Georgia Fishing Report: February 24, 2017

Terry and Mildred Miles fished at the Laura Walker State Park Lake on Tuesday and caught 3 fliers (one of them was an angler award-sized flier!)

Reports from Southwest, Southeast and Northeast Georgia this week.

SOUTHWEST GEORGIA

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

LAKE WALTER F GEORGE – There have been several reports that the crappie fishing in Lake George is “on fire.” The fish have not moved shallow yet but limits are being caught in 12-18 feet of water. Anglers fishing shallower at night have been having some success particularly in Pataula Creek. The largemouth bass fishing has also been considered excellent. The fish are being caught in water 4-5 feet deep and even shallower. Soft plastics are currently the bait of choice. Bass anglers have also been reporting catching a few more spotted bass this year. However, the fish are very healthy and there seem to be a good number of 2-2.5 pound fish in the current spotted bass population.

FLINT RIVER – The Lower Flint River has dropped a fair amount in the last week or so and fishing for catfish and bass should be fair. Fishing should be good for white, hybrid and striped bass in the tailraces below Lake Blackshear in Warwick and below Lake Worth in Albany. The increased flow attracts white bass, hybrids, striped bass as well as catfish. 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:

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

The pond fishing (primarily crappie and bass) is as good as it gets right now. We are beginning the first push of spawning bass, and it will continue for a month or so. The whiting bite is starting in saltwater. Most rivers are still a little high for peak fishing, but the Okefenokee is right. New Moon is February 26th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

ALTAMAHA RIVER – The river is still high and muddy, but it’s coming down. I’d give it another few weeks to warm up and come down before I would spend time fishing it.  Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that catfish were caught on limb lines in good numbers, and a few crappie were sporadically mixed in the creels. Donna at Altamaha Park said that the river is fishable, and crappie were caught with minnows and jigs. Bottom fishing produced some big bream, and goldfish accounted for some good flathead catfish. The river level was 8.0 feet and falling (60 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 9.1 feet and falling (60 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on February 21st.

SATILLA RIVER – Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the crappie fishing is on fire. The key is fishing the mouths of the sloughs with minnows. Some large bass were caught on artificial lizards and shiners as they moved to the shallows in preparation for the spawn. The river level on February 21st at the Waycross gage was 8.7 feet and falling (61 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 9.1 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER – Reports from the St. Marys were very good. Anglers reported catching a mix of 40 to 50 fish per trip. Species gracing the creels included bream, redbreasts, shellcrackers, warmouth, and bass. Pink worms were the most productive offering. Bass were caught shallow (mostly on plastics) as they began spawning. The river level at the MacClenny gage on February 21st was 2.0 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP – The bass fishing at the Sill on the west side has been good, with anglers catching them around the spillway and also in the swamp above the sill. On the west side, you can catch a few bass in Billy’s Lake, but the bowfin are so thick it is hard to get a bait past them. Some catfish were caught on the Fargo side this week, as well. Reportedly, a big bass was caught from the boat basin at the Folkston side and released. Fishing on the east side was almost non-existent again this week, except for some folks catching bowfin in the boat basin. Flier fishing should be great if you fish the Folkston side and pitch yellow or pink sallies under a small balsa float. Choose a warm afternoon with an approaching front (Friday or Saturday), and the bite should be silly good!

BANKS LAKE (NEAR LAKELAND) – The great bass bite continued this weekend at Banks Lake. A tournament held there attracted 33 boats, and about a third of them had their limits. Craig James and Joey Wildes of Waycross caught 9-lb.,2-oz., good enough for third place. Most of their fish ate crankbaits and Texas-rigged plastic crawfish. The biggest bass weighed in during the event was a 5-lb.,2-oz lunker, so the big girls are headed to the bank.

LOCAL PONDS – Pond fishing was awesome this week! On Thursday, a group of anglers fished a pond near Brunswick and caught 8 bass (biggest 3-lb., 10-oz.) on crankbaits and Texas-rigged Keitech Mad Wag Worms. They also caught a dozen channel catfish up to 3 pounds by pitching cut bluegill to shoreline trees with a 3/16-oz. Catfish Catcher Jighead. The Gamakatsu circle hook on the jighead was the deal for keeping the catfish hooked up. Another group of anglers fished Friday in the same pond and caught 35 bass, but most were less than 2 pounds on SPRO crankbaits. They did have one big bass, a 6-lb., 2-oz whopper. se-ga-fishing-report-terry-miles-flier-2-21-17.jpgTerry (seen in image at left) and Mildred Miles fished at the Laura Walker State Park Lake on Tuesday and caught 3 fliers (one of them was an angler award-sized flier!) and 5 crappie during the morning of fishing. The big flier ate a curly-tailed grub, while most of the other fish were fooled with minnows. Michael Winge reported that Memphis George caught two 8-pound bass on shiners out of his favorite honey-hole, an undisclosed Ware County Pond. Crappie were caught in good numbers from Waycross area ponds on both jigs and minnows.

