What part of Georgia do you think about if someone said, “Hey, let’s go trout fishing”? North Georgia, right? And, for the most part – that is correct. Georgia offers some great trout fishing opportunities in the northern part of the state (find out more HERE). BUT, we have some fun news for those that might live or visit a little geographically lower – Trout Fishing in Middle Georgia. WHAT? For a limited amount of time you can catch trout in Perry, Georgia at a location right off I-75.
Trout were recently stocked in the Go Fish Education Center Casting Pond and are ready for some “catch and release” action between now and the end of February. And, in March 2023, you can come harvest trout Friday – Sunday (valid fishing license and trout license required if age 16 or older).
NEWS TO KNOW
- Still Need a Great Holiday Gift Idea? No need to go to the store – gift them a hunting or fishing (or combo) license to help them enjoy the wild places they love. More info HERE.
- Shad Season Starts Jan. 1: Commercial fishermen can take to the water beginning at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2023, to take advantage of the opening day of shad season. Find out more HERE.
This week, we have fishing reports from North, Central, Southwest and Southeast Georgia. Whether you choose to trout fish or otherwise, we are just glad that you Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Anthony Rabern, Fisheries Biologist and NE GA Fisheries Region Supervisor with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Fishing is a fun, family-friendly activity, but it can be intimidating for those who are new to the sport. If you are new to fishing, then we recommend the following websites which contain a wealth of useful information to get you started on your fishing adventure:
- Take Me Fishing: The Take Me Fishing website has All the Fishing Resources You Need in One Place – no matter where you live in the US!
- American Sportfishing Association: The American Sportfishing Association looks out for the interests of the sportfishing industry and the entire recreational fishing community.
- Need a Place to Fish? Just to name a few – check out a Georgia DNR State Park lake or stream near you, or a Georgia DNR Public Fishing Area. Want to explore more? Use our Interactive Fishing Map to help target your next favorite fishing hole.
Kids Fishing Event Prep Work: North Georgia Fisheries staff have been busy stocking channel catfish into numerous small lakes and ponds across north Georgia in preparation for 2023’s kids fishing events (KFEs). Many KFEs are held around the state throughout the year, with the majority of them taking place in the spring and summer. KFE’s take place in locations where kids are likely to catch fish, and these heavy stockings definitely help! Find out more about KFE’s, locations, dates, and other child-friendly fishing opportunities HERE.
- Need a Post-Christmas Activity? If you are looking for a fun family activity after Christmas, then consider helping our staff stock trout downstream of Morgan Falls Dam on Wednesday, December 28. The stocking truck should be ready to unload trout 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. This event is a great opportunity for families to help put trout in the river and then catch a few after all the fish are stocked. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 770-535-5498.
Below are the latest tricks and tips from the reservoir fishing experts – courtesy of contributors to Southern Fishing Report and Georgia Outdoor News.
Bass (Report courtesy of Allatoona tournament bass angler Matt Driver) — Bass fishing is good. Water temps are starting to drop into the mid-50’s and will be in the low 50s to upper 40s by the end of the month. There are two patterns to follow in December. Suspended bass and deeper, bottom hugging bass. For suspended fish, stay in the main lake around points and bluff walls. The bass tend to key in on the 10 to 14 foot range. Our favorite techniques are the jerk bait. We use several jerk baits that run at different depths. The Mega Bass 110, the Pointer 100 and the Strike King KVD in the 200 and 300. Start off fast and slow down until we start getting bit. A lot of time the hit comes during the pause. Lighter line allows to get the bait deeper. Use 5 to 10 pound Sunline fluorocarbon. The Alabama rig is the Picasso bait ball. Downsize the baits in the winter. Try a 3 inch paddle tail. Make long casts, count it down to 10, and slow roll it back. For the bass holding tight to the bottom, use the 3/8 Little Spotty by Picasso. The green pumpkin amber is my go to color. The key is a slow retrieve. Feel every rock on the bottom. Try the medium heavy Shimano Expired 7 foot jig rod and 12 pound test Sunline fluorocarbon line. Fish main lake points and parallel bluff walls. Concentrate on areas north of Bethany Bridge. Fish the mouth of Stamp and McCaskey and up to the mouth of Illinois Creek.
