North Georgia Fishing Report: July, 24, 2014

Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff

Rainbow trout caught on Dukes Creek.

Rainbow trout caught on Dukes Creek.

Welcome rains helped to recharge our rivers and streams a bit last week, while knocking back water temperatures for a little while.  That made the trout fishing better while putting a damper on river bassin’.

It looks like the rains may now subside and north Georgia’s flowing waters will return to more normal summertime conditions. The time is right to give the “popper/dropper” technique a try on your favorite pond or stream. Double-dip on your fish catching potential by attaching a second fly or lure to your favorite offering.

For trouters, try a small beetle, stimulator, elk hair caddis, or larger adams as the first fly.  To the bend of the hook tie on 2 to 6 (yes, six) feet of tippet, depending on your casting ability, and add a dropper fly to the other end of the tippet.  Crimp a #6 dinsmore shot about 8 inches in front of the dropper fly. Good dropper patterns are fur ants, pheasant tails, hares ears and caddis larvae.

For river bream, just substitute a small popper, foam spider, or similar buoyant offering for the first fly.  Flyfishing bassers should add 2-3 feet of 8-pound test dropper line to the back of their bigger popper or stealth bomber, and then tie on a black woolly bugger.  Spincasting bassers can add 2-3 feet of dropper line to the back of a Pop-R and then add a small hair jig, fluke, or white zonker.

By working more of the water column, you’ve got a better shot at your targets, especially when the sun is high and the fish are laying low.  Sunday afternoon’s Cataloochee rainbows approved of the drowned ant droppers, so give this setup a try soon.

Here’s the latest news.  Hope you like the video within the last link, too.

Dukes Report – “Trouter23, Wily Trout (and Dredger) read Dredger’s recent tips and followed last week’s monsoons to Smithgall.  Saturday morning’s “epic flood” stymied the early action, but by mid-afternoon streamflow had receded, turbidity kicked back up to two feet, and it was “game on” til the end the day.  A nice handful of rainbows, with one slightly longer than the twenty- inch landing net, fell to hot pink san juans on 3X tippet.

The day ended with an interesting bruin encounter.  Trouter said he was going to post a video on NGTO, so be on the lookout there for Yogi.” – Bluelines

“Stream X was smokin Tuesday week ago (July 8).   Water temp 60 and plenty of water.   Got em on top all day.  No big uns this time (over 10”), but numbers made up for it.   If you are over that way, you need to check it out.  All this rain and cooler temps should keep things going all summer.   Beetles mid-day and anything yellow (X Caddis, sulphur parachute, sulphur cripple) early and late were the ticket.

Also as a bonus, I took a 2 hour mid-day detour up IDBIS Creek to check out the USFS/TU brook trout structures.   First structure took a 7 incher, then next one a 9 incher (measured) and then a couple of pools further up rose and lipped (slow motion mouth wide open rise) a legitimate 10 plus incher.   I worked on him for about a half hour with four different flies and got him to come up again but he finally got too wise.  I know where he lives and will come back for him.  Got pics of the other two.  Let the project coordinator know their stream structures are working!

With all the rain and cooler temps the small streams ought to be fabulous all summer into fall, especially with terrestrials.  Glad the Park fished well for you and Kidd.     Sinking ants are one of my favorite dropper flies late spring thru summer.  I started tying some with a black bead on the front instead of coated thread to help sink rate.  Will let you know how that works.”  – Banker  *note: Blueline expert “Banker” had some good trips and submitted these reports.  Stream names omitted to honor the author and protect his honey holes.

Additional Links:

In closing, there’s a little more water out there and it’s still a bit cooler. 

That’s good.  But there’s really nothing better than a good back scratch, right? Best of luck to everyone as we all say thanks for the recent rains to recharge our mountain streams and knock back water temperatures a bit. Go toss a popper/dropper rig under the tree limbs soon.

