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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.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!

North Georgia Fishing Report: July 8, 2014

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

Summer’s here and so are its fishing challenges.  We’re stuck in a heat wave and also have occasional thunderstorms to deal with; a tough mix for rookies to deal with.  Those newbies should just get adopted and look to the seasoned vets for tips.

Such savvy, veteran anglers will once again adapt to current conditions, like their quarry does, and will continue to have some great catching days thru the heat wave.   Those anglers will first adapt to the heat by fishing early, late or even after dark on our reservoirs, as they “chase the shadows” that are coveted by their summer quarry.  They’ll even avoid some great springtime targets such as our large, wide trout streams that, due to lower elevations and a lack of tree canopy over the entire channel, are now warming up too much for a good trout bite.  They’ll avoid places like the Chattooga, the lower Amicalola, and the Stephens County trout waters, and head higher into the mountains or below Buford Dam.  They’ll note that streams with a northern aspect stay cooler than the ones draining the south slopes of a mountain, and will have a lot more trout action due to those couple of degrees of cooler water.

They’ll also watch the summer storms and either chase them or avoid them at all costs.  The chasers are the trouters, who know that a good summer rain is like turning on the air conditioning and emptying a well-stocked refrigerator into the “crick” (more below).  River bassin’ fans will avoid their favorite big waters, where the turbidity will knock down their catch rates for a least a couple days until those rivers start to clear. Then they’ll fish the shallows against the bank, where fish can still see what falls from the tree limbs.  In contrast, the catfishing can get really good.  Watch for all those forked sticks on the sandbars of the lower Chattooga. They’re not meant for fly rods! Muddy water means safety for the whiskered gang that can smell their way to a meal.

Summer brings on a whole new set of “hatches” for north Georgia anglers, especially those  always too concerned about the “right” fly or lure.  (Editor’s note: the “how” (technique) usually trumps the “what” (fly or lure pattern)).  Many folks only think of hatches in the traditional spring sense of mayflies, caddis, and stones.  Really good anglers are, first, good hunters and are extremely observant. They notice these new, summer hatches and adapt their baits and techniques to them.  The results from matching these new hatches can be outstanding (photo).

What hatches?  Well, there’s the wind hatch (ants and beetles), the pasture hatch (hoppers), the streamside wood hatch (crickets), the overhanging limb hatch (caterpillars, bees), and the lobster hatch (baby crayfish).  But the favorite summer hatch for Georgia hillbillies has gotta be the thunderstorm hatch!  Look down on the pavement after a good, heavy rain and what do you see?  The refrigerator door is open and the spaghetti is heading toward every pasta-loving trout in there!  Try one of these in your favorite trout stream when you think it’s too darn muddy to fish.  Pound some traditionally good spots with cast after cast.  Your meal is tough to see, so give those trout a lot of chances.  When the water is really muddy ( a foot of visibility), hot pink is hot.  And as it clears and you start seeing your toes in 2-3 feet of water, try the more subtle “shell pink” color.

Maybe you’ll be as lucky as the young dude pictured.

Good luck as you beat the heat by fishing early, late, and after dark.  Enjoy the wet wading and the long hours of dawn and dusk.  Keep the fish in the water until you get your camera focused, then hold them up for only a second or two for your trophy shot. Better yet, leave them in your net in the water, with their gills soaked, and take your summer shots that way.  Then they’ll be around to battle you again on that next trip to your honey hole.

Good luck.  Here are some more reports to take your mind off the heat and on to your planning for a July fishing trip. Just remember to match the hatches of this hot weather season.

Fishing at Don Carter State Park

Don Carter State Park

Don Carter State Park

Park manager Will Wagner is excited to announce two new developments.  His park recently enrolled in the loaner pole program.  He now has a handful of spincast outfits that  are available for free loan, on a first-come, first-served basis to visiting families.