Linesides (Report courtesy of Robert Eidson www.firstbiteguideservice.com) — The fall bite is in full swing. Flatlines, planer boards, downlines, umbrella rigs and spoons are all working well. The northern end of the lake is fishing best. The bigger fish are coming from Victoria up to Fields Landing. I’ve been fishing big shad and trout fished on planer boards and flatlines early in the morning and then again late in the evening. The bigger number of hybrids and white bass are coming mid-lake from Victoria to Stamp Creek. Downlining threadfin shad and shiners is your best bet for quantity. All the flats mid-lake are holding fish at sunup. Once the sun gets up, swap over to Mini Mack rigs and spoons. This November is probably the best I’ve seen in the last three to four years. We’re looking for big things going into December. Hopefully the big fish will show up in better numbers this year.
Crappie: Jeff “Crappieman” Albright reports, “Red Rooster Jigs are doing their thing again. Orange body / blue tail (reverse Albright Special ) is an excellent color combo as well as black & blue pink razor.”
LAKE BLUE RIDGE
Bass (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) – Bass are on the points 20 to 30 feet deep crashing bait on the surface and holding deep on rockpiles in 40 feet of water. We are catching them on vertical offerings while walleye fishing, but I’m sure anything will work. They are liking the chrome or green spoons and lures.
Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports catching spotted bass on shaky heads like the Picasso Rhino Head in 3/16-oz with a Softy Lures finesse worm. This bite will continue to be fairly strong through the winter out on long points, humps and breaklines with cover in the 20- to 35-foot depths. Even though the weather hasn’t been typical for us this fall, the baitfish haven’t waited to move deeper and into ditches and creek channels. One of the best baits for these fish that are following baitfish is the old and reliable 3/4-oz. jigging spoon, like a Hopkins or Georgia Blade’s jigging spoon. These fish can be caught around bait anywhere from 20 to 60 feet deep, and it doesn’t matter how deep the bottom is. Other lures like an underspin in 3/8- or 1/2-oz., as well as blade baits, like the Silver Buddy or a tail spinner like the new Jackall Deracoup will put fish in the boat as well. December has traditionally been the best month for a jig for me. My favorite is the Picasso Little Spotty tungsten football jig in any of their crawfish imitation colors tipped with a Zoom Creepy Crawler twin tail. Even though deep water gets lots of attention during December and on through the winter, nasty weather with rain, sleet or snow has a way of moving the big spots up shallow, and techniques like the Float-n-Fly can produce some big catches. Add a little wind and it can get really miserable out on Carters, but a spinnerbait and a jerkbait can pay huge dividends with big spotted bass.
Linesides (Report courtesy of guide Eric Crowley via GON’s Fishing Report) — The striper bite has been decent, with some quality-sized fish being caught on planers early in the morning and downlines after sunup. Look for fish in Worley Creek, around the big island and near the beach. I like my baits 50 to 60 feet behind my boards, and currently we are fishing downlines 40 to 60 feet deep. Live shad, trout or big shiners are good bait choices right now. Dress warm, and we will see you on the water.
Bass — Ken Sturdivant reports that bass fishing is good. Try the Tugaloo River area both north and south of the I-85 Bridge. In the first part of the mornings fish the back part of the creek arms and main lake pockets shallow with a buzz bait. This bite has been the strongest for the first couple of hours, but we continued to throw it throughout the day. This pattern isn’t catching a lot of numbers but the quality of the fish is good. Fish out of the wind and in the sun. Now fish with the buzz bait, jerk bait, square bill crank bait, jig and a shaky head. As the sun gets up slow down, use the jig and shaky head worm in a green pumpkin color. Bait is a key factor in the fall as the fish ready for colder weather. This is where the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology will pay off. Anglers will see these bait schools from great distances cutting the search time way down.
