Carters Lake Fishing Report – January 2022

GON Staff | January 1, 2022

Carters: Level: 3.8 feet above 1074. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: 8 feet.

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish. In fact if you learn how fish act in the coldest times of the year, it can be a lot of fun. Vertical fishing is the name if the game for walleye. Spoons, jigs, minnows and soft plastics fished right in a fish’s face is the best way to draw a strike. It’s a reaction strike, but it’s a lot slower than in the fall. Short movements versus aggressive presentations is the way to go. For locating fish, look for bait in an area and look for fish on the bottom just below it. That 50- to 60-foot range has been the target zone. Position the boat to make the most vertical presentation you can with the wind and work around the area 20 to 30 feet in each direction. Don’t spend too much time if you’re not getting bit. Be thorough and you will catch fish you never marked on the graph as they are too close to the bottom. Light and weather conditions really affect the walleye. Look for cloudy, overcast or windy days to be best for numbers. Vary your colors for the weather conditions and you’re in business. We have been seeing lots of 22- to 23-inch fish with some bigger 25- to 26-inch fish mixed in.” 

Stripers: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Stripers are in the backs of the creeks early feeding on small, 3- to 4-inch baits. They are following the bait out of the creeks and into the deeper water. As the sun comes up, the bait goes down. You should be following the bait balls depth with your baits. We have seen some massive schools of striped fish in the last few weeks. There’s so much bait in the lake that sometimes it’s hard to get bit, but light leader, small hooks and fresh baits can get it done. Most of the fish are in the 35- to 55-foot depth early and deeper after sunrise. Follow the birds. Loons, gulls, anything working the water can be worth checking out. We caught fish suspended 80 feet deep under feeding loons last week in the middle of the day on artificials. There’s no key areas since you can find the same bait scenario in every creek.”

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