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Georgia Fishing Report: August 26, 2016

Coastal Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Coastal Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries Biologists Tim Barrett and Joel Fleming, and region Fisheries staff)

Savannah River:

Catfish: It’s time for catfish!  Catfish have been the focus for anglers over the last several weeks.  Some anglers are reporting that catfishing in the river may be the best they have seen it in over 15 years.  Catches of 50+ small to medium-sized channel catfish are not uncommon in many areas of the river.  These fish are being caught on primarily worms, fished on the bottom.  Anglers targeting larger channel catfish are fishing on sandbars in the evenings using cut or whole shad as bait.  Fish well over 15 pounds are not uncommon when targeting these larger fish.  Bush hooks, baited with cut bait, have also been very productive. Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: August 26, 2016”

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Georgia Fishing Report: August 19, 2016

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

The summer heat continues and, like the weather, this week’s fishing report sounds like a broken record.  Headwater trout, tailwater trout, and deep stripers (see Ken’s reports) are our best bets.  Reservoir bass are decent if you go early, or run around the lake and drop-shot brushy humps to find the few in each school with appetites.  River bass are good during those clear windows between the muddy water slugs from afternoon thunderstorms.  The good news is that our lawns are once again green.  The bad news is that we have to cut them, after a month-long break from that chore.  The best news follows. Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: August 19, 2016”

Blake Yarbrough landed and released this monster redfish in the Sapelo Island area over the weekend. The redfish bite in the sounds will pick up as we move toward their fall spawning time.

Georgia Fishing Report: August 12, 2016

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Southwest Georgia

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant)

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing during the day is slowly improving.  A few bass are still attacking various styles of Shad Raps with the Glass and Jointed Shad Raps working well.  Change colors when the bass are small in size or the action gets slow.  A great place to find active bass is way up in the Savannah River. While in the moving water, use a small all-black buzz bait on a braid and work it right up next to any Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: August 12, 2016”

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Archery and Shooting Ranges: Give ‘Em a Shot!

Fall is around the corner, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has the perfect outdoor activity for you and your family! If you haven’t visited one of DNR’s archery and shooting ranges located all over Georgia, you’re missing out.

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Me with an instructor at the archery range.

I’m Mishay Allen, and I’m the new intern at our Wildlife Resources Division. Last week, I had the opportunity to go out and experience the archery and shotgun ranges at the Clybel Wildlife Management Area, located in the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield.  This is DNR’s largest range, and even knowing that, it exceeded my expectations. The range boasts multiple archery and shooting range setups, including an archery trail with 32 3-D targets and an archery tower with tree stand stations where you can practice climbing in and out of a tree stand. There is a Continue reading “Archery and Shooting Ranges: Give ‘Em a Shot!”

Sunflowers at River Creek WMA in Thomas County. The forecast looks excellent for the September 3 and 10 Adult/Child Hunts.

Dove Season Forecast 2016

Dove is the number-one small game species and the number-one migratory game bird species in Georgia. There is more public dove hunting opportunity than ever before, including a new dove fields at Big Lazer Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Flat Creek Public Fishing Area (PFA).

Dove Field Forecasts 2016:

Quota Hunt Fields

Adult-Child Hunt Only Fields

Non-Quota Fields

Non-Quota VPA Fields

Quota Hunt Fields

At the Pine Log WMA we have planted sunflowers and wheat. There are a total of 32 acres, and the forecast is fair.

At Wilson Shoals we have planted sunflower, wheat, and brown top millet. There are a total of 16 acres, and the forecast is fair.

At Alexander WMA we have planted sunflower and wheat for a total of 45 acres, and the forecast is excellent. Continue reading “Dove Season Forecast 2016”

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Georgia Fishing Report: August 5, 2016

 

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

Why am I talking about “winter” when we’re stuck in a record-setting string of ninety-degree days, you wonder. What’s wrong with that boy? Heatstroke? Senility? Bad combination of both afflictions, maybe?

