There is so much to look forward to that I find myself feeling like a kid anticipating Christmas. Fly fishing is our focus here at Oconee On The Fly, but we love conventional angling as well. Mixing the two gives an angler the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds!
Hybrids – Recently the hybrids and stripers have been found in 50 to 60 feet deep water, high in the water column at 30 feet. Fly fishing in this case means sink tip lines and is not very effective. However, flat lining behind the boat with large bass minnows has been excellent. The rig is simple, a medium 6 and half foot spinning rod, 12 lb. test, a swivel, then a 10-lb. fluorocarbon leader about 3 feet long. I caught a 6 lb., 8-ounce hybrid doing this on a recent trip. We have been catching 10 to 12 in a short trip using this technique.
For the months ahead, the fly bite is going to get very good! In the next couple of weeks, the water will warm and the shad will start to spawn. This is an early morning bite and we will be casting wiggle minnows, clousers, and some 4 to 5-inch shad imitation flies up against the sea walls. Hang on!!!!
Once the sun is higher, say after 9:00 AM, we will switch to conventional tackle flat lining and down lining live shad. April and May will be great for Hybrids and Stripers!
Crappie – This year has been very good for crappie and up until recently spider rigging and long lining has been the ticket. Now the crappie spawn is starting. This means they are in the shallows and large numbers will be caught using a spinning out fit with 4 or 6lb test, a light bobber and a #4 True Turn hook. You will be able to smell them when they are bedding.
This is the one time of year when fly fishing for crappie can be very effective. I use a 5 weight 9 and ½ foot rod with weight forward line, a 4x, 9-foot leader and fish the fly under a strike indicator or even a narrow pencil style float with bobber stoppers. The fly can be almost anything that has some white and chartreuse. Crappie Kandy, is one popular fly that is easy to tie. Instructions can be found with a Google search. The advantage in fly fishing for crappie is, no minnows required and you don’t even have to reel in line, just re-cast the line you have out.
Largemouth Bass – What? Largemouth on a fly? You bet! This time of year, larger mouth are getting ready to spawn. There are many files that are very effective on large mouth. Georgia fly tier Craig Riendeau ties a “Wee Willie Wiggler” that is the fly fisherman’s answer to the plastic worm. It is fished under a strike indicator like a “float and fly” rig. Have you ever cast a Zara Spook to bass in top water mode? There is a large topwater fly called a “Pole Dancer” tied by Charlie Bisharat. It moves back in forth on the retrieve just like a Zara Spook. Bass will kill this fly when they are active on the surface!
We are booking up quickly so e-mail me at wmoore1700 @outlook.com and request your dates. Also, the “pump back” bite will run from late June through November. These dates for fly fishing are very popular, book yours now!
Capt. Wayne Moore USCG