The Go Fish Education Center in Perry, GA just started an exciting project. That means that the facility is temporarily closed to the public – but not for long! The watershed room and the shooting sports room are being completely renovated. Prepping and painting of walls has begun and new design ideas are working through the approval process and then installation. Additionally, aquarium exhibits are being drained for maintenance, cleaning and plant removal. Re-opening date is currently scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1. So, go ahead and plan your visit to the Center for a December or January (or later) weekend (when it might be too cold to get out and fish) and get ready to have a great time with all the hands-on activities, updated and new exhibits, and “freshened up” aquariums. Keep up with activities and information at the Go Fish Education Center on their Facebook page.
NEWS TO KNOW:
- New Saltwater Women’s State Record: Shantel Curlett, 53, caught the 2-pound, 3.52-ounce pompano Oct. 8 on East Beach of St. Simons Island while participating in the Kids Can Fish Foundation’s Running of the Bulls Charity Redfish Tournament. Find out more and see the big fish photo HERE.
- Don’t Delay This Trip: Beginning Nov. 1, make plans to fish on one of the five delayed harvest trout streams in Georgia. Find out more about which streams are delayed harvest and what that means HERE.
- Fish Art Contest Introduces New Category: The Fish Art Contest , which is already underway, introduced a new category. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Conservation Award will feature the new Debris Division. To compete for this award, students must conduct a habitat cleanup in their community and utilize the plastic waste or found objects collected to create artwork depicting a game fish. Find out more about this new category HERE.
- Boat Ramps: Closures and Openings: The Middleton Boat Ramp located on Lake Richard B Russell in Elbert County has re-opened after parking lot renovation and ramp improvements. The Lake Margery Boat Ramp at the Marben Public Fishing Area is currently closed (as is the lake) in order to conduct maintenance work. Find out about closures at PFAs, Shooting Ranges, Boat Ramps and more HERE.
This week, we have fishing reports from Southeast, North and Central Georgia. While you wait for the re-opening of the Go Fish Education Center, let’s get out and 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)
Fishing has been good during the few trips I heard about this week. The swamp bite has been very good and the rivers are getting in much better shape. Saltwater tides are ramping up with the upcoming full moon Saturday.
River gages on October 26th were:
- Clyo on the Savannah River – 1 feet and falling
- Abbeville on the Ocmulgee – 1.6 feet and falling
- Doctortown on the Altamaha – 5.5 feet and falling
- Waycross on the Satilla – 7.8 feet and falling
- Atkinson on the Satilla – 9.0 feet and falling
- Statenville on the Alapaha – 2.9 feet and falling
- Macclenny on the St Marys – 2.9 feet and falling
- Fargo on the Suwannee – 8.6 feet and falling
Bob and Chip Lafferty fished with a friend on the east side of the swamp on Monday afternoon and caught a bunch of fish. They pitched a chartreuse sally and caught a flier in a few minutes just to see what they looked like then spent the rest of their time casting and trolling for pickerel (jackfish) and bowfin. They caught a few pickerel by casting jackfish-colored Dura-Spins and trolled for most of their bowfin. The best colors on the trip were fire tiger-chartreuse blade, jackfish, and lemon-lime. Their biggest jackfish was 18 inches and biggest bowfin was 7-lb., 11-oz. The most recent water level (Folkston side) was 120.76 feet.
