Lake Lanier Fishing
Lake Lanier offers some of the best fresh water fishing anywhere in the South.
This fish is a favorite to many because of the quality of the meat, and the larger size that they can reach. They are commonly called papermouths because of the thinness of the skin surrounding the mouth, and its easiness to tear. The species has been so widely introduced into reservoirs and ponds across the country that it is hard to determine where the native range originally was. Crappies grow larger than a lot of other sunfish species attaining a length near 20 inches. The Georgia state record is 4lbs. 4oz. and the Lake Lanier record stands at 3lbs. 4oz. This fish has a distinctive shape unlike most other sunfish. They have a high back with 7 to 8 spines on the dorsal fin with the soft rays of the dorsal fin rounded and extending above the spines. They have a large mouth that has very thin skin surrounding it. The coloration of the species can vary considerably. Some of the fish will be black on the back with mottled irregular black spots going down the sides over gold to silver belly. Others will be mostly silver with irregular black spots. Because of the light coloration that this fish can have it is often confused with white crappie, which are similar in appearance but have their spots arranged in vertical bars. Crappies like clear water usually around timber, brush piles, or vegetation all of which is lacking in most of the lake. Look for brush piles that have been placed around docks or in coves. Treetops from fallen trees are also make good cover for crappies. Live minnows, minnow imitating lures, and small jigs are the best choice for this species.
This fish did not originally occur this far inland. It is mainly a marine species that is anadromous and spawns in fresh water. During the spring the adult fish ascends into the lower reaches of coastal rivers to spawn. At about one month of age the young return to the ocean. Construction of dams has reduced their freshwater range and abundance. Fishermen who used them for bait and released the unused fish introduced them into some impoundments. Their population is now increasing rapidly in Lake Lanier, which could have a detrimental effect on established gamefish populations by increasing competition for juvenile forage. These fish have a strongly tilted mouth with the lower jaw equal to or projecting slightly beyond the snout. They have a blue back with silver sides and usually a small bluish-black spot near upper edge of the opercle. The adult will have thin dark stripes on the back and upper sides and light green or yellow fins. These fish can reach about 16in. In freshwater they prefer to have some current and will suspend over a rocky bottom. Occasionally they will be caught while fishing for panfish but you are more likely to catch them with a casting net. They make good live bait for striper or bass fishing, and they can be used as cut bait for catfish
The bluegill is a very common fish in many bodies of water across the country. They are a favorite for many panfish anglers because of its willingness to eat most offerings, its taste, and its fighting ability. They can be found in a variety of environments from streams and rivers to small ponds and large impoundments. Bluegills are a smaller member of the sunfish family that rarely reaches over 1lb and 16 inches in length. Occasionally they will reach a couple of pounds. The Georgia state record weighed 3lbs. 5oz. These fish have a deep, extremely compressed body with a small mouth and a body that slopes up sharply behind the head. The coloration is an olive green back with dark vertical bars running down the sides. The sides are mixed with yellow and green specks. The lower sides and stomach are yellow with orange on the chest. The bottom edge of the jaw and gill cover has a blue to purple coloration. The pectoral fin on these fish is long and pointed and they have thoracic pelvic fins. The breeding male of the species is considerably brighter than the female. This fish can be found in most areas around the lake. They can be found on open banks, but usually will be in areas that have some sort of structure. The best lure choice is small live bait such as worms, crickets, maggots, mealworms, and other small invertebrates. They can also be caught on small artificial lures. Inline spinners, jigs, and small crankbaits are a good choice. Remember these fish have a small mouth so choose your lures accordingly.
The brook silverside is a small fish reaching only 5 inches. They are important forage fish for larger predators. This is a schooling fish often found near the surface. They can be found in lakes, ponds, and quiet pools of creeks and small to large rivers usually in open water. They have also been stocked into many areas as forage. They are often seen “gliding” short distances through the air during spawning or when disturbed. Being a surface dwelling species, the anatomy of this fish is different from most in Lake Lanier. The head is flat on the top with a beak-like snout. The mouth is up-turned and the pectoral fins sit high on the body. The two dorsal fins are widely separated with the 1st dorsal fin origin above the anal fin origin. The anal fin is long and sickle shaped. They have a pale green back with faintly outlined scales and a bright silver stripe down the sides. This is a fish most commonly caught with a casting net and could be used as bait for bass or crappie.
