Georgia Fishing Report: February 10, 2017

This Week, Scroll down to see Reports from Northeast Georgia and Southeast Georgia.

NORTHEAST GEORGIA

(Fishing Report Courtesy of Jeff Durniak, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

Ouch, that one hurt bad, REAL bad. Our wondrous weekend of fishing exploits and tall tales with our ATL Fly Show friends came crashing down in a late Sunday night meltdown.  I’ll bet many of you are still smarting, and also feeling bad for all of those fine Falcons that left their hearts, souls, sweat, and blood on that Houston field.  We all now suffer from BID (Brady-Induced Depression) and need a remedy, quick.  What to do?  What to do?

Thankfully, there is a treatment.  The secretive, yet empathetic Rabunites have shared a word from their medical manual on their prescription for zenlike peace.  It is “hydrotherapy.”

hy·dro·ther·a·py (hīdrōˈTHerəpē/) noun: hydrotherapy: Definition: Standing in the water, waving a stick.  This action waves off all the ills of the world and induces an extreme state of serenity in the patient.  It is only a treatment, since there is no cure.  Regular treatments, as often as 2-3 times per week, are strongly recommended for the patient to maintain a zenlike peace with his/her built environment and its bustling humanity.

So shelf those red jerseys, change into your weathered, olive drab, and head toward the lakes and streams. Your mental health depends on this treatment!  Our weather is on a warming trend, there’s a little more water in the channel, we have mudlines in reservoirs, crappie are schooling, and the WRD trout trucks just visited DH waters.  Conditions are ripe for your recovery, so Doctor Dredger prescribes hydrotherapy treatment for one and all Falcons fans.  Here are some Quick Care locations for you to receive your Rx:

TROUT

Trout Info Herehttp://georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Trout 

Building Brookie Habitat: Enjoy this video of WRD Fisheries staff in action. Leon “Brook Trout” Brotherton is as fine a narrator as he is a sawyer. https://www.facebook.com/WildlifeResourcesDivisionGADNR/videos/vb.101012503387/10154294699288388/?type=3&theater

ne-ga-fish-attractor-blue-ridge-feb-2017-pic2-small

Blue Ridge Attractors: WRD Fisheries staff recently built and installed 20 new fish attractors at Blue Ridge Lake in Fannin County.  These “cube” style attractor units were deployed at two existing fish attractor sites.  See the photo of WRD Fisheries Technician Mark Bowen in action.  Man-made fish attractors like these have been added to many north Georgia reservoirs to replace natural habitat (stumps, logs, brush) that has been lost to natural processes like decay and sedimentation.  At Blue Ridge there are currently seven fish attractor sites.  If you want to target these sites or learn more about the fish attractor program at Blue Ridge, check out the map and other info at the following link: http://georgiawildlife.com/node/213.

Smith DH Date: We fished smith creek yesterday with quite a few folks on the creek! Andrea opted for old sneakers vs Waders on a semi warm Feb. day. (sound familiar?!) Gimpy tagged along to bark at other dogs and bird dog from the bank. We found a few different pods of fish willing to eat but could usually only manage 4-5 in each before needing to move on. Leech with micro san juan behind did most of the work with the “smart ones” needing a hares ear soft hackle to tempt. Enjoy the pics!

NE GA trout rbt smith DH annette 2-4-17.jpg
Annette Showing off a Nice Catch from Smith Creek

Dukes Video: Hey Jeff, Hope all is well in your world! Here’s a little video from our trip last Sunday.  A#16 black tungsten stonefly was the ticket for me! Also got a couple on a #16 pheasant tail. Ron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTV20CogphQ

Hooch DH: http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112436

Amicalola DH “I Stopped Counting” http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112448 ;

http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112430

NE GA Ami DH 53 scenic Feb 2017 pic1.jpg
Part of the Delayed Harvest Portion of the Amicalola

Where are Winter Trout? Well, all of the Orvis experts say that they’re here: http://www.orvis.com/news/fly-fishing/ask-experts-look-winter-trout/

Steelhead and Trout Tips: Good new Orvis podcast: http://orvisffguide.libsyn.com/

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Feb 20 -Hooch DH Bucket Brigade: It’s almost time for our President’s Day DH bucket stocking at Whitewater and we need some help from our incredible volunteers. Our last bucket brigade stocking of this DH season will be on President’s Day, Monday, February 20th and the stocking truck should be arriving around 10:30 am. Be sure to bring a 5-gallon bucket, waders, and a signed copy of the attached waiver release if you’re planning on attending. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112438 , Powdered wigs are optional, but we suggest bringing a rod if you want to catch a few freshly stocked trout afterwards. These events are a great way to introduce someone new to fishing or help a youngster develop a love of the outdoors. So, if you have a child who is out of school try to bring them along! We look forward to seeing you all on the 20th and a special thanks to everyone who came out to our Thanksgiving and Christmas stockings (no pun intended)! If anyone has questions, please contact our office at 770-535-5498.
  • S. Forest Service Feedback: The door is once again open to your comments regarding wild trout habitat, angler access, water quality, and any other interests or concerns on 140,000 acres of YOUR land: http://communityremarks.com/conf/

