Blake Yarbrough landed and released this monster redfish in the Sapelo Island area over the weekend. The redfish bite in the sounds will pick up as we move toward their fall spawning time.

Georgia Fishing Report: August 12, 2016

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Southwest Georgia

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant)

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing during the day is slowly improving.  A few bass are still attacking various styles of Shad Raps with the Glass and Jointed Shad Raps working well.  Change colors when the bass are small in size or the action gets slow.  A great place to find active bass is way up in the Savannah River. While in the moving water, use a small all-black buzz bait on a braid and work it right up next to any Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: August 12, 2016”

One of the peak bites during the dog days of summer is bowfin in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 29, 2016

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant) 

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing is fair and the fish are very scattered and they are roaming all day.  The fish are not on any particular structure as they just seem to be roaming the banks and humps.  There are lots of shad and the bass have plenty to eat and are not looking for artificial lures.  To catch them, head up the river and creek points for bass suspended in 15 to 18 feet of water.  Carolina rigs and worms and crank baits are Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 29, 2016”

Andrew Rich caught this big bluegill on Monday from the Altamaha River. A black/chartreuse Satilla Spin fished around willow trees fooled it.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 22, 2016

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Southwest Georgia

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

It’s still hot and dry, despite some increased storm frequency across the mountains last week.  The good news is that these brief storms cool off the streams a bit.  The bad news is that the benefits of higher, cooler stormflows are fleeting.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv?site_no=02330450

The BIG news this week came from one of the cleanup batters on the Hooch Tailwater.  These guys use big bats and swing for the fences.  They often strike out, but when they connect, it’s usually a homer, far back into the upper deck.  That happened on the Hooch tailwater, and the story of the big brown is in the first bullet, below.

Our summer pattern continues, so pick your preferences.  Remember to check USGS gauges first to avoid chocolate milk, aim for shade, and be slow and patient with your offerings.  “Warm” fish are slow to react in hot water, and will avoid the high sun if they suspect predators in their midst.  Despite the continuing heat wave, Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 22, 2016”

Daniel Hampton of Waycross caught this 8-pound bowfin in the Okefenokee Swamp on Tuesday. It inhaled a fire tiger Dura-Spin inline spinner.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 15, 2016

Central Georgia

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

 

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant)

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing is fair.  The fish are all small and they are moving around a lot.  Bass are roaming around in small schools from 6 to 10 fish and buzz baits will allow anglers to cover a lot of water fast.  The fish are moving to the points and creek bends especially mid to lower lake.  They are roaming on any wood all day and a crank bait cast through the wood will draw a strike and be sure to use bright colors.  Use the Rattle Back 1/2 ounce jig and a larger Pro Pork Trailer by Uncle Josh on the points.  The crank bait and spinner baits cast on the bank cover and slowly worked will get strikes.  Mid-day spinner baits down lake in the creeks are fair on cover using Stanley spinner baits with bright blades.  Later look for shallow strikes as the bass move to the creek banks and points during the day.

Clarks Hill (down 2.62 feet, 80’s) – Black bass are tight on creek bends down lake as well as main lake points.  The fish are biting but all presentations will need to be close to any wood and around docks.  Use the Zoom gourd green worm on a Texas rig in the tight bank cover.  Up the creeks, use a dark jig and pig combination and fish tight in any cover right on the bank.  The Lunker Lure Rattle Back jigs in the 3/8 ounce size in dark reds and blacks with a matching #11 Uncle Josh trailer will be best.  Add Real Craw scent and use it often casting to the same location.  Use a Leverage all white buzz bait and the spinner baits with willow leaf and Colorado blades in tandem on the wood and docks.  Be sure the skirts are bright colors in lime, white and chartreuse. Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 15, 2016”

Don Harrison of Waycross caught this oversized redfish from Crooked River on July 4th while casting a Sea Shad suspended under an Equalizer Float.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 8, 2016

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

 The heat continues and so do fair-weather anglers’ perceptions of limited fishing opportunities. Sure, it isn’t as easy nor as comfortable as April and May, but there’s plenty of summer fun to be found by “picnicking” in the right spots at the right times.  These include daytime river float trips that combine fishing and swimming, dawn boat launches on local lakes, midnight jugging for catfish, early morning hikes along high elevation trout streams, dusk canoeing around pond perimeters, and evening wades through our favorite bass shoals.  There’s still plenty of daylight to accommodate the entire range of north Georgia anglers, from early risers to nighthawks, so plan a picnic for the time and place that will make your summer vacation times memorable.  We sure are.  After all, when we slip and fall in right now, who cares?  We dry out in ten minutes!

