Missing that warm weather fishing? You might need to hit the water this weekend to enjoy a few projected warmer afternoons. After that, looks like temps will take a dip down the Fahrenheit scale. Either way, a day out on the water is better than a day at the office, am I right? 


  • Trout 101: Want the 411 on how to get started trout fishing? Jeff Durniak has ALL kinds of great intro info to help you. Scroll on down to the North Georgia report, and look for “Fall Trouting 101.” SUCH a Great compilation of Info – thank you Jeff!
  • Bass Slammers: Anglers achieving the Georgia Bass Slam keep on adding new catches to their list of species caught. So far, 22 anglers have made a successful Slam (catching 5 of the eligible 10 black bass species in Georgia). And 8 of those anglers have caught MORE than 5 species. When they do, we add those catches to their online listing and send them new bass decals to show off their success. Oh, and did we mention that we will draw for a GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year from all anglers making a Slam? YOU can be on that list if you get your Slam before Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Where to fish, where to fish? How do you pick a place to go? Check out “Places to Go” on THIS WEBPAGE. We have lots of suggestions on how to find your next favorite fishing hole.  

This week, we have fishing reports from North, Central, Southwest and Southeast Georgia. Whether you are a warm or cool weather angler, we are just glad that you GO Fish Georgia!


(Fishing report courtesy of Jackson Sibley, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts) 

My beloved October has returned – with its brilliant colors, cool temperatures and sunny, cloudless, azure skies, and I must enjoy it before it escapes for another year.” – Peggy Toney Horton

The scenery around the mountain lakes is spectacular and fish are on the move and feeding actively. Our fishing forecast ought to help you snag a few! Go enjoy fishing in October before it escapes! 


Sophia Petty showing off a nice bream catch at Allatoona.

Allatoona Bream (Courtesy of Region Fisheries Supervisor Jim Hakala) — Even though the nights are cooling, the water remains warm enough for bream to be active.  Sophia Petty of Southside, AL found some bream willing to eat while camping with her family at McKinney Campground last weekend.  With the lake level falling, the key is finding brush or other structure that is still submerged in the water, preferably 3-6 feet deep.  Locate some type of cover in the back or mid-way back in a cove and the bream will be nearby.  If that cover is near a creek channel, even better.  A worm fished on the bottom (with or without a princess fishing pole) in these areas should be the ticket for some late season bream action. 

Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area: (Report courtesy of Manager Dennis Shiley) —With the fall nights and cooling water temperatures, the channel catfish are starting their fall feeding frenzy at Rocky Mountain PFA. There are numerous areas around the lake that you can bank fish or you can drift-fish from your boat for the chance at catching a lake record channel catfish! If you get a channel cat over 12 pounds, please let the PFA staff know and we will bring scales to get an official weight and get the fish registered if it qualifies for a PFA angler award. 

Yellow Perch from Lake Seed.

Chain Pickerel from Lake Seed.

Lake Seed: (Report courtesy of Fisheries Biologist Kyle Rempe) — The Yellow Perch bite on Lake Seed seems to be pretty good right now; you just need some patience to find the right spot and you’ll hit a group of them in no time. Our luck was with targeting submerged vegetation around the lake, using one rod for hanging a worm a few feet off the bottom and another rod for slowly twitching jigs down deep. We even had a surprise bite from a Chain Pickerel and ended the day with enough perch to take back home and fry for dinner. 

