Carters Lake Fishing Report – March 2023

GON Staff | March 1, 2023

Carters: Level: Full at 1074. Temp: 52-54 degrees. Clarity: Very heavy stain in the river but will clear fast. The main lake is clear

Bass: According to guide Louie Bartenfield, of Carters Lake Guide Service, fishing remains good. Jerkbaits and crankbaits are catching fish on shallow, rocky points early. Try Strike King Series 2 or 3 baits and Rapala DT6s and 8s in herring patterns. Hit as many points as fast as you can before the sun gets bright. If you don’t get bit on three or four casts, move on. Jerkbaits are catching bigger fish throughout the day. Work a herring pattern bait that will run 3 to 6 feet deep on wind-blown steep banks. If you spot open-water suspended fish on your electronics, they will hit the jerkbait, too. Late in the month, the herring spawn will be close with warm nights and an early April full moon. Move fast and cover water for active fish late in March.”

Guide Eric Crowley, of Lake and Stream Guide Service, said, “The spotted bass bite we are working is an open-water bite targeting fish suspended chasing bait balls. Spoons are my preferred tactic on these fish as it matches the hatch perfectly. Krocodile spoons or Hopkins spoons are my first choice. I like the 1/2-oz. variety. Chrome, gold or white have been the go to with various other colors producing, as well. Look for big schools of bait over 100-plus feet of water. There are schools of spots feeding near all of them.”

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Almost spring, but March can be deceiving. Cold nights, still pretty chilly water and cold fronts still moving through can really turn the bite on and off. The best advice is to find a pattern that works for your style and stick to it. If you fish and don’t have any luck, don’t get discouraged, as the very next day that pattern might be hot again. The walleye are preparing to spawn and moving into those prespawn areas. These areas include the backs of every creek, the riprap on the dam wall and in the river. Because these fish are stocked in various locations, they also spawn in various locations. This time of year the fish are focused on spawning at night so any feeding will usually happen right before dawn or at dusk. Because the spawn is their main focus, make your bait selections on the smaller side. Easy meals tend to get more attention than big ones this time of year. Slow moving, small to medium-sized shad imitations are the way to go. Most of the fish we catch this month, unlike last month, will be males. The females won’t be super active again until mid to late April after they recover from the stress of spawning at the end of the month. No matter where you’re fishing, a few staple baits will help. These include original Floating Rapalas, DT6 and DT10 crankbaits and a 1/4-oz. Jig-N-Minnow rig. Fish slow and be very thorough. Remember feeding isn’t their top priority right now, but they still have to eat.”

Carters Lake Page: Archived Articles, News & Fishing Reports

Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley, of Lake and Stream Guide Service, reports, The striper bite has been good the last couple of weeks. Live shad or alewives on 50-foot downlines seems to be producing fish. There’s also a decent shallow bite early in the creeks like Worley and the beach creeks pulling boards with slightly weighted lines approximately 50 feet back. We’re also catching stripers and hybrids at night throwing artificials on points and shallow-water markers on the main lake or in the backs of the creeks in less then 25 feet of water. This will get better as the month goes on and the three or four kinds of baitfish present in the lake prepare for their annual spawn. Sometimes we get this by early to mid March, and some years not until mid April, but keep an eye out for it.”

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