Want to “go fish” but trying to avoid some of the summertime heat? We got you. Visit the Go Fish Education Center  (GFEC) in Perry, Georgia. This amazing facility is located right off I-75 and offers something for everyone! At the center you can take an educational journey through Georgia’s watersheds to learn about our diverse aquatic wildlife, their natural habitats and the impacts of water pollution. Some of the things you can see and do include viewing huge freshwater aquariums and seeing aquatic wildlife (like alligators), exploring underwater habitats, catching live fish in a stocked pond, trying out interactive fishing, boating and shooting simulators, getting ‘Reel Tips’ on how and where to fish and so much more. Get a great peek at GFEC on this recent news story by WGMT Macon Ch. 41. Ready to put that fishing knowledge to work? Flat Creek Public Fishing Area is located only a few miles away from GFEC and gives anglers more opportunities to pursue some exciting catches.


  • Caleb McClure with his monster longnose gar catch from Allatoona.

    Biggest Longnose Gar Ever from Allatoona? Caleb McClure caught a longnose gar on June 24, weighing 27 lb, 4 oz (59 5/8″), making it just a few pounds shy of the state record and smashing the previous Allatoona lake record by 15 pounds (lake and river records are maintained by GON and can be found HERE). Additionally, the fish likely represents the largest longnose gar ever documented by DNR on Allatoona, eclipsing a 24-pounder captured during gillnet sampling in the fall of 2021. 

  • Get Certified to Combat Invasives! To educate the public about aquatic nuisance species and how they can be kept out of state waters, staff with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) developed an online certification tool to provide awareness about invasive species found in or near Georgia. Learn more and take the course at GeorgiaWildlife.com/ANS.   
  • Feeling Coastal? Catch up with the latest edition of the Georgia DNR Coastal Resources Division’s quarterly magazine, “Coastlines Georgia,” which is now available to read online. Learn all about how CRD helps bring your favorite coastal cuisine from the ocean to the table, how to fish for spotted seatrout, and more.

This week we have fishing reports from North, Central and Southeast Georgia. We hope your summer “beat the heat” plans include a trip to the Go Fish Center and to your favorite fishing hole. Let’s Go Fish Georgia!


(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts) 


Lanier flathead catfish catch for the GA Waterdog Jack Becker.

Lake Lanier Night Fishing Report: (This report courtesy of Jack Becker a.k.a. “GA Waterdog”) — I was invited to fish green lights on Lanier for the first time this week.  First, a word of caution:  Take it slow and watch for hazards like stray dock floats and debris after a hard rain. Also, keep your running lights on to alert other boats to your position – this helped us steer clear of other anglers a handful of times while we were underway.  For our fishing method, we used spinning tackle rigged with 12-lb test to cast blueback herring into the shadows, and we slowly reeled them back to the boat. The key was to stop at least 200’ from the light and use the electric motor on very low speed. It was exciting to see fish swimming in and out of the lights and following the bait. I caught a small Alabama spotted bass and this 30” flathead catfish. The cool nighttime temperatures and calm water made for an enjoyable evening.

Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Lanier is down 1.7 feet, and in the 70s.  Bass fishing is good. The Lake is about two and one half feet below full pool and most of the lake is clear. The recent rains have caused some staining in the very backs of the creeks. The water temperature has remained steady in the mid seventies. Bass fishing prior to our latest weather had been inconsistent from day to day. The bass have definitely moved to their summer habitat but they are not acting in typical Lanier style. The topwater bite has yet to really catch on fire but when we get a truly hot spell it should crank up. Over the last few days with the low pressure we have had the fishing has been really good. There is still not a great true topwater bite but it is possible to catch some on either an Ima Skimmer or a Gunfish. The Lip Stick Pro Series is still producing some good fish when worked over the twenty five to thirty foot brush. If the fish don’t want to come to the surface the Spybait has been a good choice when worked in the same areas. The most consistent producer over the last week or so has been the Jerk Shad. The main colors that we have been throwing between rain showers have been either the FZNH20 or the Pearl. These have been worked over both main lake brush and brush back in the creeks. It seems the bite off of the main has been the better bite. We’ve also caught fish on a green pumpkin worm worked around ten to fifteen foot boat docks and rocky points. The weather has definitely been a challenge with the storms we’ve had but long range it looks like southern hot weather is just around the corner so look for things to change so be flexible. It’s still a great time to be on Lanier so Go Catch ‘Em!

