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Old 07-12-18, 12:25 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Dacula, GA
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Default Dredger's Weekly Report - GAWRD North Georgia Fishing Report

Summer’s heat and afternoon thunderstorms continue up here. At least we have plenty of water to play in! Reservoir sport fish are in summer mode, so go deep or arrive early (dawn) to catch a topwater bite before the sun drives fish into the depths. Many rivers have been too high and muddy for much fishing, but when they have periodically cleared, the bass, bream and even the migratory striper bite has been good. For trout, go high up the mountain or below a big dam to find cold water. Low elevation trout streams are heating up and our stockings are limited or have ceased for the summer season. See the stocker report, below, to understand our annual change at the July 4th “halftime” of our stocking year. Here we go:

· Lanier Bass

· Capt Mack’s Deep Stripers

· Toona
o Hybrid striped bass fishing really heats up in the summer months at Allatoona. The bite has been really good from Allatoona Dam southward to the I-75 bridge. Live shad or minnows fished on downlines at depths of 15-20 feet are your best bet. Look for schools of shad on the old river channel edges and hybrid striped bass will likely be close by. Keep an eye out for surface activity in the early morning and late evening hours. Hybrids feeding on shad pushed to the surface can often be caught by casting in-line spinners like Roostertails or spoons to these actively feeding fish. White and silver lures are usually your best colors for “mimicking” a shad.

· Walleye
Dave Pedone is dialed in on the walleye in the small Georgia Power lakes on the Tallulah River. A simple nightcrawler harness dragged super-slow on the main river channel ledges and across points is the ticket for the summertime pattern.
- GAWRD senior fisheries biologist Anthony Rabern

· Ken’s Reservoir Reports

· Hooch Tailwater
o Maps:

· Bluelines Still Great

o “Sautee” reports that he’s still wearing out the little wild rainbows “somewhere above Helen.” The bug of choice has been a #16 yellow elk hair caddis.
o Trophy speck:
o And you can do it, cheap! Just toss your 3 or 4 weight reel on one of these stubby sticks:

· Stocker Best Bets for the “Second Half”
Due to Georgia’s traditionally low, warm water in late summer streams and hatcheries, we always try to get 85% of each year’s stocked trout inventory out the door and into your streams by July 4th. Despite this plan, there are still some very good streams and stocking rates available for second-half stocker fans. The key is to watch those stocking lists closely, aim for higher elevation waters, and fish in the mornings or in the shade for the most comfortable (and hungry) trout. So switch from spring to summer mode for stocker stalking in July and August. Use lighter line (4-lb), small hooks (#10 or 12), less split shot, and more stealth. Cover more ground and you’ll still fill your stringers. WRD trout stocking coordinator John Lee Thomson’s post-holiday best bets are: Hooch and Blue Ridge tailwaters,
Dicks and Boggs, Rock, Cooper, Hooch on WMA, Soque, Tallulah, and Wildcat.

· Speaking of Stocking….
As one of 10 sites stocked this week along the Lanier Tailwater portion of the Chattahoochee River, Buford Dam received 500 ten to thirteen-inch rainbow trout this morning, the 11th! Dissolved Oxygen is still adequate for trout at the Buford Dam, so consider fishing there during low flow conditions. To receive information concerning hydroelectric power flows at Buford Dam, call the US Army Corps of Engineers at 770-945-1466 for a recorded message on the current generation schedule. And remember, a life preserver must be worn by any angler in the water from Buford Dam downstream to the Hwy 20 Bridge.

- Pat Markey
Buford Hatchery Manager
Wildlife Resources Division
(770) 781-6888

· History Lesson
Your national forest wasn’t always here for your enjoyment:

· River Bassin’ Blowouts
This is a real short report: it rained some more!
All of these summer storms have stymied Dredger and other north Georgia river bassin’ fans. High water is one thing, but muddy water really shuts down the bass bite. The good news is that plenty of rain has kept our streams and rivers running full. The bad news is that alternate fishing sites have had to save the day for rained-out river fans this summer. USGS Real Time river gauges are crucial to trip planning, and saving our gas bucks by preventing trips in vain to muddy waters.

· Pond Plan B’s
o A whiny Dredger, dislocated from his beloved upper Hooch by a storm spike, went on a Plan B Thursday night after work. His yak-attack unit (a Feelfree in a Tacoma) aimed for Unicoi Lake, where he was pleasantly surprised to find some fat bream on the beds and small, hungry largemouths circling their perimeter. The fly flavor likely didn’t matter, but his choice was a firetiger-colored, homemade Hipps soft popper, which is indestructible.

At dark, he switched to a meatier, size 4 white stealth bomber and convinced one real chunky largemouth to leave his tree-limb lair and inhale the dry fly. It was a great two hours of five-weight flinging and remedied his muddy Hooch despair.

o James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park (Chattooga Co.) – Assistant Park Manager Luke Daniels reported that bass fishing have been good in both park lakes. Catfishing has also been decent for anglers fishing the upper lake. Beat the summer heat by fishing the early morning and late evening hours when fish are more actively feeding. Learn more about this rural northwest Georgia park here:

o There are plenty of small lake Plan B’s distributed across north Georgia. Look around, call your county Game Warden,
or research some of our spring fishing reports for more of these sites.

Birthday/Xmas Hint: check out a Fenwick Aetos. It won’t break the bank and is stiff enough to toss most bass and bream bugs. It can double up as a nice winter trout rod, too. Dredger likes his.

· Summer River Stripers
Rumors and some timely intel indicate that many of these reservoir residents are now on summer vacation, up in their cooler, tributary rivers. Find some clear-water days and give them a try.

· BASS in 2019
The pros are coming to north GA!

Good luck as everyone fishes in the dead of summer. We give thanks for high mountains, abundant shade, and plenty of water this year to get us north Georgians through the heat.

Jeff Durniak
North Georgia Region Fisheries Supervisor

Wildlife Resources Division

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