Are you up for a challenge? How about if I say it involves fishing and potentially traveling to a few different streams/rivers in pursuit of a fishy foe? Then you are ready for the Georgia Bass Slam! Catch five (5) of the 10 Black Bass species found in Georgia within the calendar year and you have got a Slam on your hands, and hopefully some great fish “tales” to tell.
Bass Slam anglers receive a frame-worthy certificate and some other goodies, get their names and catches listed on the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division website and are in the running for a Grand Slam Prize at the end of the year. Mr. Brandon Myers, in the blog header photo, just became the 14th angler this year to complete a Slam.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- For the Fish: Georgia WRD Fisheries Management staff from the Walton office, Georgia B.A.S.S. Nation, and Morgan County High School & Junior Fishing Teams jointly received an AFTCO grant to enhance and improve shoreline and littoral zone fisheries habitat at Lake Oconee. Together, partners were able to plant over 2,000 native aquatic plants and install 28 Mossback Conservation Cubes. These enhancements will provide shoreline stabilization, nutrient filtering and littoral zone nursery and foraging locations for many fish species.
- Reminder to CHECK Your Boat for Hitchhikers: 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.
This week we have fresh fishing reports from Southeast, North and Southwest Georgia. Whether you are pursuing your Bass Slam or just happy with the next fish that takes the bait, we are so glad that you Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The number of reports declined with most school systems starting back this week. Fishing is a great way to relax at the end of the first week of school!
River gages on August 4th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.6 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.7 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.9 feet and rising
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.6 feet and falling (86 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 5.5 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 4.1 feet and falling
Full Moon is August 12th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
A Blackshear and Waycross angler fished a local pond on Monday morning and trolled up 3 nice crappie using 1/32-oz. heads and 2-inch Keitech swimbaits (sight flash, chartreuse back pearl, and electric shad worked best). They also caught a dozen bluegills up to almost 9 inches by trolling. They cast at some fish that they graphed and caught a crappie quickly and thought they had them dialed in. But, that was the only crappie they caught casting. I heard of bass up to 8 pounds being caught this week from local ponds.
The river is fishable and the upper reaches are getting low for getting a motorboat around well. I’ve heard of folks catching up to a dozen panfish per trip this week. It’s gonna get good again soon if it keeps dropping – just in time for most folks to head to the woods……perfect! Catfishing is the best option in the middle and lower river this weekend.
The best catch this week was by Thomas Powell who fooled a chunky bass with a white curly-tail grub on Friday while fishing in the boat basin on the Folkston side. He released the bass. Okefenokee Adventures staff said that a few fliers, warmouth, and bowfin were caught from the boat basin this week on the east side. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.18 feet.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Robert and Deana Bringolf came down from the Athens area and fished the St. Marys Jetties with a friend on Friday. Robert had the hot hand, boating 3 bull redfish over 30 inches on a 5/8-oz. electric chicken Capt. Bert’s Bucktail Jig bounced around the rocks. They also had a beautiful 21-inch flounder on the same colored bucktail. Tarpon were everywhere, but they didn’t see any boats around them hook up. Don Harrison and a friend fished the St. Marys Jetties this week. They pitched bucktail jigs to the rocks during the morning and had a nice flounder, a pair of ladyfish and a bunch of bottom fish. The big redfish eluded them that day. The guides fishing around them weren’t doing anything on live bait either – as in they didn’t see any fish (other than a sting ray) caught during the morning. The tarpon showed up at high tide, and a boat near them jumped a 120-pound class fish on a swimbait. Inshore, folks reported catching some flounder on mudminnows. The trout reports I received were mediocre. Folks caught a few per trip, but some didn’t have any keepers. For guide trip information, call Capt. Greg Hildreth at (912) 617-1980 or check out his website (georgiacharterfishing.com). For the latest fishing information or live shrimp in the Brunswick area, check with J&P Bait and Tackle on Hwy 303 (912-282-9705).
