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-   -   Bigger trout (http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=755163)

littleguy 05-22-2013 11:22 PM

Bigger trout
 
Does anybody specifically target the bigger trout on the Chattahoochee river ? I can usually catch the snits pretty good, but I want to fish for the 15+" trout. I've seen them and had a "monster" brown try to eat my hooked trout(6"+) as I was trying to reel him in. He missed. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I plan on fishing the Abbotts Bridge to Settles Bridge section, 6'9" ML rod, 8 lb test mono, f9 rapalas in silver, gold, and brown trout. I figure the early morning foggy time would be the best time. 2nd option is Medlock to Jones Bridge. Anyone w ER run the river from Jones Bridge to Roswell? Thanks!

injun joe 05-22-2013 11:35 PM

There used to be a guy named Stan Crigger from Smyrna that targeted the really big trout on the Hooche back in the '70's. There were articles about him in the old Ga. Sportsman magazine and maybe one in GON also.
His method was free floating big nightcrawlers under the largest submerged logs and undercut banks that he could find. He fished alot between Lovett and Plant Atkinson, I think. He always had pics of 8 and 10 pounders at an old bait shop on South Cobb Drive. I tried his method on multiple occasions and was never able to duplicate his results, and although I caught a bunch of big browns, I never caught one that was 8 or 10.
Before they started stocking the stripers in West Point, we would flatten landing nets and scrape the face of Morgan Falls Dam for crawfish. These were good baits for big fish in that section of the river, down to 41.
Good luck! I'd like to hear how you do.

River Rambler 05-23-2013 12:03 AM

Big streamers in the right spots through Gwinnett county.

Alphafish 05-23-2013 11:03 AM

+1 for big streamers.

If you aren't into fly fishing, take that cue from the thug brownie that swiped at your 6" bow and throw bigger countdowns or swimbaits. I've had success with a sebile 95 .. when I started throwing it I expected long, rote days with *maybe* a one big fish payoff, but I caught about the same number of fish. Those snits aren't scared of bigger baits.

Of course, that's all secondary to just putting the time in. Good luck!

burtontrout 05-23-2013 11:08 AM

I would try to throw bigger rapala in a count down. Try all the colors. Also throw big in line mepps XD or panther Martin spinners

littleguy 05-23-2013 12:21 PM

Thanks all for the replies. I'm a total noob at fly fishing and I don't want to sound ignorant on fly fishing board so maybe you guys can elaborate more. I have a scientific anglers 9' 5/6 wt package fly combo from Walmart if that means anything. I think it has a floating line. Would I need a sinking line? What size style flavor etc streamer should I get first? It seems so much more complicated than casting rapalas.

critterslayer 05-23-2013 12:41 PM

This one hit a worm. For the most part, I don't use artificial lures for trout.
http://forum.gon.com/picture.php?alb...ictureid=39718

rigderunner 05-23-2013 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by critterslayer (Post 7832278)
This one hit a worm. For the most part, I don't use artificial lures for trout.
http://forum.gon.com/picture.php?alb...ictureid=39718

That pic musta been took at the rock creek hatchery haha
Ive had alot of luck floating crickets as far as catching bigger trout goes

critterslayer 05-23-2013 01:40 PM

Yep, the pic was taken at the rock creek hatchery.

Cliff Speed 05-23-2013 02:16 PM

If you're going to fly fish with streamers, you'll want a sinking or a sink tip line. Probably need to fish pretty deep to find the really big fish I'd guess. I spend a lot of time fishing for trophy sized trout, but not in the Hooch, and where I fish you need to be on bottom to hook a big one, generally speaking.

Even though I exclusively fish with a fly rod, it could be that fishing with a spinning outfit and getting down deep with rapalas and other big plugs might be better than fly fishing for the big ones down there. Maybe someone more experienced has an opinion on that.

scott44 05-23-2013 04:22 PM

spring lizards work

muse2165 05-23-2013 04:46 PM

If your not dead set on fly fishing then throw countdown rapala's. I have never fished where you are, but do target big fish on the tuck in WNC.

