2018 is trucking right along. Hopefully, you are able to make some time to get out there and get a little fishing done during these nice glimpses of warmer weather. 

We were excited to recently have the live announcement of the 2017 grand prize winner of the Georgia Bass Slam – Congrats again to Keith Lott! Be sure to set aside some time for YOU to get started on YOUR Georgia Bass Slam in 2018.

We have a JAM-PACKED report for you today with intel from Southwest, Central, Southeast and North Georgia. So, pull up a chair and get ready to arm yourself with the best available info to get you out there fishing (and catching)!

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 really heating up. The fish have started to move shallow and there have been several reports of limits being caught. 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. Hybrid and striped bass fishing has also been good in the open water and there have been several reports of hybrids being caught further downstream below Columbia Lock and dam. Anglers there have been having success trolling Alabama rigs.

LAKE SEMINOLE

The fishing on Lake Seminole is starting to really heat up. It took over 28 pounds to win last weekend’s FLW college tournament. Check out the article HERE. Both largemouth bass and crappie are being caught shallow. The recent heavy rains may have affected the bite somewhat so fishing should be best outside of the main arms of the lake. Look for crappie to be bedding on the edges of the hydrilla or in areas with scattered hydrilla in 4-8 foot depths. A couple of places to try for Crappie would be Ray’s Lake and the cornfield. Small plastic jigs and minnows under a cork are effective. There have also been reports of some good catches of channel catfish and hybrids. If you haven’t already done so, it is time to dust off the boat and fishing gear and head to Lake Seminole. 

FLINT RIVER

The Lower Flint River has risen recently with large amount of rainfall we had last weekend.  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:

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.   

LAKE RUSSELL IS DOWN 1.4 FEET, CLEAR, 50’S

Bass fishing is good.  Expect this warming trend to get them going.  There are some fish shallow in the creeks on any bank structure.  But, you must find some bait in the area.  Zoom Bush Hogs on a pegged Texas rig will work and use a heavy weight to get though the lay downs.  The newest technique for bass fishing is the Spybait.  This is a light line and slow presentation technique and can load the boat when properly fished.  With this week’s warm-up go to light sinkers on a Texas rig and use a Zoom natural blue Zoom worm.  Later in the day, get the weights off the baits and look in the sandy areas for small bass to start roaming around.  Avoid any fresh muddy water and go down lake to the dam and fish any clearer water with a Zoom all black trick worm and no weight around wood in the creek mouths.  Add some Jacks Juice garlic scent too. On the old road beds, points and submerged stumps, use the Lowrance down Scan technology to spot the old roads and ditches as this can cover four times more bottom than sonar.  Also, this technology can see the structure in real life, not two dimensional like sonar.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 4.7 FEET, 50’S

Bass fishing is fair to good.  On the warmer days fish are biting in the stained shallow water.  The warm sunny days provoked the fish to move up and feed on the active bait fish.  Catching these fish with medium diving crank baits has been good.  Staying off the bank and making a long cast is the most difficult part about it.  Deep diving jerk baits along the ledges is working.  These bass seemed to be somewhat staged up, just waiting for their turn to move up out of the fifteen to twenty feet of water to feed.  This appears to be a typical early spring pattern.  Down Deep Husky Jerk Baits and DT14’s will get down and catch those deeper bass while the Rapala DT10 along with a DT Flat and Number Five Shad Rap will take care of the feeding bass.  On the old road beds, points and submerged stumps, use the Lowrance Down Scan technology to spot the old roads and ditches as this can cover four times more bottom than sonar. Also, this technology can see the structure in real life, not two dimensional like sonar.

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, 50’S BY CAPTAIN MARK SMITH, REEL TIME SERVICE

Lake Oconee is full, the water temperature is 52 to 57 degrees.  Over the past week we have had a lot of rain.  With all the rain and more to come this weekend the lake is very dirty.  That’s the nice way of saying there is a lot of trash floating as well as mud.  Up the rivers it is just red mud, all the way to the 44 bridge, then it is heavy stain until river bend.  After river bend it starts to clear a little.

