Carters Lake Fishing Report July 2013

GON Staff | June 26, 2013

Carters: Level: 2.4 feet below full pool. Temp: Low 80s. Clarity: Mostly clear.

Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Fishing is good but slowing. The lake level is dropping slowly. Fish depths are from 15 to 25 feet deep—doesn’t matter if you fish points, humps, channel banks or just bank lines. Keep your boat in 30-plus feet, and fish your baits all the way back to the boat slowly. SpotSticker Crawler Heads and SpotSticker Jigheads tipped with Big Bite soft plastics like Shaking Squirrels and Hula Grubs will work throughout the summer months if fished in the correct water depth and fished slow. Green pumpkins and orange patterns are gonna work throughout the summer as well, so keep a variety of those colors on board at all times. The drop-shot bite will begin picking up as we enter July. I’m a big fan of tiny flukes and shad-imitation baits this time of year. Seems like the smaller the better for me. I also like very light line in July and August. I’ll go as low as 4-lb. test but primarily use 5-lb. Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon. The water clarity will get extremely clear in late summer, and the light line will get you more bites I promise.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The spotted bass fishing is off the charts. We have had several 30-fish days fishing live bait with our average fish being in the 2 1/2- to 3-lb. range. Drop-offs and steep rock faces, especially the ones with shade nearby, have been just loaded down with pods of fish. There are usually five to 10 fish in a school, and the bigger ones have been eating first. Run-and-gun type fishing will pay off fast. When throwing artificials, a silver fluke or white-pearl Fluke Jr. early in the morning fished with no weight has been a go-to choice. Later in the day as the sun moves overhead, try a drop-shot rig fished with the same baits. A 3/8-oz. drop-shot sinker and 8-lb. test is a must, and I like the 1/0 Gamakatsu finesse wide-gap hook. Target the fish in 15 to 30 feet as this is where most of the baitfish you are mimicking spend their days.”

Linesides: Good. Eric said, “Stripers are on the big points and humps early, then they are moving out to the river channel as the sun comes up. I like to target the fish early in the morning with big alewife. A standard downline rig with a 2-oz. sinker and 17-lb. fluorocarbon leader. I am using 3/0 in-line circle hooks and am having a great hook-up ratio with the big bait. When the fish move down to the drop-offs, I switch over to smaller baits like threadfins or smaller alewife and 1/0 hooks. Good bait is a must right now, and they will need to be changed often. Catching fresh bait under a Hydroglow light is the best way to do this. The hybrids spread out in early June but have now schooled up into smaller schools and are scattered in the pockets of the main creek arms. Worley, Woodring and Fisher creeks have all been producing fish in the past week or so, and this should be a steady pattern for the next couple weeks. If the summer heat is keeping you off the water, try fishing for stripers and hybrids at night. I have been throwing a Smack Tackle Smack Jack in herring color with good results. Throw it way up on the points in shallow water, and reel it back reel slowly. We have been tying it straight to 20-lb. braid. Best areas for this have been all the shallow-water marker poles on the lake that have bait around them.” Louie Bartenfield reports, “Thanks to the cooler-than-normal highs and lows, the striper bite has stayed steady. A late threadfin spawn and cooler water temps have all to do with it. Make no mistake, the striper bite is about to get very tough, but you can still catch the fish if you have good bait and fish the right areas. Submerged trees are where the bite is at during late summer. Keep good lively bait, and fish the peripheral of points and humps on the main lake. If you keep your boat in 80 to 90 feet around these areas, chances are you’ll be fishing over submerged timber. I like to put my baits within 15 feet of the tree tops. Use your Humminbird to see the tree tops, and follow your lines down to the tree tops. Stop just above, and move very slowly around the timber edge. This bite is good early morning and evenings.”

Walleye: “We have had a steady predawn and early morning walleye bite this month and should continue into July,” Eric said. “The fish are feeding on baitfish, and every fish we have caught has been from 26 to 36 feet of water and have been in sight of a boat ramp. Downline setups with 10-lb. fluorocarbon and live shad is the way to go, and keep the bait about a foot off the bottom. We saw fish up to 8 pounds in June, and our best walleye month so far breaking double digits for the first time. Most of our fish have been 20 to 28 inches long and weighed from 4 to 8 pounds.”

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