Carters Lake Fishing Report February 2013

GON Staff | January 30, 2013

Carters: Level: 3.4 feet above full pool. Temp: 51 degrees. Clarity: Light stain.

Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “The bite here is good, but not great. The recent flooding we experienced increased the lake level to 12 feet over pool at one point. This has scattered the fish big time. There is still a decent numbers bite with Spotsticker jig heads and hand-tied jigs rigged with Big Bite plastics. I’m focusing on points and rock walls in all the major creeks, fishing from 10 to 40 feet deep. The Float-n-Fly bite has been slow since the high water, but as we get into February and the water falls, expect it to pick back up. The long leaders, 12 to 13 feet, are usually best in February. Red Rooster Carters Special is always a great color as well as the duck-feather-style flies.”

Linesides: Eric Crowley reports, “The stripers are staying pretty deep. Usually they are up much shallower in the winter, but this year they seem to be following the herring more than the shallower schools of threadfin shad. Look for the stripers following bait schools as deep as 80 feet deep, and on some days as shallow as 50. There are big schools of bait holding in most of the main creeks like Worley, Doll Mountain and Camp Branch. Find the fish holding around the edges of the bait schools early in the mornings. I start my days fishing baits from 40 to 60 feet and adjust them as needed. Now this doesn’t mean that all the linesides are deep, as we have caught a bunch of fish in less the 20 feet, but the majority of them are deep. You will still find a shallow fish now and then, but the deep bite has been much better. Trout are a great bait this time of year and very hardy. Some days they will want larger ones, and other days they want all 4- to 5-inch baits. A variety of bait sizes is a must have on my boat. This is always an interesting month on Carters for me due to the weather. If it gets cold and the lake temps plummet, we will have a shad kill. This will change everything. If it stays warm, look for the lake temps to climb by the end of the month and mark the start of spring fishing like last year.”

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