Can you name your favorite fishing spot? Favorite fishing partner? Favorite species to pursue? NO? You better get those questioned answered this year. That, my friend, is important stuff to know.

Now, on to our reports. Today, we bring you reports from Central and Southeast Georgia. Enjoy and be sure to Go Fish Georgia!

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 FULL, CLEAR, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  This is a great summer-time lake with little boat traffic and lots of fish.  The bass are cruising the banks and on the ends of points.  They are shallow around any wood so cast baits to shadows all day.  Use a gourd-green Zoom u tail worm 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 use the Sluggos with a glass rattle in it and throw it on the bank.  A Zoom green pumpkin Trick worm will work almost all day. Work the brush and wood on the banks and the fish are on the shady corners.  Up the river the fishing is good and use a 1/2 ounce Stanley spinner bait and add a Zoom Fluke pearl trailer.  Use Zoom worms in the u tail style in red bug worked slowly on wood and rocks on the points.

CLARKS HILL IS FULL, 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  The shallow bite is good running and gunning pockets with a bone Mann’s Baby 1 Minus and a 3/8 ounce chartreuse and white spinnerbait.  If you get multiple fish from one pocket turn around and fish it slow with a green pumpkin Trick worm.  Some of the good fish are coming from the thickest areas of grass so make sure you have the right line to get a big fish out.  Use the 40-pound Sufix braid with a 4 foot leader of 20 pound Sufix fluorocarbon to get them out of the grass.  Later in the month on the next full moon look for the shad spawn bite to kick in.  Target hard bottom rocky points and flats with a bone Rapala Skitter Walk or white Lunker Lure white buzz bait.

LAKE OCONEE IS DOWN 1 FOOT, 70’S+

(Oconee Report Comes from Captain Mark Smith of Reel Time Guide Service)

  • Lake Oconee is full
  • The water temperature is 79-84.
  • Stained up the rivers, the main lake is clear. Richland Creek is clear.

Bass: Bass fishing is fair.  The buzz bait bite is producing the first hour of daylight. White/chartreuse seems to be the best all around.  Keep a trick worm tied on and if a fish misses a buzz bait follow it with the trick worm.  Small crank baits fish in the same areas will also be good producers.  There is also a worm bite under docks and around wood structure.

Striper: Striper fishing is good.  Start looking in the usual post spawn locations, humps and points up the lake up from the dam.  The down line bite has been the best bet and you will need shad.  Most of the fish seem to be around 20 to 30 feet deep.  The umbrella rig bite is also starting to produce on some of the lower lake humps and points.  You can also use the Minnie Mack umbrella rig trolled off of points and humps.

Crappie: Crappie fishing is good.  Long lining has been the best producer over the past week.  Any jig color will work as long as it has chartreuse in it.  The fish are deep so you need to make sure you are getting your bait down to the fish.  The best locations have been in the mouths of the creeks and big coves.

WEST POINT LAKE IS FULL, STAINED & 70’S

Bass fishing is good.  The fishing has been fair early and late.  Look for the early bite to be in major creeks on and around points.  Start the day with the Zara Spooks and the Pop R lures in the shad pattern.  The all white Zoom trick with the tail dipped in a red dye works on the wood and around the docks as long as the sun has not hit the banks.  After the sun is high, the bass move to the natural deep structure and the anglers that can fish to 17 feet will catch a few midday fish.  Be sure to make a lot of casts and cover a lot of water until the sun is up.  Once the sun hits the water it’s not a bad idea to head up both rivers.  Use the Stanley spinner baits with double Colorado blades in copper and silver. The skirts should be white and chartreuse and make casts right to the wood and stumps in the middle creeks.  Cast into the center of the creeks instead of on the bank.

LAKE SINCLAIR IS DOWN 1.48 FEET, STAINED, 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  There are still a good number of fish in less than 5 feet of water.  Fishing small crank bait like a ¼ ounce Rat L Trap or a #5 Shad Rap would be a good choice.  Fishing a Texas rig worm right on the sea wall will also bring you a few fish.  You need to cast right next to the sea wall as these fish are very shallow.  There has been a few areas of the lake where the shad have started to spawn so be on the lookout for these area.  Put a Zoom Super Fluke on and run the banks and cast this pearl bait right on the bank.  Snap it up to the surface and work it back fast and hold on.  Use the Lowrance Point 1 antenna to get the best and most accurate GPS coordinates.  The Lowrance Structure Scan technology can spot the bait schools close by and then you and can see the bass close by.

