While solitary fishing trips can certainly be enjoyable, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division encourages you to take someone with you when you can. It is such a great way to be involved with family and friends, giving you a time to connect and a chance to get away from every day worries. And even a chance to put down the cell phone – except to take those brag-worthy fun photos.
Where would you go and who would you take if they were going fishing for the first time? A few suggestions include Georgia Public Fishing Areas and Georgia State Parks. These areas include great fishing, amenities (like parking, restrooms) and other activities (like hiking, archery, etc.) to help everyone have a full, enjoyable day!
NEWS TO KNOW:
- Fish and Learn (April 28-30): Children, ages 8–15, and their guardians are invited to a weekend of learning about fishing through our Fish-n-Learn Education Program. Classes will include Equipment and Casting Techniques, Regulations, Biology and Habitat, and more. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time set aside for fishing! Find out more and reserve your spot HERE.
- Fish Art Contest Closing on Tuesday: If you have youth working on their State Fish Art entries, be sure to get those finalized as the deadline to submit is Feb. 28, 2023. Find out more HERE and HERE.
Applause Applause – Congrats! A number of Georgia Fisheries Management staff helped organize and attended the annual meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. The meeting is an opportunity for fisheries professionals and students from around the state to present and discuss fisheries research and management topics. This year’s meeting focused on the importance of building strong alliances to support and enhance fisheries science and conservation efforts. At this year’s annual Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting, Emilia Omerberg received the Fisheries Management Professional of the Year Award and Anthony Rabern and Bert Deener were both presented with Career Contribution Awards for their numerous and significant contributions towards the advancement of fisheries research and management in Georgia over the course of their careers. As readers of the blog, you may recognize all 3 of those names – Emilia Omerberg, Anthony Rabern and Bert Deener for their many contributions to great fishing info!
- Spring Harvest Month at Go Fish Education Center: March begins Spring Harvest Month at the Go Fish Education Center. Plan a visit to the casting pond to harvest and take home rainbow trout, catfish and bluegill. More info HERE.
This week, we have fishing reports from Southeast, North, Central and Southwest Georgia. Grab a friend or a family member and get out there to 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)
Spring has sprung in a big way this week. This sustained warm spell is exactly what was needed to spur a good bite. Most rivers in southeast Georgia are still high, but the flatwater bite (especially Okefenokee Swamp) has been excellent. This coming weekend appears to be a good time to cash in your work-around-the-houese credits and hit the water.
River gages on February 23rd were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 14.0 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 9.3 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 11.5 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 13.5 feet and falling
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 14.9 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.4 feet and falling
First quarter moon is February 27th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.
The Ocmulgee River is full bank, and the Altamaha is flowing through the woods pretty much everywhere again this week. I wouldn’t fish either this weekend. Find some flat water.
Nope. The river is still way in the floodplain. Find a good flat-water place to fish.
ST. MARYS RIVER
The river is fishable. Catfish would be your best bet, but you could probably find a few cooperative panfish with the warm weather. The first Shady Bream Tournament Trail event is scheduled for March 18th out of the Traders Hill ramp. Check them out on Facebook (Shady Bream Tournaments) if you are interested in more information.