Grab your bug spray, nylon fishing attire, and sunglasses, and give it a go.

  • Black and White for Bass

Dredger’s had a lot of fun with evening wet-wading trips for river bass of many flavors, from shoals and spots in-state, to redeyes on the eastern border, to smallies just to our north.  He’s touting the successful contrast of “black and white for success.”  During daylight hours he’s Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 8, 2016”

David Burgess of Nahunta caught this keeper trout out of Blythe Island Regional Park on Sunday before the storms. The trout bite should be good over the holiday weekend.

Georgia Fishing Report: July 1, 2016

Central Georgia

Southeast Georgia

Central Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Steve Schleiger and region Fisheries staff; Reservoir Fishing Reports Courtesy of Southern Fishing with Ken Sturdivant)

Lake Russell (full, clear, 80’s) – Bass fishing is fair.  The bass are mostly small spots.  The small Shad Raps in shad patterns and blue back are working and use light 8-pound test Sufix line.  Fish for spots with smaller baits and anything green in a soft plastic is  a spotted bass favorite.  Fish the dam area and work the shallow ledges.  Use Poe’s 400 Cedar Shad crank baits and large u tail worms.  The larger worms will take the better fish and get the smaller fish out of the way.  Black and other dark colors are working and add some red dye with crawfish scent on the tail end of the worm.  Night fishing around lighted docks down lake with a June bug Zoom trick worm is fair and use a tiny weight.

Clarks Hill (down 1.7 feet, 80’s) – Bass fishing is fair.  Several baits and patterns are Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: July 1, 2016”

trout rbt on caddis IDBIS Ck Sautee June 2016

Add-on to Georgia Fishing Report: June 24, 2016

North Georgia

Trout Fishin’ July 4

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

It’s been a tough June up here for fish habitat, especially of the coldwater persuasion.  The hot, dry weather has streamflows way down, temperatures spiking, and both fish and fishers uncomfortable.  We need some decent rainfall to recharge our trout streams and cool off our hatchery inflows!

On the positive side, the low water continues to afford some great wade and kayak fishing opportunities for river fans, so grab your bass rod and float the Hooch, Coosa, Etowah, or Chestatee.  Reservoir fishing is also good for those dedicated souls who go early or late to avoid the sun and skiers.

For some more positive news, enjoy the following fish stories and photos that focus on our young anglers.  There are a lot of nice trip reports worth sharing, so here they are: Continue reading “Add-on to Georgia Fishing Report: June 24, 2016”

Justin Bythwood (left) and Timothy Deener of Waycross show off two of the 36 channel catfish they caught by “jugging” with pool noodles on Saturday. Their catfish ate little pieces of bluegill.

Georgia Fishing Report: June 24, 2016

Southeast Georgia

Southwest Georgia 

Southeast Georgia

(Info provided by Fisheries biologist Bert Deener)

The less-than-glamorous fisheries, such as catfish and bowfin (mudfish) are firing on all cylinders as the temperatures rise. Expect that to continue with the triple-digit temps expected late this week. In ponds, bream fishing is very good. Saltwater is getting good for trout on the beach and flounder in the sounds and inland waters. Last quarter moon is June 27th. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

Altamaha River – The bream and mullet bites are firing off as the water level and temperatures get right. Most anglers are making average catches of several bream, redbreasts, and warmouth per trip, but those who have the river figured out are catching some good messes of fish right now. One angler whacked the crappie out of Jaycees Landing this week. He caught a limit of half-pound crappie on minnows. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle said that catfish of all species, bream, and mullet were caught in good numbers this week. She has mullet tackle in the store so check it out if you don’t know how to rig for mullet. Donna at Altamaha Park reported excellent numbers of eating-sized channel catfish. Pink worms fished on the bottom will get the job done. Mullet are thick and are eating red wigglers fished around sandbars. Crappie were caught with minnows, and bream and shellcrackers were numerous in creels (pink worms were the best bait for them). Flatheads up to 35 pounds were landed this week using goldfish for bait. The river level was 3.2 feet and falling (85 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 4.7 feet and rising (80 degrees) at the Doctortown gage on June 21st.

