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Dredger's Weekly Report - The Great Outdoors, Inside

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  • Dredger's Weekly Report - The Great Outdoors, Inside

    Editor’s note: The north Georgia region fishing report is available at the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s web page for our statewide fishing blog. Please consider signing up to receive these statewide reports, or to visit the blog regularly. It is here:
    HTML Code:
    . See the text to the right that says, “follow blog via email.”

    I hope to retire next summer. My successor will have a challenging job as he/she orients to North Georgia Region fisheries operations and may not have the extra time needed to maintain my direct email list of north Georgia anglers. Please consider “migrating” over to the blog at your convenience to stay in touch with our timely angling intel and to help with our successful transition here at the region office.


    For this week’s report, we must suffer through yet another crummy weekend weather forecast. It’s gonna be cold and wet and maybe even icy in the mountains, so proceed with caution if you must get a weekend fishing fix. Check those hourly weather reports and identify some winter windows of opportunity to wet a line.

    So the weather is the bad news, but we have a lot of good news, too. First, the monsoons have passed, at least for right now, and our rivers and lakes are finally dropping. See Hunter’s good news, below, about the Lanier ramp re-openings. Larger trout streams are very slowly returning to fishable levels. And with less than a half-inch of rainfall predicted, those streams shouldn’t muddy-up too badly. Just watch the USGS flow gauges, be honest with your own wading ability, and judge when those heavy flows drop to an acceptable level for your safe and fun fishing.




    (Hope for Smith DH wash-downs)


    The best news is that the middle of winter is Show Season, so we can all celebrate our outdoor passions inside, in some warm, dry air! Check out the Atlanta Boat Show fishing seminars and the expert turkey callers up at Unicoi Lodge, happening right now. Next weekend, you can break your New Year’s dieting resolution in high style at a Dillard House feast, enjoy some live Bluegrass, and maybe even win a guided fishing trip for a fat Georgia trout or a huge Michigan salmon. Fishing is better, but if it’s 34 degrees and rain, with slick mountain roads, then talking about fishing is a nice January consolation prize. Here we go with some good news, even in the dead of winter:

    · ATL Boat Show- Now

    Check out the fishing seminars:

    · Unicoi Callers- Jan 11-12

    You can trout fish at Smith Creek Delayed Harvest stream for half a day, and then enjoy the warmth inside Unicoi Lodge while checking out all of the custom turkey calls.

    · Congrats to new Hall-of-Famer Monte

    He sends his thanks to all Southeastern trouters who thought enough of his career to cast a vote for him.

    · More Public Land on Hooch Tailwater

    Buford Hatchery technician Andy Wentworth shares this good news:


    · Lanier- Capt. Mack

    · Lanier Ramp Status


    As the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on Lake Lanier has been generating round-the-clock to draw down Lake Lanier, to the best of our knowledge, all of the boat ramps except Little River Boat Ramp (operated by USACE) and Holly Park (operated by City of Gainesville) are now open. No Hall or Forsyth County-operated boat ramps are closed. Thank goodness for a break in the weather to allow Lanier’s headwater flows to subside while the tailwater has been pumping out an average of 9,500 cfs for the past several days.

    Now that nearly all ramps are open, this would be a good time to remind all anglers that day passes are now available by credit card only at the following ramps: Buford Dam Park, Burton Mill, Keiths Bridge, Lanier Park, Little Hall, Long Hollow, Lower Pool East, Lower Pool West, Old Federal Day-Use, Two Mile, Van Pugh North and West Bank. Additionally, there are some USACE-operated ramps that don’t have pass machines or cash vaults and these ramps are East Bank, Balus Creek, Little River, Thompson Bridge and Vanns Tavern. Point being, make sure you have your pass before you park! More information on USACE park passes here.

    As you are out on the lake, make sure to wear your PFD and watch out for floating debris that poses a real threat to your fishing & fun. Replacing lower units can be costly, but you can’t put a replacement cost on one of Georgia’s sportsmen and women. Be safe, stay warm, stay dry, and have fun fishing.


    Hunter J. Roop

    Fisheries Biologist

    Wildlife Resources Division

    (770) 535-5498

    · Lake Burton Bass

    · Ken’s Reservoir Reports

    The Southern Fishing Report

    Southern Fishing Schools Inc.