Categories: Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: July 24, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

(Deener’s reports can also be found in the Waycross Journal Herald on Thursdays)

Capt. Andy Gowen of Kingsland caught this oversized redfish on Monday in the St. Marys area on a Bomber Badonkadonk.

Capt. Andy Gowen of Kingsland caught this oversized redfish on Monday in the St. Marys area on a Bomber Badonkadonk.

The Altamaha River is the place to be for bluegills and redbreasts. The Satilla is still low but is great for those doing float trips. Saltwater fishing is on fire for lots of species. The new moon is July 26. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – A pair of Waycross anglers fished the Altamaha on Friday evening and caught 30 keeper panfish. They said that most of the bluegills were on the small side, but the redbreasts were fat and sassy. On Friday morning they fished a few hours and caught 25 keepers. They caught about twice that many fish, considering their throwbacks. Most of their fish were in and around the willows, and all of their fish came on a 1/16-oz. black/chartreuse Satilla Spin. They also had several dozen small (throwback) bass attack their Satilla Spins. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that the bream and bass bites have been fair for those fishing out of the landing. Most of the redbreasts that were caught were fooled with Spin Dandy spinnerbaits. The mullet bite has been red hot. Dannett from Altamaha Park said the mullet bite is still going strong. Bream and redbreasts were caught with crickets at the mouths of sloughs on the outgoing tide. The river level was 3.1 feet and rising (85 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.2 feet and falling (84 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on July 22.

Satilla River – It is time to float the upper Satilla. I crossed the US 1 Bridge on Tuesday, and it was getting very low. Expect to drag some, even during a float trip. Scout Carter and Wyatt Crews paddled upstream of Blackshear Bridge a couple of hours on Saturday and fished their way back to the landing. They landed about 30 panfish, including warmouth, redbreasts, bluegill, crappie, and small bass. Their biggest redbreast was a 10-inch whopper. All of their fish inhaled 1/16-oz. Satilla Spins, and their best colors were black/yellow and a brownish prototype color. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the bite is still strong for those wading during the low water levels. Bream, redbreasts, and catfish were tops. Shrimp fooled the catfish, while crickets and worms fooled the panfish for those wading. In the middle river, Satilla Spins, Spin Dandy spinnerbaits, and Beetle Spins fooled panfish. Red/White and crawfish were the best colors this week. The river level at the Waycross gage was 4.4 feet and falling (81 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.0 feet and falling (84 degrees) on July 22.

St. Marys River – You can get a boat around well about anywhere below Trader’s Hill. The river is stained but is falling. The catfish bite was the best over the weekend. Put shrimp and worms on the bottom for the best success. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 4.7 feet and falling on July 22.

Local Ponds – Wyatt Crews and Austin Chaney fished a Waycross pond on Monday evening and caught some huge bluegills on Beetle Spins and a few bass on topwaters. Michael Winge said that bream and big shellcrackers were the best bite in area ponds. A Waycross angler and his two children caught 20 big bream and shellcrackers from an area pond using Jolly Green Giant Worms. Memphis George caught some giant bream this week on crickets. As usual, he was fishing an undisclosed Ware County pond. With the new moon coming up, fish black buzzbaits at night for the biggest bass in the pond. Fish over the deepest water, and ease along quietly as you cast.