(Fishing report courtesy of Jackson Sibley, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good. The bass are still deep and will be for another month. Right now the brush pile bite is still good. We are using a Picasso double weed guard Jig head and Money Maker worm in great pumpkin. This technique is very slow and methodical. The secret to working this bait is not to work it at all and just drag it slowly until and locate the brush pile. Slowly work the jig head through the debris. A very sensitive rod is key. Use the 20 pound Sunline fx2 braid tipped with Sunline sniper Fluorocarbon as a leader. When they bite just start reeling. The second technique is a deep diving crank bait. Switch it up between a Spro Little John DD and 6 or 8 XD. Use 10 pound test Sunline Fluorocarbon and a glass Shimano cranking rod. Fish this bait on the long points that are near the channel with scattered brush or boulders. Run and gun don’t stay in an area if you’re not getting bit. Now divide the lake up into three regions. South end is Allatoona Creek to Bethany Bridge. Mid lake is from Bethany Bridge to Galts Ferry. North Galts Ferry north to the Etowah River. Right there are no particular areas that are producing better. Pick the area of the lake and run the mid to deep depth pattern.
Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Matt Driver via GON’s Fishing Report) — For those who follow the Allatoona reports each month, this is going to seem repetitive. Conditions are still great, and not much has changed. Fishing on Lake Allatoona in August is usually extremely tough due to the heat and poor water quality. This year we’ve had a very rainy summer, and I believe that has helped with better water quality and continued great fishing. The bass continue to be out deep and suspended during the daylight hours with a good bit of schooling activity. The boat traffic continues to be very active but will slow later in the month when schools start back. The drop shot, a Picasso Little Spotty jig and a Spook have been the best ways to catch fish during the day. Even though fishing is good, sometimes it is a grind to get fish to fire on a bait. Once you get the fish to fire, you can catch several in a row. Forward-facing sonar is a huge factor when targeting these suspended fish. Don’t spend too much time on fish that are not biting. Some of the suspended fish are channel and blue catfish. The catfish are just coming off the bed. At night, I’m targeting bass that aren’t suspended and are moving shallow to mid-depths looking for cover and structure. The bass were a little later showing up on brush this year. The Picasso Thumper spinnerbait is a good bait to search areas for active bass, and I’ll mix it up with a Picasso football head jig and a Strike King 5XD and 6XD. Main-lake points and channel swings are the ticket for good schools of fish, and bluff walls are the most consistent places to get bit right now. I crank with a 5.2:1 Shimano Curado and a 7-11 fiberglass Shimano glass rod lined with 10-lb. Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon. The lighter line allows the bait to get to the desired depth easier. I have been getting the best results with a fast retrieve. In the evenings, there are schools of fish around the Allatoona Creek area of the lake.
Allatoona Linesides (Report courtesy of Robert Eidson, www.firstbiteguideservice.com) — We are still catching decent numbers, but we are having to run-and-gun right now. The fish are on the move and aren’t staying in one location for more than five minutes. Downlining shad is still working, but shad are dying very quickly on a hook. Be sure to take plenty of bait with you. Downlines fished 14 to 21 feet deep are working best right now. The dissolved oxygen level is so low below 21 feet that bait is dying in less than five minutes on a hook. I have caught fish this week as far north as Kellogg Creek and as far south as Allatoona Landing. These fish are on the move and never seem to be in the same place the next day. Hopefully this is just a minor setback in what has been a great summer live-bait bite. The trolling bite has been my better bite the last few weeks. I am pulling nothing but umbrella rigs right now. Color doesn’t seem to matter. It is more of a reaction bite right now. I have been having my best luck at 145 feet behind the boat at speeds of 2.4 to 3.1 mph.
Blue Ridge Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Welch via GON’s Fishing Report) — Fishing has been fair. With the heat we’ve been having and all the boat traffic the lake has been getting, the fish have been scattered. There’s not hardly been any topwater action in the morning. I’ve been starting out on the main body targeting deep rocky points, humps and laydowns. The baits I’ve been using have been a drop shot, shaky head and Ned rig. The majority of my fish have been caught using my Garmin Livescope, marking the areas that they’re in and casting on them, watching my screen as the bait drops down and seeing them hit it. By mid-morning, I will work my way up the river using the same lures on deep, rocky banks and points, mainly targeting areas where the river turns in next to the bank. Nothing should really change this month, same pattern should work.
