Back to School. Back to School. It is that time of year when families have to readjust to school schedules, sports practices, homework and Friday nights at the football field – it seems like there is so much to do! For a break from the chaos, get out to the nearest location and throw out a few lines – even if it is only for a little bit. You and the kids deserve the break.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Georgia Waters Saved Again From Invasive Species: Boaters – Be Vigilant! Georgia officials were alerted after a boat owner observed a mysterious mussel attached to the motor of his recently purchased vessel. The boat owner contacted the local WRD office and through further inspection, found out the mystery ‘hitchhikers” were zebra mussels. Read more about it HERE.
- Catfish is On the Menu: Hands up, was a catfish your first fish? It’s a great fish to target, they are fun to catch, the gear is relatively simple and they are great on the dinner plate. Find out more HERE.
This week, we have reports from North, Southwest, Central and Southeast Georgia. Put down the bookbags and pick up the fishing poles and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Jim Hakala, 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 is fair. Boat traffic has been worse than usual this year, so getting out early is the biggest thing. A shallow water top water bite is still good around bream beds and willows. The cane pile bite is getting better and will continue all the way through September. Look for brush on points in 15 to 30 feet of water. Use your electronics to look for fish in these brush piles. Once located using a Spook Sammy or Fluke can draw top water strikes. A Z Man Chatterbaits has the Mini Max. Since Bass eat a lot of small forage, this bait will account for some good bites. Try this bait when fishing around small baitfish like shad and bluegills. Dropping the drop shot directly on cane piles can produce numbers of fish. Try throwing a big worm around piles to get a big bite. The night fishing has been good fishing crankbaits and worms around rocks and lights.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. We are in the typical summer pattern now with the bass located in their summer homes. The brush in twenty-five to thirty-five feet of water and humps in the same depth range are holding fish. There is still some topwater activity, but it is mostly during the first hour of each day. The main activity has been with either the Spybait or the drop shot. When using either, it is like video game fishing. Panoptics allows me to see how the first are oriented to the brush and determines which bait I choose. If the fish are scattered around the brush, I will first try the Spybait. This is a bait that you count down to the depth of the fish and then it is very important to know the speed of your reel retrieve. You want to be able to maintain the desired depth to bring the bait through the fish. Since this is a finesse bait it has very small hooks and is thrown on either six or eight-pound test line it is important to have a rod with plenty of tip action. I prefer at least a seven-foot medium action rod for both ease of casting and playing the fish. Remember, it’s not a game of how fast you can get the fish in but can you land it, so play them easy. The top colors for the week on the drop shot have been Blue Lily, Morning Dawn and Prism Shad. I’ll go to the drop shot if I see the fish either in the brush or scattered around the bottom. I prefer to use eight-pound fluro with 14 pound braid backing with a three eights weight. The key to the drop shot is to keep the weight on the bottom while gently shaking the worm. The majority of the bites this week were a simple pulldown without feeling the strike. Don’t overpower the hook set since again you are using lighter line and smaller hooks. Both these approaches are true finesse fishing. Be prepared to move quite a bit since there are many one fish holes out there right now. You have to work a little, but 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) — Yes, Crappie bite in the summer. If your normal spots are not holding fish scan the area – they are probably not far away. The water temperatures are in the mid to upper 80s. We are finding crappie suspended at 15 to 25 feet over a 30 to 40 foot bottom. Look for deep water brush up to 40 feet deep. 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 blown down trees off steep banks or trees that extend into 50 to 70 feet deep off the banks. If you are using jigs, I would recommend translucent colors with sparkles. I am setting minnows 15 to 20 feet deep most of the time over a 20 to 25 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 jig heads. 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 Acc crappie Stix.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good. The bite has picked up quite a bit this week. There is a pretty strong top water bite around daybreak. There are some good schools of bass mixed with hybrid and white bass. The swim bait bite has gotten much better. The Spro 6-inch BBZ, the stubby triple trout, and sliding gizzard are working best on long tapering point and short main lake pockets. The drop shot bite is going strong and this is an all-day bite. The Big Bite jointed jerk minnow in smoked shad is putting plenty of bass in the boat this week. Fish are scattered but when you find them, they will eat. A Z Man Chatterbaits has the Mini Max. Since Bass eat a lot of small forage this bait will account for some good bites. Try this bait when fishing around small baitfish like shad and bluegills.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of angler Matt Driver) — Right now most of the fish are out deep and on brush. They’ve been on brush for a couple of weeks now. Once you’ve located some brush, throw Texas rigged worms, shaky heads, or small swim baits if you see surface activity.
