Carters Lake Fishing Report – January 2024

GON Staff | December 28, 2023

Carters: Level: 4.3 feet below 1074. Temp: 54 degrees. Clarity: 7-plus feet.

Bass: Guide Robbie Linginfelter reports that the winter pattern is in full swing. “Cold days have finally got the water cooling enough to move the fish back into the ditches, even more than they were before Christmas. Look for the bass holding 10 to 50 feet deep, and finding bait will lead you to them. Keep a watermelon red flake Big Bite Baits Skinny Stick worm on a drop-shot rig, a green-pumpkin Strike King finesse football jig, jerkbait and an underspin ready to cast. Work the jerkbait around any fish holding 10 to 15 feet deep, especially early in the morning in the backs of the ditches. Drag a jig or underspin along the bottom later in the day. If you see the fish suspending, you can lower your drop shot to the depth they are holding and fish it in front of them or slow-roll an underspin through them.”

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “Even in cold weather, fishing can be rewarding. Understanding fish behavior during the coldest times can be enjoyable. Vertical fishing is key for walleye—using spoons, jigs, minnows and soft plastics presented directly in front of the fish. Triggering a reaction strike requires subtle movements compared to the aggressive presentations of the fall season. To locate fish, focus on areas with bait and look just below for fish near the bottom, typically within the 50- to 60-foot range. Maneuver your boat for the best vertical presentation based on wind, and cover the area thoroughly. If you’re not getting bites, don’t linger too long. Keep moving and keep fishing. Sometimes you’ll catch fish that weren’t even marked on your graph because they’re too close to the bottom. Walleye behavior is influenced by light and weather conditions; cloudy, overcast or windy days tend to yield better catches. Adapt your bait colors to match the weather for successful fishing. We have seen plenty of 22- to 23-inch fish and occasionally larger 25- to 26-inch ones.”

Carters Lake Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports of Lake And Stream Guide Service reports, “As for stripers, they’re found in the backs of creeks, up the river in the channel bends and by the boat ramps feeding on smaller baits before moving into deeper waters as the sun rises. Follow the depth of bait balls with your baits for success. There’s been some nice schools of striped fish observed recently. Pull baits slowly while watching the graph, and watch for bird activity like loons or gulls. The consistent depths has been 35 to 50 feet. However, we have caught some suspended fish 80 feet deep under feeding loons during daylight hours using artificial baits. Key areas are not specific, as similar bait scenarios exist in various creeks.”

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