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Dredger's Weekly Report: Welcome Fall!

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  • Dredger's Weekly Report: Welcome Fall!

    Well, it looks like fall is finally here! There’s a beautiful weekend ahead of us in north Georgia. But it’s a real struggle for our southern neighbors in the path of Hurricane Michael. Please join me in supporting their recovery through prayers, donations, and assistance. Our north Georgia teams deployed days ago and are in the middle of security, searches, and vital road clearing duties. Game wardens, fish and wildlife techs, and biologists with dozers, chain saws, boats, blue lights, and RTV’s are down there now, serving your friends and family members in south Georgia. Two folks you may know, Burton Hatchery techs and champ sawyers Colt Martin and Leon Brotherton,

    were part of our first wave of emergency responders. Along with their Game Management counterparts, they can clear a road for police and ambulance access in no time. We are very proud of our Critical Action Team (CAT) members up here and I know you are, too. And more folks from my staff have already raised their hands to replace our first wave in a few days and give them a rest.

    With this proper perspective, we can count our north Georgia blessings and maybe even find a little time to celebrate the cool weather. While the bass rivers will be a bit high for a few more days (due to 2-3 inches of rain), they will drop and clear soon and provide good fishing as long as the water temps stay above 60 degrees.

    Your best bets this weekend will be a) cooling lakes, b) headwater wild trout, and c0 a nice dose of fat fall-stocked trout, thanks to your License Revenue funds. We’ve been super-busy up here this week, so here’s the best report that I can compile while working through some major priorities for the Division. Here we go:

    · Your License Money Gift- Fall Stockers

    Thanks for all of you supporting the small bump in the prices of Georgia hunting and fishing licenses a year or so ago. Some of those funds were targeted at trout feed and have helped us to grow a larger trout for all you stocker fans. As we explained months ago, some of the slower-growing critters each year would need more growing time. We had hoped to provide some fall fishing opportunities when those little guys finally hit their size targets. Well, here comes your fall weekend fun! Federal and state hatcheries will stock at least 13,000 FAT trout this week.

    Where? Tune into the trout stocking report update here, after lunch today:

    Hint: worms and crickets might outfish corn this weekend….

    · Hooch Tailwater

    The water is still stained and smelly from lake Lanier stratification, but the trout are still biting. Stay downstream from Highway 20 to let the river re-aerate and the dissolved metals and hydrogen sulfide to drop out of solution. You’ll find happier, hungrier fish in the better water quality.




    · Wild Trout

    o Mtn Browns:

    o First Speck:

    o Hint- pink san juans, dead-drifted among the fall leaves. Check the October 2018 issue of Tightlines ( for Tammy’s tips.

    · Casting for Smiles

    Here’s a big shout-out to Casting for Recovery (CFR)- Georgia’s Beverly Booth and her army of volunteers for pulling off their second annual retreat for Stage 4 breast cancer survivors last weekend. A big time was had by all! Here’s a special thanks to Chattahoochee National Forest Service public affairs director Steve Bekkerus, who won grants funds from his Washington office and provided the fly rods (and two more great USFS employees) and streamside help to Beverly’s special guests. For all of you who donate time or money to the CFR cause, these smiles are for you!

    · Lanier Bass



    · Electric Bassin’

    · Bassin’ Reruns

    Here are a couple of good reports from last week. Since we skipped a week on the WRD statewide blog, I’ve added them now so they will make it onto that Big Page:
    o Our Bassin’ Biologist

    Fall is when Bass put on the "feed bag" for winter. This presents excellent opportunities for anglers on north Georgia's lakes. Look for these hungry fish on woody structure adjacent to deeper water. Top-water plugs such as the Zara-Spook and soft plastics such as the Zoom 'Ol Monster are quintessential for catching a big fish this fall. Here’s my 6 pound, 12 oz Largemouth and an even bigger brother caught on Georgia Power reservoirs, in Rabun County, last weekend while using a big, Texas-rigged plastic worm.

    Zachary S. Moran
    Fisheries Biologist
    Wildlife Resources Division
    (706) 947-1503

    o Stocking More Smallies

    How about a little “Sport Fish Restoration” in action?

    Here’s the most recent report from one of our great suppliers:

    The Go Fish Education Center hatchery harvested 2 smallmouth bass ponds this past week. A total of 7,154 fish were stocked into Lake Blue Ridge. Their average length was almost 5.5” and in total, they weighed 343 pounds. These are new production records for smallmouth bass at Go Fish. Watch this video of excited smallies, leaping for joy when they learned the news about their upcoming road trip!
    -Tamatha Beckham, manager, GAWRD Go Fish Center

    o Where are the fish?

    Here’s a really nice article by Capt. Cefus, who took a ride on our special boat with the most effective bait in the world, electricity!