Lake Weiss Mixed Bag Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service and www.southernfishing.com) — The fishing has not changed for the past few weeks, all the fish in Weiss are on their typical summer patterns, and things will stay that way for the next month or so.
- Bass: Bass fishing is good. The fish are on the creek and river channel ledges. The deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is fair. They are on deeper brush in 10 to 18 feet of water and can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy Jigs. Some Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs.
- Striped Bass: Striper fishing is fair and they are starting to show up in the lower Chattooga River, and the Cave hole 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 is fair. It is a typical summertime pattern. Some largemouth are starting to show up on deeper brush piles and roadbeds as the water warms. Try deep diving crankbaits or Texas rigged Ol’ Monster worms. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a drop shot rig and sue dark colors next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike. The best fishing is around brush piles in these areas. Top water baits such as Pop Rs, Zara Spooks and buzz baits can still be effective for shallow bass, especially around bream beds. Some largemouth are around bream beds feeding on them. Some spotted bass are being caught by casting Spot Remover heads loaded with Zoom Shakey Tail worms or just dragging a Carolina rigged Zoom Finesse Worm or Mini Lizard around sloping gravel banks. Also try a small Texas rigged worm or a jig around blowdown trees. Try fishing around the bridges and bridge pilings with small crankbaits and shaky head rigs, especially during periods of water generation.
More West Point Fish Attractors (Report courtesy of Fisheries Technician Cody Somsen) — West Point Fisheries staff recently hinge-cut trees over approximately 2-miles of shoreline in the Veasey Creek Arm of West Point Lake. This area was devoid of quality shoreline fish cover, so these new additions to protected pockets will provide excellent fish rearing habitat. Staff also installed the first of many PVC fish trees, made from donated and repurposed materials. Special thanks to Steve Brooks Landscape and Irrigation of Lagrange for his kind and generous donation of materials. Find these and other fish attractor locations at West Point HERE.
Coosa River Dinosaur (Courtesy of Fisheries Supervisor Jim Hakala) — Another momentous milestone for WRDs Coosa River Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction Program occurred earlier this month. Researchers with the University of Georgia captured a 52-inch, 24-pound lake sturgeon from the Coosa River. This is the largest sturgeon reported captured since WRD’s stocking program of this native species began in 2001. The fish was implanted with a radio tag before its release back to the river as part of a two-year population study being conducted by the university and funded by WRD. Remember, LAKE STURGEON CANNOT BE HARVESTED. IF YOU ACCIDENTALLY CATCH A LAKE STURGEON IT SHOULD BE HANDLED GENTLY AND RELEASED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you catch or otherwise see a lake sturgeon in northwest Georgia, please report the information to the Armuchee Fisheries Office at 706-295-6102. Note the date and location of your sighting, photograph the fish if possible, and provide your name and telephone number so biologists can contact you about your sighting. This type of information is valued by fisheries managers tracking the progress of agency’s reintroduction efforts.
Hooch Browns (Report courtesy of Fisheries Supervisor Anthony Rabern) — Russell Ballew helps manage DNR’s Wildlife Management Areas, but when he is not working, he enjoys trout fishing on the Chattahoochee River downstream of Lake Lanier. This week, Russell floated the river from Buford Dam to McGinnis Ferry and hooked into some nice brown trout using a #18 Zebra Midge.