SALTWATER (GA COAST) – On Friday some Waycross anglers fished the Brunswick area and caught a dozen seatrout and lost 4 others. A Flashy Jighead and Mama’s 24K Sea Shad and a Chug Bug produced their fish. On Saturday, Brentz and Alex McGhin fished with Jim and Garrett Page and whacked the whiting. They had 38 whiting and a keeper trout once the smoke cleared. Get ready because the whiting bite is just going to get better from here on out. On Sunday an angler fished the Brunswick area and caught 3 trout on Flashy Jigheads and Sea Shads. Michael Winge reported that some anglers managed to get offshore over the weekend and caught red snapper, black sea bass, amberjack, and red drum. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that fishing from the pier picked up this week. Trout, whiting, croaker, sheepshead, and sand tiger sharks were caught from the pier. Some nice catches of blue crabs were also made from the pier. You can monitor the marine forecast at www.srh.noaa.gov/jax/.

BEST BET – Take your pick this weekend. The next cold front is forecasted for late Saturday, so bass and crappie should be biting well in your favorite pond. Fliers should be tearing it up in the Okefenokee ahead of the front on Friday and Saturday. Winds will dictate if you can get out to the whiting or trout this weekend.

NORTHEAST GEORGIA

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

BEST BETS this week: Bass and crappie.  Fishing for both is heating up in what may be the warmest February on record http://www.cbs46.com/story/34587853/february-is-warmest-on-record-in-atlanta-so-far

KEN STURDIVANT’S SOUTHERN RESERVOIR REPORTS:

http://www.southernfishing.com/current-fishing-report.html

LANIER BASS:

This Report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley, www.jimboonlanier.com  770-542-7764

Water Temp – 55

Water Level – 9.99 feet below full pool

The bass fishing on Lake Lanier remains good and is getting better. The lake level has been stable over the past week and the water temps are on the rise. The fish are ahead of schedule with all the warm weather we are having.   The fish have been shallow over the past week. We are starting back shallow in ditches early, and remain shallow to 15 feet or so through the day.  Focus on the key features you find shallow near the ditches as well such as clay and rock points.  We are starting in ditches and staying in them through the day as well as working shallow pockets just off the main lake or main creek channels. Most days we are focusing in 15 feet of water or less. 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, in addition to a Megabass Vision 110.  A finesse worm on a Picasso Shake-E Football Head or a Chattahoochee Jig has been a good alternative if the fish are not as aggressive.  As the sun gets up, check the shallow docks in ditches and pockets for activity.  Work a jerkbait beside these shallow docks, as well as a jig and worm.  These fish are already starting to stage in preparation for the spawn.  You will find spots and largemouth in these places. This pattern definitely works better when the sun is out as opposed to cloudy conditions.  The clouds make the fish scatter.  While they still remain close to the dock, they are often not directly under the docks. The fishing is definitely more random under cloud cover.  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!    This is a great time to learn the early spring bite on Lanier.  They are up and moving!  Here are the dates I have open in March: 1, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31  Give me a call and let’s get out and have some fun!  Thanks to all and May God Bless.

 

LANIER CRAPPIE:

Lake Lanier Crappie Fishing Report February 22  2017

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

Current water temperature is 54 degrees, and on a warm and sunny day in the backs of creeks the afternoon water temp is reaching 57 degrees.  For this time of year, this is significant because we are in the pre-spawn.  If we do not have another cold snap, our best estimate for the spawn is that it will begin with the next full moon in about 2 ½ weeks.  The fish are roaming around their brush piles in pursuit of the abundance of bait.  The bite is excellent.  This is the time of year when we experiment with different color and types of crappie jigs to put them to the test.  If they don’t work now, they most likely will never work!  Having said that, in my opinion, how you present the jig is the most important factor in catching fish.  How you move it in the water is critical.  The majority of strikes occur when the jig is falling.  So when you reel in the jig, shake the tip of the rod while retrieving.  After every 2 or 3 cranks, pause for few seconds to allow the jig to fall. Watch your line carefully during the fall, and if you see slack in your line, set the hook.  The fish we are catching now are on or around docks.  Pay attention to the bait – they will lead you to the fish.  If you go in a pocket and don’t see bait, even if it is a favorite spot, don’t spend too much time on it, as they are really following the bait right now.  As the water temps rise in the next couple of weeks, the female fish should start checking their spawning grounds and moving to the blowdowns.  As of today, we have not seen any indications they have begun moving that direction.  Long line trolling remains a very effective way to catch fish, and the minnow bite is producing equally well.  Pick your favorite method and enjoy this early spring weather.  Boat traffic is increasing, so stay safe on the water and wear your life jacket!