Okefenokee Swamp – The flier bite has been great this week out of the Folkston entrance. Yellow Okefenokee Swamp Sallies produced the best catches, but pink accounted for some, also. Fish the fly without a float for the best success. Wear good polarized sunglasses so you can keep an eye on the fly. When it disappears, set the hook. On the north side, some anglers reported catching bluegills. On the west side, the catfish bite was the strongest for those fishing the Sill and Billy’s Lake. Worms and shrimp on the bottom caught the most. Warmouth were caught again this week by those using crickets in the tributaries flowing into the swamp along Swamp Road. Check out my article in the August issue of Georgia Outdoor News for details on catching bowfin (mudfish). Don’t forget to get a new Federal Duck Stamp if that is the license you use to access the swamp. The old stamp expired on June 30. Okefenokee Adventures at the Folkston entrance and U.S. Post Offices have the new stamps.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Justin Bythwood and Michael Deen of Waycross fished the St. Marys Jetties on Saturday. They pitched Assassin Sea Shads to the rocks and caught two trout, a nice redfish, and several dozen black sea bass. Most of the sea bass were undersized, but they had almost a dozen keepers. The best color for them was morning glory. They fished their offerings on 3/8 and 1/2-oz. Capt. Bert’s Jetty Jigheads and Flashy Jigheads made with heavy-duty Gamakatsu hooks. Capt. Andy Gowen of Tail Chaser Charters reported catching some beautiful oversized redfish on topwaters on Monday morning in the St. Marys area. Whiting, trout, redfish, and flounder were caught in good numbers by Waycross anglers fishing the Brunswick area. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that on the pier it was flounder, flounder, and more flounder. Limits of the tasty flat-fish were caught by those fishing with mudminnows and finger mullet. Most of the fish are 16 inches and larger. A few folks caught limits of trout, also. Many were 18 inches and bigger, and jigs, live shrimp, and mudminnows produced.

Best Bet – The Altamaha has started to rise just a little, so the panfish bite may slow a little for the weekend. If you go, throw artificials and fish the willow trees and mouths of sloughs. Mullet fishing on the Altamaha is a great option if you want to set the hook a bunch! In saltwater, it is time to fish mudminnows and finger mullet around rocks, docks, and inlets for flounder. The flier bite in the Okefenokee is on fire right now for those pitching sallies.

Field Day at Silver Lake WMA Promotes Management for Bobwhites and Longleaf Pine

For over 100 years, Georgia has been a premiere bobwhite quail hunting destination and the Georgia General Assembly even designated the bobwhite as the state game bird in 1970.  During the last 75 years, Georgia’s landscape has gradually changed from a “sea” of bobwhite habitat that occurred primarily as an accidental by-product of land use, to a fragmented landscape comprised of small and often widely separated “islands” or fragments of habitat.  That shift caused bobwhite populations to decline drastically, and consequently, so has the number of bobwhite hunters.  However, there is a lot of interest and momentum for bobwhite restoration occurring and there is plenty of opportunity for success. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resource Division (WRD) is working with landowners through the Bobwhite Quail Initiative (BQI) to restore habitat for bobwhites, songbirds and other grassland dependent wildlife species.

IMG_1781

Wildlife Biologist James Tomberlin addresses the landowners in attendance at the Silver Lake WMA Field Day.

Longleaf pine once occupied approximately 93 million acres from Virginia to Texas, but has been reduced to about 4 million acres. Longleaf is adapted to and very tolerant of fire and grows on different sites across the southeast. Its fire tolerance and canopy structure make it an excellent timber resource to be used in association with bobwhite management. Stands of longleaf that are planted at appropriate densities and prescribed burned frequently can yield excellent understory groundcover, a necessity for bobwhites and many other wildlife species in decline.

On June 25, 2014, WRD and the Longleaf Alliance hosted a Bobwhites and Longleaf field day at Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area, south of Bainbridge in Decatur County, with 25 landowners in attendance.  The field day was cosponsored by Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Power, Lolly Creek Farm, The Joseph Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Quail Forever, Tall Timbers Research Station – Albany Quail Project, and USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  Topics included longleaf pine establishment, bobwhite habitat restoration and management, habitat fragmentation, predator management, supplemental feeding, and managing pine stands for bobwhites.

WRD BQI Biologist Drew Larson describes the specific habitat needs of bobwhites and how habitat size, structure, and distribution affect how suitable an area is for bobwhites: “Research has shown that bobwhites are an area-sensitive species, meaning they need fairly large acreages of mostly contiguous, suitable habitat. Suitable habitat for bobwhites consists of native grasses, herbaceous plants, and scattered patches of shrubby cover that is managed with fire and disking on a 2 to 3-year rotation. This early successional habitat provides nesting, brooding, and protective cover bobwhites require.