Lanier Bass: (Report courtesy of Phil Johnson; pjohnson15@hotmail.com; (770) 366-8845) – Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Fall is finally here and the bass are responding. The water temperatures and the lake level are slowly dropping which has caused the bass to get much more active. Now is a fun time to be on the lake as the bass are starting to feed up for winter and many techniques are coming into play. The top water bite has really picked up with the schooling activity being scattered throughout the lake. A chrome Slick Stick or a Sebile are a great choice on sunny days. A Gunfish or a Sammy will also catch numbers of fish. On the windy days pull out the Chug Bug and Whopper Plopper for some great attack bites. The fish are still missing the bait a lot so be patient with your hook set. Often if they miss you can just pause the bait and they will come back and get it. The number one mistake on top water is taking the bait away from the fish before they get it. Try to wait to fill the tension before you set the hook. Easier said than done. If the top water activity slows it doesn’t mean the fish have moved, they have just dropped down. Use a three eights Spotchoker with a Keitech to go down after them. When you see them suspended with your Livescope just count the Spotchoker down to their depth and use a steady retrieve. It’s also what I am using to reach fish breaking farther from the boat. Early in the mornings move back in the creeks and pockets with a buzz bait or a frog to pick off some of the shallow fish. A Chatterbait or a worm have been working on main lake points as there are more and more fish up shallow. As the water temperature continues to drop the activity should only get stronger so it is a great time to be on Lanier. They are definitely biting so Go Catch ‘Em! 

Couple of Lanier Striped Bass caught by Academy Jack Becker

Lake Lanier Stripers: (Report courtesy of “Academy Jack” Becker) —Cooling temperatures and cloudy skies tempted me to get out on Lake Lanier this week in search of Stripers. I started at the mouth of Balus creek close to the boat ramp at daylight and found bait everywhere.  The water temperature was 72.9 degrees. I stayed close to the bait with my electric motor, and it wasn’t long before small groups of fish were chasing bait.  I can make long casts using 20 lb. braid on a 7’ medium action spinning rod.  The fish were not staying up long, so each cast has to count. You want to keep your distance and not send them deep. I caught 2 on a Yozuri 3DB popper. Definitely a lot of fun on light tackle.   

Lanier Crappie: (Report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton; (770) 530-6493) – The water temperatures is 72 and the fishing is good we are catching a lot of fish and starting to see some bigger ones. Crappie are suspended 12-20 feet. Structure, blow downs, and brush piles are producing well. I had a day off this week so I went scanning for new spots in areas that I already fish in just 2 hours I got 5 new fishing spots 2 of them were just a few hundred feet from my normal spots and I had driven over them a hundred times so always be scanning. If you are using jigs I would try bright colors in clear water and dark colors after the rain. I have had success the atx bluegrass cricket this week. I am setting minnows 10-12 feet deep most of the time just above the suspended fish. This week 90% of my 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 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 Acc crappie stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app. 

Lake Lanier Boat Show This Weekend: October 14, 15, 16 at Lake Lanier Islands, Buford Georgia. There will be fishing seminars on October 15 and 16, 2022. For more information see www.lakelanierboatshow.com. 

Lake Hartwell: Ken Sturdivant reports – Bass fishing is good. Fish the main lake points and continuing about halfway back into the larger feeder creeks. Us the 3/8 ounce Rat L Trap or Rapala Shad Rap in the shad and baby bass colors. Use a steady retrieve to get the Bass to strike. A stop and go retrieve is still working while using the jerk baits. Baby bass and Tennessee shad are good colors and be sure to fish any lay downs or the back side of points going into the cove. On the tops of the trees out in deeper water, stop the bait for a three or four count, then a small twitch on two before stopping it again. Flip jigs around the docks after working it thoroughly with the crank bait and a jerk bait. Watch the water temperature and fish the water 70 degrees and cooler. 

Lake Weiss: Mark Collins reports — Bass fishing is good and they are still on the creek and river channel ledges. The deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish. A lot of bass are starting to move shallow. Crappie fishing is fair. 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. Some fish are showing up on the river channel ledges in 12 to 15 feet of water.


Chattahoochee Tailwater Trout:Orvis Atlanta reports that streamer fishing is a great way to fish and possibly catch a huge brown on the Chattahoochee River below Lanier. Nymphing is always going to be the go-to for those bottom feeding fish, the old Pat’s Rubber legs, Worm patterns, midge patterns, attractors such as rainbow warriors and lightning bugs to copper johns, and the classic pheasant tails and hare’s ears in 12-18. If you are throwing streamers, anything from wooly buggers if you’re throwing the smaller rods to large articulated patters like the bottoms up and dungeon patterns by Galloup. As the temperature starts to warm up, small dry flies on the North Georgia streams are going to be another option. Make sure to have a few midge dry flies, BWO’s, and caddis to tie on when the fish start to rise more consistently.

