappie (courtesy of GON Fishing reports):Guide Preston Harden, of Bucktail Guide Service, reports, “Hybrids and stripers have moved out of the creeks and the upper lake. Look for them from mid-lake to the dam. If you locate a school, drop a lively blueback herring on a Carolina rig to the depth of the fish and hang on. A big spoon or a big jig and swimbait will also work. Crappie have also moved to deeper structure. Electronics become very important to find fish in deeper water. Crappie move out of the shallow creeks to brushpiles 20 to 30 feet deep. Crappie minnows on a slip float or a 1/16-oz. jig head and a soft plastic will catch crappie. The weather is hot this time of year and lots of people quit fishing. That does not mean the fish quit feeding. Just follow the fish to their summer locations.”
ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Jackson Sibley): Throughout the year, temperature often dictates where fish can be most reliably located at Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area. As waters warm across the PFA’s three fishing lakes, a strong thermocline will set up, which can be a great hint for areas fish are most likely to inhabit—as well as those they’re likely to avoid. Since dissolved oxygen levels tend to be unsuitable below the thermocline, summertime anglers should target the areas at, or just above this transitional zone. As of this week, the thermocline is set up around 15 feet, but is will likely shift to 12 feet in East and West Antioch and as low as 10 feet in Heath Lake by August and September. This means the bulk of Rocky’s fish will be in the top 10-12 feet during the dog days of summer.
All that said, Rocky’s anglers are currently reporting high catch rates of quality fish across all three lakes, with fish in the 4-7 lb class making up a sizable portion of the catch. PFA manager Dennis Shiley spent his day off throwing jigs in East Antioch and landed this nice 5.5 lb largemouth. His summertime picks include a Scottsboro Tackle jig with a light brown Paca Craw trailer. Other popular summer presentations include Carolina rigs with 6-10 inch worms, chatterbaits, and medium-diving crankbaits. Big bass are likely to be associated with structure this time of year, and the most prudent anglers will consider marking the myriad offshore structures at the PFA. Tight lines!
LAKE CHATUGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 0.2 feet above 1925. Temp: 82-85 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide Eric Welch reports, “Fishing has been good. I’ve been catching a lot of fish in the mornings on topwater. You will also see fish breaking and chasing bait throughout the day. I’ve been targeting these fish with a Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr. and an Ima Stik. After they bust the bait and go back down, I’m throwing a white hair jig, a 4-inch spoon and a Strike King 3.25 Sexy Swimmer on a 5/16-oz. swimbait hook. The fish have also moved out to the offshore structure, roadbeds and ditches. I’m targeting these areas by drop-shotting a 6.5-inch Roboworm, shaky head with a Zoom Trick Worm. If you have a good windy day, try throwing a 3/8-oz. white spinnerbait. With the water temp as warm as it has already gotten, I like downsizing on my line to help get more bites. This is also a great time of year to use your electronics to find fish, If you’re using the Garmin Livescope, you’re going to see the fish all over the brush and laying in the ditches.”
LAKE NOTTELY (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 1.2 feet above 1775. Temp: 80-85 degrees. Clarity Clear.
- Stripers: Guide Jeremy Seabolt reports, “Summer is here and the big schools of stripers are school up. We have been catching fish a lot of ways from downlines and weighted freelines. We have been finding most of the fish on 25- to 45-foot humps and points and using downlines around 15 to 25 feet deep. We are switching over to trolling mid morning. In July, fishing can be sweet with some big numbers of fish being caught. As the water heats, the fish will start moving on out into the deeper water, which makes fishing even better. You have to do your homework and find them, but when you do, you can easily have some 20- to 40-fish days. Going into July, we will be switching over mostly to downlines and trolling as we chase the fish out to deep water. If you are reading this, then the fish should be on all their summer patterns. Start looking over the river and creek channels, and be ready to drop baits as soon as you get over the fish. Don’t forget The Bait Shack has all the striper candy that you want.”
- Oxygen Injection System: (courtesy of WRD): The oxygen injection system on Lake Nottely has not yet been activated as there is sufficient oxygen in the depths of the reservoir at this time of the year. Check out recent water quality profiles on Lake Nottely by visiting the Fishing Forecast (click on the temperature icons near the dam and Mile 3 when you zoom in on the map) courtesy of WRD staff. At the current lake levels, launching at the boat ramp near the dam will inevitably require a change of socks, if applicable.
