Georgia Fishing Report: April 28, 2017

This week’s reports include Southeast, North and Central Georgia.

Get rewarded for fishing? Yes, Please. For More Info on the Georgia Angler Award Program – click HERE

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

Reports (both freshwater and saltwater) have been good from about everywhere I received reports. First quarter moon is May 2nd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that the redbreast bite is excellent. Most anglers were catching between 30 and 45 fish per trip (some were roosters) using crickets. Worms also produced some good shellcracker catches. The catfish bite was hot over the weekend, with several flatheads in the 40-pound range. Goldfish were the best bait for the flatheads. A few crappie were caught with minnows, but the heat is slowing that bite somewhat. Donna at Altamaha Park said that the water was still a little muddy there, but shellcrackers were biting worms fished in the deeper holes. Anglers reported good catches of channel and blue catfish, and most were fooled with shrimp. A few big mullet were caught on green giant worms. The mullet bite is just getting going, and it should remain strong throughout the summer. The river level was 4.1 feet and falling (76 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 6.3 feet and falling (73 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on April 25th.

SATILLA RIVER

Robert Singletary made a road trip from Darlington, South Carolina to fish the Satilla last Thursday. He fished the middle river and caught 26 nice redbreasts on Satilla Spins (several different colors). He had to drag the boat some, but had a great time. Craig and Alexis James made a trip to the Alabaha River (a tributary to the Satilla) this week and caught several nice redbreasts by pitching pink Swamp Spiders. Craig also fished the upper Satilla and caught a giant bluegill and several other panfish and bass on the pink spider. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the redbreast bite is on in the river. Crickets, worms, and spinnerbaits are killing the roosters. Crawfish Satilla Spins and black/chartreuse Beetlespins have been the top blade baits this week. Bass are biting baby bass Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogues. Rooster livers and shrimp have been hooking up catfish. The river level on April 25th at the Waycross gage was 4.7 feet and falling (73 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 3.9 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

The catfish bite is great, as usual. Most are from 3 to 5 pounds, and the bigger ones are being caught on limb lines baited with shrimp. Bream and redbreasts were caught with crickets. The river level at the MacClenny gage on April 25th was 1.7 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

I took my daughter Ellie and her friend Emma fishing in the swamp this Monday. Camping on the platforms in the swamp had already been suspended, and the refuge staff closed private boat access to the Suwannee Canal and also the fishing trail (Cane Pole Trail) the day we went. Not deterred, we ate lunch in the café, then fished from the bank for bowfin in the boat basin. We ended up catching 4 bowfin to 4 pounds on jackfish-colored Dura-Spins in about a half-hour of fishing. Emma caught her first bowfin. We then went to Kingfisher Landing because it was still open that day. We only fished an hour, but we caught 31 fliers up to 8 inches. Emma also caught her first flier ever during the trip. Pink or orange Okefenokee Swamp Sallies suspended underneath a small balsa float fooled all of our fish. I tried yellow but could not get them to eat it before the girls had several fliers in the boat on orange and pink versions (…so I switched!). Stephen C. Foster State Park is closed at the time of writing this. Because of the uncertainty of the fires, make sure to call ahead of time to make sure any entrances you plan to fish out of are open. On the east side, you can all Okefenokee Adventures at 912-496-7156. Staff at Stephen C. Foster State Park on the west side can be reached at 912-637-5274.