Ant Candy (Courtesy of Jeff Durniak, retired DNR fisheries biologist and Unicoi Outfitters staffer) — Summer is terrestrial time for Southeastern fly-fishers. Spring’s stream bug hatches are history, and our finned targets often rely on missteps of land-based bugs to provide some summer lunch. For bream and headwater trout, ants are high on the menu. They’re abundant and available. On our very first Chattooga trout sample (Sept ’86), most of the wild browns sampled had, you guessed it, ants in their stomachs. While we all love dries and will toss a parachute ant, we shouldn’t forget the wets. That submerged dropper will enhance your catch, especially when the midday sun is high, and fish won’t rise due to predation fears. Try some “ant candy” this summer, both dry and deep. Your hatch-matching might just give you some great memories despite the heat. Good luck!
Stockers: Trout stocking season is rocking and rolling and over 18,000 quality trout hit over 40 Georgia public waters this week. Want to know where trout were stocked in north Georgia this week? Check out the “Weekly Stocking Report.” You can even sign up to get the “Weekly Stocking Report” emailed directly to you each week!
Wild Trout Report (Report courtesy of Tad Murdock, Georgia Wild Trout) — Summer seems to be here to stay. Time to escape the heat and head for the headwaters and small streams of North Georgia. The dry fly bite has been excellent. Trout can be caught on a myriad of flies as all insects are present. Stoneflies, mayflies, caddis and terrestrial imitations will catch fish throughout the day. If you can squeeze out on a low light drizzly day or just before the storms pass through the bite will be even better. If you are out at an odd time when fish don’t want to rise ad a small/simple dropper fly below your dry. Majority of the hatching bugs are on the small end of the spectrum with some larger mayflies showing up in the evening. This is the best time of year to seek out the Appalachian slam (brook, brown, and rainbow trout). Several customers have achieved these on half day outings since June. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather as afternoon thunderstorms can pop-up quickly.
Blue Ridge Fly Fishing — The trout fishing near Blue Ridge is likely the best of any of Georgia’s mountain towns. This is the best time of year to explore the small wild trout streams of the Cohutta Wilderness. The Toccoa River Tailwaters will fish well in the mornings before the tubers and kayakers crowd the river. To the east Rock Creek and Cooper’s creek will be some of the few creeks where anglers can find some stocked trout. Moving into the headwater streams will yield plenty of wild trout and great dry fly action.
Dahlonega Fly Fishing — The Dahlonega trout fishing has slowed down a bit in the past couple weeks, especially on the stocked waters. Dicks Creek will be the only consistently stocked creek from now until the Fall. The heavier traffic make Dicks Creek a challenge to fish on weekends but stocked trout can usually be found until they’re fished out by Monday. The wild trout streams have been fishing well. The lower water levels have made them a bit more spooky so move slow. Hopefully these recent rains will raise water levels back to normal, but I believe that may just be wishful thinking.
Helen Fly Fishing — The summer months may be the slowest months of the year for trout fishing in Helen. The heavier number of visiting anglers and the fewer stocked trout to go around make for slower days on the typically productive water. Fishing through town can be near impossible during the later daylight hours as tubers take over the river. This is a great time of year to explore the upper sections of the Chattahoochee River for some wild trout. Stealth and accurate casting are key to landing these finicky trout. With a little hiking and bushwacking you can find plenty of nearly untouched water this summer.
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.
MISCELLANEOUS NEWS TO KNOW
Lanier’s Second Brush with Exotic Zebra Mussels. Invasive Zebra Mussels Found Attached to Boat Motor Prior to Launch. For the second time in just over a year, Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) staff responded to a citizen inquiry about invasive zebra mussels found attached to a vessel prior to its launch into Lake Lanier. CONTINUE READING HERE.
Why Moving Bass is a Really Bad Idea. Don’t be part of the problem that is decimating native bass populations in Georgia and throughout the southeast. Here is a great podcast from our friends at the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, featuring professional angler Matt Arey, discussing the problems illegally introduced Alabama Bass are having on popular native bass populations.