Satilla River – Craig James fished just ahead of the weekend front and whacked the bass in Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: June 24, 2016”

Dave Roland caught this 38-pound blue catfish using a bush hook in the Altamaha River. If caught on a rod and reel, the fish would have been the river record blue catfish. Great fish, Dave!

Georgia Fishing Report: June 17, 2016

East and West-Central Georgia Fishing Reports

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, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair.  Top water lures like the Zara Spook will work early and late but all the fish have been barely keepers.  Work around rocky points and bridges all day.  Use the green floating worm on a 2/0 Mustad offset worm hook around any structure.  Small crank baits have been fair on light line half-way back in the creeks.  Top-water action has been limited to the smaller fish in the mid-lake area around reef poles.  During the day fish the main river ledges and they are easy to find.  Concentrate on the channel poles all over the lake on these river ledges.  Use a large deep diving crank bait all day on light line.  Also, try a Carolina rigged finesse worm in motor oil and use a 3 foot leader.  Larger crank baits on the ledges and a good depth finder will be best all summer.  Find the heavy brush on the ledges and work them all day even in the heat.  Look for brush piles in the middle of the mouth of the creeks and at 15 feet of water drop a spoon on and over the brush. 

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 1.1 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is good.  Early in the day run the banks up lake with several styles of top-water lures.  Spinner baits, buzz baits and Zara Spooks have been taking bass and skip baits over the grass beds.  Top-water baits and even a grass rat in bright colors will work but use a heavy line to get the fish away from the hydrilla.  Senko’s and large fat-tailed grubs in bright colors including white and bream colors has been working.  The new Bass Pro Shops Stick O in the all-white and sherbet colors on a large Mustard 3/0 offset worm hook has been a new bait the fish have never seen.  Never overlook a #7 Shad Rap in shad and baby bass.  Also use the jointed Shad Rap and cast these baits on light line.  Most of the best fishing has been up the lake on the Georgia side.  Little River has been a good area all day long.  Continue to cast several baits on the same long sloping points.  The fish are there and it may take some effort to find out which bait and presentation they will bite.  A large Yamamoto grub has also been fair in white and bream colors. 

LAKE OCONEE IS FULL, THE LAKE IS CLEAR, TEMPRATURE 86-89

Bass fishing is good.  At first light fish a buzz bait on sea walls and rip rap from the middle of the coves and creeks to the back.  Then switch over to a spinner bait and fish the same areas.  White or white/chartreuse have been the best color.  Another good location has been fishing the grass with a frog.  Fishing a Carolina rig on the humps on the south end of the lake has also been producing over the past week.

Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: June 17, 2016”

AnglerAward_DylanBailey_10lbLMB_LakeBurton_06.01.16_adjusted

Georgia Fishing Report: June 3, 2016

North Georgia

Southeast Georgia

 

North Georgia

(Info provided by fisheries biologist Jeff Durniak and region fisheries staff)

 It’s summer vacation!!!  Well, at least for the kids, it is.  Judging by the stories and photos we’ve already received, a portion of our younger crowd got an early jump on vacation and celebrated with some awesome fishing trips. It gets even better this week because the first week of June is always National Fishing and Boating Week.

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/national-fishing-and-boating-week/.  This celebration brings with it two FREE fishing days for Georgia residents, the two Saturdays of June 4th and 11th.

http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/FreeFishingDays

Based on recent reports we’ve seen, anyone who wants to learn how to fish and catch a big one needs to simply borrow a KID for their fishing guide!  It’s been Kids’ Whopper Week around here, and we hope this trend continues right through the days ahead.  If you haven’t fished before, give it a try.

https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/

http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/KidTips

http://www.orvis.com/news/fly-fishing/teaching-teens-to-fly-fish

If you’re an angling veteran, here’s your chance to give a little back to the sport and invite a friend or neighbor fishing, or help a kid at one of these rodeos.  Continue reading “Georgia Fishing Report: June 3, 2016”