LOCAL PONDS

Julius Conner of Waycross had the biggest bass I heard of this week (I saw it!). His 9-SE GA Julius Conner Bass - P1250053pounder (26 1/2 inches) was milling around the shallows and would not bite any of his offerings. He scaled back with a small watermelonseed stick worm stuck in the middle with a Wacky Head, and the fish inhaled it almost immediately. The fight was on, and he was able to land, photograph (check the pic out), and release the monster. Way to go, Julius!!!! Chad Lee and Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond on Friday and caught a dozen nice bass up to 6.9 pounds. They also had a 5-pounder and a couple of 4’s. Pop-N-Frogs and plastic crawfish fooled their fish. A couple of anglers fished a Brunswick area pond on Friday and caught 57 channel catfish on cut bluegills rigged on Catfish Catcher Jigheads. They said that the little Gamakatsu circle hook was sticking them perfectly in the corner of the mouth. The nighttime bluegill bite with “glow bugs” has started. Anglers I talked with caught 4, 7, and a dozen big bluegills on trips last week by pitching the bug to cypress trees. That is a hoot if you have never done it. The nighttime glow bug bite is just getting started and will last into the summer. Michael Winge reported that lots of bass were fooled with Trick Worms and ZOOM lizards, as well as Sebile frogs fished around lily pads in Waycross area ponds.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

The whiting bite on the beaches and in the sounds is wide open. I received several reports of anglers catching more whiting than they wanted to clean on small pieces of shrimp fished on the bottom. Tripletail have showed up on the Jekyll beach, but you have to be ready to go when the weather allows (winds lately have significantly hampered the ability to get out to the beachfront). Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that trout, flounder (some approaching doormat status!), Spanish mackerel, bull whiting and sharks were caught from the pier this week. Crabbing has been improving by the day. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

The Satilla is getting low. You can catch lots of panfish, but expect to drag. The ideal approach this weekend would be to do a float trip. Whiting fishing is your best bet in saltwater, but the wind forecast is iffy for the weekend. Panfish and bass in area ponds should be a consistent bet this weekend, especially if the forecast of strong winds materializes and keeps you off bigger waters.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

April’s hot fishing action continued for another week.  We had a small setback with last weekend’s monsoon, but the two-plus inches of rain and cooler weather over Sunday and Monday were certainly welcome relief for our mountain streams, trout hatcheries, and a very low Lake Lanier.

The current combo of warm weather, shallow bass and bream, cool mountain streams, and heavy trout stockings makes this a great time of the year to get the kids outdoors.  There are several excellent reports and tips in here to help you with family fishing plans for the month of May.  Take those trips SOON and you’ll have memories for a lifetime.  Twenty years from now those kids will recall that quality time together with you on your favorite bream pond or trout stream.

And you might even hook a monster.  Check out the huge Hooch brown and also young Spencer’s surprise: a whopper bass instead of another cookie-cutter bream!

TROUT

Another Monster Hooch Brown: Check out these pics: http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=113198 And note the hours of investment in hunting down this trophy.

“Good Fish, Eh?”: From Steven P from Gwinnett –My six year old, Spencer, and I have been hitting the neighborhood pond. Over the weekend we caught about 150 small bluegill, shellcrackers, and small bass. Yesterday afternoon we went back and nothing was hitting, not a single panfish. Then this beast hit a night crawler, I reckon the panfish were laying low with him around.

bass LMB big StevenPs son pond April 2017 pic1
Spencer is clearly thrilled with this big-un of a catch-Great job!

Chattooga DH Report: After hoping to split early at four, Dredger finally left his office on Friday at five and entered the Northern Exodus, also known as the I-985 Commute home.  He got to the DH parking lot and donned waders and a vest in record time.  After a fast walk up the trail a half mile or so, he planted himself in a favorite pool for some hoped-for dark-thirty action.  He had some splashy rises to his cahill/caddis combo, but with no hookups in that first 15-20 minutes.  Aha, they were refusals.  He changed his dropper to a soft hackle pheasant tail, added a small shot (#6 dinsmore), and used that anchoring system to skitter the dry more effectively.  The fish were still very picky, with lots of refusals observed in the clear water, but he managed to land a handful of rainbows and one decent brown in that last hour of daylight.  A hatch never happened and there was only a sparse flight of big (#14) cahill spinners, so the switch never really turned on for the trout population.  Still, there were enough fish in current seams that were looking up for supper to make things interesting.  That last ninety minutes, standing in a river and waving a stick, made the work week disappear and kicked off a really nice weekend in the mountains for ole Dredge. Fly folks- remember the skitter!

