We’ve got that Friday fishing feeling. Think anyone would notice if we skipped out just a little early to head to our favorite fishing hole?
NEWS TO KNOW
Measure Carefully! Submitting an Angler Award or a Georgia Bass Slam and need to include length? Make sure you measure that fish correctly to ensure your entry will be accepted. The mouth of the fish should be closed and at front of board/ruler, tail fins compressed. Make sure the measurements on your board/ruler are CLEARLY visible in any submitted photos.
- The Deadline is TODAY (March 31) to Sign Up for the Youth Birding Competition! I know this isn’t about fishing, but it is about helping get your kid(s) outside and get active in a fun competitive environment (and maybe while they are birding, they can scout for some new fishing holes). Between April 14-22, Youth Birding Competition teams of kindergarteners through high-schoolers will head outdoors during a 24-hour stretch and compete by age group to find the most birds statewide before 5 p.m. This fun, FREE event ends with a prize-filled banquet at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. The best part? No birding experience is required. We can pair teams with an experienced birding mentor to help participants learn about the birds before the competition.
- Get Your Tickets Today! Join us for the first annual Night for Wildlife with Chris Janson and The Tuten Brothers where proceeds go directly to supporting the Georgia Natural Resources Foundation, dedicated to supporting Georgia’s natural, historic, and cultural resources for current and future generations. You’ll enjoy an evening in Atlanta filled with great music, good food, and even better company. Buy Tickets HERE.
This week, we have fishing reports from Southwest, Southeast, North and Central Georgia. Good luck on getting out the door early and Go Fish Georgia!
(Fishing report courtesy of Emilia Omerberg, Fisheries Biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
The Flint River is flowing very high after the recent rain. Shoal bass and largemouth bass are looking good and are in pre-spawn and should be ready to go again when the water levels come back down. Keep an eye out for tagged fish and be sure to call that information into the phone number on the tag. Find out more about the bass tagging study here and find out what you can win when you call in a tag.
LAKE WALTER F. GEORGE
Look for largemouth bites during early morning shad spawning. Anywhere with grass in the shallows should be successful. As the sun gets higher in the sky and things start to warm up try moving further offshore. Anything providing structure should provide you with a bite or two. Blowdowns, stumps or branches that provide shade for fish are a good bet. We have seen success with plastic worms, swim gigs and creature bites. The water is very muddy after all the rain and the high winds we have been getting so be careful of hidden obstacles. Shellcracker are also looking nice on the southern part of the lake. Crickets are your best choice for these guys. Target them in shallow water near vegetation or structures.
SILVER LAKE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Spring fishing action at Silver Lake PFA is in full swing! On all the lakes and ponds, anglers are targeting bluegill and redear near bedding areas. Worms and crickets will usually coax an otherwise distracted male away from his bed making tasks. Small lures like beetlespins, inline spinners (rooster tails, panther martins, and the like), and curly-tailed grubs on 1/8 oz jigheads are also producing quality bluegill and redear with the occasional largemouth taking the bait. If the fish aren’t biting, then try your hand at Geocaching! Silver Lake PFA hosts ten high-quality geocaches. Whether you prefer being on the water or in the woods, Silver Lake Public Fishing Area has something for you!
Fishing in Lake Blackshear is a bit out of whack right now. The water levels have bene pulled way down to make room for flood waters coming down the Flint River From the north. Fishing will be a bit strange here for a while and lots of debris will be floating in the lake so take precautions out there. The only ramp that is usable at this time is the mega ramp in veterans state park. While it is not ideal for water levels to drop this low during the spawning season this may be beneficial to future fishing in Blackshear. Reducing recruitment this year may help reduce competition in the lake and it may in fact increase bass growth in the coming years.
BIG LAZER PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
In general, March water temperatures at Big Lazer are starting to warm up and so is the fishing. Late March and early April are some of the best times to fish Big Lazer as pre-spawn largemouth bass start to move into shallower water followed by bream. Good luck!
- Largemouth Bass: Fair, but on the rise- 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.
- Crappie: Fair- There have been more than usual reports of crappie being caught but remain somewhat 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.
- Bream: Fair- There have been some reports of good bream fishing due to the approaching spawning season. Anglers seem to be having luck fishing with worms around the fishing piers. This time of year, bream are located in 4-6 feet of water. Try locating woody structures for an increased chance of bream bites.