Lake Lanier Striper Report: (This report courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tails Guide Service 404-510-1778 via www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Lanier stripers are everywhere from Baldridge Creek to Gainesville. Use your electronics to locate the schools. The down line bite seems to work the best. Bluebacks are the bait of choice fished 30 to 50 feet deep. Primary points that connect to the river channels is a good starting point. Check your bait often. Make sure you have a flat line out the back 50 to 100 feet behind the boat. Water temperature is 79 to 80 degrees. Remember to wear your life jacket.

Lanier crappie caught from his dock (Jack Becker).

Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Jack Becker a.k.a. “GA Waterdog”) — I fished our dock on Lake Lanier one afternoon and found Crappie had returned from spawning.  I found them suspended 12’ to 15’ deep. I use 4lb Mr. Crappie line with 2lb leader. Medium shiners with a bb size split shot kept my bait about a foot above the fish. I caught 3, all of them were about the same size.

Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493 via www.southernfishing.com) — Crappie fishing on Lake Lanier has been great lately! The water temperature is around 75 degrees, perfect conditions for catching crappie if the rain will ever let up. The best gear to use for optimal success try using a Acc crappie Stix 1 piece rod and reel with a 6-pound test k9 line, a pink and chartreuse and electric chicken ATX lure company jig or a small minnow. With the current conditions, you should have no problem landing some decent sized Crappie! For more information and tips, and check out my websites at http://www.crappieonlanier.com and http://www.fishingwitheverydayheroes.org and like my pages! I use ATX lure company’s jigs on Lip Thrashin Lure jig heads. I use 5 pound test high visibility yellow k9 braid for my line unless I am using a bobber, then it’s the k9 6 pound high Vis line and an Act crappie Stix. I use Garmin Live Scope and a Power Pole.

Lake Weiss Multi-Species Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service 256-996-9035 via www.southernfishing.com) — Weiss Lake is at 0 foot 5 inches below full pool, light stained to clear, and 79-80 degrees. Bass fishing is good and most of the bass have moved to deeper cover, under deeper docks and the creek and river channel ledges. They are being caught on medium to deep running crank baits, 1/2 ounce spinner baits, Carolina rigged plastics, and jigs. The topwater bite is still strong on deeper banks and sea walls early and late. Crappie fishing is fishing is good. They are moving out to deeper brush in 10-16 feet of water and can be caught spider rigging with minnows and Jiffy Jigs. Some Crappie are still being caught shooting docks with jigs. Striper fishing is fair, and they are starting to show up in the lower Chattooga River and the Cave Hole. Catfish are biting good in the bays and creeks in 8-15 feet of water. Cut bait is working best.

West Point Lake Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — West Point Lake is full and in the 80s. Bass fishing is fair. Bass have moved deep on road beds, humps, and points. Up lake, Jackson Creek, Half Moon, and Yellow Jacket have been the prime creeks to fish. Start by throwing Norman DD22’s, Poe’s 400, or Mann’s 20 Plus crank baits. Good colors to use are shad patterns and try the Sexy Shad color. Fish are also in brush piles in 8 to 12 feet of water and can be caught in several other ways. The 3/8-ounce Picasso football head jigs rigged with a Paca chunk and Carolina rigs are also just as hot. With a Carolina rig, fish a long fluorocarbon leader and 3/4 ounce weight. Down lake, the patterns are similar, but the top water bite is better because of the clearer water. Good baits to try are a Pop R, Sammy, and a Storm Chug Bug. Fish these over shallow brush for some good bites. Also, a ¼-ounce Shakey head rigged with a finesse worm fished around the bridge columns has been producing some small Spots.

Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Allatoona is full and in the 80s. Bass fishing is fair. The fish are holding in structure on the main body of the lake. Look for areas that are close to the river channel bends with blow downs close by like the Clark Creek and Tanyard Creek areas. Spinner baits like the Strike King Quad Shad in white with no trailer fished slowly in and around the cover will catch the big fish early. The Lowrance Structure Scan is the ticket to locating these summertime fish. A Roboworm is a favorite drop shot worm because of its suppleness thanks to the unique soft plastic formula and wide color spectrum letting anglers mimic nearly any bass prey. The Roboworm Straight Tail 4.5″ is our choice for the best spotted bass lure because of its superior action on drop shot rigs as well as its versatility. Mid to late day change up to a Texas Rig worm with a 1/8 ounce slip sinker, 1/0 hook and 6 pound test line in a watermelon or smokin’ silver color and fish around the cover. Try a #5 or #6 Shad Rap in the fire tiger and the Fat Rap in red crawdad colors working the clay banks fished slowly.

Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Hartwell is down .63 feet, and in the 80s. Bass fishing is fair. Spinnerbait, Chug bug, Pop R bite, spook was excellent early when worked near any type of cover. Most anglers are staying on the main rivers and look for the top water bite early. Buzz baits on structure and trick worms are fair and cover lots of shallow structure quickly. White spinner baits are working but after the sun comes up the best bet is soft plastics and anything green on the main lake points and cuts will get a few strikes. A secret of the locals is Jack’s Juice in the lizard and use lots of it. The Lowrance Structure Scan is the ticket to locating these feeding summertime fish. Fix a scent bag and soak the baits over night for the best results. The bite may even then be very subtle. Boat docks is another key area to work with worms or small jigs. Creepy crawlers work well throughout the day on points and rock ledges that dropped into the deeper water.


Area Manager Dennis Shiley says that bass on all three lakes at Rocky Mtn. PFA are on a summer pattern on structure in 8 -12 feet of water.

Rocky Mountain PFA Report: (From Rocky Mountain PFA Manager Dennis Shiley) — Dennis says the largemouth at all three lakes are on a summer pattern on structure in 8 to 12 feet of water.  Jigs, worms, and crankbaits are producing quality bites.  Need some help finding that all-important offshore structure?  Check out the Rocky Mountain PFA Webpage .  Once there, you can use our online interactive map to find fish attractor locations or download coordinates for use with your electronics.


North Georgia Striper Fishing Report: (This report courtesy of Tad Murdoch from Georgia Wild Trout) — The best way to find striper at the moment is on the tailwaters. The striper migrations up the Chattahoochee to Morgan Falls Dam is in full swing. The Etowah River tailwater below Lake Allatoona is also seeing large numbers of striper moving up from Lake Weiss. Wading opportunities are limited here, but drift boats and kayaks will put you over the fish. Target shallower shoals to find the most aggressive fish in the area. The upper sections of rivers will produce some fish over the next month as well. Striper can still be found in the Chestatee River, Etowah River, and upper Chattahoochee River, though in fewer numbers than during the month of May. Runs of fish from the highland lakes in North Georgia should begin any week now. Check out Henry Cowen’s book on Fly Fishing Striped Bass to get a better idea on how to target these fish in Georgia Rivers.

Warmwater Stream Report: (This report courtesy Jeff “Dredger” Durniak at Unicoi Outfitters) — The Hooch was running fairly clear today when I drove across the Hwy 115 bridge. It should fish pretty well for spots, shoalies, and redbreast sunfish at low light and in the shade. A bonus striper or gar might show up, too. Watch those river gauges and ensure a summer storm doesn’t blow them out before you float them. We watch the Hooch at Leaf USGS gauge.  Toss those surface bugs right up against the bank, underneath the overhanging limbs.


Trout Slam: Brown (John Damer)

Trout Slam: Rainbow (John Damer)

Trout Slam: Brook (John Damer)

Wild Trout Slam: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — Last Saturday I fished the smaller tributaries of a very popular stream on the Blue Ridge WMA.  Though I did not set out with a specific plan to do so, I managed to complete a Georgia Trout Slam using only dry flies (size-16 tan caddis), and all the trout I caught were wild, stream-born fish.  Conditions were great, with peak water temps in the low 60s, and flows about normal for this time of year.  I started out on the lowermost tributary, which was full of small rainbows.  I have fished this creek a couple times before, but never during the prime conditions we are seeing right now.  I caught at least 30 before hiking back downstream to the main road.  Then I headed upstream to the second tributary to target our only native salmonid, the brook trout.  I picked up a few brookies right off the bat, including a solid 9-incher, which is a trophy fish in North GA.  The action slowed shortly after that, and I started seeing very fresh footprints.  Since it was clear I was following closely behind another angler, I decided to head up a third tributary in search of a brown trout to complete the slam.  I caught a few rainbows in the first few pools, before noting it was getting late in the day.  The sun had dropped behind the hillside, and it was getting noticeably darker.  Would I have time to find the brown trout I needed to complete the slam?  I hooked and played one brown to my feet, but it was camera shy and shook the hook before I could get my phone out.  Then I finally landed and photographed a small, 5-inch brown.  It was not yet dark, so I kept going, catching around a dozen browns and rainbows with a couple 10-inchers of both species in the mix.  I walked back out along the well-used hiking trail, counting at least 50 fish total for the day.  As I cruised back home along the Forest Service road with the windows down, I reflected on what was another great day of Georgia trout fishing.