A Waycross angler fished a local lake and trolled for crappie on Saturday afternoon in celebration of opening day of deer season. He ended up catching 16 fish on 1/32-oz. Zombie Eye Jigheads and 2-inch Keitech swimbaits. He caught mostly 8 to 11-inch crappie, but he also had a 4-pound bass inhale the little swimbait. He caught the fish in the upper end (shallow) of the pond while trolling at 1.0 to 1.3 miles per hour. The best swimbait colors were chartreuse-pearl, sexy shad, and bluegill flash. Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond for a few hours over the weekend and caught 4 bass about 2 pounds apiece on stick worms and hollow-bodied frogs.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)
Capt. Greg Hildreth (georgiacharterfishing.com) has been on the bull reds all week. He filmed with Mark Davis of Big Water Adventure TV show and got several catches of big bulls on film. Look for the show to air in the near future. His charters this week were all about big bull redfish in the sounds and bars. Jay Turner fished the Savannah area on Tuesday and had a great day. He had a bunch of trout and redfish and kept about a dozen total and a big flounder. He also fooled 25 and 29-inch stripers (released them). All of his fish came on Zombie Eye Jigheads and plastics. Capt. Tim Cutting (fishthegeorgiacoast.com) said that the tides were great for inshore fishing all week, and the winds cooperated for the most part. His charters boated LOTS of slot redfish this week – catching a limit each day. They had some oversized reds mixed in each day, as well. They also caught big sheepshead when they targeted them on hard cover. Monday was an especially great trip, as they caught tons of reds, 10 good sheepshead, and ten good trout to go with them. The stripers have started showing up in their catch, as well. He fished live shrimp under Harper Super Striker Floats all week. The new bait shop in Brunswick named Wat-a-melon Bait and Tackle is now open Friday through Sunday from 6am to 4pm each week. They have plenty of lively shrimp and fiddler crabs and also have live worms and crickets for freshwater. They’re on Hwy 303 just north of Hwy 82 in the same location as the previous J&P Bait and Tackle. For the latest information, contact them at 912-223-1379.
(Fishing report courtesy of John Damer, Fisheries Biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Lake Rabun Yellow Perch Report: (From Trout Stocking Coordinator John Lee Thomson) — Phil Black and Wesley Turpen of Habersham County spent a beautiful fall day fishing on Lake Rabun. Targeting yellow perch proved very productive and each landed a fish worthy of an angler award. Fishing small jigs and worms at approximately 40 feet deep was the recipe for success. These fish make excellent table fare and these gentleman will enjoy a fish fry soon.
Lake Rabun Bass Report: (From Fisheries Biologist Kyle Rempe) — We were out on the water early one morning this week pulling gill nets. There was plenty of top-water action happening from what we could see in the upper portion of the lake, although one angler did say the bass were being picky for lures so might have to try a few different options. As the day went on another angler was filling up his cooler by targeting Spotted Bass down low with deep-dive crankbaits and jigs near the bottom. Pictured above is a 3-pound spot we retrieved from a gill net, and there should be plenty more bass for folks to target based off our high catch rates and responses from those fishing around us today.
Lake Allatoona Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Red Rooster Custom Baits) — Air Temp: 50s – 75. Wind: Calm in the Morning & 10-12 mph in Afternoon. Lake Level: 833′ and dropping. Water Temp: 65 – 72. Water Clarity: Clear to Mild Stain (Depending on the area of the lake). Area Fished: North Lake (Little River Area) & South Lake (Blockhouse area). Jigs Used: UV Shad Dagger, Splatter Back Dagger, Motor. Oil Red Dagger & Jive Turquee Chartreuse Kic’n Chic’n. Technique: Mixed Techniques this week, Trolling & Brush Piles, Stumps and Stick ups. The 3rd week in October was a bit challenging. If you were able to fish in the morning, the wind was relatively calm. That all changed after around 10 AM with winds kicking up daily to 10-12 MPH and dying down to around 5-7 MPH around dusk. The morning bite was good but the afternoon bite was a bit challenging due to the winds…at least if you were targeting brush or roaming schools. We are seeing some roaming fish and that is only going to continue as the water level and temperatures drop. We did some trolling and caught 14 Crappie as well as hybrids, spots and a catfish. We were trolling using three different presentations: (1) Double Jig Rig with a 1/16th oz. jig head on the bottom and a 1/32nd oz. jig head about 12-18″ up from the bottom jig, (2) Double Jig Rig with two 1/32nd oz. jig heads, (3) a single 1/16th oz. jig head. The Single 1/16th jig head seemed to work the best. The average trolling speeds were between .64 – .94 mph. The crappie were suspended over 18′ – 24′ of water. The Chicken Pox Small Fry Caught 80% of our crappie! The Jive Turquee – Chartreuse Kic’n Chic’n caught a few as well. Get ready the fall troll bite will be on in a week or so leading up to November. Make sure to download the Red Rooster Long Line Trolling Guide for tips on how to troll for Allatoona Crappie. Hopefully this report will help you the next time you are crappie fishing on Lake Allatoona. Lord willing we will have another great report next week!