“Pine stands can also be managed for bobwhites”, says Larson. “However, there are trade-off costs in reduced revenues from forest and timber products when pine stands are managed at a high intensity for bobwhites. Timber, especially loblolly and slash pine, needs to be maintained at lower volumes to ensure ample sunlight reaches the ground to grow the ground vegetation quail need. Longleaf pine is an excellent tree to manage in conjunction with quail because higher volumes can be maintained and still produce quality groundcover. Longleaf is also very fire tolerant and can be burned at a young age, allowing the frequent fire quail need to be applied throughout the life of the pine stand.”

“Through BQI, we are working with private landowners and land managers to restore and enhance habitat for bobwhites and other wildlife. Restoration efforts are being targeted into Focal Landscapes that have been identified as having the highest potential for success. Obtaining technical assistance from a BQI biologist for the development of a management plan is a great way to start improving bobwhite habitat. ” said Reggie Thackston, WRD Private Lands Program Manager and BQI coordinator.

“Georgia WRD is also placing more emphasis on quail management on select WMA’s in the southwestern part of the state”, says Thackston. “Several WMA’s are in landscapes that make them conducive to successful quail management. Albany Nursery, Chickasawhatchee, Elmodel, River Creek, and Silver Lake WMA’s all have potential for quail restoration. These public lands could also benefit from the newly-formed Florida-Georgia Quail Coalition, a partnership that will provide funding for quail habitat work on public lands from participating Quail Forever chapters.

Learn more about managing your land for bobwhites, the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative in Georgia, and how to support bobwhite restoration efforts in Georgia at the WRD quail website, http://www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/quail. For more information, contact Drew Larson at (478) 296-6176. For information on creating or joining a Quail Forever chapter, contact Talbott Parten at (229) 289-8199.

Categories: Conservation, Hunting

Georgia NASP Produces First College Scholarship Recipient, Future NCAA Shooter

By: Matt Stewart, Georgia DNR Hunting & Shooting Education Specialist

Georgia’s National Archery in the Schools Program has produced its first college scholarship recipient and future NCAA shooter.

Andrew Agrinzones will compete on Emmanuel College's archery team this fall.

Andrew Agrinzones will compete on Emmanuel College’s archery team this fall.

Andrew Agrinzones, a graduate of Charlton County High School in Folkston, accepted a scholarship offer to shoot for the archery team at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, 20 minutes northeast of Athens, this fall. Emmanuel College is a member of NCAA Division II and one of only a handful of colleges nationwide that offers scholarship funding in archery.

Agrinzones, an avid bowhunter and lifetime hunting/fishing license holder, joined the Charlton County High archery team his senior year and helped the squad reach the 2014 Georgia-National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament in Perry, which hosted more than 900 archers.

There he met Emmanuel College head men’s and women’s archery coach Rodney Estrada, a Level IV National Training System archery coach who was onsite scouting for potential archers. Estrada videotaped junior and senior archers that day and Agrinzones stood out.

“He really liked my form,” Agrinzones said. “He said I had trainable form.”

Estrada, who also trains and coaches archers at Georgia Tech, is a proponent of NASP and has seen his archery team’s roster grow from five shooters to 23 in just one year.

“I scout for talent and look for fundamentals of the shot process and the NASP provides me a good basis for fundaments,” Estrada said. “I can take those fundamentals and polish them.”

The NASP in-school archery curriculum is generally taught in physical education and agriculture classes in 4th-12th grade and more than 1,500 students competed in regional competitions held by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division in 2014. More than 20,000 students participated in the program throughout the year. The bow used in the program is a Mathews Genesis base model without sights or releases.

“(The NASP bow) is a really good bow to learn to shoot with (just) fingers,” Agrinzones said.

Agrinzones will arrive at Emmanuel College, which also has a co-ed sporting clay shotgun team, in August for the start of classes and the beginning of archery practice. Emmanuel College recently had one of its archers, Dusty Clark, named to the 2014 United States Archery Team (USAT) Junior Compound Men’s Team. Even if Agrinzones never gets that far, he said he’ll enjoy shooting a bow for many years to come.
“I always want to go hunting,” he said.

