Who taught you to fish? Do you still fish with him or her? Marshall Stamps, who has earned a Georgia Bass Slam two years in a row, had the honor of submitting his father’s first completed Georgia Bass Slam. Marshall said that his dad, Anthony Stamps, “definitely taught me everything I know. This was a fun experience, and one I’ll always remember.”
Time spent with family provides a treasure trove of memories for years to come, and it is up to us to keep the tradition of fishing alive for future generations.
- Fishing Electronics Tutorial (Aug. 20, 2022): Do you have electronics on your fishing boat that you would like to know more about? Are you considering purchasing boat electronics but are not sure what you need? This workshop at the Go Fish Education Center will cover waypoint management, side-scan and down-scan interpretation, open water cover, structure and more. MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit fisherman Clayton Batts will be conducting this fishing electronics seminar. He will be providing instruction and will open the floor for individual questions. Find out more HERE.
- Let’s Talk Bass Fishing (Sept. 24, 2022): Would you like to learn more and enhance your bass fishing knowledge and skills? Join us at the Go Fish Education Center as professional fisherman Clayton Batts conducts a workshop sharing tips and information on baits and bass fishing techniques that he uses while on the professional tournament trail. He invites you to bring your questions and will allow time for open discussions. Find out more HERE.
- Fish-N-Learn Event at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (Oct. 5-7, 2022): This program series is designed for children, ages 8-15, to learn all about fishing and the equipment needed to fish in a pond, a river, or the ocean. Our next Fish-n-Learn 1 class is for beginner anglers. It will focus on the basics of fishing, equipment, casting, and cleaning your catch. Find out more HERE. Register HERE.
Buckle up, we have a lot of information for you today, including reports from Central, Southwest, Southeast and North Georgia. Make some memories this weekend and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant.
LAKE RUSSELL IS DOWN 1.0 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is slow. If the winds pick up this just might stir up some good fishing. Stay out in the main lake and concentrate on fishing in no less than ten feet of water and go down as deep as twenty-five feet. A few anglers are using the smaller versions of the Alabama rig with small Fluke pearl trailers. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a drop shot rig and use dark colors next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike. A lot of good bass are either suspended or holding to some type of structure in these depths. Deep diving crank baits and Rapala DT14 will reach the fish with ease on a long cast and light line. A slow stop and go retrieve will be necessary once the Rapala DT10 reaches its depth. Also don’t forget about those Carolina rigs and Shakey Head worms in and around all submerged structure. The Shimano World Minnow in shad black back with the jet boost with the weight transfer system will work.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 3.1 FEET, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early in the day use a Whopper Plopper in black as well as an all-black buzz bait. A Texas rigged Zoom U tale worm fished in brush piles or on long rock points will work but fish slowly. Work the baits slowly and be a line watcher. Carolina rigged worms fishing the deeper end of long points or under water islands will also work for a few bites. Using a good dipping dye like JJ Magic will help. Use 12-pound test as the main line with an 18 to 24-inch leader line of 10-pound test on the Carolina rig. Working the bait from all sides of the points will find the fish that are holding tight on the bottom. A drop shot rig is also catching a few fish in brush. Make sure to feel the brush, slow down, and let the bait stay in the strike zone if possible. The Shimano square bill Macbeth hard baits have been very popular overseas and now we have them here. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a Texas rig or Carolina rig; flip one next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. The lake is full, stained up the rivers, clear on the main lake. There is an early morning top water bite. Use a buzz bait around sea walls and the bridge rip rap. This will only last for the first hour of day light. After this the best bite will be on the humps on the south end of the lake. Use a deep diving crank bait. Fish it from the deep water up onto the hump. Also use a Carolina rig fished on the same humps and a Zoom pumpkinseed lizard will work. Also try this rig up the rivers. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a drop shot rig and use dark colors next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike. These fish are tight to cover. Use a Texas rig for these fish; a dark worm will work best.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.5, FEET 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Fish can be caught anywhere from main lake sea walls and points all the way back to the back ends of creeks and pockets. Bigger fish seem to be relating to bream around grass beds and in short pockets off the main river. These quality fish can be caught on a Shad Rap and a Bandit and the best colors are shad and pearl. A square bill crank bait and a Buckeye Mop Jig will also catch some quality fish in these same areas. Shad have been the key and the bass are close by. Use the Lowrance electronics to find these concentrations of shad. Numbers of fish can be found following the shad around the points and flats at the mouths of the creeks. A small Lucky Craft Sammy and a Zoom Super Fluke in shad patterns will catch these fish that are following the shad. Small shad colored crank baits and small Alabama rigs thrown across these main creek points will also produce a good many bites. The clearer water down lake seems to be best for numbers of fish while fishing that early fall pattern. The stained water from mid lake up both rivers has been best for quality bites.
