(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, 70’s) – Bass fishing is fair. The lack of rain has kept the lake water very clear. The spotted bass are still moving some to feed and will get more active as the temperature cools once again. The largemouth tend to remain more at home and are holding tight to cover. Buzz baits are catching a few bass early in the morning right at day break, but fishing as a whole has been slow. High pressure has been dominating the weather pattern and this calls for slower than normal fishing conditions. The Lowrance BOTTOM LOCK on the Sonar screens, all frequencies, allows anglers to see the bottom of the lake with incredible accuracy. Go for the active spotted bass early by fishing the rocky points and the areas between two close points. Shad Raps, Wiggle Warts and DT’s will all work so tie on at least one of each. Switching baits frequently is sometimes the key during slow periods. As the day progresses, fish the stumps and brush piles and any lay downs with jigs and worms. Fish them slow and don’t be afraid to work your baits into deeper water.
Clarks Hill (down 7.6 feet, 70’s) – Bass fishing is good. The lake is low so be careful. Down Deep Husky Jerk baits along with Rapala DT10 and DT14 will get deep enough to catch the deeper bass on the ledges lake wide. Use these baits early in the morning and work them slow. Making five, six or more casts to the same area is not uncommon. These bass need to see the baits many times before they react. You will have to make the bass strike. By using several buoy markers and the Lowrance Down Scan technology you can pin point the exact area the bass are holding in. Start off by using the hard baits, and then switch to either a Carolina Rig or drop shot rig to finish the job. Use the slow presentations midday and anywhere there is some wind blowing down a ban, use an Ito Vision 110 jerk bait and hit any structure you see.
Lake Oconee (2.14 feet, the lake is clear, light stain up into the river, 75-78 degrees) – Bass fishing is fair. At first light fish a buzz bait on sea walls and rip rap from the middle of the coves and creeks out to the main lake. White or white/chartreuse have been the best color. Small crank baits fished along the side of the docks in the middle of the creeks will also produce. The fish are following the bait into the coves so you may have to move further into the coves for the crank baits to produce. A frog fished on the south end grass early and late, will also produce some bites.
Striper report by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time guide service 404-803-0741 firstname.lastname@example.org
Striper fishing is good. There are some good hybrids feeding at the dam first thing in the morning. Live bait and spoons will catch these fish. As long as Georgia Power is pumping water in the lake this bite will be good. Some fish are showing up in the river bend area of the lake. Live bait is working best in these location.
Crappie fishing is good. The fish are staging at the mouths of the creeks and coves. Live bait fished on down lines or spider rigged will catch a lot of fish. Long-lining jigs over the same fish will also produce good catches.
West Point Lake (down 4.8 feet, clear, 70’s) – Bass fishing is good for spots and a few largemouth. Shad are headed for the creeks and it’s about time for the bass to follow along in big numbers. The best bite through late week was up the river on the crank baits, and you’re going to find fish around the shad. Once the bass get into the creeks in full force it’ll be a good opportunity for crank baits and spinnerbaits. Rat L Traps and Shad Raps should be good patterns. Hit the banks, throwing at any piece of wood you see. Make accurate casts to maximize your chances for a hookup. The Lowrance BOTTOM LOCK on the Sonar screens, all frequencies, allows anglers to see the bottom of the lake with incredible accuracy. Buzz baits in the morning will draw some strikes also.
Lake Sinclair (down 1.2 feet, clear, 70’s) – Largemouth bass fishing remains fair, with most success coming from shallow water. Top-water baits continue to produce a few fish, mostly early and late each day while the clear skies prevail. Poppers like Chug Bug’s and Pop R’s have produced using a slow pop to pop cadence with 3 to 4 second pauses in between. Small buzz baits have also yielded a few caught fish using a slow retrieve. But the locations and holding cover have not been easy to pattern. It’s more of a keep the bait wet pattern during the first hour or two after daybreak. Docks and boathouses continue to hold fish that are hitting jigs and soft plastics. Anglers fishing docks should experiment with several baits including jigs, Texas rigs (various sizes with straight and curl tails), tubes, and creature baits. Crank baits should also be tried, especially during windy conditions. Spinner baits produced success several days ago and could again any day. Some bass are moving to the backs of coves in small groups following shad. Shallow crank baits like a Mann’s Baby One Minus and ¼ ounce Rat L Traps are good lures for this scenario. A few bass are briefly holding on secondary points and flats in the creeks and coves at 6 to 15 feet deep. They may hold on these structures for only a day or two as they migrate to or from more shallow water. Crank baits and Carolina rigs are the primary baits here, although other choices can be better. Top-water baits or Rat L Traps can be good during early morning or when these fish are surface feeding.