Rainbow and gold seem to do best here. Match the larger baitfish you see in the river or match smaller stocked trout. Crawfish immitations work well too.

Gbang 05-23-2013 05:33 PM

My good friend who has the state record Brown. Told me that a 20lb trout doesn't get that big by eating flies. It gets that big by eating other trout. So when we go we go BIG

Resica 05-23-2013 06:33 PM

Try fishing at night. Big Brownies like to eat after dark.

615groundpounder 05-24-2013 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Resica (Post 7832932)
Try fishing at night. Big Brownies like to eat after dark.

Not legal here in Georgia!

deast1988 05-24-2013 08:55 AM

Yozuri pins minnow in rainbow color heard some monsters were caught on this one in the hooch.

littleguy 05-24-2013 10:19 AM

I'm breaking out my bass sized jerk baits and minnow baits then as soon as the water release is stopped. Anyone ever try soft jerk baits like a super fluke? They could really work the log jams where Ive seen some "monsters" hanging out. Keep the suggestions coming!

btt202 05-24-2013 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 615groundpounder (Post 7833856)
Not legal here in Georgia!

You say It's not legal to fish at night in Ga. ???????

Hookum 05-24-2013 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by btt202 (Post 7834152)
You say It's not legal to fish at night in Ga. ???????

For trout...

Vmarsh 05-24-2013 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by btt202 (Post 7834152)
You say It's not legal to fish at night in Ga. ???????

Not in this case.

NCHillbilly 05-24-2013 12:51 PM

Never fished the Hooch, but trout are trout, and back in my younger days, I used to do a lot of fishing specifically targeting big browns here in western NC. Here's a few things I learned over the years:

First of all, I'm not talking about those big two-foot-long stocker "brood fish" that they dump in the stocked creeks sometimes. You can catch them on anything, just like the other hatchery doughbellies. I'm talking about stream-bred and old holdover browns that have been in the creek for years.

You can catch a big trout here and there by chance using almost any method if you fish enough and put in enough hours on the water. I've caught a few trout over 20" fly fishing, mostly on nymphs or big streamers, and even on a dry fly. I've caught them on small spinners, and I once even caught a 28" lake-run brown that weighed close to ten pounds on a micro-tube jig under a float while I was crappie fishing.

BUT- to consistantly catch +20" browns, you have to fish differently than you do to catch numbers of normal-sized trout. When trout get that size, they don't usually hang around eating bugs (unless there is a major hatch of flies or some such going on,) they are predators that are after a lot of meat at one chomp. A big brown will eat foot-long hatchery trout, snakes, horneyheads, crawfish, chipmunks, or about anything else that lives in or falls into the water.

First point: use big lures. The ones that have worked the best for me to consistantly catch big browns are big Rapalas (#7-#11,) and big, deep running spinners-specifically, Blue Fox Super Vibrax Spinners in #2 or # 3 or even #4 size depending on how deep the water is. You want the gold blade with a plain treble. Mepps Aglias and Helix work, as do big black/yellow Panther Martins, but there is just something about the Blue Fox that seems to make big browns want to eat it. Another point to using big lures is to get them down deep. Big browns aren't as apt to come to the surface to feed-just getting a lure down deeper than other fishermen makes a difference.

Second point: fish where they are. The bigger browns are usually in the deeper holes with cover, such as log jams and undercut banks, big rocks, and overhanging tree limbs. You don't usually find big browns out in shallow, open water. They will come out of cover to feed in the right conditions, but they're still going to be near these types of places. Expect to lose a lot of lures, because you're fishing deep around cover.

Third point: fish at the right time. Right at daylight in the morning, and just before dark at night are best during normal weather. Especially early morning before the fog burns off. Bigger browns tend to be nocturnal or low-light feeders.

