Are you tougher than a bowfin? Bowfin don’t care that it’s hot. In fact, they usually bite the best when it is uncomfortably hot for humans. Might be time to put your game face on and challenge a bowfin for a summertime heat match.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Need a New Fishing Hole? You can use the Interactive Fishing Map, peruse the Public Fishing Area webpages, or flip through the Fishing Forecasts for inspiration. And, of course, keep an eye on our weekly fishing blog posts!
- Do You Care About Caddisflies?: Caddisflies live in freshwater ecosystems across Georgia and are a favorite food of trout, but caddisflies are also used in biological monitoring. Find out more about how these interesting critters help determine ecosystem health HERE.
It’s a short report week with fishy fodder from North and Southeast Georgia. Hey bowfin – put up your dukes, we are getting ready to Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Brent Hess, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Wild Times on Noontootla: Check out this trout fishing article for Noontootla Creek in Fannin County.
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.
Lake Allatoona Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) –Lake Allatoona is down 1.5 feet, 80s. Bass fishing is fair. The fish are back in the middle of the creeks holding in 12 to 14 feet of water and are chasing shad in that depth zone. Jigging spoons like the Flex it spoon in white color, 1/2 to 3/4 ounce will catch these fish early to mid-day. Change up to a 1/4-ounce jig head and a white 4-inch grub and jig in front of these fish mid-day to late evening. The spots are holding on humps and main lake river and creek bends in 14 to 18 feet of water. Texas rig worm with a 1/4-ounce sinker and red bead under the sinker for noise and a Zoom red bug color or a Smokin blue finesse worm works well and will catch these spots. At night change up to a big spinnerbait with a Colorado Black blade and slow roll the gravel areas and long points.
Lake Hartwell Bass: (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) – Lake Hartwell is down 25 feet, 80s. Bass fishing is fair. A fair to good top water bite is still on but go early. The top water action will stop dead cold without any notice however and some are catching those surface fish on and off all day long. The surface temperature is very warm, but the water cools off quickly about two to three feet down. Try the Spy Baits and be sure 6-pound Sunline fluorocarbon clear line. Besides the top water baits use the Carolina rigs with a variety of plastics attached along with the jigs. Docks with submerged structure are still holding some good fish but most of these bigger bass are holding really tight. Make good accurate casts in really tight places to catch these fish. Steep rock ledges on the eastern banks are also holding good Bass until about 11:00 a.m. After that get out the Carolina rigs and use a long 5-foot leader, one ounce egg sinker and make long casts to the deeper main lake points and humps.
Lanier Bass (Report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770 366 8845 Pjohnson15@hotmail.com) — Lake Lanier is down 1.9 feet, 80s. Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is fair at best. Now is the dog days of summer that make fishing the toughest it will be all year in my opinion. You may run up on a bunch of schooling fish or hit a brush pile and catch five but you are also likely to run ten more brush piles with no strikes. There are fish to be caught but be prepared to work for them. We have been starting the morning by throwing either a Slick Stick or a fluke for the first hour. There haven’t been as many bites but generally they a good fish. After the first hour Dropshot has been the go to setup on brush, humps and long points. If you can find brush on any of these there is a good chance there may be fish there also. Be prepared to move after a couple of fish as they will spook easily. Just keep working thorough your fishing spots to find the ones holding fish because there is no rhyme or reason to where they will be except for depth. Generally, twenty-five to thirty-five feet deep has been the most productive. I’m still using Lanier Bait’s Sweet Rosy, Morning Dawn, Blue Lily and Prism Shad to catch our fish. Don’t be afraid to change colors to see what the fish want for the day.
Lanier Stripers (report is courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tales charters 404 510 1778) — Lanier stripers are in deep water over river channel and mouths of creeks. Trolling umbrella rigs and lead core rigs is producing using jigs tipped with trailers and paddle tails. Use the down lines over 60 to 90 feet and fishing at 35 to 45 feet deep using blue backs. Have a weighted flat line out the back 80 to 100 feet. Change baits often the bait needs to be active. Remember to wear your life jackets. Buck Tales 404-510-1778.