The brown bullhead is a species that many consider a “trashfish”. They do not reach a large size and they are commonly caught
while fishing for other species of catfish. Because of the abundance of bullhead catfish species in many areas and peoples attitudes toward
them, people will tend to throw them on the bank instead of returning them to the water. Although they not a desirable species for anglers
they do have a function in the environment. Because of the smaller size they are a good forage species for larger predatory fish, largemouth
bass particularly like them, and they help to keep the substrate clean with their feeding habits. These fish reach about 24 inches in length and may top 5 lbs.
The Georgia state record was 5 lbs. 8 oz. They will have dusky to black chin barbels and a short, rounded anal fin. The color can vary
considerably from dark olive to yellow-brown with lighter often shiny green-gold sides. The sides and back will have brown or black mottling
down to a yellow or white abdomen. The caudal fin is rounded with a slight notch in the center. These fish prefer pools and sluggish runs over a soft substrate.
They can be found in creeks and small to large rivers and lakes.
The channel catfish is probably the most well-known catfish species in the country. The abundance of the species and the quality of the meat make it a favorite for many. The channel catfish can be quite large reaching a length of 50 inches and weighing more than 40 lbs. The Georgia state record weighed 44lbs. 12 oz. The channel catfish is light in color ranging from a blue-gray to an olive on the back and sides. They have scattered black spots across the back and sides, which are absent in very young and large adults. The abdomen is white with abdominal pelvic fins. The fins are similar in color to the adjacent body color and they have white to dusky chin barbels. They also have well-rounded anal fins and deeply forked caudal fins. The preferred habitat is deep pools and runs over sand or rocks in small to large rivers and lakes. They can be found in most areas of Lake Lanier. Due to their highly specialized feeding nature bait should be used that has a strong odor. Good choices would be liver (beef or chicken), blood bait, cheese or dough balls, nightcrawlers, cut bait, and shrimp. This is not the only bait that catfish will eat; in some areas people will even use things like hotdogs. It is also entirely possible to catch them on minnow imitating lures but this does not happen too often.
The common carp is an exotic species introduced from Asia in the 1800’s. They were originally brought to the country as a source of food. The species was never accepted for this purpose and through releases, accidental and intentional, the species has become established in every state in the continental US. The feeding habits of these fish are causing damage to most bodies of water that they inhabit. Carp are omnivores and will feed on both aquatic plants and invertebrates. They feed by sucking up the bottom sediment and expelling in their search for invertebrates. They also uproot plants and feed on various parts. This feeding habit results in an increase in water turbidity and a decrease in aquatic plants and invertebrates. At this point there has been no effective means of reducing habitat destruction by these fish. This in turn effects all of the other fish species by reducing cover, visibility, available forage, and spawning habitat. This species spawns readily in most water. While young the fish is a good forage species for larger predatory fish, but they have a fast growth rate that greatly reduces the time that they are viable forage. They can grow quite large reaching 3 ft and weigh well over 30 lbs. The Georgia state record for carp is 35lbs. 12ozs. These fish have a gold coloration with a light belly. They commonly have red on the caudal, anal, and pelvic fins. Carp have no true spines in their fins, but they do have a modified soft ray on the anal and dorsal fin that appears to be a spine. These fish also have a protrusible mouth that is used like a vacuum cleaner to suck up the substrate for feeding. Common carp are not generally thought of as sport fish, although they do have a following in certain areas. They can be a fun fish to catch due to the large size that they reach and their strength. They can be found in most any area of Lake Lanier. The best baits will be corn, dough balls, night crawlers, and other invertebrates. It is best to use lighter line as these fish can be sensitive and let loose if they feel anything on their mouth.
This is a freshwater shad species that is found in deep open water of medium to large rivers and lakes. They will often ascend creeks and small rivers that have well-developed pools. They are important forage species for game fish in most waters and are commonly stocked for this purpose. These fish have a long whip-like last dorsal ray, a blunt snout and a distinctive terminal mouth. The dorsal fin origin is above or behind the abdominal pelvic fin origin. They have a large purple-blue spot near the upper edge of the gill cover that is faint or absent in large adults. They are silver-blue on the back fading to a silver-white on the sides. These fish often have blue and green reflections over the body. There are 6-8 dark stripes on the upper sides and back. These are one of the larger members of the herring family reaching a length of about 20 inches. These fish can be found in open water of Lake Lanier usually in large schools. They will occasionally be caught while fishing for sunfish, but are more often caught for bait with casting nets. They are good for striper and bass fishing as well as cut bait for catfish. These fish also are regularly eaten by herring gulls. These birds give a good indication of where larger predatory fish are actively feeding by circling overhead and diving into the water to try and catch the ones that the predators have pushed to the surface.