Early spring is by far the best time of year. Around here, I've caught most of my bigger trout in April and May. Weather and water condition is also very important. Rainy, drizzly days are the best.

The absolute best time to catch a big brown is right after a good heavy thunderstorm when the water rises a little and starts to get a dingy off-color. That's when those big browns come out from under their fortresses and lay in the edge of the current in the swift runs at the heads of those deep holes and gorge themselves. They're actively feeding, and they're holding in a spot where you can get a lure to them.

Fourth point: Be persistant, work hard at it, and don't be afraid to try something different. By the time a brown gets big, he has seen about every bait and lure made come drifting by him, and has maybe been caught and released more than once. Fishermen tend to be lazy and have a herd instinct-most of the people fishing a stream will often be using much the same baits and techniques and fishing the same places the same way.

What you want to do is be different. For example, if a hole is usually fished from one side of the river by most people, go to the other side and work your lure from a different direction than the fish is used to seeing. If it's hard to get over there, so much the better.

Don't give up. If you know or suspect that a big brown is living in a certain hole, keep after him, and try to get there under ideal conditions. And remember, fishing like this, you won't catch a lot of fish, but the ones you do catch will be mostly good ones.

Fifth point- don't be afraid to try different lures and techniques that the trout haven't seen. The ones I listed are probably the best all-around for big trout fishing, but other things can be very effective sometimes in some situations, especially on heavily-fished streams. I'm talking weird stuff like throwing deep-running bass crankbaits, flukes, big spoons, and such in trout streams. People will look at you funny and laugh at you, but you can laugh right back at themat them when you catch that big hook-jawed brown out from under their noses. I learned this lesson from a man who probably couldn't have normally caught a trout if it was hemmed up in a five-gallon bucket and he had a dip net in his hand:

I was camping once many years ago in a National Park campground on a small trout stream in the Smokies. There were a whole bunch of us locals camping there fly-fishing that week. Most of us grew up fishing this creek, and could catch a fish out of it if one could be caught by anybody. This was in summertime, the weather was hot, the water was low and clear, and the fishing was as tough as I had ever seen it. Nobody was catching any fish. These were spooky wild trout, and the creek got a lot of fishing pressure.Most of us locals who knew the creek well were doing good to catch a few 6" dinks, and we were having to sneak around in the bushes, make long casts, use 10' leaders, less-than-1-lb-test tippets and tiny little dry flies about the size of dandruff flakes to catch even those few little guys, and they were pretty much only hitting in the first and last hours of daylight.

About noon one day, we were sitting around talking and tying flies at a picnic table at one of our campsites, when this yuppie tourist family from Florida comes rolling into the campground in a big Winnebago. After they got their camp set up, the tourist guy sees our fly rods leaning up against the trees at our campsite and comes over to talk. He likes to fish, but the only fishing he has ever done is bass fishing in Florida. He wants really bad to catch a trout, but knows absolutely nothing about them or how to catch them, and wants advice. We tell him that the fishing is as tough as it gets this week on this creek, and that maybe he should go try a trout pond or one of the heavily-stocked trout streams over on the Cherokee reservation.

He thanks us and walks back to his campsite. A few minutes later he emerges from his Winnebago, and goes walking through the campground toward the creek toting a big bait-casting rod with about twenty-pound-test line on it, and what looks like a Texas-rigged chartreuse firetail plastic worm about 10" long with about a 1/2-ounce bullet sinker and a 5/0 hook hanging off the end of it. We all laughed until we couldn't breathe after he got out of sight.

He had been gone about maybe five minutes and we were still laughing and cracking jokes at his expense when he comes back up through the campground carrying his rod in one hand and a big fat hook-jawed 27" brown trout in the other hand. He came over and asked us if it was big enough to keep. He said trout fishing was a lot easier than bass fishing-he had just walked down to the creek and cast into the first big hole he came to, and this trout had grabbed the plastic worm on the first cast and he winched it in. He ate it for supper and said it tasted pretty good, kinda like salmon.

littleguy 05-24-2013 01:03 PM

Awesome post! I sincerely appreciate your insight. I will rethink and change my ways because while I like the feel good I caught spades of dough-bellies, I want to catch at least one 20+ incher on the Hooch. When my friend was at Western in Sylva, I tried and was humbled repeatedly on the streams around there. Even Cherokee would not give up any. It is much tougher on those small streams!