Get Your Own Trout Slam: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — The best part of getting a Georgia Trout Slam is the time spent catching fish on the beautiful creeks in north Georgia where the fish live.  BUT… did you know you can also get rewarded for your angling skills?  Check out the Georgia Trout Slam website for all the details, but basically you need to:

  • Make sure your fishing license and trout stamp are up to date.
  • Catch all three of Georgia’s trout species (rainbow, brown, and brook) within one calendar year.
  • Take good photos of the fish.
  • Submit your photos and info to the link on the Georgia Trout Slam

Successful Trout Slammers will receive an official “Georgia Trout Slam” decal and the names of all successful anglers will go into a drawing for an annual grand prize!

Small Streams Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — Small streams in the area should be fishing great. The water most of the time is low and clear so stick with dry flies or dry dropper rigs. The nice thing about these streams is that they will fish steadily throughout the day. For wild trout streams yellow sallies, smaller terrestrials, sulphurs, and caddis have been working great. There are still some good hatches going on on these streams and even when there is not, there are tons of terrestrials around for these fish to feed on. Ants, beetles, and hoppers can be killer on these streams. For some of the other stocked streams, if they are reluctant to come up to a dry fly, try a dry dropper rig. Pat’s or any other flashy nymphs should work just fine.

Pretty rainbow trout for Jeff “Dredger” Durniak.

Small Stream Report: (This report courtesy Jeff “Dredger” Durniak at Unicoi Outfitters) — Dredger went high above Helen on Monday evening and had a blast. He landed nearly twenty little wild bows and had an equal number of misses and refusals in his 4-hour tour. All but the last one ate his #16 tan caddis, as long as it was redosed in High N Dry dessicant and floated high.  After the rhodo ate both his caddis, he switched to a small orange stimmy and landed the big fish of the day, a 10-incher that pulled his rod tip down. He made that his last-cast fish and walked out with a smile.  He did notice that fish were in summer drought mode. They had abandoned many of his traditionally good pockets and runs because they were too shallow. In trout streams, “wood is good.” Aim for woody cover and pools/pockets with some depth. Fish are piled in there. Stealth and a good drift beat fly pattern. Check out Unicoi Outfitters full report HERE for a ton more info delivered every week.

Even with heat rising, most trout streams have stayed cool enough to get some fresh July 4th stockings!

Stocked Streams Report: (From Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — Even with air temperatures in the 90’s, most trout streams have remained cool enough to accept fresh stockings for the July 4th holiday. You can find an updated stocking report HERE after 3:00pm on Fridays to confirm if your favorite stream was stocked. With water temperatures slowly rising daily the best trout fishing days are waning. Heavy rains last week have holdover trout from previous stockings spread out. Try to cover more water by traveling up and down streams. Mornings should prove to be more productive than afternoons. Remember to make sure license and trout stamp are up to date. Need a renewal? Go HERE for easy access. Good luck and Go Trout Fish Georgia and take advantage of these heavy holiday stockings!

Toccoa Tailwater Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — We have finally transitioned into our Summer time fishing here in Blue Ridge. What this means on the Toccoa Tailwater is that you have to be out there early in the morning to have a successful day. Dry fly activity has been great and is catching just as many if not more fish than a typical dry dropper rig. A few tan caddis can be seen flying around first thing in the morning, and as the sun gets higher, you will see more sulphurs and light cahills. Some days there have been some BWO’s around as well. Bring some spools of 6x and make sure you’re stocked up on yellow and cream colored mayfly dries and emergers from size 12-16. Dry dropper rigs have been working well too with a variety of bugs. Pheasant Tail variations have been king, while smaller Pat’s, Perdigons, and Rainbow Warriors have been catching some fish as well. As the day gets hotter the fishing starts slowing down. Once the air temperature hits 80 degrees, the fish seem to shut down all together. If it’s a cooler day, you may notice the bite lasting longer. For anyone looking to learn how to streamer fish, this time of year can be a killer time to learn. With plenty of different shiners, creek chubs and other fry in the river right now, there’s plenty of food for those bigger fish that like to feed on highwater. With TVA generating every afternoon, there can be some good windows to chase a trophy. Throwing sinking lines with big flies isn’t the easiest thing to do, but booking a streamer float can go a long way with learning how to cast and work these big flies to catch some of the bigger fish in the river.

