Georgia River Fishing Information
Altamaha River 

The Altamaha River flows from the confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers, forming the largest free flowing river in Georgia. Once a major thoroughfare for steamboat traffic, the Altamaha now hosts a variety of sporting activities, ranging from bank and boat fishing, to canoeing and leisure boating, to tournament angling. The diversity of recreational opportunities along with the natural beauty of this wide, meandering river make it a primary resource for freshwater recreational activity in southeast Georgia. 

Guide to Fishing and Floating the Altamaha River

 in PDF (557 KB).  This document contains access and fishing tip information and a color map with river-mile designations.

Prospects and Fishing Tips
Best Bets
LARGEMOUTH BASS, FLATHEAD CATFISH, CRAPPIE & BREAM
Largemouth bass
Prospect There is a strong year class of small to intermediate sized bass and anglers should expect to catch good numbers of 10-14 inch bass, with the occassional lunker fish.
Technique Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and lizards.
Target Bass fishing usually begins to pick up as water temperatures approach 60 degrees (F). In the spring, target oxbow lakes and slack water areas containing overhanging willows and woody structure. During summer, fish in the mainstream concentrating on eddy pockets, the downstream end of sandbars and heavy cover along the banks. Lures should be presented as close as possible to cover for best results.
Catfish
Prospect The Altamaha offers an excellent opportunity for those seeking catfish. Anglers will find plenty of channel and blue catfish, with many of them weighing greater than 3 pounds. The Altamaha is still one of the premier flathead catfish rivers in the southeast. Anglers targeting flatheads should see good numbers of fish in the 4-10 lb size range and an occasional trophy-sized fish exceeding 30 lb. Blue catfish abundance has been increasing in recent years and anglers should encounter decent catches, particularly below Jesup. Fishing peaks in the hot summer months.
Technique When using sporting tackles, a minimum 30-pound test line is recommended. Live bait is key - large worms (Louisiana pinks), shiners and bream are popular. Another method: set lines or limb lines, or trot lines overnight with handsized bream as bait.
Target Deep holes located along the outside bends. An electronic fish finder is useful for locating deep holes and fish.
Bream
Prospect Historically known for an outstanding bream fishery, with redbreast, redear sunfish and bluegill present. Samples revealed average numbers of small to intermediate sized sunfish present this year. However, if current high water levels persist throughout the winter and early spring anglers should expect good catches of keeper sized redbreast sunfish and bluegill this year.
Technique Live bait and artificial lures work for redbreast. Popular live bait tactics: fishing crickets and worms under bobbers or fishing them on the bottom with split-shot weights. Effective artificial lures: small beetle spins, rooster tails and popping bugs (fly rod). Use same tactics for bluegill and redear but concentrate in slow moving water.
Target For redbreast, target deep holes with cover along the main river channel. For bluegill and redear, concentrate in still-water (oxbow) lakes off the main channel.
Crappie
Prospect With a relatively stable population over the past few years, expect similar results as last year.
Technique Live minnows are effective.
Target Oxbow lakes that lie between U.S. Hwy. 84 and the Seaboard Railroad.
Additional Information
For river level information check the USGS Doctortown, GA river gage at: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?02226000

Optimal fishing conditions will exist when this gauge registers a height of 3-7 feet.
 
Best Fishing Times Key
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