Carters Lake Fishing Report – April 2019

GON Staff | March 25, 2019

Carters: Level: 1.3 feet high. Temp: 58 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports, “The COE has really been releasing the water and has the lake nearing normal pool. We were at 26 feet above pool just a few weeks ago, and now after getting rid of all the extra water all the ramps are finally open. Also, the water is clearing very quickly. As April arrives, water levels will stabilize, and that alone will help the bite, even though it is pretty good right now. The last few days has seen a vast improvement, and the bite has steadily improved. Currently, we are seeing fish out deep and some moving up shallow, as well. Underspins in 3/8- and 1/2-oz. with Super Fluke Jrs and swimbait trailers are working very well on the deeper fish, and the jerkbait is working on shallow to mid-depth fish. I’m using Sunline Sniper fluoro on both the jerkbaits and underspins. In the coming days and as April progresses, the big spotted bass will push shallower, and April will be the prime spawning month. Before we get to the spawn, fish that are still in the ditches will gradually move up the ends on the long points and some even shallower during the warm, sunny afternoons and in stained mud-line areas or on windy days. Underspins, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and even swimbaits will be the best lures. The Spro McStick 110 or similar jerkbaits are among my favorites. The closer we get to the actual spawn, the old reliable shaky head will provide lots of bites and along with a wacky-rigged Senko should help you be successful. Look up shallow on points and out on the marked shoal areas around the lake to find active fish. Also, clay banks with scattered stumps will see spawning activity and will be a great place to see some action. Backs of coves or pockets will have fish moving into them. Later in the month there will be a topwater bite available, and lures like walking baits, wake baits and floating jerkbaits will be effective. To summarize, the spotted bass will move toward a variety of hard-bottom areas like shoals, secondary point and gentle sloping banks leading into pockets. Be sure to pay close attention to clay banks and look for the dark spots—stumps that are barely visible. Spots really like to position around these stumps while spawning and can be very aggressive. One last tip: try a 4-inch swimbait on a 1/8-oz. jig head around some the previously mentioned areas to help you locate active fish. April will be a fun time to be fishing on Carters Lake.”

Linesides: Guide Robert Eidson reports, “The bite isn’t where we would want it to be at this time of year, but it is starting to take shape. The extremely high water has really affected the bite on Carters the last two weeks. As the water starts to recede, look for these to move to the river to spawn. Once the spawn starts, it will be big-bait time. Monster gizzard shad fished on planer boards and freelines above Striper Island will be the ticket.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The lake is finally back down to a normal level, and the spring bite is on. Fish are feeding on shad and alewive in the creeks and in the river bends. Early in the day, the bait is deep, but by midday, it’s working its way to the surface. Looking for busting fish and schools of bait on the sonar. Flatlines with a little bit of weight added just above the hook has been a great go-to for me this month. Stopping on top of marked fish and letting baits fall is a good technique to use as it let’s the baits fall into the strike zone. Catching fresh bait is always key, and the best way to get that done is with the Hydro Glow lights and a quality cast net. I prefer a 10-foot, 1/2-inch net from Super Spreader. Typically the bigger baits get more attention this time of year. For artificials, we are pulling Capt. Mack’s U-rigs from 90 to 125 feet back. Also, the single Chipmunk jig fished in a double-rig fashion has been deadly on the spots when pulled over points. Be aware! There are missing safety/hazard markers missing and misplaced all over the lake from the flood. If you’re not sure where you are, you better slow down.”

Walleye: Guide Robert Eidson reports, “Walleye have started their spawn run. Look for these fish up the river and off of any main-lake point. Nightcrawlers and spoons have been producing well.”

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