Upper Toccoa Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — Delayed Harvest season is over and water temps on the Upper near Sandy Bottoms are starting to warm up. Temps near Sandy Bottom Canoe Launch are starting around the low 60s and possibly hitting the mid 60’s on a hot day. Early morning fishing is suggested here not just because of the temps, but crowds of tubers and kayakers are often floating through in the afternoons.

Parting Trout Note:  Want to do more to support trout fishing in Georgia?  Consider upgrading to a Trout Unlimited license plate this year. Aside from being a great looking tag, each purchase or renewal of a Trout Unlimited license plate directly supports Georgia’s trout conservation and management programs. Hatcheries and wild trout efforts both benefit from the trout tag.


(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.


Bass fishing is fair.  The bass are mostly small spots.  The small Shad Raps in shad patterns and blue back are working; use light 8-pound test Sufix line.  Fish for spots with smaller baits and anything green in a soft plastic, a spotted bass favorite.  Fish down to the dam area and work the shallow ledges in the creek and deep cuts close by.  Use Poe’s 400 Cedar Shad crank baits and a Zoom u tail worm.  The worms will take the better fish.  This is a good time of year to practice the drop shot rigs with small finesse style Keitech lures in shad.  Be sure to use at least an 18-inch leader.  Down lake use the June bug Zoom trick worm and use a tiny split shot weight.  Add some red dye with garlic Jacks Juice scent on the worm.


Bass fishing is fair.  Several baits and patterns are working.  With the wind that may be blowing, spinner baits in any color are working if white is the primary color when the herring are present.  The Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology is the ticket to locating these summertime fish.  Work the main lake rocks and weed beds and look for any signs of rising fish.  Check out the rip rap in early morning and use a Rapala #7 and a #5 Shad Rap in baby bass or shiner and the spinnerbait.  There has been a good bite up-lake in the cooler water and Bush Hogs and green lizards on a light Texas rig is working on wood.  The points have been best in the middle of the day; use a 200 all-white Bandit.


Bass fishing is fair.  For the early bite look for mayflies along the banks.  Use a Hart Buzz Bait in the white or white/chartreuse color and work around the rocks and where the flies are.  Use a ¼ ounce chrome and black Rat L Trap in this same area, once the top water bite has slowed.  After the morning bite, back off to the long points and use a Carolina rigged Zoom finesse or u tail worm.  Using 12-pound Trilene line with a 24 to 36-inch leader of 10-pound Sufix line and a ½ ounce weight seem to work best.  Fish this bait on the long points 15 to 18 feet deep.  The best color worms to use on Oconee are green pumpkin, watermelon, and watermelon candy.  The points in the middle of the lake are producing a good number of fish.  If the day is overcast, do not overlook fishing around the docks in 5 to 7 foot of water using a small crank bait or spinnerbait.  Be sure to cast to the backs of any walkway and up shallow on the sea walls.  The rip rap at Sugar Creek and the Hwy 44 Bridge are holding fish.


Bass fishing is fair.  At daybreak, try a black Zoom Trick Worm around any grass or wood cover in the clearer water down lake.  Use a 2/0 Mustad wide gap hook on a one-foot leader with a swivel and no weight.  Line size should be from 10 to 14-pound test.  Cast into the cover and make a couple fast but short jerks and then let the bait settle for a few seconds.  Repeat until the bait has cleared the cover.  Retrieve and cast again.  Some fish are still hitting 1/4- or 3/8-ounce buzz baits and Pop R’s in the central and upper lake.  Try rip rap, grass, blow downs and rocky points.  After the early bite ends, fish the boat docks or points, humps, flats, and creek bends.  On the docks, try a 6 inch Zoom Dead Ringer with a 3/16-ounce weight and twitch it near the posts.  June bug has been a good color.  For structure fishing in open water, look for a rough bottom with wood or rock.  During power generation and the first few hours each morning, most fish will be 6 to 10 feet deep.  Try a #6 Fat Free Shad, Poe’s 300, or Deep Little N; chartreuse and shad patterns are both working.  With no water movement, most fish will be 8 to 15 feet deep.  Use the next larger sizes of the same crank baits or throw Carolina rigged worms.  Try a June bug colored Zoom Trick worm on a 3-foot leader and 3/4-ounce weight.


