Fishing Bartrams Bass on the Chattooga River

bartrams bass

Head out on the water in this video with Hooked on Wild Water’s Drew Gregory for some big adventures with Bartrams bass.

“If you’ve never heard of a bass called ‘Bartrams bass,’ you’re about to learn a lot about it today as it certainly takes me to some of the most scenic water in all of North America. What this bass lacks in size it makes up for in its beauty and its challenging river habitat.” - Drew Gregory

Take a look:

Fishing for Bartrams on the Chattooga

Often mistaken for red eye or small mouth, Bartrams bass is distinct to the Chattooga River area of Georgia.

Drew says, “The Chattooga River is one of the most wild and scenic places I’ve ever been. It makes sense to me these little, beautiful black bass have tucked themselves in amongst these beautiful rapids, waterfalls and mountains all around.”

You’ll need to ramp up your paddling skills to tackle the rapids section of the river. Part of the challenge of fishing these small bass are what it takes to get to their habitat. Be sure to wear your PFD, a helmet and bring a fishing buddy with you.

Drew uses an ultra-lite rod for these fish, which enables him to also catch redbreast sunfish with their bright red and blue coloring. The sunfish like the same spots as the Bartrams, so he caught both in this trip.

About the Chattooga River Region

The Chattooga River is in northeast Georgia. As Cheryl Parker, from Georgia Power, shares, there are six lakes in the area with campgrounds, beaches, boat launches and other amenities great for kayakers and other boaters, including anglers.

kayak fishing chattooga river for bartrams bass

More About Bartrams Bass

Profressor Brandon Peoples is a local Bartrams expert. He shares that these little bass prefer the clear, flowing waters of these wild rivers as opposed to the reservoirs. Their diet, according to student studies done from the nearby university, is 75% crayfish.

The fisheries program at nearby Clemson University pairs undergrad students with grad students and local businesses to learn more about Bartrams and the other local fish.

Drew also interviews grad student Emily Judson, who’s doing her thesis on Bartrams bass. She and her crew of snorklers are studying their nesting habits in the river. Water depth, velocity and river bottom materials are all factors of her study.

See more episodes of Hooked on Wild Waters.

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