Georgia Fishing Report: September 1, 2017

If you are someone who likes to make plans, go ahead and mark off Sept. 23 on your calendar to attend any of the free activities scheduled for National Hunting and Fishing Day.  Choose from events like Outdoor Adventure Days or Kids Fishing Events as we celebrate this occasion, first established in 1973, that recognizes generations of hunters and anglers for the time and money they donate to wildlife conservation programs. 

So far this year, 4 anglers have successfully completed the Georgia Bass Slam. David Hampton, the most recent “slammer” has caught NINE of the 10 designated bass species! Congratulations David – we thank you for participating and can’t wait to hear when you land species #10!

Now, let’s get to it. Reports today come from Southeast, Central and North Georgia. Let’s get out there and Go FISH!

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

Effort has remained low this week, but it is picking up a little. Saltwater effort was almost nonexistent over the weekend because of the high winds. Full Moon is September 6th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

A pair of Blackshear anglers fished the Jesup area of the river in the wind on Saturday and caught a nice bass, a big bream, and several bowfin. It was a little slow for them, but they had a blast. Other reports from Jaycees Landing were that crickets produced some crappie, and catfishing was consistent. One angler fishing the upper river caught a cooler full of channel catfish by using stinkbait on sponge hooks. Reports from Altamaha Park were that the mullet fishing picked up significantly this week (several folks had full coolers). Jolly green giant worms and red wigglers produced best. Some big flatheads were caught again this week on live baitfish. Bream fishing was most effective with crickets and Satilla Spins, according to reports. Minnows produced some nice crappie from the deeper holes. The river is dropping out well, and the greenish color is starting in the upper tributaries. The river level was 2.4 feet and falling (82 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.2 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on August 29th.

SATILLA RIVER

Effort was low, but Craig James fished the upper river with his Gold Digger buzzbait over the weekend and had a nice what appeared to be a 4-lb class bass from the photo. The river is getting low, so getting around in a motorboat will be a challenge in the upper river. The level on Tuesday when I crossed the river was perfect for a float trip. The river level on August 29th at the Waycross gage was 4.5 feet and falling (81 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.0 feet and falling.The river is getting really low, so getting around in a motorboat will be a challenge in the upper river. The level on Tuesday when I crossed the river was perfect for a float trip. Craig James fished the upper river with his Gold Digger buzzbait over the weekend and had a nice what appeared to be a 4-lb class bass. The river level on August 29th at the Waycross gage was 4.5 feet and falling (81 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.0 feet and falling.

ST. MARY’S RIVER

The river is still high, and catfish were caught. The level is still a little high for good bass fishing. The river level at the MacClenny gage on August 29th was 9.0 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Winge’s Bait and Tackle reported that few folks are fishing, but they are catching a few warmouth and fliers. I’ll be on the swamp soon flinging in-line spinners, as my daughter has been asking me when we can fish together in the swamp again……I’m sharpening my hooks….

LOCAL PONDS

Pond fishing is where most effort occurred over the weekend. Ethan Veal and several friends fished a pond on Saturday and caught lots of channel catfish on worms. Chad Lee fished Alma area ponds from Friday through Tuesday and landed 20 bass up to 5 1/2 pounds. His biggest inhaled a black buzzbait with a black flat blade fished around vegetation on Tuesday evening. His other top producing lures were NED rigs (with Z-Man crawfish colored worms), Ribbit Frogs, ZOOM Ol’ Monster Worms (junebug-red flake), and Chatterbaits. Michael Winge said that buzzbaits and topwater plugs produced some good-sized bass. Pink worms fished on the bottom caught nice creels of catfish. Bream were caught around the pond edges with crickets during the evening.

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Ethan Veal and some worms were successful in wrangling up some channel catfish at a local pond this past week

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

The strong winds did in the saltwater reports this week. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that the big redfish have arrived in the sounds, and folks are catching them from the pier. Whiting and flounder were also caught from the pier on the calmer days. Blue crabs were numerous on the calmer days. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

The tides will be ramping up (but are not bad) with the waxing moon, but winds will dictate the fishing this weekend. Keep a close eye to the marine forecast if you plan a trip to the brine this holiday weekend. Trout, flounder, redfish, and tarpon should be numerous if you can get out and effectively present a bait or lure to them. Ponds will be a great option, as well. The cooler weather the middle of this week should get some crappie eating. Bass fishing in ponds should be great. A float trip on the Satilla will get you away from the higher than usual holiday effort around the landings.