PharmD 05-24-2013 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NCHillbilly (Post 7834387)
Never fished the Hooch, but trout are trout, and back in my younger days, I used to do a lot of fishing specifically targeting big browns here in western NC. Here's a few things I learned over the years:

First of all, I'm not talking about those big two-foot-long stocker "brood fish" that they dump in the stocked creeks sometimes. You can catch them on anything, just like the other hatchery doughbellies. I'm talking about stream-bred and old holdover browns that have been in the creek for years.

You can catch a big trout here and there by chance using almost any method if you fish enough and put in enough hours on the water. I've caught a few trout over 20" fly fishing, mostly on nymphs or big streamers, and even on a dry fly. I've caught them on small spinners, and I once even caught a 28" lake-run brown that weighed close to ten pounds on a micro-tube jig under a float while I was crappie fishing.

BUT- to consistantly catch +20" browns, you have to fish differently than you do to catch numbers of normal-sized trout. When trout get that size, they don't usually hang around eating bugs (unless there is a major hatch of flies or some such going on,) they are predators that are after a lot of meat at one chomp. A big brown will eat foot-long hatchery trout, snakes, horneyheads, crawfish, chipmunks, or about anything else that lives in or falls into the water.

First point: use big lures. The ones that have worked the best for me to consistantly catch big browns are big Rapalas (#7-#11,) and big, deep running spinners-specifically, Blue Fox Super Vibrax Spinners in #2 or # 3 or even #4 size depending on how deep the water is. You want the gold blade with a plain treble. Mepps Aglias and Helix work, as do big black/yellow Panther Martins, but there is just something about the Blue Fox that seems to make big browns want to eat it. Another point to using big lures is to get them down deep. Big browns aren't as apt to come to the surface to feed-just getting a lure down deeper than other fishermen makes a difference.

Second point: fish where they are. The bigger browns are usually in the deeper holes with cover, such as log jams and undercut banks, big rocks, and overhanging tree limbs. You don't usually find big browns out in shallow, open water. They will come out of cover to feed in the right conditions, but they're still going to be near these types of places. Expect to lose a lot of lures, because you're fishing deep around cover.

Third point: fish at the right time. Right at daylight in the morning, and just before dark at night are best during normal weather. Especially early morning before the fog burns off. Bigger browns tend to be nocturnal or low-light feeders.

Early spring is by far the best time of year. Around here, I've caught most of my bigger trout in April and May. Weather and water condition is also very important. Rainy, drizzly days are the best.

The absolute best time to catch a big brown is right after a good heavy thunderstorm when the water rises a little and starts to get a dingy off-color. That's when those big browns come out from under their fortresses and lay in the edge of the current in the swift runs at the heads of those deep holes and gorge themselves. They're actively feeding, and they're holding in a spot where you can get a lure to them.

Fourth point: Be persistant, work hard at it, and don't be afraid to try something different. By the time a brown gets big, he has seen about every bait and lure made come drifting by him, and has maybe been caught and released more than once. Fishermen tend to be lazy and have a herd instinct-most of the people fishing a stream will often be using much the same baits and techniques and fishing the same places the same way.

What you want to do is be different. For example, if a hole is usually fished from one side of the river by most people, go to the other side and work your lure from a different direction than the fish is used to seeing. If it's hard to get over there, so much the better.

Don't give up. If you know or suspect that a big brown is living in a certain hole, keep after him, and try to get there under ideal conditions. And remember, fishing like this, you won't catch a lot of fish, but the ones you do catch will be mostly good ones.

