Georgia Fishing Report: August 11, 2017

The fishing news is flying to ya – check out the latest reports below from Southwest, Southeast, Central and North Georgia.

Hope to see you out on the water this weekend!

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

The bass fishing at Lake George has settled into the typical summer time pattern for this reservoir. Topwater for the first couple of hours of the day has been good but the action has slowing considerably once the sun is fully up. Frogs continue to be the popular bait in the shallows. Catfish fishing continue to be good and almost any type of bait seems to be working. Some anglers have good success this time of year anchoring on flats and using dog food inside an old onion bag to bait up the cats. Jug fishing is also a great way to relax and catch some dinner during the summer months. Most anglers use swimming pool noodles cut into one to two foot lengths for catching catfish with this technique. Please remember to keep track of your noodles or jugs and retrieve them when you are finished.

Click HERE to take you the Army Corps of Engineers website which has lots of useful information about access, fishing attractors, camping and more.

 

FLINT RIVER

The Lower Flint River continues to be higher and more turbid than usual. The wildlife Resources Division recently completed our annual standardized catfish electrofishing samples on the Lower Flint. The river above Lake Blackshear near highway 27 and the river section between Lake Worth and Abram shoals had both good numbers and big fish when compared to the other portions of the Lower Flint River sampled. Anglers should concentrate on deep holes during the daylight hours and areas immediately adjacent to these holes when fishing at night. Remember, flathead catfish prefer live fish for food and a large bream makes a great bait. Limb lines are another good technique for catching summer time flathead catfish. A reminder that striped bass fishing is closed in the lower Flint River and its tributaries from May 1 – October 31.

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Hunt and Learn Opportunities

        Hunt and Learn events give young hunters (ages 10-17) and their supervisors hands-on experience learning important skills and conservation knowledge. These classes are geared toward all experience levels and are set up in three tiers: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Every Hunt and Learn event accommodates all three experience levels. Classes include the basics of squirrel, deer, rabbit, quail, falconry or turkey hunting. Participants learn the biology and history of the animal and how to dress and care for harvested game.

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Georgia Fishing Report: July 28, 2017

Well, summertime is dwindling, so be sure to plan just a few more quick fishing trips with the kids before they get back to reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic. 

Smallmouth

Georgia saw the 3rd angler succeed in getting a Georgia Bass Slam. Jon Hummel (photo to left) caught a largemouth, shoal, smallmouth, redeye, and a spotted bass. Congrats Jon!! More on the Georgia Bass Slam HERE.

TomClifford

Tom Clifford sent us a pic of a 10.4 lb largemouth he caught (and later released) on an 8-inch bone-colored Bull Shad lure in a Valdosta-area lake. Nice one Tom!

Don’t let summer get away from you without at least one good fish tale to tell – see you out on the water!

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, 80’S

Bass fishing is fair as the water temperatures continue to rise.  Bass fishing is best first thing in the morning.  Use the Rebel Pop R in shad and use light 8 pound test Sufix Elite line.  Use the Strike King Square Bill Crankbait in sexy shad and 1.5 ounce.  Top-water baits and medium diving crank baits seem to be the favorite baits early and then the plastics take over as the day heats up.  Bass are moving up on the rocky points to feed by late afternoon.  A crawfish color is an excellent choice during these periods.  Try the new Spybait lures for the suspended fish.  Also use the Ito Vision 110 jerk baits, Chug Bugs and Glass Shad Raps.   Jig and pig combinations and plastic 6 inch worms will still work. Continue to fish shallow submerged wood cover and the rocks. The bigger rocks are usually producing the better bass.

CLARKS HILL IS DOWN 6.1 FEET, 80’S

Bass fishing is slow.  The Zoom blue pumpkin lizard on a Texas rig has been taking only a few small bass on deep docks and points up lake.  There is no really decent pattern on these fish with the hot water.  Use a trick worm in greens and skip cast the baits under and around docks up lake and then let the bait sink out of sight.  Try a jig in black or browns and a crawfish Uncle Josh trailer in matching colors can get strikes, but fish the baits slowly.  The only crank bait worth fishing is a Rapala DT 14 crank bait in hot mustard and shad.  Have the frog on a 50-pound braid ready all day.  Use a black bait so the fish can see shadow of the lure.  Add a glass rattle in the bait too.

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Gopher Tortoise - Kathleen Allen

A Day in the Life of a Gopher Tortoise Technician

Kathleen Allen is a seasonal staff member working with the DNR’s Nongame Conservation section.

When I tell people I work as a gopher tortoise technician, they either nod their heads knowingly or stare at me with a look that says, “I think I may have misheard you.” I have to explain a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) is the state reptile of Georgia, and my team, the Tortoise Crew—as we are affectionately known around the office—surveys lands suspected to have viable gopher tortoise populations. A viable population means there are enough individuals in the area to guarantee the survival of the population. An area needs, at minimum, 250 adult tortoises to be viable.

