If you have ever pitched a cricket to a blowdown tree with a bream buster, reared back, and listened to the line singing as it cut back and forth through the water, then you need to perk up. Some of the finest panfishing that Georgia has ever seen is getting ready to bust wide open on the Altamaha River this spring.
To set the stage, Don Harrison, senior fisheries biologist out of the Waycross Fisheries office, reported that bluegill populations are at an all-time high.
“During our electrofishing on the Altamaha last fall, we collected the most bluegills per hour of electrofishing that we have ever collected since monitoring began in 1987. And, with the high water we have had all winter and so far this spring, the fish have survived well and have continued to fatten up,” he said.
As with other floodplain-driven systems, panfish survival is high, and growth is extraordinary with the additional nutrient inputs that high water...