- Channel Catfish: Poor- Catfish bites are hard to come by this time of year, but you may have good luck fishing with livers or shrimp near the bottom. The rip rap along the dam and around woody structures will be your best bet of landing a cat. The newer pier may also produce decent CCF bites.
(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)
It’s been a good week of fishing. The swamp and ponds produced the best reports, but there were a few good saltwater reports, as well. The rivers are still too high and cold for ideal panfishing, but catfish have bitten this week.
River gages on March 30th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 9.0 feet and rising
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 10.6 feet and rising fast
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 9.7 feet and steady
- Waycross on the Satilla – 9.2 feet and rising
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 9.5 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 3.5 feet and falling
- Fargo on the Suwannee – 5.6 feet and falling
Tyler Finch ran limb lines baited with Sandy’s Catfish Soap (sandyscatfishsoap.com) and caught 34 channel catfish on Friday and Saturday nights. His biggest was an impressive 31-pounder that they could barely get in the net. The panfishing on the river was very slow based on his report and that of several other anglers he talked with on the river.
Dale Anderson had a great week by winning the Shady Bream Tournament last weekend then taking first place (Team Bull Gator) in the Southeast Georgia River Kats tournament out of Altamaha Park this weekend. They had a 26.8 pounder that won big fish, and their first place overall weight was 53.4 pounds.
The river is high and fluctuating with this week’s rains, but a few bass and catfish were reported. In the warmth, buzzbaits have already produced some good bass. You will work for just a few fish per day, but you can catch some bass. Several folks reported catching catfish along the river at several places. Shrimp, worms or cut bait on the bottom accounted for the best reports.
ST. MARYS RIVER
The next Shady Bream Tournament is April 8th out of Traders Hill Landing. Check out Shady Bream Tournaments on Facebook if you are interested in more information.
Briggs Rewis fished an Alma area pond and caught several bass, including a nice 5-pounder this week. A couple of anglers fished a pond on Thursday and had the best report I heard all week. They had 28 bass up to 6 pounds on wacky-rigged stick worms (watermelon hues), Texas-rigged worms (green pumpkin), spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs, and Keitech swimbaits (3-inch bluegill flash). Their biggest 5 fish weighed about 23 pounds. They also had a half-dozen channel catfish up to 2 pounds on their bass baits. I heard several reports of crappie and bass catches this weekend, but most were a half-dozen to a dozen fish combined. Most of the crappie I heard about were caught with live minnows, Keitech swimbaits, or small crankbaits.
Darren and Carly Sexton fished the east side (Folkston entrance) on Sunday and caught a bunch of bowfin (29) and a few pickerel (5) on Dura-Spins. Their 2 biggest bowfin were 11.2 pounds and 10.1 pounds. All of their 34 fish were on fire tiger, crawfish, or black/chartreuse versions of the in-line spinner. Scout Carter and a friend fished a few hours at the Sill on the west side on Saturday morning and could only muster a pair of 4-pound bowfin on crawfish-brass blade Dura-Spins. They moved to Billy’s Lake and the bite picked up in the afternoon. They ended up with 22 fish, including a 16-inch pickerel, two nice fliers, and the rest bowfin. Their biggest bowfin was a 9-lb., 6-oz. monster. Their best color for the day was blood red – silver blade, but they also caught them on fire tiger-chartreuse blade, crawfish-brass blade, and black/chartreuse-chartreuse blade. The latest water level (Folkston side) was 120.58 feet.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Brentz McGhin and Greg Nelms fished the St. Marys area on Saturday in the wind. They caught 11 whiting, a bluefish and some yellowtails while the tide was slow. Shrimp on the bottom is how they caught them. When the tide started ripping, they could not hold bottom, so they came in. Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) had some good trips this week. On Monday, they did some running and gunning and had some quality redfish and trout – including several oversized reds. They had 6 of each species. On Tuesday, the rain cut the trip short, but they managed 4 trout and 4 reds by fishing shallow around oyster beds. Wednesday was a banner day, as they fished deeper (6-12 feet) and had a great trout bite – landing 20. They also had a flounder, blues, sheepshead and 5 reds (they released the reds). Most of the fish were on live shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats. 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 Sarah Baker, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Lake Lanier Crappie: (Report courtesy of Regional Fisheries Supervisor Anthony Rabern) — Lanier’s black crappie population is booming with big fish this year, and another Angler Award catch was made this week by Addison Flynn. Addison was fishing with a crappie jig and targeting docks when his caught this 15-inch trophy that weighed nearly 2 lb. Addison reported that he hooked some bigger fish but they threw the hook when Addison was horsing it through the brush. Crappie are still shallow on brush pile and banks with emergent stalks of vegetation. Jigs and crappie minnows are great bait choices this time of year. Congratulations Addison! Do you think you might qualify for an Angler Award? Check out the details of the program HERE.
