Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

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Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby tlip89 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:26 am

Hey guys! First I just want to introduce myself and say I'm glad to have found this group. Over the last couple of years ever since I took Georgia Fisheries course at UGA, I've become a Georgia river fishing addict, especially on the fly. I currently live in Augusta and have really enjoyed fishing the shoals for smallmouth and Bartram's Bass. As Spring is beginning to turn the corner, I've been spending my days looking for where I want to do my first kayak fishing trip of the year. I've come across the shoalie fishing in the upper ocmulgee below Lake Jackson. I'm thinking I'll float from the boat ramp below Lake Jackson to the Wise creek takeout. Has anyone fished this stretch before? Any insight you could lend or just stories from the trip? Thanks!
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Re: Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby Blackwater » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:39 am

I have floated that section and have had some success with shoalies, spots and largies. I have also been skunked. The main issue is that the water releases from Lake Jackson can be unpredictable and dangerous. Please don't try the float without gaining some experience first with the paddling zones down river by going with an experienced GRFer. There are some shoals that are Class 3 at any level and some waterfalls that are always dangerous and can be fatal on high water. The river is beautiful and fun at many levels but saftey should not be taken for granted.
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Re: Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby tlip89 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:46 pm

Thanks for the heads up! Any idea on where I could find the schedule for the dam releases?
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Re: Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby Blackwater » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:10 pm

There is no schedule that is reliable and therefore GA Power does not release one to the public. The best efforts to guess at what may happen is to know the lake level and the desired level and compare the release level on the guage. It is guess work from there on.

Lake Level here: https://lakes.southernco.com/ Desired summer level 528.00 effective now. Lake level now 529.54

What this tells you is that they need to get water out of the lake, so they will be releasing more than is coming in until they get to 528 then they will generally release only the amount coming in or the minimum they can release which is about 1000 cu/ft/sec. that results in about 3.9 ft on the guage. It will almost never be less than that and fishing is safe if you know what you are doing up to about 5.2 on the guage. It gets more dangerous as the flow rate goes up.

Here's the guage http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ga/nwis/uv?cb ... o=02210500

Currently releasing 2600 cu/ft/sec and likely will till the lake gets down to 528. The guage level is 5.39, a little high for my tastes. I would forget it till it gets steady somewhere under 5 feet.

There is a public canoe launch/takeout at Pioneer Timber where you can get out ahead of the most dangerous places which I have had to do more than once, but I have been caught below there a few times with water coming at me as high as 7 feet and I don't wish that on anybody. Scary to me.
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Re: Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby tlip89 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:16 pm

This has been incredibly helpful. Thank you very much!
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Re: Ocmulgee Shoalie kayak fishing

Postby Blackwater » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:18 am

you are welcome. Best go down the river a time or two with someone who has experience with it. The dating service is a forum that lurkers can not see. If you want to try to get up a float when the water goes down make a post there and sometimes you get lucky because someone else will be wanting to go too. Its ok to post your intentions there because only GRF insiders will see it and you can pretty well trust any one who answer you from there. If you want to get your feet wet and catch some fish too, PM me and I will clue you in on a couple safer ones.
"Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms." Josey Wales

"But hey Pappy, they integrated!'" Jr to Pappy O''Daniel
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