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Ga. only state to have six black bass species
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SOCIAL CIRCLE — Georgia still holds the coveted title for the world record largemouth — a record that stands after more than 75 years. The impressive catch, lured from Montgomery Lake in 1932, tipped the scales at 22 pounds, 4 ounces. But a world record catch isn’t Georgia’s only claim to fame — it’s the state’s diversity of bass that continues to reel in anglers from across the nation.
As the only state in the nation with six of the seven species of black bass, Georgia stands out as a bass angler’s paradise. This fall, regardless of where you are in the state, bass fishing opportunities abound, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is providing anglers with some helpful bass fishing information.
“Bass are a favorite species for anglers, and while people are most familiar with largemouth bass, it is by no means the only bass angling opportunity in the state,” said John Biagi, the division’s chief of Fisheries Management. “We encourage all anglers, beginners and experienced, to get out this fall, enjoy the weather and fish for bass. And don’t forget to take a kid fishing!”
Several species of black bass are fall favorites, including largemouth, smallmouth, shoal and spotted bass. Redeye and Suwannee round out the six available black bass species here in Georgia.
The knowledge of where to go is just part of the ammunition necessary to becoming a successful bass angler — having the right equipment is the other component for success.
For species such as largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, the division recommends using a six-foot medium action, spinning outfit filled with 8-10 lb. test line. Next, you need to determine if you will be fishing top-water or deep-water. The top-water bite typically is best in the early morning and late evening.
Floating or shallow running baits resembling small shad, minnows or blueback herring will entice bites from both species. For deep-water bass angling, use 1/4-3/8 oz. soft plastic jigs, Texas or Carolina rigged softbaits, jigging spoons, deep diving crankbaits, live nightcrawlers or minnows. Deep-water angling can be used year-round, but can be especially effective in summer when fish are holding in the deep, cooler waters of a lake or reservoir.
Another fall favorite, striped bass, often confused as one of Georgia’s six black bass species, actually belong to the temperate bass family. Anglers can find some exceptional striped bass fishing in Georgia, including native coastal river populations.
When fishing for striped bass in Georgia’s estuaries, one should come equipped with a medium-heavy spinning outfit (20-30 lb. class) with one of the new small diameter superlines. This will assist in getting the bait to the bottom where striped bass are feeding on shrimp.
Effective lures include 1/2-3/4 oz. bucktail jigs, 1 oz. rattle traps and 1 oz. swim shads.
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