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Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: Nov. 20, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Clint Inman caught this and several dozen other keeper trout while fishing the Brunswick area last week. Trout fishing is on fire and should be for the next month.

Clint Inman caught this and several dozen other keeper trout while fishing the Brunswick area last week. Trout fishing is on fire and should be for the next month.

I’ve been amazed at how few people are fishing. It seems that if you want a great bite to yourself, all you have to do is hitch up the boat and head to a lake, river, pond, or saltwater. Saltwater is on fire right now with trout and redfish tearing it up. The crappie bite in ponds is very good, as well (and some of them have been true slabs!). New Moon is Nov. 22. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that crappie provided the best bite, and minnows were the bait of choice. Some bream were caught on Sunday afternoon by anglers fishing with crickets. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that crappie were still biting both minnows and curly-tailed grubs. Tennessee shad color was tops. Catfish bit shrimp fished on the bottom in the deeper holes. The river level was 1.6 feet and falling (55 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 2.3 feet and falling (60 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on Nov. 18.

Satilla River – Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the crappie were hitting both minnows and jigs. Just like last week, Tennessee shad Jiffy Jigs worked best in shallow water, while John Deere Green was the top color in deeper water. Bass ate dark colored worms fished VERY slowly. An angler reported catching several 2-3 pound bass on Rattling Rogue minnow plugs. Bank anglers caught whiskerfish on pink worms fished on the bottom in deep holes. The river level at the Waycross gage was 4.7 feet and rising (60 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 2.7 feet and falling on Nov. 18.

St. Marys River – On the warmer days this week, anglers reported catching redbreasts, bream, and catfish on crickets and pink worms. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 3.2 feet and rising on Nov. 18.

Okefenokee Swamp – The effort was extremely low again this week on the swamp. Anglers are missing out on some great flier fishing. This is one of my favorite months for fliers. I typically start by pitching pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies under a float. If I have several anglers in the boat, I will start each of us with a different color and change to whatever the fish prefer. With the cooler weather, suspending a sally underneath a small balsa float usually produces more strikes, as it keeps it in front of the fish a little longer than fishing it without the float.

Local Ponds – Chad Lee fished some Alma area ponds over the weekend and landed 33 nice slabs. From the photos, the biggest ones appeared to be a little over a pound, but most of them were in the pound range. He worked for them but fooled them with Assassin 2-inch Curly Shads. Michael Winge said that lots of crappie were caught on Tennessee shad Jiffy Jigs and minnows. On Lake Ware, nice-sized crappie bit minnows. Laura Walker State Park Lake is closed to boats, but a pair of local anglers walked the bank on Saturday evening and caught several big bowfin (up to 8 pounds) and a pickerel (jackfish).

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) –  I fished out of Crooked River on Thursday with Wyatt Crews and Don Baldwin. We caught 49 trout and a yellowtail, all on artificials. Our best rig was an Assassin Sea Shad rigged underneath a 3-inch Equalizer Float. We caught a few trout by swimming Flashy Jigheads without the float and also with the same bladed jighead suspended underneath an Equalizer. Our best colors were goldfish in clear water and Calcasieu brew in stained water. The most productive color so far this year (Texas roach) would not even draw strikes, but a very similar color, morning glory, produced well during the last of the outgoing. That trip is a great example of why you keep changing colors until you dial in what they want. Check out the December issue of Georgia Outdoor News for an article detailing my approach to fishing artificials for seatrout. On that same day, another group of Waycross anglers fished live shrimp while fishing out of Crooked River and caught over 100 trout, keeping their limit. They also caught a few trout on the new Voodoo Mullet lure. Michael Winge reported that Waycross anglers caught trout well in the St. Marys area on electric chicken Assassin Sea Shads. Another angler reported good catches of trout on goldfish Sea Shads fished on electric chicken jigheads. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that sheepshead, whiting, a few trout, and good numbers of blue crabs were caught from the pier. On Sunday an angler caught 31 yellowtails on shrimp. Some legal redfish and flounder were also landed. The torrid bull red bite has slowed, but they are still around.

