There’s never been a better time for spring fishing in Georgia, so grab your favorite rod and reel and hit the water! Here are the places you won’t want to miss.
Crappie are staging in the mouths of creeks and then move into the shallows for the spawn. Oconee’s crappie population has been steady over the last few years and should continue to produce both good size and numbers of keeper fish. Crappie fishing doesn’t get much easier than during the spawn, and now is the time to fill the stringer.
Tips: Target standing timber and man-made brush piles in Sugar Creek and the upper end of the lake, as well as the upper ends of other major creek arms, such as Richland, Sandy and Lick creeks. When the fish are staging, trolling minnow or jigs is a good technique. Once the spawn begins, cast to fish around shallow timber.
Savannah River striped bass fishing is good. Fish bridges around Port Wentworth on the first of an outgoing tide. Avoid spring tides since they muddy the water and slow the fishing.
The Coosa River white bass run is one of the most popular fishing events of the year in northwest Georgia. Both boat and bank anglers can get in on the action, with several boat ramps available and good bank access at Mayo’s Bar Lock and Dam near Rome. Although many anglers get anxious to shake off the winter doldrums by fishing the early part of the run in March, the best fishing usually peaks in early April and then the numbers slowly decline throughout the month as the spawn runs its course and the fish disperse.
Tips: Good places to find fish are creek mouths, around blown down trees in current, and sandy banks. Fish deeper to catch the larger females. Medium-diving crankbaits in chrome or shad patterns are a great choice. A quarter-ounce jig and plastic grub combo is a proven producer. Good colors include pearl, white, and yellow. Live bait anglers also do well with minnows.
Trout season is in and anglers would do well to give Rock Creek a try. This trout stream southeast of Blue Ridge is heavily stocked and public access is excellent since much of the creek flows through the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Clarks Hill Lake near Augusta is excellent bass fishing year round, and April is no exception. Carolina-rigging a plastic lizard across flats and gravel points is sure to produce.
The bream are hot when the mayfly hatch is going strong. A tree dropping mayflies attracts fat bluegill like moths to a flame. A fly rod is a fun way to get into the action.
Tips: Even a novice can have good success their first time out. Topnotch equipment, casting accuracy, and delicate presentations need not apply here. Just slap a buggy-looking fly or popper down near where the fish are feeding, and get ready for a strike. A 5-weight outfit is a good choice since it provides a fighting chance at any bass that may decide to join the fun.
The Altamaha River is the premier destination in Georgia for monster flathead catfish. Pick a time to go when the water level is stable and before the heat begins to really set in.
The striped bass run is on in the Oostanaula River near Rome. Shad, either live or as cut bait, are favorites with anglers enjoying the best striper fishing of the year on the Oostanaula.
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MSRP: Pricing starts at $22,195.
The 186 VLO measures in at 18 feet 9 inches with an 89-inch beam. The boat is built on a fiberglass, foam-filled hull and weighs in at 1,450 pounds and can hold a payload of 1,320 pounds. Maximum room is devoted to rod and tackle storage and fishing deck. VLO comes with a cus-tom-built, single axle trailer with submersible lights, a swing jack and a swing-away tongue.