Lower Flint River Shoal Bass

What better angler to get in the boat with than Flint Davis, a tournament angler named after the actual river.

Craig James | October 31, 2023


As I’m beginning to type this story, a quick look out my kitchen window reminds me that fall has finally arrived in south Georgia. And after my 37th summer in the Peach State, I couldn’t be happier that it’s finally my favorite time of the year.

I believe bass feel the same way as me. After spending the summer months living in lakes that have felt more like a bubble bath, cooler temperatures have brought a renewed energy back to the water. As baitfish become more active, bass feed earnestly in preparation for the winter months to come. This happens from one end of the state to the other. From Seminole to Blue Ridge and every lake and farm pond in between, November offers up some of the best bass fishing of the year.

But… still water isn’t the only place the bite is on fire this month. If you grab your Georgia map right quick, run your eyes down I-75, hop off the interstate at Cordele and key in on that river that’s feeding Lake Blackshear before running south and pumping into Lake Seminole, you’ll see the mighty Flint.

The Flint River is home to some of the best shoal bass fishing in the world, and this month the fishing is at its peak as hungry shoalies begin to prepare for winter.

When I got assigned this story, my first thought was to try and reach out to someone with decades of experience on the river. But as I began to talk with locals in the area, one name kept coming up again and again: Flint Davis.

Flint Davis guides and fishes professionally, but he got his start on the Flint River. He said his dad Brian had him on the south Georgia section of the river when he was in diapers. Flint credits his dad for everything that he has learned about fishing the river.

At only 20 years old, the former Georgia High School Angler of the year, has earned quite the reputation for himself on the river, and many local folks believe he may very well be one of the best anglers to ever brave the river’s rocky shoals. Flint stays pretty busy these days, alternating between being a full-time guide on the Flint and fishing professionally. When I got him on the phone, he was more than excited to have the opportunity to share some of his knowledge with GON readers.

“The Flint River is my favorite place to fish, and it always has been. My dad, Brian Davis, taught me everything I know about the river, and he has had me out here literally since I was in diapers. I’ve had a bunch of success on the river, and it’s all thanks to him,” said Flint, who is actually named after the Flint River.

We managed to schedule a quick morning trip shortly before press time, and though Flint warned me beforehand that conditions weren’t as favorable as he would like, we still managed to catch 25 or so fish, and we were the only ones on the water for about three hours. All of our fish averaged in the 1- to 2-lb. range, though they fought more like 3- to 4-pounders in the river’s turbid waters. Flint did have a really nice fish on at one point that we estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 pounds, and like they sometimes do, it managed to avoid getting its picture taken.

The big shoalie was a reminder of what the river has to offer when it comes to trophy-sized fish. Flint’s best day on the river was an astonishing 27 pounds with five shoal bass, and his biggest single shoal bass was a river monster that drug the scales down to 8-lbs., 1-oz.

Flint with his personal-best Flint River shoalie, an 8-lb., 1-oz. fish.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned from Flint both on the water and through conversation. I’ll start first with his three favorite places to fish the Flint River and then hit on his four favorite lures for fishing it in November.

Locations: If you put in at the Earle May Boat Basin in Bainbridge and go up, you shouldn’t have any problem getting on a good shoalie bite this month. Depending on water levels, anglers shouldn’t have any problem running several miles upriver.

“Before we get into any fishing talk, I want to mention safety. The Flint is a fun river to fish, but it can be dangerous and unforgiving. If you’re new to the river, you need to use extreme caution or hire a guide until you become familiar with it,” Flint warned.

Flint says in this section of the river, you can expect to catch some nice shoal bass, with largemouth mixed in.

“You really want to key in on the obvious visible shoals, especially if there is a laydown nearby that offers a break in the current. Shoal bass use their excellent vision and the clear water to their advantage to target prey,” said Flint.

Due to the clear water, Flint told me before our trip to be sure and wear something either camouflage or that would blend in with the backdrop.

“When you’re fishing for shoal bass, if you can see them, they can see you. I wear the Realtree Fishing Apparel when I’m on the river, and I believe it helps me put more fish in the boat,” said Flint.

Another section Flint likes to fish this month, is the area below downtown Albany. Flint says this area is a good place to catch both numbers and quality of fish.

“Even though it’s right there in town, it doesn’t get pressured that hard. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get some really good bites in this part of the river,” said Flint.