The swamp bite has been GREAT for the last few weeks. On Friday, Dr. Robert Bringolf of Athens fished with a friend on the east side for just a few hours in the evening. They caught a 4-pound bowfin casting a fire tiger Dura-Spin, and the fliers were biting well by pitching sallies. They flipped pink, white, and yellow sallies on bream busters for the majority of the evening and caught 48 fliers up to 8 inches. They were suspending the flies under a small balsa float. On Sunday afternoon, Chuck Dean fished with a friend out of the Folkston entrance, and they trolled Dura-Spins for the two hours they had before off-water time. They had 16 fish (4 pickerel to 19 inches and 12 bowfin to 4 pounds) on fire tiger-chartreuse blade, crawfish-orange blade, and jackfish Dura-Spins. They said that the parking lot was full on the holiday weekend, and the waterway was very busy with kayaks, canoes, and motorboats. On Monday, Ray McMillan and Cole Crawford fished crawfish-brass blade Dura-Spins on the east side and caught 20 fish, including a giant for Ray. His bowfin pulled the scales down to 12 pounds! Capt. Tim Cutting and his friend Tom from Pennsylvania fished with me on the east side on Tuesday. Both of them caught their first fliers by pitching yellow and pink sallies under a float. They’re both fly anglers, so they were experts at flipping around the little flies on a bream buster. They ended up catching 9 fliers then we focused on bowfin. Trolling black/chartreuse-chartreuse blade and jackfish Dura-Spins produced bowfin. Tim’s 10-lb., 4-oz. behemoth was the big fish of the trip, but Tom’s 9-lb., 13-oz. fish wasn’t far behind. Casting worked later in the afternoon, and we ended up with 24 bowfin trolling and 9 casting. A couple other anglers said that they had caught 2 warmouth and a bowfin that day. Tim Corey and a friend fished the east side on Thursday afternoon for 3 hours and caught 54 fish (2 pickerel to 17 inches and the rest bowfin). Dura-Spins produced all of their fish, and the best colors were fire tiger-chartreuse blade and orange blade, and electric chicken-chartreuse blade. They caught everything on those colors because the fish kept biting them, and they never changed. Their biggest fish was a 10-lb., 3-oz. behemoth. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.72 feet.
Ty Hardison fished a pond on Wednesday and caught some nice bass. They were still out in the deeper areas, and he fooled the biggest, a 6-lb., 11-oz. toad, with a white spinnerbait. I received reports of crappie on the banks spawning in some areas, and them still staging just offshore at other ponds. You can’t go wrong for crappie right now.
DODGE COUNTY PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Eastman, more info HERE)
Anglers caught some nice crappie and bass at the area this week. One boat angler caught 3 bass that weighed 13 pounds. His biggest was a 6 1/2-pounder, and he caught it on a crankbait. Bank anglers have been using live bait to catch bass and crappie.
PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (near Tifton, more info HERE)
Bass have moved shallow to spawn at the area. Anglers caught quite a few bluegills from the fishing pier on Lake Patrick on Wednesday evening. Staff conducted electrofishing samples on the area this week and saw a bunch of really fat pre-spawn bass. Their biggest was approaching 10 pounds.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) fished with Tom on Friday and floated shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats for lots of fish, including flounder, reds, black drum, and sheepshead. They kept the pole bent a good part of the day and released all of their fish. This week winds have been crazy-strong for most of the day, and that has kept folks off the big water. Blake Edwards fought the wind for a few hours on Monday before calling it. He had 4 short trout by casting plastics. When you can’t hold the boat in the wind and tide when it’s on speed 10 of 10 it’s a tough day! Creeks are still producing lots of redfish, and the trout will start moving out of their winter holes with this warm-up. Sheepshead catches from piers have been the most consistent bites in the wind this week. 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 Kyle Rempe, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Lake Hartwell Bass: (courtesy of Brad Fowler; report via SCDNR Freshwater Fishing Trends and Angler’s Headquarters): Guide Brad Fowler reports that in February the best bet is to target deep water with drop shot rigs, blade runners or football jigs. Underspins can also work well. Water conditions will determine whether fish are in the creeks or main lake.
Lake Lanier Bass (courtesy of Captain Mack, Captain Mack’s): The Bass activity mirrors the Stripers in that it is all over the place depth wise. There are still Bass holding in the deeper ditches. There are also Bass pulling up into shallow drains or onto rocks and points. I do think the shallow patterns are best in the prefrontal conditions as would be expected, and better up in the creeks or in up lake areas. It looks like this last big rain dump will blow out many creek backs and the river arms for a couple of days. Remember, after that water has a chance to moderate and warm next week, that may create some good opportunities. Until then, try and use the mud lines to your advantage.
Swim baits in the ditches are still a very good pattern, and I think the fish holding in the deeper ditches will be less affected by the weather fluctuations. Many of these ditches are also not live creeks and will be less likely to have big influxes of muddy water. The Keitech and the Prodigy Swim baits have been remain staples on this pattern. Work the ditches thoroughly, starting in 50 feet, and fishing your way into the back. Look for fish in the center of the drain, or on the sides, especially steeper areas. Some of the Bass are still really glued to the bottom so look for that subtle mark on the sonar that may be a couple of fish. Once you start fishing or hook a fish look for others in the area to come over to see what is going on. Jigs, Damikis, and spoons may also be applicable to this pattern.
