Map To High Falls Summertime Bass
Fishing this shallow-structure lake in middle Georgia is like fishing a farm pond. Here are 10 locations with GPS coordinates for good summertime bass fishing at High Falls.
After a long summer fighting skiers and skidoos on big lakes, most bass fishermen are probably wishing they had a nice farm pond to fish to escape from the pleasure boaters. Problem is, farm ponds are private. Anyone can fish the next best thing — if you are willing to downsize a little and not run your big motor. High Falls Lake offers 660 acres of great bass waters where you can catch good fish all month, and the 10 hp motor size limit eliminates the skidoos and skiers completely.
High Falls is a state park lake about two miles from I-75 south of Griffin at High Falls Road. It is an old, stump-filled lake with lots of grass and wood cover on the shoreline, and it is lined with docks. Although the channels are mostly filled in by silt, you can find some deeper structure and cover, but we are only talking about 10 to 14 feet deep, making it easier to fish than the deep ledges of big lakes.
The bass population at High Falls is good, with a lot of bass in the 2- to 3-lb. range. Ten-pound bass are taken from the lake most years, and jonboat tournaments there often have winning weights approaching 20 pounds for five fish. If you like fishing visible cover for quality bass, High Falls is an excellent choice.
There are two boat ramps on the lake, one at the bridge in Buck Creek and one at the dam. Both require a $3 parking fee. You can use your bass boat as long as you don’t crank the big motor. Boats can be on the lake only during daylight hours, defined as sunrise to sunset, so there is limited early morning and late afternoon fishing. You can’t fish until sunset then head in — if you are not off the water by the time the sun sets, you may get a ticket.
Glen Jones grew up just a few miles from High Falls and has been fishing it all his life. In the late 1990s he started fishing with Terry Lee, founder of the Lil’ Waters Bassin’ Jon Boat Trail, and found out he really liked tournament fishing. He and Terry did well in many of the tournaments at High Falls.
A few years later Glen ran into Tracy Parks, a childhood friend he had not seen in several years, and they started fishing together. Tracy lives about 25 minutes from the lake and fishes it a lot, often with his son Chris. He will be on the lake many afternoons after work.
High Falls is one of their favorite lakes, and both have taken bass weighing over seven pounds there. They have fished several of the jonboat tournament trails in the past and enjoy the competition so much they often have a dollar bet when it is just the two of them fishing.
At High Falls you won’t be doing any running and gunning, so Glen and Tracy are ready to fish each spot they stop at with a variety of baits. Since the lake is shallow and full of cover, they don’t have to load up with lures to probe 25 and 30 feet of water. Most of their fishing is done around visible cover.
Both Texas- and Carolina-rigged worms are a staple of their fishing. Glen favors a big worm like a Zoom Ol Monster or 10-inch Chompers worm, and Tracy will often fish a smaller worm to offer bass something different. On Carolina rigs, Glen likes a Mag 2 worm while Tracy will often rig up a Trick Worm.
Topwater works well at High Falls, and Tracy will throw a white buzzbait while Glen follows up with a popper like a Chug Bug or a Pop-R. The grass edges in the lake are excellent for topwater throughout the day, even on those hot, late-summer days. Since the lake is shallow, bass can be found in shoreline cover almost all the time.
Spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps are also good. Glen likes to run a red Trap through shallow grass, buzzing it along to get a reaction strike or slowing it down to tick the tops of the grass that is a little deeper. They also like to run a double Colorado bladed white or white-and-chartreuse Georgia Blade with one silver and one gold blade in the same cover.
Tracy prefers 12- to 14-lb. Stren line, while Glen spools up with the same test line in Big Game. You need heavy line for all the cover, and the murky water allows you to use it without problems.
Put in at either ramp, start fishing the bank, and hit all the cover you come to. You will find some hotspots in the abundant cover, and they are often on steeper banks. Tracy and Glen have located many hotspots over the years, and the following are 10 locations they like to fish.
No. 1: N 33º 11.063 – W 84º 02.061 — Put in at Buck Creek, and you don’t need to go far. Start fishing the bridge rip-rap at the ramp, and fish all around both sides. Work a spinnerbait and topwater plug along the grass growing in the rocks, and hit any wood cover that has washed in and hung up. Fish the pilings as you pass them, running both baits right beside them.
Switch to a worm, and drop it by the pilings, too. Then cast in the middle of the creek just downstream of the bridge. There is a good bit of rubble from the old bridge there. You will get hung up some, but bass hold in this old concrete. The 13 feet of water it is in is about as deep as Tracy and Glen fish at High Falls.
No. 2: N 33º 11.558 – W 84º 02.334 — Go into Brushy Creek, and start up the left side. As you round the first point on that side you will see a wooden seawall start in front of a light-brown cabin with a green roof and white trim. There is usually a pontoon tied at the beginning of this seawall, and a dead oak is in the yard on the other end of the house. Start out in front of the pontoon.
Keep your boat out in about seven feet of water, which will put you a long cast from the bank. There is grass that runs out under the water here and comes out well beyond what you see on the bank. Don’t get in too close. Work a topwater plug, spinnerbait or Rat-L-Trap over this grass, then fish a worm through it. Fish the worm slowly, and when you find the outside edge of the grass, make some casts that targets that edge.
There is a dock on this bank with a pontoon tied to it, and there is some brush around it. Any time you come to a dock, throw around it, probing for brush put out there. Bass love this kind of cover.
As we fished just past the dock, a solid 2 1/2-lb. bass hit a Texas-rigged Mag 2 worm in redbug color. The fish was about halfway between the boat and the bank, near the edge of the grass and about 25 feet off the bank. Don’t get in too close or you will be sitting over where many bass hold.