Linesides (Report courtesy of Captain Mack www.captmacks.com) — Lineside fishing is pretty good, perhaps a little inconsistent, and versatility remains the key. Plan to use a variety of techniques, free lines, planer boards, down lines with some casting opportunities. Stealth trolling is also a good technique and is gaining strength with the cooler water temps. I think overall the down line is the most productive technique, with Trout and Herring both producing well. Look for the fish to be roaming around deep bait schools in creeks and drains adjacent to channels. 40 to 50 feet has been a good depth to start searching for bait and fish. Once you find the bait, deploy the spread and spot lock, or move slowly around the area until you see the fish. Moving allows you to saturate an area more effectively and gives you the opportunity to mix Mini’s or other artificial and trolling baits into the spread. You can always hit the Spot Lock when you get the boat on top of the fish. If you spend 20 to 30 minutes in an area and are not catching fish, move onto the next place. Big Trout and Gizzards on the free lines and planers are also catching fish. There are also a few fish roaming shallow humps of up tight on points that will respond to casting baits. Casting Mini Macks have a great application here, target humps or points 5 to 20 feet. Swim baits will still get a few bites, and maybe even a topwater bait. High Saturation is the key, and low light, wind and clouds will generally make this pattern stronger.
Stripers & Bass (Report by our friend Jack Becker) — Back out on the North end of Lanier this week. I found loons and a lot of bait in the back of a creek. Started using planer boards, redi-bobbers & down lines with a mix of bluebacks & small trout. The first day produced 7 Stripers no Spots. Best day of the year on Stripers for me. All fish were caught on live trout fished 20’ behind planner boards, no weight. No bites on down rods. Trolling at .3 mph. The next day produced 5 nice Spots, no Stripers. Again, all fish came on small trout and on planer boards. Water temperature was 56.9 degrees.
Linesides: Guide Jeremy Seabolt reports that fishing has been OK for all the crazy weather we have had. We have been catching most of our fish on large herring and shad in the creeks and on long points that get sun first thing in the mornings. We are still catching fish over deep water on downlines 25 to 30 feet deep. Later in the morning, there are some nice schooling fish still holding deep. Captain Mack’s u-rigs pulled around 80 feet back have also been performing well. If the weather turns off cold, we will start switching over to trout pulled on boards. Most of the fish will be feeding up for the winter. Trout are some awesome baits to be pulling in the cool water. We will also be starting to throw bucktails up on the rocks and long points. In December, staying up on the bait pods is key for catching fish. When you find the bait clouds, start pulling baits around that area. Don’t forget The Bait Shack on Nottely has all your striper live bait needs. We at Lake Nottely Fishing Charter wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy fishing.
Bass: Guide and tournament pro Mike Carter reports that the bass bite has gotten a lot more aggressive with the cooler temps. Covering a lot of shallow points close to deeper areas can produce some solid action, especially with those aggressive Coosa spots are common on Weiss. Lures like 1/2-oz. Rat-L-Traps, MR6s and Echo crankbaits will be the main producers for these areas. On warmer days, move up into some of the shallower flats and fish a Choo Choo Shaker and spinnerbait. This can also produce some solid action with some quality largemouth this lake holds. Get out and enjoy some aggressive late fall and winter fishing.
Crappie: Guide Mark Collins reports that the crappie fishing is good on Weiss in December. They are on deeper cover in 14 to 20 feet of water. This time of year look for crappie on the main Coosa River channel ledges from Cedar Bluff to Leesburg. Spider rigging over brush and the river channel ledges with live minnows and jigs is catching fish. Longline trolling with jigs is starting to turn on, as some fish are starting to suspend in the river and creek channels. Shooting docks with jigs is also producing some fish—start to concentrate more on the docks close to deep water.
WEST POINT LAKE
Bass: Guide Keith Hudson reports that the bass fishing is good. Baits such as flukes, Rat-L-Traps, squarebill crankbaits and ChatterBaits are catching shallow water fish. Try to fish these baits in coves and pockets that have small feeder creeks and structure, and a key is to find schools of shallow baitfish. Also you can fish the open water in the pockets with a Flash Mob Jr. Keep a jig or shaky head handy to pitch around any wood cover that is still in the water. Fishing rip-rap with a jig can also produce good results this time of year. Big schools of spotted bass mixed with hybrids, white bass and stripers can be caught on jigging spoons, drop-shot rigs and shaky head rigs on flats, humps and drop-offs. Finding the big schools of deep bait is the key. For more spots, target deeper offshore structure like brushpiles and old roadbeds in 20 to 30 feet of water near the mouths of major creeks or in the main river south of Highland.
