FLINT RIVER SHOAL BASS - CHATTAHOOCHEE STRIPERS
LARGEMOUTH BASS & BREAM LAKES - GAR & CARP
Shoal bass on the Flint stayed good well into November, in spite of the drought and the very low water flow. Contrary to popular opinion, low water does not shut down the shoal bass - it just makes the fishing different.
Currently we are stalking stripers. The fishing has not really kicked in, perhaps due to the lack of rain and the resulting low flows from upstream dams on the Chattahoochee. Lake fishing for stripes is pretty reliable, but we prefer to find the fish in shallower moving water. We're getting some scattered fish in Georgia and Alabama but are looking for it to get much better with the cooling temperatures and increased water flow.
The Flint - April to November
We didn't get started on the Flint until the last half of April this year. That was because of some heavy rains and high water and also because the striped bass on the Chattahoochee stayed strong til near the end of the month. And it was a busy winter/spring season at the Habersham Mill Fly Fishing School.
But once it got started, the Flint was (as it almost always is) GREAT! April saw moderately high water, and periodically some stain, but the fish were definitely on the feed.
The rain pretty much stopped for the season in May and water levels began to drop (but the fishing didn't!). In June, Bill T landed a spectacular shoal bass in a very shallow, inconspicuous run. The fish ate a Stealth Bomber. The spider lilies were blooming in record levels -maybe that's why the fish were so happy.
July and August saw water levels way down and required a change in technique but the fishing stayed good. We caught some good fish on topwater all through the day and many more on sub-surface stuff.
The warm weather lasted into November and the fish continued to bite good. We had some banner days, and even having fished the river for over 30 years now, I was often amazed at how skinny these fish will get. As winter nears, I always get the itch to startt chasing some river stripers but I know that come spring, I'll be even more anxious than usual to get back to this beautiful fishery.
The Chattahoochee - January to April
Winter time is striper and hybrid striper time down here on the river, but with 20" of rain from Christmas week to the middle February, it was hard to find fishable water. We finally got on the stripers in mid-February and it was worth the wait.
In March the spawning run got started above West Point and it was an exceptional season there - one of our best. Then we moved below West Point, and eventually down to below Columbus (fishing the "whitewater course" there). We're lucky to have several sections of river near by that have substantial differences in timing, so we stretched the spawn into April. It was still happening when we left to get some shoal bass on the Flint.
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