Though much less abundant than spotted bass, largemouth will typically weigh-in at larger sizes. The average fish will be around 1 pound, with a few reaching more than 5 pounds in size.
Spotted bass are the dominant black bass species, making up 80 to 90 percent of the black bass population in Allatoona. The spot fishery is typically characterized by high catch rates of relatively modest-sized individuals. Fish under 14 inches in length typically dominate the spotted bass population in any given year.
Recent sampling shows hybrid striped bass abundance remains good, but numbers have declined from the all-time highs seen in the last decade. The average hybrid will weigh around 2 pounds. Fair numbers of 4-5 pound fish in the 18-20 inch range. Older, larger hybrids will top out in the 7-8 pound range, but fish of this caliber may be less common in comparison to years past.
Striped bass abundance at Allatoona is typically modest. The species is stocked at low levels and meant to provide anglers with the added chance to catch a larger lineside species in a lake dominated by hybrid striped bass. Striped bass abundance has been below average in recent years. A combination of poor stocked fingerling survival and the severe drought conditions experienced regionally in 2007 and 2008 contributed to decreased abundance of young and old fish alike. However, good survival of fingerlings stocked in 2007 has led to a fair year-class of good-sized stripers in the 30+ inch range.
Channel, blue and flathead catfish are all found in Allatoona. Channel catfish are by far the most abundant, while flatheads and blues are fewer, but typically larger in size. The average channel cat is around 16 inches and 1 1/4 pounds in size. Larger channels will tip scales in the 5 pound range. Flatheads and blues are less numerous, but most caught will be 5 to 10 pounds or larger.
Bluegill, redbreast and redear sunfish are all present in this reservoir. Bluegill are the most abundant of the three species. Average size is about 5 inches, with few being more than 7 inches in length. Though fewer in number, redear tend to be larger than either bluegill or redbreast sunfish. Larger redear may top 9 inches in length.
Both black and white crappie are found in Allatoona, but black crappie are the dominant species. The average fish should measure around 9 inches and weigh about 1/3 of a pound, but larger 1 to 2 pound slab crappie are pulled from Allatoona’s waters each year.
DNR, the Corps of Engineers, local non-profit organizations, and volunteers have aggressively worked to improve fish habitat in Allatoona over the last ten years.
For the bank angler, most of the areas around the more than half a dozen public fishing jetties dotting the lake have been “sweetened” with hundreds of Christmas trees located within easy casting distance of the bank. Fresh trees were added to the fishing jetty at Proctor Landing in winter 2014. New trees were also placed at the marked fishing site adjacent to the Kellogg Creek Boat ramp.
In late 2008, DNR began stocking lake sturgeon in Allatoona to re-establish this native fish to the upper Etowah River system. Anglers accidentally catching a lake sturgeon should release the fish immediately so that a population can be re-established. Fish hooked deep will often survive if anglers cut the line near the hook and release the fish with the hook left in it. Those wondering what impact sturgeon will have on their favorite game species in Allatoona can rest easy. Because of its low reproductive potential, sturgeon do not establish themselves as a prominent species, making its impacts to other fish negligible. If you catch or otherwise see a sturgeon, please contact the Calhoun DNR office (706-624-1161) to report the location from which the sturgeon was caught. Such information is extremely valuable to biologists assessing the survival and dispersal of these magnificent native sport fish.
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