BY CAPTAIN WAYNE MOORE – USCG LICENSED
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As of this writing on February 19, 2023, the fishing for Hybrid Bass, Striped Bass, and Crappie is getting ready to burst wide open. We have had a lot of rain and up until now the water has been stained all the way to the dam.
Hybrid Bass & Striped Bass:
In March and April we will be flat lining bass minnows or threadfin shad behind the boat. If we are lucky and get some gizzard shad you will have the opportunity for much bigger fish. It’s a simple set up with four spinning rods rigged with 12 to 20lb test main line. I use a swivel with a glass bead in front of it and a #4 sinker. The hook is matched to the size of the bait ranging from a #4 to a #2 circle hook. The bite is obvious and the fight, even on a 4lb Hybrid Bass, is substantial! We will also troll Mini Macs which are a small umbrella rig sold by Captain Mack Farr.
As we get to the end of April, we will begin to fish downlines directly under the boat with the bass minnows and shad. This action can be very good for numbers of fish. Also, my favorite technique (other than fly fishing) is using a jigging spoon. It’s simple, and kids love it! Just lower the spoon to the bottom, lift the rod tip up a couple of feet, and lower it back down. I’ve had a five-year-old catch an 8lb Hybrid Bass doing this unassisted by any adults.
Fly fishing… when I first started guiding here five years ago, we had a good topwater bite at the dam when Georgia Power pumped water up from Lake Sinclair. However, the last few years it seems Georgia Power does not leave the pumps on in the early morning hours as often. We did see a good topwater bite mid-lake in June last year. If you like to fly fish, I’ll always let you know if there is a good opportunity or not. Most of my fly fishing customers are happy to spin fish if fly fishing is not an option.
Many anglers think of crappie fishing with minnows and floats during the spawn. But we guides here know the best bite is pre-spawn. Trolling from now through the end of March should be very good. I troll eight rods out of the back of the boat usually with double jigs. The fish pre-spawn are typically large. Fish in the 1lb to 1-½lb size are common and occasionally we will put some 2 pounders in the boat. It is a great way to put some slabs in the boat and on your table!
Tight Lines and God Bless.
Capt. Wayne Moore
Oconee On The Fly, Inc.