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Georgia Fishing Report: July 21, 2017

Don’t let the summer heat keep you from some great fishing! Southeast and North Georgia reports follow.

SOUTHEAST GEORGIA 

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

River, and ocean fishing has been great, even in the heat! Rains should give us extended fishing time in the rivers. Pond fishing has been consistent. New Moon is July 23rd. To monitor all the Georgia river levels, visit the USGS website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/rt.

Altamaha River – The river dropped out a little from its full-bank status last week and should be in decent shape for several species by the weekend. Catfish have been tops during the high water, but other species will start biting, especially in the backwaters. Connie at Jaycee Landing Bait and Tackle reported that catfish were biting well over the weekend. Some anglers were also reporting bream and shellcrackers. Donna at Altamaha Park said that channel catfish were tops this week, and shrimp and rooster livers produced well. Some mullet were caught (sandbars are hard to find at this level, but you can catch them from a boat). The river level was 5.4 feet and falling (84 degrees) at the Baxley gage, and 8.0 feet and falling at the Doctortown gage on July 18th.

Satilla River – Craig James floated the middle river this week and caught 10 big roosters pitching spiders. Michael of Winge’s Bait and Tackle in Waycross said that good-sized bass were caught with buzzbaits again this week. Bream and redbreasts ate Satilla Spins and topwater flies. Redbreasts were also caught with swamp spiders.  The river level July 18th at the Waycross gage was 5.0 feet and rising (82 degrees) and at the Atkinson gage was 4.4 feet and rising.

St. Marys River – Bream were caught from beds back in the creeks and sloughs. Catfish were caught from wherever you put a bait down, whether worms, shrimp, or rooster livers. The river level at the MacClenny gage on July 18th was 5.0 feet and rising.

Alapaha River – Ronnie Gaskins and his son Hunter fished the river over the weekend and did really well. Crawfish Satilla Spins produced a great mess of fish on Saturday, including some big ‘ol roosters. On Sunday, Ronnie and James Gore caught redbreasts and bluegills on crickets. The river level at the Statenville gage on July 18th was 3.2 feet and falling (82 degrees).

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We Have “Wild” Working Conditions: Want to Volunteer With Us?

Volunteers Make a Difference

for Georgia Wildlife!

They teach stewardship, ethics and safety to youth and adults, they help maintain trail and roadway integrity, they assist class attendees in building bird or bat houses, they provide archery and air rifle instruction, they participate in wildlife surveys, they put worms or other bait on hooks and take fish off, they conduct prescribed burns, they might even “paint faces” at outdoors events. They are the lifeblood of this agency – the volunteer!

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2017-2018 Hunting Regulations Major Changes

The 2017-2018 hunting seasons and regulations are here! The Hunting Regulations Guide will be on shelves and on-line soon, but while we wait, here’s a sneak peak at some of the major changes and new opportunities for Georgia hunters coming this year!

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Amazing Work, Amazing Animals

As part of #7Days4SeaTurtles, we’ve followed DNR sea turtle technicians Sarah Martin, Kyle Coleman and Jack Brzoza as they worked the beach – Sarah on Little St. Simons and Kyle and Jack on Ossabaw Island. As we close out the week, here are their thoughts today. We’ll start with Sarah.

I cannot believe how fast this turtle season has passed by! It feels like just yesterday I was desperately trying to find the first nest among the ghost crab sand piles. Now, we are finding nest emergences left and right!

It has been a busy season so far on Little St. Simons, granted not as crazy as last year (223 nests) but it is looking to be a record compared to previous years. I am thrilled our shore is witnessing such a jump in numbers since years before. On Little St. Simons, there were years in the 50-nest mark and it was looking bleak.

Now, I’m trying to beat our pre-2016 record of 124 nests in 2015. And at 103 today, I’m hopeful!

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Donkeys, Hogs, Rain … and Hatchlings

As part of the #7Days4SeaTurtles focus this week, we’re following DNR sea turtle technicians Sarah Martin, Kyle Coleman and Jack Brzoza as they work the beach – Sarah on Little St. Simons and Kyle and Jack on Ossabaw Island. Here are Jack’s thoughts after this morning. Little St. Simons’ Kate Tweedy and Andrew Lyons ran the beaches for Sarah, who was off today.

Each morning I am excited to go through the engaging processes of identifying crawls, locating egg chambers and investigating for signs of hatchling emergence. Arriving at Ossabaw’s beaches before sunrise, I am always hopeful that I may be lucky enough to see a nesting female. And now, with nests reaching their full incubation periods, I’m also hopeful that I will get to see hatchlings heading to the ocean.

However, even though I start each day excited by the prospect of turtles, if and when I see them, they are usually the last animal I encounter. In fact, on a typical work day, I find myself going around, over and sometimes almost through (accidently, of course) a host of other animals just to get to the beach.

For instance, take this morning.

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