Winter is a Prime Time for Crappie Fishing

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SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Feb. 26, 2013) – The brief Georgia winter provides

a great opportunity to get excellent results for crappie fishing, and

several reservoirs across the state offer rewards for anglers willing to

brave the bitter cold temperatures.


“Crappie fishing brings a lot of action, which means it is an

excellent time to engage the entire family or to introduce someone new

to the fun aspect of the sport,” said John Biagi, chief of fisheries

management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife

Resources Division.  “We have identified some great ‘hot spots’

for anglers to concentrate on as they get out there and pursue this

sport fish.”


During winter, crappie tend to congregate in deeper water, generally

15-30 feet deep, near the mouths of major tributaries and in the main

lake. Large schools are easily located with sonar electronics.


As the water warms in late March, crappie will move to more shallow

water toward the middle and back of major tributaries, preferring to

congregate around woody cover such as stumps, logs, downed trees, fish

attractors and creek ledges. Minnows and small jigs are favored bait,

and light spinning tackle spooled with 6- or 8-pound test line is



Cool-weather hot spots


●       Northwest Georgia: Success can be found at the Lake Allatoona

man-made fish attractors (location maps online at, especially those in the Kellogg Creek,

Illinois Creek, Tanyard Creek and Sweetwater Creek areas. Anglers also

can fish the Coosa River, concentrating in the river immediately below

Mayo’s Lock and Dam Park and the tributary backwaters off the main

river channel, especially in the Brushy Branch area of Big Cedar Creek.


●       Northeast Georgia:  Lake Lanier’s upper part of the reservoir,

especially the Chattahoochee River arm, Wahoo Creek and Little River are

prime targets.  Also recommended, the upper part of Lake Hartwell,

including the Eastanollee Creek area.  Lake Nottely has man-made fish

attractors that are prime places to target.


●       East Central Georgia: Clarks Hill Lake, especially at Soap,

Fishing, Grays and Newford creeks, and the Little River arm are good

locations to fish.  Anglers should target Lake Oconee at Beaverdam,

Sandy, Rocky, Richland and Sugar creeks and the Appalachee River arm.

Lake Russell at Rocky River, Beaverdam, Coldwater and Allen creeks are

prime places to fish. In Clayton County, lakes Blalock and J.W. Smith

both offer good bank fishing near boat ramps and additionally Lake

Blalock offers good fishing at areas of standing timber and at J.W.

Smith anglers are urged to concentrate on Panhandle Road Bridge, the

overflow structure near the dam and the submerged pond and dam on the

south side of the lake.  Lake Varner and Randy Poynter Lake provide

great crappie fishing opportunities.


●       West Central Georgia: West Point Lake has fish attractors, deep

water areas, creek mouths and bridges for anglers to target. Charlie

Elliott Wildlife Center anglers are encouraged to visit Bennett,

Shepherd and Margery Lake and fish deep water, flooded timber and fish

attractors.  The Big Lazer Public Fishing Area is managed for prime

fishing.  Anglers should try Lake Sinclair at Beaverdam Creek, around

larger islands (Optimist, Budweiser and Goat), riprap along Highway 441

at Little River, Beaverdam and Rooty Creek. Bank or boat anglers at

Sinclair also can try riprap at Twin Bridges and Potato Creek along

Highway 212.


●       Southwest Georgia: Lake Walter F. George at Pataula Creek, Rood

Creek, Sandy Branch and Sandy Creeks provide good fishing opportunities.

Lake Seminole at the main river channels around Ford Scott Island, the

Chattahoochee River mouth (between river miles three and four), the

mouth of Spring Creek and the old river channels and submersed

structures are good places to target.  Anglers should fish Lake

Blackshear at Swift Creek, Collins Branch, Cedar Creek, the main channel

above Highway 280 and the numerous sloughs located off the main river

channel between Highway 27 and Highway 30.


●       South Central Georgia: At Dodge County Public Fishing Area

(PFA), the most effective methods are long-line trolling with curl tail

grubs or small crankbaits.  At Paradise PFA drifting or low trolling

tube baits or curly tail grubs can be productive.  Fisheries staff also

recommends casting to the bank as fish move to shallow water to spawn.

Lake Patrick and Horseshoe 4 are best bets.  Anglers should note that

live minnows are not allowed on either PFA.


Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license to fish in

public waters.  Where can you get a license? Buy it online, find a list

of retail license vendors at or buy it by phone at



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