Linesides: The downline bite is good using shad or bass shiners for bait. Most of the fish seem to be holding 20 to 30 feet deep when they are not schooling on the surface. The mouths of most creeks anywhere south of the Highland Marina area all the way to the dam and in Maple Creek have been holding fish. Topwater fishing for hybrids, striped bass and white bass can be sporadic in December. It’s usually best very early and very late, or on overcast or rainy days. Gulls and loons usually show up strong in December, which makes it easier to pinpoint schooling stripers. Keep your eyes open! A popping-cork rig has still been working at times on schooling 1- to 3-lb. fish, with an occasional bigger one mixed in. A 3/8- or 1/2-oz. white Rooster Tail, a chrome C.C. Spoon and a number of other small shad imitators have also been producing. Try a big Redfin or a Pencil Popper topwater plug—you’ll get less hits, but bigger fish. The colder it gets the more consistent the fishing usually is.
Delayed Harvest: The Delayed Harvest streams are fishing well. Dropping a bright nymph in a squirmy or egg pattern can be productive this time of year, or for the highly educated, natural patterns will be more productive. More fish stocking is planned for these streams over the next two weeks.
From the Dredger Archives: Tips to Take Note
- Dress for Success. Scroll down this document to find a few of Dredger’s December attire tips that are good ‘til March.
- Help with Cold Hands! Got Hot Hands and sweat bands?
- Droppahs 101: Tis the season of multi-fly rigs and this Rio video might help a lot of our new trouters to rig right for higher catch rates in the months to come.
Parting Trout Note: To learn about Georgia’s diverse trout fishing opportunities including the latest stocking information, check out the Georgia DNR Trout Fishing page. Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia? Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports the trout hatchery and wild trout programs of DNR.
(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. Fish halfway up in the rivers and especially areas that hold rock and wood. Try to avoid the stained to muddy water this week. This week fish early and late for a week. Bass throughout their respective ranges follow baitfish into shallow water that most anglers overlook. Watch the Game and Fish Forecaster to dictate the best time each day to fish fast and fish slowly. Crank baits that have a tight wobble work well in cold water. This combination will work on and off all winter long especially on sunny days. Take along a small jig or worm to fish the wood cover well. Good baits to use this week include Rapala DT10, small Shad Raps, Lucky Craft 1/4- and 3/8-ounce white spinner baits and be sure to have a 1/4-ounce dark jig handy.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 5.2 FEET, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. The blue backs are in schools up and down the lake. Colored to stained water can be found up in the rivers and creeks due to rain. This will clear up some during the week. Shad Raps and small Rat L Traps are the best baits but use light line. Fish along the channel ledges on the deep side of the main lake points. Also try a slow rolling 1/2-ounce spinner bait along any lay-down trees. Fish in ten to twenty feet of water most of the day. The windblown banks and points will be the better ones to fish especially those that get the early morning sun. Fish each area thoroughly and make several presentations in each area. The slower the bait is fished the better.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. Look for docks that still have 3 plus feet of water under them in the mouths of coves and fish them with a shaky head. Spinner baits fished mid-creek and out will also produce fish. White and chartreuse have been the best colors. The spoon bite is kicking in so work the middle of the coves in 20 to 40 of water. Shad Raps fished around docks and rip rap will draw a strike mid-day. Spinner baits in all white skirt and gold blades fished along the bridge rip rap will work. This has been especially good when Georgia Power is pulling water. The jig bite is good on wood structure in the middle of the main lake coves and pockets. Docks as well as down trees will produce with the jigs and use the blues and black combinations.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.5 FEET, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. Watch the Fish and Game Forecaster and use the bigger baits when the peaks occur. Fish shallow especially during a full moon. Bass throughout their respective ranges follow baitfish into shallow water that most anglers overlook. Anglers can see these bait schools from great distances cutting the search time way down. The best patterns seem to work for only short periods of time before the angler is forced to again change tactics. The one constant is that a school of fish or an area with scattered bass must be worked slow and methodically. There may be only one or two active fish in a group of dormant bass, and patiently saturating the area with many casts is the best option. Riprap along the bridges and trestle in Little River is producing bass nearly every day with crank baits and jigs. Try a Shad Rap RS or jointed Shad Rap in fire tiger and silver blue. Retrieve the bait very slowly parallel to the rocks. A one or two second pause every few seconds during the retrieve can draw the interest of a sluggish fish. Also try a deeper running crank bait like a Rapala DT10 or a ½ ounce Fat Free Shad. Use the lightest weight possible for the conditions. A ¼ to 3/8-ounce jig will more easily slide across the rocks and fall slower than heavier baits. Try a Zoom Pro Chunk or Super Chunk Jr. in blue or green pumpkin as a trailer on the jig.
LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 1.0 FEET, 50’S
Bass fishing is fair. Main river points, humps, and flats are holding groups of fish that will usually feed some every day. Depths are ranging from 10 to over 20 feet deep. These fish are normally holding on the sides of the structures along a fast tapering drop off. Use a jigging spoon like a .6 Flex It, Carolina rig, drop shot rig, jig head and worm and a dark jig. Docks and boat houses are producing a few fish. Look for docks located very near deep water that have lots of brush under and near them. Small to medium crank baits and lightweight jigs are the primary baits during winter. Some bass are also showing up along the rocky bluff banks up the rivers. Crank baits and jigs are the most reliable baits to use. The weather has the shad schools well bunched up and these baits will continue to gather as the bait starts to school up in larger and tighter schools. This is where the Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology will pay off. Anglers will see these bait schools from great distances cutting the search time way down.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Fish movements are a bit off recently due to the draw down but the crappie bite at Lake Blackshear is hot. The fish are holding in about 20’ of water but move to around 8’ later in the day. Try focusing on underwater brush and structure or near pears and pilings. Live bait or small jigs should work well for you. One angler suggested downsizing your jig to get the strike and a big payoff. Many fishermen are bringing in piles of crappie and blue gill so get out there and try your hand at it. The hybrid bass bite is also exciting this time of year. Be sure to look for other wildlife such as gulls indicating where prey fish are to find those fish that tend to be more pelagic in nature. And don’t forget about the catfish! Flathead and channel cats are biting all the time on Blackshear, any smelly bait such as cut bait, chicken liver, worms, and hot dogs should get the job done. The lake is a bit muddy and stained after the recent rain so keep an eye out for obstacles and be safe out there. The lake has started refilling after this most recent draw down so we should be seeing the fish start return to their normal patterns.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Surface temps are in the low 60’s, and the water is 18 inches below normal levels. The cool weather has made the fishing at Silver Lake PFA unpredictable these last few days. Most fish are holding on deep structure, but some are moving shallow as the afternoon sun warms the water. Deep running cranks and jigs are seeing the most action. A slow presentation is key no matter what bait you choose.
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
Bass fishing is still good on George. The fish are schooling together spread out over the lake right now. 10 ½ inch worms in red flake are being productive as are frogs in shad patterns. You can also find success with jigs, jigging spoons and Silver Buddies. A great option for bass fishing is a lipless crank bait or a suspended jerk bait. In the afternoon fishing tends to slow down so have those Carolina rigs ready. The hybrid striped bass fishing is still hot. These fish are so big they are almost square. They are putting up a big fight and anglers ae having the time of their lives reeling them in. Try any type of live bait. Shad, shrimp or chicken liver are just a few suggestions from some experienced anglers.
The striper and hybrid bass bite are picking up. Stay focused on the southern end of the lake near the dam and look for these fun fighters in 7-12ft of water. Try using gull and other bird action on the surface to indicate where schooling baitfish are hanging out and you are likely to find your target species in the area as well. Bass fishing is still a good bet at Lake Seminole as well. The fish continue to be in about 6-12 feet of water. As the temperatures continue to drop the bass will move to deeper water so keep that in mind as you search for a bite.
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 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.
(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 winds laid down last week and through the weekend, and saltwater reports were good. With the coming extended cold snap, the fish will be in their winter pattern going into the Christmas weekend.
River gages on December 15th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 5.2 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 6.6 feet and rising
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 8.7 feet and steady
- Waycross on the Satilla – 6.6 feet and rising
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 5.5 feet and rising
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.7 feet and falling
New Moon is December 23rd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
I did not receive any reports this week, but the upcoming cold snap will hit the shallow waters of the swamp harder and more quickly than the deeper rivers and lakes. The dropping temperatures will slow the bite this weekend. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.60 feet.