    See page 33 in here:

    Also, biologist Hunter Roop’s most recent Lanier profile (attached) should indicate that stripers have moved up in the water column, where they are tolerating hot water to find some oxygen. Most of them are in a very thin layer of the coolest water with adequate oxygen. Watch the lake reports from Ken S and combine them with Hunter’s DO profile to aim your striper baits and lures at the best depth.

    · Ken’s Reservoir Reports

    The Southern Fishing Report
    106 Hickory Ridge
    770 889 2654
    Cumming, Georgia 30040
    OCTOBER 12, 2018


    This report brought to you by: Jimbo Mathley Jimbo on Lanier
    Give me a call and lets fish! 770 542 7764

    The lake is in good shape from top to bottom right now. The water looks good! Above Brown’s Bridge the water is slightly stained in the creeks, but fairly clear in the main river channel up to the Gainesville Bridge. The recent weather changes have been fantastic for the fishing. The fish are really in their fall patterns now and we have enjoyed some great results in the last couple of weeks. The top water and swimbait bite has been strong of late for both spots and now some stripers. Traditional humps and points with brush in the 20 foot range have been a good option for this approach. When the wind is up, we have also found fish fairly shallow on windblown rocky points on the main lake as well as in the mouths of the creeks. Walking baits, Whopper Ploppers, and a Sebile have been our best options overall, which is no surprise. That's about all I'm going to have on my deck for the next month. Add the jerk bait and a SuperSpin as soon as the water cools some more. And maybe a crankbait for the early morning rock bite that will strengthen as the cooler weather arrives as well. Overall though, I'm really looking forward to power fishing for a while. We are really seeing lots of bait starting to move back into the mouths of the creeks recently, and a lot of schooling going on both in the main channel as well as in the mouths of the creeks. October, November, December are some of my favorite months on the lake I hope you will make plans to come join me. Come enjoy some fantastic fall fishing. Here are my open dates for October: 18(PM), 19, 25(PM), 29(PM), 30, 31(PM). I am also booking dates for November. Lots of great fishing ahead of us in the coming months, both morning and afternoon! Give me a call and let’s fish.

    This Lake Lanier Striper report is from Big Fish on Guide Service. To book your trip call Captain Ken at 404 561 2564 or contact us on our web site.

    Striper fishing is good. It looks like summer is over and fall temperatures have arrived. It is time to get out your planner boards and top water baits out and put away your Lead Core rods. Look for the Stripers to break out of their summertime pattern and start feeding aggressively on the shallow bait you have been seeing all over the Lake. You have spent the last several months with your head down looking at your electronics for fish. How is the time to lift your head up keeping your eyes on the water looking for surface activity? You should carry several spinning rods with the basic top water baits tied on including Chug Bugs, Red Fins and Spooks and a 1/2 ounce buck tail jig with a small fluke. Focus on reef markers and long sloping points with your top water baits and live bait. Vary the free line distance for your planner boards and the boat from 20 feet to 100 feet. Use split shots to weight some of your free lines. The umbrella rigs will work when pulled shallow over points and reef markers. The stripers will also start to move north and from the mouth of the creeks to the middle of the creeks. We have been fishing the south end of the Lake but the fish will be on the move this week and can be anywhere. Fish the areas where you find a large concentration of bait fish. The water temperature is in the high to mid 70’s. The water is lightly stained in the creeks and clear on the main lake. The lake is 1.3 feet below full pool. To book your guide trip call us at 404 561 2564 or contact us on our web site.

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

    Water temperature is hovering around 80 degrees, a little cooler in the morning. I suspect that the backs of the creeks are moderately to heavily stained with around 4” of rainfall this week. Except for this past Monday, the combination of rain and wind kept most anglers off the lake. The ones who fished on Monday, did well targeting deeper docks with structure below or nearby. Also, submerged brush piles have plenty of fish on them. Having said that, put your electronics to use side scan and downscan can be very helpful this time of year. If I’m fishing a dock, the Bobby Garland soft body grub seems to be working well. When fishing brush piles, you might get more action using a hair jig. There is good weather ahead of us, with cooler temps which will lower the water temperature and increase the bite even more. There is almost certainly a great deal of debris in the water, so be vigilant, and be careful. Be safe on the water. Wear your life jacket, it can save your life.


    This Bass Fishing report is from Captain Todd Wynn

    Bass fishing continues to be good on Lake Allatoona with great fishing in sight. With the weather starting to change and the water temperature dropping, the pattern is starting to change towards winter. The mane lake points are producing fish on crank baits, jerk baits and spinner baits. The wind blown points have been the most successful because the bait stacks up on these points, which intern draws in the spotted bass. Also, look for bass still in deep water. Look for trees or boulders in 20 to 30 feet of water. The best techniques for these fish are either drop shot or Shaky head.