Lake Hartwell: Scott Robinson fished Lake Hartwell over the weekend and caught a mixed bag of species including stripers, flathead catfish and several spotted bass. Here are some tips to improve your fishing success courtesy of Ken Sturdivant (southernfishing.com):
- Striped Bass — Best success has been with downlines over 40-to-50-foot bottom, with baits hovering around 25 to 30 feet. Flat lines and planer boats with trout and river herring have produced some really big fish. Keep a top water plug, like a MirroLure Top Dog handy for the occasional blow up that does happen. The schools of stripers and hybrids can be found from the southern end all the way up to the far reaches of both rivers. So, it really doesn’t matter where you want to start. Look for gulls that are not associated with loons, and that’s where the stripers will be feeding. The weather is supposed to warm up again in the next few days, and I think that will probably put us back to the slow bite for a couple days until the water temps stabilize again, then hopefully spring will be in full swing and the fish will settle into their spring patterns. STRIPER TIPS: If you see fish on your Simrad, but you can’t convince them to bite, try varying your speed as you go over the school. Start around 1/3 to ½ mph, and then rev up the trolling motor to as much as 1 mph, then back down to the slower speed. This will raise and lower the baits in the water and can draw a reaction strike. It’s worked for me on a number of occasions. And if you get a bite, but the fish doesn’t stay connected, take you rod out of the holder, and literally put the rod tip in the water. Even if the fish has already mauled the bait, the action you impart by dropping it down a few feet with your rod will often cause the fish to re-commit and take the bait.
- Crappie: The crappie bite has been off the chart. And they should be heading toward the shallow brush piles in the next week or two. For now, they still seem to be associating with deep water structure, that’s close to where you would expect them to move when the spawn occurs. Small minnows work fine, but a medium sized shiner or small blueback herring will put the big slabs in the boat. Add a 1/8 split shot about 18 inches up from the hook and stay in touch with you line on the drop as most of the strikes have come on the fall.
- Spotted Bass: The spots are thick, and they are aggressive. They are staging on their usual springtime haunts, and slow retrieves with flukes and suspending plugs will take them. Drop shot rigs over ledges and brush piles will draw a strike too. While a lot of fish are shallow, I’ve have just as much success fishing deeper channels that are adjacent to rocky points.
Hartwell Hybrids: (Courtesy of GA Aquadog) – This week, I made my first trip to the Keowee River on Lake Hartwell near Seneca South, Carolina. I hear reports of Hybrids moving up into the river to spawn. It took a while to find them, but when I began marking bait along the river channel where it swings close to long points, I found fish in 15 to 20 ft. of water. The dogwoods were in full bloom already. I was trolling medium shiners and bluebacks on free lines and planer boards. All bites came on the free lines 60 to 80 feet behind the boat on bluebacks. I caught 4, 20 to 22-inch hybrids and missed several more fish. South Carolina DNR checked my fishing license and reminded me, either a Georgia or South Carolina license was ok on Lake Hartwell. Calm winds and overcast skies made for a good day.
Lake Allatoona– (Report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant southernfishing.com) — Bass fishing is good. These bass are up and chasing lures more and more as the water warms. The water is stained from Victoria up towards the Little River area due to the recent rains. Most of the areas south of that range from stained to fairly clear near the dam. We are seeing a strong jerk bait and swim bait bite on the main lake for those fish that are in pre-spring pattern. Concentrate most on the main lake points in the clearer waters. Use a Staysee 90 and a large swim bait. Spro has a Little John Type R shallow running crankbait that works well over shallow water submerging vegetation. It has a computer chips style lip for a fast wobble and several great colors. For the stained water in the upper reaches of the lake use the Flat CB DR Lucky Craft crank bait in Tennessee Shad color. This color is a whitish color with a black back that will match the forage color in muddy water. Baitfish tend to turn a whitish color in the muddier waters so white baits are my color of choice. Start by paralleling the bluff walls and hit any kind of wood structure with the crank baits. The fish will be get shallow soon and be very active and start their pre spawn ritual by staging on main lake points. Any kind of shad bait will work well here. Jerk baits like a Pointer 78, Flashminnow 95MR are best. Use the big swim baits like the Hampton Shad in 6 and 8 inch sizes as well as the big Triple Trout’s in the 10-inch range are also great gizzard shad imitators.
