Carters Lake Fishing Report January 2013

GON Staff | January 3, 2013

Carters: Level: 0.5 feet below full pool. Temp: 50-57 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “The bite is good. Quality is what winter fishing is all about, and Carters produces more 5-lb.-plus spots per acre than anywhere. This year is no different. There are fish in every zone right now from 5-50 feet. The most consistent bite right now for me has been 1/8- to 3/16-oz. SpotSticker jig heads rigged with Big Bite soft plastics fished very slowly on the upper end of the river arm from 18-35 feet deep. My customers have enjoyed boating some big spots this month on SpotStickers. We’ve also had great days with float-n-flys fished on 12-foot leaders in the river arm around windy or shady banks. The best color flies have been Red Rooster’s Carters special and perch. There’s also been a fairly consistent bite in the ditches on the lower end of the lake, but lots of fishing pressure in these areas have made the fish much tougher to catch than in previous years. Davis Underspins tipped with Big Bite Cane Thumpers and SpotStickers have produced some big fish in the ditches. I’ve found this year that simply changing casting angles has helped produce more bites in these areas.”

Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The stripers are in full winter mode following the schools of bait in and out of the creeks and shallow areas. Look for the big schools of bait in the mornings, and the linesides will be close by if they are in that area. Not all schools of bait will have stripers on it. Use your electronics to identify the fish, and then drop baits down to them. Standard downline rigs with 1 1/2- to 2-oz. egg sinkers and 20-lb. mono is my choice of terminal tackle when targeting these fish. Most of these fish will be between 8-14 pounds. If you are looking for the larger stripers, try targeting the submerged timber along the creek mouths and mid-creek points since the larger fish don’t school up like the smaller ones do. When targeting the bigger fish, I like planer boards and larger baits. I pull the Cast Away boards off one side of the boat and run the outside board around 10 feet from shore. In Carters, 10 feet from shore can be anywhere from 6-40 feet of water, so even though this sounds close, you can cover a lot of productive water like this without spooking the fish by driving over them. My best bite has been in the early morning hours just at dawn. Live herring, threadfins or trout will work depending on the conditions for that day, but I like to have a selection of each. Try Camp Branch, Doll Mountain and the areas around the marina for these stripers, as these areas are holding the most bait right now.”

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