Best Bet - Wind can be a tough thing this time of year, but trout fishing is your best option on days when winds are light. Crappie fishing will likely be tops again this weekend in area ponds. With schools being out next week in many counties, load up a kid and take them crappie fishing to a local pond or lake. A bucket of minnows and some floats, hooks, and split-shot weights are all that is needed. Catching fliers on the Okefenokee should be an easy option over the weekend with the forecasted warming trend. Look for the catfish bite to pick up on the lower Altamaha (Darien area) during the winter months.

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: Nov. 14, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

(L to R) Timothy Deener, Ron Johnson, and Nathanael Johnson hold a few of their 24 white catfish they caught on Saturday from White Oak Creek on the lower Satilla River.

(L to R) Timothy Deener, Ron Johnson, and Nathanael Johnson hold a few of their 24 white catfish they caught on Saturday from White Oak Creek on the lower Satilla River.

Crappie fishing is tops in freshwater, while trout and redfishing has been good in the brine. Last quarter moon is Nov. 14. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – William Tate of Atlanta and a friend fished around Upper Wayne County Landing on Thursday and caught a mixed bag of panfish and catfish. They had 15 fish, consisting of channel catfish, bluegills, shellcrackers, and redbreasts. William caught the trophy fish, a one-pound shellcracker. Worms fished on the bottom worked well, and they caught a couple of the panfish on 1/16oz. black/yellow Satilla Spins. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that anglers are “whacking” the crappie. The average fish ranged between 8 and 10 inches. On Sunday, anglers caught good numbers of warmouth and bream by fishing pink worms on the bottom. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that crappie ate minnows well over the last week. Pink worms and crickets fooled bream. Trot lines baited with rooster livers produced both bullheads and channel catfish. Flathead catfish were caught with goldfish. Over the weekend, an angler caught 17 flathead catfish ranging from 17 to 38 pounds. The mullet are still around, and folks caught them on green giant worms and red wigglers. The river level was 1.6 feet and falling (62 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 2.4 feet and falling (64 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on Nov. 11.

Satilla River – I fished with my son (Timothy) and Ron and Nathanael Johnson on the lower Satilla (White Oak Creek) on Saturday. We put shrimp and worms on the bottom and caught 24 white catfish. Timothy landed our biggest at about 2 pounds. Both Carolina Rigs and my new Gamakatsu circle hook jigheads caught fish. The boys are developing into some skilled anglers! Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the crappie fishing was good this week, with slabs eating both minnows and jigs. Tennessee shad Jiffy Jigs worked best in shallow water, while John Deere Green was the top color in deeper water. White Satilla Spins fooled some crappie, as well. Bass bit darker colored worms and shiners fished in deep, slow-moving water. The deep holes are also producing channel catfish for those fishing shrimp and rooster livers on the bottom. Bream were eating pink worms.  The river level at the Waycross gage was 4.2 feet and falling (63 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 2.9 feet and falling on Nov. 11.

St. Marys River – Redbreasts, bream, and catfish were caught on crickets and pink worms. A few crappie (average 6 to 8 inches) were caught on minnows. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 3.1 feet and falling on Nov. 11.

Okefenokee Swamp – I didn’t hear any reports of anglers fishing in the swamp this week.  November is one of my favorite months for numbers of fliers. I typically start by pitching pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies under a float. If I have several anglers in the boat, I will start each of us with a different color and change to whatever the fish prefer. With the cooler weather, suspending a sally underneath a small balsa float usually produces more strikes, as it keeps it in front of the fish a little longer than fishing it without the float.

Local Ponds – Michael Winge said that crappie, bass, and bream ate well this week. Bass were fooled with shiners. Crappie ate minnows, jigs, and white Satilla Spins. Bream were caught with crickets on the warmer afternoons. Pink worms also fooled a few of them.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) –  Jerome and Clint Inman of Waycross fished the Brunswick area on Saturday and got on a bunch of trout. They were a little surprised the bite was so good, considering the high tidal fluctuation. They caught about 50 trout and brought home 25 keeper trout and a flounder.  Michael Winge reported that Waycross anglers caught trout about anywhere they fished with live shrimp and Assassin Sea Shads. Whiting reports were mixed with some folks catching them on shrimp and squid, while others didn’t catch many. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that blue crabs are still thick under the pier. On Sunday afternoon, a crabber caught 54 crabs over 5 inches. Trout, flounder, and sheepshead were caught in good numbers this week from the pier. Flounder averaged 17 inches. The big bull reds were still caught after dark with cut bait.