Go Fish Before the School Bell Rings! Back to school shopping, school buses, and tardy bells are just around the corner. Give your kids a late summer memory to share with their classmates on the first day back to school. Fishing together with your child and family can build some powerful memories. Don’t know how or where to fish with a child? No problem! Check out these great resources to get you pointed in the right direction this weekend.
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 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” in 2022!
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
Catfish fishing has been hot on lake George. Anglers have caught some monsters. Fishing in the tailraces of the damn when they are generating power is a good option. Another good option is fishing in the river channel off the rocks in about 30 feet of water. One angler reports pulling in a 52lb blue cat last week so get out there and try your luck, the best bait is something nice and smelly. Anglers like hot dog, chicken livers, and chicken breast soaked in strawberry Jell-O.
Fishing at Blackshear is hot right now! Take your pick pf bass bream or catfish and get out there! Big bream have been hitting the deck recently. Try worms or crickets for your best bet here. Follow your nose to where those bream are bedding. Catfish are in the channels and are responding well to any smelly baits you can think of to throw. Channels and flathead catfish are great eating so get out there and catch a monster or fill your cooler with little guys and have yourself a fry! Bass fishing is more difficult but there are nice fish to be had by the persistent and diligent angler. Early morning and evening are your best bet. Try shad colored walking style baits, buzzbaits, flukes and crankbaits. Top water lure near topped out grass or fallen logs are a great bet.
July has been a wet month and the water level has been going up and down a bit as the rain from the northern part of the state makes its way down to us. Both the Flint and Chattahoochee arms have a slight stain as well as spring creek and fish pond drain. Temps all over the lake are 84-86 degrees. Flukes worms and spinner baits are great options for morning fishing. Temps are hot so morning and evenings are the best bet. Top water lures are usually a staple down at Seminole but the fish don’t seem to be that interested. There are reports of lot lots of big fish taking bites right now so come on down and give it a try. Grass edges and structure points are good places to start as the bass are in the summer patter. The bream are still biting at Seminole too. Nice size crappie can be caught at Seminole year round and this week is no different. Check the ditches and submerged structure. Artificial jigs as well as crickets and minnows should get things going for you. Bream are still on bed and anglers are pulling up coolers full for a nice fry most times they head out on the lake. Worms and crickets are best here and be sure to keep in mind that your bait should be small since bream have relatively small mouths.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Silver Lake proper remains a popular fishing spot even on hot days. Panic Pond is closed until September 1, but the PFA staff is hard at work with some new shoreline improvements.
- Bass: Anglers are targeting weed lines and standing timber. Wacky rigs on a drop shot are effective on the weed lines and rattle traps are still fooling some big bass in the timber.
- Catfish: Frog Pond has been steadily producing catfish throughout the summer; live bream under a bobber will convince those larger kitties to bite.
- Bluegill: Fishing pressure in House Pond has exceeded our expectations, and the numbers of larger bluegill being caught has slowed down considerably.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
The surface temperature is about 84 degrees and visibility is about 24 inches.
- Bass: Bass fishing has been slowed by higher 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*!
*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!
- Crappie: Warm summer water temperatures have caused crappie to move into deeper water as well as scatter themselves over much of lake. Try fishing standing timber by presenting live minnows and/or brightly colored jigs at different depths to increase your chances for catching some slabs.
- Bream: 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.