Bass Slam Challenge: There’s still time to participate in the Georgia Bass Slam! Anglers who wish to get recognized for a 2022 Georgia Bass Slam must catch 5 of the 10 eligible black bass species and submit their information by midnight December 31, 2022. Be sure to study this map to help you narrow in on which species you’d like to chase after. Also, keep this excellent article by Jimmy Jacobs tucked in your back pocket for your Shoalie search. Jake Darling, general manager of Unicoi Outfitters, says baitfish or crawdad patterns are the ticket now. When fishing these, particularly in the fall, the trick is to get them down deep and fish them slow. An intermediate sinking line is ideal for this fishing. If you are a podcast subscriber- give a listen to Fish North Georgia Episode 33: The Georgia Slam, Fall Transition and The Cast with Andy Middleton, for some awesome tips! 

Mountain Trout: (From Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — Are you hunting or just leaf looking in the mountains this weekend? If you answered yes, you are likely a short drive from some excellent trout fishing opportunities. With cooler weather trout will be active and you should look for holdover and wild trout in higher elevation streams. Check out our Interactive Trout Map on our Trout Fishing page to help plan your trip. 

Tammy with a beautiful Rainbow Trout catch.

Fall Trouting 101: (From Jeff Durniak on the Angler Management blog for Unicoi Outfitters) — Flyfishing appeals to many of us because we are always learning something new. Like golf, each day presents new challenges, and our success is not guaranteed – but very sweet when we achieve it.  But flyfishing can be intimidating to new anglers.  This column simplifies the sport.  I boil it down to the basics for trout flyfishing this fall.

I recently gave this program to the UGA 5Rivers Fishing Club. Some of the intel in the presentation appealed to those young fly anglers, so I thought I’d write it up for all of our loyal UO followers.

I’ll outline this as the “Q&A’s of fall trouting” and cover the four main Q’s: 1) who, 2) where, 3) what, and 4) how, to be successful as our weather finally cools. I’ve collected a lot of our past online guidance and placed it into this article as “one-stop shopping” for our newer flyfishers.

  1. First, who?  The “who” is you! My advice is to buddy-up, as fishing is more enjoyable and safer with a good friend or two along for the trip.  And if you’re rookies, please get adopted by an experienced angler or two. Your learning curves will be much flatter with regular doses of their gray-haired wisdom. YouTube is great, but an instream mentor or guide is the best teacher.  Find some friends by hanging out at your local fly shop or joining a group like a 5Rivers college club or a local TU chapter near you. Those TU clubs and chapters are shown here:

Many of them have regular club fishing trips, so try one out.  You may also find some friends via online trout fishing groups like North GA Trout Online or the GA Trout Anglers Facebook group. Mentors are worth their weight in gold!

  1. Now the “where.” For rookies, it’s hard to beat Delayed Harvest ( DH) streams. They’re stocked regularly and managed under catch & release regulations. Most state agencies have good online maps of these waters. For GA, the Wildlife Resources Division has a trout page full of intel.  Visit it HERE.

If you scroll farther down the trout page to the special regulation section, you’ll notice the DH streams named. Click on each name and poof, you’ll discover a stream map!

For starters, try Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park as a small stream option and the Chattooga River on the SC border for a taste of big waters.

Several NC DH waters, such as the Tuckaseegee, Nantahala, and Fires are also within striking distance. The Wildlife Resources Commission also has some great maps.  Start your search HERE.

Then go through the menus as follows: where to fish, public mountain trout waters, regulatory classifications- choose DH and hit the search button. From that stream list, pick one and click on its map icon on the left. Poof- you have an interactive trout map.

If you’re more experienced and would like the challenges of wild trout this fall, hit the high elevation headwaters of trout watersheds in GA and NC. The Chattooga, Hooch, Little Tennessee, and Toccoa watersheds all have some good opportunities for bushwackers stalking small, cagy residents of cold tribs, up high.

