What is on your holiday gift wish list? Or, are you looking to gift someone with a great present? We got you. Get or Give the Gift of the Outdoors – a Recreational Hunting or Fishing or Combo License to enjoy all the “wild” things that Georgia has to offer. Find out more HERE.
NEWS TO KNOW
Success – Bass #10: Austin Thornton achieved the Georgia Bass Slam (catch 5 of Georgia’s 10 Black Bass species in a calendar year) earlier this year. But, he didn’t stop there. On September 18, he landed bass #10 – catching all 10 species in one year. He is one of three anglers so far this year to catch all 10 Black Bass species. How many can you get?
- Go Fish Christmas Event – This Sunday (Dec. 11; 4-7pm): Join Scuba Santa to Dive into some Fishing Fun at the 5th Annual Go Fish Education Center Christmas Event. View the Go Fish aquariums at night, watch Santa and his helpers scuba dive, read a story with Mrs. Claus, and participate in many of our festive activities. More about the Go Fish Education Center HERE.
This week, anglers can find fresh fishing info for Central, Southwest, Southeast and North Georgia. Grab that perfect gift, then head on out to 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 FULL, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. A spinner bait with willow leaf and Colorado blades in silver and gold is catching fish; add a white and chartreuse skirt. Have a Storm Chug Bug ready and work the shallow points that hold a little mud line close to shore. Later in the day switch to a Texas rigged six inch Zoom green pumpkin u tail work or other green colors. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass. Almost any wood in the water can hold bass. Use the Zoom Super Flukes on main lake and secondary points up lake in the creeks. The bass are after shad and so an all-white Bandit is a good choice. Concentrate efforts on up lake points on any wood found along the shoreline where deep water is present. Natural color or bone color Bomber 6A crank baits are working on the sides of points leading into shallow coves. Work the top water baits early and late and cover a lot of water and don’t waste too much time. Keep a spoon ready for the suspended fish on the points as they will relate to schools of shad. Keep the spoons to one ounce or smaller as the bait fish hatched recently are very small.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 6.1 FEET, 50’S
Bass fishing is good. The smaller fish are biting but the quality bass are still out suspended. Anglers can catch numbers right now, but the big fish are out suspended with the stripers. They’ll move up with the cooler temperatures. The lake is extremely low. Concentrate on the outer edges of the grass lines. Start with crank baits spinnerbaits and jerk baits and if they’re not in the mood for chasing, slow down with a jig or worm. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass. The bait is holding about halfway back in the creeks from the main river. Toward the end of the month they’ll be farther back, and they’ll stay back in the creeks until they move back out to the river. Also watch for schools of fish this time of year. Have a pearl Zoom Super fluke or top water Zara Spook in bone tied on and ready. Some anglers are already using the spoons on the main lake and secondary coves and ditches.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. Major schools of large threadfin shad have made their fall migration into the creeks and the bass are with them. Covering water with moving baits to find these schools is the best way to load the boat. Use a 3/8-ounce Lucky Craft Redemption spinnerbait with silver and gold blades and the Rat L Traps and small Shad Rap crank baits. Bass are following the baitfish to the creeks. Fish will stay around the mouths of the creeks. Mid lake fish the docks with a green Zoom mini lizard with red flakes and use this on a light Weedless Wonder lead head. Cast the bait right next to the docks and let if fall with slack line. Scroungers and jigs will also work just work baits slower. Another productive way to catch good numbers of fish is to work a 1/8-ounce Net Boy Baits Screwball head with a Wackem Crazy Baits Big Sissy worm in shad colors like glimmer shad blue ice.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.4 FEET 50’S
Bluegills are top forage species for several freshwater fish. In turn, bluegill imitations and swimbaits are a go-to for catching quality fish. Try the Duckett bluegill as it has incredibly realistic detail and a paintbrush tail that flows as it swims. It has high grade hardware, a patented Tri Claw hook, and a magnetic keeper that secures the hook. The BD Bluegill measures 3¾ inches and weighs 1.3 ounces. It’s available in a sunfish pattern as well as pumpkinseed. Square bill crank baits are now more of a niche bait. The square bill has been the fastest growing segment of the hard bait industry because they catch big bass. Square bills are the spinnerbaits for rip rap. The bill shape allows them to crawl over rocks effectively and deflect in a way that the big ones can’t resist. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.5 FEET OVER FULL, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. The bait is moving shallow and a small crank bait such as an RC 1.5 or a Strike King square bill in some form of a shad pattern is a good choice. Use the 1/2-ounce Spro Aruku Shad in chartreuse shad for covering a lot of water. Pitch and flip a Net Boy Baits Flipp’N Jig under floating docks. The jig bite has not been good but as the nights get colder get serious with the 7/16-ounce Net Boy Finesse Jig with a Zoom Pro Chunk on deeper chunk rock banks and use natural colors and anything with green in it. Spots are biting in the shallow to medium depth brush on this jig too. Another great tactic right now is a Lucky Craft jerk bait in chartreuse shad snatched on windy banks points and around boat docks. Go shallow for now anywhere from zero to 8 feet. Soon the fish will migrate to chunk rock as it gets colder. Good areas to look this time of year is the Alcovy river arm as well as the main lake down to where Tussahaw dumps in. When there are a few warm days in a row and the sun bakes on that rock, the fish will hang around. Right now, fish are following the bait into the creeks and pockets, but they will migrate out to more open water and main lake areas as it gets colder.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Surface Temperature: 62.2˚ F (16.8˚ C)
- Water Level: 62” Below Full Pool
- Water Visibility: 19”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
Water Level has continued to drop resulting in even more access along the bank. Take advantage of the increase in shoreline by locating fish attractors using the map that can be found online. The bass bite has been fair with some reports of 5 & 6 lb. catches. Most reports are coming from anglers on boats. The crappie are still biting for dedicated early morning anglers. The bream bite has been slow, but anglers are reporting 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: Be patient with sluggish bass in cold waters. Use green and yellow lures since the water is holding the algae bloom.
Bream: Anglers last reported using Red Wigglers to catch 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 ponds and lakes are full or near full
- Water clarity: 30” +. Some ponds are stained from recent runoff.
- Surface temperature: Mid 50’s degrees F. Several days of warmer weather can produce a good bite.
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: Bass fishing is slow, but some are still being taken in deeper water at this time, mostly with plastic worms and jigs. On sunny days, bass move into shallower water adjacent to cover and are a little easier for anglers to locate. You may see shad schooling later in the evening on warmer days. Typically, the bass will be feeding in these schools of shad. Crank baits, jerk baits, and spinner baits should trigger a reaction bite.
Crappie: Crappie fishing continues to be popular on the warmer days. Chartreuse, yellow and white jigs fished 6-8 feet deep have been producing some pretty good catches in Bennett and Fox Lakes. Minnows are always a go-to. You must find the depth they are at and present your bait just above them.
Bream: A few nice bluegills are being caught on the bottom in deep water with worms. Georgia Jumper worms and pink worms have been working well.
Other: A few nice hybrids have been caught in Bennett Lake on warmer days when the shad are schooling.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
It appears that bass are spread throughout both shallow and deeper water in Lake George at the moment. In shallower water they are staying near cover and wood structures. If you find those deeper fish on your sonar, you’ll will have to work for it if you want to get a bite. The crappie are spread out as well. Try focusing your efforts around submerged structures an docks. Minnows seem to be out performing jigs at the moment but it’s worth trying your luck with both bait types. The hot fish right now are really the hybrid striped bass. Anglers are pulling out some massive fish and they are putting up a good fight making them very fun to catch. Try any type of live bait. Shad, shrimp or chicken liver are just a few suggestions from some experienced anglers.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Attention: Waterfowl Hunters are allowed to hunt the PFA Wednesdays & Saturdays until noon during the season. See Hunting Regs for more details.
- Hunters & Anglers remember: Hypothermia can be a Killer so be safe out there!
The water temperatures have gone up and down a bit in the last week and the fish are a bit confused. However, once the water temps settle and the fish get acclimated, the bite should start getting better. In the cooler water temps, fish near structure using a slow presentation on either your darker colored plastic baits or shad-colored lures.
Crappie: As the water cools off now, and the crappie are trying to fatten up before it gets any colder, so try minnows and/or brightly colored jigs around the standing timber or along deeper banks to produce a bite. Also, try the fishing the pier near the picnic area where there are artificial attractors in easy casting distance as well as deeper water.
