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FISHING LAKE SEMINOLE
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Kevin "Swede" Oleen
A little information on Lake Seminole for everyone:
Seminole contains something for everyone. No matter the preferred way of fishing you can do it here. Clear water, stained water, muddy water - all three exist after significant rainfall. Vegetation - lily pads, hyacinth, hydrilla, bull rushes. Wood - both standing timber and laydowns. Docks - look to Spring Creek and Flint arms for the majority of these. Lake Seminole has some very large gators in it - swimming not advised.
There are 6 primary areas on this lake people refer to - Chatahoochee River (Hooch) arm, Main Lake, Spring Creek arm, Flint River arm, Fish Pond Drain, and Apalachicola River.
Hooch: The Hooch flows south from Lake Eufaula and is Lake Seminole's northern tributary. You can run to Lake Eufaula - you must lock to get into that lake. There are a lot of pockets and small creeks off the main river - no docks to speak of, but a lot of vegetation and timber. One of these larger pockets is a well known location called Fairchilds - it is a bay on the east side of the river about 5 miles north of the lake. It is where Gary Klein won the Bassmaster Tourney a couple years ago flipping hyacinth. A lot of baits will work - too many to mention here. I prefer dark plastics, lipless CBs, top water baits, shad imitating CBs, and spinnerbaits. Flipping is done by many here.
Main Lake: The Main lake extends from the dam on the south end - north and east to the mouths of the flint and hooch arms. The lake has many grass beds and areas with standing timber. The river channels are marked with boueys and are obstruction free. No guarantees in other parts of the main lake - most of which contains hydrilla in varying quantities. Here again - types of baits - a little of everything. I like plastics, SBs, and lipless CBs.
Spring Creek and Fish Pond Drain arms: Located on the north side of the lake between the Hooch and Flint arms - Spring Creek is the bigger of the two. These two arms are spring fed and contain clearer water than other areas most of the time. Standing timber surrounded by hydrilla is what you will find - more docks here than other areas. I will fish watermelon/green pumpkin baits here first - change color as required. Lipless CBs, CBs, topwaters, and SBs also take many fish. If grass is your friend, these locations have a lot of it. During certain times of the year drop shotting and spooning bass in the deeper timber stands is the way to go.
Flint: This river provides drainage from the NE into SW Georgia. Far up the Flint are shoals which harbor shoal bass - similar to a smallmouth - love current. Remember though - rocks and motors don't like each other. Bainbridge GA sits at the intersection where the Flint River enters the Flint arm of Lake Seminole. Grass and timber are prominent. The same things that work in Hooch also work here. Flipping heavy grass in shallows can be very productive.
Apalachciola River: I've got an article in the Warpath for this river - it has a lot of information for those that like river fishing. This is the one river that flows out of Lake Seminole. You must lock through to this river from Woodruff Dam on south end of the lake. A word of caution - if winds are strong upon your return to the lake - they may not open the lock up and you will be forced to trailer to the access below the dam for pick up of boat. Pay close attention to the weather.