The mountains of NC national forests are full of trout streams, as are the Smokies. Those taller mountains north of our border keep more waters cold through our hot summers. The national park also has a great interactive map HERE.

For more info on stream opportunities, consider buying these guidebooks: 1) Peach State Trout by Jimmy Jacobs, the Flyfishers Guide to NC & GA by Nick Carter, and the FF Guide to GSMNP by Jim Casada.

3. On to our third topic, the “what.”  When rookies ask trouting vets what they caught all their trout on, many vets will reply, “a good drift.”  In most cases, “how” trumps “what,” as our technique is more important than the fly pattern.  So having a basic box of bugs is all you need to get started. Just pay very close attention to our upcoming topic, the “how.”

Long ago, I suggested a basic box of a dozen fly patterns. It’s still a good reference. You can find it here, on Rabun TU’s website. Click on about Rabun TU, then education, then secrets. Near the bottom is the basic fly box. (Peruse the other topics, too, for some great intel.)  For fall and winter fishing, just load up on six subsurface patterns: egg, worm, rubberleg stone, woolly bugger, hares ear nymph, and pheasant tail nymph. Before next spring, you can add those dry fly patterns to your box.  Fished right, these 12 patterns will put you on fish year-round and across the country. You can add other “hot fly” patterns as your time and budget allow, but first stock up on these dozen bugs and learn how to fish them well.

  1. Which brings us to the most important aspect, the “how.” If you can master the heron-stalk, the short cast, and the drag-free drift (DFD) you’ll be in business. An outline of the DFD is on that Rabunite secrets page, and a brief narrative and two great demo videos are in our blog, HERE. If your strike indicator floats downstream at the same speed and in the same current line as an adjacent leaf or bubble, you’ll be in business. Just be sure that indi “ticks” occasionally to show you that your flies are bumping the bottom every now and then.

That’s all you need to know to have some early fly-fishing success this fall. Grab a buddy, get adopted by a mentor, scope out a DH stream or two, and arm yourself with a well-stocked box of the 6 or 12 fly patterns. Most importantly, dress like a rhododendron bush, stalk like a blue heron, and perfect your drag-free drift. Before you know it, that flimsy fly rod will bend and dance, and you’ll be hooked for life.

Just like us. Welcome to the affliction. There is no cure. We all must simply take regular treatments!

There are costs for this great intel. Are you ready to pay? First, pass it on. When you enhance your own skills, watch for that struggling streamside newbie and be the hero.  Take an hour out of your day to offer a hot fly and some instream advice. Turn their crummy day into a memorable one.  You’ll catch some smiles that will rival the fish you landed. Second, conserve. Do your part to protect trout waters and their forested watersheds. Join a conservation group and be the next generation of caretakers for your adopted waters. Do we have a deal?
Good luck from our UO gang. Tune in to our weekly fishing reports for more timely tips.

Brook Trout in hand.

Falling for Brookies: (By Fisheries Biologist Sarah Baker) – The leaf turn is absolutely stunning in northeast Georgia right now, and the morning air is crisp. October is my favorite month of the year! And it’s Brook Trout boogy season! Check out this incredible footage of a mating pair (and a few sneaker males trying their best to disturb them). Notable points are at minutes 1:40 and 4:25. Sexual maturity of Brook Trout can be attained age 1 in our small Georgia streams where the trout tend to remain small due to the available habitat. Females make a pit, or depression in the substrate using their back tail (caudal fin). This depression is called a redd. A male will pair up with her. He will typically play defense to push off subdominant males (shown in the video). When she has completed construction of the redd, the male and female join side by side and release their eggs and milt simultaneously. She moves slightly upstream and begins the process all over again.  She continues to build redds until she is void of eggs, each time moving upstream so the sediment from construction falls onto the previously built redd to provide those eggs with protection. Brook Trout are not monogamous and will mate several times. The males tend to arrive later to the spawning area than the females and usually leave earlier. The fry emerge sometime between February and April, depending on water temperatures. They will inhabit areas that provide protection and forage, such as vegetated areas and pockets in between larger substrate until they are large enough to fend for themselves.