 

GOOD LANIER MAPS:

http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Portals/46/docs/recreation/OP-SL/Maps/LakeLanierMapBook%202005-09-19.pdf

 

ALLATOONA CRAPPIE:

Water temps in the mid-50’s and climbing!

Check out Jeff “Crappieman” Albright’s recent reports: https://www.facebook.com/CrappieMan-Allatoona-Lake-Guide-Fishing-202748466416645/

 

COOSA RIVER (FLOYD COUNTY):

2/23/17: Water temperatures 56-58F.  Warmer than normal water temperatures have white bass moving into the river between Mayo’s Lock and Dam park downstream to the state line.  DNR survey crews reported an abundance of male white bass have entered the river from Lake Weiss.  The larger female white bass are starting to trickle in, but it will likely be a couple more weeks before they show up in mass.  Best areas to target this weekend will be the mile or so river stretch immediately downstream of the lock and dam and farther downstream from Brushy Branch to the AL state line.

 Good numbers of crappie can be found around the lock and dam downstream to the Blacks Bluff Road Bridge.  Target the slack water behind downed shoreline trees and logs.  

NORTH GA WALLEYE:

The Snellings-Looney Duo only found four small males up the Hooch on 2/21, so it’s still a little early for the river run.  They did find a lot of small (2-8 pound) stripers in the vicinity of their launch site, Don Carter State Park, chowing down on small threadfins.  If you go, please be safe in navigating those shallow waters.

Angler Matt Elliott fished Lake Tugalo earlier this week and boated this jumbo yellow perch while trolling for walleye. 

perch021417

Carters’ Lake Walleye Fishing Report

http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=892851 

SMALL LAKE BASS:

Went fishing over the weekend to a new lake. Five casts into the day I got this 6lb 2oz beauty. Two casts later i got a 4 1/2 pounder. Finished the day with a five fish string of more than 23 lbs. Not bad for a fly fisherman. 

bass-lmb-craigr-small-lake-feb2017

CHATTAHOOCHEE DH:

Monday, February 20th was the final holiday bucket brigade stocking of the Chattahoochee River DH at NPS Palisades at Whitewater Creek. Over 40 youth and adult volunteers attended the stocking, most of which took the opportunity to wet a line to catch the freshly stocked trout afterward.

ChattahoocheeDH.JPG

AMI DH:

http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112574

http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112567

TOCCOA DH:

http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=112372

CHATTOOGA REPORT – QUILL GORDON’S LITTLE BROTHER:

Don’t forget a few blue quills in the north Georgia box.  They are small and dark, and plentiful this time of year.  If you see a small mayfly that’s bigger than a blue wing olive, but much smaller than the big Q Gordons, try tossing a #18 blue quill.  We saw a few on the Chattooga last weekend, so this hatch should heat up soon.  The Chattooga itself  (DH and 10 miles higher) was cold, low, and slow, with our few fish hitting small olive woolly buggers on the strip, or caddis imitations (ex: Walt’s worm) on the deep drift.  Nearly all fish were still in winter mode, hanging around in the deeper, slower pools.  Congrats to Kyle from Cleveland, who landed several nice rainbows on his first flyfishing trip to the Tooga!   Few trout were seen or caught in the riffles and runs.   Pool risers were fairly abundant, but the #30 cream midges were waaaay smaller than the smallest (#24) hook in Dredger’s midge box. C’mon spring and bigger bugs!

http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/683

http://www.flyfishingsmokymountains.com/journalmplr1403.html

ARE YOU CADDIS-READY?

Note the dates here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O9Hq00edl8s

and here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNqunYBUWUU

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Coosa Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited to hold 8th Annual Trout Expo – 2/25/17.

Rome, GA http://coosavalley.tu.org/coosavalley/trout-expo-february-25-2017

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