Lanier Striper (courtesy of Buck Cannon, Bucktail Guide Service report via Ken Sturdivant, Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant): Lake Lanier stripers are beginning to look for large schools of bait so they can pack on the weight for their move up the rivers. Flat lines, planer boards and trolling mini macs and umbrella rigs should cover the method. Blue backs, gizzard shad are the bait of choice. Watch for birds and your electronics and once you’re ready put out your spread. Remember to wear your life jackets.
Lanier Striper (courtesy of Captain Mack, Captain Mack’s): Striper Fishing remains very varied, with fish being taken all over the lake and with a variety of methods. The fish seem to want to get up into the upper parts of the lake, but weather swings like we are experiencing each week are interrupting that pattern. Warmer water also has some fish in very shallow water, while there are still fish orienting to the deeper bait congregations. I think targeting the shallow fish is mostly a singles pattern, but may increase the odds of a larger fish. The numbers seem to best trolling Minis or fishing live baits around the bait concentrations. Both the full size umbrellas and the Mini Macks are effective. Live baits are also across the board, with Trout, Shiners, Herring and Shad all being viable baits. Use a mix and try and match the bait to the situation.
The fish are being found around the bait schools, in the major creeks, over the river channel, or areas where big drains and creeks adjoin the river. Look for the bait, birds working, or the scattered single fish on the surface. The Stripers are responding to live baits on the down lines, live baits on free lines and planers. Trolling continues to produce well with full size rigs and the Mini Macks. On the big rigs, you can troll them in any of the areas mentioned above, and if you can find fish in 25 to 40 feet they will probably take the rig. Contour trolling over a 20 to 30 foot bottom, especially up in the creeks has also been effective. The Minis are applicable in the same situations using lead core or behind the down rigger. Stealth trolling the Mini has also been very effective, and may be the overall best producer. If you are bait fishing, placing at least a couple of Minis in the spread is a very big asset.
We have a few fish pushing back into pockets and creek backs, however I think the numbers are low. Many of the fish you will catch with this technique will be a very nice sized fish. As far as the baits of choice, I think you either need to go really small to match up with the thread fins, or go really big to distinguish your bait from all of the smaller baits. So a mix of small and large will be a plus. As far as surfacing fish, they are sporadic, but watch the birds for any surface activity. In the first paragraph i mentioned “look for single surfacing fish”. These are very random, usually not frequent enough to cast to, but they are a good indicator of where to deploy the bait spread. If you see these singles, put out the flat lines and planers and you should be able to get a bend in the rods.
Weiss Lake Bass (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant): Bass fishing is good. Some bass are still on the creek and river channel ledges. We use deep running crank baits and Carolina rigs are catching fish. A lot of Bass are on secondary points and road beds.
Weiss Lake Crappie (courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant): Crappie fishing is fair, and they are in the river channels 10-20 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 have suspended in the river and creek channels 8-12 feet deep, and they can be caught long line trolling with Jiffy Jigs. Bridges are also producing some fish.
Yahoola Creek Reservoir: Gainesville’s Aquadog made another trip up to Yahoola Creek Reservoir this week and reports the water temperature was 51 degrees and very muddy. He trolled small Crankbaits with rattles close to brush and weeds in 8 to 10’ of water. Recognizing the water temperatures were still marginal for fast-fishing action, he slowed his trolling speed down to .4 mph. and caught several yellow perch. He also caught this bonus crappie trolling over a brush pile one his way back to the boat ramp—always a great way to end the trip! He reports a “Clown” color crankbait with rattles worked best.
River Stripers (special thanks to Fisheries Biologist John Damer): Our WRD crew has been on several rivers over the last two weeks sampling for other species, but we have encountered several nice early run stripers. It is still too early for the main striper spawning run, so numbers of fish are low, but the ones we found were all big. For example, check out the 32-pounder pictured from the Coosawattee River. These fish were all found amongst big schools of gizzard shad, their preferred prey. So, if you can find some of these shad schools in your local river, maybe there’s a monster striper lurking nearby ready to hit your bait.