Currently, trout water is low, slow, and crystal-clear. These conditions can add a bit of challenge to your fishing trip. The trick is to scale down the size of your fly. I typically only carry several sizes of parachute adams and some gink/floatant to keep it afloat. A second, dropper fly can also be used, but should be even smaller, like #16 or 18 hares ears, pheasant tails, lightning bugs, frenchies, and sexy walts. Be prepared to exert patience as you’re certain to catch a fair number of leaves and twigs! 

Sarah with a nice brown trout catch.

Preparing for DH Season: Are y’all getting ready?! Put in on your calendar! Delayed Harvest (DH) season starts on Tuesday, November 1. DH streams are: Amicalola Creek, Chattahoochee River, Chattooga River, Smith Creek, and the upper Toccoa River. As you prepare for the DH season, check out this excellent resource by Jeff Durniak, of Unicoi Outfitters, for some helpful tips. Anglers fishing DH stream sections must release all trout immediately and use and possess only artificial lures with one single hook per lure from Nov. 1–May 14 annually. The use of additional “dropper” lures on one line is permitted as long as each lure contains one single hook. These restrictions do not apply from May 15–Oct. 31 of each year.

  • Amicalola Creek from County Road 192 (Steele Bridge Road) downstream to GA Hwy 53.
  • Chattahoochee River from Sope Creek (off Columns Drive) downstream to US Hwy 41 (Cobb Parkway).
  • Chattooga River from GA Hwy 28 bridge upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek.
  • Smith Creek on Unicoi State Park from Unicoi Dam downstream to the Unicoi State Park property boundary.
  • Toccoa River on U.S. Forest Service land from 0.4 miles above the Shallowford Bridge upstream to a point 450 feet upstream of the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access.


(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.


Catfish stocking for Beaver Lodge Lake at McDuffie PFA.

Recent pond Striper caught out of Bridge Lake by fly fisherman Dewey.

Largemouth Bass:  The bass continue to be a challenge to entice to bite, especially in Rodbender.  The abundance of forage and lowered visibility make getting a bite that much harder.  Kayak fishers and those able to reach deeper water are having some success around structures.  Recent catches have been made using black worms.  Bank fishers following the edge of the alligator weed in Jones using 3-inch shad look alike lures have had mild success as well.

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.  Also, recent stockings of catchable size catfish were made to Clubhouse, Beaver Lodge, and Jones Lakes.

Striped Bass:  With the cooler weather, stripers are becoming more active.  A fly fisherman using bream and shad look-alike lures is having consistent top water success in Bridge Lake.


Bass fishing is fair.  Last week’s full moon slowed things down a bit but will pick up quickly.  The bass are already staging on the main lake and secondary creek points.  Start the day with a slow-moving bait and a Zoom pumpkinseed lizard on a short Carolina rig is fair.  Then use a watermelon trick worm tight on cover after the sun warms the coves and docks.  Spotted bass fishing is the best right now.  Fire tiger is the color to use in the stained water.  Bass are biting the Fat Rap and the Rapala DT6 in this color.  Up in Beaverdam Creek, the spots are moving up and down the water column holding tight to cover in the shallows.  During this transition period, they will suspend on the channel ledges in seven to ten feet of water.  Use the jerk baits and the jointed Shad Raps and Husky Jerk Baits.  The #7 Rapala Shad Raps will catch the suspended fish.  Work the shallow wood with 1/4-ounce jig and add a little scent and fish them slowly.  Fronts are moving through at the rate of a couple a week and fishing two days before a low-pressure front will be the best time to go.  Blue bird skies are in the forecast for this weekend and without any wind, this will drive the bass to cover and quick.


