Wow – Where do I start? First of all on January 17th it was snowing here and water temperatures were around 47 degrees. One month later, the water temperature is around 67 degrees. We have had a lot of rain and until this past few days the lake has been stained well below mid lake.
Hybrids – I went out last Saturday and Sunday and found water that was not too stained around mid lake. I caught the biggest fish, a Hybrid that went about 5 lbs on a white and purple jigging spoon.
Sunday, I honed on fly fishing and took 5 on the fly. I found the fish in 15 feet of water and saw a few rising. I marked a lot of threadfin shad on my Lowrance unit as well. I hooked a fish on a “Cowen’s Coyote” then it slowed down so I switched to a wiggle minnow with a “Cowne’s Somethin Else”.
I use an 8 weight rod with an intermediate line so the wiggle minnow actually runs a little under the surface. I use a 9 foot, 12 lb fluorocarbon leader and the wiggle minnow is attached first then the Somethin Else is the dropper. I use 12 lb fluorocarbon for the dropper that is about 18″ to 24″ long. It casts well and the second fly is running about 2 feet under the surface. I got 5 fish on this rig!
Crappie – off the charts! The crappie don’t seem to mind the stained water as long as it has not rained in the past three days. The crappie are on the north end of the lake and the water temperature is in the mid to high 60s. Many limits are being take right now. I like to long line Jun Bug colored jigs, many here also spider rig 1/16 jigs tipped with minnows. If you want to book a crappie NOW is the time!
White Bass – The legendary white bass run up the Oconee river will likely start early this year. I think by this weekend it will be on. Rain comes in on Sunday but if it is not torrential the following week should be great as well. I will post an interim report after this weekend. This is a great trip for the fly fisherman that wants to catch a ton of fish. It only runs a week or 2 so call now if you want to go.
Finally – Don’t forget to take some time while fishing to just enjoy the incredible surroundings here. I am in constant awe of the beauty here day and night. I have been going out at first light and it’s a magical time as you get to observe the transition between night and day and often without any other boats in sight.
Wayne W. Moore