Jackson Lake (down .84 feet, clear, 70’s) – Bass fishing is fair and some bigger spots are biting crank baits. Work the u tail worms and jigs around the trees and docks. Look down lake in the creeks and use a Texas rigged Culprit black shad worm. These larger worms in dark colors are worth several casts to the same area and make a big fish see the lure a lot. The Lowrance BOTTOM LOCK on the Sonar screens, all frequencies, allows anglers to see the bottom of the lake with incredible accuracy. Work the backs of these docks as well as the bank cover and the sea walls on down lake. Conditions are fair up the river and a few small bass are taking a Senko on a drop shot rig. Make sure the baits are green. Down lake use DT6 Rapala’s, #5 Shad Raps and medium Fat Free Shad crank baits down lake. The bass will bite a dark and large ribbon tail worm. Work the worm and jig around the trees and docks.
Big Lazer PFA
Surface water temperature: 72o F
Water visibility: Visibility is about 27”
Water level: Water level is down 17” from full pool
Largemouth bass: Fair –Anglers should try minnow-like baits fished a good ways off the bank while varying the depths. Also, plastic baits like worms and crawfish fished around the deep water by the picnic area and around the fishing pier may produce a few good bites. Remember to fish plastic baits slower when water temperatures are cooler.
Crappie: Poor- A few Crappie are being caught in deeper water but they are difficult to locate and target. However, Crappie fishing may improve the deeper we get into the fall. Try live minnows and bright colored jig.
Bream: Good – Bream fishing has been good. Target areas that have structure like woody brush and blow downs associated with it. Try the backs of coves and inlets around the lake edges. Crickets and small red and pink worms are excellent live bait for bream. Bream fishing is a good choice when fishing with youngsters. Also, fishing with light tackle can make bream fishing more exciting. However, make sure the hooks are small because the bream have small mouths.
Channel catfish: Fair- The rocks along the dam usually hold large cats most of the year. However, catfish are also located throughout much of the lake. Catfish favor live worms and livers. Try fishing both on the bottom and at several different depths but always remain low in the water column.
In general, the hot summer weather has finally been replaced by cooler temperatures during October and November. Fishing has improved slightly but anglers need to be patient and versatile for fishing Big Lazer in the fall. However, many anglers are hunting this time of year, which means less fishing pressure for the dedicated angler.
Additional information at http://www.gofishgeorgia.com/PFA/BigLazer
Falling water temperatures across McDuffie Public Fishing Area: 69.8 ⁰F – 74.7 ⁰F
Water Visibility: 16 – 36 inches:
Lake Water levels across McDuffie PFA are still down a foot or more but boats can still be launched at all ramps.
Largemouth Bass: The Bass are responding to the cooler water temperatures and biting readily. Fishermen are catching multiple fish with some keepers but most are under the 14 inch length limit. Rodbender, the trophy bass pond will be closing the evening of October 15th. The bass action has been consistent in Rodbender. Bass tags from Rodbender must be sent to the Thomson fisheries office (address on web) or use the drop box at Rodbender boat ramp. Reward tags must be turned in for the reward to be sent to the fisherman.
Bream: Improving: Bream are being caught near shore this week near the docks fishing Louisiana Reds on the bottom. A fisherman reported catching Bluegill in deep water using crickets.
Channel Catfish: The Catfish bite is still going strong. Six of the PFA’s lakes have received a supplemental stocking of catchable-size channel cats which have been providing the local customers a good bite. The best fishing is on the bottom in medium to deep water using chicken liver, worms, stink-baits, or home made baits. The catfish feed best early in the morning or just before sundown.