Bass: Bass fishing is slow.  The best bite this week has come on the spoon fished on the humps and road beds on the south end of the lake.  Use your Lowrance to locate the fish on the sides of the humps and then drop a spoon into them.  You can also find some fish in the river bend area of the lake just of the river channel.  These fish will take a spoon also.  They will be as deep as 30ft.  Some of the bigger fish have come in this area.  Some fish are starting to show up under docks in the middle of the major creeks, like Lick Creek.  They are coming on jigs fished up under the docks very slow.

Striper: Striper fishing is fair.  The best fishing has been in the middle of the lake and in the afternoon, from Lick Creek to River Bend.  Use your Lowrance to locate the schools and you can catch them with spoons and live bait.  Some fishermen are using bass minnows but shad will also work.  The Lick Creek area of the lake is heavy stained and the bite is a little slower in the heavy stain.  As of this report the fish have not shown up at the dam yet.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  The fish have started to move into the creeks.  Spider rigging has been putting the fish in the cooler.  Match your color jig to the water color. Tip your jig with a minnow.  The big fish bite is here; now is the time to catch a 2+ pound fish.  Long lining has not been as productive as the spider rigging.

WEST POINT LAKE IS DOWN 4.6 FEET, STAINED & 50’S

Bass fishing is fair.  The lake is up and the fish are too.  Do not let stained water keep you from casting the bright Spro crank baits and find the bait in the creeks.  Sand and small rock hold a lot of heat so a few days of sunlight will get them shallow following the food.  Down lake, fish the main river channel with the Carolina rigs in 12 to 18 feet.  The Texas rigged and Carolina rigged plastics especially Zoom lizards, in ten to fifteen feet of water is working.  Both methods are excellent choices for catching bass this week.  A few bass are being more aggressive by attacking the banks and points with 1/2 ounce spinner baits and smaller crank baits.  Keep a Pearl Zoom Super fluke with no weight rigged all day.  Based on the Fish and Gamer Forecaster, the middle morning is good and there is a very good to excellent mid-afternoon feeding period this weekend.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.18 FEET, STAINED, 50’S

Bass fishing is good.  This lake can warm up fast.  These warmer days will fire up a lot of bait to start moving and the bass will be active also.  The bass will feed on their primary forage which consists of crawfish, bluegills, perch and small shad.  That keeps the bass relating to the cover with the bait around docks and any weed lines.  The bait will still be tightly schooled in small areas.  For that reason, it’s critical to use the Lowrance Side Scanning technology to find the balls of bait and you will see the bass hanging close to the structure even in less than 10 feet of water.  Scan out to 60 feet each way as you enter into the small coves and cuts this lake offers.  Use the jerk baits, spinnerbaits and crank baits as major players all day.

LAKE JACKSON IS DOWN 1.32 FEET, 50’S

Bass fishing is fair.  The warmer weather will get the bass active soon.  Though some new stained water is already coming in, the lower lake is clear.  Shallow crankbait fishing had been the predominant tactic and is still catching fish in stained areas.  Increased water clarity has concentrated bass in deeper water.  Deep Net Boy football jigs and vertical tactics, such as spoons and drop shot baits, have been producing quality bites.  Jerk baits also come into play with increased water clarity and a little wind.  In the stained water, fish can likely be found shallow on rocks and hard bottom.  Lake surface waters warming on the sunny days and some wind can put the shallow fish in a feeding mood.  Crank baits are the right reaction baits for covering shallow water on south to west facing rock and points.  Flat sided baits like a Little John or lipless baits can be good choices.  A Rapala #7 Shad Rap will work well.  The water color in different areas is right for fire tiger to pearl colored baits, depending on the degree of stain.  Based on the Fish and Gamer Forecaster, the middle morning to one pm is the best period this weekend.  After lunch, fishing will be slow. 

BIG LAZER PFA (More Information HERE):

  • Surface water temperature: 55o F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 28”
  • Water level: Full pool
  • Anglers remember Hypothermia can be a Killer so be safe out there! 