Bass fishing is fair.  Last week’s full moon slowed things down a bit but will pick up quickly.  More bass seem to be moving more up lake.  The spotted bass are moving up to the shallows on and off all during the day feeding on shad and crawfish.  Up the river, the water has been stained and red shad is working best on the plastic worms.  Don’t forget to use those Ito Vision 110 jerk baits on rip rap early in the morning and then again just before dark.  The main lake points and the flats on the sides are worth some time.  The Rapala DT6 will work on the sharper points that drop off to deep water.  Use a Deep Wee R in bone and a DT6’s in hot mustard.  When the fishing is slow, go to a short Carolina rig and a small Zoom lizard in green pumpkin and small jigs fished around the wood.  The fish are holding tight to cover during the off-peak hours.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL 70’S (This Lake Oconee Fishing Report is By Captain Mark Smith, ReelTime Guide Service) — The temperature is 76-81. The Lake is clear from 44 bridge to the dam. Above 44 light stain.

  • Bass: Bass fishing is fair. The fish are starting to move into their fall pattern.  Start on the main lake points with a square bill crankbait.  Work the points from shallow to deep.  With a ned rig fish the mouth of the coves and pockets on the main lake (docks).  Match the color of your worm or crank bait to the watercolor you are fishing.
  • Striped Bass: Striper fishing is poor. Most of the top water action has stopped in the mornings.  Some afternoons you can find some fish in the mouth of Sugar Creek.  The mini Mack trolled will pick up some fish in this area.
  • Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The crappie are in the trees about 10 to 15 feet deep.  Drop live minnow down and start catching.


Bass fishing is good.  Last week’s full moon slowed things down a bit but will pick up quickly.  The top baits are either a spinnerbait or buzz bait.   Use a jig in the 3/8-ounce size in white and chartreuse color fished on 12-pound line with a medium action rod.  Using this set up will allow you to feel the blades turning and the light hits.  It is best to use a trailer hook as they are sometimes just barely hitting the bait.  Fish this along the shore in 2 to 5 foot of water in the coves off the main lake.  Be sure to fish any blown down trees and hit the corners of the docks to get that extra bite.  The bass are already staging on the main lake and secondary creek points.  Start the day with a slow-moving bait and a Zoom pumpkinseed lizard on a short Carolina rig is fair.  Then use a watermelon trick worm tight on cover after the sun warms the coves and docks.  A small crank bait like a ¼ ounce chrome and black Rat L Trap fished in the same areas should bring a few fish.  Using a Texas Rigged worm fished around the docks with some J.J.’S Magic on plastic baits to get a few more good bites.


Bass fishing is fair.  Last week’s full moon slowed things down a bit but will pick up quickly.  Up in the rivers use a Shad Rap in the red fire crawdad and the red crawdad colors.  Try to find isolated areas with small fist size rock on them.  Throw in shallow and crank these baits back out to the boat.  Use the Thunder Stick by Storm and the Husky Jerks by Rapala.  This is a good time to have a Zoom Trick worm in green pumpkin on a 2/0 Mustad Offset worm hook.  During the day it may be slow so let this bait sink to the bottom.  Find and fish the mouths of the smaller coves especially the ones that have water in the 15-foot depth at the mouth.  Work the wood and the small cuts or bowls starting at the mouth and work the way back.  When you get to the back of the coves, try a Skitter Prop in a silver or shad color.  A slow retrieve like the one you would use with a buzz bait is all that is needed.


(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) 

Catches picked up significantly this week in both saltwater and freshwater (especially bass fishing in the Altamaha River system). Fishing should be great this weekend, but it could be a little windy in open areas.

River gages on October 13th were:

  • Clyo on the Savannah River – 3.5 feet and falling
  • Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 0.4 feet and falling
  • Doctortown on the Altamaha – 3.1 feet and rising
  • Waycross on the Satilla – 6.6 feet and rising (73 degrees)
  • Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.3 feet and falling
  • Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.6 feet and rising

Last quarter moon is October 17th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.


