Are you brave enough to do some night fishing anywhere this spooookkkkyyy weekend? We hope that whatever fishing you are able to do, that it brings only treats (pan-sized, preferably) and no tricks!
NEWS TO KNOW
- Smallmouth Stocking: Lake Blue Ridge was stocked with 3,812 smallmouth bass produced at the Go Fish Education Center. The fish averaged 5-inches in length and were freeze branded with a distinct marking for future identification. The fish were stocked by boat in quality shoreline habitat around the lake. This stocking is part of an ongoing effort to restore the formerly renown Lake Blue Ridge smallmouth fishery that has been decimated in recent years by the introduction of spotted bass.
- Take a Kid Fishing! It is up to you, and me, and all anglers everywhere to make sure we try to pass on the love of fishing to the next generation. There aren’t many kids fishing events left for this year, but you can find some great tips on fishing with kids HERE. Look for kids fishing events to ramp back up in Spring 2023!
This week, we have fishing reports from Southeast, North, Southwest and Central Georgia. If you are fishing on a lake this weekend, be sure not to take candy or fishing advice from anyone wearing a hockey mask. Stay safe out there and 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 fish are transitioning from the summer to fall patterns, and the quicker you can figure out your body of water each day, the better your catch.
River gages on October 27th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 2.9 feet and steady
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 0.3 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 2.8 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 5.2 feet and falling (67 degrees)
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 4.4 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.9 feet and falling
First quarter moon is November 1st. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
The river continues to drop with the dry weather. A Fitzgerald angler and a friend went to the upper Altamaha River on Saturday and just fished. He drifted with the flow, fishing everything in front of him and caught 57 bass. His biggest was a 5-pounder. He said that he believes that day you could have caught them on anything you wanted to catch them on. His friend fished crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and other plugs and caught fish, while he stayed with mostly Texas-rigged plastics (green pumpkin) to catch his fish. He fished the lower Ocmulgee River on Thursday with another friend, and the two combined for 86 bass – that was not a typo! They caught all their fish on Texas-rigged worms and craws. Their 2 biggest bass weighed 7 1/2 and 7 pounds. Crappie are biting on the Ocmulgee River, also. A tackle shop in Douglas shared a photo of a 1 3/4-pound slab that an angler caught this week.
The river has already fallen out to where paddle crafts are the best choice on the upper river for this week. I talked with a couple people who caught a few redbreasts and bluegills, but I had very few reports. The water looks clear from the bridges, but I haven’t been on the river.
Tyler Finch was at it again this week on the Savannah. On Sunday, he used his trusty white Satilla Spin tipped with a cricket to fool his limit of panfish -both redbreasts and bluegill. He also had a few big channel and flathead catfish that ate cut and live bluegills. His biggest catfish was about 15 pounds. He returned to the river on Wednesday with another friend, and they caught 97 panfish on his “old trusty”. On Thursday he caught his panfish limit by early afternoon on the same bait. Lester Roberts bass fished the river on Saturday during a tournament, and he and his partner caught about 20 bass – nothing big. The Savannah River is flat producing some fish!