1959 photo of Lake Seminole - Two years after impoundment
Looking north up the Chattahoochee River - off to the upper right is Flint River
and Spring Creek Arms
Provided by HaveFunFishing.com Ken Sturdivant
Seminole, since its impoundment in 1957, this 37,500 acre COE reservoir, formed at the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers in the southwestern corner of Georgia, has earned the reputation for producing fantastic fishing. During 2008, Lake Seminole should provide excellent fishing for largemouth bass, redear sunfish (shellcracker) and channel catfish and good fishing for crappie and bluegill. Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass averaging around 2 pounds, with good numbers of 5- 6 pound bass available. Seminole has a reputation of producing big bass, and consistently ranks near the top of large Georgia reservoirs for catches of bass greater than 5 pounds. Because of the abundance of aquatic plants in Seminole, the key to consistently catching bass is learning to fish these plant beds. Your best bet will be to throw a lipless crank bait, plastic worm, spinner bait or top water lure along the edges of these plants. February through May are the best months for catching bass. The average size redear in Lake Seminole is less than 8 inches. However, fish over 1 lb. are not uncommon. The key to consistently catch bream is to locate shallow water spawning beds during spring and early summer. The numerous backwater areas off the Chattahoochee River arm can produce good catches. Best baits are red wrigglers and crickets. Although not as abundant, some bluegill that are up to 7 inches in length, are available in Lake Seminole. Channel catfish numbers continue to be good, and catfish anglers should be rewarded with excellent fishing. The average catfish 16 caught will weigh around 2 - 3 pounds, but there are good chances of catching a 10 pound or larger catfish. Main lake areas in the Flint and Chattahoochee River arms should provide the best fishing. According to local anglers, prepared blood and cheese baits fished on small artificial worms are a year round favorite. Seminole is not usually noted for good hybrid bass fishing and the reservoir has not been stocked with hybrids since 2003 due to efforts to boost striped bass numbers in the Apalachicola Chattahoochee Flint system. However, hybrids do escape from Walter F. George and Blackshear reservoirs and can be caught in Seminole. Anglers who put in the time to locate these hybrids can expect to catch fish ranging from 2-4 pounds, with some individuals weighing over 5 pounds. Despite stocking efforts, overall striped bass abundance remains fairly low and the average weight of these fish will be around 3 pounds The best bet for catching hybrids and stripers will be in the areas near the dam where the Spring Creek channel enters the Flint River or up the Flint or Chattahoochee rivers in spring and winter. Due to ongoing efforts to rebuild striped bass populations, fishing is closed in five springs located in Lake Seminole from May through October.
For more information on these restrictions, please see the current Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations. Although not usually noted for crappie fishing, Seminole can produce some good catches, especially for larger size crappie in the winter and spring months. Anglers can expect numbers to be fair, with the average fish weighing ĺ lb., but with some fish over 2 pounds available. Best bets are using minnows and jigs and concentrating on shallow backwater areas while the fish are spawning in February and March, and target the old Flint and Chattahoochee river channels during the winter and summer. The exotic plant Hydrilla continues to restrict boating and fishing access in Lake Seminole. This is most notable in late summer and fall when Hydrilla reaches the surface. At this time, the most accessible areas of the lake are along the river channels. The COE is currently using sterile grass carp to help control Hydrilla in the Fish Pond Drain and Cypress Pond areas. Grass carp were stocked behind barriers in these two areas. The barriers are designed to contain the grass carp and allow for boat passage. Boaters should use caution when navigating through these areas and report any damage to the COE as soon as possible. Call the COE Resource Management Office (229 662 2001) for more information.
Information provided my MyFWC.com
January 2008 - April 2008
The reservoirs along the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers are at or above full pool, so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) should be able to supplement flows at least through the spring if drought conditions in the lower basin return. If the weather fronts continue through April, the reservoirs should remain full and cool, and bedding activity will be prolonged. Crappie fishing on Lake Seminole was good through March and should continue into April. Largemouth bass began moving into the shallows early, but cool weather in March slowed their spawning. Fish the creek mouths and flats in about six to ten feet of water for staging fish that are moving to the beds, but move to the backs of the creeks as spawning picks up. Later in the spring, move to deeper water along the Flint River and larger tributaries and fish vertically with jigs and spoons along the channels, weed lines and the standing timber, or off the points. On the Chattahoochee side, fish the cuts between the islands where there is current. The limits for largemouth and other black bass are 10 fish per day all of which must be a minimum of 12 inches total length. Bluegill and shellcracker will also be on the beds in April and May, and fishing should be good around the full moon. Adult stripers began migrating up the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers to spawn in late March and will continue through mid to late April. Many stripers will move back into the reservoir if water temperatures donít warm too quickly. Immature fish will remain in the reservoir through the spring. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released 42,000 phase II (8 to 12 inch) striped bass into Lake Seminole during December and January. Fish the old river channels on both the Chattahoochee and Flint River sides of the lake. High water during February and March resulted in the discharge of sunshine bass from Lake George and Lake Blackshear, and hybrid fishing in Lake Seminole and in the rivers should be good through the spring. Length and bag limits for stripers, hybrids, and white bass in Lake Seminole follow those established by Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR): an aggregate of 15 fish, of which no more than two may be 22 inches or longer.