Lanier Crappie (report is courtesy of Call Captain Josh Thornton 770 530-6493) — Crappie fishing is good. We are finding crappie suspended 15 to 3 feet over a 30 to 40 bottom. The crappie are suspending for long periods of time and the bite is soft. Look for deep water brush or timber near a main channel up to 40 feet deep usually they will be suspended around 25 feet. Look for points near a main channel where the depth falls off quickly if there is any structure for the crappie to hold to you are likely to find them there. Crappie can still be found in shallow water if you can find an area with shade and the water temperature is lower. If you are using jigs. I would recommend translucent colors with sparkles. Right now, it seems they just want a minnow I am setting minnows 15 to 20 feet deep most of the time over a 20-to-40-foot bottom. 95% 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. I use ATX lure company’s jigs on a lip thrashin 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 Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.
Weiss Lake Report: (Report courtesy of Mark Collins www.markcollins service.com) –
- Bass fishing is fair. Our bass have moved to a deeper, summer pattern, docks and brush piles in deeper water near spawning areas are producing fish, point’s roadbeds and creek channels are also producing fish. With all the rain there are lots of fish in the grass.
- Crappie fishing is good. A lot of fish are starting to show up on deeper brush piles and creek channels ledges. Spider rigging with live minnows is the way to catch these post spawn fish. Shooting docks is producing fish.
West Point Bass (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant www.southernfishing.com) – West Point Lake is full, 80s. Bass fishing is fair. The bass are suspended in 17 to 20 feet of water and have finally moved into their summertime pattern. Fish with Carolina rigged worms in black grape and June bug and dark blue. Several good catches have been in the mouths of Wehadkee Creek, Veasey Creek, and Stroud Creek right before dark. Switching to the Mini Max when targeting bass or when bass are more challenging to catch especially on high sunlight days and if there are any pressure changes. Old roadbeds are good summer locations. Cranking main lake and river points with a deep diving crank baits has been productive for early morning fishermen. Be patient and let the bait sink deep enough before starting to reel it in. The bass might be just a foot or two deeper with the warmer waters. Check out the Liberty Hill area upriver for some good crank bait fishing.
Water Level at West Point: Find water level information for West Point Lake HERE.
(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 daily rains have some rivers up more than others, so check your local area before heading to a river. The Okefenokee, ponds, and saltwater (later in the weekend when tides decrease) will likely be your best bets for this weekend.
River gages on August 11th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 6.5 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 3.6 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.7 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.8 feet and falling (82 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.0 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.0 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.
The river is back down to a floatable level again. I heard of a good trip for bluegills this week, but that’s about it. Catfishing should be good in the heat.
ST MARYS RIVER
Matt Rouse only fished for a short time in the upper river, but he did well for catfish. He had some good channel catfish on shrimp one night this week. The storms and school starting up have kept the number of anglers down.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
The big tides had the water stained this week, but that is improving as we go through the weekend and into next week. The bite on the Jekyll Island Pier was slow on Saturday. One Waycross angler didn’t get a bite, but another fishing a bucktail jig tipped with a finger mullet caught a 20-inch flounder. Dionte Smith fished the Brunswick area with a friend on Saturday and caught his first seatrout. It was a 16-incher that ate an electric shad 3-inch Keitech swimbait on an 1/8-oz. Zombie Head and suspended under an Equalizer Float. He caught several other fish on that rig, also. He also caught about 25 other fish by threading a shrimp tail on a Redfish Wrecker Jighead and fishing it on the bottom. His cooler included trout, whiting, and croakers. A Brunswick angler fished around St. Simons Island on Thursday afternoon and had a good cooler of about 6 trout to 20 inches, an 18-inch flounder, and several sheepshead. The tarpon bite has been best in the Altamaha system, but there have been scattered fish along the coast. 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).
I took my daughter Ellie before she went back to college on Friday morning, and we caught a bunch of bowfin and a few pickerel on the east side in just a 2-hour trip. We went out of the Folkston entrance. We caught almost 10 fish (including 4 pickerel) by casting fire tiger – chartreuse blade Dura-Spins first thing. We then trolled crawfish and jackfish Dura-Spins and caught a total of 23 fish – mostly bowfin. Our biggest bowfin was 6-lb., 0-oz. and biggest pickerel was 18 inches. Bowfin don’t care that it’s hot. In fact, they usually bite the best when it is uncomfortably hot for humans… The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.10 feet.
Chad Lee caught a handful of 2-pound bass on his lunch break this week on rainbow trout-colored Senkos. It was a clear-water pond. I heard a few reports of decent bass on buzzbaits late in the evening. The bream bite was decent for the couple people who told me they found some beds. They caught them on crickets, but artificials will also work.
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