FISHING REPORTS! 3/6/21 (Multiple Species! Lakes, Rivers, etc)

Thread starter #1
Alright, I've been all over the place snatching fish lately, and everyone wants to know where they're at and what they're doing, so yet again here I am to get you up to speed on what's happening! Remember, I pretty much fish from the bank almost exclusively, so I can't tell you too much about the offshore bite on some lakes, but I'll carry on anyway. Let's start with the lakes....

LAKE LANIER

Water temp: Mid 50 to low 60 range

Clarity: Clear on main lake, slightly stained up the creeks

Largemouth Bass - The largemouth are pre spawn and moving up into shallow water. Some were up shallow all year, but now numbers are getting better every day. Haven't seen any spawners yet, but they're all fat and full of bait. They're on points, secondary points, at the mouths of creeks, and up the warmer creeks they're on shoreline cover like fish attractors and fallen trees. Really finding them in 10ft or less of water. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs are all producing fish. A spro rock crawler, Rapala DT series and a Strike King series 3-5 are all working well. Your choice of colors are anything red craw, shad patterned, or chrome. I choose chrome on sunny days where the water has at least 4-6ft of visibility, and Chartreuse sexy shad up the creeks with more stain to them. There's also fish around docks right now. A green pumpkin variation (any one of them I've tried has worked better than most other colors) skipped around shallow docks is working well. Medium to medium light spinning gear is a must here, because they're oftentimes grabbing the bait as it falls. I opt for a wacky rig or flick shake with them right now. There is a little bit of a soft jerkbait bite right now, but that bite normally picks up in April and peaks mid month into may for me, so there's your heads up on that. Spinnerbait and chatterbait (if you prefer) colors have pretty much just been chartreuse over white. I will say double willow blades is producing better than tandem blades.

Spotted Bass - The spots as per usual are even more aggressive than the largemouth. They're in sightly deeper water, but can be caught shallow as well. When looking for them, instead of looking up creeks and bays and mouths of creek arms, I'm looking at main lake structure. Points, channel swings, bluffs, deeper docks, riprap banks, and such are all holding fish. Now from the bank, I actually have to fish around and look for clues to see if they're there or not. From a boat, I suggest you run all these types of places until you find baitfish. Find the bait, you'll find the bass. (And whatever else is mixed in with them) For lures, crankbaits, shaky head, drop shot, small jigs and swimbaits are all working. Any hand poured worm on a deep drop shot in green pumpkin, brown, purple or pink will work. Not really responding to blue like they normally are, though I'd imagine you could tempt a fish or two with prism shad in the clearer parts of the lake. Pretty much green pumpkin on all soft worm and creature baits at the moment. Finesse jigs that are brown or green pumpkin with a little red or orange in them are doing well too and may get you a little bigger fish. On shaky head, I'm using finesse worms in green pumpkin variations with the tail spiked in chartreuse JJ's magic dipping dye. With the crankbait, I'm going slightly smaller than I would for largemouth, although many of the same colors are working. Instead of the first baits I named, I go with the spro little john, the spro rock crawler in it's smaller size and the 6th Sense Curve 55. A jerkbait has plucked a few finicky fish from some areas as well. I'm throwing a Megabass Vision 110 in both versions of Pro Blue on 10lb fluorocarbon. Work your crankbait over chunk rock points for active fish and if they don't respond or you stop catching them, come back at them with the jig or shaky head. On swimbaits, slow rolling a small one in the 3-4 inch size on a jig head will produce fish. Any white or shad pattern will work. You have lots of options to choose from here! You could even go with spybaits, scrounger heads and such right now I bet, but they're not necessary. Here's a pro tip - folks usually wait until post spawn to fish topwater, but the topwater bite is already getting started. Don't be afraid to try it! That's all I'll say about that for now.

Stripers/White Bass - They're active and really kind of scattered. Both feeding on the main lake and moving upstream to spawn. One thing is for sure though, wherever you find them, they're eating! They're stupidly aggressive right now. Anything that even remotely looks like a shad or herring is getting crushed. Take your pick : jerkbait, crankbait, lipless crankbait, grubs, chatterbait, hard or soft swimbait, they're ALL getting hit! Even a fish here and there on topwater or flukes when they're pushing bait close enough to the surface. Look at the river mouths, nearby flats, points, and bigger feeder creeks for them. Find the bait fish and they'll be there. Normally they're shallower early and late in the day and moving deeper by midday where they're vulnerable to jigging spoons. White, bone, and chrome are your choices in color. Sometimes a splash of chartreuse. A little secret bait I keep up my sleeve is a yellow or white bucktail jig with a white or chartreuse Berkley gulp curly tail trailer on it. Jig it or troll it in deeper water when you find the schools and hang on! Live bait fished on downlines during the day are effective too. The redfin and spook bite are still a ways off, so this is the current pattern right now.