Have faith! Read on and don’t put me out to pasture just yet. You might still learn something to make your fishing day a little bit better, despite our persistent heat.

While we’ve had more frequent afternoon storms during the last week or so, their coverage has been spotty and their runoff has been fairly small and short-lived. Most mountain streams are still running low and hot. Our rivers are low, but often muddy because of the brief but intense storms somewhere in their headwaters that deliver a slug of yoo-hoo to downstream reaches. That has been limiting our angling options to headwater streams, the tailwaters (the closer to the dam, the less the impacts from muddy tribs), and ponds and lakes, where we must fish early or late to beat the afternoon heat.

There is still some hope, however: Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: August 5, 2016”

One of the peak bites during the dog days of summer is bowfin in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 29, 2016

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant) 

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing is fair and the fish are very scattered and they are roaming all day.  The fish are not on any particular structure as they just seem to be roaming the banks and humps.  There are lots of shad and the bass have plenty to eat and are not looking for artificial lures.  To catch them, head up the river and creek points for bass suspended in 15 to 18 feet of water.  Carolina rigs and worms and crank baits are Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 29, 2016”

A Thrilling Turtle Season

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Shell on Sapelo. (Sara Weaver/DNR)

As part of #7Days4SeaTurtles, DNR sea turtle technician Sara Weaver has been posting about her work this week on Sapelo Island.

I have had a very busy summer (and I’m sure most of the other turtle technicians and staff in Georgia would say the same). A successful nesting season for the turtles means more work for us, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s been exciting to learn about sea turtles while I’ve been here, and even more thrilling to watch the females nest on the beach in the middle of the night. And being able to see that a nest has hatched successfully gives me a lot of hope for the effectiveness of our sea turtle research and conservation programs. Continue reading “A Thrilling Turtle Season”

Taking Inventory of Nests

Sunrise_SapeloSound_DNR_2016As part of #7Days4SeaTurtles, DNR sea turtle technician Sara Weaver is posting about her work this week on Sapelo Island.

Today was a longer day than usual. I’m generally finished with work before the hottest part of the day arrives, but that wasn’t the case today. I had three new nests, one nest hatch and I conducted my first nest inventory on my own.

I have definitely had much more challenging days, but since nesting season is wrapping up, I’m used to it being a little slower. We have a total of 205 nests now on Sapelo.

The inventory was really fun. I enjoy doing them because it’s neat to see how well a nest hatched. In this nest, 124 eggs hatched, two dead hatchlings remained in the nest and 16 eggs didn’t hatch. This nest is on the higher end for total eggs, so the inventory took a bit longer than it usually would.

One of the nests that I relocated today had 155 eggs in it, which is quite a large nest. The female’s crawl was also wider than normal though, so she was a big turtle. We normally expect about 80-150 eggs per nest. Our largest nest on the beach has 177 eggs!

#7Days4SeaTurtles is a weeklong outreach by the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division to raise awareness of sea turtle conservation.

Andrew Rich caught this big bluegill on Monday from the Altamaha River. A black/chartreuse Satilla Spin fished around willow trees fooled it.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 22, 2016

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Southwest Georgia

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

It’s still hot and dry, despite some increased storm frequency across the mountains last week.  The good news is that these brief storms cool off the streams a bit.  The bad news is that the benefits of higher, cooler stormflows are fleeting.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv?site_no=02330450

The BIG news this week came from one of the cleanup batters on the Hooch Tailwater.  These guys use big bats and swing for the fences.  They often strike out, but when they connect, it’s usually a homer, far back into the upper deck.  That happened on the Hooch tailwater, and the story of the big brown is in the first bullet, below.

Our summer pattern continues, so pick your preferences.  Remember to check USGS gauges first to avoid chocolate milk, aim for shade, and be slow and patient with your offerings.  “Warm” fish are slow to react in hot water, and will avoid the high sun if they suspect predators in their midst.  Despite the continuing heat wave, Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 22, 2016”