- Catfish: 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
(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 slow. A few bass being caught late in the evenings. Typically, this time of year the bass are bunched up in schools, but they seem to still be scattered from shallow to deep and hard to pattern. It is hard to beat the Bomber Model A shallow and deep model A Shad in pearl white and are excellent lures to cover lots of water. Use the crankbaits and jigs around main lake points and timber near deeper water. For numbers of fish the spotted bass are biting drop shots and Carolina rigs with a Zoom Finesse worm. With the high-water temperatures largemouth should start setting up on their summer patterns and they will bite in the evenings and at night with a Texas rigged Zoom Mag II Ol Monster or the new Mag U Tail worm.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.3 FEET, 80’S
Bass are tight on creek bends down lake as well as main lake points. The fish are biting but all presentations will need to be close to any wood and around docks. Use the Zoom gourd green worm on a Texas rig in the tight bank cover. Up the creeks, use a dark jig and pig combination and fish tight in any cover right on the bank. The jigs in the 3/8-ounce size in dark reds and blacks with a matching #11 Uncle Josh trailer will be best. Add Real Craw scent and use it often casting to the same location. Use an all-white buzz bait and the spinner baits with willow leaf and Colorado blades in tandem on the wood and docks. Be sure the skirts are bright colors in lime, white and chartreuse. A Z Man Chatterbaits has the Mini Max. Since bass eat a lot of small forage this bait will account for some good bites. Try this bait when fishing around small baitfish like shad and bluegills.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. The best fishing is early morning or mid to late afternoon when Georgia Power is pumping back or generating. During these times fish the main lake points and underwater humps. Fish this area with a Carolina rigged Zoom finesse or Zoom U tail worm in the green pumpkin or watermelon color. Fish these baits on 12-pound test Trilene line with a 2 to 3-foot leader using a 10-pound test line. If Georgia Power is not generating power fishing is slow. Downsize you weight and line as much as possible and fish brush piles with a Texas rigged green pumpkin or a watermelon worm. Work this bait as slow as you can and watch your line watching for the light bite.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.5 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Shallow is the pattern so expect to fish in 8 feet or less. Use a Rapala DT6 with others catching early morning fish on Pop Rs buzz baits and square bills shallow. There has been a crawfish spawn or molt for about the last week that has fisherman throwing crawfish imitating lures such as cranks and jigs. The shallow bite ends around mid-morning. Fishing the docks is the pattern to follow later in the day. The walkways and the first part of the docks that break off from the walkway has been the pattern for the last month with shaky head magnum worms and plastics. Make sure to pay close attention to where the bites come from on the docks. Although the location of the bass on the docks seems to change daily, you can pattern where they are located on a particular day if you pay attention to the first two or three bites of the day. Try buzz baits and Pop Rs frogs prop baits in bluegill patterns and swim jigs high in the water column. Expect most of the bass to remain shallow. Rip rap and bridges will be great places to try when the water is moving.
LAKE JACKSON IS .81 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early morning top water is producing some good quality fish. Run and gun the most productive water that you can and throw a Spook Pop R and a Rico. As the sun gets up on the water run all the shade that you can with top water since these areas will still hold bass. Once the sun is up on the water and the shade has decreased concentrate on long tapering points with a Carolina rig and a shaky head. Watermelon and green pumpkin colors are best depending on the water clarity. Slow down during the hottest part of the day since bass will tend to not want to chase a bait too far. Docks in or near deeper water and those next to channel swings will hold fish. Deeper structure and humps will be good places to pick up a few bass, but this is where anglers need Lowrance Structure Scan electronics. A drop shot will catch a few if they prefer this rig over others. The evening bite isn’t as good as it has been in the past but it’s producing some fish. Concentrate on high percentage areas with the same baits as the morning and midday bites.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Surface Temperature: 87.6˚ F (30.9˚ C)
- Water Level: 28” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 21”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
Dedicated anglers have been reporting largemouth bass being caught late at night and crappie catches early in the morning. Larger bream are off the bed and have taken to deeper water to escape the heat. Anglers are reporting catches of smaller bream off the fishing pier. Here’s a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:
Catfish: Catfish are biting at Flat Creek PFA! Anglers fishing at night and early in the morning are reporting 5-6 lb. catfish while daytime anglers are reporting 1-3 lb. catfish.
Bass: According to the most recent reports, black top water buzz baits and Yum Dinger green pumpkin chartreuse rubber worms are producing catches. Using green and yellow baits during the green algae bloom will help catch a largemouths’ eye.
Bream: Red Wigglers continue to produce bream. Target larger bream by fishing deeper.
Channel Catfish: Catfish are being caught on chicken livers, live baitfish, and cut baitfish.
Crappie: Use live minnows and jigs while targeting deeper, cooler water early in the morning.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water level: All bodies of water are full.
