In the last week I’ve been fishing the north end as well as the south end. On the north end of the lake, I’ve been concentrating on the Chestatee arm. The water up there is just a bit cooler than on the south end. The water has been stained from recent rains, but is clearing from Thompson down. The fishing up north has been tough for us. We’ve found fish but with the cooler temps, the fish are slow to react to anything. It’s the same pattern up there as it is on the south end. Find the warm rocks or warmer sundrenched areas and the fish will show up in the afternoon. There’s not going to be a lot of fish but the quality of the fish is good in the shallows right now. We’ve caught fish on worms, cranks, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Water temps are 45-47 up north and 46-48 down south. Here’s a couple of pictures of a couple nice fish over the last week.
I haven’t had a chance to get a line wet in a since my last report. We’ve been pretty busy here lately working on a new website for the business. We should have a brand new site with a different format and more bells and whistles at the end of the month.
I went over to the lake house around lunch today to bring the dock in. The lake is right at a foot below full pool and the water in the back of the creek is still stained, but better than it has been. I kept looking at my trusty spinning rig with a spinnerbait attached, lying on the deck of the boat so I couldn’t help myself and I untied. Right now the creek is full of debris because of the quick rise in the lake level and the corps hasn’t been moving much water since the last rain. Water temp was 48 in the creek.
I hit my favorite area where I caught a decent LM on my last trip out and we got some good ones last year. Although myself and this fish were cold, the area didn’t disappoint on this trip. I was pretty satisfied after boating the LM in the pics below so I took a ride out towards the mouth of the creek and had no problems finding birds and stripers. I watched them and the birds for a while. Some of the stripers were very nice and rolling on the surface with birds circling and diving. I didn’t bring any striper gear today, but I will tomorrow.
Here’s a pic of nice creek fish on a spinnerbait.
I put a little French blade on my spinnerbait for more vibration and it really slows it down to a crawl. Great for cold weather spinnerbaits.
Crankbaits on 1-14-2014
Well, the weatherman said the sun was suppose to peek out yesterday afternoon so I went out about noon in hopes of some sunshine. Didn’t happen where I was at from noon till 3pm. I worked nothing but the crankbait yesterday and it was slow without some sun. I was concentrating on rocky points and a few docks. I had to go to a deeper crankbait out on the points.
I caught a few casting but when I realized it wasn’t going to be sunny I started cruising the 20-30 flat areas of pockets and bays off the main creek. When I would mark a few bass, I would quickly throw the crankbait straight out the back on a long cast and lock it down. At 2.5 mph the crankbait would quickly dive when I lock it down and would be in the right area of the bass when the crank got to it’s maximum dive. When it gets to the bottom of the dive you can cut the motor and long line also. As long as I keep the boat on a pretty straight line, chances are I would catch a fish. We call it “crank shooting” bass on flats. We’ll usually try a few different colored baits to see what they react to. One thing that is very important when doing this is making sure your crankbait is tuned to run straight. I was using 2 new crankbaits I just made and both were out of tune bad. If your bait is out of tune it will just do circles to one side or the other. You want the crankbait to run straight at higher speeds and scrape the bottom to rattle and kick up mud.
I had a lot of dinks trolling and nothing real big for the trip. Here’s a quick video of my two biggest, which wasn’t saying much.
Over the past week or so I’ve been working the crankbaits over warm rocky shoreline in the middle of the afternoons. Once I caught a few fish on a medium crankbait last weekend I tried a bigger 3.0 DD with same color pattern. I tried casting it in the same areas I’ve been catching fish and after a couple hours I put it back in the box. I tried trolling the bigger deeper diver but it got no attention.
We also tried my old faithful 2.75 CB medium/deep diver. It’s the one that we used over the summer and up at Burton with great success, both trolling and casting. Something that is very interesting about the 2.75 medium/deep CB blanks I’m getting is that the bill has changed from a clear plastic to a frosted looking plastic. Since the change, our catch rates have went way down with the lure. The clear bill really makes a difference in the CB and I probably won’t get any more with the frosted bill. We have yet to catch a fish on the 2.75 over the last month.
Once I determined that the fish weren’t interested in the 2 inch and bigger CB’s we just concentrated on the 1.75 medium crank and the 1.5 medium crank. The 1.75 medium is the one in the pictures above. The 1.75 has the loudest rattles of all my CB’s and I think that’s a huge success factor on the rocks.
Some folks have ask me about how I target bigger fish and finding the right areas where they reside.
I gotta say that over the past few days the biggest fish have come from areas where the sun is heating them up. All the fish yesterday came from rocks and docks. The big fish came from a southwest facing rocky outcropping with a dock directly facing the afternoon sun. When the sun comes out and starts heating up these areas, the bigger fish usually follow. The fish have been hitting in the 5-15ft depth.
Something else that is very important is presentation. My buddy and I used the same bait a few days ago and he zeroed with the bait while I caught 4 nice fish. The difference was that he was just casting and cranking. I’m casting, hard jerking the bait to the bottom and then cranking, jerking and stopping over and over. I’m working it more like a jerkbait than a crankbait and I think that mimics a foraging bait on the rocks instead of a swimming bait. here are a few pictures and videos from some of our recent crankbait trips in the creek. The first picture below is a picture of my last bass for 2014, caught on New Years Eve just before sunset. It was a nice way to end 2014.