Best Bet – In saltwater it will be hard to beat trout fishing, although the weather is iffy this weekend. The lower tidal fluctuation and clearer water will be a positive, but the low temperatures and potentially high winds will prevent folks from comfortably getting out to the trout. In freshwater, bass and crappie fishing in local ponds and lakes will be great options. Bream fishing on the Altamaha is a good option, but take your time motoring around with the low river levels.

Categories: Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: Nov. 7, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Joady Johnson admires this nice crappie over the weekend. It was one of about 40 that he and a friend caught on the cold, windy Saturday from an Alma area pond.

Joady Johnson admires this nice crappie over the weekend. It was one of about 40 that he and a friend caught on the cold, windy Saturday from an Alma area pond.

The cold snap last weekend dropped the water temperature as much as 10 degrees in some systems, but the bite should rebound with the warming trend late this week. Crappie should be eating it up with the warming trend, and redfish never stopped eating. Trout fishing should be off the chain next week when the water clears again. Full Moon is November 6th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – The DNR Fisheries staff completed their standardized electrofishing sampling on the Altamaha over the past week. The upper river had average size panfish that were generally in slightly poor shape (to be expected with the low water we’ve had lately). The case was not the same on the middle to lower river (below Jesup). The numbers of panfish (primarily bluegill and redbreasts) were higher than usual, and the fish were in a little bit better condition (fatter) than the fish upriver. This is likely due to the extensive backwaters in the lower river providing more food. It will be a good fall for panfish, so get out there and cast at them. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle  reported that the wind over the weekend kept most anglers away. Crappie graced the creels of the few anglers who fished. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that very few folks fished over the windy, cold weekend. A couple of diehard Waycross anglers fished about 6 hours on Saturday and whacked a mixed creel of 60 keeper fish. They caught 45 crappie averaging 10 inches using both minnows and jigs. They had a few bream, warmouth, and catfish, as well. The key was to fish in the wind where the water was white-capping. When they fished the calm areas, they could not get bites. The river level was 1.8 feet and rising (60 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 2.7 feet and steady (62 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on November 4th.

Satilla River – Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the crappie bite was tops. Anglers fishing both minnows and jigs reported averaging between 30 and 40 keepers per trip. The lower river was producing good numbers and some real slabs. Some bass were caught by anglers fishing shiners.  The river level on November 4th at the Waycross gage was 4.6 feet and falling (68 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 3.6 feet and falling.

St. Marys River – Before the cold snap, redbreasts and bream were hitting crickets and worms. The catfish bite has been great, even through the cold snap. Reports improved on Tuesday for all species as the water began the warm-up. The river level on November 4th at the MacClenny gage was 3.6 feet and falling.

Okefenokee Swamp – Almost nobody fished any of the entrances. When folks go, we will have some really good reports, as November is one of my favorite months for numbers of fliers. I typically start by pitching pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies under a float. If I have several anglers in the boat, I will start each of us with a different color and change to whatever the fish prefer. With the cooler weather, suspending a sally underneath a small balsa float usually produces more strikes, as it keeps it in front of the fish a little longer than fishing it without the float.