Chattahoochee River Crappie/White Bass (courtesy of Dustin Pate; report via Georgia Outdoor News; special thanks to Fisheries Supervisor Jim Hakala for forwarding this): Tyler and I made a run upriver yesterday (2-22) looking for whites and crappie. I’m happy to say crappie were pretty much in all of the pre-spawn spots that I fish. Little current breaks seemed to be the ticket. Moving baits didn’t produce much, but a Bobby Garland Baby Shad about 3 ft. under a float cleaned house.
The whites are still lagging a little. We picked up a number of small males and a couple females, but they are incredibly scattered. Water temps were pushing 62 yesterday afternoon, so it could literally be overnight when a mass of fish shows up. Full moon is coming on the 7th, so I expect a huge push of fish next week.
Coosa River White Bass (special thanks to Fisheries Biologist John Damer): WRD staff sampled the Coosa River below Mayo Lock and Dam near Rome earlier in the week. The white bass spawning run appears to be in full swing right now, which is WAY earlier than normal due to the record high temps we’ve been experiencing. Typically, the run does not peak until mid to late March. These mini-linesides were found in good numbers from the Mayo Lock & Dam downstream to the Old River Road boat ramp. There were also an unusually high number of tiny one-year-old stripers (~10”) mixed in with the white bass, which suggests the 2022 year-class is a good one. We expect that numbers of white bass may have increased since our sample, as water temperatures creep up into the mid-50s. The weather this weekend looks a bit cooler and rainy which might slow the spawning run back down a tad, but the weather early/middle of next week looks great. If you are looking for some great white bass fishing, the next month or so on the Coosa should be as good as you can find anywhere! Throw small shad-colored crankbaits, white curlytail grubs, and minnows tight to the banks for your best shot at some exciting action on light tackle.
Trout News (courtesy of Jeff Durniak, Angler Management; report via Unicoi Outfitters): Have your March gray and brown bugs ready. Caddis are already popping on the Toccoa TW and we might see some hatches and “early risers” on bigger, warming trout streams.
- Wes’ Hot Fly List: Dries: parachute BWO, Griffith’s gnat, black elk hair caddis.
- Nymphs & Wets: Peach egg, squirmy worm, mighty may baetis, Violet midge, WD-40, Girdle bug.
- Streamers & warm water: Simi seal leech, sparkle minnow, finesse changer, Clouser minnow. Cowen’s Something Else.
The high flows should scatter out the stockers, and increasing water temps should get more bugs stirring. Have dry and wet versions of the following ready: quill Gordon’s, gray caddis, blue quills, and maybe some stray Hendricksons and March browns.
Newbie to Trout Fishing? (courtesy of Tad Murdock, Georgia Wild Trout): New to fly fishing? Check out this beginners guide written by Tad Murdock.
A BIG thank you for supporting Georgia’s cold-water resources through the purchase of your fishing licenses, tackle, and TU Brook Trout vehicle tags!
(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)
MCDUFFIE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Water Temperature: 59 degrees and rising
- Water Visibility: 25+ in
- McDuffie PFA Fishing Guide
With the warm weather, fishing is heating up too. We’re seeing full stringers and baskets regularly. Stringers of stripers are coming out of Bridge. Unlike just about anywhere else with striper, here they will hit chicken livers. Sink the livers in the deepest parts of the ponds. Fly fishermen using blue and silver shad look-a-likes are still having good success with stripers near the siphons. The cattish bite is picking up too. Nice loads of catfish are being hauled out of Clubhouse, Beaver Lodge, Jones, and Willow. The usual stink baits, homemade fermented catfish balls, and worms are working. The bass bite is picking up across the area as well. Bass are running the shallows, starting to bed, and females are getting plump. Try fishing the hard-bottom shallow area of Willow, from both sides of the peninsula down the bank towards Rodbender and near the siphon coming from Jones. Nearly all of Jones has good bottom for bedding. A recent fisherman’s tale has a report of a nearly 10-pound fish, by estimate, that hooked up and broke a line. We’d love to get some verification of the size of that fish if anyone is up for the challenge!
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant.
