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Carters Lake Fishing Report January 2019

GON Staff | December 23, 2018

Carters: Level: Full. Temp: 50. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Spotted bass are fat and healthy at Carters Lake. My guys have enjoyed better-than-average numbers for wintertime fishing. I’m focusing on fish in the 20- to 45-foot range. Most of my fish are back in the creeks or in the river. A 3/16-oz SpotSticker jig head tipped with a 4-inch green-pumpkin Strike King Dream Shot has been my go-to bait this winter. If you’re picking one bait, use it and target steep banks in major creeks or the river. Keep your eyes on your electronics, and if you’re seeing fish, slow down, fish the bait extremely slow and keep it on the bottom. If you’re around them, you can catch them with this bait. I’ve also had some success with jigging spoons, drop shots and underspins. January is a great month for the Float-n-Fly at Carters and the surrounding lakes, too. Ten- to 12-foot leaders with a bluegill- or shad-colored fly is my pick. Target the same style banks, and try to keep the fly in or close to shade or shade lines. The Float-n-Fly is a great way to catch a big spotted bass.”

Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “It’s cold, but not too cold to fish. Dress properly, be prepared, and you can have some great days on Carters in January. Everyone has their favorite way to fish when it’s cold. Ours happens to be pulling planers with live trout or shad. Don’t be intimidated by planers if you have never used them. They are quite simple and can be very effective. I pull a spread of four boards and two flatlines, all with live bait. I put the baits approximately 50 feet behind the boards and let the boards out to the desired distance away from the boat. Covering water is key, and I very rarely stop the boat after getting everything out. You can cover shallow water early and deeper water later in the day with the same spread. I typically pull baits between 0.8 and 1.5 mph. Points, drop-offs, bends in the river and secondary points in the creeks are all good places to target. If the fish won’t come up shallow and feed, you can always go to the standard Carters downline setup with a long leader, 1.5-oz. egg sinker and a small circle hook dropped just above the fish on the sonar. In the winter, I like to just sit on top of the fish and make it as easy as possible for them to get the bait.”

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