Bass fishing is fair.  Go early and use the Sammy, the Pop R white 1/2-ounce buzz bait, or a Spook near seawalls and visible cover on flats near deep water.  Once the sun gets up use medium diving crankbaits like Bandit 300s or No. 7 Shad Raps in crawdad or silver with a black back.  Fish on points or over humps near river channel drops.  Carolina rigged 6-inch Zoom lizards in green pumpkin, or 6-inch U tail worms will work as well.  Flipping docks with a blue and black jig or the same 6-inch lizard can also be effective but concentrate on the ones near deep water with manmade structure.  As the fish move out over deep structure use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology with patented Fish Reveal on Down scan to locate docks with cover and fish.  Now try fishing with the drop shot rigs and a small Zoom green finesse worm.  Expect the boat traffic and it might increase during the weekends. 


Angler Deven Thompson with a 6.8 lb. Bass from Flat Creek PFA.

Angler Steve Watson with a nice bass catch at Flat Creek PFA.

Anglers are reporting fair success with all species.  Plenty of bass are being caught between 2-5 lbs.  Anglers targeting crappie have reported the most success overnight. Bream continue to be caught just off the bank and around brush piles.  Here is a list of what the anglers are reporting to have had good success using for each of the following:

Bass: Bass are being caught on a variety of lures. Shallow diving crankbaits and live minnows are producing results.

Bream: Anglers are reporting that Bream are being caught using red wigglers and jigs.

Channel Catfish: The last anglers to report catches were using chicken livers, live baitfish, and cut baitfish.

Crappie: Anglers are reporting that Crappie are being caught using live minnows and jigs.


  • Water level: All bodies of water are full.
  • Water clarity: 16 to 40” inches.
  • Surface temperature: Mid to Upper 80’s.
  • Marben PFA Fishing Guide

Bass: Cooler than usual summer temperatures have allowed anglers to enjoy the spring-like fishing into June.  However, it looks like we are about to get back to the normal weather for Georgia. That means after midnight till early morning the water will be at its coolest.  Most bass are being caught on plastic worms, and lizards adjacent to creek channels and deeper structure. If you are a bank angler, try locations that are not fished as heavily. For example, the north side of Bennett has a nice access trail.

Crappie: Deeper water suspended over brush with jigs or minnows is your best bet for crappie. If you do not have a boat, try fishing deeper water like off the dam.

Bream: Bluegill are spawning every full moon throughout the summer. Crickets and wax worms are great baits.  Right off the bottom or on the bottom near bedding sites is your best bet. Look for beds in 2 – 4’ of water.

Hybrid Bass:  Bennet Lake hosts a nice hybrid population. These fish can be seen feeding on shad early morning and late afternoon.  A lure that you can cast a decent distance and mimics a shad is a good bet.


(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)

I wish each of you a wonderful 4th of July! The summer heat has arrived, and the number of reports dwindled with the heat. The fish will be in their summer patterns soon if they are not already where you are fishing. Most rivers are still full bank or in the floodplain, except the St Marys River. Fish early or at night to avoid the heat this holiday week. Saltwater, the Okefenokee Swamp, and ponds are where I would recommend over the holiday.

River gages on June 29th were:

  • Clyo on the Savannah River – 12.1 feet and rising
  • Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 9.1 feet and falling
  • Doctortown on the Altamaha – 9.9 feet and steady
  • Waycross on the Satilla – 14.3 feet and falling
  • Atkinson on the Satilla – 12.4 feet and rising
  • Statenville on the Alapaha – 9.5 feet and falling
  • Macclenny on the St Marys – 6.9 feet and falling
  • Fargo on the Suwannee – 9.5 feet and falling

Full Moon is July 3rd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE. For the latest marine forecast, click HERE.


Charlie (L) and Wyatt caught a bunch of bass in a Waycross area pond this week. They had several double hook-ups like this one with wacky-rigged worms and chartreuse Rooster Tail spinners.