The golden redhorse is a bottom feeding species that inhabits small to large rivers and impoundments. It is normally found over mud to rock bottomed pools where it uses a protrusible mouth to suck up and filter the bottom sediment for invertebrates. This fish has the typical mouth structure of the sucker family, pliable lips with a v or u-shaped rear edge on the lower lip. The back is an olive to brass-brown that goes into a yellow to brass side to a yellow or white abdomen. There are dark-edged scales on the back and front half of the sides and yellow to orange anal and paired fins. This is a large fish reaching 30 inches. The golden redhorse like most sucker species can be caught on invertebrates although fishermen do not generally target them as a game species. Most times, anglers who are fishing on the bottom for catfish or other bottom dwelling species catch suckers.
The golden shiner is a member of the minnow family and is widely used as a baitfish. Because of fishermen emptying bait buckets, it has been introduced into many bodies of water that are not in its native range. It does perform a good function in the bodies of water as a forage species. They have a strongly compressed body with a small mouth on a pointed snout. The dorsal fin origin is behind the abdominal pelvic fin origin. They have a scaleless keel along the abdomen from the anal fin to the pelvic fin origin. In clear or turbid water they have a silver appearance. In coffee colored water they have gold sides and fins. They can reach up to 12 inches in length. These fish prefer vegetated lakes, ponds, swamps, backwaters and pools of creeks and small to medium rivers. Larger fish are sometimes caught with panfish bait but are mostly taken with a minnow trap or casting net. They are good bait for any predatory fish species.
The green sunfish is one of the most frequently encountered fish in North America. They have been stocked into many farm ponds and lakes. In streams and rivers they prefer quiet pools and backwaters usually around vegetation. The green sunfish has a shape that closer resembles the bass species. The body is thicker and more elongated than a bluegill and the mouth is considerably larger. They are generally smaller having a maximum length of about 12 inches. The body is olive green on the back and sides with a yellow lower half. The body has a speckled appearance of metallic green and yellow specks. There are also bluish-green wavy lines from the snout to the back of the gill cover. There is a white to yellow edge around a black ear flap. Adults have a large black spot at the rear of the second dorsal and the anal fin. They have a yellow to white margin around the anal, caudal, and second dorsal fin. These fish have small rounded pectoral fins and thoracic pelvic fins. Green sunfish can be caught on the same lures that you would use for bluegill, small live or small artificial lures. Due to the larger size of the mouth don’t be surprised if you catch one of these fish with your bass lures.
The largemouth bass is probably the most sought after game fish in the country. They are known for their aggressiveness and their willingness to eat most anything. These fish are ambush predators and will generally relate to some sort of structure (stumps, logs, vegetation, docks, and other debris) where it will lie in wait for an easy meal to pass nearby. There are exceptions to this, as some times they will hold in open water, especially in impoundments, where there is abundant shad or other open water baitfish populations. The largemouth bass is a large fish that can reach up to 38 inches and weigh over 20 pounds. The world record largemouth was caught right here in Georgia and weighed 22 lbs. 4 oz. Lake Lanier’s record is 17lbs. 9 oz. The most prominent characteristic of this fish is the feature that it is named for, a large mouth. The mouth is very large and when closed the upper jaw extends well behind the eyes. They have a silver to brassy green back with mottled dark olive sides. There is also a large black stripe that is usually broken running from tail to snout. The underside of the fish is white with scattered black spots coming up the lower half. This fish is often confused with its cousin the spotted bass. The easiest ways to tell the difference is by the size of the mouth and the appearance of the dorsal fin. The largemouth’s dorsal fin is nearly separate and it appears to have two fins, while the spotted bass’s dorsal fin is clearly connected. The mouth if the largemouth is also considerably larger than the spotted bass. The best area in Lake Lanier to find these fish is in the upper end of the lake. The lower portions of the lake have limited cover, which is not the best situation for a structure-oriented fish. Some can still be found on the lower end around boat docks and some isolated cover, but most of your catch will be spotted bass. This changes as you head up into the upper creek and river channels were there is more shoreline structure. Look for fallen trees and stumps as well as rocky dropoffs and overhanging banks. You should fish these areas with a variety of lures until you find what the fish are wanting. Good choices for largemouth are spinners, crankbaits and rat-l-traps, jig and pigs, stickbaits, topwaters, most any soft plastic lures, as well as live bait such as shad and golden shiners.
