Judy Hoyt of Atlanta caught this quality bass on Saturday using a junebug straight tail worm fished on an 1/8-oz. shaky head. She and her husband Walter also caught 10 other bass from a Brunswick area pond on Saturday using the same setup.

Georgia Fishing Report, February 5, 2016

Southeast Georgia

Southeast Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)

The crappie and bass bites have broken wide open this week with the warm-up. Don’t mess with the cold, high rivers (except the St. Marys) this weekend….spend your time on flat water. The full rivers will help the fish populations later this spring, so be patient.  New Moon is February 8th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

Altamaha River – The river rose again this week and is still extremely high and swift. I talked with one person this week while filling my tow vehicle, and they had just fished the river that day. They did not catch anything. Expect a similar result if you go this week (I can’t say it any more diplomatically than that….). The only thing worth trying is to fish for crappie in Morgan Lake. A few were caught this week. The river level was 15.0 feet and falling (51 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 10.9 feet and rising (54 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on February 4th.

Satilla River – The upper and middle reaches are still high and Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report, February 5, 2016”

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Georgia Fishing Report: January 29, 2016

Central Georgia

North 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 (1.2 feet over full, clear & lower 50’s) – Bass fishing is slow.  The bass were up in the flats.  With the change in weather the fish moved back to the deeper water and are suspended.  These bass can still be caught with patience and the right technique.  Back off, locate the fish with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and be sure there are bait schools close by.  Use a slow moving Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk, an Alabama rig and a spoon.  A slow presentation will still be necessary as long as the fish are suspended.  Lowrance sonar and down scan technology will make getting the baits to the right zone easier.  With these fish inactive the strike zone is very small so be prepared to make several presentations in the same area with your baits.  Be sure to use some Jack’s Juice on the soft plastics.

Clark Hill (down .65 ft, high 40’s) – Bass fishing is slow.  The cold air and dropping surface temperature has the bass holding tight to cover or suspended in deeper water.  Some anglers are using jigging spoons, under spins and Carolina rigs to catch a few bass.  Try fishing rip rap rock with small Rapala Shad Raps and Rapala DT6 early in the morning.  Try the hot mustard colors in any stained water and shad or parrot in clear water.  Both can work well and should continue to produce.  Continue to fish the points and any drop offs.  Fish the warmest water and try to fish shallow on any isolated stumps and wood cover.

Jimbo On Lanier BASS Seminar, January 30, 2016 in Cumming, Georgia www.jimboonlanier.com

STRIPER Seminar March 5, 2016 in Buford Georgia. See www.nutsandboltsfishing.com

Lake Oconee (full, stained but clearing, 47-51 degrees) – Bass fishing is slow.  The main lake is still very muddy.  The Richland Creek arm of the lake is not as stained as the main lake and the fishing is better in Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: January 29, 2016”

trout bkt chattooga dh trey 1-10-16

Georgia Fishing Report: January 15, 2016

North Georgia

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

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

As the weather finally improved last week, and as lakes and streams began their journey back toward normal conditions, the fish sure seemed to respond.  In fact, the big’uns seemed mighty happy and hungry!  Last week’s anglers who dressed right and followed weather & water conditions toward some fishing opportunities indeed had great trips.  Don’t believe me?  Read on, look at the pics, and decide whether or not to believe them.  And you might just decide to grab your long underwear and neglected fishing pole and give this winter gig a try!  Here we go:

New Year’s Resolve – O’Neill’s Appeal. Follow his advice and it just might pay off.  You’ll see some examples in this report.
http://coastalanglermag.com/emags/atlanta/#p=40

Why Mentor? – Enjoy “the letter” by this young lady on page 4 of this newsletter:
http://rabuntu.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Rabun-TU-TIGHT-LINES-2008-09.pdf

US Forest Service Relevant Topics

Federal User Fees

Lanier Park/Ramp Closures http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/LakeSidneyLanier.aspx

Chattooga DH – The Good Luck Charm – Dredger saw lower flows on the two USGS river gauge websites and trekked north last Saturday for a rematch on the DH.  The flows were still high (2.5 on the Clayton gauge) but tolerable for the graying Rabunite.  He also saw the biggest strike indicator of his life: Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: January 15, 2016”

