Lake Rabun is an 834-acre lake located a few miles downstream of Lake Burton near Clayton. This mountain reservoir is long and narrow with miles of steep, rocky shoreline. The upper two miles of the lake are relatively shallow and contain mud flats with weed beds along the river channel and long sections of blown down trees. Spotted bass, largemouth bass, bluegill and shellcrackers are favorite targets of local anglers.
Georgia Power: ph. 706-782-4014
Prospects and Fishing Tips
LARGEMOUTH BASS, SPOTTED BASS & WALLEYE
Anglers that have never fished Lake Rabun will quickly discover that the density of largemouth bass in this clear mountain lake is much lower than the densities that occur in the larger Piedmont and south Georgia reservoirs. For Lake Rabun, bass in the 12 to 14-inch size range and weighing about 1 lb will account for the majority of the catch. Bass over 4 lb may also be present.
Bass in Lake Rabun will take advantage of any opportunity to grab a passing blueback herring, which gives lures like the pearl-colored Super Fluke or Pointer series a unique advantage among artificial lures. During the spring and fall months, work a 3/8-oz jig-head tipped with a fluke in prime target areas. When the fluke is not attracting strikes, cast soft plastics on a Carolina rig.
Largemouth bass anglers should generally target fallen trees, creek channels and boat docks in coves and small pockets. During the spring months, largemouth bass will hold tight to visible cover with overhead protection under which to build their spawning nests. This type of habitat is plentiful in the area around Hall's marina as well as on the upper end of the lake. In the summer months, look for largemouth bass in 20 to 30 feet of water along main lake points and in creek channels. During the fall months, largemouth bass will more actively feed during the early morning and evening in the general vicinity of their spring and summer locations.
Anglers who enjoy catching spotted bass will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Lake Rabun has a relatively high abundance of trophy-sized fish. Overall abundance of most size groups is slightly higher than average this year; therefore, success rates should be good.
Spotted bass are generally aggressive feeders that will take a variety of natural and artificial baits. In the winter months, spotted bass are looking for an easy meal of blueback herring. Using live herring or their artificial imitations are your best bets during the winter months. In April and May, spotted bass will move into shallow water from 5 to 15-feet deep to spawn. Jerk baits, shallow-running lures, floating worms, and plastic lizards are effective when cast near visible structure. This spring, make sure to cast a pearl Super Fluke or curly-tailed grub around boat house steps situated on rocky banks. During the fall, spotted bass gorge on blueback herring in open water during early morning and evening. During the day, bounce crayfish imitating baits down rocky points.
In the winter months, spotted bass can be found holding tight to visible structure, such as fallen trees and boat houses with brush or near the dam feeding on blueback herring. During April and May, spotted bass will seek rocky banks with overhead cover to build a spawning nest. Fallen trees, the corners of boat houses, and around their steps seem to provide all the ingredients that Lake Rabun spotted bass are looking for when choosing a place to build a nest. Maybe you have never tried "step fishing" before. Be sure to give it a go on Lake Rabun this spring. In the fall, spotted bass will feed on small blueback herring at the surface. Schooling fish are most abundant in the narrow section in the upper end of the lake.
Bream fishing in Lake Rabun is generally good from April to June. The sandy flats along the mouth of creeks that enter the lake is good places to look for their circle-shaped spawning nests where bream congregate.
Bluegills readily take crickets, while the larger redear sunfish prefer red wigglers in deeper water.
Fishing from the shore? Look for two small public fishing piers located at the U.S. Forest Service recreation area and campground located on the upper end of the lake. Cast to the small circular nests that are visible around the boat ramp and fishing pier. There is an abundance of large bluegills that hang around the boat slips at Hall's Marina on the lower end of the lake.
Lake Rabun is stocked annually with walleye, which supports a fishable population. WRD sampling detected similar numbers in the population as last year; therefore, angler catches should be consistent with previous years. Walleye in the 2 lb weight class are the most abundant size group.
There are three seasonal patterns for catching walleye from Lake Rabun. During March and early April, walleye are in a spawning pattern. Fish the shallow headwaters at dusk and dark with floating minnow imitations, chartreuse curly-tailed grubs or nightcrawlers. Start at the Low Gap Road bridge early and work your way upstream as the evening progresses. During the day, fish the deeper sections of the river by trolling nightcrawlers along the bottom or by casting crankbaits in perch, shad or crayfish color patterns. From June to September, walleye transition into a summer pattern. As the water heats up under the summertime sun, walleye will migrate to deeper waters near the dam and in the mouth of coves in search of cooler temperatures. Troll crankbaits, live herring or nightcrawlers along the bottom at a depth of 30 feet. When cooler water temperatures return in October and November, walleye switch to a fall pattern where they move onto shallow water points in the evening to feed. During the day, walleye hang tight to the bottom in nearby deeper water where they can be caught on nightcrawlers.
During the spawning season, anglers can fish from the shoreline at Georgia Power's Nacoochee Park, which is located at the intersection of Low Gap Road and Seed Lake Road downstream of Nacoochee Dam. During the summer and fall months, troll the lower lake from Hall's Marina to the dam. WRD saturated the cove directly across the lake from Hall's Marina with artificial structure specifically placed at the critical depth range to attract walleye. Newcomers to Lake Rabun may want to explore this "Walleye Habitat Area" first by bouncing nightcrawlers along the bottom in a 100-foot wide radius around the marker buoy.
A walleye fishing guidebook was prepared by DNR staff and is available at no cost on the WRD Website.