The gar species are primitive fish meaning that they have an abbreviated heterocercal tail (rounded externally) and a gas bladder that is used to assist the gills in breathing. The gas bladder allows the gar to live in oxygen poor water where they can be seen with their snout sitting at the surface of the water. Longnose gars inhabit sluggish pools, backwaters, and oxbows of medium to large rivers and lakes usually around vegetation. They are large fish reaching up to 72 inches. The Georgia state record weighed 28lbs. 6ozs. Its name can easily identify the longnose gar. The snout is long and narrow, more than twice as long as the rest of the head, with many sharp teeth. The scales of gar are large, diamond shaped, and do not overlap. The longnose gar has an olive-brown back and sides with a white abdomen and dark spots on the median fins. In clear water individuals can have dark spots on the body also. Being strict piscavores (fish eaters), gars are not as easy to catch as some species. Their body shape (long and slender with set back anal and dorsal fins) is characteristic of “lie in wait” predators. They will often sit motionless in the water waiting for an easy meal to swim in front of them, and then they will use a sudden burst of speed to ambush the prey. Most are caught on flashy lures resembling small fish. Most fishermen throw these fish into the “trash fish” category as they are not desirable game fish species and unless you have a steel leader on your line they can account for many lost lures. At one time gars were killed whenever they were caught and even shot since they will sit at the surface of the water. Unfortunately this mentality still exists in many parts of the country. Gars, like most so called “trash fish”; do serve a purpose in the environment. Gars help to thin the population of juvenile or smaller fish species, which allows for more growth and reduces stunted fish populations of desirable species.
This fish is one of the most colorful fish in the sunfish family. They are found in small to medium rivers and streams over rocky and sandy pools. In lakes they are most commonly found around rocky and vegetated margins. This fish is one of the smaller members of the sunfish family rarely reaching over 2 lbs. and more than 9 inches in length. The state record is only 1lbs. 11oz. This fish has a dark olive back and sides with yellow specks and rows of red-brown to orange spots on the upper sides. The lower side has scattered orange spots going down to a white to orange abdomen. They have rounded pectoral fins and thoracic pelvic fins. The shape is more bass-like being slender and thicker with a larger mouth. There are wavy blue lines going from the snout to the opercula and a long black ear flap usually bordered by blue lines. The breeding male (pictured below) is considerably brighter in coloration than the female. This fish can be caught on the small live bait or small artificial lures. All of the smaller sunfish species will generally eat the same types of food. This allows an angler to catch several species with one bait type.
The spottail shiner is an inhabitant of many creeks and small to large rivers. They prefer sandy or rocky pools and runs. In lakes they will primarily inhabit rocky or sandy shorelines. Most times this fish will be caught with casting nets. They, like many in the minnow family, provide a primary food source for larger predatory fish. This fish has large eyes on a fairly slender compressed body. Coloration runs from an olive-gray back, with a dusky stripe along the back and dark wavy lines on the back and upper sides, to a silver abdomen. There is a large black spot at the caudal fin origin that gives the fish its name. They are a smaller species of fish that reaches just over 5 inches.
The spotted bass is a species that is often confused by anglers with its larger cousin the largemouth bass. Although the fish are similar in appearance and nature their choice of habitat separates the species. Where largemouth are structure-oriented fish, spotted bass do not generally rely on cover. They will often hold in areas that have some sort of definition, like larger rocks or dropoffs, but they normally do not use the cover like a largemouth would. They also will inhabit much deeper water than most largemouths. Another difference between the spotted and the largemouth bass is their size. Spotted bass are considerably smaller, reaching a maximum of about 24 inches in length. The Georgia state record spotted bass came from Lake Lanier and weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz, but the average will be just a couple of pounds. The coloration of spotted bass s is very similar to that of the largemouth. The most noticeable difference is the addition of rows of black spots on the lower half of the side of the body. Factors such as the water clarity and depth that the fish has been living in can affect coloration making this a harder identification tool. The mouth of the spotted bass extends beyond the middle of the eye but not beyond the eye like the largemouth’s. The easiest characteristics to distinguish between the largemouth and the spotted bass are the size of the mouth and the appearance of the dorsal fin. The spotted bass has a dorsal fin that is clearly connected, while the largemouth appears to have two separate fins. Spotted bass are more abundant on the lower portions of Lake Lanier. You can find them along rocky banks, drop-offs, and humps in the lake. Lure choices will be similar to that of a largemouth, but you may need to downsize your lures and be prepared to fish a little deeper.