Lake Chatuge & The Elusive Georgia Marble-Eye: Two Athens-area anglers, Blake and Brant set out for Lake Chatuge this past weekend with high hopes of catching their first Georgia walleye. Upon inspection of the low and clear conditions of the river at their weekend homestead, they knew they’d need to look downstream in some deep, dark holes to find their crepuscular quarry. A brief spotlight survey of the river on the night of their arrival was sufficient reconnaissance to confirm their suspicions that they walleye were indeed amidst their annual spawning ritual. Being the studious anglers they are, B2 knew it would be a trivial pursuit to try for walleye with the sun high in the sky, so they waited until 6:30 PM the next day before hitting the water for the elusive Georgia marble-eye. They tried their luck with different lures and baits, casting their lines far and wide, but to no avail cast after cast. As the sun set lower in the sky, they started to feel discouraged. They took a break from their shoulder workout and discussed a new strategy. Blake suggested they try jigging a nightcrawler, and Brant agreed, so they set up their rods with 3/8 oz jig heads and some big beefy crawlers and began to slowly drift down the river again. After a few minutes stopping off at a deep hole in the bend of the river, Brant felt a distinct tap on his jig and his rod then bent over—he knew he had a fish on. He set the hook, reeled it in frantically, and to his excitement, there was a walleye on the end of the line! Blake cheered him on as he brought the fish to hand and secured it for good. Not to be outdone, Blake soon felt a tug on his line, and he felt he too had just hooked a walleye. With Brant’s help, Blake brought his prize up the bank, it was without a doubt the biggest (& first) walleye that Blake had ever caught! Despite their initial struggles, the duo ended up having a great evening on the water, with two Georgia walleye to show for their persistence. They can’t wait to come back to Chatuge and try their luck again! Get some walleye fishing tips HERE.
White Bass: (Report courtesy of Fisheries Biologist, Jackson Sibley) – The white bass run is still going strong in many north Georgia rivers. On Thursday, I took a solo trip to the Lower Etowah River near Rome. Targeting depths of 6-10’, I pitched small crankbaits perpendicular to the bank with a slow retrieve, trying to keep my presentation close to the bottom. I managed to boat 67 1- to 2-lb white bass in three hours—my highest catch rate in three years of fishing the run.
Anglers may notice that successfully locating river-run white bass is dependent on many factors, but personally, I pay most attention to discharge. When water levels are high, fish may be seeking out slack water as refuge from fast moving currents. After all, migrating upriver can be exhausting! In these scenarios, I primarily fish areas where white bass are resting; namely eddies, inside bends, and creek mouths. In low water conditions, fish are often spread out, so covering longer stretches of water can be a gamechanger for ensuring a successful day on the water.
A final tip: small males often school tightly during the spawning run. Where you catch one, there are likely to be several more in the immediate area. After a hookup, orient your boat upstream and hold position. A few extra casts in the vicinity of your last hookup can pay dividends.
Lanier Tailwater Wild Browns: (From Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) – The upper reaches of the Lanier Tailwater continue to produce impressive brown trout during the spring season. Large brown trout feed almost exclusively on fish, including other brown trout, so if you’re trophy hunting this spring, be sure to tie on big streamers or other fish-imitating artificial lures like Rapala Countdowns. Target large woody structure along the channel to increase your chances of success!
Trout Stocking Season is Here! (From John Lee Thomson, Trout Stocking Coordinator) — Dust off your trout fishing gear and plan a trip to your favorite trout fishing destination. We are in the second week of the regular trout distribution for 2023. With trout stocking trucks rolling daily, leftover stockers begin piling up away from traditional stocking points. Pictured is Fisheries Technician Kevin Thomas as he weighs fish at Lake Burton Fish Hatchery before stocking. Look closely; if you haven’t caught a brook trout before, this weekend will be a great opportunity. One lucky, young angler already sent in his successful catch! Best bets for a stocked brook trout include, Rock Creek in Fannin County, Chattahoochee River on the Chattahoochee WMA, and the Tallulah River in Rabun County. It is a great time to make sure your fishing and trout licenses are up to date. If you don’t have a favorite destination, visit our Trout page on the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division website and explore our interactive trout map. Sign up for our weekly trout stocking report while you’re there. You will then be ready for a great family trip this weekend and can land an excellent tasting trout dinner.
