Carters Lake Fishing Report February 2011

GON Staff | January 25, 2011

Carters: Level: 2.8 feet below full pool. Temp: 43 to 45 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Fair. Louie Bartenfield reports, “Fishing has gotten tough. Everything I’ve been catching is deep to super deep (40 to 80 feet). Most fish are suspended around bait. Most of the bait is 60 to 100 feet deep in the creeks. There’s not as much bait out on the main lake, but the main-lake bait is shallower for the most part. Spoons, drop shots and grubs are my best baits right now. There is still a small window early morning at low light when I’m getting a jig or worm bite, but after the sun gets up it’s over. I’m averaging 10 to 12 spots per trip and have been getting a striper or two each trip as well. Fish deep points, ledges and creek-channel bends. Keep your eye on your sonar for small groups of fish suspended over bait. This is a great time to work on your sight-fishing skills and tweak your electronics. I’ve seen every fish caught for over three weeks now. February is always a brutal month to fish anywhere, but as we get late into the month look for that first warm spell. When that happens, it’s time to get on the water. The fish really respond to even a degree or two rise in water temps. When that happens, the bite will pick up. I start to see a few fish moving shallower in February. The moving-bait bite should start to return later in the month as well, so hang in there.” Eric Welch, of Reel Job Fishing, reports, “Due to the last snow and the cold weather, the numbers are not like they were earlier in the month. But the quality is still there. Fish are still being caught up the river on float-n-fly, you just need to slow it down to a creep. An 11- to 15-foot leader has been working. Also, we’ve been catching fish on a shaky head fished slowly off points in 38 to 42 feet. If you’re good at reading your electronics and can find the baitfish in the creek runs and on the main body, you can catch fish on a Flex-it spoon. And if you find the bait fish around 5 to 8 feet, be sure to run a jerkbait through them. The big spots could be on the chase.”

Linesides: Good. Robert Eidson said Carters is a ton of fun right now. He’s catching a mixed bag of stripers and big spotted bass on most of his trips, which is keeping clients happy. The fish are deep, and you can find them on points between Doll Mountain and Fisher Creek. Robert said it’s weird, but most of the fish are on the west bank of the lake. Start the morning by dropping downlines to 30 feet, baited with 5- to 6-inch trout or threadfins. Begin over 60 feet of water and work your way up onto the points to 30 feet. Then, if you’re not getting bit, bring the lines up to 20 feet and fish shallower. The fish will be right on the bottom in 20 to 40 feet of water. Once you find them, sit on them and drop lines to them. When the sun gets up, the umbrella-rig bite starts, and it has been good. Pull four-arm U-rigs loaded with 1/2-oz. bucktails, with either chartreuse or white trailers depending on what they want that day. Switch out the typical 1-oz. jig in the middle of the rig for a 1/2-oz. jig to avoid frequent hang-ups. Clip all the same points, varying the depth you pass over until you find the fish. Again, the fish will be in 20 to 40 feet of water.

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