Bass:  Fair – February can be a tough month to fish for bass at Big Lazer because of the changing weather patterns.  But if stays cool, try to locate bait fish and work your lures slowly to produce a bite.  If the sun stays out and warms the water up, you may want to try more shallow areas of the lake as well. 

Crappie:  Fair – The water temperature is getting a little warmer, so the crappie will be making the move soon from deeper areas to shallower water for spawning.  Try casting brightly colored jigs up next to the bank and working them out slowly to find out where the fish are hanging out.  Also, while you’re casting one, put another line out with a minnow under a cork; try different depths to produce a bite.  Remember, only two poles per person are allowed! 

Bream & Channel catfish:  Still not hearing many reports on either of these species lately.  But if you need to just get out and wet a line, try hooking a worm on a smaller hook, attach a float at different depths to locate some fish.  Try some of the coves near Bunkham Road, or just kick back in your chair on the fishing pier.

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Information HERE)

  • Water temperature range across lakes: Approx. 55⁰.
  • Water Visibility: 16 – 54 inches

Bass: Bass are being caught in Willow and Bridge.  Several anglers have reported several bass in these lakes.  The shad have survived the winter and its cold weather so anglers should use a shad type lure.  Anglers also can match the forage like shiners, shad and goldfish to catch a big bass.  Lake Rod Bender, the trophy bass pond, is open year-round and anglers can harvest one bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer.  No reports of a keeper bass being caught in Rodbender, but a bass 22 inches is in the lake.

Bream: The PFA’s anglers have not reported catching bluegill or redear since last fishing report.

Channel Catfish:  Anglers have been catching channel catfish in Lake Clubhouse off the boat dock.  Channel catfish can be caught during winter months but they must be located in each lake. The Lakes Clubhouse, Breambuster and Willow have received some brood channel catfish that will add some surprises for MCDPFA’s anglers when they are caught this year.  Some of the area’s anglers have caught and released some of these large catfish.

Striped Bass: No reports of stripers being caught in Bridge Lake or Clubhouse.  Stripers are school feeders so if one striper is feeding they are all feeding.

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 fishing has picked up this week in ponds and lakes. Saltwater has been fairly slow, except sheepshead. The rivers are high from recent rains, except the St Marys. Crappie fishing at Paradise PFA has been crazy good for the big slabs. New Moon is February 15th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

The river is high, but folks have been fishing some. Heather at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that shad were netted in good numbers this week by commercial fishermen. Lots of channel catfish were caught with shrimp fished on limb lines. On Monday, an angler fishing with minnows for crappie from the bank was surprised with a nice channel catfish. Donald at Altamaha Park reported a good number of channel catfish caught by limb liners. Over the weekend, a group limb-lined more than 100 channel catfish and a few blue catfish using shrimp for bait. With the rising water, the crappie bite has slowed. The river level was 11.0 feet and rising at the Baxley gage, and 9.6 feet and rising (56 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on February 13th.

SATILLA RIVER

Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that fishing has been non-existent with the fast rise. When the river steadies, the catfish bite should fire off. The river level on February 13th at the Waycross gage was 11.2 feet and steady (59 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 8.9 feet and rising.

ST. MARYS RIVER

The fishing has picked up this week east of the U.S. 1 Bridge. Bream and redbreasts were caught with worms fished on the bottom. Catfish have also eaten the pink worms and rooster livers. The river level at the MacClenny gage on February 13th was 9.0 feet and falling.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

I have not received any reports from the swamp. The high water has probably put the bite off some, but it should pick up as the water level stabilizes and starts to fall. The boat basins at both the Folkston and Fargo entrances provide excellent bank fishing accesses.