The crappie bite has still been very good in area lakes. A friend fished a Baxley area pond and caught his limit of crappie on Monday by spider rigging 1/16-oz. Tennessee shad and tan shad Specktacular Jigs tipped with minnows. His had several fish over a pound, but the average was 1/2-pound. Another friend and his mother fished a Screven County Pond with minnows on Tuesday and caught 70 crappie. From the photos, they were all over a half pound, and some were approaching 1 1/4 pounds. Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond on Saturday and caught a 4-pound bass and a 2-pounder on a junebug Trick Worm.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Blake Edwards and a friend fished the Brunswick area on Friday and did really well. The pair had 32 fish – 24 of them seatrout. Almost all their fish ate Keitech swimbaits under Equalizer floats. Their first 7 seatrout were keepers, with the biggest measuring 20 inches. They ended up with 14 keeper trout and 7 keeper redfish (only kept one). They even landed a 20-inch black drum by bouncing a rootbeer Keitech on the bottom. Their best Keitech colors were 4-inch electric chicken, chartreuse back rootbeer, and gold flash, and their best color 3 1/2-inch Keitechs on Flashy Jigheads were gold flash and shad. Casting Flashy Jigheads worked well for them around creek mouths on the incoming tide. Brentz McGhin and Joseph Mitchell fished the Brunswick area on Friday and caught a limit of redfish in their first hour by fishing Gulp shrimp (glow-chartreuse tail) under Equalizer and Cajun Thunder Floats around shallow shells. They also caught some nice flounder and trout on the Gulf shrimp and Assassin Sea Shads under the floats. They ended up catching some nice whiting on the incoming tide by pitching shrimp on a 1/4-oz. 4/0 hook Redfish Wrecker Jighead. They ended the day with a full cooler of redfish, trout, whiting, and flounder. I fished out of Crooked River on Tuesday by myself and ended up catching 15 seatrout (3 keepers – kept 1) and a flounder. With the slow-moving tide, the fish were very scattered, and I caught one here and one there. I tried lots of lures but the only thing they would hit was the Equalizer-Keitech swimbait rig. The best color was electric chicken, but I caught a few on gold flash and rootbeer 4-inch swimbaits. Jay Turner fished the Savannah area in his new boat on Friday and had a good trip. He had several oversized redfish and several keepers along with a 3-pound striper and several trout. He used plastic shrimp skewered on a Zombie Head (built with a Gamakatsu sickle shaped hook) and suspended under a Cajun Thunder Float for his fish. Tommy Sweeney and a friend fished the Brunswick area on Saturday and fooled 40 trout and redfish with live shrimp. They brought home 22 keeper trout and 4 redfish. Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) had a great week for redfish. His charters had lots of rat reds by using shrimp on Redfish Wrecker Jigheads and Shrimp Hooks. They also caught some on Gulp Swimming Mullets. He said that the 14 to 17-inch reds are fairly thick. They caught a handful of trout each trip in the 8-to-10-foot range on both shrimp and plastics. The bull redfish bite has been consistent for him, but only 5 or 6 on most trips – not big numbers yet. The trout fishing will only improve as the water cools (water temp was still 70 during the heat of the day on Tuesday). I talked with an angler who fished the Jekyll Island Pier this week and caught 24 whiting and released a 41 and 39-inch redfish. 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 Anthony Rabern, Fisheries Biologist and Region Supervisor with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Fishing is good this time of year because most fish are feeding like crazy to gain weight and build their fat reserves before the cold of winter sets in. For the DNR Fisheries staff, it’s fall sampling time, and this week’s catch included a ton of spotted bass in a wide range of sizes, but we also had good success with walleye, crappie, and yellow perch. Check out the following fishing reports for the latest information about your favorite fishing spot, including an update on the Delayed Harvest trout season.
Mountain Lakes: (Provided by DNR Fisheries Supervisor, Anthony Rabern) —The scenery around the mountain lakes is always spectacular in late-October and the fishing is not too bad either. Our field crew did a little bit of sampling this week and found spotted bass in good numbers. Based on the looks of the fat-bellied fish in their catch, the bass, walleye, and crappie are feeding actively on blueback herring and small yellow perch and sunfish. The depth finder located a school of bass with some walleye in the mix that were feeding on a large school of blueback herring that was pushed against a long, sloping point near the dam. Baitfish were at 30 to 40-feet deep. We also found walleye near structure from 40 to 50-feet deep along the deeper banks of the outer bends of the main river channel. Working crappie minnows in and around deep-water structure is a great way to catch walleye and crappie during the fall months.
