Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Oostanaula River in Georgia - It winds nearly 50 miles from Calhoun to Rome Georgia where it meets with the Etowah to form the larger Coosa River. It isis a small boat river. Anglers should be extra cautious when navigating, especially in the low water period during summer.
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Best Fishing Bets
Catfish, Bream, Striped Bass, Black Bass and White Bass
Oostanaula River Fishing Tips
Catfish - Blue, channel and flathead catfish all are available. Expect good numbers of blues and channel cats over this river's length. Blues average 2-3 pounds, but larger individuals 5-8 pounds remain common. Channel cats from 3/4 to 1-pound are the norm. Flatheads are least common, but 10 to 15-pound fish can be caught.

Technique - Channels and smaller blue cats can be caught on bottom rigs using chicken livers, catalpa worms or prepared catfish baits. This variety of unsavory baits will produce consistent catches, but most trophy cats prefer live or cut bait offerings of shad or bream.

Target - Find catfish in deep pools, undercut banks or in logjams, especially those with good flow around them. However, don't overlook swifter waters below shoals, as catfish frequent these areas to feed.
Black Bass - The muddy waters of the Oostanaula do not make for the best bass fishing, but largemouth and spotted bass are present. Spots dominate the population and average 7-8 inches in length. Less common largemouth average 12 inches and just over 1 pound.

Technique - The traditional plastic worm and grub are effective, but anglers should consider throwing spinner, crank or buzzbaits to cover more water in search of actively feeding bass. If a slower approach is preferred, fishing live minnows or shad can make for a quality day on the river.

Target the shoals within the 3-mile stretch above and below Highway 140 for spotted bass. Also look to creek mouths, debris jams and around overhanging vegetation and fallen trees. Find largemouth in the lower reaches of the river around shoreline cover.
Oostanaula River Map
Bream - Expect low to moderate numbers of bluegill and even fewer numbers of redbreast and redear sunfish. Bluegill will average 5 inches and fish over 7 inches are rare.

Technique - Crickets or worms work best, though small jigs and spinners also are effective.

Target - Look for bream in slow water areas around creek mouths and the slack-water behind debris jams during the spring and summer months.
Striped Bass - Spawn-run stripers migrate annually into the lower section of the river, near the city of Rome each spring. Most stripers will average 6-8 pounds, while trophy fish push 30-plus pounds. Though bigger stripers are available, persistent severe drought conditions have likely reduced their numbers. A few small stripers may be caught in summer, but premier fishing will be April through May.

Technique - In the spring, bucktails and live or cut shad are good choices. Stout fishing gear is imperative for these powerful fish. A 7 to 7 ½ foot rod fitted with a baitcaster and 20 to 30-pound line is recommended.

Target - Spawn run fish will congregate in the lower Oostanaula around its confluence with the Etowah and Coosa Rivers. Another good spot lies several miles upstream from the confluence, near Dozier Creek on the east bank of the river.
White Bass - Spring also brings white bass into the river to spawn. The smaller and more abundant males will average 3/4-pound, while the larger, less abundant, females will be in the 2-pound range. Numbers will be less than the last two years, but should remain above average.

Technique - Concentrated schools of spawn-run fish can be caught using small jigs and 1/4 to 1/2 ounce shad patterned crankbatis, such as rat-l-traps. Hit the water later in the morning when
you'll find more white bass in the warming shallows along the riverbank.

Target the lowest reaches of the Oostanaula from March through April. Inside river bends with cover are typically more productive than straight river sections.
Other Fish Species - Look for crappie during the spring spawning run, though numbers are typically low in most areas. Other species available include smallmouth buffalo, freshwater drum, carp and suckers - all of which dominate the relatively slow moving waters of the river. Drum will average 12 inches with larger "bull" drum exceeding 20 inches.

Technique - For drum, try crayfish, cut mussels, shrimp or small white jigs bumped along the bottom.

Target the swifter waters and shoals throughout the river in search of drum.
Additional Info
Keep abreast of real-time river level and flow conditions for the Oostanaula River near the city of Rome

The DNR lake sturgeon reintroduction program began in 2002. Since then, more than 80,000 sturgeon fingerlings have been released in the Coosa River basin. The species grows slowly and does not mature for 12-15 years so it is important to protect them from harvest until they can reproduce and once again support some limited harvest. Anglers accidentally catching a lake sturgeon should immediately release the fish unharmed. Fish hooked deep will often survive if anglers cut the line near the hook and release the fish with the hook.

If you catch a sturgeon, please contact the Calhoun WRD office at 706-624-1161 to report the location from which the sturgeon was caught. Such information is helpful to biologists assessing the survival and dispersal of these magnificent fish.
Contact Info
Calhoun Fisheries office - Phone: 706-624-1161
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