New to Trout Fishing? Tips for Trout Success in Georgia: Are you new to trout fishing in Georgia? We’ve got several resources that we can recommend to you!
- What you need: Keep it simple! Bump salmon eggs, corn, worms or crickets slowly along the bottom of pools. An ultralight spinning or spincast outfit spooled with 4-pound-test monofilament, a small hook and a few BB-sized split shot are all the tackle you need. If you prefer to cast spinners, Panther Martins and rooster tails work great! A personal favorite is yellow with red dots.
- Information Station: Check out our Trout Page. Here, you can sign up to receive emails that notify you of recently stocked streams. You can also access trout fishing regulations, and the Trout Stream Interactive Map. GADNR hatchery crews stock weekly from mid-March until early September (schedule HERE).
- Where to go: Our Trout Stream Interactive Map is a great resource for helping you to locate a stream to fish at. Zoom into northern Georgia until you see yellow and pink highlighted lines. If you click on the “Legend” in the upper righthand corner, you will notice that we now have streams that have been stocked in the last week highlighted in Bright Yellow and streams stocked the week before (8-14 days ago) highlighted in a Sandy color. You can also stop by our Gainesville office (2150 Dawsonville HWY Gainesville GA 30605) and pick up a hard copy of our Trout Map. US Forest Service Maps are also really helpful. The National Geographic series of topo maps have an excellent detail look at NatGeo maps #777 (western half) and #778 (east) to cover the Chattahoochee Forest. Part of the fun of catching a trout is that it takes some planning and adventuring!
- Helpful online blogs: Check out these sources for consistently good information to help you have the best trout trip:
- Call us: If you have any questions related to trout fishing, give us a call at (706) 947-3112. We look forward to answering your questions and equipping you with the tools you need to have a memorable trout fishing experience!
How to Support Trout Management in Georgia: Georgia anglers can support fisheries conservation and trout management several ways:
- Buy a Fishing License: Did you know that your license purchase allows the Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com/.
- Buy a License Plate: Purchasing a Trout license plate supports Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs. These efforts positively impact trout production, stocking and stream restoration throughout north Georgia. More info at GeorgiaWildlife.com/licenseplates.
- Go trout fishing! Creating and sharing memories with loved ones will help sustain this pastime for years to come. Be sure to clean up after yourself and leave the streambank in better condition than it was in when you arrived!
A BIG thanks to YOU for buying your fishing licenses, tackle, and TU Brook Trout license plate!
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, Region Supervisor and fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant.
LAKE RUSSELL IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is good. Many shallow water bass can be found and the shallow running Shad Raps along with the Rapala DT6 and McSticks are catching fish. Spro has a Little John Type R shallow running crankbait that works well over shallow water submergent vegetation. It has a computer chip style lip for a fast wobble and several great colors. Fish the shallow stump beds and grassy areas. It is a little early for top water, but a week of warming weather will fire them off. Finding a good spot to find shallow water bass will be the key. Fishing secondary points with a Rapala DT6 or a #5 jointed or Glass Shad Rap will work on the spotted bass. Watch the Lowrance and find the heavy bait schools in the shallows for the best action. Pay close attention to the depth finder and temperature gauge during the day. The Lowrance Heat Map feature on the mapping can help find the warmest water fast.