LAKE BLUE RIDGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: Full. Temp: 80-85 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide Eric Crowley of Lake and Stream Guide Service reports, “I haven’t seen any more smallies, but the spotted bass are finally chowing down after a late spawn. They have been clobbering dark-colored crankbaits and chrome spoons fished on points or near brush out deep. The bite right before dark has been the best bite for us when we are targeting them. There’s a decent topwater bite early in the day, but the conditions have to be right. Calm mornings with no wind allows you to see the surface activity and make long casts quick before they go back down.” Guide Eric Welch reports, “The bass bite has been fair. Summertime fishing can get tough due to the lake being full and all the boat traffic the lake gets. There has been a little topwater action in the mornings.”
LAKE ALLATOONA IS FULL, 80S
Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing is fair. The pattern now is to find the fish suspended and then catch them on the drop shot rig or a jerk bait. Larger fish a much harder to come by. Most of the fish now are small at 10 to 14 inches and they are at 18 to 20 feet deep. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important. The best jerk bait is a MegaBass Vision 110. This is a revolutionary jerkbait with realistic colors, sharp hooks, and great action. Use the 4 1/3 inch sizes and the best colors are Sexy Shad, French Pearl, and Table Rock SP. These baits have premium treble hooks. The realistic color options and great action in the water make these bait unbeatable. And the barbs are on the outside of hooks to help land more fish. Small baits like the Bio minnow or Shaky Squirrel from Big Bite are the baits of choice on the lake. Have the top water baits ready in the mornings and evenings as there might be a short run of top water action through the week.
CARTER’S LAKE (courtesy of GON Fishing Reports): Level: 0.1 FEETABOVE 1074. Temp: 84 degrees. Clarity: 3 feet.
- Bass: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “I spent a few days catching spots last week on topwater. There’s a great bite early around the bait balls on the main lake. Spooks, Sammys, even buzzbaits are getting knocked out of the water by angry spots at sunrise. White baits seemed to get the most hits. This should last a few weeks.”
- Stripers: Guide Eric Crowley reports, ““The stripers have been feeding good from 5 to 9 a.m. in 50 to 60 feet of water. Live fresh alewives are still the preferred bait but not the only option. Light lines and small hooks always outproduce heavy gear here. Move slow in the creek mouths targeting the bait balls early.
LAKE LANIER IS FULL, 80S
- Bass (courtesy of guide Phil Johnson via Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): Bass fishing on Lanier is good. Not much has changed oved the last week. The bass are still active and feeding for the better part of the day. They have made their migration out to the deeper brush and humps in the twenty five to thirty five foot range. Good electronics like Panotic’s are a big plus this time of year as they will allow you to see the position of the fish around the brush or on the humps. The Jerk Shad is still a great producer worked with a long pause especially in the mornings. On sunny days the chrome baits have been great producers as well. A chrome Sebile, Spook or Sammy have all produced fish. When there is a good wind the Whopper Plopper and chrome Gunfish have drawn some great strikes. If it is a calm day it is time to the drop shot or Spybait to catch fish. Work the drop shot directly in and around the brush and use the Spybait to target the suspended fish by counting it down to the depth of the fish. To beat the heat and the boat traffic try the night fish bite. A Georgia Blade half ounce spinnerbait in dark colors worked around the rocky points and humps will draw some thunder strikes. A DT10 worked in these same areas will also produce fish. If worm/jig fishing is your favorite there is still a steady bit around the deeper docks and on ledges. The lake should be calming a little now since the big Fourth of July crowd is gone so the fish should continue to bite. Be prepared to cover ground right now as it may be a one and done pattern but you can still have a great day of catching fish. They are certainly biting so Go Catch ‘Em!
