Maiden Voyage on the almost flooded Altamaha

Discussion in 'GEORGIA RIVERS TALK' started by Fivebraids, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Denise and I haven't checked in here lately. We've been pretty busy...

    But we do have a little news...we decided to go out on a maiden voyage on an unbelievably high Altamaha in our NEW BOAT! Well, the boat's new to us anyways. It's an '04 G3 1756 VBX Center Console Tunnel hull with a 60 hp yammer two stroke:

    P1020574.jpg ..... P1020575.jpg ..... P1020580.jpg

    A good buddy of ours is moving north and will be getting a much larger v-hull boat for the big lakes up there, so he made us a deal we couldn't say no to on the G3. It's got a bimini top, trolling motor, Garmin GPS sounder, stainless prop, etc. Pretty sweet ride that runs in really skinny water. I've been in it in way less than a foot of water. But we need to rename it. He fished almost exclusively on the Savannah for channels...not quite what we're into...:wink:

    Our maiden voyage was interesting...to say the least. The boat performed flawlessly...as we knew it would since we've both been fishing in it before. The reason the trip was interesting was due to the water level on the Altamaha.

    Denise and I have logged LOTS of hours on the Altamaha...but they've all been during the spring and summer. The water level has been pitifully low this summer, as anyone that's been on the water knows. Heck, the river was only at 1.3 foot for our overnight trip with Altamahajon and his wife Terry!

    Our last trip out, about a month or so ago, we saw the river about as high as we've seen it. It was right about 3 foot. Well, the recent heavy rains have sure made a difference in the water level. When we launched early yesterday morning, the river was at an incredible SEVEN AND A HALF FOOT!!!! And by the time we got off the water, it had risen to almost EIGHT FOOT, and it's still rising!

    Anyone that's ever fished the Altamaha knows the 'mine field' of fallen trees and stumps and such that line the banks. You also know that you have to carefully run along the outside of all the bends in the river to avoid the huge sandbars that extend way out into the water.

    What we experienced yesterday is hard to imagine and describe. First off, there were NO SANDBARS...I mean NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADA!!! I don't mean the huge sandbars were reduced to little ones. I mean they were totally submerged!

    And then there's the downed trees and stumps and such that we used to target for hiding flatties. Well, there wasn't any! All of usual spots were totally unrecognizable. The downed trees were obviously still there...but now they're under 6-10 feet of water!

    Lots of folks know about the partially submerged paddle wheel boat a mile or two down from Jaycees. Lots of big flatties have been pulled from around it. Well, all summer long you could see a really good portion of the boat. You could see the drive gears, inside the rotted out hull, etc. Well yesterday, we were amazed to see that there's only a little tip, maybe about TWO FOOT, of the boat still exposed!!!

    One real benefit of the high water is that it made running the river a delight...of sorts. I've posted on here before about the really skinny stretch of tree infested water just past Dick Swift that you have to navigate through to make it down to the really good deep flattie holes. Usually, there's only an area about 10' wide that's deep enough that you can make it through. The rest of the width of the river there is a foot or less deep. And you better be watching for trees and be hanging on since you WILL be hitting a few.

    Well, the water was so high through that area yesterday that our GPS showed we were doing about 30mph out in the middle of the river, and I wasn't even having to look for obstacles (but I did instinctively)! What's usually a foot or less deep was over EIGHT foot deep! :crazy:

    I'll stop rambling now...I think you can all tell that Denise and I were absolutely AMAZED at the change in the river.

    Oh, and by the way...the fishin sucked! :0a14:

    The water temp was only 49 when we launched and had only climbed to 51.3 when we pulled the boat out. That combined with an incredible current (5 ounce leads being tossed around like feathers in the wind), and most of known holes completely camouflaged, made the day good for sightseeing.

    Hey, at least we were out on the river and got to see the changes! :wink:

    Thanks for reading my ramblins...
    - Marty -

    P.S. We're selling our 1448 jon in the classified section. We have a lot of time and money into that boat, but I guess we're gonna have to come down in price or wait since no one seems interested. Oh well...
     
  2. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper New Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    State:
    Dallas, GA
    Marty, that's a great lookin' rig! Thanks for the story
     

  3. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    ........that's a good lookin boat fivebraids! it's good to hear the river is coming out of it's banks. I know we got alot of rain up here, and more is forecasted for this week. It will all end up down there sooner or later. I read high water promotes a better spawn in the spring, so that's a good thing. I bet when the water comes back down there will be a few suprises waiten for ya.....new snags......new sandbars....etc.....
     
  4. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    We like surprises...we sure got plenty of them yesterday! Now all we need to do is figure out how to target the flatties in this cold high water. Ain't no way we can wait for spring! :0a35:

    - Marty -
     
  5. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Messages:
    3,603
    State:
    PA
    Nice boat Marty. Ya'll bringing it to West Point?
     
  6. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    targeting shovelheads in high n cold water sounds tricky. They're gonna be seeking some sort of slack water for sure....either behind that sunken riverboat, or at the head of a steep drop I don't know? it will take some looking around for sure......but i bet once you find one you will find a few of em at the same spot....
     
  7. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Heck yeah Santa! That's OUR boat now...it goes where we go!

    It should work on your water, dontcha think?
    - Marty -
     
  8. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Dang, I shoulda listened to Denise yesterday. I kept looking for our known hot spots and she kept telling me to head over to the slow water over what used to be sandbars and coves/eddys.

    Teach me not to listen to her...guess I will next time we go head out.

    Thanks...
    - Marty -
     
  9. Night Stalker

    Night Stalker New Member

    Messages:
    5
    State:
    Georgia
    yea i do say the altamaha was rough went sat n cought nuttin but mudfish but anyway how much are you sellin that boat for im looking for a good river boat
     
  10. bradley_G

    bradley_G New Member

    Messages:
    363
    State:
    Woodstock, GA
    sounds like you have to get to know a brand new river......
    how much you asking for the boat?
     
  11. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Cody and Bradley,

    I have our jon for sale in the classified here: http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98434

    I'm asking $4,000 but make me an offer if either of you are interested and we might be able to strike a deal. It's a real good river boat. Denise and I have logged MANY an hour on the Altamaha. Massey's been in it with me and tell ya.

    - Marty -
     
  12. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Denise and I have decided to try it again on the Altamaha this coming Saturday. It's supposed to be MUCH warmer which should help a little. But, the river's supposed to be even HIGHER which probably won't help. I'll try doing more reading on here for hints and tips on finding the flatties in this high swift water and I'll make a point of listening to the advice of looking in calmer waters.

    Altamahajon is gonna try to join us. Anyone else that's up for an adventure is welcome.

    - Marty -
     
  13. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Messages:
    3,603
    State:
    PA
    Yeah Marty, it will work great up here. That is exactly what you need for running upriver.
     
  14. Cuda-Cada

    Cuda-Cada Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    Marty,

    Just be careful, the Altamaha turns into a different animal when it starts getting 10' and higher. Fishing during the colder months with high water is definitely a challenge. I have caught flatheads when the water got down to 53 degrees and with the river over 8 foot but it's very slow fishing. Good thing about the river being up though is if it stays this way through spring then comes down, the fishing will be fantastic. Good luck...

    -Bob
     
  15. Fivebraids

    Fivebraids New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Georgia
    Careful we are Bob! As has already been said, it's like learning a whole new river. Everything we've learned, and all the hazards we know, has completely changed.

    We'll be out there Saturday morning, giving it another go. It's supposed to be MUCH warmer so we're hoping that'll make a difference...in our favor.

    And I agree, if the river stays this high through spring we're all gonna be posting new PB flatties!

    - Marty -