Delayed harvest streams set to open next Tuesday

The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s Fisheries Section will open five delayed harvest trout streams in north Georgia on Nov. 1. The streams will remain open through May 14.

The streams are the Toccoa River upstream of Lake Blue Ridge in Fannin County; Amicalola Creek on the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area; Smith Creek downstream of Unicoi State Park lake; the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta; and a portion of the Chattooga River on U.S. Forest land bordering South Carolina.

Open are certain sections of those creeks and for more information, go to www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Trout.

Congratulations to charter Captain and Mrs. Tony Shepherd, who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. He is a professional guide on Thurmond Lake.

Condolences to the family of Zan Bunch, of Tignall, Ga., who died earlier this week. Zan was a longtime Georgia fisheries technician who worked with fisheries biologist Jerry Germann. As outdoor editor of The Chronicle, I covered many of their projects.

Fishing report

THURMOND LAKE

Raysville Marina, (706) 595-5582 – Cliff Crowe and William Hawkins caught 70 crappies, with 10 weighing 2 pounds or better.

Capt. David Willard, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, fulltime professional guide specializing in hybrids, striped bass and trophy largemouth bass. Boat phone: (706) 214-0236. (803) 637-6379 (www.crockettrocketstriperfishing.com) – Water temperature is 72 degrees and the lake is clear. The fishing remains tough as the unseasonably hot weather and falling lake levels seem to have the fish scattered and not in their usual patterns. We’re fishing longer and harder than usual after the easy summertime fishing. But we’re still enjoying our parties and they’re enjoying their catches. Allen Yarborough, from Augusta, and his team of fish killers, caught 25 nice fish. Leigh Browner, from North Carolina, brought her mom and dad down and they had a wonderful time. Three generations of Faulkners – Gene, from Virginia; his son, David, and grandson, DJ, both now living in Augusta, had a great day and it was the first time they were able to fish together on their first striper trip. Fishing should get better as Thanksgiving approaches. You can check us out on Facebook at crocketrocketguideservice.

Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – Surface temperatures dropped into the low to mid 70s. My friend, Larry Freeman, of Grovetown, and I went out scouting this week. We found fish in 30 to 36 feet of water and caught 11 nice stripers and hybrids. We also jigged up some white perch on CC Spoons. We marked many fish, but they were not in a biting mood. Check out our new photos on our web site.

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (William) (706) 589-5468, (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Water temperatures are inching down with the lake level. Cooler weather has pushed the fish closer to the surface. We are finding good schools of downline fish in 28 to 35 feet of water earlier in the mornings. Once midday sets in, they are a bit more scattered and on the move along the edges of the main channel and at creek mouths. This is the time of year when it’s best to be prepared to fish downlines and pull planer boards. Hybrids and stripers are feeding aggressively, but it takes a little work to hold them beneath your boat. Try chumming with cut herring. The fish have pulled away from both Thurmond and Russell dams and are working their way out the branches such as Georgia’s Little River toward Mosley and Cherokee creeks. And up toward Shriver and Wells creeks. If you like to catch catfish, we have come across amazing schools of the fish feeding in 45 to 50 feet of water. Down-lining live and cut herring will easily produce nice catches of channel and flathead catfish. The yellow perch season has started early on the Savannah below the dam. Try jigs tipped with small shiners or toughie minnows, crickets or pink worms.

 

NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAIN STREAMS

Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083 (www.flyfishingnorthgeorgia.com) (facebook.com/flyfishingnorthgeorgia). Hunter – Falling nighttime temperatures have improved the fishing on Georgia’s smaller trout streams where levels are lower than they have been in years. Trout are much more active, but we’re still having to fish with 5X and 6X tippets, using mostly dry flies with small midges and mayfly nymphs on dropper lines below them.

 

MERRY LAND BRICKYARD PONDS

Twenty-one ponds on 2,000 acres offering good fishing for bass, bream and crappies. John Byars, lessee, (706) 722-8263. Anglers must sign in at the tackle and bait shop, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, before fishing. Taylor Drennen reporting – Crappie fishing is red hot, with Ralph Davis catching 32 in the Ditch on live minnows. Fred White caught 17 in the Shack Pond on jigs and Corey Saunders caught 28 nice ones fishing at night in the Ditch. The Expressway Pond yielded five bass to Ralph Tucker.

 

SAVANNAH, GA.

Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 (www.missjudycharters.com) P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Fishing success is on the upswing inshore and at the Savannah Snapper Banks. Cooler weather is ushering in what may be the best time to catch spotted sea trout and redfish.

 

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