Carters Lake Fishing Report – August 2020

GON Staff | July 31, 2020

Carters: Level: 1 foot low. Temp: 85-90 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports, “With this rapid rise in the water temp, fishing has begun to change. Schooling activity appears to be slowing, but keep that topwater bait on deck and ready for any surface action that takes place. My primary bait after the sun gets up is the 3/16-oz. Picasso Rhino Head with the Softy Lure green-pumpkin finesse worm. We’re also using this same worm wacky rigged on a drop shot. The key places we’re focusing on are long points or humps breaking into 25 to 35 feet of water with natural or man-made cover. As is typical in the dog days of summer, fishing very slow and keeping your bait on bottom is key. It can make the difference in having a good catch or catching nothing. If you think fishing slowly is boring, well not getting bit is more boring. Slow down, and as you move your bait, go slow and deliberate. Early morning and the last 30 minutes before dark is a good time to get on the trolling motor and quickly cover as much bank as you can with your favorite topwater lure. My choice is the Whopper Plopper in white or black. As darkness takes over from the daylight, temps begin to cool and boat traffic slows, serious night fishing starts. While many spotted bass may stay deeper even at night, some move shallower, and these are the ones that are ready to bite. Some of the same lures and techniques that you use in the daytime will still work at night. Shaky heads, Texas rigs and topwater lures can all work at night. I like to change it up a bit and go with big crankbaits, like the Spro Little John, or the Picasso Rumbler spinnerbait, and I concentrate on cover in the 18- to 24-foot range. Those areas with cover should work best. Another type structure I like is rocky outcropping and bluff walls. Fish can often move shallow on these type places, and spinnerbaits and the Picasso Shock Blade Pro (vibrating jig) often get the call on these rocky or bluff-type places. No doubt, August gets hot, but the fishing can still be pretty good, and Carters Lake still produces some huge spotted bass this time of year.”

Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The bite on Carters has been great for weeks. The stripers are spending most of the day in deep trees coming up shallow (50 feet) at night and early morning. We have been focusing our efforts on the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. time frame fishing the low light, low temp and low boat traffic part of the day. Fishing over the Hydro Glow lights this time of year can be productive as it’s bringing the bait and fish to your area versus chasing them around. If you have a livewell on your boat capable of keeping shad alive, a couple throws with a quality net, like a Humpback deep water net, and you can load up on the bait you’re looking for. We typically fish baits staggered from 20 to 60 feet and hold the boat over some type of bottom contour near 80 feet watching the Humminbird for activity and adjusting baits to where the active fish are. After the sun is up and the stripers go deep, we are looking for hybrids with Capt. Mack’s umbrella rigs. I like the heavier rigs on Carters, and I like to shorten the tails about 2 inches. Colors will shift day to day, but yellow, chartreuse or white are my top-3 options. Pulling rigs in the creek arms in 50 feet of water or clipping main-lake points are great options for locating hybrids on Carters.”

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “July was our best month ever targeting and catching these tasty creatures, and August is setting up to be the same. We boated over 40 last month and have them dialed in for success. Many of these fish were in the 23- to 28-inch class weighing up to 6 pounds. Live bait and artificials fished vertical over the fish near points in the main river has been paying off greatly. Being able to locate and positively identify them before you ever start fishing is key. Early morning and dusk have been best, but we have also been catching plenty midday. It’s taken a couple years, but we have finally put together a pattern for these fish for success from March until November.”

GON’s Carters Lake Page

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