Second, he’s completed a kayak rental venue.  Will said,  “We have eight kayaks for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are 6 tandem, sit-on-tops (great for fishing) and 2 solo boats for the more experience paddler.  All are rented out of the park office from 8AM-4PM.  Boats can be rented for a half day (4 hours from time of rental) for $25 or full day (due back by 8PM) for $35.  We provide all the paddles and PFDs.”

If you plan to be in the upper Lake Lanier area soon, where boat traffic is minimal and the kayak cover is serene, give Don Carter State Park a try! http://gastateparks.org/DonCarter

Detailed reservoir reportsThanks Ken!

Lanier stripers- GON Forum Report 1, GON Forum Report 2

Shoal bass from the Upper Chattahoochee.

Shoal bass from the Upper Chattahoochee.

Lanier bass – GON Forum Report 1, GON Forum Report 2

Lake Hartwell Success

Allatoona fishfinder

Mountain bass (with video)

Summer striper tips – July 1

River Bass – The Guru, Nita, and Jake have been having a blast on the Hooch above Lanier.  Yakking and wading, when the river has cleared of storm water, has produced real good numbers of spots, shoal bass, and bream, with an occasional small striper thrown in.  Spinning rods and small plastic worms have produced the numbers, while poppers and stealth bombers at dark created the “dry fly” action.  Landon has also found a few stripers up another north Georgia river, where they’re sitting in some coolwater refuge habitat. Striper action is hit-or-miss trophy hunting, and not a numbers game.

Small lakes – The Guru and Dredger have chilled after work on Unicoi Lake.  A nice yak ride and some small poppers against the bank have produced a mixed bag of bream and small bass from suppertime til sunset.

Trout

Rainbow trout from Dukes in July of 2005.

Rainbow trout from Dukes in July of 2005.

Trout- Hooch TailwaterWow! The trophy brown that wasn’t leader shy.  Other reports: Georgia Outdoors Forum Report 1, Georgia Outdoors Forum Report 2.

Toccoa Tailwater high flows, Georgia Outdoors Forum

Trout- stocker best bets – Best bets this week include the Hooch Tailwater and the higher elevation mountain streams where the water is colder, especially before the sun gets high in the sky.  Try: Dicks, Holly, Hooch on WMA, Rock, Cooper, Wildcat, Tallulah, Hartwell Tailwater, and the Blue Ridge Tailwater if/when the TVA generation schedule allows (see above; be careful).  Hit them at daylight.

Trout – Bluelining

Tip – Landon said he had a great day on Stream X with a #16 soft hackle pheasant tail dropped way off the back of a yellow stimulator, which is better known as the “summer stealth strike indicator” to most Rabunites.

Video with appropriate background music and stream naming standard. Remember to be careful!

Additional Links

New state record!

Safe BoatingBoater Education Becomes Mandatory for Some Vessel Operators After July 1

Summer’s here, so go enjoy it on Georgia’s lakes and streams.  The fishing is good all day, but the catching might be a bit better early, late, and even after sunset.  Have some fun with your kids now and maybe they’ll end up rowing the boat for YOU in the future!

Categories: Boating, Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: July 3, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Landon of Waycross caught this nice bream from an area pond this past weekend. The pond bite for bass, bream, and catfish should be excellent in the early mornings or evenings.

Landon of Waycross caught this nice bream from an area pond this past weekend. The pond bite for bass, bream, and catfish should be excellent in the early mornings or evenings.