Local Ponds – Before the cold front, crappie were chowing. After a few cold days, the bite slowed, but it should pick back up after several warm days heading into the weekend. Chad Lee of Alma and his fishing buddy Joady Johnson had the report of the week from Alma area ponds. On Saturday, they bundled up like Eskimos and caught 40 crappie, some bluegills, a shellcracker, and a 5-pound bass on minnows and crystal shad colored Panfish Assassins. Joady took at least 5 minutes to land the 5-pounder on an ultralight Shakepeare outfit and 4-pound test line. On Sunday morning, Chad caught a 7-pound bass at about 6am on a crawfish colored jig and beaver-style trailer. He ended up with about 10 bass during the morning. Michael Winge said that the bass bite was good in area ponds for those fishing ZOOM U-tail worms and speed craws. Shiners were also producing some decent bass catches. Crappie were caught in good numbers with minnows, Jiffy Jigs, and white Satilla Spins. Laura Walker State Park Lake is drawn down for improvements and is currently closed.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) –  Capt. TJ Cheek reported that the trout fishing was awesome early in the week. He caught over 100 trout (of course, he released many of them, but very few were under the legal 13” minimum size limit) great this week. They also caught 20 redfish from the slot up to 26 inches. His anglers had some sore arms after that day! The key for him has been to find the finger mullet. When he does, he catches a bunch of fish, and when he fishes places without the mullet, he catches very few. “Nontarget species” have been chowing on live shrimp, so he has been successful keeping them at bay by using finger mullet for bait. His charters have also been using DOA shrimp and minnow imitations to score. Even with the awful weather this past weekend, the bull redfish bit from the St. Simons Pier. Ed Zmarzly and Justin Bythwood caught and released 5 bull redfish and a few other species on Sunday. Apparently, the big redfish running in the channel did not care about the cold front. Trout fishing has been very good in the Crooked River area for those pitching artificials under Cajun Thunder Floats and fishing live shrimp around oyster mounds. Sheephead fishing around treetops has been consistent during the colder weather.  Michael Winge reported that Waycross anglers caught lots of trout anywhere they threw shrimp in the Brunswick area. They also caught a bunch on Assassin Sea Shads. Before the cold front, squid and shrimp were producing good whiting catches. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that lots of big blue crabs were caught from the pier by crabbers. They were the most and largest crabs caught from the pier so far this year. On Monday, bluefish were thick under the pier. Gotcha plugs are deadly for bluefish. Trout, reds, flounder, and sharks were also caught from the pier. The shrimping should pick up any day as the bigger shrimp “fall out” of the rivers and into the ocean after the cold weather.

Best Bet – The saltwater fishing has been outstanding during good weather days, but the high tidal fluctuation will likely have the bite turned off with the muddier water this weekend. Even with the big tides, there are so many trout around that you will catch some if you go. The best bet would be crappie in the rivers and lakes. Troll with Assassin Curly Shads or spider-rig with minnows to make some great catches. Bass fishing in ponds should be very good, as well. Pitch jigs or plastic worms to shoreline cover or throw jerkbaits or spinnerbaits to offshore structure to get bites.

Categories: Fishing

North Georgia Fishing Report: Nov. 11, 2014

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

Fisheries staff stocked 24,000 11-inch brown trout into Lake Burton during the last two weeks of October. Over 5,000 brown trout were dispersed by boat.

Fisheries staff stocked 24,000 11-inch brown trout into Lake Burton during the last two weeks of October. Over 5,000 brown trout were dispersed by boat.

Your north Georgia fisheries benefit from some great teamwork among state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and even private organizations.  Trout stream habitat benefits from the partnership among WRD, the U.S. Forest Service, and Georgia Trout Unlimited.  Reservoir fish habitat is enhanced by the co-op of WRD, power companies like the Army Corps of Engineers, TVA, and Georgia Power, and local fishing clubs like the Marietta Bassmasters.  Hatchery trout production and tailwater trout management are close partnerships between WRD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with some nice donations from folks like NGTO, TU, and local fly and tackle shops.  On our border waters, SCDNR  often steps in as our quarterback (see below).   This “team’ approach pays real dividends as we combine staffs, operating funds, donations, and volunteer sweat equity to benefit fish habitat and angling opportunities for all of you who fish these public waters, from Forest Service streams to Army Corps reservoirs.  Thanks to each of you who has helped, from bucket-stocking Ami DH trout  to recycling a Christmas tree at an Allatoona attractor site, and from donating prizes for Outdoor Adventure Day to buying a TU license plate.  Working together, we’ve hopefully made the sport and the habitat a bit better for all anglers visiting these hills above Atlanta.  And for those of you who aren’t yet members, take a look around.  You’ll find a comfortable position on this team and enjoy knowing you’ve played a role in our big wins.  Come on and join in.

With some cold fall weather finally here and the water temperatures dropping, it is officially “topwater time” on our ponds and reservoirs. Grab your Sammy or Spook and start tossing at bass, hybrids,  and stripers at sunrise and sunset.  Beware a windy Saturday’s waves on the lakes and a heavy leaf fall into the streams.  Watch the weather report and pick some good windows of opportunity to wet a line in the week ahead.

http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Weather.aspx?location=USGA0267

November RemindersGeorgia’s Delayed Harvest trout streams reopen for catch-and-release business on Nov. 1. Reliable sources indicate the fishing should be good by mid-morning Saturday.