Bream: Bream fishing is slow however, if you are willing to get out and brave the cold, try some worms under a float near structure. The earthen piers and down trees may be great paces to try. Live crickets and small spinners may also produce some bites.
Catfish: Fishing for Catfish fish is slow. The upper end of the lake should still produce some bites using liver, cut bait, or shrimp fished near the bottom. For bank anglers, try near the picnic area along the deep bank and off the newly constructed fishing pier. Just remember there is very deep water and a steep bank in this area so use caution.
Stripers and Hybrids are fighting and biting as their annual feeding begins! If you want to try your luck, they seem to be around schooling baitfish in 7-12ft of water. The end of the lake towards the dam is hot spot at this time of year. Bass fishing is still going strong and with reports of bass also around baitfish in 6-12ft of water. Though keep in mind if the weather cools the bass will be moving to deeper water following the bait. Crappie bites are still good on minnows but have been found more around grass lines.
(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)
Saltwater and freshwater fishing reports have been very good with the current extended warm spell.
River gages on December 8th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 1 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 7.8 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 7.9 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 8.3 feet and falling
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 5.1 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.9 feet and falling
Several anglers I talked with said that the bass fishing has been good, but not great like it had been during the low water a month ago. The rivers have come up and have muddied. With the warm spell we’re in, expect to catch a dozen bass per trip if you know how to fish the river well. Fishing heavy cover with Texas-rigged worms should produce some bites for you. Start with dark colored worms (blacks, junebug, etc.) and adjust based on water clarity.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Fishing was much better this week with fishable winds. Several friends of mine fished a trout tournament on Saturday. They all caught lots of trout, but the only one near the top was Ed Zmarzly and a friend who placed 13th. They caught several of their better fish on plastics rigged on an 1/8-oz. Flashy Jighead. Cason Kinstle caught about 35 trout on paddle tail plastics rigged on 1/8-oz. Zombie Heads. Tommy Sweeney fished with a friend on Tuesday in the Brunswick area, and the pair caught 41 seatrout and redfish. Their biggest trout was a 16-incher. They had 13 keepers and kept 9 of them and a redfish. On the outgoing tide, they fooled them with Keitech swimbaits under floats (perch was the best color), but live shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats produced the most trout on the low and early incoming tides. An angler fishing from the bank reported that he caught a few on DOA shrimp but could not get them to hit Sea Shads or Keitechs on Tuesday. Sheepshead fishing has been hit-or-miss. I’ve gotten good reports and slow reports this week. My recommendation is just go and see if you can find 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).
I fished the swamp on Saturday afternoon for just 2 hours and caught and released 23 fish (19 bowfin and 4 pickerel). The biggest bowfin I landed was just shy of 5 pounds, but I lost an 8 or 9 pound class bowfin at the boat. The biggest jackfish was about 18 inches. I caught all but 3 of them by trolling Dura-Spins, and the best colors were jackfish and fire tiger-chartreuse blade. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.66 feet.
Chad Lee fished an Alma area pond on Saturday morning and caught 6 nice crappie, a small bass, and a giant bluegill. He was using a chartreuse Assassin Tiny Shad rigged on a 1/16-oz. jighead with a sickle hook. He also caught 3 bass (about 2 pounds apiece) by flinging a senko in a pond during his lunch break on Wednesday. A Baxley angler fished a nearby pond on both Monday and Tuesday afternoons and caught 7 crappie each evening on live minnows. Crappie have started spreading out shallow again during this warming spell.
(Fishing report courtesy of Hunter Roop, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The rain and ensuing warm spell this week should create some good fishing conditions across North Georgia as the true winter fishing patterns start to kick in. Mountain streams and rivers have received a much-needed boost from a relatively dry fall season, so increased flows and water temperatures in the mid-50s should result in some excellent fishing opportunities from our DH streams, private waters, and high-elevation trout streams. Reservoir headwaters will be muddy and are likely to send down some floating debris, so keep an extra vigilant eye out as you’re motoring to your favorite fishing hole. Fishing the mudlines, which will be a few degrees warmer when/if the sunlight can get through the heavy cloud cover, can be very productive as that slightly warmer water will attract bait and droves of predatory gamefish in hot pursuit. Fishing reports below are courtesy of Ken Sturdivant’s Southern Fishing Report, GON, Unicoi Outfitters, and reporters (i.e., anglers) from the field.
WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 3.2 FT, 50S
Bass: Bass fishing is fair. There has been some good schooling activity especially on cloudy days in Maple Creek, Wilson Creek and Whitewater Creek among other places. Try Zoom worms and football head jigs around old road beds, ditches and brush at 10 to 15 feet deep. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass. Some also can be caught around blow downs and brush piles in 10 12 feet of water on jigs. Some nice spotted bass are biting the shaky head or Carolina rigged finesse worm or mini lizard around gravel banks or shoal markers. For crank baits use the Duckett bluegill measures 3¾ inches and weighs 1.3 ounces in a sunfish pattern as well as pumpkinseed.
WEISS LAKE IS AT 3 FEET BELOW FULL POOL, MUDDY AND 53 – 55 DEGREES
All Species: Bass fishing is good and they are still on the creek and river channel ledges. Use deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish. A lot of Bass are starting to move shallow on secondary points. Crappie fishing is great. They are moving to the Coosa River channel 16 to 25 feet deep, and can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy Jigs. Some Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs. A lot of fish are starting to suspend in the river and creek channels 8 to 12 feet deep, and they can be caught long line trolling with Jiffy Jigs. Striper fishing is poor and no reports in the last few weeks. Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 15 feet of water and cut bait is working best.
LAKE HARTWELL IS 5.6 FEET BELOW FULL, 60’s
Bass: Bass fishing is good. The lake is full and the water temperature is about 61 to 62 degrees for the most part. The water clarity has been really good for the last couple of weeks. The shad are still on the move and the bass are chasing them off the points and back into the coves and creeks. Some anglers are fishing up and down the lake as the bass are scattered. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass. Use the #5 Rapala Jointed Shad Raps in the silver shad color. Try the #7 Rapala RS Shad Rap and a shad color Rapala DT10 to catch these deeper roaming bass. Some anglers are already use the spoons on the main lake and secondary coves and ditches.
Linesides: The lake has turned over and the water is clear. Temperatures are now in the upper 50’s in the morning and on a sunny day will warm up to low 60’s. This is the perfect water for stripers and hybrids. There’s oxygen throughout the water column and they can feel free to hang out in 80 feet of water or 18 inches of water. Loons and gulls are showing up and the numbers will continue to increase into December. Find the gulls and you’ll know where to target your fishing. A dead giveaway will be surfacing fish actively feeding. If you see this don’t charge directly into the school. Drop the trolling motor and try to compute an intercept course with the direction the gulls are moving. Ease up to the school and throw a Project-X X-Rig or Project-X Pearl Paddletail toward the school. Work your way up to the frenzy and once you see fish on your Simrad you can drop live baits or jig with WhoopA** Bucktails. Gulls working over Loons on the other hand can be a false indicator of stripers. Loons work just like gamefish corralling the bait into tight balls and as they feed the bait gets pushed to the surface where the gulls can easily grab a quick meal. This doesn’t mean there won’t be stripers in the area. Drop a bait around the actively working loons and give it a few minutes. No bites…move on and look for gulls that don’t have loons working under them. The lineside bite is starting to really crank up. In the past week all the fish I’ve caught have been sizeable. Hybrids easily over 5 pounds and stripers up to 18 pounds. While these sizes aren’t necessarily true monsters it’s a great sign that our lake is coming back from a few years of stressed conditions for the fish. Fish can be virtually anywhere on the lake right now backs of creeks in super shallow water or in the main river channels. You’ll have to spend a little time searching but once you find them you’ll be rewarded with a respectable catch. Start your quest in the backs of major creek arms and work your way toward the mouth. It can be a ‘hero-or-zero’ game for a while. So I suggest either trolling with a Capt. Mack’s Umbrella rig as a search tool. This way you can cover more water with a little faster speed versus painfully slow live bait trolling. Again once you see bait schools on the sonar you can decide to drop live herring or just continue trolling the umbrella rig. I haven’t needed to fish above the