Striped Bass: The Striper action may not pick until cooler weather drops the water temperature. Striped Bass are located only in Bridge and Clubhouse Lakes. Stripers are biting on cut bait and chicken liver fished on the bottom. Umbrella rigs, diving crank baits and top-water plugs are very effective on McDuffie’s stripers during the colder months.
Additional Information: http://www.gofishgeorgia.com/PFA/McDuffie
(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)
Welcome back, Fall. We’ve missed you!
Finally, finally, we have some consistent cool weather that’s awakening our quarry and allowing our north Georgia sport fisheries to stage a comeback. River and reservoir bass have already responded well to cooling waters, and the stripers and hybrids shouldn’t be far behind. Reservoir surface temperatures are beginning to attract blueback herring up from the depths and join those tiny, abundant threadfin shad that are so hard to imitate. The larger (ten pound plus), thermally intolerant stripers
shouldn’t be far behind them, and may already be cruising the nighttime shallows of our northern tier lakes, where morning low air temperatures have dipped into the forties around Blairsville.
While we’ve reunited with one dear friend, Fall, his cousin, Rainfall, is still AWOL. Her absence is a missed blessing. For river bass and bream fans, it’s fan-tastic. The low, clear water makes wading and yak-fishing a weekend best bet. Fish are still crammed into limited habitat, they’re hungrier with the cooler water, river clarity allows for surface attacks of our spinnerbaits and poppers, and we anglers can easily get to all the honey holes! Don’t miss this last hurrah for river bass before those flowing waters slide toward the fifties, with colder temps shutting down the bite til next spring. Go ASAP to the Chattooga, Hooch, Chestatee or Etowah for a great day of float and wade fishing.
While low water is great for the bass bite, it’s a downer for trouters. Remember, our larger trout streams cooked in the summer heat, and most of their resident trout probably nosed into a cool tributary or expired. There hasn’t been enough stocking or flood-induced relocation from the headwaters to restore these places yet. Plus, the low water prevents a good drift of your bait or fly, and makes any resident fish super-spooky. Trout addicts can try a) the headwater bluelines for little wild fish, the two tailwaters, or a road trip north to Carolina’s DH waters, which are low, but well stocked. Trouters can also prepare for our state’s DH opener, set as always for November 1. Hot October tip- try a Dredger secret, the “stealth indicator.” That’s a buoyant elk hair caddis or small yellow stimulator on 5X tippet. To the bend of its hook, tie a long (2-5 foot), thin (6X) dropper down to a #16 soft hackle pheasant tail. A foot above the wet fly, crimp on a #6 or #8 dinsmore shot. Those spooky trout won’t realize that your strike indicator has a hook in it, and should come over there to inhale the deep dropper. An occasional kamikaze trout will also nail the dry.
Like the bass rivers, small lakes and ponds should also fish great, as surface waters return to the seventies. Spend a pleasant afternoon paddling your family member or friend around the perimeter of lakes Russell, Unicoi, Zwerner, or Tralyta, as you watch the fall leaves turn color and wait for a nice bass to grab your Texas plug or popper.
Rejoice as we can once again emerge from our households at midday without the threat of heatstroke. Enjoy the start of fall leaf colors and wet a line soon before leaf fall frustrates us at month’s end. Chase Chatuge or Lanier spots, upper Hooch shoalies, Tooga redeyes, and Unicoi bream while the weather is grand. Take a warm coat and liveline a big gizzard shad or rainbow trout along Nottely’s shoreline at dusk. If you must, take a radio and listen to your beloved football team’s performance while you cast. Better yet, tape the game and “go live” in Georgia’s great outdoors while the weather and scenery are picture-perfect. Here’s some fall fodder to aim your choice away from the pigskin and toward the fishing pole.