Federal Hatchery Partners – We are cheering on our teammates at Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery as they completely rebuild half of their trout raceways. Details, photos, and video here.

Sturgeon Video – Enjoy Damer’s mentoring efforts with his “minor leaguers” at local schools. By the way, congratulations are in order for Mr. and Mrs. John Damer, who welcomed their second daughter, Ava, into this world last Wednesday. John is our biologist leading the Coosa River sturgeon restoration effort.

Allatoona Mixed Bag

Chatuge: Shallow Largemouth Bass – “Chris and I were up on Lake Chatuge over the past week completing our annual fall electrofishing samples.  The bigger spots are now down around 8-10 feet or deeper.  Largemouths are a little shallower.  With lake levels dropping, much of the downed timber is now out of the water, so look for any areas that still have timber in 6+ feet of water to find the good largemouths.” – Patrick O’Rouke, Fisheries Biologist

Lanier Topwater

Lake Burton Browns – “During the last two weeks of October, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Section stocked 24,000 eleven-inch brown trout into Lake Burton. Over 5,000 brown trout were dispersed by boat. The fish were reared at Buford and Lake Burton trout hatcheries and transported to the lake in a refreshed fleet of stocking trucks, thanks to the revenues generated by purchasers of  Trout Unlimited license plates.   These fish will prey on the blueback herring population and provide a reservoir trout fishing opportunity for the state’s anglers.  Trout that feast on bluebacks can grow two pounds per year, says WRD senior fisheries biologist Anthony Rabern. Trophy trout up to eleven pounds have been caught by skilled Lake Burton anglers. More on fishing Lake Burton. Get your fishing license and trout license.” – John Lee Thomson, Lake Burton Fish Hatchery Manager and Stocking Coordinator

Chattooga Delayed Harvest – Ever wondered where most of these fish come from?  You’ll enjoy this video, from the egg to the copter drop. You may also remember prior videos on the copter operation, and some satisfied customers. Weather permitting, the 2014 copter should fly soon in November, the start of the contract (and that’s a specific as I will get…).  Thanks to all of you who have contributed toward this program through its years of operation. It’s been a great team effort.

Toccoa TailwaterLooks like some federal hatchery gifts recently hit those waters.

Dukes – With the clear water, you’d better bring you’re A-game.  Reservations: 706-878-3087.  NOTE: New anglers will do better on our DH streams.

Trout for Supper – The last time I looked, DH stockers weren’t very good at reading signs. Astute anglers might line up in year-around waters above or below the special regulation zones and aim for strays. Hints: Hooch below the mouth of Smith, Amicalola below 53, Chattooga below 28, Hooch above Sope.  If they’re beyond the DH field of play, they’re fair game for harvesters.

Neat Article – Pick up a copy of American Angler magazine at your tackle shop and enjoy the article on Georgia’s own Goodwill Guides. Here’s a great team helping our vets.  By the way, this magazine is an outstanding resource for beginning and intermediate flyfishers.  For example, see the article by Jason Randall about strike indicators.

Help Georgia Trout Management- Buy a License Plate!

Upcoming EventDukes Help Wanted- Nov. 15. Kudos to our teammates at NGTO, Foothills TU, and Friends of Smithgall Woods.

Good luck this week.  Thanks very much to all of you teammates contributing to our winning ways on north Georgia waters.

Categories: Fishing

North Georgia Fishing Report: Oct. 24, 2014

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

This is a great time of year to go hunting for big fall brown trout.

Fisheries biologist Patrick O'Rouke with a nice 8-plus-pound brown trout collected while sampling the Chattahoochee River near Buford Dam on Monday.

Fisheries biologist Patrick O’Rouke with a nice 8-plus-pound brown trout collected while sampling the Chattahoochee River near Buford Dam on Monday.

With cooler water temperatures and the spawning urge beginning to stir in them, they’re on the move.  Serious stalkers should throw some baits, flies, or lures that have enough perceived calories to make it worth their while to come over and take a swipe.  Leave the midge patterns at home.   Remember that a good hunter searches carefully for his/her quarry before beginning their stalk.   Lesson- – scout (observe) and hunt (stalk) before you fish.

