Carters Lake Fishing Report February 2018

GON Staff | January 31, 2018

Carters: Level: 0.6 feet low. Temp: 44-48 degrees. Clarity: 8-foot plus.

Spotted Bass: Slow. Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “After what’s been our coldest few weeks in a couple of years, fishing is actually better than I expected, but it’s still slow. My best weapon has been a 3/8-oz. SpotSticker hand-tied jig or a drop shot tipped with small shad imitations, like Tiny Flukes or a Strike King Half Shell. There’s lots of weak herring and threadfin, so keep that in mind over the next month if you’re getting on the water. Spots, stripers—basically everything—are keyed in on very small bait, so downsize and fish slow. There are a few fish shallow and a lot of fish very deep but not much in between. I’m focusing on depths from 35 to 50 feet.” Guide Robert Eidson reports, “A 1/2-oz. spoon is working extremely well on the fish. Look for these fish on a 40- to 70-foot bottom. Backs of the creeks and main-lake pockets have been working best for our crews.”

Stripers: Guide Robert Eidson reports, “Good, especially for big fish. Carters has never been known for numbers but is known for big fish of all species. This past week, my clients have boated and lost some monster fish. We fished a limited schedule this past month due to the weather and me coming down with the flu. But even with limited days on the pond, we boated four fish from 21 to 24 pounds and lost some really big ones. The key to Carters this year is shad. Every year, these fish seem to hit one bait better than the others. Last year it was alewife, the year before trout. This year, shad is king. We are seeing limited action on planer boards and freelines this year. Most of the action we are getting on these techniques is right at sunup. The downline bite is by far the best bite on the lake. All the main creeks are holding fish. Downlines fished from 50 to 80 feet over bait is working best. The bigger your shad, the better. Remember, you’re going to load the boat, but trophies are rare, and they are biting right now.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Striped fish are scattered and can be caught any time of the day. Flatlines, planer boards and balloons are the best way to start a day. Pull the creeks from the back to the mouth. I like to zig-zag in and out of the shade and sunlight line. I try to pull at a little above 1 mph and will slow down or stop when I mark fish. Work the banks, and if you mark bait, make a few passes around it. We have been seeing the most action in the 20- to 40-foot zone in the creeks and 30 to 50 feet on the points. Live trout are the way to go this time if year. I like to have a variety of sizes on the boat.”

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