Bass reports were very good this week. The best report I heard was an angler who caught several dozen bass with the largest one about 8 pounds. Another angler reported a good catch with a dozen smaller bass. Crappie fishing was good, as well. An angler pitched popsicle-colored plastics in the slack water areas to fool a dozen good specks on Saturday. Brentz McGhin and a friend fished the lower river on Wednesday and had a good day. They caught a mixed bag of 47 fish that included crappie, bluegills, bass, warmouth, flier, chain pickerel, and bowfin. They used curly-tailed grubs and 2-inch Keitech swimbaits on 1/16-oz. Flashy Jigheads and Zombie Heads and bounced them along the bottom and around tree-tops. The best colors were chartreuse pearl, popsicle, sight flash, and green pumpkin-chartreuse.
Crappie fishing was excellent this week. An angler fished an area pond on Thursday and Friday and caught his limit of 30 crappie each day, and some of them were really nice fish – well over a pound. He spider-rigged Tennessee Shad 1/16-oz. Specktacular Jigs tipped with minnows for all of his fish. He caught them in the middle part of the pond. The fish had moved out of the deeper water with the extended warming trend. A Blackshear angler fished a local pond on Saturday and caught 22 nice crappie. He set his minimum at 11 3/4 inches and kept 15 fish. He had 2 fish over 2 pounds apiece. All of his fish were fooled with live minnows. Chad Lee fished an Alma area pond on Sunday afternoon for just a half-hour and caught 6 crappie averaging 12 inches each. He fooled them by casting black/chartreuse Assasssin Tiny Shads rigged on 1/16-oz. Capt. Bert’s jigheads (with a sickle hook). On Monday, Chad caught 5 bass on his lunch break from a local pond by flinging bladed jigs. Those bass were all between a pound and 3 pounds. On Thursday, he caught 2 2-pounders on Senkos during his lunch break.
OCMULGEE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Hawkinsville, more info HERE)
Crappie fishing has been really good at the area. Many anglers reported catching 15 to 30 fish per trip with some slabs included. Walter Bray of Warner Robins recently had his new PFA record crappie certified. His monster pulled the scales down to 2-lb., 9-oz.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Winds allowed saltwater fishing pretty much all week and reports reflected the improved weather. A St. Marys angler fished late last week and did well for trout and reds in the main river and Intracoastal Waterway, but the fish were scattered. He and his wife caught most of their fish on live shrimp, but they caught a few on artificials. Water temperatures were slightly over 60 degrees at Crooked River on Saturday, as my son (Timothy) and I gave it a try that morning. We ended up catching 23 seatrout and a bull whiting during the cloudy, foggy morning. Most of them hit electric chicken 4-inch Keitech swimbaits under an Equalizer Float, but a few bit live shrimp skewered on an 1/8-oz. Shrimp Hook and suspended under a 3-inch cigar-shaped Cajun Thunder Float. Our biggest was 16 1/2-inches, and we had 4 keepers (kept 2). The water was as clear as I have seen it this fall. Tommy Sweeney and a friend fished the Brunswick area on Saturday and caught 10 trout (2 keepers) on live shrimp. On Sunday afternoon, Don Harrison fished the Brunswick area with a friend for a couple hours and struggled to find the fish. They looked for about the first hour without a bite, but then found a shell bank that was holding some trout in 4 to 8 feet of water. They caught their first couple fish on silver mullet Assassin Sea Shads but then the rest of their 9 trout came on a 3-inch blue-chartreuse Keitech swimbait rigged on an 1/8-oz. pink-blue eye Zombie Head. The fish were finicky and wanted the smaller offering. Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) had great trips the first three days this week, catching lots of reds and trout. The trout were everywhere from shallow to 20 feet deep. They caught them well on Keitech Easy Shiner swimbaits. The redfish were around oyster bars, docks, and submerged cover and ate live shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats and some plastics. The reds ate plastics with a chartreuse head or tail and worked slowly. He said that the key was that when you thought you were working it slowly, then slow down some more. 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).
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