Blue Ridge Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — The bass have been acting a little different this year. We are catching a lot more fish in open water and shallow, usually only 10 to 15 feet deep. They are chasing schools of bait way out off the points on the main lake. Sometimes 10 to 20 fish are in a school. This makes for great jerkbait fishing, as there’s some competition for food. For fish that come up out of range, a heavy, 1-oz. spoon will reach out to them. Most of them are spots, but we have seen a couple smallies. We have confirmed through freeze branding by DNR that we have seen multiple fish from 2016-2019 stocking efforts.
Blue Ridge Walleye (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — Summer heat and warm water has the fish deep most of the day. There are still some fish up shallow early, but mostly smaller fish is what we are seeing. The walleye have retreated to deeper, cooler water and are feeding early and late in the day. Overcast days and rain are your friends this month as the fish will be much more active without the summer sun beaming down on them. I’ve been focusing on big points in the river that are holding bait, not just a little bit, lots of bait. The walleye are following the big schools of bluebacks as they move throughout the river above Point 5. Look for them in the 40- to 60-foot range. There are also fish holding in deep grassbeds near Star Creek. Try to work the edges for the best results. Chrome and black spoons worked right in their faces has been the most productive. We have seen a lot of fish this past month, and the average is holding steady at 22 inches, with fish up to 25 inches being caught. The trout bite is winding down for the summer as the temps continue to rise. There will still be a few out feeding, but the majority will disappear by mid August and head into the depths and go wherever it is they go until next year. We have seen some real quality fish this year and hope the trend continues.
Burton Bass (Report courtesy of guide Tyler Clore via GON’s Fishing Report) — We have been catching schooling fish early in the mornings on white Super Flukes and herring-colored Spro jerkbaits. As you get closer to lunch, I skip the white Flukes under the boat houses. We also have been catching fish in brush around 20 feet deep. You can throw a shaky-head finesse worm around the brush or move right over the structure and use a drop-shot rig. I prefer the hand-poured plastic worms for the drop shot. We usually have the best luck with the green pumpkin or watermelon seed colors.
Carters Lake Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — We have been seeing a lot of spots busting topwater early in the morning, but it’s short-lived after that. They seem to be 25 to 35 feet deep suspended off points and sharp drop-offs on the main lake. With all the rain we had at the end of the month, there’s not much going on in the river at this time.
Carters Lake Walleye (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — Start early and beat the heat, or fish at night. Regardless of what species you’re after, starting early, fishing late or fishing at night is going to improve your catch rate drastically. The walleye have moved deep and will probably remain there until turnover later in the fall. We have seen some real quality fish up to 8 pounds in the past few weeks, and their bellies were full of herring. Matching the hatch with fresh live bait is your best bet right now. Catching bait under the Hydroglow lights is a breeze most days. Light leaders and small hooks will also help increase the number of hook-ups. Look for fish to keep cruising near deep, offshore structure where there are lots of baitfish present, especially when they are generating.
Carters Lake Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — For stripers, the area by the beach and the marina has been holding lots of fish in the 35- to 50-foot zone early in the day. The mouths of Worley Creek and Camp Branch have also been hot areas for hybrids, as well as fishing for live bait. We are catching and releasing fish in the 15- to 20-lb. range on live bait and artificials. Later in the day, it’s hard to beat a Captain Mack’s umbrella rig 150 feet back, especially if the water is stained.
Lake Chatuge Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Welch via GON’s Fishing Report) — Fishing has been good. We’ve been catching some quality fish and having some trips with good numbers. There has been a topwater bite happening at first light, and you will also see some good schools of fishing breaking throughout the morning. I’ve been starting my trips at daylight and we’re off the lake by 11 a.m. If you have a good cloudy day with some wind, you’re going to catch fish throughout the day, but if it’s a bluebird sky day, the bite is over before noon. I’m starting my mornings out throwing a Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr. and a Ima Stix out on humps, points and wide deep pockets. You can also catch some fish on seawalls throwing a Whopper Plopper. After a couple hours of targeting a topwater bite, I switch over to throwing a drop shot on points that has brush and laydowns. These areas have been holding a lot of fish. You just have to get them to bite. Once you catch a couple, then they start feeding. You can also fish these areas with a shaky head, Ned rig and Texas rig. There also has been a dock bite, if you find one with some brush or a ledge with a deep drop-off. The new Garmin LiveScope Lvs34 transducer is awesome. The detail and range is three times better than the original Lvs32. It is helping me find plenty of fish. If I pull up to a place and scan and it’s not showing many fish, there is no reason to waste your time. If you’ve not seen this in action and you love to fish, you really need to go with someone who has it.