Fifth point- don't be afraid to try different lures and techniques that the trout haven't seen. The ones I listed are probably the best all-around for big trout fishing, but other things can be very effective sometimes in some situations, especially on heavily-fished streams. I'm talking weird stuff like throwing deep-running bass crankbaits, flukes, big spoons, and such in trout streams. People will look at you funny and laugh at you, but you can laugh right back at themat them when you catch that big hook-jawed brown out from under their noses. I learned this lesson from a man who probably couldn't have normally caught a trout if it was hemmed up in a five-gallon bucket and he had a dip net in his hand:

I was camping once many years ago in a National Park campground on a small trout stream in the Smokies. There were a whole bunch of us locals camping there fly-fishing that week. Most of us grew up fishing this creek, and could catch a fish out of it if one could be caught by anybody. This was in summertime, the weather was hot, the water was low and clear, and the fishing was as tough as I had ever seen it. Nobody was catching any fish. These were spooky wild trout, and the creek got a lot of fishing pressure.Most of us locals who knew the creek well were doing good to catch a few 6" dinks, and we were having to sneak around in the bushes, make long casts, use 10' leaders, less-than-1-lb-test tippets and tiny little dry flies about the size of dandruff flakes to catch even those few little guys, and they were pretty much only hitting in the first and last hours of daylight.

About noon one day, we were sitting around talking and tying flies at a picnic table at one of our campsites, when this yuppie tourist family from Florida comes rolling into the campground in a big Winnebago. After they got their camp set up, the tourist guy sees our fly rods leaning up against the trees at our campsite and comes over to talk. He likes to fish, but the only fishing he has ever done is bass fishing in Florida. He wants really bad to catch a trout, but knows absolutely nothing about them or how to catch them, and wants advice. We tell him that the fishing is as tough as it gets this week on this creek, and that maybe he should go try a trout pond or one of the heavily-stocked trout streams over on the Cherokee reservation.

He thanks us and walks back to his campsite. A few minutes later he emerges from his Winnebago, and goes walking through the campground toward the creek toting a big bait-casting rod with about twenty-pound-test line on it, and what looks like a Texas-rigged chartreuse firetail plastic worm about 10" long with about a 1/2-ounce bullet sinker and a 5/0 hook hanging off the end of it. We all laughed until we couldn't breathe after he got out of sight.

He had been gone about maybe five minutes and we were still laughing and cracking jokes at his expense when he comes back up through the campground carrying his rod in one hand and a big fat hook-jawed 27" brown trout in the other hand. He came over and asked us if it was big enough to keep. He said trout fishing was a lot easier than bass fishing-he had just walked down to the creek and cast into the first big hole he came to, and this trout had grabbed the plastic worm on the first cast and he winched it in. He ate it for supper and said it tasted pretty good, kinda like salmon.

Now that was a quality post! Thank ya sir!

Cliff Speed 05-24-2013 01:35 PM

You can fish most year round trout streams in GA at night but not the Hooch tailwater, however there is at least one great year round, wild brown trout river in GA that you can fish at night, and it does have some really big browns in it, but it's not the Hooch. If night fishing doesn't interest you, the best time of year to target browns is in the fall as the season is starting to close, because that's when browns start spawning and they will feed a lot less selectively and more during daylight hours.

NCHillbilly 05-24-2013 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cliff Speed (Post 7834481)
You can fish most year round trout streams in GA at night but not the Hooch tailwater, however there is at least one great year round, wild brown trout river in GA that you can fish at night, and it does have some really big browns in it, but it's not the Hooch. If night fishing doesn't interest you, the best time of year to target browns is in the fall as the season is starting to close, because that's when browns start spawning and they will feed a lot less selectively and more during daylight hours.

The browns and brookies sure are pretty colored in the Fall when they're spawning, too. You can find some big browns in weird places in the fall spawn sometimes, like 20" fish in little jump-across creeks.


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