Georgia Fishing Report: January 5, 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 (down 3.2 feet, clear & upper 50’s) – Bass fishing is slow.  The bass will be tight in any shallow brush out to the ends of the points mid to lower lake.  Carolina rigs with green pumpkin Zoom lizard will work.  Use one rod with a 4-inch lizard and one rod with a 6-inch lizard and find out what the bass like.  Use the Lowrance CHIRP Sonar and the Lowrance Down beams to see the fish close to the bottom.  Run HIGH or MEDIUM CHIRP along with regular 200 kHz or 83 kHz beams to locate the schools of baitfish.  Find the bait fish, find the bass.  Look for the clouds of baitfish in the month of the creeks and at the opening of the coves.  Baitfish should also be found around the humps in the middle of the lake.  When you locate the baitfish, take a Flex It spoon in the 5/8 ounce size and drop the spoon under the baitfish.  Work the spoon up and down about 6 to 10 inches at a time and watch your line as the bait falls.  If you see slack in the line, set the hook.

Clark Hill (down 1.5 feet, upper 50’s) – Bass fishing is slow.  The super muddy water has slowed fishing but there are still options.  Some good fish are being caught in shallow water from 2 to 4 feet.  Look for current breaks at the mouths of both rivers but try to avoid heavy mud.  The fish are grouping up in the slack water behind islands and points on the main part of the rivers and in the backwaters.  Fish a Spro Little John in Old Fire tiger or Chartreuse with black back.  Use a slow retrieve, as the fish are a little finicky with the cold water.  If the cranking bite slows down, switch to a Texas rig in the same areas.  Use 20 pound fluorocarbon a good stiff and sensitive rod and 3/16 ounce black Tru Tungsten, a 4/0 offset shank Gamakatsu hook.  Add your favorite Zoom u tail or lizard in black.  Fish super slow in the areas where you find fish.  With the runoff dominating look for the grass to start dying off and the shallow cranking bite will turn on better.  At that time, use a Spro Aruku Shad 75 in Red Crawfish over the tops Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: January 5, 2016”

sturgeon etowah  37in shock Dec 2015 resized

Georgia Fishing Report: December 29, 2015

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

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

*Updated Reservoir Information December 31*

North Georgia reservoirs are extremely high, muddy, and full of floating debris from tributaries that presents significant boating safety risks.  For example, all of the floating logs in the open water at Lanier’s Laurel Park megaramp this morning looked like the Allied fleet on D-Day (photo).  Several Lake Lanier recreation areas and boat ramps have been closed by the Corps.  Think twice before launching a boat right now on our major reservoirs, especially on their upper ends where mud and floating debris present navigation hazards.

boat ramp Lanier Laurel Park 12-30-15
Laurel Park Boat Ramp
boat ramp Lanier ClarksBr 12-30-15.jpg
Clarks Bridge Boat Ramp
boat ramp Lanier EastBank 12-30-15.JPG
East Bank
boat ramp Lanier Little River 12-30-15
Little River Boat Ramp
Lanier WestBank 12-30-15 resized
West Bank

More info: Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: December 29, 2015”

Georgia Fishing Report: December 18, 2015

Southeast Georgia

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)

Christmas shopping and family outings have fishing on hold for most folks lately. The number of anglers was low this week, but anglers who went did well in the warm spell we have had. Trout fishing was excellent, and catfishing in the lower rivers was also good. First quarter moon is December 18th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

Altamaha River – Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported decent catches of crappie in the Jesup area. Fishing minnows in the mouths of creeks and oxbow lakes produced the fish. Donna at Altamaha Park said that the crappie bite was still tops, with most anglers catching between 10 and 25 fish per trip. Minnows produced the best catches. The coming cooler weather should fire the crappie bite up even more. The river level was 5.0 feet  and falling (61 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 7.9 feet and falling (62 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on December 15th.

Satilla River – Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the crappie bite in the lower river is great. Buckets of specks were caught with minnows in the Burnt Fort area this week. Catfish, bream, and crappie were caught in the Waycross area. Some bass were fooled with crankbaits and ZOOM speed craws (mostly fished Texas-rigged). I love fishing the White Oak Creek and Woodbine areas of the river for white catfish this time of year. Last December we had several dozen white catfish per trip. Put a piece of shrimp on the bottom (I like using Catfish Catcher Jigheads for simplicity) at the mouth of a creek or Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: December 18, 2015”

Official Rules for 12 Days of Christmas Bass Pro Shops Gift Card Giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. VALID IN THE 50 UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ONLY. ENTRY IN THIS SWEEPSTAKES CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.