I hope you and your family have a great 4th of July and are able to work some fishing into your plans. The river fishing has been great, but it is getting tough to get around in the upper rivers. It’s time to do a float trip! Pond fishing has been extremely steady for all species, except crappie. Flounder fishing has been on fire in saltwater. The first quarter moon is July 5. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – A trophy catfish angler reported catching two 20-pound flatheads, a 15-pound blue catfish, and several 8 to 10-pound channel catfish over the weekend on live bream. He said that catching his bait was no problem. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that big bream and redbreasts were chowing on crickets and worms. Two anglers caught 165 bream and redbreasts on crickets in less than 2 hours (they kept their limit and released the rest). The catfish bite has been strong there also. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that the bream bite is on fire. The best locations have been slow-moving water around creek mouths, sand bars, and pockets. Crickets have worked best. Shellcrackers have been steady for those fishing pink worms in 3 to 4 feet of water around lily pads. Catfish have been biting anything you put on the bottom. Some nice flatheads were caught with goldfish. The mullet bite has started, and jolly green giant and red wiggler worms have been producing them. Expect that bite to be tops for the next few months, as long as the river stays low and clears up. The river level was 3.4 feet and falling (89 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 5.6 feet and falling (87 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on July 1.

Satilla River – Just about everything is working on the river right now. You can pitch crickets, throw artificials, pitch bugs, or bottom fish and catch them. Of course, the artificials are typically catching the bigger redbreasts. Pitching crickets will catch some nice ones with a BUNCH of small fish between the nicer ones. I know of two redbreasts over a pound caught this week. Michael Deen and Justin Bythwood fished out of both the Waycross and Atkinson ramps this week after work. They caught between 20 and 40 fish (mostly redbreasts) each evening they fished, and their biggest was a 10 3/4-inch rooster redbreast that ate a Satilla Spin. That was their most effective lure for panfish, and they caught redbreasts, bluegill, stumpknockers, and crappie on them. They caught fish on several prototype colors and crayfish. On Tuesday evening out of the ramp at the Blackshear Bridge, crayfish was by far their best color. Jacob Henderson hit the upper river again on Saturday with a friend, and they caught a 5-pound bass on a topwater on their first few casts. That was their biggest, but they boated several other smaller bass. They caught quite a few panfish on crayfish Satilla Spins, but they concentrated on bass fishing. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the bite has been unbelievable. From redbreasts to bream to catfish and bass, it has been hot. Most anglers fishing a whole day limited out on whatever they threw at them. The river level at the Waycross gage was 5.1 feet and falling (83 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.4 feet and falling (88 degrees) on July 1.

St. Marys River – The bream and redbreast bites were steady this week, but the catfish bite was off the chain. “Tons and tons” of catfish were caught by anglers fishing shrimp and rooster livers on the bottom. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 4.2 feet and falling on July 1.

Local Ponds – Wyatt Crews and Scout Carter fished a Waycross area pond several evenings and caught lots of 2 to 4-pound bass each evening. Their best lures were topwater frogs worked over lily pads and Hula Poppers worked in open water at the edge of vegetation. They also caught a bunch of warmouth and bluegills on red wigglers. Michael Winge said that the bass fishing early and late has been great in area ponds by those throwing topwater frogs around lily pads (this and the report from Wyatt were totally independent of each other!). Big bream were also caught, and crickets were the best bait.

Okefenokee Swamp – I gave the swamp to the yellow flies in June, but it’s time that I take it back!!! Typically the bugs will attack your vehicle when you approach the ramp, but they are not bad on the water by the first week in July. The bite is usually on fire when I start fishing again, but I have not heard reports yet. 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). “Trout Magnet” hit a tributary to the swamp and caught a few panfish on sallies and one of his hand-made jigs.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Brentz and Alex McGhin of Blackshear fished out of Crooked River and put it on the sheepshead. They moved around between hard cover and dropped fiddlers near the structure and hung into a nice mess of convictfish. Their biggest was a 5-pounder that inhaled a fiddler and went nuts. They landed it on a cane pole! Congratulations on the great trip, guys. Out of St. Marys, the flounder reports are getting better every day. With the lower tides coming up, and the bad weather moving on through, the weekend should produce some excellent flatfishing. Mudminnows and finger mullet will likely produce the most. If fishing the jetties, make sure to have a tarpon rod rigged with an Assassin Sea Shad or other shad-like bait and fling it at fish if you see them surface. At Gould’s Inlet, lots of flounder were reported by those fishing dead shrimp and mudminnows. Some trout in the 14 to 18-inch range were also caught there. A Brunswick angler shark-fished with some of his buddies, and they landed two tiger sharks that were 9 1/2-feet each! Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the flounder were thick around the pier. Anglers have been limiting with fish mostly from 14 to 16 inches. Whiting, croakers, and spadefish graced coolers this week. On Saturday a 10-foot long tiger shark was caught. You can check the marine forecast at www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/.