LAKE LANIER 

Crappie

  • Photo : http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=892232
  • Lake Lanier Crappie Fishing Report February 8, 2017
  • (This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club. See our club’s website, laniercrappieanglers.net) : Water temperatures are in the low fifties, varying slightly from creek to creek.   Areas with more stain typically have slightly higher water temps.  I believe we are in the EARLY pre-spawn stage. However, cold spells will slow the process. The warm rains we are currently encountering will nudge the water temps up slightly.  The fish are starting to roam, and some are moving to shallower docks anticipating the spawn.  We are still several weeks away from the spawn, but signs are beginning to be seen, including females starting to fatten up with eggs.  Your trolling bite is now a good option to target the fish that are roaming, chasing bait.  Tight lining while trolling is another way to catch crappie now, using a jig tipped with minnows, ten feet below the surface. This will require rods ten to twelve in length, positioned parallel with the water, with up to four rods on each side of the trolling motor. Your line should be vertical while going at a very, very low speed. If your line is angled or horizontal, you are going too fast. Long lining is also working.  To long line, position the shortest rods (approximately four feet in length), one on each side in the back of the boat, following with two six foot rods, two eight foot rods and two ten to twelve foot rods in the bow of the boat.  Double rig each rod using multiple color curly tails, Bobby Garland 2” Hyper Grubs, or Bobby Garland 2.25” Minnow Mind’rs with a 1/16th ounce jig head on each.  If you notice that one color is working consistently better, substitute a few more lines with the same body.  Of course, shooting docks is still my favorite way to catch crappie, and it is working extremely well now.  This time of year, some docks are holding only smaller fish.  If you notice that you are catching only smaller fish, move on to another dock, where you may find bigger fish.  Stay safe on the water – wear your life jacket!

Bass

  • (This Report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley, jimboonlanier.com 770-542-7764); Water Temp – 51, Water Level – 10.08 feet below full pool: The bass fishing on Lake Lanier remains good, especially for early February! The lake has began to stabilize in terms of level.  We have set just below 10 feet below full pool for the past 2 weeks. The surface temperatures are still hovering in the low 50’s, which is incredible for early February.  We are finding the fish are really spread out as you might expect. We find them deep and shallow every day.  Shallow has probably been the most consistent bite (less than 15 feet deep), but we have had some good catches out in the timber as well. The ditch bite continues to be good and we are catching them using the traditional ditch fishing methods – SuperSpin, SPRO Jerkbait, SPRO Crankbait, Jig, and Picasso Shake E Head.  Start back shallow in these ditches early, and then move out deeper in the ditches as the day progresses.  Focus on the key features you find shallow near the ditches as well such as clay and rock points.  We are starting in these ditches first thing and remaining flexible as the days progress.  Some days we adjust to much deeper water within those ditches, and on others, we are finding the fish are staying shallow in and around those ditches as well as up around docks.  We are starting with a SuperSpin tipped with a boot-tail type trailer right in the ditch. Also, a Spro McStick or McRip has been a good choice as far as jerkbaits go. A Spro crankbait is never a bad choice either, both in the ditches and around rocky/clay points as well.  A finesse worm on a Picasso Shaky Football Head or a Chattahoochee Jig has been a good alternative if the fish are not as aggressive.  If the ditch bite does slow, we have been shifting to steeper rocky points and finding success with a jig and worm as well.   We have also continued to spoon up a few fish out of the timber, or near the timber, in creek arms/ditches in 30-50 feet. Check for bait and fish out deeper in the ditches as the day progresses.  If you see fish out deeper, a spoon, jig, or shaky head can be a great way to catch them, depending on how they are positioned. If the weather remains stable and warm, I look for the Largemouth to start showing up in a full blown pres-pawn mode very shortly.  More to come on this pattern emerges. It is still a great time to learn the ditch bite as well as the timber bite.  I am now guiding in a Brand New Xpress Bass Boat – 21’3″ powered by a 250 Yamaha SHO and equipped with the latest Lowrance HDS Gen III units featuring 3D Structure Scan technology.  Come take a ride in this beauty!    As I mentioned, if you are wanting to learn the deep timber bite and/or the ditch bite, now is the time!  Here are the dates I have open in February:   20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28  Give me a call and let’s get out and have some fun!  Thanks to all and May God Bless.
  • Captain Mack’s Report – Fresh each Friday: http://www.captmacks.com/fishing/lake-lanier-fishing-reports/
  • Ken’s Reservoir Reports – http://www.southernfishing.com/current-fishing-report.html

Good luck healing as you pack up your red and black attire.  We have a nice, warm weekend ahead of us to help salve-up those pigskin wounds.  And before you know it, true spring will be here, too.  Get outside and take advantage of the diverse north Georgia fishing opportunities all around you.  Trust me; you’ll feel better.