MCDUFFIE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Temperature: Morning temps 80+ F
- Water Visibility: 25+ in
- McDuffie PFA Fishing Guide
Largemouth Bass: Bass have been biting slow across the area. Kayak fishers and those able to reach deeper water are having some success. Best bet is fishing late afternoons as the bass are routinely very active chasing shad schools.
Bream: Bream bite has stayed consistent. Successful fishers are still using crickets, worms, and black soldier fly larvae. Anglers are having success from the docks of Clubhouse, Bream Buster, and Jones lakes.
Channel Catfish: Catfish bite has remained steady. The fish are biting on the usual stink baits and worms. Anglers have had success fishing from the Clubhouse dock, the lower side of Beaver Lodge lake, and casting into the deeper waters surrounding both Willow peninsulas.
Striped Bass: Small stripers are being caught on shad look alike lures in the deeper water of Bridge Lake.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.0 FEET OVER FULL, 80’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early in the morning is a good time to throw a buzz bait or a Storm Chug Bug off any point in the lake. Some bass are taking these baits early and often during the early hours. Also try a 1/4 or 3/8 oz. double willow leaf spinnerbait in either white/blue or all white. Work the same areas as the top water baits and all blow downs and brush piles that are present. After the sun comes up a 3/8-ounce black pig and jig with a pork trailer is working on isolated stumps and docks. Add garlic scent to the pork. This will increase the bites. Green pumpkin worms on the Texas rig are also taking bass when thrown into brush piles and around docks. Don’t forget about the dam. Better fish are biting in the afternoon on the rocks near the dam. Work the baits slow and throw different ones in the same areas. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a drop shot rig and use dark colors next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Lake Blackshear is all about catfish right now. Channel cats are coming out of lake constantly and make for great eating. We have been seeing them mostly in the 3-5 pound range but there are some big ones to be found. Try chicken livers or chicken breast soaked in Jell-O for good results. Fish in the channel just off the bottom to target these guys. People have also had success using cane pole in about 5 feet of water. There are also some good looking flatheads coming out of the lake. A 36 lb flathead came out of the lake a few weeks ago and was the July winner of Flint River Outdoors big fish contest! Be sure to take your fish to get weighed in and entered into their monthly contest. They also have all the tackle and bait you could need and are very knowledgeable folks.
Crappie: Crappie are out to play. Check the deep holes, on the ledges, and in the ditches. They seem to be following the shad balls so keep an eye on your electronics to see where to throw although they are everywhere. Try a 1/16th oz or 1/8 oz jig. Shad colors are you best bet. If the water is a little stained, try a reddish brownish lure to match the environment but if the water is clear stick with the straight shad colors. Anglers are also reporting good outcomes with a black body and chanteuse tail.
Bass: As far as the bass are concerned anglers are reporting no morning bites. Chris Taylor with Lake Seminole Guide Services says he is hard pressed to get a bite before 10 am but then it picks up. He is loving the top water lure around topped out grassy points. He just helped 13-year-old Jackson catch an almost 5-pound bass on a top water lure for his new personal best!
Catfish: Chris also says that catfishing at Lake Seminole is wild right now. He suggests fishing in the channels while drifting and suggests using cut bait. Anglers are mostly seeing blues out there and reports that the flatheads seem to be hiding right now. This is nighttime fishing so please be sure to have your lights rigged properly to avoid collisions and other dangerous situations.
Boaters Beware: On the Chattahoochee arm 2 miles up from the dam we are getting reports of a big log right in the middle of the channel so be aware of your surroundings and stay safe out there.
Catfishing on the hooch is on right now as well. Lots of big flatheads to be found all the way from Columbus down to Seminole. Try cut bait, hot dogs or chicken soaked in Jell-O. Some of the best spots to try are north of Florence marina and around river bend park. Flatheads are usually sitting on the bottom so you may need to be fishing in 30-35 feet of water in some locations. This part of the river is deep. Good luck out there!
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREAS (More Info HERE)
In general, August 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. Be sure to call in those tags (the phone number is on the tag, 229-430-4256) for a chance to win a Southwest Georgia Bass Research T-shirt!
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.
(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)
Fishing has been good from the reports I’ve received. Saltwater tides will be more favorable this weekend, so you can add that to your options.
River gages on August 18th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 6.6 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 2.4 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 6.3 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 7.0 feet and falling (81 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.2 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.8 feet and falling
The river is back up from recent rains, and you should be able to get a motorboat around pretty well on the upper river. Mark Williams and John Fleshman walked the bank on a tributary to the Satilla on Saturday and caught a mixed bag of panfish by pitching crickets. Their catch included bluegill, redbreast, warmouth, bowfin, and largemouth bass. Catfishing should be good this weekend with the water up and continuing summer temperatures.