Best Bet – For the holiday weekend, keep your eye on the forecasted storm heading up the coast. If it lingers, fishing inland or in freshwater will be the ticket. If it moves through quickly and the water clears with the lower tides, then flounder fishing will be a great option. Whether fishing from a pier or from a boat, work mudminnows or finger mullet around current breaks to catch them. Floating a river like the upper Satilla is an awesome option to beat the heat. Get out occasionally and cool off in the river in the heat of the day. The bite has been awesome, so fling Satilla Spins, Spin Dandy spinnerbaits, Beetle spins, or pitch crickets to catch a nice stringer of redbreasts, bluegills, and stumpknockers. Expect the Altamaha bluegill bite to fire off any day now. I love flinging artificials at them, and I believe that bite is already happening. Pond fishing is a good quick trip option. Expect your best bite to be early and late.

Categories: Fishing

Summer River Stripers

By: Patrick O’Rouke, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

When striped bass go deep in Georgia reservoirs during the summer, it doesn’t mean that shallow water striper fishing is over.  Many of the rivers feeding Georgia’s reservoirs provide excellent striper fishing throughout the heat of the summer.  As an added bonus, stripers can put up a tougher fight in the current than they do in still water.  And unlike some of the big reservoirs, fishing for river stripers doesn’t require a large boat.  Small jon boats, canoes, or kayaks can be perfect for the rivers where stripers run, and wading is an option where there is walk-in access.

Striped bass that weigh only a few pounds can be a blast when caught in a flowing river.

Striped bass that weigh only a few pounds can be a blast when caught in a flowing river.

Striped bass are stocked in 16 reservoirs across the state by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.  In most of these waters, the fish still try to spawn even though they cannot produce viable offspring, and this sends the first wave of fish up the rivers in mid-to-late spring.  As the weather heats up in the summer, the lake surface begins to warm up too much (stripers prefer temperatures less than 77°F), and stripers will either move into the thermocline or run upstream into flowing water in search of cooler, oxygenated water.  They will often stay throughout the summer until surface temperatures in the lake downstream drop back down to acceptable levels.

It can be surprising where stripers will show up on their summer “vacations.”

It can be surprising where stripers will show up on their summer “vacations.”

To locate striped bass in your river look for deeper (>4 feet) water near structure.  This might be a rock wall, a downed tree, or a boulder field.  Pools above and below major shoals are often good places to find summer stripers and the deep, outer curve of a river bend is another.  As long as there are no dams or major waterfalls blocking their path, stripers can travel dozens of miles upstream in search of suitable habitat, so don’t limit your search to the first few river miles above a reservoir.  In fact, in drought years with low, warmer flows, you can often find them concentrated at the first dam or waterfall that stops their progress.  In cooler, wetter years, striped bass may be more spread out.  Keep in mind that stripers move constantly, so even if you find fish in a particular spot, they may not be there in a week as they are always in search of the next meal.

Deep pools below big shoals can be a great place to find stripers holding.

Deep pools below big shoals can be a great place to find stripers holding.

Striped bass can easily reach sizes greater than 40 pounds in Georgia, so make sure you bring tackle that is capable of bringing in a trophy.  For bait fishing, live or cut gizzard shad and rainbow trout are popular picks.  These can be suspended below large bobbers, planer boards, or even inflated balloons.  Drift your bait behind you into the area where you think the fish will be.  For artificials, use big crankbaits, swimbaits, bucktail jigs, or streamers that mimic shad, trout, or bluegills.  Cast and retrieve these through the suspected striper habitat.  If you don’t find anything after a little bit of effort, move on to the next spot.