LOCAL PONDS

A couple anglers whacked both bass and crappie on Saturday from a Waycross area pond. They had 15 crappie up to 15 inches (1 3/4 pounds). Their crappie ate minnows suspended under a float. They also had 32 bass up to 4 1/2 pounds. Almost all of their fish ate a midnight blue colored Keitech Mad Wag worm. Chad Lee put it on them Friday, catching a dozen bass up to 5.2 pounds. Jerkbaits and ‘Ol Monster worms accounted for his fish. On Saturday, he and Daniel Johnson fished an Alma area pond and landed 30 bass. The biggest was 4 pounds, and most of their fish ate Texas-rigged Christie Craws. The larger female bass have stayed offshore so far, but the males have moved shallow. The biggest bass I heard of this week was a 12-pounder. Pickerel were tearing it up on Saturday in blackwater ponds. A group of anglers caught 25 pickerel and several bass on plastic worms. At the same lake another angler caught a nice pickerel on a Keitech Noisy Flapper topwater. The pickerel are getting active in the shallow, weedy lakes. Michael Winge said that the crappie bite was on fire this week. Anglers fishing minnows provided the best reports.

PARADISE PUBLIC FISHING AREA (NEAR TIFTON)-More Info HERE

It’s impressive how many big, slab crappie have been landed from the area. I know of several angler award fish (2 pounds or larger) caught this week. Several of the biggest fish caught this week weighed 2-lb, 10-oz, 2-lb, 4oz, and 2-pound even. About half ate minnows and half ate jigs, and they have been caught in several different ponds on the area. The Horseshoe series and Lake Patrick have been the most productive for the trophy-sized fish. Bream fishing picked up with the warmer weather. Two groups of anglers limited out on bluegills. Bass fishing has been good as the fish move toward the hill to think about spawning, but the crappie have stolen the spotlight recently.

DODGE COUNTY PUBLIC FISHING AREA (NEAR EASTMAN)-More Info HERE

The crappie bite has been very good for anglers fishing both minnows and jigs. Most of the fish are in the 11 to 13 inch range, but most anglers are picking up a 1 1/2 to 2-pound fish or two each trip. Expect the fish to start moving shallow over the next couple of weeks.

BANKS LAKE (NEAR LAKELAND)

A group of 4 anglers fished the drawn down lake out of kayaks on Saturday morning and landed 20 bass up to 4 pounds. The fish were very active, and you could catch them on about whatever baits you wanted. Texas-rigged crayfish produced the most fish. Remember, bass are catch-and-release only right now.

LAKE SEMINOLE

Greg Jeter and Steve Phillips won Saturday’s Reel Money Team Trail tournament out of Big Jim’s with 21.03 pounds of bass. The pair caught their fish on Rat-L-traps and plastic worms.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

Sheepshead bit well inshore over the weekend. A group caught several in the 5 pound range. Shrimp suspended under a Cajun Thunder Float produced a limit of trout and some redfish in the Hampton River area. Jigs also produced some trout and redfish in the St. Simons area. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that whiting and redfish were caught from the pier. Finger mullet produced bull redfish at night. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.

BEST BET

For a big crappie, your best bets are Paradise or Dodge Public Fishing Areas this weekend. Some big female bass should move toward the shallows this weekend, and you should be able to fool them with a spinnerbait, jig, or big swimbait. Shallow ponds will be the first ones where the females move up, so keep that in mind. In saltwater, sheepshead are your most consistent bet.

NORTH GEORGIA

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

North Georgia Fishing Report – The Great Recession: No, not the economy; it’s the WATER!  Wow, what a week of rainfall, which ranged from about seven to nine inches across north Georgia.  Our streams were the highest I’ve seen in several years, while reservoirs have added several feet of elevation from all of that heavy rainfall in their watersheds now, before the spring vegetation starts soaking up those rains and puts a dent in the runoff.  After the great flood, we are now hoping for the Great Recession. Many areas were unfishable and some of the larger rivers still are, but those savvy folks with Plan B’s in their back pockets will still have a chance to wet a line between raindrops this week.  Trouters should watch the small streams, small lakes (Vogel, Black Rock, Nancytown, Rock, and Ami Park), and tailwaters right below big dams (Lower Pool on Hooch and Tammen on Toccoa) as best bets for clear water and reachable fish.  The Great Recession will happen quicker on small streams draining smaller watersheds, while it can take a week or longer on big drainage basins like the Chattooga and Toccoa.