Also remember that this is the last hurrah for Georgia’s seasonal trout streams, which close on Nov. 1.  Take your “last shot” at those colorful headwater specks and rainbows while you can.  If the water’s a bit cold before lunch and the dry fly action is slow, drop a prince nymph or pheasant tail soft hackle two feet off the back of that dry.  Good luck as you try to beat the leaf fall and fit a few more casting trips in before hitting the sidelines for a week or so.  Stalk closer, cast shorter,  reduce the number of knots on your line (drop the dropper flies, limit the split shot), and retrieve with the stream flow, rather than against it,  to catch fewer leaves and more fish.   Once the majority of leaf fall has passed, our year-round north Georgia streams will again be easy to fish.  Don’t forget the camera to “shoot” both the trout and the scenery of north Georgia as both of these spectacles reach their peak of color in the next two weeks.

Call for Trout Volunteers – Nov. 1

“Rock Creek Workday

Sorry for the short notice but I just received word that we have a stream improvement workday on Saturday November 1.  We will be working in stream clearing some old structures and installing new structures as well.

Directions are below and are also available on the Coosa Valley TU website, coosavalley.tu.org.  Work will start at 9:00 am.

If you are available to help or have questions please email Jeff Walters, mjw1990@yahoo.com.  Once we know who is helping we can set up carpools to the worksite.

From Marietta- Take I 75 N to Hwy 411 North to Fairmount continue on 411 north.  Travel about 19 miles to stoplight at Ramhurst/Smyrna Rd turn right. Go about 250 yards turn right then and immediate left on to Old Federal Road.  Go 2.3 miles turn right on Peeples Lake Road. This is a long dirt road , after going about 5 miles look for signs directing you to the work site.

From Canton-Take I575/Hwy 515 north to GA Hwy 136 West to Hwy 411 North.  Go approx 8 miles  to stoplight at Ramhurst/Smyrna Rd turn right. Go about 250 yards turn right then and immediate left on to Old Federal Road.  Go 2.3 miles turn right on Peeples Lake Road. This is a long dirt road , after going about 5 miles look for signs directing you to the work site.

Thanks in advance for your help!”

Additional Links:

My First Brown Trout”

Hooch TailwaterReport 1, Report 2

Another Hefty Hooch Brown – Fisheries staff picked up this nice 8 3/4 pound brown trout while electrofishing in the Chattahoochee River near Buford Dam on Monday. After being measured and weighed, she was released to hopefully be caught again by a lucky Georgia angler. Fall is a great time to target large brown trout in the ‘Hooch with lures or flies imitating small trout or other baitfish.

George Daniel Here – Saturday

Roswell BanquetOct. 28

Trouting Open House – Nov. 1

Lanier Bass

Lanier Stripers Overdue

Allatoona Reports

Great Fall DestinationTry Tugalo Lake for a mixed bag, including walleye:

World Record Holder in Our MidstCongrats to Kevin!

Safety First! – Watch your step when speck fishing on steep mountain streams.  You want to hike back to the car rather than have our rangers copter you out!  Some of you may recognize the names of your northeast Georgia conservation rangers involved  in this rescue effort.

Be safe and have fun during a beautiful fall “hunting” season. With a little luck to complement your skills, maybe you’ll bag your own trophy brown trout, striper, or walleye.

Categories: Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: Oct. 24, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Patrick caught these nice trout and flounder from the St. Simons Pier last week. (Photo courtesy of St. Simons Bait and Tackle)

Patrick caught these nice trout and flounder from the St. Simons Pier last week. (Photo courtesy of St. Simons Bait and Tackle)

The crappie bite is the big news this week. Saltwater has been solid, but the bigger tides late this week will probably muddy the water and slow the trout. Redfish should still bite through the muddier water, though. New Moon is Oct. 23. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that the crappie bite has been impressive. Folks are blistering them with minnows fished 5-6 feet deep underneath a float. Some catfish were caught on limb lines baited with goldfish. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that the crappie bite on the lower river has been awesome. Minnows were the bait of choice. Some big bream were caught on crickets, and the bass bite has been fair (no details on what they’re biting).  The river level was 3.1 feet and rising (71 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 3.4 feet and rising (72 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on Oct. 21.