Estrada continues to recruit not just in Georgia, but all over the country and beyond. He’s bringing in one of the top recurve shooters from New Zealand this year and the No. 1-ranked shooter from Texas in his division. He’ll also continue to monitor the NASP competitions in Georgia for future talent.

“There is an open opportunity for any junior or senior NASP shooter,” Estrada said. “I believe in NASP.”

For more information on Emmanuel College’s shooting sports teams, visit www.goeclions.com. To learn more about the National Archery in the Schools Program in Georgia, go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com/shooting-sports.

North Georgia Fishing Report: July 17, 2014

Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff

We hope everyone had a great spring fishing season.  Some folks have had it so good, they often ask me how they can “pay it back.”  The two best ways are to continue to buy a license and introduce new folks, especially kids, to the sport. Our fisheries and their supporting habitats need fans and caretakers.  Hunters and anglers are some of the finest conservationists in America, so please continue to grow your ranks.

Stream structure project.

Stream structure project.

Others among you still want to do more, especially “on the ground.”  For those of you with youthful energy, I’d suggest joining a fishing club or conservation group.  Nearly all of these clubs do service projects that benefit fish habitat and/or anglers.  Some great examples that benefit from volunteers are reservoir fish attractor projects, kids fishing rodeos, collections of angler/tournament catch data for DNR biologists, summer kids camps, and trout stream habitat improvements.

You can read about some past and future projects here:

So, if you’re looking for a neat project to enhance your favorite fishery, Google a bit, find a club, join and participate.  You can carry a heavy log to a trout stream, teach a kid to fish, collect your club’s catch data, or fix a fine lunch for a reservoir fish attractor crew.  There’s a niche for everyone in this movement.  Wildlife Resources Division and our federal partners (COE, USFWS, USFS) couldn’t help as many first time anglers or build as many brook trout structures without you.  Come on and join the conservation community!  You enjoy the “work” and take great pride knowing that you’re making things better for your kids and grandkids.

Christmas trees being used for fish habitat in Allatoona.

Christmas trees being used for fish habitat in Allatoona.

Computers are nice. But turn them off every now and then, leave the cell phone in the car, put on an old pair of clothes, and get wet and dirty to enhance your favorite Georgia fishery.  You’ll be glad you did.

While you’re considering public service, I’ll finish mine. Here’s the latest fishing news from north Georgia.  Don’t forget to click on that last bullet’s YouTube  link.

Toccoa Tailwater report – Check stream gauges or call local shops to see if weekend rains make things unfishable before you drive up.

Mountain trouting – Remember water temps!

Hooch Tailwater brownsWhile the majority of those wild trout like their midges, the trophies get big on larger forage items, like stocked rainbows. Enjoy the photo.

Trout, stocker best bets – This week’s top stocker spots are: Lanier and Blue Ridge tailwaters (turbidity permitting), Holcomb, Wildcat, Holly, Dicks, Stamp, Copper, and Rock.  Weekend rains may actually help to cool off mountain streams and increase the

Ian with a July trout catch.

Ian with a July trout catch.

bite. Use bigger and/or flashier baits if the water is muddy.  Ian Johnson and his trusty guide, better known as Dad, had a great trip to IDBIS Creek near Dahlonega last week.

Hooch bassin’

Lanier summer spots

Striper trolling video

Buford Hatchery on TV

RSVP for Speck Fans

And a last word from your quarry! (thank you Henry and Hal)

Good luck.  Join a club and pay a little back.  You’ll take great joy in knowing that speck or spot appreciated the new home that you just built for it.

Categories: Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: July 10, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

(Deener’s reports can also be found in the Waycross Journal Herald on Thursdays)

Michael Deen of Waycross displays the latest in a parade of Angler Award-sized redbreasts.