On the reservoirs, watch for what we call the “mudlines,” those zones of murky waters in between the blood-red runoff and the clear main lake.  That color (turbidity) absorbs a lot of the sun’s rays, warms, and then attracts shad and herring.  That color also allows predators to hide and then ambush unsuspecting shad.  When conducting our annual spring electrofishing samples or Morone (the striper and white bass genus) collections, those mudlines are hotspots.  On Tuesday evening (2/13) the Hooch arm of Lanier was fairly clear at Highway 53, but yoohoo at Highway 60, so the mudline might be in the vicinity of the Sardis ramp this week.   Watch the turbidity levels for at least a foot or two of visibility, check water temps, and watch your graphs for bait balls.  That combination, along with some herons and gulls, should put you on some nice spots, largemouth, stripers, and hybrids in our north Georgia reservoirs this spring.  For example, see Scott’s Hartwell report, below.    Additionally, this misty rain and fog will often keep predators in the shallows much longer than a bright sun and bluebird sky.   Don’t forget the tips in last week’s report, and even the DNR fishing reports from the springs of 2017 and 2016.  Take some time to scroll backward, and that homework may fill your nets going forward.

LAKE LANIER

striper 31lb Lanier 2-12-18 smallLanier Whopper: This 40” 31 lb striper (photo to left) was caught 2/10/18 while flat lining a medium shiner. You have Frank’s permission to publish the picture if you want to. Stay dry! Terry Richards (Sherry’s Bait & BBQ)

Crappie: (This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club) -Water temperatures are in the low to mid 50’s.  That is 10 degrees higher than last week.  The backs of the creeks are heavily stained, and that is where you find the warmest water temps.  The lake level went up about a foot in the past week, and the floating debris is abundant all over the lake making navigation hazardous.  Be careful, as some logs are water logged and below or even with the water surface.  Fishing conditions have improved, but the number one question I get asked is “where is the bait?”  A handful of creeks are showing signs of bait.  Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the bait that survived the cold are hanging in the channels in deep water, up to 110 foot depths.  Sooner than later, the bait will shallow up.  With the trash floating and wedged in docks, we are having a hard time getting our jigs past the trash to sink – it is very challenging.  But homeowners had to bring their docks in with the rising lake levels, and some of the brush piles that are usually underneath the docks are now on the outer edges of the docks.  Take advantage of those locations as they are much easier to fish.  With these water temperatures, you can’t help but think the pre-spawn is here.  The crappie are looking for food and are shallowing up for the spawn.  Darker jigs are still recommended in moderate to heavily stained water.  Fishing should get easier over the next few weeks, so get out on the water, enjoy the warmer weather and catch some fish!   Stay safe on the water and wear your life jacket!

Lanier Crappie Clubs: Join one, get in on their late-breaking intel, and load up your cooler with crappie this spring.  It’s fixing to break wide open very soon! Lanier Crappie Anglers; North Georgia Crappie Anglers