No. 3: N 33º 11.608 – W 84º 02.335 — You can keep fishing around to this spot, or crank up and idle around the small point to where some rocks are at the base of a big pine tree. The rocks look like a sheet of concrete right on the edge of the water, and they extend out into the water. There are also some trees under the water along this bank between the point and the next dock.
Fish the grass here, and fish the rocks. Then probe for underwater trees. Work on down the bank to the dock. It has a lot of brush around it and is a good place to catch a bass.
As on all docks, work topwater, a spinnerbait or a Rat-L-Trap by the dock, then probe it with a worm. Most dock owners pile trash around their docks on the sides, out in front, as well as under it. A Texas-rigged worm is good for finding that brush.
No. 4: N 33º 11.511 – W 84º 02.441 — Again you can keep fishing around the bank, but Glen and Tracy crank up and jump across the cove ahead of you. There are some powerlines running along the edge of the water, and they go to where the powerlines angle away from the water behind a small oak tree. There is a good blowdown you can see running off the bank, and there are several more down this bank.
Stay way out from the bank — the blowdowns run a long way out, and you can’t see them. Try all your baits over them, then work a worm through the limbs. You will hit cover way off the bank that you can’t see. Your boat should be in seven feet of water.
Fish slowly up this bank past the red shed, hitting all the wood you can see and probing for the trees under water you can’t see. There is a good visible blowdown on the upstream side of this shed, and Glen and Tracy usually fish to it.
No. 5: N 33º 11.545 – W 84º 02.100 — Head back to the mouth of Brushy Creek, and stop just inside the mouth even with the downstream point where it joins up with Buck Creek. You will be sitting almost in the middle of the creek if you stop in 10 feet of water, and you should be able to cast within 20 feet of the point. There is a shallow flat on the point with grass on it, and you will cast to about three feet of water.
Work your worms down the slope from the shallow shelf toward the deeper water in the middle of the creek. You will be positioned right if your boat is even with the points on both sides of Brushy Creek. Work that side of the point thoroughly, and then turn and make a few casts toward the other point to cover the deeper water.
No. 6: N 33º 12.157 – W 84º 02.269 — Tracy and Glen will then head up the river. The water is open here then narrows down. Where it narrows, there is a marked hump off the point on the left. Keep going past it and past the cove upstream of the point, and watch for a rock seawall on your left. It is upstream of two blowdowns on a point on the upstream side of the big, round cove.
There is a very small dock on this rock wall, and there is usually a pontoon tied to it. There is a white bird statue on the dock. What is left of the old river channel swings in near this bank, and the bank drops off fast down to 10 feet. There is a dip from 10 to 12 feet then it comes back up to 10 feet deep on the outside of the channel.
Tracy and Glen like to start at the downstream side of the seawall and fish up past the dock. Keep your boat in 10 feet of water on the outside of the channel and make long casts across it. There is a lot of brush along this old drop, and you want to hit it, not the shallow water by the sea wall.
A good 2 3/4-lb. bass hit a worm here the afternoon we fished. It was in brush right on the drop, way off the bank. You can ride over this area with a depthfinder to locate the brush. Glen says if you are not seeing baitfish here you are less likely to catch a fish.
No. 7: N 33º 12.143 – W 84º 02.344 — A little farther up the bank on your left you will see the limbs of a sweetgum tree sticking out of the water just downstream of a dock. There is a purple-topped pontoon at the dock, and usually two dogs will run out to greet you. They can be a problem chasing your lures when you cast.
There is some grass on the bank, and a wooden seawall runs up past the dock to the point. Start at the downstream side of the seawall before the sweetgum tree, and cast to the grass, then to the tree. Fish the tree and all around it. There are a lot of Christmas trees in the water around the sweetgum on up to the dock. Upstream of the dock, the seawall dips back into a ditch. Fish this spot carefully. Glen says he hooked a huge bass right out from it.
No. 8: N 33º 12.260 – W 84º 02.558 — The lake narrows down and swings left here, and across the lake the point on the opposite side and upstream is good. Start in near the bank sitting in five feet of water, and cast upstream — not toward the bank. You can work across the river casting upstream. If you sit in five feet of water, you will be casting up onto a big flat that is three feet deep or less.
The river channel is on the left bank going up, and it swings across here, making a good shallow drop as you work across the river. Topwater and worms work well here.
No. 9: N 33º 12.371 – W 84º 02.491 — If you look up toward the end of the lake, there is a wide cove on your right and a narrow opening on your left. The river enters on the left side near the bank, and there is a wide shallow bar between it and the cove. There are a lot of stumps on this flat, and it is covered with grass. The left bank is also full of stumps and grass in less than three feet of water.
Fish both sides with buzzbaits, topwater and weightless worms. We ended up here the day we fished. It was just before sundown and time to head in, but we landed three good bass, including the best of the day, a 3-lb. plus fish. The big one hit a Chug Bug, one hit a buzzbait, and one hit a weightless worm.
Fish all the visible cover, and work the grassline. There are isolated stumps and grass clumps all over the open water, too. Glen and Tracy like to keep their boat in the old channel opening and work both sides of it.
No. 10: N 33º 12.753 – W 84º 02.859 — This is an area, rather than one single spot. If you have a small boat, you can go on up the river past the Hwy 36 Bridge and flip and pitch to shoreline cover. Some of the biggest bass on the lake are caught up in this area. You will have to lift your motor over some sandbars and shallows, but the river has good depth, and there is cover on both sides. Fish it all slowly and carefully.
High Falls is a great option for a morning or afternoon trip. I met Tracy and Glen at the Buck Creek ramp in mid August, and we hit most of these spots between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. In just three hours we landed five bass that weighed about 12 pounds, an excellent catch for this time of year. The fish will still be on these spots and other similar places all over the lake right right now.
For a nice, quiet change of pace, try High Falls.
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