I work with so many customers and clients that are buying and selling lake property that have no idea of the great fishing around Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee river.   Ever since I was a little boy I have fished the “Hooch” and it has turned out to be successful. I believe Gwinnett County has the best trout fishing in all of Georgia. I am going to attempt to give insight on the how to’s and what to’s when trying to fish this awesome river with unbridled success.
            One of the first and often questions I receive when on the river is “having any luck"? I find this a humorous question and what I think it translates into is “I’m not catching a darn thing how about you.” I will hold up my stringer with an impressive array of rainbow and brown trout. The next question comes immediately. “What are you using?” This, my friends is where it gets interesting.
            Buford Dam is always our starting point. We put the kayaks in there and float about ten miles to Settles Bridge.  The Georgia DNR has rules and regulations about what kind of bait is permitted and in what areas. Buford Dam to Highway 20 is free game to use any bait you choose. I will not fish with anything other than Berkley three inch artificial trout worms. These worms are considered live bait based on the fact they have a protein attractant in them and if used past Highway 20 carry a fine of $150.00. They come in all different colors, but the most successful colors I have found are pink, chartreuse (yellow with whitish bottom), and natural. The only place I have been able to find these locally is at Bass Pro Shop ( Discovery Mills Mall ). One small sinker about 18” away from the small hook (smaller the better), and the worm is all you need. The old saying, “If you build it they will come”, applies to these worms (if you use them they will come). The best way to use this bait is to allow the current to drag this bait on the bottom. No reeling or popping needed just sit back and enjoy the ride. After Highway 20, I use a trout colored floating Rapala. You will catch your limit with using these techniques.
            Not everyone has a kayak. Neither do I. The good news is there are two full service places that are at your fingertips (they will drop you off and pick you up). Up The River Outfitters (UTR) and the Buford Dam Store have all you need. Up The River is located off Highway 20 right next to the Chattahoochee. Both have nice kayaks.  UTR kayak rentals are approx $35.00 vs. Buford Dam $10.00. 
            I really hope this helps in terms of catching trout on the “Hooch.” I feel for the people I talk to that tell me they fished all day and caught one fish. It does not have to be that way, and if my techniques that I have provided are utilized, the return should be great.  
Written by: Jay Daniel Hufnagel - Just "Say Jay"