Lake Lanier Bass: (Provided by Guide, Phil Johnson (Pjohnson15@hotmail.com (770) 366-8845) — There are still a lot of fish oriented to the brush both in it and scattered around it. We’ve been using several baits to work these fish. A Fluke, a Slickstick or a small Spook with a front runner worked over the brush have drawn some good strikes. If the fish won’t commit to these we have been using a Spotchoker with a Keithech counted down to the depth of the fish The next step in working them is the drop shot directly in the brush with a Morning Dawn worm. The fish are very scattered on the top water bite so having Livescope is a great help to see the fish and to be able to target them. If you are not getting any activity on top go to the green pumpkin or watermelon red worm around fifteen to twenty foot brush or on rocky points. Work the worm very slow and the bite is a very light tick on your line. The shad are starting to really ball up and are making their move to the backs of the creeks. Right now the main concentration has been in the first third of the creek’s but watch for them to continue to move farther back as the water temperature continues to fall. You may have to move around quite a bit right now to catch the bass but they are still active and it should only get better over the next few weeks.
Lanier Striped Bass: (Provided by our friend, Jack Becker) — “This was another great week for stripers on Lake Lanier. I’ve been fishing half way back in major creeks and using small to medium size bait planner boards and free lines behind redi-floats. The stripers are running 12 – 14 lbs on average. My best day I put three in the boat and had one break off over the course of three hours. Water temp. was 67.4. Still seeing “HUGE” bait balls. Using the electric motor to follow the bait at .2 to .5 mph and turning off the motor at regular intervals to allow a slow drift has trigged the bites. Hope to see the Loons arrive soon. Seeing them is an added bonus to the great wintertime fishing. This sunset capped off a great day.”
Lanier Striped Bass (Provided by Guide Buck Cannon at Buck Tails Guide Service (404) 510-1778) — Stripers are still moving in areas where the bait is located, using your electronics locate the bait and work the area using a variety of bait such as blue backs, shiners and gizzards which are all working. Flat lines and planer boards seem to work better than down lines. Fish 50 feet behind the boards and cover as much water as possible, weighted and unweighted. The flat line should be 80 to 110 feet behind the boat trolling between .05 to 1.5 mph. Sometimes a change of speed can get a reaction.
Lanier Crappie: (Provided by Guide Josh Thornton (770) 530-6493) — The water temperatures are in the low to mid 60s and the fishing is good. We are catching a lot of fish and they are nice size. Crappie are suspended 12 to 20 feet. Structure, blow downs, and brush piles are producing well. 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 color combination. I am setting minnows 10 to 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 Thrashin lure jig head. 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.
Lake Allatoona Bass (provided by Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Early morning the fish have been up top. Start off the morning throwing smaller top water baits such as the Pop ’R, Tiny Torpedo’s and small Zara Spooks. As the day goes on look for fish on offshore cover and secondary points anywhere from 10 feet to 30 feet. Look for shad with fish on them and drop shakey head, drop shot and jigs to catch these fish. There is a good top water bite around shad schools. On docks and wood use a Texas rigged Culprit red shad worm. Add some extra jack Juice scent to lure all week. Also around docks the Pop R in baby bass will draw strikes. The glimmer blue Zoom trick worm is fair. Cast right on the docks and work slowly. Up the rivers and creeks and use bream colored crank baits in the pockets. Around the bridges and docks, the #5 Shad Rap in the shad and black back is fair but get the baits as close to the docks as possible.
Allatoona Linesides: (Provided by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service) – “The topwater bite has been the overall best producer, with trolling umbrella rigs and down-lining live bait running a close second. Mid-lake to south has been producing best for the bigger hybrids, but if you’re after numbers, the white bass bite is hard to beat on the north end of the lake. This is the time of year that you need to be universal and not one dimensional on techniques. Any of these methods will catch you fish on any given day.”
