Carters Lake Fishing Report May 2015

GON Staff | April 30, 2015

Carters: Level: 1.8 feet above full pool. Temp: 65-67 degrees. Clarity: About 6 feet visibility.

Spotted Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Spots are moving up shallow across the lake in search of spawning territory. The wide majority of our fish will spawn in late April to early May. I’m targeting gravel or small chunk-rock banks with SpotSticker jig heads tipped with Big Bite Shaking Squirrels and flukes rigged weightless for the majority of my day. I’m also mixing in topwater baits like Pop-Rs and small prop baits around shady banks that fit my pattern. May is the month our threadfin are spawning heavy, so keep that in mind each morning. Mix in shallow- to medium-diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits for the first hour each day. Threadfin are likely to be rubbing wood or flat rocky banks each morning, especially in the back ends of creeks and pockets. May is a fantastic time to catch a big spot, and fish will be in all three stages of the spawn with three different forage species also spawning.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The spots are fat and just about on every fallen tree and rocky bank on the upper end of the lake. Look for them to move up and down the banks waiting on baitfish to cruise by. This is a great time to catch them on a number of baits from live bait to topwater and fly gear. We have had several 25- to 30-fish days with spots as big as 5 pounds. If you’re interested in catching the spotted bass of a lifetime, now’s the time to do so.”

Stripers: Eric reports, “Schools of baitfish are key right now, and if you can find bait, the fish won’t be far. The bait has made its way out of the deep water and into the shallower, warm water in the backs of the creeks. Every day this bait will make the transition from the deep water to the shallower water looking for both good water conditions and safety from predator fish. Pulling flatlines and planer boards early in the morning has been productive for us the last few weeks while fishing from the backs of the creeks to about halfway out to the main lake. After the sun is up over the ridges and light is on the water, look for the bait to move out and suspend over a deeper bottom. When they move out, they will school up and be easy to spot on the sonar. Add a little weight to your lines by means of a split-shot or two. This will allow your bait to stay a few feet below the surface while moving and will drop the baits down on fish you’re marking in the deeper water. The bigger fish are steadily on the move throughout the day, so now’s the time of year to put in the extra time and fish into the afternoon.” Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “The striper bite has finally improved to a consistent bite each morning. Stripers are feeding heavily on spawning herring at night. Couple that with the early stages of our threadfin spawn during the day, and things are looking good for linesides in May. My customers have boated eight fish over 22 pounds in April as of April 21. I expect more of this in May. Most of my fish are coming on topwater lures, swimbaits rigged on Spro bucktails or flatlined live bait. If you’re heading striper fishing, pick up the best live bait you can get your hands on, and toss it on a Gamakatsu 1/0 hook, 12-lb. Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon, and pull it 75 feet behind your boat really slow. Cover points, flat banks and shallow shoals, and you’ll get bit. Keep a good topwater on hand for surfacing fish, and be ready. Most surface activity will not last longer than a few seconds and may just be a simple boil on the surface.”

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