LAKE RUSSELL IS DOWN .6 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is good. There are on-again and off-again periods for numbers of bass, both spots and largemouth. Work main lake points and the islands whether large or small with the fire tiger suspending jointed Shad Rap. Any remaining mud lines from the rains needs a good working over as well. Try to throw in shallow and let the bait dig in the bottom as much as possible. Digging up the bottom will trigger a lot of bites in the fall as well as the spring. Stay out of the backs of the smaller creeks. The bass aren’t here and save the time for more productive fishing. Carolina rigged finesse worms are also working on or near any sharp bends of the river’s channels. The up-lake waters are better after the sun is out a few hours. Try the Storm 41/2-inch red shad worm. This plastic has been producing good fish here. Downsize to 12- or 10-pound test Sufix Clear lines. Use a smaller weight and the ¼ ounce brass weight with a small glass bead is best. Working the bait slow is the key and letting it hang up in the numerous brush piles that are present will draw a good bite. By letting it hang up and feel the brush pile, stop the bait and just lift the rod tip slowly and let the bait fall right back into the structure. Some of these bass are holding very tight to heavy structure and by using this method, increase the chances of hooking the bigger fish.
CLARKS HILL LAKE IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Fish the larger Rapala Shad Raps and Risto Raps can take a few big fish mid-morning. Bass are roaming looking for food and all the brush piles and any form of wood should be fished. Be sure there is a channel close by. Find the structure with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and back off. Use the small ¼ ounce jig or a 4 to 4- and 1/2-inch Texas rigged worm right at the target. The Zoom red shad color finesse worm is always a good choice this time of the year. Add a rattle into the body and scent these baits with some Jacks Juice Garlic scent. As with any southern lake this time of the year slow cranking for suspended bass will always net one or two. The new Berkley crank baits like the Dredger are working as they go up to 14 feet deep. Bounce this bait off anything on the bottom. Keep the Fish Head Spin ready but go small head and small trailer to match the size of the bait fish. The full moon is March 7, 2023 so expect waves of fish to move shallower. Keep a small Zoom mini lizard in green with red flake ready also. Use this rig on a light Texas rig, a spinning rod and peg the sinker. Now cast this bait right next to the dock and let it fall on slack line next to the docks and let it fall without tension on the line.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 60S
Bass fishing is fair. Use small crank baits with rattles fished on sea walls and around docks. The Otts’s Garage Flat crank bait has worked well. Dark Stanley jigs with a brown blue and black have been the best colors. Spinner baits fished along any rock bank will also draw a strike. Use the Lucky Craft redemption ½ ounce sizes and mix up the skirt and blade choices. This is the time of year when cold fronts come in and move the fish back into deeper water. Then as the fronts pass the fish will move back toward the banks and rocks. Remember to slow down your retrieve as the water is still cold below the surface. The full moon is March 7, 2023 so expect waves of fish to move shallower. Keep a small Zoom mini lizard in green with red flake ready also. Use this rig on a light Texas rig, a spinning rod and peg the sinker. Now cast this bait right next to the dock and let it fall on slack line next to the docks and let it fall without tension on the line.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.3 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Keep an eye on the water temperature when fishing new water and try to stay around the warmest water. Crank baits, big bladed spinner baits and jigs have been best this week when fishing for shallow fish. The Spro Little John MD 50 in the fire craw color will get a bite when fished extremely slowly over primary and secondary points in the rivers, as well as short pockets located near deep water. A chartreuse and white spinner bait with a large gold #7 willow leaf blade slow rolled around laydown trees on the main riverbank will get fewer bites but look for them to be big fish. A black and blue ¼ ounce jig is great for flipping docks in short pockets or docks that have brush around them. Many fish can be caught deep right now as well with most of the deep fish being in 28 to 40 feet of water. A gold spoon will catch these fish that are relating to bait schools in deep water. Try to find structure in the same depth the fish are holding. The Lowrance HDS Structure Scan system is very helpful for finding the fish and the fish holding structure. The full moon is March 7, 2023 so expect waves of fish to move shallower.
LAKE JACKSON IS 1.6 FEET OVER FULL 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. Main lake points near the mouth of the creeks and larger coves is a good place to look for bass. Crank baits will be the bait of choice and the Rapala DT6 along with the RS Shad Raps and Ito Vision 110 jerk baits are catching bass. Some spotted bass are being caught on secondary points on crank baits and Carolina rigs. Small Zoom lizards are a good choice to rig up also. The Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology will work very well even in 10 feet of water. The key will be to throw in shallow and work the cranks and lizards real slow. Usually the bass are hitting the crank baits on the first couple of turns of the reel handle. The full moon is March 7, 2023 so expect waves of fish to move shallower.