Lake Hartwell Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is fair. High daytime temperatures are here and the fishing has been a challenge up and down the lake. Some of the small spots are l roaming the banks early in the morning and late in the evening. The larger bass both spots and largemouth have moved to the channel ledges on the main lake. These fish can be found by using the Lowrance Down Scan technology. Use the Rapala DT10 in the shad and green tiger colors. Cast Parallel to these ledges and use a slow to moderate retrieve once to the ten foot depth. The Spy Baits are taking some fish but use light fluorocarbon line. Must have a Carolina Rig on ten pound test Sufix Siege line and a 1/4 to 3/8 ounce weight. The leader needs to be 18 to 20 inches long. Tie on a 4/0 or 5/0 wide gap VMC Hook and add a Zoom green pumpkin finesse worm. This will work well on a 6 1/2 foot or 7 foot medium heavy rod and a spinning reel. Bites will be subtle and sometimes on a little added weight it is all that is there. Locate the ledges and fish this Carolina rig really slow after the sun comes up over the tree tops. A four inch Fat Albert Grub can work on a light lead head jig. Pearl and black silver flake are both good choices in the grubs.
Lake Hartwell Bass (Report courtesy of guide Matt Justice via GON’s Fishing Report) — Fishing has been good with most fish coming around bream activity. Throwing a black Spro frog and a Pop-R are good options. The most consistent pattern is still throwing topwaters around brushpiles in 15 to 25 feet of water on points and humps. When the fishing is slow, the best bet is a drop shot in the same brushpiles. Use a morning dawn Roboworm and fish extremely slow.
Lake Hartwell Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Preston Harden via GON’s Fishing Report) — July fishing for hybrids and stripers has been very good with large schools feeding good early mornings. As we go into August, I will limit my search to the lower lake in deep water. The time of day is not as important as it was earlier in the year. Sometimes the afternoon bite is better. The water usually is released from the dam in the afternoons. This water movement gets fish more active. Live herring works great. Power reeling with a big spoon or a big swimbait will catch plenty of fish. Reeling a big artificial through the school will trigger a reaction strike. Hopefully we won’t get the huge rains of the last few years. I will be looking for the larger fish deeper than 80 feet deep.
Lanier Bass (Report Courtesy of Phil Johnson via www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Summer is here and the grind it out style of fishing comes with it. The fish are still biting but you are going to have to work for them with a lot of one fish per hole areas, one and done. There is still a topwater bite early and on windy days but calm days make it more difficult. We’ve had good success this week with the Jerkshad and the Slick Stick by Lip Thrasher Lures. Working these baits over deeper brush, the ends of long points and over humps have produced the most fish. Electronics’ become a must have for the type fishing going on right now. Not only will the Panoptic’s tell you if there are fish in the area but how they are relating to the structure and in the water column. There are a lot of fish in the fifteen to thirty foot range right now just hanging out so it’s important to adjust your presentation. If the fish are up near the top of the structure the Jerkshad and Slick Stick will draw strikes and if they are midway in the brush a Spybait or a Spotchoker counted down and brought by the brush will catch them. If the fish are positioned nearer the bottom then the true video fishing starts with the dropshot. The majority of the fish caught this week on the dropshot were caught on either Blue Lily or Sweet Rosy colors. It’s fun to watch the fish on your screen and actually see them follow the bait and take it. Since the fish get more picky with the hot water temperature you may want to drop your leader line down to six pound test. Adjust your drag accordingly and have fun playing the fish. Be prepared to fish a number of places because as I said it seems when you catch one the others either leave or get lockjaw. Even though it’s hot they will still bite so Go Catch “Em!
