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Georgia River Fishing Information
Upper Ocmulgee River

The Ocmulgee River begins at Lake Jackson, the junction of the Yellow, South,and Alcovy rivers.  From Lloyd Shoals Dam at Lake Jackson, the river flows southeast through Piedmont shoals for 36 miles before crossing the Fall Line just above Macon. Below Macon, the character of the river changes dramatically as the floodplain widens to produce the shifting channel meandering characteristic of the upper Coastal Plain.  The Ocmulgee River from Lloyd Shoals Dam to Hawkinsville is split by the Fall Line and provides two distinctly different fishing opportunities.  Anglers in central Georgia have the unique opportunity to experience each within a short drive from Macon, Warner Robins or Perry.

Guide to Fishing and Floating the Upper Ocmulgee River in PDF (1.73 MB).  This document contains access and fishing tip information a color map with river-mile designations.

Prospects and Fishing Tips
Best Bets
REDBREAST SUNFISH, LARGEMOUTH BASS, and CATFISH
Largemouth bass
Prospect Largemouth bass populations were hit hard by recent droughts, but fall sampling has shown an increase in quality fish. The population is recovering well and fish caught should be of better than average size. image
Technique The usual arsenal of tackle will work, including spinnerbaits, plastic worms and small crankbaits. Be sure to fish these in slower moving stretches of the river.
Target Target the backwater areas near Thomasville and the section of the river upstream from Highway 93.
Suwanee Bass
Prospect Smaller than its largemouth cousin, Suwannee bass are a unique member of the sunfish family and only are found in a few streams in south Georgia and north Florida. The overall population is relatively small and has been negatively impacted by droughts. Fishing will be very tough for Suwannee bass this year. However, those caught will likely be of quality size. image
Technique Small crankbaits, spinner baits and soft plastics are recommended.
Target Concentrate in swifter water, but look to brushpiles and blow downs along the deeper banks and pools as summer progresses and the river recedes. The stretch of river that borders River Creek WMA offers excellent fishing and lends itself well to the increasingly popular sport of kayak fishing.
Catfish
Prospect The river is home to channel, white and bullhead catfish. Fish the river during the warmer months for numerous catfish catches. Recently, flathead catfish were also discovered in the river. For catfish anglers, this will add another species to target. image
Technique Any favorite catfish bait fished on a simple bottom rig should be effective.
Target Deeper bends and backwaters of the river.
Bream
Prospect The Ochlockonee is a slow-moving, blackwater stream that offers good fishing for redbreast sunfish. Though lacking in abundance, redear sunfish, black crappie, spotted sunfish and warmouth also are available. Populations of bream have been negatively effected by recent droughts. Redbreast sunfish were stocked to offset drought impacts and sampling shows that redbreast fishing should be better than in the past several years. image
Technique Live bait is recommended: crickets and worms during early spring. Switch to artificial lures like beetle spins and popping bugs as spring progresses and water temperatures rise.
Target Target redbreast in the lower portions of the river, from Highway 93 to Hadley's Ferry Road.
Additional Information
Check the river gauge near Thomasville before heading out. If the gauge height is much above 5 feet then it is difficult to effectively fish because the water is well into the floodplain. If the gauge height is below 2 1/2 feet, plan to drag your boat over logs and other obstructions. USGS river gauge information can be viewed at the following Web site: http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/dv/?site_no=02327500.
 
Best Fishing Times Key
Excellent:   image     Good:   image   Fair:   image