Nantahala DH Road Trip: After finishing their yardwork (Dredger) and church good deeds (Rabunite Ray), two addicted Rabunites departed at midday Saturday for a trip over the mountain.  They got to Nantahala DH around four and gave it a shot. The water was actually high and a bit off color due to recent storms, but it was still very fishable. The duo knew they could do well dredging, but this was late April, by golly, and they wanted some trout on top.  Just like the Chattooga the night before, the bugs were scarce, but the fish were there.  But they were picky again, and refused the dead drifted flies.  After thirty minutes of trying, slow-learner Dredger finally resorted to the skitter technique, and the hat trick of brooks, rainbows and browns came to hand, with some wild fish in that mix, too.  They ate both the Adams dry and the pheasant tail (soft hackle) dropper, as long as they were moving via the skitter.  Some cahills and even some yellow sallies finally came out to dance, and a few fish started to rise an hour before dark.

The duo waited for that magic moment right before dark, when thousands of bugs would emerged from beneath every river rock, and ALL trout in the river would eat with reckless abandon.  And the Big Moment happened- with 25 MPG winds and monsoon rains as the storm front arrived.  The two wet rats finally conceded Dark30 defeat and sloshed back to the truck for the drive home.   Oh well, maybe next time…

It was still a great afternoon between special friends on a beautiful piece of southern Appalachian trout water.  Hey, have I mentioned the skitter???

Different Ami DH “Catches”: Here’s a slightly different fishing report.  Sgt Lee Brown with the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division wasn’t fishing for trout, but for illegal fishers.  Bottom line: you never know who’s sneaking a peek at you through binoculars, while dressed in camo and hunkered down in the streamside vegetation.

From Sgt. Brown: On April 15th RFC Crump and I were patrolling the Delayed Harvest on Dawson Forest WMA at Hwy 53.  As we were on foot patrol we encountered three subjects fishing illegally.  The three of them were fishing with illegal bait (worms and corn) and were in possession of 25 trout.  The infractions were handled and the trout were seized and given to a needy family.

Nice Trout Blog Featuring Hooch: http://www.pautzke.com/north-georgias-chattahoochee-river-getting-weekly-trout-plants , Check out DNR trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson in action!

trout stocker Frogtown Anna M Apr 2017Stocker Fun: From Frank M – My youngest daughter Anna fishing Frogtown Creek (photo to left). She had a blast!

Hot Stocker Tip: As springtime temperatures warm, our smaller, stocked trout lakes will soon have inhospitable surface temperatures for good fishing.  And that’s a good thing.  Why?  Because, just like summer reservoir striped bass, those warming surface temperatures will squeeze the stockers into a smaller volume of preferred habitat, where the water temperature is cold and the dissolved oxygen is high.  They are easier to find!   Where?  That usually means a) the depths just in front of the dam and, better yet, b) the mouths of cold tributary streams.  Savvy lake anglers will stalk those feeder streams like a blue heron and cash in on all of those spring stockers stacked in there, seeking thermal refuge.  Our stocked lakes are listed HERE.

And I’ll name a few for your convenience: Nancytown, Black Rock, Dockery, Vogel, Rock

kfe nancytown 08 pic1 dam
Kids enjoying some fun fishing at a Nancytown Kids Fishing Event

Creek, and Winfield Scott immediately come to mind.  Got a float tube or a canoe and a cage full of crickets???? https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recreation/recarea/?recid=10490 (Nancytown for trout, Russell for bass, bream, and crappie) http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/Forgotten_Lakes_of_the_Chattahoochee_National_Forest

 

ALLATOONA

Bass: Shallow Allatoona Bass Video

HARTWELL

Hartwell Report (Report from Steve Scott with Team Lanier, Oakwood Striper Club, Lanier Striper Club, North Georgia Crappie Anglers Club) – Our club the Lanier Striper Club went to Lake Hartwell last Saturday and I have a fishing report/story to tell:

4-21-2017 Day One – Launching at Stevens County Park then heading south to some honey holes discovered in past years, we started at the open railroad bridge. We stayed in the channel at 20′ deep and started to deploy our spread of Planer Boards, Directional Bobbers, Transom Bait, Freelines weighted and unweighted and Downlines. Before I could get the first Planer Board in position it was fish on. A chunky Spotted Bass nailed it. We drifted slowly to our target locations and caught several nice fish along the way including a Hybrid Bass. Just before turning around to head back up Chris had a Striper on. That day we had a total of 12 fish caught. 5 Spotted Bass, 5 Gar, 1 Hybrid Bass and 1 Striped Bass. Two of the Gar came on a double on Freelines out 75 & 100′ with Blueback Herring.

4-22-2017 Day Two – With no idea where to go we used our knowledge of where to go and what techniques to use when we are on Lake Lanier. We launched at Green Pond ramp in South Carolina and headed to the Seneca River eventually taking the left fork to Coneross Creek. We started putting out the spread just north of Friendship Bridge. We saw some of our compadres stuck in the mud as they ran aground. After about an hour one of our port Planer Boards with a Blueback Herring got hit by a 15lb Blue Catfish. After that we got another Gar. Not doing so well here we decided to move to the ‘S’ curves in the Seneca River starting at the confluence of Coneross Creek & the Seneca River. By the time we got down there the wind had picked up to gusts of 20 mpg and we could not stay on course. We decided to wrap it up for the day and headed back to the launch.

LANIER

Crappie

(This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club ) – Water temperatures are in the low seventies, and the lake level is slowly rising.  After the recent rains, the backs of the creeks are showing moderate to heavy stain. That can work to your advantage, as fish prefer moderately stained water.  Fishing conditions are good.  The fish are pulling out to deeper docks, as always, with structure.  It is an added bonus if you can find a good sized brush pile outside the dock.  In this case, stay thirty to forty feet away from the dock and cast your jig to the other side of the brush.  Jig it slowly over the brush toward the boat.  You may want to experiment and let it fall a little into the brush.  This time of the year, four pound high visibility line is very critical so that you can see and feel the movement of the line when the fish bite. One twenty fourth ounce soft body Jigs and hair jigs are working well.  Also, the bigger fish are moving onto stand-alone brush piles in the backs of creeks.  Those brush piles are in twenty to twenty five feet of water, topping out at ten to fifteen feet below the surface.  As always, the more brush piles you hit and the more docks you fish, the better your chances of boating more fish.  If a spot isn’t working, move on.  Four to eight mid to large sized fish is about average per stop.  So if your hits are yielding only smaller fish, move on to explore other docks or brush piles.  Stay safe on the water, wear your life jacket!

(From Pat Snellings, WRD Fisheries Biologist) – The crappie have all but finished spawning but many are still shallow and holding tight to cover. We found the greatest concentration of crappie on the upper end of the lake. If you happen to see sores on any of the fish you’re catching, there is no need to worry. The sores are a secondary infection caused by spawning stress which is common in bass and crappie.

Bass

Lanier Bass on Bed (This Report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley, www.jimboonlanier.com  770-542-7764) Water Temp – 69, Water Level – 7.97 feet below full pool: The lake has been on the rise with the recent rains.  We are now in 7 feet down range at 7.97.  We have not seen a seven in front of that number for several months.  More of the spots have definitely gone on bed this week.  We are seeing a lot of spawning activity around the lake on humps, shoals, and in sandy pockets.  We are even starting to catch a few post-spawn spots. The fishing has continued to be very good over the past week. We have been doing well on numbers and quality every day.  There are a number of patterns working right now, and you can pretty much catch fish any way you wish.   We are still focused on main and secondary clay/rock points, shallow shoals around the banks and islands, as well as sandy pockets in 12 feet of water or less for the majority of this past week.  A finesse worm or a senko on a Picasso Shakedown Head has continued to produce consistently, and should continue to be a producer for several weeks. Look for the shallower brush on points and in pockets through the day as well, as we have been finding some fish staging around this brush which is often now just under the surface a couple of feet with the low water conditions. A new swimbait called the Sweet Herring from the Sweet Bait Company has worked very well on some days in these areas also.  The Sweet Herring swimbait has also been good on the windblown rocky points and banks.    As the sun gets up, check the shallow docks in ditches and pockets for activity.  Docks are always as good bet this time of year.  If you want a bite, fish a dock. They will not always be good ones, but you will get a bite!  The fluke has continued to produce well also – points, docks, humps – all of the above are viable.  We are continuing to get a topwater bite in the AM.  A Vixen and a wakebait are starting to produce for us almost every morning.  A sebile swimbait has also been good in the early morning hours.  This is always a fun bite and should continue to get stronger as we move forward through the spring – this is just starting!  This is an AWESOME time to fish!! Here are the dates I have open in May: 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20(AM), 23(AM), 31.  Give me a call and let’s get out and have some fun!  Thanks to all and May God Bless.