Lanier Bass (Report Courtesy of Jimbo on Lanier via GON’s Fishing Report) — Depending on the water temperatures, there are several techniques you can utilize to stay on top of the fish, sometimes literally, and remain successful on Lanier during the hot summer months. Let’s review the locations, techniques and lures you can utilize to ensure you keep catching fish in July. By July, the majority of the spotted bass are normally in their traditional summer patterns. While some fish will be relating to key features at the mouths of the major creeks, you will begin to find more and bigger spots active on the main lake. The fish tend to relate to either schools of bait or to some of the thousands of man-made brushpiles that can be found around the entire lake. Look for brush and other fish-attracting features around the steeper side of long-running points, rock, steep banks, rocky ledges, as well as underwater humps throughout the lake. Locating these areas and the man-made cover that is often found on them, which will often concentrate the fish, will be important to your success. Now that we have explored the location that the spots can often be found in July, let’s examine some of the techniques and lures that can be used to catch these fish. Topwater lures and swimbaits remain a viable approach until the surface temperatures hit the mid 80s. At this point, the majority of the bait goes deeper, as do the fish. Until then, look for this bite to remain solid around the man-made brush. The Gunfish and Chug Bug are two of my favorite topwater lures. When the fish are stubborn, try a weighted fluke as a great second option on missed fish. Swimbaits such as a Sebile and the offerings of the Sweet Bait Company are two of the best choices for the hard swimbaits. Note that in 2022, the summer is trending to be a hot one and the weather has gotten hot early. Unfortunately, this bite may disappear more quickly than anyone of us would prefer. When the topwater/swimbait bite slows, pick up your Georgia Blade Underspin. Tip the underspin with a Super Fluke Jr. trailer and fish the bait over and around offshore brush for your best success. Vary your retrieve speed and depth until you hit on the right combination for that day. When you see fish in brush on your Humminbird electronics, try the worm and jig. I like the Georgia Blade ball head. Explore different worm sizes, shapes and colors when you are fishing. Something different presented appropriately can make a big difference on certain days. Georgia Jigs in 3/8-oz. are my favorite jigs on Lanier. A pb&j color pattern is often a good bet. A drop shot is also a great tool when the fishing gets tough and the water temperatures soar in the middle of summer. I opt for this offering when fish are suspended in or around brush, or when they are suspended on points or humps. This presentation can be made vertically or it can be cast or pitched toward the feature. I prefer the Lanier Baits options—they have a tremendous selection of soft plastics. Check them out at LanierBaits.com.
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Capt. Ron Mullins via GON’s Fishing Report) — The summer Lanier striper pattern is setting up and getting better every day. This means big schools of fish from Flat Creek south all the way to the dam. In the mornings, you will find these fish in pockets and coves in the major creeks like Flowery Branch, Two Mile, Six Mile, Big and Shoal Creeks, as well as pockets on the main lake like between Vann’s Tavern and Port Royale, both sides of Shady Grove campground, and Cocktail Cove. Look in these areas in 40 to 60 feet of water on your Humminbird Helix or Solix with both your Down and Side Imaging. Pay close attention to fish in the trees all the way to the bottom. Most of these pocket fish will be caught close to the bottom so look for an area that doesn’t have a lot of trees, so that you can get your herring down there to them. Once you find a school of fish, downlines will be the go-to live-bait technique. Your setup should be a 1.5- to 2-oz. lead, 6 to 8 feet of 10- to 12-lb. fluorocarbon leader, finishing with a No. 1 or No. 2 Gamakatsu Circle or Octopus hook attached to an Okuma Coldwater line counter loaded with 15- to 17-lb. mono on an Okuma Striper rod. This setup will get your fragile bait down through the hot water fast and allow him to swim around without dragging around an oversized hook and heavy leader. Fresh and frisky bait will get you bit, so make sure you take enough as you will be changing out baits every five minutes or so. This year is also setting up like last year where we caught a lot of fish on freelines behind the boat, as well. This setup is a 7.5-foot medium-action Okuma Reflections spinning rod with a 3000 class Okuma Helios SX loaded with 20-lb. braid with 4 to 5 feet of 10-lb. Tatsu leader attached to the braid with an Alberto knot with a No. 5 split-shot on the line and a No. 2 Gamakatsu Circle hook at the end. Pitch your herring out behind the boat 35 to 40 feet and set it in a Stealth QR2 rodholder (the absolutely most secure and versatile rodholder around) and wait for that drag to scream. When this bait drifts down and under your rear downrods, go ahead and reel it in and pitch it back out behind the boat. The big schools of fish that you will encounter this month will also readily hit a power-reeled bait like a Captain Mack’s 2-oz. bucktail with a 6-inch curly tail trailer in white or chartreuse or the Boss Hawg spoon in nickel or nickel/silver scale. July is the beginning of Lanier’s lead core and downrigger trolling season, as well. Lead core will be best pulling at 2.5-3 mph with six to eight colors out. When using your downrigger, put your baits 50 to 75 feet behind the ball that is set 20 to 30 feet down. Your best bets to pull on lead core will be the new Captain Mack’s/ Striper Tackle Super Spin Shad in 1- or 1.5-oz. white/white, white/glow or chartreuse/chartreuse or the Fat Hawg spoon in nickel, nickel/silver scale, pearl or pearl/blue scale. All of these artificial baits are available at Oakwood Bait and Tackle as well as the best live bait on the lake.