West Point Lake Bass (provided by Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Fishing is picking up as water temperatures continue to fall. In the early morning just about any type of top water is fair but the baits need to be in a natural shad pattern. The Ott’s Garage OG8 in crawfish is a great fall color for bass all day. Fish in and over brush and rocky ledges, points and humps. Watch the Lowrance for any fish on the bottom so zoom in with the Lowrance Fish reveal to see them and get a small spoon or a drop shot and finesse worm on them. Work the baits with a slower than normal action. On windy mornings the Rat L Traps can pay off with bigger fish. This is the same with the 3/8 ounce spinnerbait action if wind is present. Use a Lucky Craft Redemption spinnerbait with double silver willow leaf blades. If there is no wind switch go to the shaky head and jig with green pumpkin being the best color. Use a 3/8 ounce All Terrain jig AT Craw with a Zoom green pumpkin speed craw.
West Point Lake Catfish: (Provided by DNR Fisheries Biologist, Brent Hess) — On Saturday, Jerrimie Tolbert hooked into the fish of a lifetime by landing a 61 lb blue catfish from the Brush Creek area of West Point Lake. Pending certification, this monster blue will become the new lake record, eclipsing the previous record by 7 lb.
Lake Weiss Bass (Provided by Guide and tournament pro Mike Carter) — “Weiss has finally started showing some more consistent action with the cooler temps that have finally arrived. The more productive patterns during this time are covering a lot of seawalls and rip-rap areas the first few hours of the morning with Choo Choo buzzbaits and Echo squarebill crankbaits. As the day progresses, going out to main-lake humps and points with Echo squarebills can also keep the action going consistently.”
Lake Weiss Crappie: (From Guide Mark Collins )— “Crappie fishing is Good, and crappie are moving to the Coosa River channel at depths ranging from 14-20 feet. Crappie can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy Jigs. Some crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs.”
Lake Hartwell Bass (provided by Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — The fish are starting shallow first thing in the morning. Try top water baits or a fluke for the first couple of hours at the shallowest part of the points or back in the pockets and the back of the creek arms. Use the small Zoom Fluke or a Fish Head Spin with a small Fluke trailer and run it 10 feet deep with 10 pound test line. Any offshore brush and main lake humps are good places to scan for this combination. The Ott’s Garage OG8 in crawfish is a great fall color for bass all day. Fish in and over brush and rocky ledges, points and humps. Watch the Lowrance for any fish on the bottom so zoom in with the Lowrance Fish reveal to see them and get a small spoon or a drop shot and finesse worm on them. Work the baits with a slower than normal action. The bite has been better early unless they are pulling water, then it stays good most of the day. Have the drop shot rigged with a Wackem Baits Big Sissy. Use a good sensitive spinning rod is critical. Rig the spinning rod with 8 pound test braid and a 6 foot fluorocarbon leader.
Lake Blue Ridge Bass: (provided by Guide Eric Welch) — Start your mornings throwing topwater. My go-to baits have been a Pop-R, Zara Puppy, Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr., and a Whopper Plopper. I like to start out around rocky points and flats. Then I’m going to throw the Ned rig with a Z-Man TRD worm or a 3.5-inch tube, while watching my graph. If I see any fish schooled up, I will toss a drop shot down on top of them. After spending my mornings on the main lake, normally by noon I will run up and start fishing the deep, rocky banks up the river with the same type baits.”
Lake Blue Ridge Walleye & Perch: (provided by Guide Eric Welch) — Walleye are moving toward the shallower structure to feed both early and late in the day. Trolling, jigging spoons and casting deep, slow, retrieve baits is the go-to this month as the fish start to transition. As far as baits go, I like bright colors early, then clear, drab colors midday and chrome and gold in the evening. The perch bite has been good for the last few weeks, and we are seeing some really nice fish in the 14- to 15-inch class. Live minnows, small jigs and small spoons have been productive early in the day.
Lake Nottely Linesides (provided by Guide Jeremy Seabolt) — We have been catching a lot fish from Point 6 to the dam. Fish are holding out over a 50- to 80-foot bottom. The first few hours of morning, we have been dropping herring. By mid-morning, we switch over to Captain Mack’s u-rigs, pulling them about 130 to 150 feet back at 2.5 to 3 mph. We have also been catching a lot fish on topwater. They are killing a fluke when working it really slow on top. The stripers will be on a feeding frenzy trying to fatten up for the winter and will start spreading out some. The topwater bite will be on, and it also means it’s time to drag out the planer boards. Don’t forget the Bait Shack on Nottely has herring.”
