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Dredger's Weekly Report - Arctic Blast and Acclimation

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  • Dredger's Weekly Report - Arctic Blast and Acclimation

    The arctic blast has hit north Georgia, so this weekend might be a great one to go shopping, put up your holiday decorations, or maybe even rake those leaves you’ve neglected all fall. Stay home and leave the fishing pole in the closet. Why? The fishing may be slow and uncomfortable, for both you and the fish. And the main reason is this sudden plunge in temperature and the fact we’re not yet accustomed to it. We all need to adjust, or acclimate to our winter surroundings.

    Let’s think of acclimation in human terms. In July, if we’re acclimated to 80 degrees, we’ll run for a hooded sweatshirt when a thunderstorm suddenly sinks air temps into the mid-sixties. But in winter, once we get used to forty-degree days, we’ll strip down to a short-sleeve T-shirt on a sunny December day that pushes sixty degrees.

    As cold-blooded animals, fish are even more sensitive to not only the absolute water temperature, but the relative amount and direction of temperature change. Right now, mountain stream trout acclimated (accustomed to) water temps in the fifties for the last month will be suffering from cold shock and lockjaw for a week or two until they get acclimated to these new water temps, which can drop down into the 30’s and 40’s in just a few hours.
    Once those fish are acclimated to, say 40 degrees, a warm front, with a few sunny days that bring that water temperature back up to 45 degrees or so, will feel like a sauna and trigger some great winter action. You might even see hatching Blue Wing Olives or little black winter stoneflies.

    In tailwaters and reservoirs with a lot of stored water, the temperature swings are much more gradual, so you may have a better chance there this weekend. Just stay on the upstream ends of tailwaters, where cold air and cold tributary flows don’t have as much of a chance to cool down the main river flow. And lakes, as heat sinks, will be slow to give up their warmer fall temperatures for another week or two, rather than just a few hours, as is the case with mountain streams. They will be a better bet, so follow the diving birds on our reservoirs.

    Of course, die-hards are always welcome to try those mountain streams. Just don’t show up before 11AM, and make sure you bottom-bump your flies or lures in the deeper, slower pools and runs where sluggish fish might consider a nibble. Bottom-rolled legs and eggs and pheasant tails can’t be beat.
    Just ask the North Paulding High School fly fishing club!
    Here we go:

    · Upper Hooch Brown

    · Hooch DH

    · Nantahala DH
    Hey Jeff,

    Hope all is well with you! I took my nephew who had never fly fished before up to the Nanty the weekend before last. I got him on a fish early but was unable to get a picture before it flopped out of his hands. I was focused on teaching him so I only fished for maybe 30-40 minutes during the day and was rewarded with a nice bow on my glass 3wt. It was slow going all day but turned on right before we called it a day around 2pm. I tied him on an peach egg and he hooked 5 in a row. Flies that worked were a Olive WB, BH rubber legged PT, a rubber legged blue nymph and the glorious peach egg!

    Despite the not so high numbers day for a DH stream, it was truly a great day! I believe this young man is hooked!
    - Big Browns....aka....RW

    · Trouters, Be the Heron!

    · Winter Trouting Tips
    o Dredger’s Tips for Winter Success:

    · Thank You Feds!

    · Carters and Rocky

    Carters Lake Bass:

    Report courtesy of guide Louie Bartenfield,
    The spotted bass are feeding heavily on tiny threadfin & alewife all across the lake/river. Most of my fish have been coming on drop shots, 1/4oz spoons, & a Spotsticker underspin tipped with a small fluke or swimming fluke. Look for the spots in the back 1/3 of major creeks around channel bends & the steepest/vertical side of points. I’m targeting fish in 30-60ft of water. Keep a very close eye on your electronics and watch closely for schools of spots hovering over bait balls. Some of these fish will also be suspended over much deeper water, 60-100ft. Back off & fish slow!

    Rocky PFA:

    Park Manager Dennis Shiley reports that West Antioch Lake has been fishing fairly good for largemouth bass. “I know of a 9 pounder and two 7 pounders that were caught and released from there last week”, Dennis said. He went on to say that he has been catching fairly good numbers each day he’s been out (15 plus per day). The key is to find the actively feeding schools. If you can, “it’s pretty much every cast until they move on or get wise”. Dennis added that “The bass are eating spoons and A-rigs when you can find the active ones”.

    While West Antioch has been fishing decent, Dennis said “East Antioch has been a real bear since after Thanksgiving”. He thought it may take a while for East Antioch to settle out after the recent turnover, but it should improve with this colder weather settling in.

    According to their Sunday Report, the Big Texas Valley Trading Post reported anglers were starting to catch crappie in decent numbers (

    Jim Hakala
    Fisheries Biologist
    Wildlife Resources Division
    (706) 295-6102

    · Lanier Stripers and More
    o Capt.. Mack’s Report

    o Capt Clay

    · Lanier Bass

    · Lanier Crappie
    Lake Lanier Crappie Fishing Report December 6, 2017

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

    Water temperature is in the mid-fifties and dropping. So far, we have been enjoying moderate temperatures for fishing, and as a bonus, this past Sunday we had a Super Moon. That means that the moon was 7% larger and 16% brighter. A combination of full moon and above normal water temp resulted in a really strong bite. If the water temperature drops significantly with the approaching cold weather, the bite will slow down until the fish adjust, after which it will pick back up. The up side of cold weather is that the bigger fish tend to move to docks with structure, which will hopefully bring them out of hiding. Submerged stand alone brush piles in fifteen to twenty five foot depths should continue to be your main target. Your downscan will help you find the brush piles and let you determine the depth of the fish suspended on the brush. If you want to fish the south side of the lake, Four Mile Creek should be high on your list. If you enjoy trolling, try long lining or tight lining as they are also effective methods this time of year. Stay safe on the water and wear your life jacket!

    · Ken’s Reservoir Reports

    So there’s your acclimation lesson and your excuse to finally get that Christmas shopping and yard-raking done, knowing that you’re not going to miss any epic catching days in our near future. And if you do brave the cold this weekend because football kept you cooped up during our warm spell, know that you’re among a band of brothers and sisters that are truly crazy about your sport. Dressed right and with a lower expectation of total fish to the net, you can still have a lot of fun on the water (or ice…). Say hello to the crazy dude wading next to you. It might even be me!

    Jeff Durniak
    North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor

    Wildlife Resources Division

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

  • #2
    Erik made the Weekly Report! Congrats!

    Support the Mission Statement - buy the TU License Plate!


    • #3
      And with 6x tippet????????? I'm not brave enough!!!!!

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


      • #4
        Thanks Scott.

        Originally posted by Windknot View Post
        And with 6x tippet????????? I'm not brave enough!!!!!
        If I had thought there was any actual chance I would’ve hooked into something that size you can bet your sweet tush I’d’ve’ went with 3x at least!
        Fly tying instagram @erikclymore


        • #5
          I took a severe skunking on Sunday and if you say I have a legitimate excuse I’ll take it haha. I know it’s not an exact science...
          but how long do trout take to get acclimated to a big temp. drop... hours, days, weeks?

          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk