By the end of the month things will be improving, even in Georgia. More northern lakes may be a month ahead of the ones I fish. If so, be grateful for your luck, go fishing often and enjoy. Southern fishermen may wish they could swap places this time of year but that will change when northern waters get solid on top.
Bass Fishing In September
Wherever you are, bass go through typical patterns as the lake cools. In some lakes the lack of oxygen causes them to suspend over deep water until the lake starts to cool. They will not feed much except at night, unless they are chasing shad on top.
To catch these bass, and the whites and hybrids that run with them, look for breaking fish on the surface late in the afternoon or early in the morning. Once you find them you can expect them to return to the same spots every day to feed.
Look for schooling fish on long shallow points and around islands and humps. Where the water gets shallow gives the fish a better chance to catch their food, they have less water to run in. It compresses the schools of shad and makes them easier to catch.
Try a small topwater plug, popping cork with fly attached or small spinner like a Rooster Tail. A crappie jig also works well if the shad are small threadfin. Cast them on light line and enjoy the fight.
Crappie Fishing In September
Crappie stay in the same places they have been all summer but will move a little more shallow as the water cools. Use small minnows and jigs over standing trees in deep water and around bridge pilings. You can often spot them under the schools of shad they feed on with a good depth finder. Fish right at the top of the school, crappie don't like to go deeper to feed but will come up.
Catfish in September Catfish can be caught during September since they like the hot water. Bait up a hole with dog food, soured wheat or sinking catfish food in about 12 feet of water. Then go back and catch all the fish you want on worms, liver, minnows or commercial catfish bait.
October is much better fishing here in the south but the only thing you can do wrong in September is staying home. Even if the fish don't bite real good, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a lake calming down after a summer of hard use.