The spotted sucker is a bottom feeding fish normally found in long deep pools of small to medium rivers over clay, sand, or gravel substrates. Sometimes they can be found in large rivers or impoundments. It is a frequently encountered fish though it is not normally found in large numbers. This fish is characterized by its mouth structure like most species in the sucker family. It has thin pliable lips and a horizontal mouth. The premaxilla is protrusible and works like a vacuum cleaner sucking up the substrate and filtering it for invertebrates. The bottom lip edge is u-shaped. This fish gets its name from 8-12 parallel rows of dark spots at the scale bases on the back and sides, which run from a dark green to olive-brown back to a yellow to brown side. The dorsal fin has a dusky to black edge while the median fins are a light yellow orange to olive. These fish can reach a length of about 19 inches. Although suckers are not a species that is generally fished for, they are caught on a regular basis. They can be caught on live invertebrates such as worms and are normally caught by chance. It is not impossible to catch them on artificial plastics but this is rarer.
The striped bass is a large open water predatory fish that can often be found in schools. These fish are anadramous and spend most of their life in salt water. During the spawning season they travel far up rivers to spawn. Some of these fish became landlocked due to the damming of rivers, which resulted in them becoming completely freshwater. Their success in the freshwater environment has led to their stocking in many impoundments across the country. Stripers are strong fish and are known for their fighting ability and are a favorite game fish for many. Striped bass are large fish that can reach a maximum length of 79 inches and weigh more than 50 lbs. The Georgia state record striped bass is 63 lbs; Lake Lanier’s record is currently 46 lbs. They have anywhere from 6-9 dark gray unbroken stripes on silvery white sides, which is distinctive from its relative the white bass that has broken stripes. The dorsal fins are completely separate, and it has 3 anal spines with the second noticeably shorter than the third. The fins are usually clear to gray-green, but large adults have a white pelvic fin and the anal fin has a white edge. Where you will find these fish in Lake Lanier will depend on a few factors. One is the food source. One of the main preys of these fish is the shad species that are found in the lake. If you locate a school of shad it is likely that larger predatory fish will be nearby. Another factor is the water temperature. In very cold water they will stay a little deeper where the temperature will fluctuate less. As the water warms into the mid fifties through the seventies they can be caught in shallower areas and on the surface. In late summer when the water temp reaches its highest level the fish will stay deep usually just above the thermocline, which is about 35 feet deep. A variation on the summer pattern will be on overcast days, early morning, or late evening when they may be found in shallower water. These fish do not generally relate to structure so the best key is finding the food source. Lures should be chosen that imitate shad or other baitfish such as; crankbaits, large spinners, bucktails, large topwaters, and large 6” to 8” stickbaits. These baits then need to be chosen for the specific situation and depth that the fish are holding at.
The threadfin shad is a freshwater species that is considered a baitfish. They are an important forage species for larger predatory fish. They can be found in lakes, backwaters, and pools of medium to large rivers where they will usually be found in open water over sand, mud or debris. The threadfin is similar to the gizzard shad in color and shape and can be harder to tell apart. The threadfin has a more pointed snout than the gizzard, yellow fins, and the spot near the gill cover is purple and persists even in adults. The threadfin is considerably smaller than the gizzard reaching only 9 inches. These fish can be found in open water of Lake Lanier usually in large schools. They will occasionally be caught while fishing for sunfish, but are more often caught for bait with casting nets. They are good for striper and bass fishing as well as cut bait for catfish. These fish also are regularly eaten by herring gulls. These birds give a good indication of where larger predatory fish are actively feeding by circling overhead and diving into the water to try and catch the ones that the predators have pushed to the surface.