The river water is still gorgeous, even after the rains mid-week. A Fitzgerald angler went to the lower Ocmulgee on Friday and fooled 36 bass on crankbaits and Texas-rigged worms (green pumpkin). On Sunday a couple anglers fished the middle Ocmulgee and fooled 54 bass up to 3 pounds. Crankbaits and Texas-rigged worms were best again. A Waycross angler fished by himself on Monday in the lower Altamaha and fooled 14 largemouth bass up to 3 pounds and lost 2 big bass on Texas-rigged Keitech Mad Wag Worms (junebug and green pumpkin were the best colors). He also had 2 big bluegills up to 10 1/2 inches on Satilla Spins (white-chartreuse and dreamsicle). A different Waycross angler fished the upper Altamaha on Monday and had the best catch I heard of this week. He and a friend fooled 80 bass up to 4 pounds (they had a pair of 4-pounders right at the end on a crankbait). They caught their fish on Texas-rigged worms and shad-colored crankbaits.


If you want to float in a kayak or canoe, the upper river fish should be chowing this weekend. I’ve had some awesome days in the fall throwing Satilla Spins against shoreline trees. Afternoons are usually better than cooler mornings. The Burnt Fort area should produce some good crappie catches this weekend with the cooler temperatures.


Anna Mae Boatright of Blackshear caught this bass on Thursday with a 1/32-oz. Specktacular Jig from a Pierce County pond.

Brantley Wester of Waycross fooled this 1-lb., 12-oz. slab crappie on Sunday evening by trolling a pearl-chartreuse back 2-inch Keitech Swimbait rigged on a 1/16-oz. head with a sickle hook.

Gary Boatright of Callahan, Florida caught this nice brown bullhead catfish from a Pierce County pond on Thursday.

The crappie bite was wide open again this week in ponds and lakes. Brantley Wester fished with a friend on Sunday afternoon on a pond, and they caught 41 crappie and a few bluegills by casting and trolling 2-inch Keitech swimbaits on 1/32 and 1/16oz jigheads with sickle hooks. Brantley’s biggest crappie was a 1-lb., 12-oz slab, and they had a couple others right at a pound. Their best colors of Keitechs were chartreuse shad, pearl-chartreuse back, bluegill flash, and shad (smoke with purple glitter). Another angler fishing that same afternoon had 23 crappie by spider rigging 1/16-oz. Specktacular Jigs tipped with minnows. He fished on Friday also and caught 27 crappie to 3/4 pound on the same spider rig setup. Jerry, James Foster, Gary and Anna Mae Boatright fished a Blackshear area pond on Thursday morning and had a blast. None of them had fished in decades before that day. They caught a half-dozen small bass on 1/32-oz. Tennessee Shad Specktacular Jigs and chartreuse pearl back 2-inch Keitech swimbaits. They also caught a 2-pound bullhead catfish and 3-pound channel catfish on shrimp rigged on 3/16-oz. Catfish Catcher Jigheads. A Blackshear angler fished an area pond on Monday and had 4 bass up to 17 1/2 inches on junebug stick worms.


The rains on Wednesday evening will bring the swamp up a little and probably put the bite off some for the weekend. It should start dropping out again next week with the forecasted return to dry weather, and the bite should pick up as it drops back out into the canals. Reports from Okefenokee Adventures staff are that the fishing has been slow. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.94 feet.


Brentz McGhin and Greg Nelms fished out of Crooked River on Friday. They threw Gulp Shrimp (new penny) under Cajun Thunder Floats for their fish. They had 6 keeper redfish and 6 keeper trout to 17 inches, and a keeper flounder. They also threw back 20 undersized trout and one short redfish. Also on Friday, Mike Harrell and a friend caught 12 keeper flounder, a limit of redfish, and a sheepshead in the Brunswick area by casting VooDoo Shrimp. Capt. Tim Cutting of Coastal Georgia Inshore Charters (fishthegeorgiacoast.com – 912-230-1814) said that he had some great bull redfish days on Wednesday and Thursday in the St. Simons area, catching 16 and 12 fish, respectively. He put chunks of mullet on the bottom for the bulls. Trout fishing has been good for his charters when he targeted speckled trout. Late last week was when he got on the best bites, catching them over shell mounds and at creek mouths with Mirr-O-lure L30’s and Bomber Long A’s. The sheepshead bite should pick up with the cooler weather this weekend. Dabble fiddlers around hard cover to fool them. 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). They are running a special this weekend: buy a quart of live shrimp – get a quart free (Saturday 10/15 and Sunday 10/16).