Lake Chatuge Bass (provided by Guide Eric Welch) — “I’m starting my mornings out looking for breaking fish, which is normally around flats or in pockets. The topwater baits I’m using are a Berkley Cane Walker, an Ima Skimmer, and a Strike King Sexy Dawg. I just mix them up until I find the magic bait. I have been following up in areas where the fish have been breaking with a 1/8-oz. swimbait head and a 3.25-inch Rage Swimmer. After the morning bite dies down, I will start targeting humps, deep points, and rocky banks around these areas. I’m throwing a drop shot with a 6.5-inch Roboworm, a 3/16-oz. shaky head with a 6.5-inch Strike King green-pumpkin finesse worm, and a Ned rig with a green-pumpkin TRD worm. If you know where there is brush deep or around docks, throw a 3/8-oz. pb/j jig. As the month goes on, the fishing is just going to going to get better.”
Trout Fishing Reports: The Kilby family from Clayton, Georgia had a great outing last Saturday while fishing in the headwaters of Lake Burton in the Tallulah River, especially the kids who had a blast catching some really big rainbow trout like the 6 pounder in the picture. If certified, this rainbow is eligible to become the new lake record rainbow trout for Lake Burton. Around this time each year, brook trout and brown trout fan out their “redds” on gravel bottoms to deposit their eggs. Trout in spawning mode can be super-shy, so stealth is critical when casting to bedding fish. Let’s hope the heavy rainfalls stay away for the next several weeks to give those eggs time to incubate and hatch so that our wild trout fisheries can keep going strong.
Stocked Trout & Delayed Harvest: (provided by DNR Trout Stocking Coordinator, John Lee Thomson) — Are you hunting or just leaf looking in the mountains this weekend? If the answer is yes, then you may be a short drive from some excellent trout fishing opportunities. With cooler weather upon us, trout will be active and ready to bite a hook. To expand the fun-factor for your weekend mountain getaway, we stocked trout into Vogel State Park and the tailwaters below Lake Blue Ridge. Also, mark your calendar for the opening day of the Delayed Harvest (DH) season, which starts on Tuesday, November 1st. Delayed Harvest provides a unique, catch-and-release fishing opportunities on the following streams:
- Chattahoochee River from Sope Creek to US Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway).
- Toccoa River located on U.S. Forest Service land upstream of Lake Blue Ridge in Fannin County (from 0.4 miles above Shallowford Bridge to 450 feet above the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access).
- Amicalola Creek on the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (from Steele Bridge Road downstream to Georgia Hwy. 53).
- Smith Creek downstream of Unicoi Lake (Unicoi State Park).
- Chattooga River (from Ga. Hwy. 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek) on U.S. Forest Service land bordering South Carolina
Hatchery staff will be stocking these DH streams with trout for your fishing enjoyment. Please thank our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this fall opportunity to catch some rainbow beauties. To find location maps of these DH streams and special fishing tips to make your DH trip successful, scroll way down on the DNR Trout Fishing webpage to the Special Regulation Section. Before you head out, be sure to purchase your fishing license and trout stamp.
Lanier Tailwaters: (provided by DNR Fisheries Biologists, Hunter Roop) — Due to the coldwater flowing out of Lake Lanier’s Buford Dam, the Lanier Tailwaters supports a naturally reproducing brown trout population. Sampling the tailwaters this time each year with boat-mounted electrofishing gear allows us to monitor the abundance and size structure of the brown trout population. Although no huge trophy-trout were collected this week, the population seems in good shape with the highest abundance occurring from Bowman’s Island upstream to Buford Dam. Click here to learn some of the tips and tricks for fishing the Lanier Tailwaters.