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
TIRED CREEK LAKE
The bass fishing is heating up at Tired Creek Lake! Water temperatures are reaching the low 60s and the fish are starting to pair up. Males especially will be aggressively striking as they fan the beds. Try a lizard imitation lure to get their defensive instincts to engage. Another tactic would be to try using hollow belly frogs and chatter baits in and around grass to lure them out. The bream are also out and looking nice. Try crickets and worms for these guys. The crappie have cooled off just a bit but they can still be found in 3-5 feet of water around the edge and in deeper water near the middle around the standing timber. There are a lot of tagged bass in tired creek right now so be sure to call in those tags for a chance at a prize!
The main channel of the lake is still cool but some of the back water spots are reaching 62-64 degrees and above. Focus on these areas until the rest of the water warms up. Crappie are schooling in 5 to 8 feet of water in the lily pads. Minnows are a good choice for crappie bait. The legendary bass fishing of lake Seminole is starting to heat up. Bass are starting to pair up in the shallower water of those backwater areas. Try hollow belly frogs and chatter baits. Work them along the edge of grassy areas for a sneaky bite. Also try a crank bait to lure those fish off the beds. Some nice bream and warmouth are also out there waiting to be caught. Have some patients are try out some different bait and lure options or try fishing for another species if you are not having luck with your target species. Have fun out there but be careful as many hidden obstacles pose a threat to boater safety.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA
Bass: Largemouth Bass fishing is fair at Big Lazer Public Fishing Area. Anglers should begin to have some decent largemouth bass fishing trips very soon as they begin to move to shallower water. Bass fishing should really start picking up in the coming weeks. Try throwing spinning baits or crankbaits in 6 to 8 feet of water. Baits should still be fished slower due to cool water temperatures. Casting your line near good cover should yield some decent bites. Remember to please report any tagged largemouth bass to DNR fisheries staff or by calling the number on the tag.
Crappie: Crappie fishing is poor. There have been few reports of crappie being caught as they are difficult to locate. However, crappie fishing should pick up as spawning season approaches. Try locating groups of crappie by trolling the lake with minnows. Most bites will be in 8-10ft of water. You can also try bright colored jigs to try to entice bites. Remember: Only two poles are allowed per angler.
It has been a little bit since the last big rain. The water is no longer muddy but still quite stained. The crappie are hanging out at around 15 feet. Find the channel and fish the edges of the channel or the mouths of the creeks for the best results. White bass are also schooling on Lake Blackshear! Your best chance with them is to find them on sonar and use a minnow just off the bottom. Bass fishing should be heating up as the water temperatures rise so be patient! Focus your efforts in the shallow back coves as they heat up first and draw the fish in. Be sure to stop by Flint River outdoors and get in on the action of their monthly big fish contest.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Things are beginning to heat up at Silver Lake PFA. A few weeks of warm weather are driving water temps into the high 60s and low 70s. We’re seeing lots of bass on bed in Cutoff Pond and in the big lake. Those Panic Pond ladies are cruising the shallows looking for bedding males (which don’t exist in Panic Pond) and the occasional shad snack. House Pond had a rough winter, losing a lot of large fish to migrating birds and otters, but there are still plenty of bream to be caught. The catfish in Frog Pond are still sluggish, but we expect to see more kitties being caught as the water temps continue to rise. Many of the ponds have new regulations, so make sure you pay attention to the signage at each pond before you wet a hook. Tight lines!
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
The water temperature at Lake George is still a bit low for prime bass fishing but they are out there for the dedicated angler to find. After this weekend of warm weather we should be getting into the heat of the spawn. The fish seem to be hanging out in shallow water up under the grass. Try a chatter bait, or spinner bait in the grassy areas for a good response. You can also try a Big Bite Cane Thumper in and around the grass. One angler suggested pearl white and black-blue colors. As the temperatures rises, we should see the spawn starting and the fishing will explode. Stay patient for the water temperatures to rise and the water levels to decrease as this will be the magic combination. Stay safe out there as visibility can be limited and water depths can change quickly.
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