Lake Allatoona Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Allatoona is down 6.7 feet, in the 60s. Bass fishing is good. The Spro Fat John fished in 3 to 5 feet of water in creeks in the north and mid lake areas have been producing spots and some largemouth. Watch for stumps logs and rocks that the bass might use for an ambush point. There is also some schooling activity around Stamp Creek and the Red Top Mountain area. We are using pearl white Big Bite Jerk Minnows on 3/0 1/8 ounce jig heads as well as Spro Mystics. The fish may only stay up for a few seconds. The buzz bait bite is also good. Throw the buzz bait parallel to bluff banks. Bang the bait off the rocks when it’s being retrieved. The bass will use the shoreline to trap the bait. For bigger fish even though there may get a few less bites the swim bait is hard to beat. Throwing the fast sinking Spro 6 inch BBZ in shad patterns and covering water is an awesome way to get a big spot this time of year.
Lake Lanier Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Phil Johnson, 770-366-8845 via www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Lanier is down 6 feet, in the 70s. Bass fishing on Lake Lanier is good. Currently the lake is down about six and a half feet and the water temperatures are running in the mid to upper seventies. Overall the lake is clear with very little stain anywhere. The bite is still on a day to day hour to hour routine. One day it will be on fire and the next day a grind or the morning will be tough then the afternoon is on fire. Top water and hard swimbaits have been the most productive baits over the last week with spinnerbait’s and the Alabama coming into play this week. The Slickstick and the Sebile in either Blue Herring, Chrome or white have been the steadiest colors for the week. For the top water bite it has been a variety from day to day. The Gunfish and Ima Skimmer have worked well but a variety of other baits have worked as well. If you can get on the schooling fish it seems they will take a lot of different baits. The fish are scattered but seem to be more in the first third of the creeks and on the main lake around humps and long points. On days with stronger wind a three eights ounce white with silver blade spinnerbait has produced fish on rocky points and wind blown banks. The Alabama rig has also produced fish in the same areas. The bass are feeding up for the winter and a lot of nice spotted bass are being caught right now so looking for the areas with shad is critical. The jig bite has slowly picked up and should increase of the next few weeks. A brown three eights jig with either a cinnamon pepper or root beer trailer will produce some good quality fish right now but just not a lot of fish. Fall on Lanier is always a great time to get on the water so Go Catch ‘Em!
Lake Lanier Striper Report: (This report courtesy of Jack Becker, aka Georgia Waterdog) — This week a friend visited from Kentucky in hopes of catching his first Lanier Striper. The first day we fished the same area I reported on last week. That area produced quality fish for me 2 weeks in a row. With low winds and falling water temperatures, 69.2 degrees, I was hopeful we would be successful but after 6 hours of fishing we only managed to catch a couple of spotted bass. The second day we moved to an area closer to Port Royale Marina. We found fish and managed to hook up with several fish only to loose them at the boat. Finally on the third day everything came together and we put 2 nice fish in the boat. The biggest was a beautiful 31 1/2 inch fish. The same pattern. Free line bluebacks & shiners , close to the creek channel drew the bites.