Crappie - Crappie are a little scattered, anywhere from 4-15 feet up the creeks and on main lake as far as I can tell. Some under docks, some suspended in brush, some around marinas, some on bridge pilings and some on points. The key is cover and baitfish though. Find those key factors, and there will be crappie. For baits, I pretty much have only used jigs. Bobby Garland baby shads in monkey milk have been money. Bass pro crappie maxx tubes in white and yellow have worked, and anything in black/chartreuse has worked too. Electric chicken has gotten bites, but not as many. I like the strike king paddle tails right now in monkey milk chartreuse pretty well too. The top grub color however, is a color called Weiss lake special i believe. Kind of a light blue with a pearl belly and chartreuse tail. A red and white hair jig is also getting smashed! The fish can be caught a number of ways, but just a bobber with a jig and vertical fishing from a boat or dock are the best bets lately.

Catfish - Channel cats are moving back up again. Bottom fishing with cut bait is producing best. Taking some shad and cutting them in 3-4 pieces and fishing them with a 3/0 gamakatsu octopus circle hook is the ticket. As for where, try near the bridges, deeper holes in the creeks, and riprap banks. No monsters, but plenty 3-5lb eating size cats. This bite will explode come May/June like it normally does.


LAKE ALLATOONA

Temp: Mid 50 to low 60 range

Clarity: slightly stained to somewhat clear

Bass - fishing much like on Lanier, but with a twist. Much smaller baitfish and fish are a little less predictable. Regardless, fishing anywhere there's some hard bottom and some baitfish is doing well. 20ft or less depth zone is producing. I'm doing better with shaky heads and drop shot than power fishing, but they won't hesitate to grab a small swimbait or grub. The old cheapo berkley powerbait pre rigged shads and storm wildeye swim shads from walmart are catching everything in the lake right now. A white 3 inch on a spinning rod will do you fine, especially if you have kids or beginners with you. If you want a more sophisticated approach or find fish holding to bottom structure like rock points or rocky banks in the creeks, try the neko rig and the Megabass swimbait options. The hazedong shad on the okashira head in the smaller 3 inch size works well. There's a hot senko bite going on and any way you fish one will get bit. Any craw color crankbait is working well also. There's a jerkbait bite a little bit, but instead of the larger Megabass I use at Lanier, I'm now using either the new vision 110+1 Jr, or the lucky craft pointer 78 in chartreuse shad.

Crappie: Shallow cover in the creeks is holding them as well as some deeper brush. Jigs and minnows are working well. A high-low rig is producing double hookups. A live bait or drop shot hook on top followed by a short leader with a jig at the bottom is great! For whatever reason, they like electric chicken here more than Lanier but all the other colors are working well too. They're just not responding to orange for whatever reason. Best color lately though is blue and white.

Catfish - catch cats with chicken liver and cutbait in deeper water. The creeks still don't have a lot of water in them just yet. Spots with easy access to deep water is producing more strikes.

White Bass/Stripers - They're moving upriver! Look at river and creek mouths and near them for baitfish. They're hitting live bait and jigs pretty well.


CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER:

Clarity : slightly clear to slightly stained

Temp : mid - low 50 range

I haven't made my way to West Point just yet, but planning to get down there like I do every year pretty soon, at which point, I'll update this post. For now, here's what's going on with the upper hooch aka "trout water" from Buford dam down past Morgan Falls.

Bass - Largemouth, Spots and Shoalies have magically reappeared! Spinnerbaits, jigs, and flipping baits are producing well. Current breaks and holes on the bank have fish. The back side of fallen trees has them too. Try a shallow jerkbait too.