Seneca/Tugaloo split as there seem to be plenty of fish on the south end. Powder Bag and Lightwood Creeks on the Georgia side and Sadler’s Creek on the SC side all have good shows of fish. If you are fishing creeks try deploying at least one planer board to target the shallows close to the bank. Hybrids have no problem running the edges and you’ll likely pick up a nice spotted or largemouth bass. There’s lots of gar on the feed right now too and they will charge a slow-trolled bait behind a planer board. They are fun for a few seconds until they cut your leader. Recently the late afternoon bite about an hour before dark. The top water bite has been off the chart. It can be hit or miss depending on the cove you select. Look in coves in the major creeks and if they are there…they will show themselves pretty quickly. Also try the intersection where major creeks meet the river channel and look for humps in the 30 to 15 foot range. Also a great place to find some good top water action. Throw a MirroLure Silver/Blue or Silver/Black Top Dog or a large Chug Bug in White/Orange or White/Red and hold on. Flukes and paddletails will also produce fish. Finally if you see fish holding in the trees try dropping a Capt. Mack’s Super Spoon in Silver/Blue or Blue/White. Drop it into the trees and retrieve it pretty quickly with a stop/start tactic. You might lose a spoon here but the size of the fish makes it worth it. Get all your striper fishing gear and watch our Pro Tips for rigging planer boards down lining and more at NutsAndBoltsFishing.com If you’d like to book a fishing adventure with Capt. Cefus and Buck The Wonder Dog email Cefus@NutsAndBoltsFishing.com Capt. Cefus McRae
LAKE CHATUGE (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): Level: 7.0 down. Temp: mid 50s. Clarity: Stained.
Bass: Guide Eric Welch, of Welch’s Guide Service, reports, “Fishing is good. The lake is down at winter pool, and we’ve been having some colder weather, which has helped the water temp come down. I’ve not seen a lot of bass breaking first thing in the morning, but midday, once the sun gets up, you will start seeing the baitfish get more active. I would recommend always keeping a topwater on the front deck, I like throwing a Berkley Cane Walker, Strike King Sexy Dawg Jr. and a Lucky Craft Gunfish. With the lake being down, you can get way off some of the clay points on the main body of the lake and you will see fish stacked up 12 to 25 feet deep before it drops off to deeper water. I’ve been targeting these fish with a drop shot, using a 6-inch Roboworm or switching it up with a 3-inch minnow bait to try and match the herring that they’re feeding on. You can also catch some on a Ned rig, jig and a shaky head. This time of year is a good time to start using small swimbaits. I like throwing a Strike King 3.25-inch Rage Swimmer on a 1/4- to 5/16-oz. VMC swimbait hook. If there is some wind, you can also throw a spinnerbait or a crankbait in a 200 or 300 Series size to match the bait. This is a great time of year to take a little time and work on your electronic skills. If you have any of the forward-viewing sonars, now is the time to check out your settings. If you set it up right, you will be able to watch a jerkbait or crankbait come right over the brushpile or school of fish. Once the water temps get down to 55 degrees, it’s a good time to drag the A-rig back out. It’s really fun to watch on the Garmin Livescope. You can watch the fish chase it, and you can also pause it and watch them run into it on the screen.”
LAKE ALLATOONA IS DOWN 9.0 FEET, 50 S
Bass: Bass fishing is good. Fish are easier to locate because the bait fish are grouped tighter and fishing is easier to predict. Fish are still in the creeks but will be heading deeper at the end of the month as water temperatures drop. Scan the areas with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and find the bait schools as the key for finding the bass. The spinnerbait bite is good. Secondary wind blown points are the place to be as the temperatures start to fall through the low 50S. Now the jerk bait bite turns on. Fish points and mouths of creeks in the mid lake with a Spro McStick in the smaller and larger sizes. With the water in the low 50S and high 50s fish the bait with a quick retrieve. Some anglers are already use the spoons on the main lake and secondary coves and ditches. Try this on 10 pound test Sufix fluorocarbon line. Allow the bait to have some slack between jerks to let the bait get plenty of action. At the end of the month or sooner depending on how cold get the spoons ready. Locate bait balls and fish 8 to 12 foot leaders depending on depth of the bait.
