Carters Lake Fishing Report January 2011

GON Staff | January 3, 2011

Carters: Level: 3.2 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 50s down the lake and upper 40s up the river. Clarity: Clear to slight stain.

Bass: Good. Louie Bartenfield said, “Quality is great. Numbers are good some days, some days not so much. I’m primarily using five baits right now. Spoons, drop-shot rigs, big jigs, jerkbaits and a float-’n-fly. The spoon and drop shot deal is vertical fishing. The deep, vertical schools I’m finding are 35 to 50 feet. Bass are very easy to catch when you find them; they’re mostly smaller bass, but they’re easy to catch. These fish are strictly following bait, and I’ve found most in the very middle of creeks over deep water. The jig fish are the few that are left in ditches around brush, and the float-’n-fly and jerkbait fish are on channel swings mostly up the river. A Red Rooster Custom Fly in the Carters Special color fished on 12-foot leaders around bluff banks and channel swings will get you bit. Look from inside Ridgeway Creek down to the big island, fishing all the channel swings and bluff areas on both sides of the river. The clearer the water the better, so try to stay on the more vertical rock and away from the flat mud banks. Some bass react to the jerkbait better. It’s a very slow bite. If you find a laydown on a bluff that has produced, fish it super slow particularly around the end of the tree. After the water temp drops below 45, the shad will pull out deeper and the float-’n-fly bite will be over.” See the article on page 26 for more detail and a map with GPS coordinates.

Robert Eidson said he’s been doing nothing but trophy hunting on Carters lately. “Stay all day.” he said. “You may only get four or five bites, but they’ll be worth it.” Big stripers are deep with the herring in the mouths of the creeks. Robert mentioned Camp Branch, Worley and Fisher creeks, and when he said “deep,” he meant really deep. Locate the bait on your electronics. Downline a live trout to just above where you mark bait. “Don’t be afraid to drop your bait to 70 feet if that’s where the bait is,” said Robert. A client of Robert’s recently caught a big striper on a live trout downlined to 72 feet deep. With that much line out, Robert said to make sure the fish has really taken the bait and put a good 10-inch bow in the rod before you set the hook. This pattern should continue through January.

Robert said this year’s DNR walleye survey was phenomenal for numbers and size. If you want to catch some walleye, key on main-lake rocky points, rocky bottoms and timber between Stumpy Island on the main lake up to Striper Island in the river. Fish nightcrawlers or minnows on jigs or troll crankbaits right up on the banks.

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