Tyler Finch fished the middle river area on Friday and Saturday and caught his limit of panfish each day, but he said he had to work for them. He threw a white Satilla Spin and tipped it with a cricket for all of his fish.
ST MARYS RIVER
Matt Rouse fished the upper St. Marys on Saturday afternoon and caught a few redbreasts on white Satilla Spins and Beetlespins. He also caught a few channel catfish on shrimp.
Shane Barber went to the west side on Saturday and put it on the catfish. He had 40 (yellow bullheads – butter cats) that ate shrimp on the bottom. Okefenokee Adventures staff said that not much fishing was happening on the east side with the high water from recent rains. But, the water is dropping out again. They said that a couple people fishing on Wednesday caught just a couple warmouth each. I would imagine you could still catch bowfin by trolling in-line spinners. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 121.04 feet.
Chad Lee caught some small bass on senkos this week. The only big one he had on was Tuesday evening when he broke a good bass off when it wrapped him around shoreline vegetation. I saw some bluegills on beds in a pond on Wednesday afternoon. Bluegills will continue spawning until it cools down this fall.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Charles West of Waycross fished the Crooked River area with a friend on Sunday afternoon, and they caught about 60 fish on a variety of baits and lures. Their main target was mangrove snapper, and they caught a dozen of them up to 13 inches on live shrimp and mudminnows. A dozen undersized redfish ate their dorado-colored Perch Hounders and live shrimp fished under an Equalizer Float. Live shrimp skewered on an 1/8-oz. Zombie Head and suspended under an Equalizer Float fooled a half-dozen seatrout, and 2 of them were keeper 16-inchers. They also caught a bunch of various other species on live shrimp fished on the bottom on an 1/8-oz. Shrimp Hook. Jim Hickox and a friend fished the Jekyll area on Wednesday and caught a keeper flounder and 5 throwback trout. With the strong winds, they said the water was muddy in the area they were fishing. A highly-skilled Brunswick angler fished the St. Simons area on Thursday morning and did well for trout. He had a dozen trout during the morning by casting plugs (topwaters and hard jerkbaits). All but 2 of his fish were keepers (you can usually upgrade your quality by throwing hard baits…). He kept a few for his neighbor and released the rest. The bite should be good with the better tides this weekend. I missed a report from the 6th, which was the same tides we will have this weekend. Tommy Sweeney fished the Brunswick area that Saturday evening and spanked the trout during the last light. They were fishing shad-colored 4-inch Keitechs under Equalizer floats for their 16 to 17-inch trout. We are on the cusp of the best inshore fishing of the year. When it cools down just a few more degrees, the bite will start cranking up. 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 Sarah Baker, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from WRD Staff and Local Experts)
Kids Fishing Events: Before the school projects start to pile up, be sure to check out and attend one of these fun kids fishing events at Buck Shoals WMA (501 Buck Shoals Dr. Cleveland, GA 30528): August 20th & September 17th
Allatoona Topwater: (This report from Fisheries Biologist Jackson Sibley) – Last Friday, a few Region 1 fisheries staff took the morning off to chase Allatoona’s morning topwater bite. Launching the boat at Bethany Bridge before first light, we began our pursuit with a slow troll around some nearby humps and ditches, bearing in mind that the reservoir’s summertime thermocline tends to set up between 20 and 30 feet. Our eyes shifting between the lake’s surface and the graph, we searched for those telltale signs of feeding fish—topwater blowups or “spaghetti” lines/arches on the sonar near clouds of bait.
It didn’t take long to find small pockets of feeding hybrids and spotted bass, and our artificial offerings began producing varying results. Although we could see the action of our Flex-It spoons in real-time while vertical jigging among the feeding fish, bites were few and far between. Reactionary casting toward surface action, too, was difficult as the schools of aggressively feeding fish retreated to deeper water immediately following their coordinated attack. It seemed the most productive method was to broadcast fish an entire area with flukes, crankbaits, and jerkbaits.
The topwater action is currently extending from sunrise well into the afternoon and evening, and guides and tournament anglers are remarking on the especially rotund condition of Allatoona’s sportfish, such as the spotted bass pictured. Though we had our best success near the Narrows, anglers should note that feeding fish may be suspended anywhere in the lake this time of year and should be prepared to “run and gun” until you’ve found them.
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Southern Fishing With Ken Sturdivant) — Bass fishing is fair. A few keeper fish will take the drop shot rig tipped with a Big Bite Bio Minnow fished on 6 pound test Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon, a number 4 Gamakatsu Drop shot hook with a 3/16 Drop shot weight. A Spybait, drop shot and flutter spoon are also options. Fishing at night is the best bet for bigger bass. The bite doesn’t start to get decent until around 9 or 10 o’clock at night. Deep structure has been key. Soft plastic crawfish imitations are working. Berkley has the PowerBait Gilly and use it on a drop shot rig and use dark colors next to docks or shallow cover for a fast strike. Crank baits like the Spro Little John DD in shad patterns and spinner baits in dark colors are the go to bait’s once the sun goes down.