Michael Deen of Waycross displays the latest in a parade of Angler Award-sized redbreasts.

It was a great week in freshwater last week! Two more Angler Award redbreasts were certified from the Satilla. The upper Satilla has been tough to get around in a boat, and float trips or wading is the way to approach the upper river… or bring along your dragging muscles with your johnboat! Pond fishing has been good for bass, catfish, and panfish. Flounder, sharks, and tarpon are tops in the brine. The first quarter moon is July 12. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that her grandson caught a 2-pound shellcracker on Monday. Congratulations! The big bream and redbreasts were still eating crickets and worms. The channel catfish bite has been very strong for those dunking worms, livers, and shrimp on the back side of sandbars. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that the summer crappie bite has started in Barrington Lake. Get there early, as that is usually the best time to get them to take a minnow. Some people graph the big, suspended slabs and put their minnows at that level. The boat traffic slowed the bite somewhat over the weekend, but good catches were made from the back side of sandbars. The artificial bite picked up this week. Satilla Spins in mostly the crawfish color produced the biggest redbreasts and bluegills. The river level was 3.3 feet and falling (88 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.9 feet and falling (86 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on July 8.

Satilla River – The Waycross Fisheries Office certified 2 angler award redbreasts (over 1 pound) this week. Stephen Tyre caught the first one in the upper river with a cricket on Saturday, and Michael Deen caught his on a Satilla Spin from the middle river on Tuesday. Over the holiday weekend, Dane Clements and Tony Harrell whacked a mixed bag of upper river panfish. Most were redbreasts. They caught about 160 fish and kept 88 of them. They threw Satilla Spins in a custom color similar to crawfish. They worked hard to get the boat around. Jay Murray and his son-in-law fished the upper river on Saturday and had to do a lot of dragging. The work was worth it for them, as they caught 75 redbreasts and kept about 25. They caught their fish on crawfish Satilla Spins. Michael Deen and Justin Bythwood fished out of the Atkinson ramp on Tuesday evening after work and ended up catching a mixed bag (about 40 fish) of just about every panfish species in the Satilla using Satilla Spins. Their biggest was a 1-pound, 0.4-ounce female redbreast that inhaled a white Satilla Spin. They also had impressive warmouth, crappie, stumpknockers, and bluegills. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that with the upper river being low, the wading anglers were doing the best. They caught bream, redbreasts, and catfish on the back sides of sandbars in the deeper holes. Anglers fishing the middle and lower river reported some really good catches of warmouth, big redbreasts, and bream. Some of the giant warmouth were caught on 4-inch shad lures! The bass bite has been consistent, but the fish have been on the average size. He expects the bite to be red hot around the full moon this weekend. The river level at the Waycross gage was 4.6 feet and falling (81 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 3.6 feet and falling (88 degrees) on July 8.

St. Marys River – Bream, redbreasts, and catfish were biting well. Worms and crickets have caught the most fish, but topwater flies started producing some big redbreasts this week. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 4.6 feet and falling on July 8.

Local Ponds – Wyatt Crews and Kuff Thrift fished a Waycross area pond on Tuesday evening and caught several bass to 3 1/2 pounds. They also had a giant bluegill inhale a Hula Popper. Michael Winge said that bream and crappie were reported from Waycross area ponds. Bream were fooled primarily with crickets, while minnows produced the crappie. Bass fishing was consistent early in the morning for those using buzzbaits. During  the day, Trick Worms and Ratt-L-Traps produced bass.