Lake Lanier Striper Report: (This report courtesy of Buck Cannon, Buck Tails Guide Service 404-510-1778 via www.southernfishing.com) — Striper fishing is good. Work the channel and the water temperatures cool down. Stripers are in the river channel. The methods are planer boards and weighted flat lines. Blue backs is the choice of bait but take some shiners also. Put baits 30 to 40 feet behind the boards and flat lines 80 to 100 feet behind the boat using the trolling motor at .05 to 1 mph. Fish are from Big Creek and the Port Royal area so locate fish using your electronics. Watch for the arrival of the birds and have a top water bait tied on just in case they pop up in front of you. Remember to wear your life jacket.
Lake Lanier Crappie Report: (This report courtesy of Captain Josh Thornton, 770-530-6493 via www.southernfishing.com) — Crappie fishing is good. Water temperatures are cooling. The crappie seem to be mostly suspended at 10 to 12 foot deep. Most of this week’s catch was on live small minnows straight down with a split shot. Also, try small jigs with a slow retrieval and black and gray are working well. Look for covered docks near a channel with brush or structure underneath. The gear I recommend for crappie fishing is Acc Crappie Stix 1 piece rod and reel with a 6 pound test K9 line. We use Garmin Live Scope and Power Poles.
Lake Weiss Multi-Species Report: (This report courtesy of Mark Collins Guide Service 256-996-9035 via www.southernfishing.com) — Weiss Lake is 10 inches below full pool, light stained to clear, and 67-69 degrees. Bass fishing is good. Some of the bass have started moving shallow in the bays on secondary points, creek and river channel ledges are still producing, Carolina rigs and crank baits are catching fish. Crappie fishing is fair. They are on the creek and river channel ledges and deeper brush, they can be caught Spider rigging with live minnows over deep brush. Shooting docks with jigs is also producing some fish, Look for the Crappie to really start biting as the water cools down. Striper fishing is poor and no reports this past week. Catfish are biting in the bays and creeks in 8 to 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 down 6.5 feet, in the 60s. Bass fishing is fair. The lower part of the lake is clear and the bass are moving and scattered. The largemouth and spots and hybrids and whites are mixed together and moving and feeding. During the early morning and late afternoon the bass are moving into the coves and can be caught with shad imitation lures like Rat L Traps and all white 3/8 ounce Rooster Tails. During the day the bass are moving out deeper and can be caught using crank baits and Carolina rigged worms. The bass are still holding on deep submerged road beds and they are also on the edges of flats on the lower end of the lake. Cranking around main lake rocky points is productive early and late in the day. Fish the steep banks of main creeks in deep blow downs using a crank bait or a brown on black pig and jig. Look for the fish to start moving out on the points as the lake level drops.
Lake Hartwell Bass Report: (This report courtesy of Ken Sturdivant, www.southernfishing.com) — Lake Hartwell is down 5.4 feet, in the 60s. Bass fishing is fair. The lower lake fish are shallow to mid depth and are starting to school in the creek mouths over deeper water as smaller pods of bait are starting to form. There are some schooling fish daily on the feeding periods. Keep a top water bait on all day. For schooling fish use the on Zoom pearl white flukes, Sammy 115 in Ghost Minnow and a bine Zara Spook As the feeding period slow down get out the Weedless Wonder lead head. When the bite slows switch to a drop shot finesse worm in Morning Dawn Red. Focus on bridge pilings or points on the side the drops the sharpest for this bite. There are also fish being caught on the under spin lures and a few on the Alabama rigs. Consider using under spins to provide more flash. Use the Lowrance Active Target technology to find bait schools. The bass will be close by. Depending on their positions will determine the lures to use. Some fish are under and around docks by pitching worms and jigs around them. Now that the shallow water back in the creeks has started to stabilize the popping frog bite along with a skinny dipper retrieved on the surface has started to work.