Satilla River – The river is getting tough to get around in a johnboat. It is float-trip or bank fishing time again. Bill of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said the fishing was good this week, with bream and redbreasts hitting Satilla Spins and Spin Dandy spinnerbaits, as well as pink worms and crickets. Pink worms and rooster livers fished on the bottom accounted for most of the catfish. Shrimp fished on limb lines worked for catfish, as well. The river level at the Waycross gage was 4.9 feet and falling (70 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.1 feet and falling on Oct. 21.

Okefenokee Swamp – On the east side, Okefenokee Adventures staff reported that nobody fished this week, so they did not know what was biting. On the west side, Stephen C. Foster State Park staff said effort was low, but anglers still caught about 25 catfish per trip. Nobody reported catching fliers, but I’m sure you can catch them if you try. I usually catch about 10-20 fliers per hour this time of year by pitching yellow or pink Okefenokee Swamp Sallies on bream buster poles.

Local Ponds – The crappie bite picked up significantly this week in ponds. Michael Winge said most anglers caught between 10 and 20 crappie from local ponds this week, and minnows worked best. Bream were caught with pink worms, crickets, and red wiggler worms. Bass were fooled with buzzbaits, plastic worms and shiners. The fish were not picky on plastic worm colors, as they pounced on “almost any color thrown at them.” The catfishing held up well in the cooler weather, with shrimp, rooster livers and pink worms producing the best catches.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Capt. TJ Cheek reported that trout fishing was great this week. Lots of slot reds were caught in the same places as the trout. He expects the trout to slow a little with the bigger tides late this week, but the reds should keep feeding. Most of the trout ate live shrimp, but he recommends switching to DOA shrimp when you find a concentration of trout, as you can put them in the boat more quickly and stay on them better with artificials. The bull redfish bite has remained good for him around the sand bars and sounds. Chunks of mullet, whiting, or live pogies produced the best. Michael Winge reported that Waycross anglers caught whiting, black drum, and croaker ate dead shrimp fished on the bottom in the Brunswick area. Trout were caught in good numbers on live shrimp and Bass Assassin Sea Shads. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle (912-634-1888) said that the bite on the pier is on fire. Trout, reds, flounder, and Spanish mackerel were caught in good numbers this week. Gynni Hunter caught her first bull redfish, a 43 1/2-incher, from the pier on Monday evening. Congratulations, Gynni! Two local anglers fishing from the pier on Monday limited out on trout 14 inches and up. Whiting are still being caught on dead shrimp, and a few sharks are being caught on cut bait. Shrimp are thick under the lights at night, and cast-netters are catching them.

Best Bet – The bull redfish are a great option this weekend if the weather allows access to them. If it is rough, try them from a pier instead of a boat. Put a piece of cut mullet or whiting on the bottom and hold on. In freshwater, it will be hard to beat crappie fishing this weekend, unless a cold front rolls in right before your trip. Crappie usually shut down for a day or two after a strong cold front.

Categories: Fishing

North Georgia Fishing Report: Oct. 17, 2014

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFall is here and so are the abundant angling opportunities associated with cooling waters, recharging rainfall, and lots of sport fish species trying to stock up on groceries before winter.  From headwater trout to reservoir stripers, a great menu of excursions awaits north Georgians during our “angling Octoberfest.”  The weekend weather report looks great and stream flows are falling after this week’s monsoons, so make some plans for Saturday.  Best bets: bluelining wild trout in the afternoons and chasing reservoir bass on top, early and late. Here’s the latest news…

Banker’s Smokies Specks“Here’s another trip report.  Oldest son and I had an amazing day in the Smokies in late September on an IDBIS brookie stream.  Consistent action all day from 11:00 on with dries, including almost two dozen between us out of one large waterfall pool!  First we cleaned out the tail / lip feeders with dries then hammered them in the main body of the pool with ant droppers using a new bead head sinking ant pattern I really like (bet we could have gotten 30 if we’d used green weenie droppers).   Small dries worked well all day – #16 peacock EHC and #16 Mr Rapidan Parachute (BWO colored) in the runs, pockets and pool tails.    Mid – afternoon saw some Cahills coming off, so a #14 trailing shuck parachute also worked well.  Then saw some spinners coming back late in the day and switched to orange spinners last hour finishing strong.  Water level and temp were about perfect.    Better than average size as well – many 8″ and a few up to 9″ and fat, which is pretty good by Smokies standards.   Fish have obviously been gorging on terrestrials all summer with all the rain.     Wish I could be on the water more right now because it’s going to be a great fall!”Banker