Unicoi Outfitters Report: Check out Dredger’s latest trout fishing report on the Angler Management page of the Unicoi Outfitter website. Dredger advises trouters to match your bugs to the stream conditions. If the water is big/high/stained from a rain, use bigger and brighter bugs to get their attention. Great trout treats are globugs (egg flies), rubberleg stones, squirmy worms, and big (#10 or 12) sexy walts or mops. When trout water is low/slow/crystal clear, the fish can study your bugs and casually decide whether or not to eat, so you oughta scale down. Use smaller versions of the above bugs as your first fly. The second, dropper fly should be even smaller and natural, like #16 or 18 hares ears, pheasant tails, lightning bugs, frenchies, and sexy walts. I’m partial to silver tungsten beads if there’s a decent current. I think the beads catch the trout’s attention while leaves and twigs clutter the water column.
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 goes directly toward trout management in Georgia. Thanks very much for renewing your fishing licenses and TU trout license plates,
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
With temperatures dropping this time of year focusing your effort near creek mouths and outlets is a good idea. Fish school in those areas and any lure that resembles shad is likely to get you a few bites. They hybrid and white bass bite is picking up. In the evenings try shallow sandy areas as some of the younger fish use that habitat. The GA DNR team has been surveying Lake Blackshear this week and our findings indicate that next year is going to be a great white bass season so get ready for some good fights!
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Remember, gas motors are allowed but at idle speed only!!
Bass: 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.
Crappie: 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!
Bream: 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.
Catfish: 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
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
Lake George is full right now and the bass fishing is fair. Try focusing your efforts on shallow ledges and points. Drops that bottom out around 6 feet should get some nice sized fish. Use a crank bait and if that isn’t working try a Carolina rig. Crappie fishing has also been good in Lake Eufaula. Some anglers have been having a lot of success with eye hole jigs. Focus on spots with standing timber and lots of submerged brush because this is their preferred habitat. Also trying near docks that create structure for this fish could land you a nice slab for the dinner plate!
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Panic Pond is open, and the season is in full swing. Big bass are hanging out near standing timber towards the back of the pond. Try using lures shaped like shad because that is their primary prey fish right now. A swim bait shaped and colored like shad will make things easy with all the button bush and logs in there. Frog Pond still has some nice catfish that are fun to fish for. Try any bait that lets off a good smell. Chicken liver, hotdogs and worms are crowd favorites.
(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 .87 FEET, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. With each cold front, a temperature drop of more than a few degrees affects fishing whether it’s good or bad. With these fronts the bait will start piling up in the creeks in search of warmer water. The morning bite has been tough to figure out. Spotted bass are roaming up on the points and flats all during the day and retreating to deep water stump beds. Either way, these bass can be caught all day long. The shallow water fish can be easily caught with Bandits and Shad Raps. Try the deeper water for some of the bigger bass. The Rapala DT6 and DT10 in shad or hot mustard slowly retrieved over heavy cover caught some bigger fish. Also try the green tiger and use a stop and go retrieve during the slow periods to trigger a strike. Carolina rigs can also be used on the ledges and deeper water structure. Zooms green pumpkin u tail worms will work all day.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 4.8 FEET, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Cooler temperatures have activated the bait fish, and this has sparked a feeding frenzy in the bass. A fall pattern has set in here and should remain constant for at least the next couple of weeks. Stained water can be found up in the creeks and rivers. Small rock outcrops along the bank and around the islands are producing bass in the rivers. The 3/8-ounce Rattlin Rapala’s in the red fire Crawdad, the Fire tiger with black heads and the Silver Tennessee Shad are excellent colors this week. On the main lake and off any sharp points, use the Rapala DT10 and the Husky Jerks. On the sharp drop offs, the Down Deep Husky Jerks can be used to catch the suspended bass hanging out on the ledges. The Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology will make finding the bait, the structure, and the bass, easier. Also, slow crank the jerk baits on the sides of the points are working. Use the crank bait during the fall to add a few extra fish.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 70’S (This Lake Oconee Fishing Report is By Captain Mark Smith, ReelTime Guide Service) — The temperature is 69-73. The lake is clear.