    106 Hickory Ridge

    770 889 2654

    Cumming, Georgia 30040

    JANUARY 10, 2019


    Bass fishing is good. The lake has stabilized and is only up slightly from same time last week. The bait and fish remained scattered, and can be found both shallow and deep. This past week, as in recent weeks, we have caught fish anywhere from 5 feet deep to about 50 feet deep. In the early mornings, work a deep diving crank bait shallow in ditches and on steeper rocky/clay points. The jig with a twin tail trailer as well as a 1/4 ounce Davis Shaky Head tipped with a Wackem Pointy Tail worm in green pumpkin is still a good bet at all depths, from shallow to deep. The main lake and creek pockets and ditches continue to be the focus areas for our fish. You can work a jig, Davis Shaky Head, or even a drop shot in the deeper brush and timber lines on the sunny days for good results right now. A jigging spoon will work well also on some days, particularly when it is sunny. The 30 to 50 foot seemed to be the key depth range this week for the deeper bite. Focus your efforts near sharp drops and ledges in ditches and near the timber line when you are fishing shallower, and fish timber edges as well as right in the thick stuff in the middle of the ditch when you are fishing deep. The jerk bait is also producing a few fish for us, but it continues to be an inconsistent bite. The bites you do get seem to be good ones however. We have been starting shallow in the mornings and working out deeper as the day progresses, although we have found a good shallow bite during the day as well at times. Look for the shallow bite to become stronger as the current warming trend continues.

    This Lake Lanier Crappie report is from Dan Saknini, member of the Lanier Crappie Angler’s Club. See our club’s website, www.

    Lake level is almost very 2½ feet above full pool! This time last year it was over 9 feet lower than today’s level. Naturally, the sudden rise of the lake has caused a heavy amount of debris in the water, making navigation hazardous and hampering fishing. On top of that, it is a challenge to get the jigs below the surface past the floating pine needles. Water temperatures are hovering around the mid 50’s. As expected, the upper parts of the lake are heavily stained. Your best bet is to look for less stained water. Some of the creeks are clearing up faster than others that’s the areas you should target. The bait is plentiful, so follow the bait. River and creek channel docks are your best bets. If you locate a submerged brush pile close to a dock, that is an added bonus. Bobby Garland’s new darker colored jigs have been working well in the stained water, such as “Mo Glo The Shadow and Mo Glo Monkey Milk. In addition, their Slab Slayers in Mo Glo, Indigo Sky are still working well. 1/24 ounce and 1/16 ounce jig heads are still our preference. Concentrate on docks that are at 25 to 35 foot depths. Fishing is fair to good (at best), IF you can exercise patience with the debris, and still cover a lot of area. The best part is the current mild weather, so be careful, and enjoy it while it’s here.


    This Bass fishing report is by Matt Driver.

    Bass fishing on is good. We do have colder weather in the Forecast and things will change up slightly over the next week or two. Fish are still fairly shallow and can be called on soft plastics like the 1/8 Picasso ned rig. The shallow mid depth cranking bite has been good as well. The 1/2 fire tiger Aruku Shad and chrome Rat L Trap have been producing. The water is still stained but as it clears the jerk bait and Alabama rig bite will pick back up. The red top to iron hill areas are still producing but I believe that stamps, and little river will get better as the water stabilizes.

    Lake Allatoona Fishing Guides Report has been brought to you exclusively by Robert Eidson of First Bite Guide Service, 770 827 6282. Lake Allatoona, Georgia email

    Line side fishing is very good. The despite the heavy rains rising and dirty water the fishing has remain good. The key to catching fish right now is to find clean water. Most of the clean water is in eye site of the dam. Everything thing is working right now. Free lines, planner boards and down lining thread fins, shiners, gizzard shad and small trout out over the river channel has been our best bite. Once the sun comes up trolling u rigs and dark color crank baits near the dam has been very good. Even with the tough conditions this has been the best winter bite we have seen in years.


    Bass fishing is fair. Fish the long the drop off areas and on the major creek channels. Bass are active mid day and a Weedless Wonder lead head with a Zoom U tail green pumpkin. Be sure to use a 3/16 ounce head and 10 pound test Sufix line. On any major creek channels use a #5 or #7 Shad Rap in either black and white or natural shad colors. If stained water is present, go to a fire tiger or bone color Fat Free shad and make several casts in the same location. Always be sure to have a black and brown pig and jig ready to target any stumps or lay down trees that are in or close to deep water.


