Carters Lake Fishing Report – February 2024

GON Staff | February 1, 2024

Carters: Level: 3.6 feet above 1074. Temp: 46-49 degrees. Clarity: 8 feet.

Bass: Guide Robbie Linginfelter reports that winter fishing is here, and bass are hitting from shallow to deep. Ditches and creek channels to secondary points and bluff channel swings are all producing bass. Best baits right now include drop shot and finesse swimbaits on jig heads out deep. Shallower to mid-depth fish are hitting football jigs and shaky heads. This is the best month of the year to catch a trophy spotted bass on Carters.

Guide Eric Crowley of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “The spotted bass are schooled up and cruising the 30- to 50-foot depth looking for bait balls to feed on. Spoons or live minnows, shad or alewives will get plenty of bites right now. Another option is fishing the backs of creeks with small swimbaits. We are throwing the Cast Prodigy and Cast Echo in the 3-inch size on 1/8- or 1/4-oz. jig heads and letting it fall to the bottom, then crawling it back on or just off the bottom. If the fish you’re targeting are suspended up high, try a 3/8-oz. VMC Hammer Head jig and trailer hook with the 3-inch Prodigy in casper color fished vertical.”

Stripers: Guide Eric Crowley of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “The striper bite held steady last month and continues to be good. Live bait is the go-to right now. Alewives, threadfin, gizzards or trout are all working (please don’t bring bluebacks to Carters). Flatlines and downlines will both get attention right now. Just adjust your baits to the level of the bait balls you’re marking on the graph. Small hooks and light leaders will increase your hook-ups. We like No. 1 circle hooks and 12-lb. leaders with sinkers just heavy enough to get your bait to the desired depth. The ‘find the bait, find the fish’ theory is applicable here as the stripers are in hot pursuit. Typical areas are Worley Creek, Fisher Creek and the bends in the river. If you want to catch them on artificials, try some various-sized spoons fished around the same areas where you’re marking bait and fish. Some days they want a small, 1/2- or 3/4-oz. spoon and the next day a big, 8-inch Parker spoon. I tend to keep one of each tied on to swap back and forth. These spoons also get attention while fishing live baits, as well as draws fish into your live baits.”

Here’s a Carters Lake walleye caught with guide Eric Crowley. In February, look for small groups of fish or individuals laying on the bottom near bait.

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “February typically brings our coldest temps of the year. These cold temps will drive fish deep to more stable water temps. This time of year I tell everyone to find the deepest fish you can find and target those fish. Walleye hate light and love to lay in the deep water pinned to the bottom. Look for small groups of fish or individuals laying on the bottom near bait. A simple jig and minnow, small spoon or soft plastic fished right in their face will usually draw a bite or two. Walleye can be super picky on color, so switch between a few of your favorites to dial in the bite each day. As far as area or location this time of year, it doesn’t seem to matter much. As long as you’re looking deep, you’ll find a few fish here and there. Unlike most of the year in February, you can sleep in a bit and get started around 8 a.m. versus being on the water well before sunrise for the walleye. You may not see the numbers this time of year, but the size of fish can’t be beat. With the fish feeding up for the spring run, now is the time to catch some fatty females before they turn their attention to spawning versus eating.” 

Carters Lake Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

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