Carters Lake Fishing Report February 2012

GON Staff | February 1, 2012

Carters: Level: 0.4 feet below full pool. Temp: 50-54 degrees. Clarity: 4-7 feet visibility.

Spotted Bass: Excellent. Eric Crowley, with Lake and Stream Guide Service, reports, “Big spots from 5 to 6 pounds are being caught daily. The bigger fish we are catching are coming from 15 to 25 feet of water and are located by some sort of structure, whether this be a boat ramp, rockpiles, sunken trees or fish attractors. Our best bite for the spots has been from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are not really picky about what they are eating, and we have caught them on everything from 1/4-oz. jigging spoons to 10-inch rainbow trout. The good thing is where there is one there are many, so don’t leave if the bite slows down. Search the area, and there will be more fish there for sure.”

Linesides: Good. Eric reports, “The warm temps and steady rains have kept the fish feeding and also kept the shad from dying. Last year about this time we had freezing temps and snow and an awful shad kill. The pattern hasn’t changed much on the linesides. They are still scattered out pretty well and feeding mostly in the mornings and evenings just at dark. We are still pulling flatlines and planer boards with live gizzard shad and live trout up shallow early in the mornings. Most of the fish we have caught this month have been either out in front of the dam or within sight of the Doll Mtn. boat ramp. When pulling baits early, I like to keep the planers about 30 feet off the side of the boat and about 40 feet back. I put the flatlines out the back about 75 to 100 feet. Slow trolling about 1 mph seems to be the speed they want the baits. After mid day, look for large schools of bait in the river mouth between Doll Mtn. and Worley Creek. There are always stripers and hybrids in the area when the bait gets schooled up here. Downline small trout or small gizzards about 50 to 60 feet with at least an ounce of weight, and try to stay right over the bait schools. The evening bite — if you can stand the cold — has been good because the wind tends to stop blowing for a bit. Look for the schools of bait on the lower end of the lake, and try both downlines and flatlines. This is also a good time to throw some artificials. Any sub-surface jerkbait or hard swimbait in a herring color will work. The area around the dam ramp and the shallow flat directly out from it have been good places to start.”

Eric reports, “Usually we don’t start crappie trips ’til March, but we’ve done a couple in the past week and have a few more planned. The bite has been really good, not just for numbers but some good size fish as well. Live minnows on a simple split-shot and bobber rig as well as small jig heads tipped with minnows are working very well.When looking for crappie, I like to start in the Ridgeway area and work my way down lake. I target sunken brush. Sometimes they are on the fresh-fallen trees, and sometimes they are on the older stuff. Try adjusting the bobber depth ’til you find where they are eating best. Then cover entire area around the structure.”

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