    By Mark Collins Service 3252 Old Hwy 9, Cedar Bluff, Al 35959, 256 779 3387


    Now available for sale 50 of my proven GPS waypoints for off shore structure for Bass and Crappie

    fishing on Weiss Lake, Alabama. For more info contact Ken Sturdivant at

    All the muddy water from this past weekend has turned fishing off, look for thing to get better over the next few days as the water clears.

    Bass fishing is fair and the colder water has moved the fish to a deeper winter pattern. The Spotted Bass are doing well in the upper Coosa River near Riverside in Little River and the Chattooga River.

    Crappie fishing is fair The fish are suspended 8 to 12 feet deep over the river and creek channels, long line trolling with Jiffy Jigs in 1/24 and 1/16 ounce is producing a lot of fish, casting a float and fly is also catch a lot of fish. Fishing minnows under a float 6 to 8 feet deep is also working well.

    · Smith DH reports

    o DialDrew and his parents spent the weekend at a Unicoi Park cabin and dialed in the DH trout on Saturday and Sunday. Best flies were some stonefly imitations, small woolly buggers, zebra midge droppers, and a few Euronymphs as Drew tried a new, “sighter” technique on Sunday.

    o ATL Drew (no relationship) used his newly acquired knowledge and rod from a metro Orvis shop to score a couple of nice rainbows, including a strong 15-incher that took him for a brief ride downstream. His free Orvis Flyfishing 101 and 102 classes paid off, as did the magic apricot glo-bug dropped behind a chunky split shot. His initiation to drag-free drifting was a success, and he celebrated his first victory with his awesome netman and driver, better known as Dad. Enjoy the pic of our newest mountain trouting duo celebrating their team victory!

    o GADNR LED Sgt Steve Seitz said that, with all the rivers blown out, our smaller creeks have seen more than their fair share of anglers. While most folks were compliant, some were not. Many of the noncompliant folks were simply holiday guests and not wise to the ways of DNR regulations. I watched on Sunday as Steve and his two rangers gave many warnings and even some free rides up to the lodge, where fishing permits were obtained. Better cell signal also allowed those folks to purchase trout stamps, which the new anglers had not realized were also required when they had first purchased their fishing licenses. Other folks, who had been politely warned earlier about violations, received some free gifts- citations!

    Sgt Steve said LED patrols will continue in these popular areas like Smith and Dukes. He also appreciates your reports of violations through our DNR Ranger Hotline: 800-241-4113, so keep them coming.

    · Chattooga DH Report

    Here’s a nice story about a “first fish,” thanks to the help from other trouting veterans.

    · Vogel Lake

    · Rodney’s National Forest Wild Trout

    Trouting Tumlin took advantage of the warm spell to prospect for wild trout on the national forest. He said, “Water was clear but fast, used nymphs bounced along the bottom in the slower sides of runs and deeper pools produced some chunky wild rainbows.”

    · Nick’s Winter Trouting Tip

    o Aim for the sunny spots!

    · Fun Hatchery Trip

    Hey John Lee,

    Carsyn and I made it out to Burton Hatchery yesterday with some pals of ours to check out the Baby Brown Trout and then fish a little at the family pond. I think it was a little too cold for the fish to be biting, but Jeff Stewart was awesome with the kids and telling them all kinds of info. I really appreciated it. Carsyn loves coming out there. I am sure this spring and summer you all will see much more of us.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    Carsyn’s Mom

    · Arrowhead Bait Catching

    Fisheries technicians planted 30 bald cypress and catalpa trees at Lake Arrowhead located on Arrowhead WMA in Floyd County. The cypress trees planted will eventually provide habitat for fish and wildlife alike. The catalpa trees will grow and become host trees for the larva of the Catalpa Sphinx Moth. The larva, often referred to as catawba caterpillars or worms, are a favored bait of summer time catfish and bream anglers. Lake Arrowhead is open to adult/child fishing, so the catawba caterpillars will offer anglers, especially young anglers, a unique “bait catching” experience.

    Jim Hakala

    Fisheries Biologist

    Wildlife Resources Division

    (706) 295-6102

    Yer humble scribe has been known to use these!!!!!

    · Upcoming Events

    o Jan 19: Rabun Rendezvous

    o Feb 1-2: the Fly Fishing Show

    Good luck as we find a place to recreate, either indoors or out, this weekend. Remember that we are recharging our groundwater and reservoirs with plenty of clean, cold water to get our fish through next summer. And that’s some good news to celebrate, even in the middle of winter.

    Jeff Durniak
    North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor

    Wildlife Resources Division

    Want to Help Ease DNR's Budget Woes? Buy a TU license Plate!