CENTRAL (EAST AND WEST) 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

LAKE RUSSELL IS FULL, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Expect the bass to move shallow with the cooler weather.  Baitfish will move shallow and the bass will follow.  It seems like the bass have moved off the ledges.  Most of the action is shallow all day but the fish on the bank structure are all small.  Try up the river and cast small Senko’s or Sluggos in shad or small Shad Raps.  Down lake use the Rebel Deep Wee R in the bone or parrot colors on docks and points.  Use a dark Texas rigged Zoom Bush Hog in the greens and slowly work on the wood mid lake.  Main lake points are fair early on top-water prop baits and try the Whopper Plopper.  Use a 3/8th ounce jig and plastic or pork trailer in black and blue.  Small shad crank baits will get a strike.  A watermelon seed Zoom trick worm on a short Carolina rig is fair.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 7.53 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Fishing is good but the best bite is early and late.  As the water cools, the bass will be after any bait schools.  Use the Lowrance Structure Scan technology to scan the coves and points to see the bait.  Try top-water lures early and late on deeper banks and deep seawalls, as the sun comes up move out to the old river channel ledges; crank baits, spinner baits and Carolina rigged plastics are always good deep water lures.  Use a 3/8 ounce jig in a brown craw fish pattern as a good lure on these deep water ledges.  Anytime they are pulling water look for the bass to pull up on the points in the lower lake.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, THE LAKE IS CLEAR ON THE SOUTH END STAINED TO MUDDY UP THE LAKE AND INTO THE RIVER TEMPERATURE 83-87 

Bass: Bass fishing is fair.  Try the buzz bait at first light until the sun gets up.  Work the deeper docks and sea walls on the main lake.  Make sure you have chartreuse in your buzz bait.   Use your Lowrance to locate the humps on the south end with fish on them then target the hump with the Carolina rig or the crank bait.  You can also work the grass on the south end early and late with a frog and you might pick up some big fish.

Striper: (Striper report by Captain Mark Smith, Reel Time guide service. Call 404-803-0741) – Striper fishing is fair.  The dam at first light is the place to be.  Live bait, spoons, popping corks and 1/4 ounce jigs with a 3-inch curly tail will produce.  There is also a bite at the pipeline with trolling a large crank bait over the humps.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  The fish are in full summer mode.  Look in the submerged timber from 10-20 feet deep.  Live bait as well as jigging will put lots of fish in your boat.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools in the timber and start catching.  A deep trolling bite has also started you will need to get your bait down to about 10 to 12 feet deep.

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 1.7 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Fish are still on a summer pattern but there are good fish shallow.  The early morning top-water bite is good; try throwing a white buzz bait or a Pop R in bone color.  Worms with red in them seem to be working the best; try Strawberry, Red Bug and June bug.  Carolina rigs with a short seems to get more bits.  There are several patterns including the Norman DD 22, Rapala DT14, Strike King series 6 and Shad Rap.  Down lake find the ledges, road beds and humps and scan them with the Lowrance Structure Scan beams out to 80 feet both ways and try the blue pallette.  The key is to use the electronics to find and catch fish.  The next thing you need this time of year is brush piles.  Use your Lowrance graph to find them.  The best depths for the brush has been 17 feet.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.47 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  The Carolina rig and a Zoom pumpkin lizard is the best bait lake wide with a June bug lizard a close second.  The fish have moved out some to the river channel ledges or to deeper docks.  Almost all the fish are taking plastics but try a gold buzz bait any time you come up on a dock.  Jigs are also fair on the docks in all brown but smaller baits seem to work best on these fish.  Plastic or apork trailer will work and match the trailers to the bait.  Soft plastics in the green pumpkin in a finesse worm and a Zoom Bush Hog will get strikes.  Add some Lunker Sauce to the baits for extra strikes.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN .59 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair either way up lake or at the dam.  The Zoom water melon seed lizards on a Carolina rig, has been good later each day.  In the creeks on old channels use a Culprit red shad worm on a Texas rig with the brass and glass combination.  Work baits right on the bank around any cover.  Upriver the Bulldog Rattle Back jig and Zoom salt trailer in dark colors on the heavy bank cover can get a strike.  Both white and all gold buzz baits will bring fish after the lure.  Try a drop shot rig on 8-pound line and a Zoom green pumpkin finesse worm.  The sinker can be 3/16 ounce and use a 2 foot leader and a #2 Mustard offset worm hook.