There are some important regulations to follow when fishing for river stripers this summer! If you’re fishing in a designated trout stream, the use of live bait-fish is illegal.  The Flint River and its tributaries from the Georgia Power Dams at Albany to the U.S. Hwy 84 bridge; the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries from the Columbia Lock and Dam to the GA Hwy 91 bridge; and Spring Creek and its tributaries downstream to GA Hwy 253 are CLOSED to striped bass fishing from May 1 – October 31 each year.  Also be sure to consult the current Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations for size and daily limit restrictions, as they vary throughout the state.

Big fish usually want big baits, so leave the lightweight rods and lures at home.

Big fish usually want big baits, so leave the lightweight rods and lures at home.

To see which reservoirs have DNR stocked striped bass, check out this map.  For detailed information on rivers feeding stocked reservoirs and potential access points near you, please use the tools available through the online Georgia Outdoor Map.  Or call your nearest Fisheries Section Regional Office and ask about opportunities in your area.

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: June 30, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Jacob Henderson caught this 24-inch jackfish on a Bang-O-Lure plug on the Satilla River last week.

Jacob Henderson caught this 24-inch jackfish on a Bang-O-Lure plug on the Satilla River last week.

The upper Satilla River is getting low enough to float, and the middle and lower rivers are still good for getting around in a boat. The bite has been excellent again this week. The Altamaha is getting about perfect for panfishing. Saltwater is steady but not on fire right now. Jimmy Tucker of Statenville caught a new state record bowfin (mudfish) over the weekend from the Suwannee River. The 16-pound, 3-ounce behemoth ate a Mepps Spinner fished on a Zebco 33. It took a little luck to land the monster with 10-lb. test and that setup. Congratulations Jimmy for breaking a 38-year old record! The New Moon is June 27. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – The river was getting about perfect before some rains upcountry this week. We will have to wait and see how much the river jumps. The peak bluegill bite will likely be put off another week. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that some big bream and redbreasts were eating crickets and worms with a vengeance. Some flatheads in the 30-40 pound range were caught on goldfish. Dannett from Altamaha Park said that catfish, bream, redbreasts, and big shellcrackers were caught in the tidewater. A few channel cats and flatheads joined the mix. The river level was 3.9 feet and falling (85 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 6.4 feet and falling (84 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on June 24.

Satilla River – I think the river dropped a couple of inches last week simply from the coolers of fish being hauled out. The biggest redbreast I heard of this week was a 1.16-pound rooster caught by David Tucker. He caught it, and several others, by pitching a topwater “bug” (a popper) with a bream buster. The best catch I heard about was from Friday (June 20) when Dane Clements and a friend fished the upper river. They caught their limit and then caught and released over 150 more redbreasts. The best combination for them was a 1/16-oz. crawfish Satilla Spin. They said they caught 95 percent of their fish on that lure. On Friday, Jamie Storey fished the middle river and caught a couple dozen big bluegills and warmouth on 1/8 oz. black/yellow Satilla Spins. Michael Deen and Justin Bythwood fished the Waycross area on Saturday evening and caught a nice mess of redbreasts, bluegill, and crappie. Their best lure was a prototype color Satilla Spin, but they caught some on crawfish, also. On Tuesday morning, Jacob Henderson and Carli Davidson fished the upper river and caught several keeper-sized bass and a big 24-inch pickerel (jackfish). Their fish ate Bang-O-Lures fished on the surface. They also caught a half-dozen nice redbreasts and a few bluegills on 1/16oz. crawfish Satilla Spins. The key for the best catches this week is to get a little bit away from the ramps, since the fishing pressure has been so high this spring. Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the redbreast bite is still hot. In the Millwood area of the river, anglers wading and fishing caught some big redbreasts by pitching crickets. In the Brantley County portion of the river, bream and redbreasts were caught with about any bait or lure thrown at them. The catfish bite all over the river has been good for those fishing worms or rooster livers on the bottom. The bass bite was good for those fishing topwaters. The river level at the Waycross gage was 5.3 feet and falling (79 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 5.0 feet and falling (84 degrees) on June 24.