- Water clarity: 16” to 24”. Fox Lake visibility may be as much as 40”.
- Surface temperature: Upper 80’s plus.
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Early morning and late afternoon have been the most productive for bass. The majority of largemouth have been caught on plastic worms and lizards. Focus on drop offs and ledges at points and channels. Early morning and late afternoon the hybrid bass are feeding on schooling shad at Bennett.
Crappie: Very few crappie are being caught at this time. If you fish for crappie this time of year your best bet is to fish deep and cover a lot of water. Look for crappie suspended over deep brush piles. Quality electronics go a long way when trying to locate crappie.
Bream: Most of the larger bream are being caught on the bottom in deeper water near dams and creek channels, unless they are on the bed around the full moon. Waxworms, crickets, and pink worms continue to be good bait.
Catfish: A few bigger catfish have been harvested at Fox and Bennet. Greenhouse and Upper Raleigh provide a great opportunity to catch you 5-fish limit of whole fryers.
(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)
We are entering the lull between the dog-days of summer and school starting, and I received few reports this week. The folks who went did well, though.
River gages on July 28th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.8 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 4.3 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 6.7 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 8.5 feet and falling (84 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 8.5 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 7.0 feet and cresting
The river is dropping back out of the floodplain, and catfishing should be good this week. It’s still murky, so the good panfishing is probably still a couple weeks away, if it stays dry. For the results of the Brantley County Herons bass tournament held Saturday, check out their Facebook page (Brantley County Herons Football).
I have been out of touch with the swamp this week, but the bowfin bite was great over the last month. I’m sure they’re still chewing if you go. You can catch the other swamp species also, but bowfin are the best bite in the summer. Okefenokee Adventures staff said that a few bluegills were caught from the boat basin this week on the east side. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.26 feet.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, More Info HERE)
The bream and catfish are biting well at the area. On Thursday morning, an angler fishing from the Lake Patrick fishing pier caught a 6-pound and 9-pound channel catfish.
A Blackshear angler fished on Saturday afternoon in the heat and actually saw 100-degree water temps on his fish finder. He trolled minnows and fooled 4 nice crappie. He added a little ice to his minnow bucket every so often just to keep his bait alive. It worked well enough to provide a fresh fish supper! Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond on Wednesday evening and caught 5 bass. They had a few on a Christie Craw and a pair on buzzbaits. Everything they had was around 2 pounds. A couple of Blackshear anglers fished a south Georgia pond on Thursday and had some quality fish. They had 5 bass over 5 pounds with their biggest measuring 24 1/4 inches and pulling the scales down to 9-lbs even. They caught a total of 10 bass on live bait.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Don Harrison and a friend fished the St. Marys Jetties on Saturday morning and had one of the more exciting stories of the summer. They were bouncing Capt. Bert’s bucktail jigs around the rocks when they had a solid thump on an electric chicken version. After setting the hook and getting the redfish moving toward them, it just kept moving along the rocks. There wasn’t anything they could do to move the giant fish that just eased along slowly but wasn’t even fazed that there was a line attached to it. They went for a ride of about a half-hour when they decided something had to change. They fast-idled the boat in front of the fish and put a lot of pressure on it. After a few seconds in front of the behemoth, a 29-inch redfish (pales as can be) surfaced and was netted. The change in boat direction caused the monster to let go of the redfish, apparently. The redfish came to its senses quickly and swam away fine, but Don figured that it was a goliath grouper that wanted that big redfish as a snack. It almost had to have been a goliath grouper, as there was almost no damage to the redfish. Using 3/4-oz. bucktail jigs, they ended up landing 2 reds up to 30 inches, a 14-inch flounder, a black sea bass, and they also broke off 2 other big redfish. Scout Carter and a friend fished the St Mary Jetties on Saturday and caught several redfish, flounder and trout fishing finger mullet on the south jetties. Scout had a monster 32-inch redfish as their biggest. They also jumped a tarpon before it spooled their redfish outfit. 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).