More Lanier Bass Video: http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=896696

“Shocking” Lanier Report: If you have been waiting for a good time to hit the water and wet a line, this is the perfect time to catch a big one! Last week we completed our annual spring electrofishing sample on Lake Lanier and the largemouth bass are finishing spawning while the spotted bass are moving up to spawn. The best place to target these vulnerable fish are in shallow water in the backs of pockets and coves. Check out today’s header photo to see 2 of the nice bass found while sampling.

cat flathead Lanier Looney sample Apr 2017Catfish

(From Pat Snellings, WRD Fisheries Biologist) -We found several large flathead catfish during our sample this year, the biggest of which was 43 lbs. This species is not native to the Chattahoochee and can make for a great fish fry if you happen to catch one.  Try the reach between Clarks Bridge and Don Carter and target downed trees and submerged bedrock shelves. 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.

 

Stripers

Lanier Stripers:

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Georgia Waters Receive Walleye Re-dose: Thanks to fisheries staffers at  the Gainesville Region (March broodfish collections), Go Fish Center (spawning), and Walton Hatchery (fingerling production and stocking), nearly 300K one-inch walleye fingerlings hit north Georgia waters this week.  Lakes receiving fish included Lanier, Hartwell, Yonah, Rocky PFA (Antiochs), Carters, and Blue Ridge.  They should be available for a date with you and a fresh jar of tartar sauce in about two years.

Walleye fingerling in Hand 4-04

Scouts Outing Made Better Thanks to Loaner Fishing Equipment: On a bright and

kfe william scouts FDR April 2017
Helping Cub Scout Pack 410 Enjoy Some Fishing and Catching Thanks to Loaner Poles and Equipment!

sunny Saturday morning the hopeful scouts of Cub Scout Pack 410 ran to the lake at FD Roosevelt State Park with fishing poles in their hands ready to catch a fish and indeed they did. My thanks to Region One Fisheries for providing them with fishing poles and tackle to help them have a successful Cub Scout fishing rodeo.  Loaner poles are available here for any organized groups planning a kids’ fishing outing.  Just call me to schedule your loan. (William Goldman, Fisheries Secretary, 770-535-5498)

Kudos on Kids’ Outreach: (From UCCTU member Jim Smalls) – Approximately 35 boys and girls ages 10-15 were introduced to fly-fishing by the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Georgia Women Fly Fishers. The Sam Rizzio Youth Fly Fishing & Conservation Clinic took place April 22 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

The clinic provided basic instruction in all phases of fly-fishing, including fly-casting, knot tying, insect identification and conservation. Certified instructors and mentors worked with the students to provide individualized instruction and answer questions about fly-fishing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Good luck as spring starts winding down over the next four weeks.  Don’t miss it!    Thanks for buying your licenses and also supporting HB208, which Governor Deal signed this week.  “May” you find some family fishing time together and make memories that will last for decades.  And check your drags on those reels before you cast.  The next bite might be from a true trophy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il07UxbK3WY

CENTRAL GEORGIA

(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)

LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL, CLEAR, 70’s

Bass fishing is fair.  Start early each day with buzz baits and stick baits and use brighter colors.  Work rocky points, humps and bridges.  Use pearl chartreuse back Shad Raps in #7’s sizes and cast them on the rip rap around the bridges and cast parallel to the rocks and bump them with the lures.  The silver tiny Rat L Traps are fair.  Look in the creeks with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the banks and shallows before making a cast.  This technology can see the fish all the way into the shallows.  Later in the day and at dark, small shad and blue combinations crank baits on the points and humps are fair.  Any blow down will have bass in it.  The fish are small and the big fish are still not biting.  The Zoom water melon seed mini lizard and a long Carolina rig can draw a few strikes on road beds and creek ditches.  Clear or red and white tiny Torpedoes will get a lot of strikes on the reef markers and mud banks.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 7.8 FEET, 70’s

Bass are fair and shad crank baits on 10 pound test line will work.  Shad and blue colors are best on points and stay close to the current.  The river fish are still more active.  On the river ledges close to the current, use a jig and plastic or pork trailer in black and blue.  Watch for any activity on the shallow grass lines and cast to them quickly.  Use a watermelon seed worm on a Texas rig around the deeper wood and bank cover.  Look in the creeks with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the banks and docks before making a cast.  This technology can see the fish all the way into the shallows.  Jerk baits like the Ito Vision and the McStick are all great all day baits.  Fish the baits fast on the first 10 casts then slow down.  Main lake bass are on the main lake and secondary creek points.  Shad Raps in the shad black back on points all day can be productive, just move a lot.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, THE LAKE IS CLEAR ON THE SOUTH END STAINED TO MUDDY UP THE LAKE AND INTO THE RIVER TEMPERATURE 70-75.

Bass: Bass fishing is good.  The shad spawn is in full swing.  White spinner baits fished on any bridge rip rap or main lake sea wall will produce.  This bite is best early right at sun up.  You can also use a silver black or shad pattern shad rap.  Some fish are starting to move onto the deep water humps late in the day and you can catch them with a Carolina rig green worm.

Striper: (Striper report by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time guide service. Call 404-803-0741) – Striper fishing is good.  You can still find fish at the dam but it is hit or miss.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools of fish in the mouths of the coves and on the humps on the south end of the lake.  Live bait (shad) have been the best over the past week.  You can also pick up some fish on the pipeline with a spoon when Georgia Power is pulling water.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  The fish are moving into the timber in an early summer pattern.  Long-lining jigs over timber from 8 to 15 feet deep have been the best producers over the past week.  Match your color to the color of the water.

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 2.0 FEET, 70’S

Bass fishing is good on almost all lures and live bait.  Zoom’s pumpkinseed lizard either on a Texas or Carolina rig is always a great start on the lake.  Live lizards and bass minnows are fair on points in Yellow Jacket Creek.  Up river dark jig and craw worms on the heavy bank cover or a buzz bait can get a strike.  Stay close to the river current on points at 5 to 10 feet.  The long 3 foot leader on the Carolina rig and a full one ounce weight can work midday on the road beds and pond dams down lake.  Medium crank baits in bone and blue and green colors are fair on light line on points.  Shad Raps are fair in the shad and baby bass colors on 10 pound test line.  Rat L Traps in the bleeding shiner has been fair in the middle of the lower lake creeks all day.  Spinner baits in 1/2 ounce sizes will catch bass all over the lake.  Cast them right on the bank and hit the old pond dams.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.8 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  Start the day with a buzz bait all white.  As the sun gets high, fish a Strike King chartreuse and white 1/2 ounce spinnerbait in less than 5 feet of water in the backs of coves and around and under docks.  Use the Carolina rigged plastics anything from finesse worms to big magnum lizards, in depths from 3 to 10 feet on points, channel swings and areas with lots of stumps and brush.  Try the Strike King 2.5 square bill crank bait and cover lots of shallow water with it.  Throw it in between docks and in little creeks off the main river. If the bass fishing slows, go to the all brown Strike King flipping jigs.  Also use green pumpkin in off colored river water.  Also try the black and blue jig with matching Rage Craws.  Flip docks with brush and single out stumps and brush piles.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .82 FEET, 70’s

