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The Bite: Lake Allatoona fishing report - March 23, 2024

Nestled here in the northern Georgia region, and birthed by the Etowah River, Lake Allatoona continues to shine in all her glory. This reservoir has continued to produce very well these past years, and as Spring is settling in, and we can expect the reservoir to be teeming with life.

Allatoona has many species of fish to offer, including striped bass, hybrid striped bass, white bass, crappie, spotted bass, largemouth bass, blue cats, channel cats, flathead cats, gar, and several species of bream to name a few.

The stripers and hybrids are beginning to stage up nicely by now and may soon even be seen on the surface chasing shiny little silver baitfish. It may be noted that we have seen a little less frequent and sustained top water action over the past few years, it could simply be attributed to the abundance of herring in the reservoir. In my own opinion, the herring tend to dive, especially at the adult stage, where the threadfin shad is pushed to the surface more easily. I do believe that when given the choice in the springtime, the herring is the preferred forage of the two. While there seems to be less decrease in spotted bass topwater activity chasing shad, the line sides really key in on the herring this time of year.

We are confident that standard patterns of down-lining and free-lining fresh threadfin shad, herring, and gizzard shad along with trolling umbrella rigs and crank baits will produce both numbers as well as quality fish as they had beginning in March. 

Our down-lining is typically ¾ oz. -1.5 oz. weight with a 4-6' leader of 8-10lb. fluorocarbon. While most fish are being found lake-wide, it should be noted that these line sides do move around a lot, and greater concentrations may shift from south to mid to north regions of the lake often. 

The Spring spawn is upon us! As water temperatures reach that magic 60 degree plus mark, most species are prepared for spawning. While the white bass get it started and run when temperatures reach the 50–55-degree mark, the hybrids and striped bass are right behind them. While some fish are running up the river as early as February, there should still be some activity in the upper Etowah and Little River pools throughout April and May.

Larger baits may prevail when targeting the larger fish this month so consider pulling a larger 8-10" gizzard shad on a freeline or planer board anytime you are committing to an area for better success in hooking up with a drag screamer. Bigger fish preparing to spawn are often looking for a single larger meal, reserving their energy for spawning.

The crappie bite has already been phenomenal through March. One does not need forward facing sonar to get in on the action here. These fish are already staging up in the mouths of creeks as well as the channel edges and pulling some 1/16 oz. jigs flat-lined behind the boat should produce on any day. If you are held to shore fishing, these same fish are already pushing up on the banks where the males are fanning in preparation of the spawning females to lay their eggs. These males can be quite aggressive and as they will defend their bed at all costs, any little ‘rubber bug,’ live minnow and the like will get eaten when presented in active areas in this 1 - 6 foot of water range.

The Spotted Bass bite has been fantastic through this winter and these fish are ready to get up on the rocks and start their spawn. They will respond well to many offerings. A white fluke or shad pattern swim bait worked along the bank edges will produce fish. Crankbaits and jigs and other creature baits that resemble crawfish have been solid since March and will continue to produce into April. So might your crappie jigs!

We do hope this helps a little and that you have a fantastic season of fishing here on Lake Allatoona. This forecast is designed to help guide the self-sufficient angler. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more regular reports and join our blog at for some insider information and prompt reports as the season progresses. Also feel free to link up with us and others in the Lake Allatoona fishing community on one of the local Facebook pages:

With added experienced anglers and I to help guide you on a full-service adventure, these may be scheduled with a simple call to 404-919-4918 at any time. We look forward to the opportunity to have you out on the water with us for a fishing adventure. God Bless and tight lines, friends! -Joseph


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