Lake Sturgeon Stocking: (From Fisheries Biologist John Damer) — More than 7,000 lake sturgeon have been stocked into the rivers of Northwest Georgia this month. These fish were raised at WRD’s GoFish Education Center and Summerville Fish Hatchery, and at the US Fish and Wildlife Service Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery. At one of the stocking events, students from Armuchee and Berry Elementary and Middle Schools had a blast helping us stock these fish into the Oostanaula River. WRD has led the effort to bring these awesome fish back to the waters of the Coosa River Basin since the program began in 2002, and we continue to see more and more adult fish that have grown, matured, and are now reaching some respectable sizes (25 pounds). For more information about our Lake Sturgeon reintroduction program click HERE . Remember to release any lake sturgeon you catch as we continue to grow their population to a self-sustaining level!
Lanier Tailwater Fall Sampling Report: (From Fisheries Biologist Hunter Roop) — Gainesville Fisheries staff conducted annual standardized electrofishing surveys for brown and rainbow trout on the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam this week. We found rainbow trout at all locations, but their abundance was highest at Abbotts Bridge, Settles Bridge, and Jones Bridge Park. This means plenty of rainbows are still present in the tailwater since the last stocking events took place in late September. Brown trout abundance has rebounded slightly from prior years, which is good news for anglers looking to catch some Chattahoochee browns. Keep the following generalizations in mind when pursuing the ‘Hooch’s famed wild browns: If you are shooting for numbers, fish closer to Buford Dam. The rapid increase in water velocity and volume that occurs during generation periods keeps the abundant spawning substrate of the upper tailwater clean and free of sediment, which promotes high reproductive success among the brown trout there. Most brown trout in the upper tailwater will range in size from 8” to 12”, but there are plenty of them to catch. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as the current Georgia brown trout state record holder Chad Doughty would certainly attest. If you are fishing along the lower tailwater, the theme is quality over quantity. Because brown trout populations in the lower ‘Hooch are generally lower in abundance, individual trout have less intraspecific competition for food resources. They also have a more abundant and diverse macroinvertebrate menu to prey upon thanks to improving water quality and less variable hydrology. Once these trout exceed 12” – 14” in length, they may transition to piscivory (eating other fish), in which case growth really takes off! A good example of these fish is this 19” female brown and this impressive spawn-ready male that taped out at just over 24”. Due to the reduced water clarity in the tailwater during the fall, trophy trout may hunt more aggressively as they are putting on mass for the fall spawn. Consider using larger, highly visible flies, streamers or lures that will catch their attention.
Finally, it was awesome to see the positive effects of three different trout management strategies (put-grow-take, put-take, and wild trout management) working in tandem at Jones Bridge Park. The following picture captures an example of each of these strategies. The smaller rainbow trout at the bottom is likely a fish that was stocked by one of the many metro Atlanta participants of TU’s Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program. We saw several suspected TIC trout at Jones Bridge Park, which is where nearly all of them are stocked. The fish in the middle is a standard 10” rainbow stocked by the hardworking staff at Buford Trout Hatchery. Of course, the fish at the top is a wild brown trout. Brown trout haven’t been stocked in Lanier tailwater since 2005, and conducting these annual surveys helps us manage their populations to ensure brown trout are available for anglers to catch for generations to come.
Other notes: If you are wading or floating from Buford Dam to Hwy 20, a personal floatation device must be worn. The artificial-only section is between the Hwy 20 bridge and the boat ramp at Medlock Bridge Park. Only artificial lures may be used or possessed when fishing within this section of the tailwater.
Small Streams Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — This fall is looking to be another low water fall. With not much more than a drizzle the past two months, the creeks are incredibly low. This means fish can be really spooky. In the wild trout streams, stick with dry flies or some lighter dry dropper rigs. Throwing lighter rigs can help keep your flies from slapping the water and spooking fish. In some of the stocked streams, that can also be the case with pressured fish. With dry flies, I’ve been having some luck throwing some attractions like Stimulators, Bugmeisters, and PMX’s. But they will still eat natural dries like Caddis and Parachute Adams pretty well. Sometimes it just helps throwing something that sticks out from all of the leaves.