Like the section closer to Bainbridge, visual targets are the key, and thinking like a shoal bass will help you get bit.

“Think about those ambush points, where that fish sets up an inch out of the current and waits for something to eat. Paying close attention to the structure around you is the key,” Flint said.

The seams in the current, often running in various patterns, are one of Flint’s favorite places to look for shoalies this month. With a good pair of glasses, you can often see them holding in the current.

“If you’re out in the middle of the river, and you pay close attention, you can see the seams that run in the current, and they can range from 10 yards to 100 yards long. If you kind of float with the river and cast at those seams, you will get bit. I also look for fish that are holding on sandy spots in the current. My Smith Optics sunglasses really help me to find fish that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise,” said Flint.

The Montezuma section of the Flint is located above Lake Blackshear, and according to Flint, there are some trophy fish in this section of the river.

“I don’t get up there as often as I do Bainbridge or Albany, but it’s a good place to target shoal bass on the river. I feel like this section offers up some of the best quality fish on the river,” said Flint.

Anglers will do well focusing on visible structure such as fallen trees and log jams. This is also an excellent stretch to key in on rocks protruding from the water.

“When you fish an exposed shoal, be sure to show the bass the lure from several different angles because you don’t always know exactly how he’s holding on the cover. Sometimes it’s that third or fourth cast that’s gonna get you bit,” said Flint.

Flint relies on four lures to cover water and catch Flint River bass in November.

Lures: Flint relies on four main lures this month. Here’s a breakdown of them and the gear he uses to fish them.

• Flint says a buzzbait can be dynamite on the river this month, and it’s hard to beat a white buzzbait with a gold blade. Flint will fish a buzzbait in the 1/4- to 1/2-oz. size based on the aggressiveness of the fish.

“I like the 1/2-oz. the best because I can really send it and cover a bunch of water while making long casts. If the fish aren’t really hammering it, I will downsize to a 1/4-oz. model,” said Flint.

Flint fishes the buzzbait on a 7-foot medium-heavy Favorite Pro Series rod and spools up with 50-lb. Sunline braid. He quickly modifies his buzzbait by swapping out the skirt for a Z-Man Baby GOAT trailer.

“You can’t beat that Baby GOAT. You can put it on your buzzbait and send it. It adds some really good action, and it’s as tough as nails,” said Flint.

Flint says that though it can produce throughout the day on the river, he normally relies on the buzzbait in low-light conditions either first thing in the morning or just before dark.

• Like the buzzbait, Flint prefers to throw a Zara Spook during early morning hours and just before dark. He says about any brand or style works well. Just be sure it looks natural, or go with something along the lines of a white or off-white color.

Flint flings the Spook on the same Favorite rod and Sunline setup that he uses to buzzbait fish, and he like to keep the lure moving, but the slower the better.

“The more movement you can accomplish while keeping your Spook in the strike zone is going to result in getting bit more often,” Flint added.

• Flint says you won’t go wrong throwing a 1/2-oz. Z-Man SlingBladeZ spinnerbait on the river this month. Flint likes to fish the spinnerbait on the same style Favorite rod as mentioned above, but he like to use 16-lb. Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line.

“You can’t go wrong with the Favorite Pro Series rods with just about any lure you want to throw on the river. What I’m really impressed by is the level of quality with an affordable price tag of under $150 bucks,” Flint added.

Flint recommends keeping your spinnerbait color selection natural, and keep one on the ready to throw to laydowns and around exposed shoals and other cover.

• If there’s a lure more tried or true than a jig, I’d love to hear about it. The jig holds that same reputation on the Flint, and it’s a good option to keep on the ready this month.

Flint opts for a Z-Man CrossEyeZ jig and says you can’t go wrong as long as it’s a natural color. He fishes it on 16- to 18-lb. Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line, and the same Favorite Pro Series rod that he prefers for his other presentations.

“This is an effective lure to slow down and make them bite, it’s a great tool for working all those little cuts and breaks in the current,” said Flint.

Flint said that it’s an excellent lure for working the seams in the middle of the river and recommends that anglers make long casts downriver, working the jig back to the boat slowly parallel to the seam they are fishing.

The Flint River is primed for some of the best bass fishing in Georgia this month, and you’re not going to want to miss it!

Editors Note: If your interested in fishing with Flint, you can reach out to him at Just before press time, he still had a couple of spots left for November.

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