St. Marys River – The bream and redbreast bites were the best. Some catfish were reported by bottom-fishermen. The river level on June 24th at the MacClenny gage was 5.4 feet and rising.

Local Ponds – Pond fishing was excellent this week. Lots of bream, catfish, and bass were reported. On Tuesday morning, Wyatt Crews and Kuff Thrift fished a local pond and caught 5 bass on topwater frogs. Their biggest bass was a 3 1/2-pounder. The most impressive thing to bite their frog was a 40-incher….alligator, that is. The pair also landed 7 big bluegills on red wigglers. Michael Winge said that one angler reported catching a good mess of crappie on Monday by fishing the deepest water in the pond with minnows. Topwater plugs and bass bugs (fished with a fly rod) have been producing some excellent bass in the evenings.

Okefenokee Swamp – I am going to let the yellow flies have the swamp in June. If you want to brave the bugs, the flier bite is great. You can pretty easily catch over 100 fliers per day by pitching sallies.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Capt. TJ Cheek reported that the water clarity improved this week, and the bite improved along with it. The biggest news is that the tarpon have arrived in big numbers. His charter caught one on Saturday using a 10-inch white Hogy original plastic lure. The beach trout bite was very good early in the week then tapered off moving into the weekend. Live shrimp and gold flake DOA shrimp produced most of their trout. Some big redfish were reported from the St. Marys Jetties. Reds, trout, and tripletail were reported from the Hampton River. Some Waycross anglers caught some trout from the Cumberland Beach over the weekend. Live shrimp produced their fish. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that from the pier, flounder, yellowtails, blues, and a few trout were caught. On occasional redfish and shark has also hit the deck. On Tuesday morning a 5-pound flounder was caught on mudminnows as the tide started ebbing. The blue crab catches were spotty this week.

Best Bet – The middle Satilla is going to be hard to beat unless the recent rains jump the river back up. You can still get around well in a boat in the middle river. Saltwater is improving, and should be good, especially for tarpon and trout. With the bigger New Moon tides, the tarpon bite at the St. Marys Jetties should fire off, and the clearest water should be available to trout fishermen fishing the Cumberland beach (if winds allow). Pond fishing is always a great fall-back. Early and late will provide the best bite.

Categories: Fishing

Southeast Georgia Fishing Report: June 19, 2014

By: Bert Deener, GA DNR Fisheries Biologist

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

Second Baptist Church kids went fishing Tuesday evening at a Waycross pond and whacked the bluegills. Calob caught this nice bluegill and Skylar congratulated him with a choke hold.

Second Baptist Church kids went fishing Tuesday evening at a Waycross pond and whacked the bluegills. Calob caught this nice bluegill and Skylar congratulated him with a choke hold.

The panfish tournament on Saturday out of Jaycees Landing on the Altamaha River went well, and that bite is about to bust wide open. The Satilla River level has bounced around with this week’s rains, but the fishing has still been outstanding. Saltwater was inconsistent with the big tides this week, but it should crank up this weekend with better tides. The last quarter moon is June 19. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website.

Altamaha River – The Altamaha bluegill bite is about to bust wide open. The Wildlife Resources Division’s sampling last fall showed the highest bluegill population ever recorded heading into the winter, and all the high water will have pushed them to giant size. Over 30 boats participated in the panfish tournament Saturday out of Jaycees Landing. It did not take quite as many pounds as I predicted, but 9.8 pounds (10 fish aggregate) won the tournament. Still, that was a respectable weight, and it won the $500 first prize. Thanks to Iron Pigs Motorcycle Club for sponsoring the event. Elsewhere on the Altamaha, anglers fishing in the willows out of Wayne County ramps reported catching some giant shellcrackers (pushing 2 pounds) on Saturday.  Pink worms fooled them. The river level was 5.2 feet and falling (85 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 7.8 feet and falling (82 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on June 17.