Lanier Bass: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org (770) 366-8845) — Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is fair. The summer slowdown is definitely happening on Lake Lanier right now. Fishing has pretty much been a grind over the last week. It’s possible to find good numbers of fish on long points, humps and brush but getting them to react has been the challenge. The Dropshot has been the main producer over the last few days in depths from twenty to thirty five feet. Lanier Baits Sweet Rosy and Blue Lily have been the most consistent colors. Many of the locations though are a one and done scenario so be prepared to move around a bunch. Over the last couple of days the topwater activity has picked up a little with the cloud cover and slightly cooler temperatures. The Slick Stick has produced a few good fish as well as the Chug bug. Watch for the schooling activity to pick up as the weather changes this week. It may be tough but they will still bite so Go Catch ’Em!
Lanier Striper: (This report courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tails Guide Service, (404) 510-1778) – Lake Lanier stripers are hard to locate on the south end. The water temperature is 82.3 and to find fish you need to use your electronics to locate schools. Then the methods vary, trolling umbrella rigs and lead core thru the schools will get you hooked up. Down lines over humps and channel creeks using bait will also produce, keep lively bait 30 to 45 feet deep over 50 to 80 foot bottoms. Keep a Parker Spoon ready and also there are some fish already surfacing south of Browns Bridge so keep a top water bait and a buck tail ready all day.
Lanier Crappie: (This report courtesy of 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.
Lake Hartwell: (Report courtesy of Southern Fishing With Ken Sturdivant) — Bass fishing is fair. The lower lake fish are shallow to mid depth and are starting to school in the creek mouths, as smaller pods of bait are starting to form. We have been catching fish on pearl white flukes worked fast over brush early. Use the deep running crank bait like the Strike King 6XD in chartreuse herring. When the bite slows, switch to a drop shot finesse worm in morning dawn red, a green pumpkin craw jig or the under spin in albino color. Focus on bridge pilings, the rocks on the bridges and points on the side the drops the sharpest. Back in the creeks use a Whopper Plopper next to shore line cover in backs of pockets that offer a little deeper water and a good concentration of bank structure. Make a few casts with the all black buzz bait.
Weiss Lake Report: (Report courtesy of Mark Collins 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. The deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish
- Crappie: Crappie fishing is poor 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.
- 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 in the bays and creeks in 8-15 feet of water, cut bait is working best.
Lake Hartwell: (Report courtesy of Southern Fishing With Ken Sturdivant) — Bass fishing is slow. Try fishing the bridges and points by some deeper water. Fish are being caught on Shakey Heads with a red bug or green pumpkin finesse worm. Fish points and ledges with deep water nearby. Mid lake and south bass are being caught a Lucky Craft Sammy’s and a suspending jerk baits in silver or shad pattern. Deep cranking is still catch fish however not the hottest pattern going. Try a Poe’s 400 in the shad and Crawdad pattern. Make sure and bump the bottom with crank baits to get their attention. Fish seem to be more scattered and scanning with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology can locate the fish fast. A few fish on are on top water lures like a Pop R and Zoom Super Flukes. Expect to move a lot each day. There are some fish out deeper on the humps and main lake points around brush and timber but it’s a tough bite. Work the mid-lake in the creeks and pockets and if the bait fish are close by the bass will be too. These spotted bass in the lake seem to be roaming more than usual.
Trout Report: This past weeks’ cold front brought a delightful drop in air temperature; we got a little taste of fall while we were conducting wild trout standardized stream sampling this week. Headwater streams are going to be your best option to fish all day long for trout. Wild trout in the headwaters are eager for some breakfast in the cool, early mornings. Go up to higher elevation streams that have enough canopy to keep the sun off the water. I’ve been fishing a 6 foot 2 or 3 weight, with 5 and 6x leaders. Fish methodically – start at the tail out of a pool and work your way up. You can use a dry-dropper consisting of a small Parachute Adams or Yellow Stimulator and drop an unweighted pheasant tail, zebra midge, or hare’s ear below. As always, remember your Gink and floatant. This upcoming week, temperatures will continue to be fairly cool for this time of year with several showers in the forecast. If you’re brave enough to get wet, fishing in the rain can increase your catch rate. When the creeks muddy, the fish aren’t able to be as picky about their snack choices, thereby increasing the odds that your fly will be chosen. Good luck!
Fly-Fishing in Great Smoky Mountain National Park: Gorgeous Brook and Brown net by Taxman on GON.
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