- “Fresh” Chatuge Report
Last night (13th) we had a chance to get out on Lake Chatuge for our annual fall electrofishing sample and conditions couldn’t be better to fish this north Georgia lake. Finally, after a long hot summer, surface temperatures have dropped to 70 degrees and the fish are becoming active and are moving up into shallower water. Schools of threadfin shad and blueback herring have also moved shallow and are concentrated along clay banks providing forage for black bass relating to cover along those stretches. Numerous quality spotted and largemouth bass were relating off of laydowns (trees) on mainlake banks and rocky points including our biggest fish of the night, a 4.25 lb spotted bass and a 6.5 lb largemouth. We also found a few schools of white bass, shallow last night chasing bait, which can make for some great top water action. If you’re looking for a great place to go catch some quality bass this weekend, Lake Chatuge is definitely heating up as the weather is cooling down.
If you plan on going out this weekend be safe and if you catch a trophy be sure to let us know! http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/AnglerAwards
Good luck and tight lines,
-Pat Snellings, GA WRD Fisheries Biologist, Gainesville
- Ken Sturdivant’s Lake Reports
The Southern Fishing Report”
106 Hickory Ridge
770 889 2654
Cumming, Georgia 30040
October 14, 2016
LAKE LANIER IS DOWN 7.4 FEET, THE CREEKS ARE STAINED AND THE MAIN LAKE IS CLEAR & 70’S
This report brought to you by Jimbo On Lanier 770 542 7764 www.jimboonlanier.com
Bass fishing on Lake Lanier has been excellent this week. Folks it is time to fish! The water temperatures and level continue to drop as the nights are getting a cool and the Corp of Engineers continue to pull water. We are in store for a continued excellent autumn of fishing as the lake continues to drop and the cooler weather has arrived. We look for a great ditch bite later this fall and until then the topwater and swimbait bite is ON FIRE! We are starting to see some schooling activity early each morning. This is always fun and you should expect this to get stronger as we go through October. When the schooling bite is slow, we have been heading out to main lake humps early in the morning and working a jig and shaky head for some solid fish. Look at 8 to 12 feet deep to be the magic depth. As the day progresses and the sun starts to get up, we have been working humps and long running points with brush. The fish have been relating to brush in 12 to 18 feet of water on most sunny days. The Lowrance BOTTOM LOCK on the Sonar screens, all frequencies, allows anglers to see the bottom of the lake with incredible accuracy. The topwater and swimbait bite over the brush has really been awesome this week. Make sure to check out the pictures on my Website or my Facebook account Jimbo On Lanier. If you get no response on top, switch to a SuperSpin and Spro Jerkbait around and over the brush. Also a Picasso Swim Jig slowly reeled over the brush has been a good option. The fish are really getting active and I am fired up for this fall!!
This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club. See our club’s website, www.laniercrappieanglers.net
Fall is here, and Crappie Fishing is on the rise! After the above normal average temperatures over the last several weeks, water temperature is falling with the cooler nights and is currently about 75 degrees. If you’re fishing the Chattahoochee or the Chestatee, you will notice that the water temperature drops the further north you go. The lake has begun to turn over, and if you are fishing the northern part of the lake, you’ll notice the gas bubbles coming off the bottom. You’ll also notice that the bait is starting to move north. That being said, there are still a lot of fish holding in some areas on the south end of the lake, and fishing is good to excellent in Four Mile Creek and Six Mile Creek. Stand alone brush piles in twenty to thirty feet of water are producing best. Some brush piles will hold a lot more fish than others. Soft body jigs and hair jigs are producing equally well, such as Bobby Garland jigs. If you prefer a hair jig, Jiffy Jigs are still my preference. The fish are holding tight to the brush, and you can expect to lose a few jigs in the trees, so always carry extras. We are still not catching the bigger fish, but if you are into fun fishing, you can get on them and catch a good number quickly. You may have to try six or eight brush piles, but when you find them, the fun is on! Don’t get discouraged, just keep moving until you find them. It’s always a good idea to have several spots in mind to try when you head out. Be safe on the water! Wear your life jacket, it can save your life!