Bass: 4 Fun Reports to Share

  • Report #1: Yesterday on Lanier I begged and begged. Finally, three spots succumbed to my trickery. Somehow I still felt defeated! They all hit the shiner soft bait. Upper lake is badly stained at Little River and Wahoo Creek. Had to drop the bait on their nose to get a bite. Wally W.
  • Report #2
  • Report #3
  • Report #4: (This report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley – Jimbo on Lanier) – Well the conditions on the lake are once again changing!  The rain we have been receiving has jumped the lake up another 2 feet since last week’s report and we stand at just a little more than a foot down from full pool, a level we have not seen in well over a year.  The backs of the major creeks are heavy stained to muddy, and the main lake below Brown’s Bridge is still clear. The waters above Brown’s Bridge seem to be carrying more of a stain.  The water temps are on the rise in the areas where that have received the recent warmer rains – we found 50-54 degree water back in some of the pockets and ditches this week.   We switched our focus to shallow this week based on the changing lake conditions.  The rising and warming water got some fish moved up in the shallows in the backs of creeks and pockets.  A chatterbait and a jerkbait were two of our best options this week in those areas carrying some stain.  Most of the fish have been coming around those shallow docks, but little rocky points are holding fish as well. Focus on water 15 feet deep and less for this pattern.  The timber edges in and around 30- 40 feet are still holding fish as well.  Hit these with a Picasso Shake Down Head and worm combo.  We have been dropping directly on the fish we are seeing on the Lowrance electronics.  Casting in these areas can also be effective, but the drop down has been best, targeting specific fish we see on the graph. A drop shot is also working on these deeper fish – I have been favoring minnow imitations lately, like a fluke. The spoon bite is still there on some days as well, so make sure to keep that in your arsenal and ready for action.  It just depends on the day, so be flexible in your choices. The steeper rock points and banks on the main lake and in the creeks have been productive at times also.  The Picasso Shake Down head/green pumpkin worm combo along with a Chattahoochee Jig have done well in these areas.  We have been presenting these baits very slowly in these steep rock areas.  Look for the fish to be shallower in these areas on sunny days, and deeper on cloudy days.  When the wind is up, try your SPRO Little John DD on the rocks as well for some fish.  Don’t expect a lot of bites, but some good ones.  Don’t miss the opportunity to throw a SuperSpin in the same places as well. Also of interest, in the afternoons of sunny days, we have found some biting fish in smaller, shorter pockets close to deep water.  These fish have been in 15-25 feet and often around docks. Look for the areas that are protected from a north wind and get lots of sun.  This pattern is just like an early spring pattern, so think in those terms as you pursue it.  Sun and warming water is the key.   It’s still a great time to learn the deep winter bite and really learn the keys to catching fish when the bite is tougher. While the catch rates for trips this time of year is not as good as others, I believe the learning opportunities are at their best right now.  And don’t forget, that fun pre-spawn bite is just around the corner, so reserve your date now!  Following is a list of my upcoming open February:  21, 23, 24, 26, 28.  Give me a call and let’s get out and learn these deep winter fish as well as the early pre-spawn bite!

LAKE HARTWELL

Fresh Hartwell Report: I have fished Hartwell the past couple of weekends. This past weekend the backs of the creeks were somewhat muddy from the recent rains but midway down most of the creek arms the water clears up.  Once you get out of the muddy water, where you find shad, you can find a mixed bag of stripers, hybrids, spotted bass, and largemouth feeding on them.  When the fish are active they will hit small crankbaits pulled through the shad.  This time of year with the colder water they seem to like the flat-sided shad imitation baits and those with a tight wiggle, like Shad Raps or Strike King KVD models.   The best action is when you find shad up close to shore or on humps or points that create ambush opportunities. Scott Robinson, Field Operations Manager, GAWRD- Fisheries Headquarters

CARTERS LAKE

Stripers and Hybrids: (Striper and hybrid report provided by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service, 770 827-6282) -Fishing has been good for big fish. Carters has never been known for numbers, but it is known for big fish of all species. This past week, my clients have boated and lost some monster stripers. We’ve fished a limited schedule this past month due to the cold weather, but still boated four fish from 21 to 24 pounds and lost some really big ones too. The key to Carters this year is shad. Every year, these fish seem to hit one bait better than the other. Last year it was alewife, the year before trout, but this year shad is king. The downline bite is by far the best bite, with limited action on planer boards and free-lines this year.  Downlines fished from 50 to 80 feet over bait are working best.  Most of the action we are getting on is right at sun-up.  All the main creeks are holding fish. The bigger your shad, the better. Remember, you’re not going to load the boat, but some true trophies are biting right now.

Bass: (Bass fishing report courtesy of Louie Bartenfield, 706-218-6609) –Water temps 48-52, lake level: +10ft over pool, clarity: still good throughout most of the lake, but heavily stained in river & behind beach area (Johnson Creek).  Spotted Bass are still following big schools of alewife throughout the lower to mid lake sections. These fish are roaming in 25-50ft depths over creek channels, but will occasionally stage near a bluff or ditch. If you run into them you can catch a few fish quick, but they’re shutting off fast. Drop shots, jigging spoons and Spotsticker Underspins have been my best producers for these fish. With the recent rains and high water, I have been finding a few fish shallow as well, which has been refreshing. I’ve been dragging jigs and casting crank baits around the flooded wood. The bites are few and far between, but you can run around and catch some this way. Looking forward to the warmer weather & longer days just around the corner. Good luck out there!

