Did you see the photo of the Altamaha flathead catfish this week? What? How did you miss it?
Garry Harrell of Douglas, GA boated this 101 lb, 55 1/2″ long flathead catfish from the Altamaha River on June 9. If this fish was caught on a rod/reel, it would have bested the current state record by 18 lb. As is, it is the 2nd largest flathead caught on a limb line (there was a 103-pounder caught on the Ocmulgee in 2009). More info on fishing the Altamaha found HERE. State Record Fish Information Found HERE.
Now, on to our Fishing Report: This week, we hear from CENTRAL Georgia.
(Fishing report courtesy of Steve Schleiger, fisheries biologist with Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, with help from Region Staff and Local Experts)
Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant. See (http://www.southernfishing.com/current-fishing-report.html) for most recent updates.
LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL, CLEAR, 70’s
Bass fishing is fair. Fish first thing in the morning and use the top-water baits and medium-diving crank baits. Then the plastics take over as the day heats up. Bass are up on the rocky points to feed during the major feeding periods as described in the Fish and Game Forecaster. Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology unlocks the areas where the fish live. A crawfish-color bait is an excellent choice during these periods. Use a Chug Bugs, Skitter Props, Shad Raps jig and pig combinations and plastic 6-inch worms. Continue to fish submerged wood cover and the rocks. The bigger rocks are usually producing. Keep a Fish Head Spin ready and add a small Zoom pearl fluke trailer and drag it across the bottom.
CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 6.5 FEET, 70’s
Bass fishing is fair. Main lake points seem to be best and fish a few docks close to deeper water. Try the early top-water bite on the points, especially those located near the river channel. Try using a Chug Bug in either a gizzard shad or Tennessee shad color. Shaky head with Net Bait Pac worm green pumpkin red will work very well on the rocky points and any wood. Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology unlocks the areas where the fish live. Zoom Super Flukes are always a good choice and baby bass is a good color now. A four-inch number 10 Husky Jerk in a Glass Blue Minnow and a Rat L Traps are working. If the actions slow down, use a Light jigs and Texas rigged worms around and underneath the boat docks.
LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, THE LAKE IS CLEAR ON THE SOUTH END STAINED TO MUDDY UP THE LAKE AND INTO THE RIVER TEMPRATURE 78-82
Bass fishing is fair. The spinner bait bite has picked up this past week. White or white and chartreuse fished along sea walls and rip rap from the middle of the creeks and coves out to the mouths has been producing. You can catch a lot of fish just on the small side with worms under docks. Use a dark worm Texas rigged for best results. The buzz bait bite is just starting. Look along any sea wall from the middle of the creeks and coves to the back. 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 report by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time guide service. Call 404-803-0741 firstname.lastname@example.org) – Striper fishing is good. 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. The umbrella rig bite is just starting. It will pick up as we move into June.
Crappie fishing is very good. The fish are moving into the timber on an early summer pattern. Long-lining jigs over timber from 8 to 15 ft. deep have been the best producers over the past week. Match your color to the color of the water.
WEST POINT LAKE IS FULL, 70’S
Bass fishing is fair on worms and crank baits. The lake is full and this will help the bass spend the summer close to or under the deeper docks in very tight in cover. The lake is clear main lake with a slight stain in the rivers and creeks. Try a Robo worm 4 in black and blue on a Texas rig or a Carolina rig and use the one ounce egg sinker on 14-pound line and a Carolina Keeper. Crank baits are fair and a Shad Rap is a good all day bait. Use a red shad Culprit worm on a brass and glass Texas rig for the best bet on the docks. For a big fish, head up the rivers and flip a dark jig and pig or a worm in the larger sizes on the downstream current pockets. Never overlook a jig even for shallow bass on this lake up the rivers. Blacks, blues and greens are good choices and add a Zoom salt trailer in matching colors.
LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN .72 FEET, CLEAR, 70’S
Bass fishing is good. There are a lot of bass back in shallow water feeding. Top-water baits and spinner baits have been especially good during the last few days. Popping baits like Pop R’s and Chug Bug’s and prop baits like Torpedo’s and Devil Horse are working. Start the morning in more clear water till the bite slows and then move to stained water and give it a try. The top-water bite has lasted all day during a couple days recently. Try the Strike King Redeye Shad Bait gold black back 0.25 ounce. Spinner baits have done well on mornings with wind and a choppy surface. Lowrance Structure Scan and Down Scan technology unlocks the areas where the fish live. If the bite slows or stops, try using a lightweight Texas rig in the same areas around any cover present. Rip rap along the roadway bridges are holding fish that are hitting crank baits, spinner baits, Texas rigs, and jig head and worm rigs. Docks and boathouses are still holding bass that are mostly hitting Texas rigged worms. Fish the summer humps, points and ledges. Large crank baits like Norman DD22, Poe’s 400, and Fat Free Shads are good choices when the fish are real active, especially during power generation. Carolina rigs and Texas rigs are the other primary choices for these deep fish.
LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .52 FEET, 70’s
Bass fishing is fair. Boat traffic on the weekends make fishing tough so go early or fish after dark. There is a fair top-water bite but by mid-morning the fish have to hide. Fish hard clay banks and sea walls as well as on the ends of points. The bass are shallow around any wood and cast baits to shadows all day. Use a gourd green Berkley tail worms down lake on a Texas rig and use the brass and glass on the rig for more sound. Look in the mid-lake half way back in the creeks and hit any dock or on points. Brush is a must and the fish are on the shady sides of docks. Up the river the fishing is slow. Try a 1/2 ounce spinner bait. Zoom Bush Hogs and dark worms in the u tail style in reds and grays will work fished slowly on wood and docks. Use a Texas rig and fish all lures slowly and let them fall. Zoom trick worms in pink or yellow are also fair around the docks in the shadows in the creeks.
- Surface water temperature: 83o F
- Water visibility: Visibility is about 23” and the lake has its summertime bloom.
- Water level: Full Pool
Good – The post spawn bass fishing is pretty good. Bass can be found in the upper 3 to 4 feet of the water column. Because of hot temperatures, bass fishing will be at its best early in the morning and late in the day. Top-water and shallow presentation of bait is your best bet this time of year.
Poor- Because of warm summer temperatures crappie tend to move into deeper water as well as spread out over most of the lake. Fishing deep around standing timber with live minnows is your best bet.
Good – Bream fishing has been good. They have started spawning and will aggressively guard their beds, which improve your chances at catching several for the table. Crickets and worms are good bait for spawning bream. Also, small grub like plastic jigs can work well this time of year; try black, white, and yellow colors. Fishing red or black headed jigs with or without a bobber works well. However, make sure the hooks are small because the bream have small mouths.
Good- The rocks along the dam are always a good spot to try and catch big channel cats. However, angling for catfish has also been good in deeper water over much of the lake. Catfish are being caught on worms, livers, and sometimes shrimp.
In general, June and July temperatures at Big Lazer are getting hot. Fish tend to hang out in shady cover during the hot days and feed in the mornings and evenings.
- McDuffie Public Fishing Area: Water temperature range across lakes: 83 ⁰F
- Water Visibility: 16 – 54 inches
The largemouth bass are biting and should continue to improve. Anglers reported catching several bass three and four pound range and small bass. One angler reportedly caught two small bass on both treble hooks on a shallow runner shad-type lure. Willow Lake is still proving to be a producer of large bass and Jones Lake produced another twenty-inch bass this past week.
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.
Anglers are fishing Rodbender morning and evening but no reports of a 22-incher being caught.
Slow action. Bream action, both Bluegill and redear are being caught in shallow water across the PFA. On the next full moon anglers should be able to find spawning beds again. Rodbender also has bragging-size bream both bluegill and redear.
The bite has slowed. Catfish are biting in all PFA lakes. Anglers are limiting out on eating-size catfish from Jones Lake, Willow Lake and Bridge Lake. The best fishing is on the bottom using chicken liver, worms, stink-baits, or home made catfish bait concoctions. Catfish can be found in shallow water less than two feet.
Stripers have been biting slowly in Bridge Lake and this week. An angler caught a sixteen-inch striper in Clubhouse Lake. Stripers are biting in Bridge Lake on chicken liver fished on the bottom while anglers were targeting catfish.