Striper fishing is fair but can really pick up with the cooler weather on the way next week. Typical for this time of year the fish movements are inconsistent and may be found in a variety of depths, so be versatile and ready to fish from the surface down to 40 or 50 feet. Searching for the schoolers is still the best way to locate fish and the surface activity has been fairly consistent in the last couple weeks. No birds yet. Recently we have noticed that the fish are changing some of their habits and they can be difficult to catch even when you find them. This is probably a result of the stripers feeding on small threadfin shad, and if you do not match the hatch it may be tough to get the bite. Downsize your baits and you will generate more strikes. The pattern of chasing the big dense schools of fish on the main lake has not started yet and there are also fish moving into the creeks and pockets and many of the fish are pushing bait up on the banks. Once you have them found cast small buck tails. When the fish are keying on such small baits, fish the jig without a trailer or trim the hair flush with the bottom of the hook to give it a smaller profile. Go as small an eighth to half an ounce white with small or no trailers. Also use small top waters or a white Rooster Tail or similar in line spinners. The float and minnow rig that is so effective in the spring will also work now, especially if the fish are on the banks. A medium minnow will do well on the float rig. If you are in a group of fish that is staying on the surface for a while, pull a free line or balloon rig while you are casting. Small bait on light line will help. While you are casting to the schoolers, keep an eye on the graph. If the fish sound and you see them on the graph deep, drop a spoon (1 ounce) to them and if the fish are pretty dense, the spoon should get the bite. Down rods will work on the deep fish as well, if you can stay on top of them. Downsizing will be an advantage here as well. There are surfacing fish showing up all on the lower and middle parts of the lake, so just keep moving and looking until you find them. Some of the areas that have been consistent producers such as Cocktail Cove are getting a lot fishing pressure. You will find just as many fish and not nearly as many fishermen in the middle part of the lake so you may do better heading a little further up lake.
LAKE ALLATOONA IS DOWN 4.2 FEET, 70’S & CLEAR
This bass fishing report is from Matt Driver.
This Lake Allatoona Fishing Guides Report has been brought to you exclusively by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service. www.firstbiteguideservice.com 770 827 to 6282
Line side fishing is good. The lake is turnover and the fish are scattered from one end of the lake to the other including the rivers. These fish are on the move and are hard to stay on top of once you do find them. If you are heading out this week be sure to take the umbrella rigs. The trolling bite isn’t much better than the live bait bite, but it will catch you a few fish this time of year. We are just days away from a good bite. The water temperature is in the middle 70’s and good things are just around the corner.
This Lake Allatoona Crappie fishing report is from Dan Saknini.
For those that fish Lake Allatoona, water temperatures on the upper end of the Lake are in the high 70’s and dropping. Crappie are starting to stack on the ledges of the Etowah River. Cooler nights will continue to drop the water Temps sending the crappie to the mouths of creeks from Illinois to Sixes creek. Look for structure in 10 to 15 feet of water.
LAKE HARTWELL IS DOWN 6.4 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S
This bass fishing report is from Josh Panyard
Bass fishing is getting good. Water Level is now down 6.22 feet below full pool. With the cooler air temps the water temps are starting at 74 degrees warming up to 76 degrees by the afternoon. The fish are starting shallow first thing in the morning. Try top water baits or a fluke for the first couple of hours at the shallowest part of the points or back in the pockets. Once the sun gets up start looking for the bait. The key here is to pay attention to what depth the bait is hanging out in. Once you figure that out fish that depth on any points, humps, or channel swings near the bait. Key baits here are a jig or a shaky head. The other key is finding the cover in these areas especially any brush that seems to be key. The upper river arms have started the turnover process so if you are fishing in these areas be patient the bite is a little tougher in these areas. Again look to see where and at what depth the bait is in and that will be your starting point. With the water level continuing to fall be careful out there. Be safe and hope to see you out on the water.
WEISS LAKE IS AT 4 FEET 6 INCHES BELOW FULL POOL AND CLEAR AND 68 to 70 DEGREES
By Mark Collins Guide Service www.markcollinsguideservice.com 256 779 3387
PLEASE BE SAFE, BOATING ON WEISS LAKE
With the drought conditions Weiss Lake is down 4 feet below the normal level for this time of the year. Levels will continue to drop until rain improves conditions. People with boats, other water to related equipment, and facilities should be alert to changing conditions on and below Alabama Power lakes, and take the necessary steps to protect their property.