    This Lake Allatoona Fishing Guides Report for Striper and Hybrid report fishing 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 good. It looks October is going to be as good as September. The fishing this week prefrontal of the storm has been off the charts. Live bait has been good. But the top water bite has been incredible. The spoons along with trolling is also working right now. If you’re in the right place at the right time you can boat a mix bag of 30 plus stripers, hybrids, whites, spots and catfish in a very short time. Live bait like threadfin shad is still fishing best on free lines and down lines. But when their busting top water there's nothing that's going to beat a white Jr Fluke. The morning bite has been really good. But the afternoon bite may be better especially if you’re chasing the top water action. Trolling has been really good this past week. We are pulling the 4 arm light rigs loaded with 1/2 ounce buck tails with chartreuse trailers at 3.2 miles an hour a 120 feet behind the boat. Mid lake has been best midday. The top water bite can be great at times. The better bite seems to be at sun up and again at sun down. Somedays these schools will stay up and active for an hour.


    Before the storm the fishing was good and it should recover quickly. The spotted bass are feeding on the shallow bait balls in the creeks. In the shallows the Zoom Super Fluke and Zoom trick worm. If the sun is shining the spotted bass are easier to catch. Shad Raps are hard to beat and use the #5 and the # 7 sizes in shad and baby bass are good choices. The spotted bass are on the main lake points and secondary points and humps at the mouths of the creeks, and you can catch them on a drop shot or shaky head worm. There is some schooling activity and Pop R’s and small Sammy’s are working and use a braided line for the strength and the extra long casts this line will allow. When they are schooling and keep an eye on the Lowrance and you can see them. Drop the drop shot or shaky head worm down on them. Watch for the bass and the bait and to bunch up more in the creeks and ditches. These fish will be a little easier to catch as the water stabilizes.


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

    Now available for sale 50 proven GPS waypoints for off shore structure for Bass and Crappie fishing on Weiss Lake. For more info contact Ken Sturdivant at

    Bass fishing is fair. It is top water time so use the smaller Zara Spooks and Pop R lures. Mid day go to the Shad Raps and Strike King crank baits and work all types of wood structure. If the bite slows, get out the jigs and work these same places. They are being caught on deep brush 8 feet deep or more, under deeper docks and on the creek and river channel ledges. Jig and pigs like the Booyah Baby Boo jigs 3/16 ounce black and blue, crank baits, spinnerbaits and Carolina rigged plastics are all producing some good bass. After the rain we have had, look for some good bass to move to culverts under roads and the falls at Yellow Creek where fresh water is running in the lake.

    · FREE Fishing Classes

    Ken Sturdivant will be hosting FREE Fishing classes at 4 Forsyth County Library Branch s. These seminars will cover Bass Fishing, Striper Fishing, Crappie Fishing, Fly Fishing and Sonar. These are the dates and times. Anglers DO NOT need to pre register. Please come to the event 30 minutes prior to start time. All events are subjects to change without notice.

    These are the locations: Cumming Library Branch, 585 Dahlonega Street, Cumming, GA 30040, Sharon Forks Branch, Sharon Forks 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30041, Hampton Park Branch, Hampton Park 5345 Settingdown Road, Cumming, GA 30041, Post Road Branch, Post Road 5010 Post Road, Cumming, GA 30040

    These are the dates, times and topics:
    • Sunday, October 21, 2018 Sharon Fork BASS LURES 2 to 4 pm Ken Sturdivant will teach the Basic Bass lures.
    • Sunday, November 4, 2018 Post Road: FLY FISHING 2 to 4 pm Meet Rene Hess, FFI Certified Casting Instructor at this class.
    • Sunday, November 11, 2018 Cumming Library: SONAR 2 to 4 pm Ken Sturdivant will teach the Basics of SONAR at this class.
    • Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Cumming Library: CRAPPIE 7 pm Ken Sturdivant will teach the basis of Crappie fishing.
    • Sunday, November 18, 2018 Sharon Forks: FLY FISHING 2 to 4 pm Rene Hess will teach this class on Basics of FLY FISHING.
    • Sunday, December 9, 2018 Hampton Park: FLY FISHING 2 to 4 p.m. Rene Hess, FFI Certified Casting Instructor will teach this class.

    All events are subjects to change without notice.

    Good luck this week. Hopefully our southern neighbors will recover soon, with our help, and then join us for a great fall in the mountains of north Georgia. Thanks for your fishing license and car tag money. Go cash in your return on that investment in a stocker stream tomorrow!

    Jeff Durniak
    North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor

    Wildlife Resource Division
    (770) 535-5498

    Want to Help Ease DNR's Budget Woes? Buy a TU license Plate!
    Last edited by Lumis; 10-12-18, 03:26 PM.

  • #2
    Another busy day for Windknot it seems.

    Lots of trout stocked this week. Take advantage of the weather while it's still warm