FLAT CREEK PFA

  • Surface Temperature: 26.9˚ F (80.4˚ C)
  • Water Level: 5’ 8” Below Full Pool
  • Water Visibility: 19”

The fishing has been great for those that have braved the uncomfortable warmer temperatures before a rain event.  Directly following a rain event that brings a cold front the fish have been really slow to bite, and although that’s when most people want to come try their luck very few successful reports have been reported during this time.  Mornings and evenings have worked best for all species.  Those fishing for bream have been successful when fishing around cover, although a slower retrieve worked best during the hotter parts of the day.  Bass fishing has been great for one angler who reported to have caught and released over 25 bass 2-6+ pounds.   Catfish and crappie fishing was reported to be slow.

Bass: Boat anglers still have the upper hand compared to bank anglers.  Here’s what the successful anglers have suggested to catch Bass: Candybug Zoom Trick Worm.  Plum or June Bug colored ‘Ol Monster worms by Zoom.  Watermelon or Pumpkinseed Culprit worms.  Kalin’s Green Pumpkin Majic Wac-O-Worms or similar brands that have the same action.  Bright shad impression colored flukes near the aerators.

Bream: Worms, meal worms, crickets and frozen Catalpa worms were the best things that were reported to be working on bream.

Channel Catfish: Last anglers that were catching catfish used a combination of the following: frozen Catalpa worms and uncooked shrimp.

Crappie: Not enough info to report on.

MARBEN PFA

  • Water temperature: HOT!
  • Remember early morning and late evenings remain the best times at Marben PFA.
  • Mid to late September expect the “bite” of all species to pick up
  • Temperatures remain hot at Marben PFA. Sunscreen, plenty of water and ice are necessary. Don’t forget the picnic lunch!!

Bass: Similar challenges for anglers targeting bass remain at least for the first part of September.  However, anglers willing to test the waters in early morning or right before sunset might be surprised with a bass being caught in the shallows.  Shad can be seen schooling on cloudy days.  Hot water techniques are still recommended if targeting bass until mid-September.  Popular lures anglers should try are crank baits and other deeper water lures.  Look for bass to be in the 8 – 12ft. even in early morning and moving deeper as mid-day approaches.  Early morning and late evenings are still the best times for anglers targeting bass.  As temperatures cool in the later part of September, look for bass to remain in the shallows longer and most importantly the “bite” to pick up. 

Crappie: Crappie fishing remains slow and most likely will until October.  Anglers may see the crappie “bite” tends to pick up as late evening approaches.  Even though the “bite” picks up, the window for catching crappie in the evening is small.  Anglers need to be prepared using live minnows and yellow/brown jigs, as these tend to be the most popular.  Try fishing cover approximately 8-10 feet.  Remember, once the crappie start biting keep at it, this frenzy will be short-lived in these warm temperatures! 

Bream: Bream are the most popular fish targeted at Marben PFA.  The best thing about bream is that this fish will hit a variety of bait.  Meal worms are proving the most successful bait.  However, do not be afraid to experiment, you never know what bream are targeting that day.  There have also been reports of anglers using micro lures to catch hand-sized bream.  Most of the bream caught have been in six to eight feet of water. 

Catfish: When the other fish begin to slow, anglers will often turn their attention to catfish at Marben PFA.  Catfish are reported being caught throughout the day.  Based on angler reports, Bennett still remains the “hot” lake.  Anglers are most successful using worms, liver and stink bait.  A handy shade tree seems to be important too! 

McDUFFIE PFA

  • Water temperature average across lakes: 80.6 ⁰F
  • Water Visibility: 14 – 54 inches

Bass:   Bass fishing has slowed down across the area but anglers are catching bass early morning and late evening.  Willow Lake has outstanding shad hatch and may be the cause for the bass being hard to catch. 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. Both bluegill and redear are being caught in shallow water across the PFA.  Anglers are catching bream in Bridge Lake using red worms on the bottom.  Bream should continue bedding until water temperatures started falling below seventy degrees.  Rodbender also has bragging-size bream both bluegill and redear.

Channel Catfish:  The channel catfish bite has remained steady. Catfish are biting especially well in Bridge Lake but can be caught in all PFA lakes.   Anglers are limiting out on eating-size catfish using chicken liver on the bottom.  With cool temperature anytime is a great time to catch catfish.

Striped Bass: No reports of stripers being caught.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

Welcome to the weekend respite.  Most of us will have three days off and, after tonight, there’s a break from Hurricane Harvey’s remnant rain bands, swiping us now.  Honestly, our north Georgia weather couldn’t get any better!  Maybe these great forecasts will make up for our sudden spike in gas prices.