The cooler nights the past few weeks has cooled the water and put some oxygen back in. A lot of bass have moved shallow and the crappie are starting to bite. Bass fishing is good and most fish have moved shallow, and they are being caught on Rat L Traps, shallow running flat sided crank baits and spinner baits and jigs. There are 20 plus pound stringers have been winning the tournaments all year.
Crappie fishing is great and most fish are on the main Coosa River channel ledges, in 12 to 16 feet of water on cover, and they can be caught spider rigging with live minnows, fished 2 to 4 feet above the bottom on a drop shot rig. Some fish are being caught under docks in the main lake, shooting jigs, a 1/24 ounce Jiffy Jig in colors JJ13 and JJ17 is working great.
- Lanier Shoreline
Large schools of small stripers have been running at location x (upper Lanier) for the past week. Bait choice has been inconsistent ranging from micro threadfin shad to adult shad one night in deeper water based on peering into throats of fish. Topwater has been good for spots with a redfin/ zara spook catching some fish too! Those small stripers suggest that Lanier’s future is bright.
- Lanier Bass
- Hooch Above Lanier
fished a section above Lanier this morning (14th). Fish didn’t seem interested in coming to the top with the sun out. Shoalies were aggressively hitting large streamers. They seemed to be congregated in the deeper pools. Didn’t get anything in the usual runs/pockets
Sam at Monthly Fly
- Hooch Kids Day- Fringe Benefits
- Late Summer/Early Fall Drought Trouting
Tips in here from a semi-reliable source:
- Delayed Harvest Prep – Up your game with a little preseason preparation and some fun homework.
- Open House – http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111297
- Bath Tub Trouting – http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111500 (hint: remember the stealth indicator)
Good luck and happy “new season” to everyone. May we rejoice that our coast wasn’t hit as hard as expected, offer our support for those who did suffer loss, and welcome back our trio of road clearing “machines.” They along with their Game Management teammates on WRD’s Gainesville Region CAT team, went all the way from I-16 to Savannah and through two coastal islands. We salute Burton Hatchery’s Leon Brotherton and Colt Martin, and Gainesville’s Chris Looney.
Now shelf those saws and get back on the shocking boats, boys. Everyone up here wants more “fresh” fishing reports from you three! Welcome back Leon, Colt, Chris, and most importantly, FALL.
It’s once again a great time of year to Go Outdoors Georgia (check out the new app).
(Info provided by fisheries biologist Rob Weller and region fisheries staff)
Lake Walter F. George and Lower Chattahoochee River – The bass fishing on George is a bit on the slow side right now but it should improve soon. It only took 32 pounds to win a two-day Alabama Bass Trail Tournament last weekend. Although the numbers of fish being caught are low, the fish look very healthy due to a large shad spawn this past spring. One angler told me his depth finder was constantly marking shad near the channel and he could hardly find a spot without large school of shad. Bream fishing is still pretty good but don’t expect large fish. The average size is probably around five inches. Crappie have been biting on deep structure and fishing at night with lights near the flats adjacent to the River and Creek channels should pick up very soon.
Flint River – The Flint River remains very low and clear. Bream and shoal bass fishing continue to be considered good on the Lower Flint River. The water level has been relatively unaffected by hurricane Hermine, as rainfall in the region was only about two to four inches. The best reported catches for shoal bass has come from the portion of the River between Lake Blackshear and Lake Worth. There have been reports of good size flathead catfish being taken with limb lines baited with live bream in the Newton area. The following USGS gauges of river level may be useful when planning your next fishing trip. The following USGS gauges of river level may be useful when planning your next fishing trip: Montezuma above Lake Blackshear http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv/?site_no=02349605&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00062 Highway 32 below Lake Blackshear http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv/?site_no=02350512&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00062 Lower Flint River below Albany http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv/?site_no=02353000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00062
Lake Seminole – According to Lake Seminole fishing guide Steven Wells, the fishing for bass has been slow, which is typical of October on Lake Seminole. He did say that most successful anglers are catching bass by flipping outside of the last bits of hydrilla near Wingates on the Flint River section of the reservoir. Steven mentioned that it won’t be long before the winter time rattle trap bite begins and he is looking forward to it.