Bass: Bass fishing is fair. Look for main lake coves and pockets with lots of bait. Small crank baits fished along sea walls and docks will produce some quality fish. If Georgia Power is pulling water move to the main lake points and fish the same crank baits. Some early morning buzz bait activity can be had along the sea walls in coves on the Richland Creek side of the lake. With the colder weather look for the fishing to take off any day.
Striped Bass: Striper fishing is good one day bad the next. As we continue to cool the fishing will just get better and better. The live bait bite will be in full swing soon. The Mini Mack bite will also be in full swing soon. You will also need to keep spoons ready this time of year. All these techniques will work now, but there is no consistency.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is good. The crappie are starting to move out of the summer pattern. You can still catch them with jigs or live bait in the timber, but the long line bite is picking up. Now is a great time to fill a cooler.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.7 FEET, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Most quality bites are coming from near the mouth of coves to halfway back in coves. Blow downs, brush, stumps, and shallow dock posts have been the best targets for the last few days. Spinner baits have also fooled a lot of fish lately from the same cover. If buzz baits and spinner baits don’t produce, try jigs and soft plastics around the same wood cover. A 3/8-ounce jig in black blue with a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail works well as a swim bait. The same jig with a Zoom Pro Chunk works well when slowly working the bait through the cover.
LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .68 FEET, 70’S
With cold fronts the bait will start piling up in the creeks in search of warmer water. The morning bite has been tough to figure out. The main lake laydowns can hold good fish, but deep docks and brush piles can be a preferable form of cover when skies are clear, and the sun is high. A swimming jig presentation can be particularly effective when fished early over laydowns. Green Craw Net Boy jigs and shaky heads are taking fish on brush of 15 foot and deeper, deep docks, and out to deeper water on the points, humps, bluffs, and channel swings. Convert to a 1/2 or 3/4 football jig offshore. Spooning is also an effective tactic for targeting the deeper offshore fish. A ½ ounce or larger jigging spoon is a good choice.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Surface Temperature: 66.5˚ F (19.2˚ C)
- Water Level: 47.5” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 19”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
A lack of rainfall has caused a significant decrease in water level. As a result, anglers have increased access to much of the bank and to submerged structure. Anglers are reporting most catches from the fishing pier. Here’s a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:
Bass: Bass are following the schooling shad. Try using Strike King KVD Square Bill Green Gizzard Shad around submerged fish attractors.
Bream: Anglers last reported using red wigglers to produce bream.
Channel Catfish: Anglers last reported using chicken livers, live baitfish, and cut baitfish.
Crappie: Anglers last reported using live minnows and crappie jigs to produce catches.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water level: All bodies of water are full or nearly so.
- Water clarity: 16” to 24”. Fox Lake visibility may be as much as 40”.
- Surface temperature: 50-60 degrees
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Largemouth activity has increased with the cooling water temperatures. We are still noticing bass feeding on thread fin shad that are schooling on the surface late in the day. November will offer many different scenarios for the bass angler. Cooler mornings the fish may still be out deeper but move to the shallows as the sun heats the water. Right now, we are seeing most bass in 5-8’ of water. Crank baits and jerk baits have produced some nice catches.
Crappie: The crappie are still in deeper water but are becoming more and more active. Trolling with jigs or minnows tipped with jigs is your best bet. Good electronics are a near must to locate crappie. Look for fish suspended over brush and timber.
Bream: Most of the larger bream are being caught on the bottom in deeper water near dams and creek channels. Wax worms, crickets and pink worms continue to be good bait.
Channel Catfish: Many catfish have been stocked at Otter, Fox, Bennett, and Greenhouse. Worms on the bottom or under a cork near the bottom should provide a 5-fish limit.
Hybrid Bass: Bennett and Greenhouse have been stocked with hybrid bass. Try spinner baits for these fish.
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