- Stripers (courtesy of Buck Cannon): Lanier stripers are still working their way south and locate the bait using your electronics and be ready for busting fish. The spook and the whopper flopper for some fun action. The down lines using blue backs is a good choice over channels and points. Marking fish is a plus but if the bait is in the area. Drop down your bait just above the bait level. Weighted flat line is another good choice with the blue backs 60-80′ behind the boat. Lead core has produced some good fish pulled 8 colors with a Captain Mac chipmunk 2oz with chartreuse trailer or a swim bait .water temperature was 87.4 on Wednesday and fish was scattered. Remember to wear your life jackets.
- Crappie (courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton via Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report): The water temperature was 85 July 5th morning. We are finding crappie suspended 15 to-25 feet over a 30 to 40 foot bottom. Look for deep water brush up to 40’. Try using small 1-1.5 inch jigs on a 1/24 ounce jig head it will take a while to get down to the fish so be patient. Also look at blow downs off steep banks or trees that extend 50 to 70 feet off the banks. If you are using jigs I would recommend translucent colors with sparkles. 50% of this week’s catch came on minnows. I am setting minnows 15 to 20 feet deep most of the time over a 20-25’ 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 companies 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 an Act crappie Stix.
Lanier Tailwater Trout (courtesy of Orvis Fishing Reports): GO FISH!!! The warmer weather is here to stay, and with that the fishing has already started to heat up. The Department of Natural Resources has released the 2022 stocking information. Stocking began this month and will continue through October. The weekly stocking report can be found on the Georgia Wildlife website. You can sign up for their weekly stocking report email. Fishing many of the popular spots on the Hooch tailwater have resulted in great fishing. The North Georgia streams have been fishing well when the releases have been good. With stocking in full swing, these fish are not used to eating the local bugs, making your junk flies a great choice to fool these fish. For now, worms, eggs, and attractor patterns, such as rainbow warriors, lightning bugs, and blue assassins are great to have in the box. It is also a great idea to have the Hooch classics, stonefly nymphs, caddis, and midges. For fishing on the Hooch in the late afternoon, hatches are in full swing. Small BWO and caddis patterns have proven effective. Patterns such as, WD-40’s, RS2’s, and midge drys are the ticket. Along with Springtime trout fishing, the bass fishing is starting to heat up. Fishing the lower sections of the Hooch, below Morgan Falls are great places to fish! This is also a great time to pull all of your gear out to make sure that you have everything you need for this year’s season. If you have any questions at all, feel free to come in and we will be happy to get you set up! For the Chattahoochee, state regulations require a certified personal flotation devise be worn by all anglers from Buford dam south to highway 20. Pay special attention to water release info online or call the number below for release schedules. Make sure to call the Corp of Engineers release hotline at 770-945-1466 before making your trip.
Fly fishing the ‘Hooch this July? Check out the Old Man’s guidance for locations and fly selections to put stocker ‘bows and wild browns on the end of the line this summer.
Stocking Update: Many truckloads of hatchery-raised trout hit Georgia trout waters this week thanks to the fine staff at Summerville, Burton, and Buford state trout hatcheries and our federal partners at the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery. By checking this week’s weekly stocking report, Georgia trout anglers will see there are fresh trout fishing opportunities in our lotic (flowing) and lentic (lake) trout waters alike! The current heat wave will push these stockers into deeper/cooler holes, so be sure to get your offerings down to their level and forgo the temptation to sample and resample those shallow runs that quickly heat up in the absence of substantial riparian cover.
Guide Reports: The Unicoi Outfitters blog is fresh every Friday and can be found HERE. Cohutta Fishing Co. updates periodically—get the latest Toccoa intel HERE. Alpharetta Outfitters provides an excellent quick reference to trout stream conditions throughout North Georgia HERE.
Speckulating Bluelines: Dredger’s at it again! And while the recount of his encounter with Yogi and Boo Boo were entertaining enough, his “speckulation” intel is valuable guidance if you want to “grip and grin” a native Georgia char. Check out his story in The Angler Magazine, Atlanta- page 4.
