Carters Lake Fishing Report – May 2019

GON Staff | April 30, 2019

Carters: Level: Full. Temp: 67-70 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports, “Fishing as of late has been very good.  The spotted bass are shallow and are in spawn and postspawn situations. Shaky heads, Ned rigs, wacky rigs and Neko rigs are all working right now and should be a solid choice throughout the coming weeks. Also, the topwater bite is beginning to come on strong and will get even better as more fish recover from their spawning rituals. The fluke bite is also happening now and should last for the next few weeks. You will still find a few later spawners as we progress into May, so don’t abandon the spawning coves and banks altogether.  At any rate, May is the month when we get past the spawn and the spots will begin to group up into schools and position in the 15- to 20-foot range around bush, Corps fish attractor sites (coordinates available online) and natural cover. A shaky head and drop shot will work well in this scenario. A good plan for early May is to work your way out of the pockets targeting any stumps, dark spots and blowdowns. I mostly utilize plastics like shaky heads, wacky rigs and flukes as I fish my way down the banks. Topwater lures like Spook Jrs, Whopper Ploppers and Pop-Rs will work very well in this situation. Be on the lookout for the herring and shad spawns during this time. Finding a baitfish spawn can be an opportunity to boat several fish very quickly. May is a great time to catch a true giant spotted bass in shallow water. Remember, shade is prime cover for spotted bass, and never be surprised how shallow a big spot can get when there’s shade present.

The weather is great, the fish are shallow, and now is a good time to get on Carters and have some fun.”

Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “So far this has been a great spring for both big fish and numbers. Stripers, hybrids, spots and walleye all in impressive sizes have come aboard, and I haven’t seen many skinny fish at all. We are pulling planers and flatlines early in the creeks and around any shallow water structure. As usual, big baits are the first to get put out. Fresh bait is the best bait. We have been catching some fish on downlines after midday in 30 to 50 feet of water. Basic rig for my boat this year has been long, 14- or 17-lb. flouro leader and a 2/0 circle hook. Look for schools of fish starting soon as these fish start to transition to more of a summer pattern. This typically starts when water temps hit 70. The night bite is awesome on my boat. We love fishing early mornings with the Hydro Glow lights out. Stripers, walleye and some nice flatheads have been landed before sunrise in the last few weeks. If you have never done this type of fishing before, I highly recommend it. The spotted bass bite can get ridiculous at times with schools of a dozen of so fish being near a piece of structure.”

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