Small Stream Report: (This report courtesy Jeff “Dredger” Durniak at Unicoi Outfitters) — If you’re heading out soon to sunny afternoon skies and slow, glassy trout waters, then have your skinny water game ready. Try some long, light leaders and microscopic bugs to match the hatch and convince those risers. Dredger pulled his trusty bug net (paint strainer) out of his vest on Monday afternoon and discovered that the risers just upstream were sipping tiny BWOs. And I mean tiny- maybe a size 24 or 26! He found an olive 24 midge in his midge box and it was game on! No micro bugs in your own box? No problem. Stop in our Helen shop and grab a few tiny fall dries and wets for your Halloween adventures. From midges to BWO’s to tiny para-Adams and from WD40’s to micro pheasant tails, the right micro-bug can save your day. It sure saved Dredger’s Monday. And if you can’t see that tiny hook eye to thread thru the tippet, grab a pair of Flip Focals, too. We’ll set you up for success! Check out Unicoi Outfitters full report HERE for a ton more info delivered every week.
Toccoa Tailwater Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — Turnover is done on the Toccoa Tailwater! Water temps below the dam are down into the mid 60’s and are dropping. The fish are feeding on a variety of things. Plenty of Tan Caddis and BWO’s are around, as well as tons of midges. October Caddis are just around the corner, so we’re expecting to see these start popping off any day now. Morning and late evening dry fly fishing has been phenomenal throwing smaller Parachute Adams, Parachute BWO’s and Tan Elk Hair Caddis. Dry Dropper rigs have been working well, with nymphs hanging between 2-4 feet below the dry depending on where you are fishing. Hare’s Ear variations have been working the best with some small mayfly nymphs, like pheasant tails, in the mix. Fishing should only get better as we start to get into our October Caddis hatch so start stocking up on some orange colored caddis dries. Even switching to a smaller orange chubby on your dry dropper rigs can help pick up a couple extra fish.
Upper Toccoa Report: (This report courtesy of Matt Morrison from Cohutta Fishing Company) — Delayed Harvest season starts November 1st. Flows are incredibly low with as little rain as we’ve had. As I’m writing this the upper is flowing at 106cfs. This should really help wade fishermen out. Make sure to stock up on your typical junk flies like Pat’s, Eggs, Worms, and Rainbow Warriors. If you’re new to fly fishing or don’t know what DH season is, basically starting Nov 1st there are a few more regulations you need to pay attention to. During DH season (Nov. 1 – May 14), fishing is catch and release only, single hooks only (for us fly fishermen meaning no more than 2 flies), and artificial lures only. There are a few different DH’s in Georgia and North Carolina and they all provide great opportunities for newer anglers.
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)
MCDUFFIE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (More Info HERE)
Water Temperature: 80’s and falling
- Water Visibility: 23+ in
- McDuffie PFA Fishing Guide
Waters are cooling off, shad are schooling, and more bass are moving in the shallows. Large schools can be seen hitting the surface late afternoon on most ponds. Bass are chasing the schools, with lots of bank activity in Bream Buster, Bridge, and Willow. Creature lures, especially frog lures, are a good idea in the heavily vegetated areas of Willow and Clubhouse.
Recent stockings to all lakes have turned the catfish bite ON! We are seeing lots of happy anglers with full stringers of fish. Stink baits are always a good bet. Chicken livers work great too and give anglers a chance to catch a pond striper too!
The bream bite remains slow. Those in boats are having some success in the upper middle area of Willow near the sunken tree fish habitat.
RESERVOIR FISHING REPORTS BELOW COURTESY OF SOUTHERN FISHING WITH KEN STURDIVANT.
LAKE RUSSELL IS DOWN 1.7 FEET, 70’S
Bass are biting. Use a variety of different baits and presentations. Use the shallow lures like the spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jerk baits. For the deeper bite mid-day use Carolina rigged worms, jigs, and a drop shot. The key is to locate the baitfish and be around when the bass are feeding. This time of year, it’s not unusual to catch a lot of fish and it only gets better later in the month as the bass bunch up with the baitfish. The bass are on main lake points and humps mid-day. Use the Lowrance Active Target technology to find bait schools. The bass will be close by; their positions will determine the lures to use. The key is to move around until the active fish show up. During the day, the best lures seem to be a drop shot or a Carolina rig with a Zoom Finesse or Trick Worm. The last couple of weeks a lot of big largemouth have been caught late in the evening and at night. This is the time of year to throw big baits like the Zoom Ol Monster or Mag worm on a Texas and Carolina rig to catch big bass.