CLARKS HILL LAKE IS DOWN .35 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is good. Get out the small crank baits and the #5 shad colored Shad Rap and a few Storm Suspend strips and work the shallows after mid-day. Strike King has a Chick Magnet that can tempt finicky fish. It runs 3 to 6 feet deep and use a clear one in clear water and then get the one with the most chartreuse on the sides. The Fat Free small crank baits in the sexy shad pattern and the fire tiger colored baits are working in the mouths of creeks to the back. With any windy day, get back to the main lake and secondary points down lake. This water is a little warmer and the fish will be a little more active as the days warm up. Wood on the bank brings in the bream and the bass will follow.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 60’S
Bass fishing is good. The lake is full, stained up the rivers and over most of the main lake; Richland creek is clear. The fish are following the bait into the creeks. Shad pattern ½ ounce Rat L Traps are the first choice. Fish them around docks and on sea walls. Start in the middle of the major creeks and work way to the back of the creeks. As the water clears down the lake one can also use a white spinner bait fished in the same area. Another back up bait is a number 7 Shad Rap fished around the same docks and sea walls. For a fast bite use the Berkley Square Bill 7.5 and 8.5 Special Craw 2 Brown Craw. At this time of year, you can always look at the rip rap around the bridges when Georgia Power is moving water. Use the same baits and fish them on the down lake side of the bridges. Pay close attention to the depth finder and temperature gauge during the day. The Lowrance Heat Map feature on the mapping can help find the warmest water fast.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.3 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is great. Bass are being caught in shallow water at 3 to 10 feet. Also, there are a good number of fish remaining deep. The primary key right now for catching shallow fish seems to be rocky bottoms or clay and rock mixed, especially near the mouth of coves. Some of these areas tend to be a couple degrees warmer which means more aggressive fish. Concrete seawalls are also holding fish for the same reason. A slow-rolled spinner bait is another good bait choice. For a fast bite use the Berkley Square Bill 7.5 and 8.5 Special Craw 2 Brown Craw. Try the Suspending Rogue 18 in clown color. Retrieve the blade bait just fast enough to keep it from turning sideways on the bottom. Another good choice that is seldom used as a slow-moving bait is a Rat L Trap. This bait can be slow rolled like using a spinner bait. Also, try using a retrieve like a medium speed Carolina rig. Jigs, Texas rigs, and Carolina rigs can also produce fish from the same areas. Docks, boat houses and rip rap are also holding fish. Deeper fish can be found on points along the main river and creek runs. Depths are varying from 8 to over 20 feet deep. Carolina rigs are probably the number one choice, but other baits should not be overlooked. These include crank baits, drop shot rigs, Little Georges, jig head and worm, and Rocket Shad.
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. This week can be on and off action depending on the sunlight warming the waters. On sunny days, the bite will improve so stay with the slow-moving baits and a jig and pig or a spot sticker and a finesse worm can work. Stick with natural colors like greens, blacks, and browns. Dip the bait in JJ’s Magic to increase the number of bites. Later in the month when water temps begin to get and stay near 50, the bite will get much better. Then try faster moving baits like a Bandit or Bomber crank bait on hard bottom banks. Also target wood structure with a slow rolled ½-ounce Redemption spinnerbait with a chartreuse skirt. The ends of docks and blow downs will hold some big females. Strike King has a Chick Magnet that can tempt finicky fish. It runs 3 to 6 feet deep and use a clear one in clear water and then get the one with the most chartreuse on the sides.
FLAT CREEK PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Surface Temperature: 65.4 F (18.6˚ C)
- Water Level: 52” below full pool
- Water Visibility: 22”
- Flat Creek PFA Fishing Guide
Anglers are reporting an increase in the number of channel catfish caught and are expecting the number to continue to rise as the water temperature rises. Catches are reported being in the 5-7 lb. range. Bass are continuing to bite and can be found in shallower waters as they are on the bed through the next month. Anglers are reporting a fair number of crappie being caught both from boats and the fishing pier. Bream fishermen should start targeting areas with sandy bottoms and the submerged road that crosses the lake. These areas are good spawning habitat for bream. Here is a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:
- Largemouth Bass: Bass have been hitting a variety of lures. rattletraps, crankbaits, and topwater lures are a good place to start.
- Bream: Red wigglers continue to produce bream.
- Channel Catfish: Anglers are using chicken livers, live baitfish, and cut baitfish. One angler reported catching catfish with a topwater lure.
- Crappie: Anglers are reporting that using live minnows and crappie jigs are producing catches.
PFA manager Maxie Gray with an 8 lb. 9 oz. largemouth bass.
MARBEN PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
- Water Level: All bodies of water are at full pool.
- Surface Temperatures: 63-73o
- Marben PFA Fishing Guide
Bass: The bass spawn is mostly finished. The females have moved off the bank. Now is a good time to catch the males and enjoy a fish fry. Try throwing a rooster tail or inline shiner along with bank. Plastic lizards and crank and jerk baits that mimic a shad should work well also.
Crappie: Most of the crappie have spawned already but are still in shallow water. Minnows and jugs are your best bet. Keep trying different depths around and over the top of brush.
Bream: The shellcracker will be spawning this month. Wax worms, small in-line spinners, and crickets are great choices. If the male is guarding the bed, it may take many attempts to get him to eventually bite. The bluegill will begin to move shallow this month. The same bait used for shellcracker will work just as well for bluegill.