Striper - striped bass are feeding well! Every week we land some good ones. Bigger fish this time of year as well, with an average fish of 20lbs. They'll take bait and artificial. Bottom fishing or casting plugs, swimbaits and jigs is all working. Deep holes and current breaks are where you need to look. Buddy of mine landed a 38.5 pounder recently as well and I've landed and broke off a few in the 20 range. They're definitely here and feeding to get on their way down to West Point. Though most of them go down there in the spring and return in the summer, there's a handful of year round resident fish, so don't be discouraged if you're not smashing them.

Other species: Crappie, perch and largemouth are in the sloughs and carp have arrived as well. They're feeding well when the water is up but when it gets low they're forced to vacate and hold in deeper water. I'd advise you to pay attention to the water level when you go.

PONDS AND SMALL LAKES:

Water clarity and conditions are variable here, but the general thing happening is you already have fish that are full blown into their spring patterns. If you're a bass guy, depending on the size of the pond, there's both fish on bed already and pre spawners. If you're after crappie, it's the same thing. Catfish are feeding well too and the carp are extremely active on warm days even jumping full body out the water already. For baits, take an assortment of spinnerbaits, worms and chatterbaits. Crankbaits and shallow jerkbaits will get bit as well. A small rapala jerkbait will work on a ton of species if you're not after anything in particular and just wanna catch fish. A yellow 1/4oz rooster tail spinner with a silver blade if you're a beginner, old school, or just plain like to keep things simple. Soft jerkbaits, floating worms in bright colors and wacky and Texas rigs are all good choices now too. A yellow curly tail grub on a ball head jig on a medium light spinning rod spooled with 8lb test is all you need to be honest for any small pond right now. You'll catch bass, panfish, the occasional catfish or carp, and you can just walk the bank and toss it while having all your day's tackle in your pocket. Even if it's just a short lunch break fishing trip. You'll fill a stringer in a hurry this way too if you're after dinner, and that grub will do anything from catch a finicky crappie to pulling an 8lb Largemouth off a bed if you need it to.
 
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Dustin Pate

Administrator
Staff member
CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER:
Striper - They're definitely here and feeding to get on their way down to West Point. Though most of them go down there in the spring and return in the summer, there's a handful of year round resident fish, so don't be discouraged if you're not smashing them.
That isn't the case. The fish you are catching in that area are fish that travel up from West Point to spawn. They do not come back this way until fall. You do have fish that make the journey once the lake warms up into the 80 degree range in the summer as you say.
 
Thread starter #5
That isn't the case. The fish you are catching in that area are fish that travel up from West Point to spawn. They do not come back this way until fall. You do have fish that make the journey once the lake warms up into the 80 degree range in the summer as you say.
The general understanding I was told by the regulars years ago is they spawn at the west point and Columbus area and then make it to Morgan falls for the cooler water, but honestly I don't think anyone knows for sure unless fisheries biologists are tagging them. All I know for sure is I catch em šŸ˜†
 
I can guarantee you that if anyone knows what a striper does, it's DP. Years of study and research.... Facts and proof. Talking to biologists at length, and living in the river for these fish. I just dabble but Dustin lives it. Boy only is he the best i know, and loves helping anyone who wants it the help and advice to catch whatever is swimming in his river.
 

hawkeye123

Senior Member
I can guarantee you that if anyone knows what a striper does, it's DP. Years of study and research.... Facts and proof. Talking to biologists at length, and living in the river for these fish. I just dabble but Dustin lives it. Boy only is he the best i know, and loves helping anyone who wants it the help and advice to catch whatever is swimming in his river.
This times 10, every year I am amazed at the quality & quantity of fish he pulls out of that river, He's the Robert Carter of fishing!
 

Nimrod71

Senior Member
Altamaha River: The Altamaha is still to full for good fishing. But a good fisherman can always catch a mess to eat. That being said, a few people have caught Crappie trolling oxbows along the river, bush hoods and trotlines have been the best form of fishing the past few months. If the river continues dropping we should be able to make Shellcracker season.
 

TurkeyH90

Senior Member
I will chime in on this report: I fish a 15 acre pond in the middle of the state a couple times a week. Have caught some really nice bass crankin 10 ft ish water until last week. I can tell some bass are bedding but water is too stained to see beds. Seemed like they moved shallow early last week. Friday with "Big Fish" conditions (cloud cover and a light chop) I made an unscheduled trip. Only got 2 bites but the one I landed was a shade over 6lbs and on my favorite lure the Buzzbait. Saw some other fish rolling near the grass beds but my son was unable to temp them with a frog. Looking forward to a consistent warming trend.
 
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