Okefenokee Swamp – It is time to head back to the swamp. The bite should be on fire as the water is starting to ease off the prairies and the fish will concentrate in the canals. Pitch yellow, orange, or pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies for fliers. Crayfish fished around cypress stumps will fool warmouth. Minnow plugs and inline spinners are hard to beat for pickerel (jackfish) and bowfin (mudfish). Don’t forget to get a new Federal Duck Stamp if that is the license you use to access the swamp. The old stamp expired on June 30. Okefenokee Adventures at the Folkston entrance has the new stamps. The post offices should have them in stock soon if they do not already.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Capt. TJ Cheek reported that flounder have been consistent around rocks and pilings. He likes an 1/8-oz. jighead with a white Gulp Swimming Mullet. Trout fishing has been fair. The beach bite has been inconsistent this week. Folks slay them one day and catch just a few the next. Small redfish were caught in high numbers this week, primarily on live shrimp. Tarpon are around. TJ recommends always having a rod ready to pitch to tarpon when you see them surface. Don Harrison fished the St. Marys Jetties on Saturday and caught a 30-inch redfish on a Texas roach Assassin Sea Shad. He moved to the beach and caught a few trout and bluefish on goldfish Sea Shads and then came back around and fished inshore, catching a 20-inch redfish on a purple canary Sea Shad. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the flounder were still thick around the pier. Tons of whiting are also being caught on dead shrimp. Redfish, sharks, and croakers were around in fishable numbers.

Best Bet – The Altamaha has been high most of the last year, but it is getting about perfect for panfishing. It was still a little too high according to reports last week, but by this weekend, you should be able to fish Satilla Spins and Beetle Spins under the willow limbs. That is the presentation that produced several fun fishing days for me last fall. The bluegill population is off the charts, so go give them a try. Saltwater fishing has been spotty, but the trout bite on the beach should be good if the winds will allow. Check the marine forecast before putting the trip on your calendar. A forecast of winds with an easterly quadrant is a deal-breaker.

Categories: Fishing

North Georgia Fishing Report: July 11, 2014

Info Provided by: Jeff Durniak, GA DNR North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor and North Georgia Region Fisheries staff

Not much has changed recently as we continue in “summer mode.”  Reservoir species are setting up at their preferred depths based on lake stratification (see bottom of http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Hatcheries/Buford)and the resulting combination of temperature/dissolved oxygen that is to their liking.

There are some planned changes to our trout stocking routine as we scale back after July 4on our lower elevation streams, which have already received all or most of their annual trout allocations.  Go higher up the mountain to have better success with stockers.

The biggest change may be north Georgia’s declining rainfall and dropping river levels, which are expected this time of year.  These conditions are often better for float fishers, since they mean more days of clear water and easily boatable and wadeable river flows.  To that end, how about a recipe for some fine summer fishing fun?  We often simply tether our yaks to our waists and wade-fish downstream until we’re shoulder-deep, then hop in the boat to float to the next wadeable spot. Try it – you’ll like it!

Recipe for Float Fishing Fun

A.)  Look at these:

B.)  Pick a flavor from this menu: http://georgiawildlife.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/upper-chattahoochee-river-fishing-and-public-access-points/

C.)  Call a buddy.

D.)  Load the boats.

E.)  Go Fish Georgia! 

Here’s some additional news from our angling locales.  Grab some kids and enjoy summer vacation OUTDOORS!

Reservoir Profiles

Spotted bass from Lake Chatuge.

Redeye bass from the Chattooga River.

Here are the July dissolved oxygen and temperature profiles for Lakes Nottely and Chatugefisheries technician Chris Looney

Reservoir ReportsThanks Ken, and DNR biologists.

Lanier stripers

Allatoona best stripers GON Forum Report 1, GON Forum Report 2

Fourth of July bassin’VIDEO

Sights along the river

Trout best bets

It’s going to be very hard to beat the two tailwaters, Buford and Blue Ridge.  Try for an early start to beat the high summer sun.  Although the water will stay cold all day, the hot summer afternoons can be uncomfortable to anglers unless they take a dunking or two.

For mountain stream stockers this weekend, try: Rock, Cooper, Dicks, Boggs, Wildcat, Tallulah, and Hooch high in the WMA.

Trout, Top Secret BaitThat top bait is – - – stealth. 

This week’s heroes – Here are some great stories about getting kids outdoors (story 1, story 2).  It’s better than the water park!

Good luck.  Don’t forget the sunscreen, the PFD…And the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!

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