Lanier Linesides (Report courtesy of Captain Clay Cunningham via GON’s Fishing Report) — The summer heat has arrived on Lanier, and the stripers have moved south on the lake. The topwater bite with Berkley Magic Swimmers and walking baits like the Berkley Jaywalker is slowing down but definitely still keep the rods ready to cast. If you want to try artificials, keep a Penn Fathom 15 Linecounter reel spooled up with 20-lb. Trilene 100% fluorocarbon and a Nichols Ben Parker spoon. Drop the spoon below the school and reel it up through the stripers. The best fishing has already moved to the south end of the lake due to deeper, colder water, which means higher oxygen levels for the stripers. The size of the schools has been behind schedule so far this summer. With most of the schools being smaller than normal, it has been harder to catch big numbers of fish in one area. More traveling around looking for the fish on electronics has been necessary. Look in the creek channels near patches of timber. The primary pattern is the downline. The primary setup for the downline is a Shakespeare Striper Rod paired with a Penn Fathom II 15 Linecounter reel spooled with 15-lb. Trilene Big Game line, the Captain Mack’s 2-oz. Swivel Sinker, a 6-foot section of Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon and a 1/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. Add a live herring to the hook and you are good to go. Great electronics like the Humminbird Solix are the keys for success right now. Once you spot a few on the fish finder, drop your baits rapidly. The trolling bite is also picking up. Talk to your local tackle store like Hammonds or Oakwood Bait and Tackle for the specific rod and reel needed. Look for a Penn Fathom reel paired with a Shakespeare Tiger rod. Once you are set up, tie up one rod with a Ben Parker spoon and one with a 1- to 2-oz. white Berkley Fusion bucktail and troll at 2.8 to 3 mph. Tip the Berkley Fusion bucktail with a 6-inch Captain Mack’s chartreuse or white trailer. Let the first couple bites tell you which one is hot. It can vary from day to day. Also be sure to pay attention to the size of the bucktail that is getting the bites. A small difference in weight can make a big difference in success. Be sure to release the fish as fast as possible. Every second out of the water in the hot summer months increases mortality. If you are taking pictures, have everything ready for a quick release. See you on the water.
Lanier Crappie (Report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton via www.southernfishing.com) — The bite has been good early in the morning. We are finding crappie 15 to 25 feet over a 20 to 25 bottom. Look for deep water brush up to 40’ usually they will be suspended around 25’ Try using small body jigs on a 1/24oz jig head it will take a while to get down to the fish so be patient. Also look at blow downs off steep banks. If you are using jigs I would recommend translucent colors with sparkles. I am setting minnows 15’- 20 feet deep most of the time over a 20-25’ bottom. 75% of this week’s catch came on minnows. 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.
Nottely Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Jeremy Seabolt via GON’s Fishing Report) — Fishing has been off the charts. The fish have finally set up on their summer pattern. We have been catching fish about any way possible. We have been starting out early fishing downlined bluebacks on a 40-foot bottom and moving out over deeper water as the morning gets hotter. Mid-morning has been good for trolling bucktails and u-rigs. We have been pulling u-rigs 200 feet back and have had some wicked afternoons trolling and on downlines. There are some monster schools of hybrids and stripes showing up, but please remember the water has gotten hot, so try to get the fish in and get it turned back as fast as you can. Going into August, we’ll be fishing the same way as in July. We’ll just have to move on down the lake and find the fish in the deeper water. Don’t forget The Bait Shack on Nottely has all the striper candy you need to catch fish.
