North Georgia Fishing Report: May 23, 2014

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

Hatchery manager Pat Markey stocking the Chattahoochee at Buford Dam.
Hatchery manager Pat Markey stocking the Chattahoochee at Buford Dam.

We hope that many of you will have a chance to get outdoors during this long weekend. Although temperatures are on the rise, there’s still plenty of cool water around to keep sport fish interested in your bait, fly, or lure.  Just get on the lakes early to avoid the high sun and the recreational boating crowds. In addition, Patrick has drafted an Upper Hooch guide that’s definitely worth your time to read.  As the spring rains subside and our north Georgia rivers fall to easily floatable and fishable levels, this guide is a great first step in transitioning many of you to full summer mode.  Start kayak shopping soon, and don’t forget your PFD!

There is also some news on the federal hatchery front that should be of interest to all Georgia trout anglers.   And, of course, we have a few “big fish tales” to sweeten the pot.  Some come with linked pictures, so maybe a few of these tales have an element of truth to them.  We report, you decide.

Important meeting, public feedback requested – Here is your chance to participate in the federal trout hatchery funding issue! The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27 6-7:30 p.m. at Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters, 400 W. Summit Hill Dr., Knoxville, TN in the East Tower Library auditorium. The public can attend the meeting either in person or by webinar at http://www.tva.com/trout.

Trout

Stockers – WRD and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trout hatchery staffs will stock 75,000 trout this week into more than 100 streams and lakes for Memorial Day weekend anglers.  Best bets include: Dockery, Rock Creek, and Winfield Scott lakes, Lanier, Hartwell, and Blue Ridge tailwaters, Holly, Rock, Cooper, Little Amicalola, Long Swamp, Panther, Hooch on the WMA, Warwoman, and Tallulah. – John Lee Thomson, Georgia DNR Trout Stocking Coordinator

Timely Trouting Tip – How many of us have also learned this lesson the hard way? Keep your legs together!

Trout – Tailwater Dries!

Stripers

Striped bass stocking continues as fingerlings reach their one-inch size targets in middle and south Georgia hatchery ponds.  Yesterday (May 20) we welcomed more than 300,000 new arrivals to north Georgia waters including Hartwell, Nottely, and Lanier. More are on their way today as the harvest of this crop winds down over the next week or so.  More info and pics!

Hybrid/Striper Reports

Crappie

Enjoy this report from someone whom many of you knew while he worked as your Lake Lanier biologist.  Here’s a Missouri report from now-retired Reggie Weaver.

“Hey Jeff. Our trip to Missouri was great!  Sheri and I had fun with Jason, Stephanie, and the grandkids.  Jason, Dorian, and I fished several evenings on L. of Ozarks focusing on crappie.  It had been a long time since I fished minnows and jigs under a float.  It was a blast even though we didn’t catch our limits but ended up with about 30 and harvested 16 (9 inch MSL) for the skillet.  On a note, we caught the larger (11-12 in.) on small crankbaits.  Looking forward to future trips to Missouri Have a great week!” – Reggie

Bass

Additional Links…

Gar Time? We’ve already seen a few up the Hooch above Lanier.  Are your rope flies and lures ready?

Upper Hooch fishing spotsYou don’t want to miss this brand new guide created by fisheries biologist Patrick O’Rouke, with a little help from our fine GIS staff at WRD-HQ.  Where is Mossy Creek?  Now you’ll know. The ink isn’t even dry yet.

Loaner Poles – If your northeast Georgia childrens or youth group (school, scout, church, etc) is considering a kids fishing event, please keep in mind our loaner pole program.  Just contact Olivia at our Gainesville office to reserve and check out up to 60 zebco outfits for your kids event. Olivia McClure: Olivia.McClure@dnr.state.gaus, 770-535-5498.

Several of our state parks also have small loaner pole programs that can serve their guests.  Contact the park office upon your arrival and discovery that your kids forgot to pack their poles!

Peregrine falcon banding video

This week’s Gold Stars… Are awarded to CFR organizer Beverly Booth and lead fundraiser Carl Riggs.  Fourteen special gals enjoyed a free weekend retreat at Smithgall Woods and trout fishing at Nacoochee Bend because of these two leaders and the funds donated by all of you.

If you know of a special lady who needs a lift in her spirits, consider having her apply to Casting For Recovery (CFR).  And everyone else, bid high on the auction items at the next CFR fundraiser. 

Kudos to Beverly, Carl, and their supporting “casts” from Blue Ridge Mountain TU, Georgia Women Flyfishers, Unicoi Outfitters, and the trout fishing community of north Georgia. Consider joining their ranks as a supporting member.  The kind-hearted conservation army needs you!

Win a $100 Bass Pro gift card! Check out our fishing photo contest: https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeResourcesDivisionGADNR

Have a safe, fun-filled weekend with friends and family.  May we also pause and give thanks and remembrance to those whom this holiday honors.  And O’Neill, the Georgia angling community’s thoughts and prayers are with you as you honor your father.

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