Prize: One (1) Bass Pro Shops Gift Card worth Fifty Dollars and Zero cents ($50.00).

Sweepstakes Period: The Sweepstakes begins 5:00 PM EST December 14, 2015 and ends 12:00 AM EST December 26, 2015.

Rules for Entry: To enter this sweepstakes, you must like AND comment on at least one (1) and up to twelve (12) of the twelve (12) official posts on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeResourcesDivisionGADNR) designated as part of the 12 Days of Christmas sweepstakes. Continue reading “Official Rules for 12 Days of Christmas Bass Pro Shops Gift Card Giveaway”

Georgia Fishing Report: December 14, 2015

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

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

The December holidays are nearly here, which means that our target species will be approaching “full winter mode.”  Anglers will have to change their tactics to extend their success into the new year.  Water temperatures will continue to drive sport fish behavior and should also guide the locations and times of day that anglers choose to focus on.  Right now we have a nice string of warm days, which will help everyone’s catch rates as long as this stretch lasts.  But as we return to seasonally cooler air and water temperatures, we’ll have to slow down and sink those baits, lures, and flies in order to bump our intended targets in the nose.  Here we go:

Good Winter Trouting Advice –

Forlorn Trout Fishers – High flows in our larger streams, like the Hooch and Toccoa DH reaches, have a lot of our trout anglers frustrated.

High Water in the Smokies

Dredger’s advice: go with the flow.  Here are some alternatives:
1)       Fish smaller DH waters with smaller watersheds that return quickly to Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: December 14, 2015”

Georgia Fishing Report: December 4, 2015

Southeast Georgia

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)

Saltwater (seatrout), flier, and crappie were the best bites reported over the holiday weekend. Expect more of the same this week, but the late week front may kick up the winds by the weekend. Last quarter moon is December 3rd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

Altamaha River – Donna at Altamaha Park said that crappie and flathead catfish were tops this week. Fishing oxbows with minnows produced most of the crappie, while live bait fished in main river cover worked for flatheads. The river level was 8.8 feet  and falling (60 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 9.8 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on December 1st.

Satilla River – I took my son Timothy along with Ron and Nathanael Johnson to the Blackshear Bridge on Saturday, and the boys had a blast playing on sandbars. We fished a little while and only caught an 11-inch bass on an 1/8-oz. bruiser Satilla Spin, although we had quite a few other bites that did not hook up. When I launched the boat and saw the 54-degree water temperature I cringed, knowing the bite would be tough with the sharp temperature drop over the previous few days. After messing around on sandbars we decided to finish the day fishing at Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: December 4, 2015”

The “Camo Club” — Student Connects with Bobwhite Quail Initiative

By: Paul Grimes

Middle school science teacher Gretchen Estrada runs the “Camo Club,” an after-school program designed to get students involved in hunting, fishing and the outdoors. After making sure they pass their hunter’s safety course, she provides students with opportunities to hunt and fish. She also invites people who work in the wildlife and natural resource fields to present information to the students based on their areas of expertise. This year, she invited Paul Grimes, senior biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Bobwhite Quail Initiative. Quail populations have declined by more than 90% since the 1960’s, and before the presentation, none of the students had heard of a Northern bobwhite. Paul’s presentation lasted over an hour and fifteen minutes and covered topics of bobwhite history, ecology and management as relates to land in Georgia. For the entire presentation, the students couldn’t get enough. All six students were actively engaged, answering and asking questions the entire time.

When the program was over, Estrada had news for Paul. One of the eager students, Jacob, lives with high-functioning autism and ADHD. He had been shy all year and reluctant to speak in the classroom. His teachers had attempted all year to find a subject that would encourage Jacob to engage with teachers and fellow students, to no avail. But that day, bobwhite quail habitat management had encouraged Jacob to interact and connect with his classmates and the presenter.

The Camo Club Collage
Paul Grimes and members of The Camo Club.

Wildlife education is important. People can connect with wildlife and the stories these creatures have to offer. Continue to learn, and continue to explore natural resources for yourself. You never know what you may find.