Scout Carter and a friend had a great trip fishing out of kayaks in a local pond on Saturday evening. They caught all of their bass on Keitech Noisy Flappers (green pumpkin-chartreuse was tops) rigged on a Toad Hook (5/0 Gamakatsu hook version). Their biggest was an 8-pounder, but they also had a 7-pounder. Their other 8 fish ranged from a pound to 5 1/2 pounds. Charlie and Wyatt fished with their dad in a local pond and caught 30 bass this week and kept 10 for their grandma to eat. They had several double hook-ups during their trip. Their best lures were wacky-rigged worms and chartreuse Rooster Tail spinners. A Blackshear angler fished a pond after watching his Gators trounce LSU during the second game of the College World Series and caught 2 bass (2 pounds and 3 pounds) on stick worms.


The river continued rising most of the week, and the good panfish bites in backwaters slowed down. Brentz McGhin fished from his kayak in some backwater oxbows in the upper Altamaha and caught a few fliers, bluegills, warmouth, and bowfin. He had to work for them. He fooled the panfish with crickets under a float and several bowfin with plastic worms. The water was flowing through the oxbows he fished.


The river is way up on the floodplain, and it is not worth trying this week. The upper river is dropping so it won’t be too long.


The St Marys is our only local river that I would fish because it is still in good shape. Panfish and catfish would be my species of choice. The last Shady Bream Tournaments points event of the year is coming up on July 8th. For the event, a team can weigh in 15 fish and live bait is allowed for this tournament (usually it is an artificial-only format). Check out Shady Bream Tournaments on Facebook for more details.


I fished the east side for just a few hours on Sunday afternoon and caught 46 fish in the heat. I flung white Okefenokee Swamp Sallies on a fly rod and caught 4 fliers in about 15 minutes and then started trolling Dura-Spins down the canal. The bite was good enough that I could only troll one pole, so I just held it and kept setting the hook. I caught fish on both fire tiger-chartreuse blade and a new lemon-lime version (lime, chartreuse, and white skirt with a chartreuse blade). Those were the two colors I had tied on when I started and I did not have to change. I caught a few casting, but the vast majority were trolling. My biggest pickerel was just over 20 inches, and the biggest bowfin was 7-lb., 4-oz. Yellow flies are still around but their numbers have been declining. I still recommend covering up if you don’t want to get aggravated by them. The water level (Folkston side) was 120.60 feet again this week.


Brenda Hampton had a fun trip to the Jekyll Island Pier on Saturday. She caught this 18-inch flounder and another 16-incher on mudminnows.

Pat Bisese caught this big tripletail while fishing the Georgia coast on Wednesday (photo courtesy of Capt. Tim Cutting).

Jay Turner walked the bank in the Savannah area and caught and released two giant trout over 20 inches apiece this week. He was targeting big flounder with a 4.8-inch Keitech and a 1/4-oz. Zombie Eye Jighead with 4/0 Gamakatsu hook when the gator trout bit. Those were his only 2 bites, but they made the trip worthwhile. Tommy Sweeney had not been catching many trout in the Brunswick area during the week until Thursday evening. He got on a bunch of trout that evening with 4-inch Keitech swimbaits on a Capt. Bert’s Jighead. While most were short fish, he caught trout on 7 consecutive casts at one creek mouth. Capt. Greg Hildreth (georgiacharterfishing.com) has been on a great whiting bite this week. On Wednesday, he had 3 pompano mixed in his catch. They also had a guitarfish. Greg has only caught 3 of those unique fish in his career. Inshore the trout bite has been hit-or-miss. Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) said that the fishing has been good, but they were not the same place any 2 days in a row. He had to search every day. On Monday they used all artificials and managed a half-dozen reds, a couple trout and 17 flounder (kept 10 of them). On Tuesday his charter chased sharks and had a blast catching several species of the toothy critters along with some whiting, weakfish, flounder, reds, croaker, rays and grunts. It was a sure enough smorgasbord catch! On Wednesday they fished both artificials and shrimp and had a couple 23 to 24-inch gator trout. They had a few thick flounder, oversized reds, and a few slot reds, and even some short reds. The fish of the trip, though, was a 14-pound tripletail that they broke off twice, but the third time was a charm. It still had the leader hanging out of its mouth from the break-offs. Shrimp fooled that fish. On Thursday they had a bunch of short trout but ended the day on a pretty good redfish bite. Brenda Hampton put it on her husband Steve again at the Jekyll Island Pier on Saturday. She fooled a 16 and 18-inch flounder with mudminnows while he watched. He was good at netting the flatties, though.