Lake Weiss Mixed Bag (Report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service www.markcollins service.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 and they are on the creek and river channel ledges. Deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is poor. 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 good and they are in the lower Chattooga River, the Cave hole and Little Spring Creek. Live Shad down lined and free lined is the way to catch these fish.
- Catfish: Catfish are biting Good, in the bays and creeks in 8-15 feet of water, cut bait is working best.
West Point Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good. The fish are shallow early and late and there is a mix of largemouth and spots chasing bait school. So use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the area for bait. During the day the fish have moved into their summertime pattern. Use the Carolina rigged worms in black grape and June bug and dark blue. Fish the mouths of Wehadkee Creek Veasey Creek and Stroud Creek right before dark. Old road beds are good summer locations. Cranking main lake and river points with a deep diving crank baits has been productive for early morning actin. Let the bait sink deep enough before starting to reel it in. The bass might be just a foot or two deeper than usual. Check out the Liberty Hill area upriver for some good crank bait fishing with the Rapala DT10 shad and hot mustard lures.
Trout Plus Some: Check out Unicoi Outfitter’s regular “trout and more” fishing reports on their blog, ANGLER MANAGEMENT.
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 Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Worms and crickets continue to be the bait of choice out there to catch some beautiful bream. Anglers are having success in the early mornings and evenings. If you have the right set up Flint River Outdoors has suggested fishing at night to avoid the heat and to get to those fish when they are a bit more active. Blackshear catfish are hot right now! Check out some of the nice fish that have been weighed in at Flint River Outdoors recently.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
In general, August and September hot temperatures can make fishing at Big Lazer challenging. However, cooler temperatures are on the way, which will improve the bite. Be sure to stay hydrated during a long day at the lake!
- Bass: Largemouth bass fishing has slowed because of the very hot temperatures. However, a few can still be caught in deeper water. Anglers should try a shad look alike in 3 to 8 feet of water and fish out from the bank at least five feet. Sometimes, several larger bass can be found in the shade of the fishing pier. Feeding bass will be most active during the early morning and later in the evening. Try bass fishing with shallow presentation of dark colored crank baits and plastic-worms during the low light periods.
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is poor. Because of the warm summer temperatures crappie tend to move into deeper water as well as scatter themselves over much of lake. This will make them difficult to locate but you can try easing through the standing timber presenting live minnows and/or brightly colored jigs at different depths for your best chance of catching a good-sized crappie.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
All female trophy bass Panic Pond is closed until the start of September. However, you can still get a bite in Cutoff Pond using light colored crankbait and rubber worms. Cutoff Pond is also hosting several bluegill beds! Get some action with crickets, worms, and split tail grub jigs. Beetle spinners are also showing some success. Over on Frog Pond the Channel cats are hitting hard! Come early in the morning before 8am with some nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and stink bait to land a monster.
This is a good time of year to fish for catfish. Flathead and Channel cats are abundant in the Flint drainage and can be caught with a wide variety of baits. Chicken liver, stink bait, and hot dogs are just some suggestions, but your imagination is truly the limit when it comes to bait for catfish. Be safe out on the river by remembering to wear your life jacket and to bring along plenty of water to drink on those hot days!
LAKE WALTER G. GEORGE
Lake George is full right now and water temperatures are in the mid 80’s. The bass fishing is decent. For success with shallow water bass fishing, try using popping frogs in the outback color or a prime rib colored fighting frogs. There has also been a good amount of success using Buddha Baits or in-Seine swim jigs. Try dragging these baits through the grass or lily pads to mimic natural prey for bass. This trick is most effective in the early mornings or evenings and if your boat is set up properly this can be very effective at night. When fishing deeper water off ledges use a crankbait and a ½ ounce swim jig threaded with a 5-inch blue flash Big Bite Bait fighting frog. Carolina rigs are often successful as well.
The water temperature in Lake Seminole is creeping up. It has been about 85 degrees but warming to around 87 later in the day. Bass fishing continues to be good at Lake Seminole. The early mornings and late evenings are the best time to try your hand at bass fishing. Top water lures such as buzz baits or any walking baits are a good bet especially if worked through the vegetation on the edges. If you can’t get a hit on a top water lure focus on grassy edges and use a crankbait, flukes or worms. There are still reports of bream on the bed and crickets and worms are your best bet for catching a mess for dinner.
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