“Took Terry Rivers to IDBIS Creek  on Friday and we had another good day, if not quite as stellar as the mid-September trip with my son.   Fished some of the same water as before but also a 1/4 mi. section that we didn’t fish before after we saw another fisherman coming off it.   Dry fly action was good between noon and 3:00.  Small and dark worked best, same as before – #16 – 18 Mr. Rapidan Parachute (BWO imitation) worked best for me and #16 peacock EHC worked well for Terry.  I also used a new pattern that I copied from the Blue Ribbon Flies catalog that I have been wanting to try, a Royal Wulff cripple size 16 but with a blue krystal flash band instead of red.  Started the day with it and it was kinda slow at first but they started hitting it better as the morning wore on (the stream is at 4000 feet, so definitely late rising this time of year).    Biggest difference from last time was the weather.  Overcast all day but still mild temp.   A front came through about 4:00 and it got misty, then started raining on us as we were hiking out about 5:00.   Water temp when we started was 53 vs 55 before, and I’m sure it dropped after the front came through.  Everything pretty well shut down then, at least on dries.   Fishing a dropper PT nymph in the big waterfall pool that we did so well at before got no action.  Terry got a couple nice ones on the EHC though.   Fish were running same size as before – mostly 7 – 8 inches and full of color.  Terry has some good pics that I’m sure he will show you.  As soon as I can figure out how to download mine from my new camera, I’ll send those as well.  Spectacular early fall scenery and great fishing, a near perfect blueline afternoon.  Still sore from the rock climbing though.   I’m glad Terry got out without screwing up his other knee.    I’m sure we both slept in late Saturday.” – Banker

Headwater rainbows – “On my way back from Blue Ridge on Saturday (10/11), I hit one of the local WMA streams to see how the wild rainbows are biting.  I fished from about 1:00 to 4:00 and did pretty well on dries.  No monsters, as usual, but I fooled a couple 9-inchers among the 8-10 I landed.  Great colors on the wild fish right now.  Got one that reminded me of a cutthroat, due to the lack of spotting on its front half (see pic).  Some of the fish seemed to be fattening-up for the lean winter months to come.” – John Damer, Fisheries Biologist

Headwater RainbowsReport No. 2

Rainy Rainbows at Dukes – Congrats to Foothills TU’er Ricky Ozmar.  Net-man Dredger reports that this young flyfishing fanatic has really “got game” at Dukes Creek.  The eighth-grader took advantage of stained waters last Sunday to first toss big and bright patterns such as pink san jauns and Pat’s rubberlegs.  As the water cleared through the late afternoon, he scaled down to small pheasant tails and hares ears to stay in the game.  A nice handful of chunky rainbows to 19 inches was netted, while a monster was lost when Ricky’s dropper fly hung on a submerged limb.  I guess a rematch is in the making. PS – Google “October caddis” and carry a few of these big dries along with you to Georgia’s larger trout streams.

Toccoa Tailwater Lunkers – You may recall seeing the photo of John Damer holding up a fifteen-pound brown that was sampled and released back into the Toccoa Tailwater.  John told me the rest of the story: three other trout of nine pounds or better were also captured, measured,  and released during his September sampling.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGeorgia’s Delayed Harvest Trout Streams (November 1) – Get ready for this annual program of catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities on selected Georgia streams.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for good times ahead. More tips from Orvis: How to make a water haul cast, and how to detect strikes when nymph fishing.

Additional Links:

Outdoor Adventrure Days Thanks!Thanks to all of you volunteers who helped at one of WRD’s events on September 27 to celebrate National Fishing and Hunting Day.  We had 92 volunteers at the Unicoi State Park event, with a total of 1,037 attendees.  Enjoy the photo of a father and son who had a great time at the park, due in large part to your help.

Good luck.  Layer up to start your day and then shed some clothes as the afternoon sun thaws you out.  Don’t forget the extra change of clothes in the car, in case you take a wrong (and cold) step while wading.

Categories: Fishing
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