LAKE LANIER IS DOWN 3.1 FEET, 50S
Bass: Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. I spent this week taking all my summer tackle out of the boat and putting in the winter stuff. The season is definitely changing on Lanier and the bass are changing with it. The water temperature is around fifty-eight and the lake is down approximately three feet. It’s been a few years since it has been this low so be careful out there due to the shallow water areas. The bass have begun feeding up for the winter and are catchable both shallow and deep right now. There is a good worm or jig bite on the shallow rocky points as well as docks with fifteen to twenty feet of water on the front of them. Seems every week I say a green pumpkin trick worm is working on a Shakey head, guess I need to experiment with something else, but it has been a very consistent color Multiple three eight-ounce jig colors have worked but a brown, orange and chartreuse has seemed to produce best. For the fish that have moved deep either a Spotchoker underspin with a three-inch Kietech or a spoon have been producing fish. The deep fish are still moving around in certain areas as the water temperature has not dropped low enough to lock the down so you will have to move around to stay on them. We’re working the Spotchoker on twelve- or fourteen-pound fluorocarbon just crawled along the bottom. If you think you are working it slow, slow down, Don’t set the hook hard but rather just sweep it and keep reeling. With the spoon I prefer twelve fluorocarbon with a rod that has a softer tip. This keeps you from hanging up as hard in structure and allows you to free your spoon when you do hang up. Try different rhythms with the spoon, Sometimes the bass want a quick lift and drop and sometimes they want just a subtle bounce. There are more pods of shad showing up deeper in the creeks so the bass will be following. It’s a great time to be out there since all the pleasure boats and jet skis are gone so Go Catch ‘Em!
Crappie: The water temperature is 56. Crappie can be found from 10 to 40 feet deep. The fish that have been biting are coming from 25- to 40-foot-deep brush. Docks with structure, deep blow downs, and brush piles are all holding fish. If you are using jigs we just had a big rain so I would start with a darker color combination. I am still using minnows 90% of the time. 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. We 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 Kk9 6 pound high vis line k9fishing.com and a Acc crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and the Navionics Boating app.
Stripers (courtesy of Henry Cowen): This past week fishing on Lanier was pretty darn strong. Weather has much to do with the successes seen this week. Striped bass and even some spotted bass could be seen schooling on the surface in both large and small groups. This feeding could happen anytime of the day. You just have to burn gas and find feeding fish. Size again this week has been really good with nearly all striped bass being caught, over 10lbs. Biggest fish this week topped the scales at 16lbs. As you read this report we will be coming off the full moon so I expect fishing will slow down just a little but still could enough to put a few fish in the boat. As of today we are now booking January which is one of my favorite striped bass months.
MOUNTAIN LAKE REPORT
LAKE RABUN (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Kyle Rempe):
Perch Catch Kudos Angler Jeff Smith caught this 1 lb. 8.8 oz. Yellow Perch jigging off of Lake Rabun yesterday, quite the slab!
LAKE BURTON (courtesy of GON Fishing reports): 3.5 FEET DOWN AND 50S
Bass: Guide Tyler Clore, of Georgia Cast & Blast, reports, “With the fairly mild November, we have been catching some fish up schooling in the morning on a white Super Fluke and a white SuperFish swimbait head with a 3-inch Keitech paddletail swimbait. We have been finding these bass on the humps first thing in the morning. As the day goes on, most of our fish come from brushpiles 20 to 25 feet deep using a SuperFish underspin with a white Super Fluke. On slower days, we have used shaky heads with green-pumpkin-seed finesse worms in the brush. Use your sonar to see if the fish will come up higher in the water column to feed or if they want to stay tight to the bottom.”
Other Species: Guide Tyler Clore, of Georgia Cast & Blast, reports, “We have been catching some quality yellow perch and crappie dropping medium minnows and throwing white curly tail jigs in 20 feet of water on the sides of humps. For trout, fish the channel in front of the dam with live bluebacks deep for the larger trout. Keep an eye out first thing in the morning for the smaller trout to school. The best way to catch the schooling trout is making long casts and cranking a Rapala CountDown through the schools. I prefer the black back with white sides and belly.”