The walleye is a species that is better known in the northern states, but north Georgia also has some good walleye populations. They have been stocked into many North Georgia lakes to help control the blue-back herring population. There are many people who are unfamiliar with the species and are surprised when they pull up a fish that has large canine teeth and eyes that look like they have bad cataracts. The first thing that is usually noticed on these fish is the huge mouth with large canine teeth, it’s not a good idea to try and lip this fish. The second thing that is noticed is the opaque silvery eyes. The body is long and slender with a yellow-olive to brown back going to a brassy yellow-blue on the sides. There are 5-12 dusky saddles that extend onto the sides but are faint on adults. The pelvic fins are thoracic and the anal and caudal fins have a white tip. These fish can grow quite large up to 36 inches in length and weigh over 20 lbs. The Georgia state record is 11lbs. 6ozs. The record for Lake Lanier is 8lbs. 3ozs. These fish can be found in lakes and pools of small to large rivers, usually in clear water. These fish will normally stay a little deeper so most people never see one as they fish for bass in the shallower water. They will come to shallower water under low light conditions to look for baitfish. The most productive ways to catch these fish are with deeper running crankbaits, live night crawler rigs, and minnows rigged on a jig head or with a split-shot and sat on the bottom. They can be found in Lake Lanier but it may take some searching. They will hold around deeper submerged cover and during the springtime you may find them in the river channels along with the white bass. If you do manage to catch some you are in for a treat as they have some of the best tasting meat of any game fish.
The warmouth is a species that most people would not recognize. In many parts of the country sunfish of all species are thrown into one general category such as bream, panfish, or perch. Many anglers are unaware of what species of sunfish that have caught, just calling it by one of these generic names. This fish is very similar in shape and size to the green sunfish. They can reach a length of 12 inches and weigh up to a couple of lbs. The Georgia state record weighed 2 lbs. even, but most caught at the lake will be under a pound. The body is slender and thick with a dark brown back and dark brown mottling on the back and sides. Often they will have 6-11 dark brown chainlike bars on the sides. The lower portion of the body is cream to yellow. There are dark brown lines radiating back from behind red eyes. Adults have a red spot inside a yellow edge on the ear flap. They also have rounded pectoral fins and thoracic pelvic fins. This fish prefers quiet areas of lakes and streams usually over a mud bottom. They will eat the same types of lures and baits that other small sunfish will take.
The white bass is a moderately sized fish that is popular as a food source. They can generally be found in lakes and in pools of medium to large rivers. They exhibit similar behavior to their cousin the striped bass by running up the rivers during the spawning season. This will usually occur in the spring as the water begins to warm. It is not uncommon to find these fish in schools were large numbers can be caught in the same area. Due to their popularity as a game and food fish they have been stocked into many waterways and lakes across the country. White bass can reach a length of up to 18 inches and weigh over 5lbs., although most are generally 1 to 2 pounds. The Georgia state record white bass came from Lake Lanier and weighed 5lbs. 1oz. These fish share a lot of the characteristics of the striped bass, but can easily be distinguished by the broken stripes on its sides, yellow eyes, and the strong arch of the body behind the head. White bass are very common in Lake Lanier and can be caught on a variety of minnow imitating lures or live bait. Some good choices would be; medium sized in-line spinners, ¼ oz crankbaits or rat-l-traps, 2 to 3 in. minnow baits, or other smaller flashy lures. Spring is a good time to find them in the upper reaches of the lake and in the river channels. These fish do not generally relate to cover, but when the water temperature increases in the summer they can be found after dark around bridge pilings.
The white catfish is very similar in appearance to the channel catfish. Most individuals would not realize that they had caught anything other than a channel catfish, but there are some differences. The white catfish does not grow nearly as large as the channel cat, reaching a length of only 24 inches and generally weighs less than 12 lbs. The Georgia state record was 8 lbs. 10 oz. The coloration is similar to a channel cat with a blue to gray back and sides and a yellow to white abdomen. Unlike the channel cat, the white cat does not have any dark spots on its body. It will have white or yellow chin barbels, a short anal fin base, and a moderately forked caudal fin. The habitat that this fish likes varies slightly from that of a channel cat. They prefer sluggish water and backwater areas usually over a mud bottom. They can be caught on typical catfish bait.
Yellow perch is lesser-known species in the south but is widely sought in the north as a food source. They are very similar in shape to the walleye except there are no large teeth to worry about. These fish do not grow nearly as large as walleye with a maximum length of about 16in. The Georgia state record is 2lbs. 8ozs. and the lake Lanier record is 1lbs. 8ozs. These fish have a fairly deep compressed body that is green on the back with yellow sides. There are 6-9 green-brown saddles extending down the sides, often triangular shaped. They have yellow to red-paired fins and a large mouth. They can be found in lakes, ponds, and pools of small to large rivers. They are normally found in deeper, clear water near vegetation. They will eat most invertebrates and small minnows. They can also be caught on small jigs, spinners, and crankbaits.