 

Compared to our neighbors to the west, who battled up to fifty inches of rain, we north Georgians have absolutely nothing to complain about and everything to be thankful for!

While we may have to wait several days for our big bass rivers to clear, our trout streams are now recharged for the weekend with higher flows and colder temperatures from our pleasantly cool nights.  Small lakes and reservoirs should also fish well.  Tip- try the mud lines where these rivers drain into the lakes.  The heavy flows should wash extra food in and also give those sport fish a greater sense of security in the stained water.  We’re wrapping up our trout stocking season, so check the long Labor Day list and grab your ultralight rod, cricket tube, and frying pan for one last hurrah with stockers.  Here we go:

Trout Stocking Wrap-up: To conclude our traditional stocking season of mid-March to trout stocking JLT 2017Labor Day, Georgia’s state and federal trout hatcheries will stock roughly 40 streams with a total of 17,000 trout for your holiday weekend fun.  Best bets include: Johns. Holly, Hooch on WMA, Dicks, Rock, Cooper, Wildcat, and Tallulah. The complete list of waters stocked each week is refreshed every Friday afternoon, and available HERE. As always, we appreciate our federal partners in Suches, who helped make our 2017 season a success, despite our huge battle with last summer’s drought.

Lake Burton Temp/DO Profile: The Burton and Hartwell profiles below are provided by WRD Fisheries Technician Tony Anderson, stationed at Burton Hatchery.

LakeBurtonProfile

LakeHartwellProfile.png

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: “The Southern Fishing Report” , 770 889 265

LAKE LANIER IS DOWN 5.7 FEET, THE CREEKS ARE STAINED AND THE MAIN LAKE IS CLEAR & 80’s

Bass: (This Report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley, 770 542 7764) – Bass fishing is very good this summer. And the cooler than normal summer has played a part in that. Each day is different however, and fish have different preferences in accordance. Remain flexible in your approach. The weather is starting to cool again this week as it seems we may be in for an early fall. The lake levels have dropped a little since last week, but we have some rain coming in soon, so we expect the lake to be on the rise again shortly. You can catch fish from 15 feet all the way out to 40 and beyond depending on what techniques you prefer. Some days, those bigger fish are out in deeper water (30+) and if you want quality, you need to spend the time out there with the likes of a drop shot or flutter spoon. With all that said, we are still getting some quality fish around brush on off shore structure such as points and humps. We are still seeing a good schooling bite most mornings and it has been lasting upwards of 2 hours. A smaller swimbait has worked well this week on the schooling fish. Also, a Spybait is a good option as well when the fish are on the move but not eating your larger offerings. Throw that little thing out and let it sink to about a 10 count, then SLOWLY retrieve. On the top water side, a Chug Bug, a Gun Fish, a whopper Plopper and a fluke have been my main choices for top water. Also use a Sebile for your swimbait. Focus on offshore structure with cover, such as brush on humps and points, for this approach. We are still concentrating on brush in 18 to 25 feet of water. The deeper stuff up to and including timber edges in 35 to 40 feet on the same type structure is holding fish as well. In general, focus on the areas that offer close proximity to much deeper water. Those areas will now hold the best numbers and size of fish. We continue to use the Lanier Bait offerings with good success on the drop shot, and there are many good colors from which to choose. Make sure to rig your drop shot with 6 or 8 pound test Seaguar Fluorocarbon in Invizx or Abrazx. I have this Friday Morning, September 1st Open! Here are my other upcoming available dates: September: 7(PM), 8, 11, 12, 16, 19, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30 Fall is coming and so will be that awesome top water and swimbait bite. Don’t miss it, schedule your trip now! Give me a call and let’s get out and have some fun! Thanks to all and May God Bless.