BECKER’S MOUNTAIN LAKES REPORT (courtesy of Jack Becker): This week I took a friend up to the North Ga. Mountains and fished for Walleye, Perch & Pickerel in a small Ga Power Lake that is known to have all 3. The water temperature was 52.7 degrees. The air temperature was 37 when we arrived but only 1 mph winds made it bearable. I spent the first hour on the upper end of the lake using my Humminbird Helix to find isolated weed beds in 10 to 15 feet of water. Once we found the weeds, we saw a lot of fish on 2D sonar relating to the bottom along the deeper edges. We never left the weed line. In a 50-yard stretch we ended up catching 11 pickerel and 3 perch on live bait. My friend caught his first yellow perch, and it was big enough to qualify for the Georgia Angler Award. We didn’t find the Walleye, but we caught enough perch for dinner and the pickerel put up a good fight. -Jack Becker Gainesville
Chattahoochee DH Bucket Brigade (courtesy of WRD Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop): We need all the assistance of our WRD volunteers to help stock delayed harvest trout in the Chattahoochee River just in time for the holidays! Our second Delayed Harvest bucket stocking at White Water Creek on the Chattahoochee River will be Wednesday, December 28. The stocking truck should be ready to unload around 11:00 AM, and volunteers should bring a 5-gallon bucket, waders, and a signed copy of the WRD adult or minor liability waiver form. These events are great for kids to have a chance to help get trout in the water and catch a few once all the fish are stocked. We look forward to seeing you all on the 28th, and a special thanks to everyone who came out to the Thanksgiving stocking! If anyone has questions, please contact our office at 770-535-5498.
Lanier Tailwater Trout (courtesy of Orvis Fishing Reports): Lake turnover on Lanier is almost complete and the water is starting to clear. The further south on the tailwater you go, the more fresh water will be provided to the main stream from feeder streams. The wild brown trout are beginning to feed more actively as the days become shorter and we approach fall spawning season. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has discontinued their weekly stocking program for the year and will only stock the tailwater once per month until spring. Delayed Harvest stocking has begun south of Morgan Falls Dam and is fishing quite productively. If you have any questions at all, feel free to come in and we will be happy to get you set up! For the Chattahoochee, state regulations require a certified personal flotation devise be worn by all anglers from Buford dam south to highway 20. Pay special attention to water release info online or call the number below for release schedules. Make sure to call the Corp of Engineers release hotline at 770-945-1466 before making your trip.
Tips: Streamer fishing is a great way to fish and possibly catch a huge brown. 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.
Slow Day is Still a Good Day: Check out this video by MadFishiSkillz and UCCTU’s Bruce. His trip shows that even a “slow” day on the ‘Hooch’ is rewarding, and there’s always a chance to coax a big, buttery surprise to the net!
Trout Delayed Harvest Report:
Five-Rivers Jay and his compadre Charlie found the fish on an subtly undisclosed Northeast GA DH stream this week. The recent rain and warm spells have recharged river flows and trout are active as water temperatures are in the ideal range for winter trout fishing. Toss the junk flies in favor of natural patterns like micro stones, pheasant tails, or the disco midge—these fish have become educated over the past couple of weeks and are pickier as they acclimate to their natural “raceways.”
Cohutta Tumlin also reports “I started the day off on my favorite Ga. DH stream. The water was high & fast, but I knew a couple of safe spots that held fish. After playing with a few stockers using a Girdle-bug, I went to check on some of the wild trout streams. It sure was good to see water in them again. A small black stone fly & Pheasant Tail worked on the wild ones. It rained some, but that did not affect the trout!”
Chattahoochee DH frequenter Ron W reported “I stopped by Paces Mill again last Tuesday after my morning rounds. I fished from 12 -1, starting just above the ramp and working down to just below the big rock. I wanted to see how my new wool head sculpin fished and I can say it fished well. 1st cast landed me a “snit” rainbow who chased the Sculp 12′ across the current and then smashed it about 6′ away from me. It was a pretty cool 1st eat on a new fly I tied. I ended up with 2 more bows to hand and just as many LDR’s as I swung and stripped the streamer while working downstream. I’d say it was a productive and successful hour of Hydrotherapy which put me in the right mindset to go home and tackle a mound of emails.”
All Things Trout: Once it has reached a proper internal temperature of 165 °F, Dredger’s UO blog will be piping hot with the latest trout intel and helpful suggestions to improve your fishing success. Be sure to check out the most recent posts HERE.
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.