Thanks for buying your fishing licenses and TU brookie car tags.  We appreciate the operating funds and will put them to good use at your Quick Care fishing clinics!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of Bert Deener, fisheries biologist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division)

The crappie bite has been good, and bass fishing has been solid. The rivers are still high (except for the St Marys). Full Moon is February 10th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

ALTAMAHA RIVER – The river is still very high and muddy. The non-tidal Altamaha isn’t a good option again this week, but you should be able to catch a few catfish in the Darien area if you feel that you must fish the river. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that a few blue and channel catfish were caught in the high water.  Donna at Altamaha Park said that the river is still high, but folks are heading to the oxbow lakes and are catching catfish. Crappie were also caught in the backs of the lakes. The river level was 10.2 feet and falling (56 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 10.4 feet and falling (57 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on February 7th.

SATILLA RIVER – Fishing the upper Satilla with the high water this week is not a good plan. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that anglers fishing bush hooks caught a good number of catfish. The White Oak Creek area of the river is your best bet for white catfish. Put a piece of shrimp on the bottom near a creek mouth on the outgoing tide, and you should catch quite a few white catfish. The river level on February 7th at the Waycross gage was 10.6 feet and falling (58 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 13.0 feet (flood stage is 13 feet) and falling.

ST MARYS RIVER – This is most fishable river for the weekend. Some big bass were reported again this week. Worms fished on the bottom produced some good catfish, with most anglers catching 30 to 50 fish per trip. The river level at the MacClenny gage on February 7th was 2.3 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP – Essentially nobody is fishing the swamp right now, although the fliers should be biting. The only report I received is that the bowfin are still biting on the east side. Warm afternoons are the time to target fliers. Pitch pink or yellow Okefenokee Swamp Sallies suspended under a small balsa float to shoreline vegetation and hold on. This time of year I usually catch about 12 to 20 fish per hour when pitching the small fly on a bream buster pole.

LOCAL PONDS – Pond fishing was tops this week. A couple of anglers fishing a Brunswick area pond on Tuesday caught 11 bass, with 6-lb.,10-oz and a 6-lb.,2-oz. whoppers besting  the bunch. Jigs and shaky heads produced the two big fish, and square-billed crankbaits also caught a few. Chad Lee of Alma fished an Alma area pond on Thursday and scratched out 3 bass on Ol’ Monster worms. Then in the cold on Saturday, he managed 6 more bass up to 3 1/2-pounds. Shaky head worms produced those fish. Bucky Buckner of Winge’s Bait and Tackle fished Lake Ware this week with minnows and shiners and caught a great mess of crappie and a few nice bass.

PARADISE PFA: The bullhead bite is on at paradise PFA, as seen in the header image above.

DODGE COUNTY PFA: Dodge County PFA had their parking lot resurfaced this week. Making improvements for anglers!

SE GA DodgePFA Resurfacing Parking Lot Completed.jpg

SALTWATER (GA Coast) – Michael Winge reported that anglers caught trout and redfish around the bridges in the St. Simons area. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that whiting and black drum were caught in decent numbers from the pier this week. You can monitor the marine forecast at www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/.

BEST BET: Ponds should produce some good bass and crappie catches this weekend. In saltwater, whiting fishing should pick up any day (if winds allow you to get to the sounds). During warm afternoons, the Okefenokee Swamp would be a good location to pitch a sally.

se-ga-mike-harrell-crappie-2-17
Mike Harrell of Waycross caught these two nice crappie last weekend. Crappie fishing is a great option for this weekend!
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One thought on “Georgia Fishing Report: February 10, 2017

  1. Fished today (2/11) at Marben PFA (aka Clybel WMA) from 7;15 till 11:30. I was fishing for Crappie with minnows and had no luck at the lakes I tried. I did catch 5 Bass from about 1 /12 to 2.00 lbs on the minnows. The Bass were chasing shad and I would toss to the splashes and drag a minnow through the shad. I have fished 7 days out of the last 2 1/2 weeks for Crappie and have yet to catch one!

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