LAKE ALLATOONA

(This Lake Allatoona fishing guides report for stripers and hybrids has been brought to you exclusively by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service, 770 827-6282) – Lineside fishing is fair. The cold weather triggered a major shad kill. This kill is the biggest we have seen in a few years. The good news is it hit quick and should be a shorter kill then we have seen in past year. There is still a bite out there, but nothing like we had back in December. We are catching fish on many different techniques. Early in the morning we are doing well using shad on planner board, free lines and even down lines.  Where getting a bite or two right at sun up. By 930am the live bait bite really slows down. This is when you want to swap over to your U-Rigs. The U-rig bite is the strongest bite going right now. I have been doing very well pulling my rigs between 930am -1pm mid lake. The key to catching these fish is your speed – 2.5 miles an hour has been the best for me. The shad kill will make fishing a little difficult for the next couple of weeks, but it should really make for a great spring…

MORE NEWS

North GA Walleye: Walleye anglers are secretive because this is a target for harvest, but some sketchy reports are trickling in to biologists Pat and Anthony about northeast reservoir fish starting to move uplake, toward their spawning grounds.

Ken’s Reservoir Reports: “Catch” his Friday updates HERE 

Cap’t Clay’s Latest: Check it out HERE

Blue Ridge Smallies: I wonder if these folks follow our DNR fishing reports? If so, then they would have watched our efforts as they happened.   Armuchee fisheries biologist John Damer (706-295-6105) is our lead on this sport fish restoration program in Blue Ridge Lake.

Noname River: Check HERE 

TROUT

Hooch Tailwater: Check out news HERE and HERE

 

 

Smith DH: Check out the following 2 reports:

  • Report #1: It’s raging here at 9 am on Monday, 2/12.  Careful anglers can stay on theSmith DH flood pic2 2-12-18 bank and dredge big squirmies and stoneflies in the few bankside eddies available. Nobody should wade it right now.  Better yet, watch the USGS Hooch Helen gauge to see when flooded streams drop back to tolerable flow levels. Right after typing the above, I ran into “Savannah Stan,” who was bank fishing. He had already landed eleven trout by tossing big squirmies into bankside eddies.  Not a bad way to start his day! -Dredger
  • Report #2: Click HERE

Summerville grade RBT fingerlings Feb 2018Making Rainbows after the Rain: Wildlife Resources Division staff at the Summerville Fish Hatchery recently graded the first batch of Rainbow Trout fingerlings hatched during the 2018 fiscal year. Grading is the process of separating fingerlings by size; this reduces cannibalism by larger fish as well as maximizing growth for the smaller fish of the hatch. Assistant Hatchery Manager Danny Edwards (pictured) uses a bar grader to separate the larger fingerlings to be moved to an outside raceway. After a short grow-out period in the outside raceway the Rainbow Trout will then be transported to either Burton or Buford Hatcheries for grow-out to stocking size. (Ed. Note: this is the first fishing report by our newest addition to the Summerville crew, Fisheries Tech 2 Eric Wittig.  He’s been well educated at Auburn U. and well trained by the U.S. Marines, where he still serves in its reserves.  Thanks Eric!)

Trout Stockings: We still have to make some room at the hatcheries for lots of sub-catchable fish and also the new arrivals, small fingerlings from our egg-hatching facilities.  Watch HERE on Fridays for the streams stocked that week. And, have you clicked yet on that map link in there?  Don’t miss that “goody” from our GIS staff.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Good luck finding water that’s low and clear enough to fish.  Hey, high water still beats the heck out of historic droughts and catastrophic forest fires, so we can, indeed, be thankful and patient together.  After the recession, let’s all go fish Georgia, once again!

 

 

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