Satilla River – Wow, the catches continued to impress this week. Michael Deen and Justin Bythwood fished the Waycross area on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings and whacked a bunch of fish on Satilla Spins. Scout Carter joined them on Saturday and caught almost half of their 25 fish (in about 1 1/2 hours) on 1/16-oz. black/yellow. Crawfish boated the other half. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, the pair caught a few on black/yellow and other prototype colors, but crawfish dominated. They boated 51 panfish Monday evening and almost 40 on Tuesday (Tuesday evening produced bigger fish). Both weekday trips lasted only two hours each. TJ Cheek moved out of his briny element this weekend for Father’s Day and fished the river with his father and son, Jackson. It was Jackson’s first real fishing trip, and the trio had a blast. Jackson caught his first fish (a bluegill) during the outing. Way to go Jackson! The WRD folks certified a flier and a redbreast Angler Award this week (often they do not certify that many in six months, but this year fishing has been so good that the river has produced several awards per week). Michael Winge of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the redbreast bite is still excellent. He said that you can catch fish about anywhere in the river right now. The river level at the Waycross gage was 5.6 feet and falling (80 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 7.2 feet and falling (82 degrees) on June 17.

St. Marys River – I did not receive any reports specific to the St. Marys, but the catfish bite should be in full swing on the middle river, and panfish should be tearing it up in the upper river. The river level at the MacClenny gage was 6.3 feet and falling on June 17.

Local Ponds – Second Baptist Church in Waycross held a kids fishing event on Tuesday evening at a local Waycross pond, and a couple of dozen kids had a blast. It started off slow while the sun was high, but as the sun dipped, the bite picked up. The bream ate pink worms like crazy for the last hour of daylight, and everyone who was concentrating on fishing caught hand-sized or bigger bluegills and shellcrackers (the others had a blast riding around in a golf cart and chasing each other). The trick was to fish the worm just off the bottom. Kael had the hot hand, catching 7 bluegills in an hour! A few bass were fooled with worms, as well. A couple of Waycross anglers fished a local pond this week and caught 19 bass averaging about 4 pounds each. The bass blasted topwaters fished around vegetation. It is about time to start night-fishing for trophy bass, so put that on your radar.

Okefenokee Swamp – I am going to let the yellow flies have the swamp in June. If you want to brave the bugs, the flier bite is great. You can pretty easily catch over 100 fliers per day by pitching sallies. The spike in bugs should subside by early July.

Saltwater (Georgia Coast) – Capt. TJ Cheek reports that water clarity was the main concern this week with the big tides. When he found a patch of clear water, his charters caught a bunch of small fish. With the better tides this week, he expects the good bite to resume. Tripletail fishing was excellent (including some really quality fish) early in the week, then dead late in the week. Shark fishing was great, with lots of pogies on the beach and toothy critters crashing through them. Small sharks are stacked in the whiting hole by King-and-Prince, while the bigger sharks were caught mainly from sandbars east of the islands or behind shrimp boats. He said that spadefish fishing has picked up on any offshore structure. Cannonball jellyfish are the bait of choice. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the flounder bite is still off the charts. Finger mullet and mud minnows fished around pilings is the best presentation for them. Most flounder ranged from 14 to 18 inches.  Croakers and black sea bass have been mixed in the catch. An 8 1/2-foot lemon shark was caught from the pier.  Blue crabs were caught in good numbers again this week. Expect the pier bite to really fire up with the upcoming lower tides.

Best Bet – A Satilla float trip on the upper river is my top pick for this week. Second would be the Altamaha River for bluegills, and third would be bluegills in local ponds.

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