Carters Lake Fishing Report June 2013

GON Staff | May 29, 2013

Carters: Level: 5.5 feet above full pool. Temp: Upper 70s. Clarity: Clarity is not great. An algae bloom may be starting. The water color will look very green, almost like pea soup.

Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Fishing is good. Topwater baits like Strike King Sexy Dawgs or Pop-Rs are working good early morning around flooded flat areas like points and flat clay banks. Look to cast back into the bushes, and work your cadence very slow. The Pop-R will continue to produce into June as more and more bream start to bed. Look for shade lines and dark areas back in pockets. Toss the Pop-R near these areas, and fish slow. There are always some big spots and an occasional largemouth around bream beds. A great way to mimic the bream is with Pop-R style baits. Drop shots and SpotSticker jig heads will start to dominate the catch during daytime hours when the water hits 80 and stays. Look for fish to move out to deeper drop-offs and offshore structure as we get into June. Use your Humminbird electronics. Keep you eyes on the sonar at all times, and take advantage of what you see. June is one of the best months to fish what I consider mid-depth summer areas, 15 to 25 feet. Later in the summer, the fish will slide to the 25- to 40-foot range, but for now focus on the mid-depth zone. Spotsticker hand-poured worms and Big Bite Shaking Squirrels are my go-to baits. Cinnamons, green pumpkins and watermelon colors are all hard to beat on the jig heads and drop shots. Light heads work best. I don’t like going heavier than a 3/16-oz. on the jig head, and 1/4-oz. is perfect for drop shots.” For a feature on Louie and Carters bass fishing, turn to page 84. Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Spotted bass have moved up shallow in the 20-foot range and seem to be eating everything. We have been catching them on live baits, artificials and on the fly. Almost every single piece of structure is holding fish from wood and rocks to any of the boat ramps and docks. The flooded areas in the very backs of the creeks have had several fish up shallow in the timber. This makes them an easy target to catch them on the fly. Four-inch streamers in herring color has been the ticket. As far as artificials go, we have been throwing Tiki worms in green-and-chartreuse wacky-rigged with no weight. Casting to any shoreline structure has almost guaranteed fish for the last few weeks.”

Stripers: Louie reports, “The striper fishing is at its peak now and will quickly take a turn for the worse as we enter into summer water temps. Your best bet is to get good lively bait regardless of what it is, and get to the lake early. Downline 25 to 30 feet on main-lake points and humps. The bite won’t last long. By around 10 a.m., it’s over. If you have good electronics and are patient, fish over the submerged timber tops on the edge of each hump. Most of the timber starts between 70 and 90 feet around the peripheral of the humps, and the tops could stand as high as 35 feet in some cases. Drop a waypoint on your Humminbird each time you come to the edge of the timber, and you’ll soon surround the hump with marks and be able to efficiently fish the timber edges. This is by far the best way to catch a big striper during the summer months.” Eric reports, “Carters has been giving up some big fish and should continue to do so for the next month. The striped fish have been set up in the creeks on the points from halfway back to the very backs of the creek arms. Small packs of eight to 10 fish has been the average, so don’t spend too much time in one place if the bite slows. Keep moving from point to point and watching the sonar. The bait of choice has been big alewife and big threadfin shad. We have caught most of our fish on freelines back 70 feet with small 1/0 and 2/0 hooks. We have also been catching a lot of fish on artificials. The only bait I am throwing right now is the Smack Tackle Smack Jack in alewife color. It is big, noisy and makes a great v-wake that attracts a lot of underwater attention. We have had some really good days fishing both live bait and artificials with stripers up to 28 pounds and several big hybrids from 13 to 15 pounds. The fish seem to be mixed together right now but will soon separate. As the heat of summer pushes in, look for the stripers to move out of the creeks and into the main lake, where they will be concentrating on main-lake humps, long points and DNR fish attractors on the lower end of the lake. When they move out, a few things will change. Freelines will be swapped out for downlines, and the baits will need to be medium-sized from 3 to 5 inches. When the fish move out of the creeks, they get on more of a steady feeding pattern. This pattern is usually a really early bite lasting until 10 a.m. or so.”

Walleye: Eric reports, “The walleye bite in the last couple of weeks has been steady before sunrise. We have boated several fish more than 5 pounds. The key seems to be small baits on the bottom with light 8-lb. test line and a single split-shot. We have been fishing from 15 to 25 feet deep. Look for the fish to go a little deeper to 30 to 50 feet deep as the lake temperatures rise, but I would fish them the same way.”

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