Bass fishing is good.  Jerk baits like the Ito Vision and the McStick are all great all day baits.  Fish the baits fast on the first 10 casts then slow down.  Go into the creeks up lake in the rivers for active bass.  In the rivers, the bass are on the ends of shallower river points and deeper stump rows.  Look in the creeks with the Lowrance Structure Scan technology and scan the banks and docks before making a cast this technology can see the fish all the way into the shallows.  On the main lake points and around the dam, use the shad colored Zoom Flukes over deep standing timber.  A Zara Spook is good in blue shad or baby bass.  All green trick worms in the stained water in creeks has been fair.  Use a dark red and black Zoom U tail worm on a Texas rig on wood and brush in very tight bank and river structure, can draw a strike.  Cast or flip the river docks and shallow bank with a Zoom motor oil lizard.  Keep a Super Fluke ready all day in pearl and baby bass.

FLAT CREEK PFA

  • Surface Temperature: 77.7˚ F (25.4˚ C)
  • Water Level: 6’ 11” Below Full Pool
  • Water Visibility: 27”

Until June 21st arrives (the official first day of summer) variety is expected in the lake surface temperatures.  On the warmer days the fish will wait until evening to start feeding close to shore and will head for cover or deeper water as the morning sun starts heating the shallows.  On the cooler days or days with cloud cover the fish may change their feeding habits staying closer to shore for a longer time.

Bass: The Bass have seen lots of lures drifted in front of them.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t still catch some large bass.  After talking with numerous bass fishermen that have been very successful, here is the list that they recommend: Plum colored ‘Ol Monstor worms by Zoom.  Watermelon or Pumpkinseed Culprit worms.  Most dark colored worms.  Crankbaits have not worked well.

Bream: The full moon on May 10th and June 9th is a dynamite time to be fishing for bream and two dates worth circling on your calendar.  Try Worms (Red Wigglers and Pinks) on a Carolina rig.  Tube jigs on a 1/8 oz. jig head.  Crickets have not worked well.

Channel Catfish: One angler has had great success using uncooked shrimp and has limited out on numerous trips.  Other great options are Red Wiggler worms, frozen Catalpa worms.

Crappie: Insufficient data to report on.  The last time an angler was interviewed, however, the Crappie were biting well.

McDUFFIE PFA

  • Water temperature range across lakes: 73 ⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 24 – 54+ inches
  • McDuffie PFA’s Fish cleaning is now open.

Bass: The largemouth bass are biting.   Anglers are catching bass in the three and four pound range.  McDuffie PFA’s anglers are spreading the fishing pressure across the seven PFA lakes.  An angler reported catching seven bass last week.  McDuffie PFA has a 14 inch length minimum on largemouth bass.  Rodbender, the trophy bass pond is open year-round and anglers can harvest one Bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer.  This regulation is strictly enforced.

Bream:  Steady bream action, both bluegill and redear are being caught in shallow water across the PFA.  Willow Lake is producing nice shellcrackers and anglers are finding the spawning beds.  Rodbender also has bream both bluegill and redear.  Anglers are searching for bream which have moved to deeper water after spawning.  During our next full moon the Bream should be bedding again.

Channel Catfish:  Catfish are biting in all PFA lakes.  Anglers are limiting out on eating-size catfish from Willow Lake and Bridge Lake.  The best fishing is on the bottom using chicken liver, worms, stink-baits, or home made baits.  Later, in the spring catfish can also be caught in shallow water by fishing with worms or crickets under a bobber.

Stripers: Stripers were biting in Bridge Lake and no reports of stripers being caught in Clubhouse.  Angler reported catching stripers in Breambuster this month.   Stripers are biting on chicken liver fished on the bottom while anglers were targeting catfish.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FISHING AT PFAS: Licenses and More

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