Carters Lake Fishing Report February 2014
Carters: Level: 0.4 feet above full pool. Temp: Low to mid 40s. Clarity: 6 feet.
Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “I’ve had my success with Spotsticker Crawler jig heads and the old-school unpainted ball head tipped with Big Bite Baits skirted twin tails and Shaking Squirrel worm in green-pumpkin color. I’ve also had some success with the drop shot over the past few weeks sight fishing using both straight-tail worms and shad-imitation baits. Last Friday, we boated 25 to 30 spots over two days using almost two packs of Spotsticker Handpours in crushed herring. I’m one of the lucky guys who still have a few packs of crushed herring left. As we move into February, look for more of a sight-fishing bite (using electronics). The fish will continue to become more inactive and less willing to move far to eat a bait. Slow down, and try to imitate the small dying threadfin. I expect a major shad kill this year. Cold water is more dense than warm water, so it will sink. There will be nowhere to run for our shad. This will make the bite tough in February but could make for a great spring bite.”
Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “If you can brave the cold, there are fish to catch. This time of year, it’s a balancing act between fishing and comfort. We call this quality-of life-fishing. Good news is the fish are somewhat cooperating. The backs of the creeks on the north side of the lake are holding bait and are out of the wind. This is where we are targeting fish right now. The Worley, Fisher and Woodring Creek arms are the three major creeks on that side, and they are all home to schools of shad and linesides. Start looking in the 12- to 30-foot range in the very backs of the creeks, and look for the bait on your sonar. I am using Castaway planer boards with small and medium trout. Use 2/0 and 3/0 circle hooks and long leaders of 14-lb. mono, and put the baits back 50 feet from the boards. Cover water from the backs of the creeks to about halfway up. This pattern has been great from dawn till about 10 a.m. After that, the fish seem to move to the mouth of the creek near deeper water. Watch the sonar. Both hybrids and striped bass will be mixed together.” Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “The striper have slowed a lot over the past week to 10 days. I’m still finding them throughout the lake, but they’re not as willing to bite as before. Trout, shad and herring are still working, but it’s a tough sell some days. I marked a ton the last few trips but have not boated more than three in a day since last Friday. Downlines 20 to 40 feet are still working best for me. No bucktail fish in over a week either. The best thing about the striper fishing right now is the quality is good, and you can spend a lot of time near the heater. Expect this bite to slow a bit with the shad kill coming in February. I still believe February is one of the top three months of the year to boat a monster striper here, it just takes more patience.”
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