Striper: (Lake Lanier Striper report is from Big Fish On guide Service. To book your guide trip call Captain Ken at 404 561 2564 or contact us HERE) – Striper fishing is very good. All of the typical summer time techniques continue to work; down rods with Blueback Herring, trolling with Umbrella Rigs and lead core line. We spent a lot of time trolling Umbrella rigs this past week fishing main lake and creek pockets that require a lot of turns versus lead core line that is 300 feet behind the boat which makes quick turns difficult. We are using “heavy” Umbrella rigs consisting of a 3 ounce frame and 9 one ounce jigs with white or chartreuse 4 inch shad bodies. Set the Umbrella rigs 130 to 150 feet back and troll at a speed of 2.8 to 3.2 MPH. We also focused on main lake and creek channels with lead core line with a one ounce Captain Mack’s buck tail jig. Set your lead core line at 8 to 9 colors and troll at 3.0 to 3.8 MPH. Over the years we have used a number of different rods to troll Umbrella rigs and lead core. We have not been very happy with the ones we have used and have been unable to find a rod that would work well with both. PROBLEM SOLVED! Captain Mack working with Okuma designed a new trolling rod that would work with both umbrella rigs and lead core line. We have been using this new rod for 9 months and are very happy with the results. Check out these new “yellow” rods. They are available at Hammonds Fishing, Oakwood Bait and Tackle, Buford Dam Bait and Tackle. We have also received reports that the Ben Parker magnum spoon has started to work. We hope to try them this week and follow up with next week’s report. Orr Creek, Two Mile Creek, Six Mile Creek, Shoal Creek, Big Creek and the river channel from Flat creek to the Dam are all good places to start your day. The water temperature is mid 80s. The water is stained in the backs of the creeks and clear on the main lake. The lake is 5.6 feet below full pool.

LAKE HARTWELL IS DOWN 7.9 FEET, CLEAR, 80’S

Bass: (This bass fishing report is by Josh Panyard. Follow him on Facebook) -The water temperatures are in the mid 80’s. The bite continues to be tough out there. We have had to work deeper water from 20 feet all the way out to 45 feet. We are fishing humps, major creek arm points, and main lake points and the key with all of these areas is that they have to have some really deep water next to them specially a ledge which has been a key component lately. We have had some blow ups on top water but not a lot of action and we have had to really work at this bite. We have had to really finesse these fish so we have worked the shakey head with a finesse worm and a drop shot with small baits on them to match the bait that we are seeing. Be patient with the drop shot fish we have had a lot of fish follow the bait and not eat it if you get this same reaction first change baits and if that doesn’t work change your leader length our best has been 12 18 inches. The key is to be patient and keep moving throughout the day and with this warm weather and water the fish are going to stay deep. Remember the lake is still low and there are a lot of objects sticking up out of the water and not marked so be safe out there and we hope to see you on the water.

CARTERS LAKE

(Fishing report provided by Louie Bartenfield of Carters Lake Guide Service) – Spotted Bass: Fishing has been good for late summer. My guys have been catching pretty good numbers all summer, and I expect September to be no different. As the days get shorter and the air temps slowly start to cool, expect the fish to move a little further into the creeks and the mid-depth to shallow bite should start picking up. I’ll focus on deep channel banks and steep edges 1/4 to 1/2 back in the creeks. Jerkbaits, top water, and the always faithful Spotsticker jighead worm are my primary September baits. It’s not uncommon to catch a lot of fish shallow, but the really big fish are holding deep.  Keep an open mind and even if you’re getting bit shallow, there are still bigger spots behind you at 40-50ft. depths.

ALLATOONA

Striper: The top water bite for hybrids and white bass has been slow, even in the morning and evening hours.  You may still see occasional surface activity, but it may just be a splash here and there to let you know they are in the area. Throw crank baits, spoons or rooster tails to entice these surface feeders.  Once in the area you may have to search at greater depths to keep the bites coming.  The fish have been holding in the 15-30 ft. depth range, but may be scattered and not necessarily in tight schools.  Lots of casts may be required to find feeding fish.  Live bait, jigging spoons and Alabama rigs have been the best approach to catching these deeper linesides.

Shawn McNew of Striper Soup Bait and Tackle reported he was out a couple days ago and ran all over the lake looking for hybrids and stripers.  Surface temps were from 87-90F in the afternoon.  Morning bite is definitely the key from sun-up until about 9:30-10 am.  I have been hearing reports of fish in the forebay around Cooper’s and the points to the south of Allatoona Dam.  Some action has also been reported around Holiday Harbor Marina and in the mouth of Little R. across to Sweetwater Cr.  Fishing live bait on downlines with 1-2 oz. trolling sinkers with a swivel (available at Striper Soup), and a 4+ ft. leader of 8-10 lb. fluorocarbon is the ticket.  Fish the bait 5 feet above where your fish finder shows the fish.  There has been very limited surface activity in the evenings, but it should pick up with these cooler overnight temps.  Follow Striper Soup on Facebook .