(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts) 


Water temperatures are cooling off with the evening temps dropping. Most of the lake is around 75 degrees and water levels are pretty stable but might increase with the rain we received this week.

Fishing is hot right now! The shad are on fire on almost every grass line and the fall feeding is happening. Be sure to get out there early to catch the fish while they are still hungry. Use shad look alike lures, jerk baits, crank baits and flukes are also good choices. If you get out there on the later side, try to throw something different just to pique their interest when their bellies are full. Most of the fish being caught right now are in the 12–16-inch range but there are a few bigger fish out there.

They hybrids are also running right now so it is a good time to catch. They are hanging out in deeper water, but they are also feeding on shad or similar lures will work. Not interested in bass? Then fish for crappie! The crappie bite is booming as well. Worms, crickets, minnows, and jigs are where it’s at. You may want to use your live scope to check out standing timber and the river channels to find these fish dinner plates.


Andy Law shows off his crappie catch from Blackshear.

Chuck English caught this crappie at Blackshear.

Denise Hall’s Blue Cat from Blackshear (held by her husband).

The Crappie bite is continuing to pick up as we move into fall. Anglers are having a lot of success with crappie using minnows and jigs. A local favorite is the sugar bug jig and it always seems to do the trick! Crappie fishing will really pick up as the temperature drops but now is as good a time as any to get out there and try your hand. Anglers are having a lot of success at the north end of the lake, but fishing is also good near the rail road trestles and by Smoak Bridge.

The catfish bite also continues to be good. If your tired of your old smelly bait for catfish try using a piece of ivory soap to lure those suckers. You might be pleasantly surprised with your catch and the nice smell of your bait!  

As temps continue to drop and fall progresses bass feeding will pick up. You need to be out there early in the morning or at dusk to have much luck. A hollow belly frog in chartreuse or green pumpkin are always a crowd favorite. Work them along the edge of vegetation for the best results. And be sure to stop by Flint River Outdoors to weigh in your catches for their monthly big fish contest.  


Fishing at Tired Creek Lake continues to be slow. There is an occasional bass bite to be had but its very early in the morning and in the evening if you can find it. We are waiting for the temperature to cool consistently and then the crappie bite will heat up! When that happens be sure to target underwater structure to grab yourself a tasty bite for dinner!


When targeting bass, try shad as well as other fish look alike baits at a variety of depths. As the water cools, try pitching crawfish and plastic worms in deeper waters, particularly near the picnic area as this method has produced quality bites. In cooler waters, try slowing down your plastic baits to increase chances for bites.

There have been very few reports of crappie catches. Crappie are difficult to pinpoint and target. However, cooler temperatures may increase catch potential. Attempt to locate the depth they are hanging out and drop down live bait such as minnows. Colored jigs may also prove to be an effective method for quality bites.  Remember, only two poles per person are allowed!

Redear from Big Lazer PFA. Note that well-manicured hand. IYKYK

Bream fishing is generally good this time of year and that trend should continue with the cooler water temperatures. Woody structures in shallower water all around the lake are good target areas. Live bait such as crickets and worms are extremely productive. Also, small jigs, grubs or spinner type baits can be used to entice a bream bite. Bream fishing is one of the more popular fishing experiences for young or beginning anglers so be sure to bring your child with you to the lake! Bream fishing with light tackle can increase the experience even further!

The water is still warm enough that the cats are biting fairly well. Channel catfish are located throughout most of the lake but for best results try locating the channel in the upper end of the lake or the rip rap along the dam. You can fish on the bottom or at varying levels while remaining low in the water column. Chicken liver, cut bait or even shrimp are successful channel catfish baits. Remember, gas motors are allowed but at idle speed Only!! The water level is down right now and there are many stumps just below the surface of the water that are hard to see until its too late.

** With hunting season in full swing, you may notice a dip in fishing pressure around the lake. This could be very beneficial to the more dedicated fisherman.