3-DAY WEATHER FORECAST:
Walter F. George Operated by the COE, this 45,180 acre Chattahoochee River reservoir encompasses 640 miles of Georgia and Alabama shoreline and 85 river miles between Columbus and Ft. Gaines. Power generation schedules and lake elevations can be obtained by calling the COE powerhouse, 24 hours/day at 229 768 2424. There are 23 boat ramps on this lake and the COE charges a $3 daily launch fee. They also charge $3 per car or $1 per person daily beach use fees. Users can pay an annual fee of $30, which covers all daily use of boat ramps and beaches. Fuel is available at George T. Bagby State Park and Florence Marina on the Georgia side and at Lake Point Resort and Chewalla Marina on the Alabama side.
WRD research in 2007 showed good numbers of largemouth bass, which indicates good fishing for 2008. There is a 14 inch minimum size limit for largemouth bass on this lake. During the spring local anglers prefer plastic worms, spinner baits and shallow running crank baits. The most productive spring fishing sites are near Lake Point Resort, Hwy. 82 causeway and the back end of creeks and coves. The most productive time period for bass is from mid March through May, but the warmer summer months can be productive if anglers target deeper structure along creek and river channels. Bream fishing on Walter F. George includes bluegill and redear sunfish. Bluegill will be relatively small, averaging 4 7 inches, and the average redear will be 7 9 inches. Favorite fishing spots for bluegill are the shallow ends of coves, creeks and sloughs, especially above the Hwy. 82 causeway. The shallow flats from East Bank boat ramp, north to Sandy Creek, is often a productive site for redear fishing. Favorite baits are crickets and worms, and the best time is April through June.
Overall crappie numbers were down during the 2007 gill net survey, but there were good numbers of fish 12 inches and larger. The average crappie sampled in the fall of 2007 was 10 ½ inches, up about one half inch from last year. Crappie should weigh around ¾ lb. this spring, with good numbers of fish up to 1 ½ pounds Crappie are usually the first fish to start biting each year, and anglers should start looking for them during the winter, but the best fishing will be from February through April. Favorite spots are at creek mouths and under bridges. Other hotspots include Moccasin Slough, Pataula Creek, White Oak Creek, Rood Creek and Grass Creek. Most successful anglers fish with minnows or jigs, at 12 16 foot depths. A good place to start is at any of the 24 fish attractors located on the Georgia side of the reservoir. The sites are marked with buoys, and a map of their locations can be obtained by calling the COE office (229 768 2516). Bank anglers should try the fishing piers at Hardridge Creek, and Florence Marina or the marked fishing areas at East Bank and River Bluff boat ramps. These fishing piers also are accessible to anglers with physical disabilities.
Hybrid bass fishing will be good this year, with excellent numbers of larger 3 4 pounds fish and with fish up to 8 ½ lbs available. Shiny artificial lures that imitate shad work well. Local anglers use spoons, rooster tails, rattle traps and deep diving crank baits. Some anglers have good luck bottom fishing at night with chicken liver or dead shrimp, but the most popular fishing technique is trolling over sand flats in 10 15 feet of water. Good areas to try are found from Sandy Creek to Pataula Creek, near Cool Branch landing, and just above the Hwy. 82 causeway.
The catfish population is dominated by channel catfish, but there are an increasing number of blue catfish in the reservoir. Blue catfish, a relative to channel catfish, have a narrower head and longer, straight edged anal fin. Both channel and blue catfish will generally be small, averaging 1 2 pounds , but larger fish are present. Worms and blood bait fished in 15 20 feet will produce good results for both species. While both species can be found throughout the reservoir, blues are more common in the upper end of the reservoir and large blues (up to 30 pounds ) have been caught in recent years.
Several new infestations of Hydrilla, an exotic aquatic plant, were again found in this reservoir last year despite efforts to treat it.
Anglers can help prevent the spread of this, and other nuisance aquatic plants, by inspecting their tackle, boat motor and trailer and removing all plant fragments before entering or leaving boat ramps. Please help keep all nuisance weeds out of this and other Georgia reservoirs. To combat the increasing spread of hydrilla, the COE released 13,440 vegetation consuming grass carp into Walter F. George. More information can be found at:
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