On August 29, 2017, Fisheries Technicians Danny Johnson and Mark Bowen conducted a dissolved oxygen (DO) and temperature profile of the water column in front of Allatoona Dam.  Water temperatures in the lake were running in the high 80’s at the surface and fell into the high 70’s at greater depths.  Dissolved oxygen levels were typical for late August at Allatoona.  Oxygen fell below levels suitable for fish at water depths greater than 33 feet.  So what does this mean for anglers?  It means that most fish will be holding at water depths less than 33 feet.  Actively feeding fish like hybrids and stripers under ten pounds may pursue bait fish to greater depths for very short periods, but they will have to return to shallower depths where DO is more favorable. The biggest stripers usually vacate Allatoona during the summer heat and seek thermal refuges up the Etowah.

LakeAllatoonaProfile

For those fishing Allatoona from the bank, remember that nearly all the Corps’ publicly owned rock fishing jetties have been “sweetened” with brush piles over the last few years.  The brush piles around these jetties are within easy casting distance of the bank and typically attract bass, bream and catfish.

Plan on fishing the Allatoona Team Tournament’s Sunday Morning Bass Series this fall/winter?  Get the latest updates and upcoming series schedule on their new Facebook Page.

ROCKY MTN. PFA

Park Manager Dennis Shiley reported the bass are hitting top water lures in the morning and plastic worms and crankbaits later in the day. Catfish are being caught on blood or cut baits along rip-rap shoreline areas.  Dennis added that those in search of bream should fish crickets or live worms at depths ranging from 10 to 13 feet.  Never been to Rocky Mountain PFA in Floyd County?  Find out more HERE or “like” them on Facebook .

bass LMB ROCKY_PFA_DENNIS_SHILEY Aug 2017
Rocky Mountain PFA Park Manager Dennis Shiley with a 6.5 pound largemouth he boated on a recent outing.

JAMES H. “SLOPPY” FLOYD STATE PARK

Assistant Park Manager Luke Daniels reported that park visitors have been catching bream with crickets on the lower lake every morning for the last week and a half.  He said there has been a decent catfish bite on the upper lake in the last few days too.  He recommended using cut or blood baits for those seeking these whiskered lake inhabitants.  He added that the bass bite has been hit or miss, but inline spinners have provided anglers the best results.  A map of brush pile locations in both the upper and lower lakes can be obtained at the Park’s main office.  Learn more about this Chattooga Co. State Park HERE.

RIVER BASS

While our north GA rivers will likely be blown out this weekend from Harvey’s rains (river gauge information HERE),  they fished well before the storm and should fish even better when the waters clear and these cooler nights drop water temperatures a bit.  Make some plans to float-fish the Hooch, Chestatee, Chattooga, or Etowah soon, before dropping temperatures turn off the bass bite in October or early November.

  • Chestatee Report: (Report from Jack Becker, weekend fishing manager, Academy Sports, Gainesville) – Went on a Kayak trip with my son on the Chestatee yesterday.  Great time from Chestatee River Adventures in Dahlonega to Hwy. 400 Bridge.  7 1/2 hr. trip. Caught Shoal Bass and Spots. Thanks for the advice on Lures to use.  Small Topwater, Rapalas and Texas rigged 4″ worms worked the best.
  • North of Clayton: Several north Georgians crossed the border for river smallmouth last weekend.  They did well in the clear water on brown hairy fodders, deep, and then small blue poppers to match the color of the abundant damselflies that were attracting the attention of the river bass.  Landon sez, “match the hatch, and in these cases, the best hatches were crayfish and blue damsels!”
bass shoal chestatee Jacks son Aug 2017
Catching some shoal bass on the Chestatee River

We hope this week’s menu of north Georgia opportunities helps all of you to enjoy the Labor Day weekend.  May we also remember and support those tough Texans who have a challenging road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey.  While our nation’s sportsmen and women are already known as the finest conservation force in the land, I’d like to tip my fishing cap to their humanitarian efforts this week.  How many of you saw those flotillas of fishing craft, duck hunting boats, kayaks, and jet-skis coming to the rescue of their fellow men, women, kids, and even pets?  Who has not yet heard of the Cajun Navy? Check out these links to fill your heart with pride: HERE and HERE

 

While there is much still to be done in Houston, many boaters, hunters, and anglers continue volunteering their time and equipment to rescue struggling residents.  And that, by golly, was the best fishing report I saw all week.  Good luck Houston- we are with you.  I’ll be skipping my next order of bass baits and fly tying supplies, and toss my allowance toward a Texas-aimed charity.   As shown by those benevolent sportsmen and women, our best catch of the day may not be a big bass or trophy trout, but something truly memorable – Hope for Houston.

Have a good, dry, thankful weekend, everyone.

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