CLARKS HILL LAKE IS DOWN 5.3 FEET, 60’S
Bass fishing is fair. With the water down and out of the cover the fishing should heat up. The largemouth bite in isolated shade during the day should be a consistent pattern along with the baitfish that will be starting their fall migration back in the running creeks with fresh water coming in. Start at the mouths and work way back until you find the bait. A Berkley Speed Toad J Walker and Berkley Pop should be a good start. Slow down and use Pit Boss on a Fusion Flipping Hook and Berkley General to flip wacky style. Use the Lowrance Active Target technology to find bait schools. The bass will be close by; their positions will determine the lures to use. The spots are biting well, and it should get even better down the lake on long points and humps near deep water. The more current the better. Brush and rock should be the key. Top water like the Berkley Cane Walker and Berkley Flat Nose Minnow on a drop shot should make for some great days. Wind is the key for top water with slick water best.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Use a Rapala #7 Shad Rap around docks in the mouths of the creeks and large coves. Contact the dock posts and fish under the docks. Look for docks in 8 feet of water. A shaky head with a small green worm fished under the same docks works well. Use the Lowrance Active Target technology to find bait schools. The bass will be close by. The key is to move around until the active fish show up. The water is cooling every day and the fish are moving into the coves and creeks. Start on the outside of creeks and work all way to the back. Some fish are still on the humps on the south end of the lake. Use a large crank bait and work the bait off the hump into the deeper water. Try the SPRO Chad Shad 180. The Spro KGB Chad Shad 180 is a 7-inch bait that weighs 2.4 ounces. This bait sinks with a ROF (rate of fall) of 3 to 4 feet per 10 seconds and is great for fishing a variety of shallow and offshore cover.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.6 FEET, 70’S
Bass fishing is good. The fish are roaming looking for food and a spinnerbait and a crank bait will work. There has been a good grass bite for some bigger fish in the mornings on a frog. After that bite slows, catching fish has been consistent but catching quality fish has been tough. Target anything like rock, grass, blowdowns, docks, and seawalls. Throw a variety of baits until the fish show what they prefer that day. Rat L Traps, buzz baits, shallow crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and plastics are all in the mix. Buzz baits and spinnerbaits are consistently working at the time of this report. Start in the backs of pockets with incoming water and work way out until the bite slows. Rip rap around the lake should continue to get better as rocks radiate heat. A Blade master Lure Sodded Little Earl is a tight wobbling crankbait that better imitates wintertime forage and can be a great producer when the water temperatures are low. When all else fails target docks and shallow grass as this pattern is a consistent producer year-round.
LAKE JACKSON IS FULL, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair. Early morning top water strikes in the shallow water along the banks or on the sides of the points have been good. Try using a Chug Bug or Thunder Stick on ten- or twelve-pound test line and a 6 1/2 to 7-foot medium to medium heavy action rod. Always keep the bait moving, even if the fish miss the bait. Follow up any short strike with a Zoom green pumpkin Trick worm or a Rapala #5 Jointed Shad Rap. Slow cranking a Thunder Stick or a Husky Jerk will also work. Sebile Swimmers in the smaller sizes in a shad pattern will work. Use those plastics and light jibs around the heavy wood and brush piles. The rip rap bite is now starting to produce a few bass while cranking Bandit crank baits in greens and white. Be sure to fish the Rip Rap early in the day. Spots love a fat Albert Grub on a 1/8-ounce lead head and use both bright and dark colors with or without the sunlight. Mix up the colors all day and cast and reel them slowly.