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 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 slow. Top water baits are still catching a few early morning fish along with some of the smaller crank baits. Main lake points are good areas all day. Carolina rigs with either a six-inch worm or four-inch Zoom worm will work on the points and sides of points. Channel ledges that run close to these points are excellent places during the hot summer months. The best jerk bait is a MegaBass Vision 110. This is a revolutionary jerk bait with realistic colors, sharp hooks, and great action. Use the 4 1/3-inch sizes and the best colors are Sexy Shad, French Pearl, and Table Rock SP. These baits have premium treble hooks. The realistic color options and great action in the water make these baits unbeatable. And the barbs are on the outside of hooks to help land more fish. The Alabama rig is still working but be sure to keep the soft lures on this rig small and make sure they look like small shad. These smaller shad just hatched, and the bass are after them better than the larger lures. A little patience will also be necessary as bites are sometimes slow to come by. Good working baits include Skitter Pops, #5 Glass or RS Shad Raps and four-inch Storm Rattle Tubes. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important.
CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Bass are biting early and then again at lunch time and the rest of the time they are sluggish and move back to the deeper water. Main lake humps, deep water points and channel ledges are where most of the bass are being caught. Fish are in anywhere from ten to twenty-five feet of water. Downsize all the baits this week using smaller line. Ito Vision 110 suspending baits and Carolina Rigs are two great ways to catch fish. A drop shot rig is a good substitute for that Carolina rig. Chug Bugs, Pop r and an occasional Rapala DT6 or Shad Rap are all working up on the main lake points, but only until about 9:30 a.m. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important. Always look for breaking fish and any signs of schooling bait fish first thing in the mornings. Keep the pearl Zoom Super Flukes ready and use them all day.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. When Georgia Power is pulling water or pumping back is the best time to catch several fish. There is an early and late top water bite. Fish a ½ ounce buzz bait in the white and chartreuse and fish around the rock sea walls and rip rap around the lake. During the day fish brush piles in 15 to 20 foot of water with a Texas rigged Zoom finesse worm in the green pumpkin or watermelon colors on ten-pound test Suffix Elite clear line. Working the long points on the main lake with a Carolina rigged finesse worm in the same colors will also produce some good numbers of fish.
Hybrids are schooling early and late in the day all over the lake. Have a popping cork with a fly on a 24-inch leader ready. Use 17-pound test leader to help keep the fly from getting hooked around the cork. A ¼ ounce Rat L Trap will also work very well in these schooling fish. During the day live shad fishing around the dam on the underwater humps in 20 foot of water will also draw a few bites.
Crappie fishing is good. Crappie are being caught both during the day and at night. Fish during the day around the bridge pilings and in brush in 15 to 20 foot of water. At night fish the lighted docks around the lake or set out lights under a bridge. The best bait to use is live minnows. Make sure to keep minnows in good shape by using an aerator and keeping the water cool with freeze sleeves. Fish this bait on 6-pound test P Line from 10 to 15 feet deep.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.4 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. The early morning bite has been best. A square bill crank bait has been catching fish on rip rap and sea walls in the Little River arm. Keep an eye out for May flies, as they have been hatching every few days over the past two weeks. When the flies are out, it’s time to throw a top water bait. A top water prop bait or a popper have been good around the flies recently. A brown Buckeye Mop Jig has also been good around dock walkways and overhangs where mayflies are present. Also have the worms ready on brush piles in 10 to 15 feet of water on the main river. Drag a Texas rigged or Shaky head trick worm through this brush. A deep crank bite is starting to show up on the ends of points and humps also in 17 to 18 feet of water. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important.
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is barely fair, and the lake is up and stained to muddy lake wide. There is a fair top water bite early each day and then its docks. The Lunker Lure all white buzz bait or Bang A Lures in silver and black back on banks and wood has been working. Cast to the shallow banks with a Rattlin’ Rouge in the shad or bream color. Find them with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and then use the Active Target to pinpoint them. Accurate presentations will be important. The best jerk bait is a MegaBass Vision 110. This is a revolutionary jerk bait with realistic colors, sharp hooks, and great action. Use the 4 1/3-inch sizes and the best colors are Sexy Shad, French Pearl, and Table Rock SP. These baits have premium treble hooks. The realistic color options and great action in the water make these baits unbeatable. And the barbs are on the outside of hooks to help land more fish. Small Fat Free shad and pearl white shallow crank baits are fair. Rig Culprit worms in red shad and black shad u tails on a spinning rod and skip them under the docks and get the baits a little deeper and work them very slowly. The Rebel Pop R’s in shad and bream colors are fair.