LAKE JACKSON IS 1.13 FEET OVER FULL, 70’S+

Bass fishing is fair.  Sea walls and docks are the targets for the month.  Small green or motor oil worms or live bait around these main lake spots is the best bet.  Day time fishing is slow but try the points on the main lake with a small Zoom finesse worms in greens on a Texas rig and try the Weedless Wonder head.  The fish are active early evening on the points.  If all else fails, Zoom pearl Super Flukes and Shad Raps are the backup baits. 

BIG LAZER PFA (More Info HERE)

  • Surface water temperature: 80o F
  • Water visibility: Visibility is about 25”
  • Water level: Full Pool
  • Road Alert Notice: The road was washed out just past the dam during recent flooding. The Flint River, Big Lazer Creek, Camping Areas, and Shooting Range can only be accessed by using the entrance off Rising Sun Rd.
  • Night Fishing is Open Through September 30TH.

Bass:  Good– Sizeable catches of bass have been reported lately.  The bass are feeding in shallower water during the night and early morning hours then moving out some during the heat of the day, so try casting top water lures near bream bedding areas for the more aggressive fish and later on in the day try deeper running crank baits near underwater structure to attract some suspended fish action.

Crappie:  Poor – Haven’t heard of many catches lately, but now the lake is open for night fishing, so get your light set-up out and try sinking some minnows near the standing timber to get an ol’ slab to strike.  Remember, only two poles per person are allowed!

Bream:  Good – Bream are bedding now, so all around the lake fish will be in shallower water.  Try worms, crickets, or small spinner-type lures to entice a bite.    Remember to use small hooks for the bream because they have tiny mouths.  Fishing for bream is a great way to introduce young anglers to the sport, so get a kid or two and take them fishing!  Kids under 16 do not need a license, but those under 14 must remain under your supervision.

Catfish:  Good – We’ve seen a few good sized ones caught lately.  Try anchoring out near the channel in the upper end of the lake and send down some liver, shrimp or stink bait near the bottom.  Also, the rip rap along the dam is a good spot for summer-time cats.  Same thing for night anglers, but please take caution motoring around in the dark (IDLE SPEED ONLY), lots of old tree tops are just below the surface!

MCDUFFIE PFA (More Info HERE)

  • McDuffie Public Fishing Area: Lake Temperature lakes at 81 ⁰
  • Water Visibility: 22 – 54 inches
  • The Fish Cleaning Station is open but not working/ operational.
  • Night Fishing started May 1st until September 30th. Jones Lake is the only lake open to night fishing on McDuffie PFA.  All parking is outside of MCDPFA main gate at Jones Lake.

Bass: Bass fishing is Hot! A kayak angler reported catching two largemouth bass weighing 5 and 7 pounds in Lake Willow using a Spiderman Kiddie pole in a tournament.  One of the fish pulled him across the upper lake during the battle.  This angler easily won the small challenge pot.  McDuffie PFA hosted Heroes on the Water this past Saturday on Lake Willow.  They had a large turnout.  Bass anglers are watching for the bass feeding on shad during early mornings and late evenings and following the bass around Lake Willow.  Several anglers are using Finesse worms and fishing them slowly, while other anglers are using Jerk baits in shad patterns.  Anglers are using spinners and shaky-head jigs with worm. Lake Rod Bender, the trophy bass pond, is ope n year-round and anglers can harvest one Bass (22) twenty-two inches in length or longer. Bass action remains spotty.

Bream: Action has heated up. Anglers are catching bluegill and redear fishing worms on the bottom around structure near the shoreline in Bridge Lake, Jones Lake, Willow Lake and Breambuster.

Channel Catfish:  Catfish are still biting well.  The catfish action has been very steady with anglers catching catfish in every lake except Rodbender. Jones Lake is still producing eating-size catfish but no trophies. Speckled-catfish a.k.a. bullheads are located in Willow and Clubhouse mainly. The old 6E that is located on the East-side of Willow also has a good speckled catfish population.

Striped Bass: Anglers are catching stripers in Bridge Lake by fishing with chicken liver on the bottom.  The stripers will continue to feed during spring and summer but mostly during low light or cooler periods of the day.

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

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

Saltwater and pond fishing were the best bites this week. The Okefenokee is still high, but fishing was good. Rivers are dropping out to fishable levels again. New Moon is June 13th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website HERE.

ALTAMAHA RIVER

The recent high water has kept most anglers off the big river, but those who went did well. Heather at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported a great mullet bite. Lots of the tasty fish were seen jumping and many were caught from the sandbars with green wigglers. Channel catfish were also caught. Donald at Altamaha Park said that mullet were the big news this week. Red wigglers were the deal in the lower river. The flathead, blue and channel catfish bites were also good. Goldfish were the top bait. The river level was 9.8 feet and falling at the Baxley gage, and 10.5 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on June 12th.

