SOCIAL CIRCLE — Georgia has a 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 black bass species, 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," says 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 species in Georgia.
Knowing 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 spooled with 8-10 pound test line. Next, 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.
During fall, bass key in on shad forage while feeding up for the winter. Floating baits resembling small shad, minnows or blueback herring will entice bites from all three bass species. For deep-water bass angling, use a one-fourth to three-eights ounce jigheads with your favorite plastic curly-tailed grub or plastic shad lure skewered on it.
Don’t forget striped bass
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, come equipped with a medium-heavy spinning outfit 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.
For bass fishing throughout Georgia, the division recommends the following fishing spots and the species to pursue at each:
• Savannah River
• Ogeechee River
• Lakes Hartwell, Nottely and Lanier
• The Chattahoochee River
• Lake Oconee
• Lake Richard B. Russell
• Lakes Varner and Black Shoals
• West Point Lake
• Big Lazer Public Fishing Area
• Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center/Marben Farms PFA
• Ocmulgee PFA
• High Falls Lake
• Toccoa River
• Ochlockonee River
• Flint River
• Ocmulgee River