SATILLA RIVER

Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that the catfish bite has turned on in the upper Satilla. Shrimp and rooster livers have produced best. The river is still too high for prime panfishing, but it should be fishable for the feisty battlers in a week or so if we don’t get more heavy rains. The river level on June 12th at the Waycross gage was 9.0 feet and falling (78 degrees), and the Atkinson gage was 12.1 feet and falling.

ST. MARYS RIVER

The Shady Bream Tournament Trail will hold a Dylan Browning benefit tournament this Saturday, June 16th, out of Traders Hill Ramp. There will be both live bait and artificial only categories for this tournament. Check out the tournament trail on Facebook for more information on this event or their usual artificials-only panfish tournaments. Carley at Okefenokee Sportsman in Folkston said that big bream were biting crickets. Creels were in the 20 to 25 fish per boat this week. Catfish were also plentiful for anglers fishing shrimp or rooster livers on the bottom. The river level at the MacClenny gage on June 12th was 6.6 feet and rising.

OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

Buck Johnson fished out of the Folkston entrance twice this week. On Friday he caught 10 warmouth (4 he kept) and a catfish. On Monday, he had 21 warmouth (kept 11 of them). All of his fish were caught by jigging trees for about 4 hours in the morning. Other anglers reported catching warmouth and bream on crickets and worms. The bite has been pretty good for as high as the water level is after the tropical storm a couple of weeks ago.

LOCAL PONDS

Chad Lee has been putting it on the bass over the last couple of weeks with a wacky rigged worm. His biggest this weekend was a 5-pounder, and he had a couple of them that size. He even had a giant catfish that ate the slow-sinking worm. A few of his bass ate a toad. Wyatt Crews and Scout Carter fished a Waycross area pond for bass on Monday evening and night. They caught fish on lots of different lures, but Keitech Mad Wag worms and watermelon haze buzzbaits were tops for them. Michael Winge said that in Waycross area ponds, bass were chowing topwater frog and buzzbaits fished around lily pads. The nighttime bite is starting, so you may want to stay a little into the dark and fling buzzbaits for a trophy bass.

SALTWATER (GA COAST)

SEGA Ed Zmarzly Tarpon 6 8 18 cropped
Ed Zmarzly fooled this 90-lb.class tarpon with an artificial lure on Friday while fishing at the St. Marys Jetties.

Ed Zmarzly and Justin Bythwood fished the St. Marys Jetties on Friday, and Ed landed a 90-pound tarpon on an artificial. They also had 2 jack crevalle up to 5 pounds and 5 bluefish. On Saturday a group of anglers fished the St. Marys Jetties and caught 5 trout up to 17 inches, a keeper redfish on a Sea Shad and Jetty Jig, 3 Spanish mackerel, 4 ladyfish, and a couple jack crevalle. Jim Page, his son Garrett, and Daniel Malcomb fished the flats off Jekyll Island on Friday and landed 19 tripletail using live shrimp. It was one of those magical days when all you had to do was get it close to them and they would inhale it. They’re fickle fish, as I’ve been there when they turn up their noses at even a perfect cast. The flounder bite at the Jekyll Pier has started. Steve Hampton landed a few flounder recently. The largest was a 21-incher (6 pounds) that ate a mudminnow for him on Saturday. That one fish was big enough to make 2 meals for his wife and him. I wrote an article for Georgia Outdoor News about Crooked River State Park and fishing in the area. Check it out in the June issue if you are interested in the details. Mike and Trish Wooten of St. Simons Bait & Tackle said that whiting, croaker, a few black drum, trout flounder, redfish, and sharks were caught from the pier over the weekend. On Sunday a group of Waycross anglers caught a few whiting and sharks. They saw other folks catch several flounder up to 16 inches and lots of whiting. Blue crabs were caught in good numbers under the pier. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE. .

BEST BET

Saltwater and ponds will likely be your best options this weekend. In saltwater, flounder, whiting, sharks, tarpon, and redfish are all good bets, but the tripletail are still biting, as well. In ponds, you should be able to fool a bass with a topwater early and late. Once the sun gets up, find some bluegill beds shallow or fish offshore cover for bass and catfish. The Friends of Laura Walker State Park are holding a Kids’ Fishing Event at the park on Saturday (6/16) from 8-11 am. They will have lunch for the kids after the event.

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