Carters Lake Fishing Report September 2014

GON Staff | August 27, 2014

Carters: Level: 1.4 feet below full pool. Temp: 80 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good. Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Look for the fish to start a transition into the creeks as the days get shorter. Fish are and will continue feeding on very small baitfish as the leftover shad fry will be all over the surface and upper water column. Take advantage of early morning and late evening schooling fish with small baits like Big Bite Baits Jerk Minnows in alewife or pearl colors fished on a 1/8-oz. SpotSticker jig head. I’ve been casting this bait and using a steady, slow retrieve anywhere I’m seeing distressed baitfish or surface activity. September is always a good month to fish deep timber and 35- to 50-foot break lines. The fish I find really deep in September are typically bigger on average, too. I use a 3/4-oz. football jig or 1/4-oz. SpotSticker jig head tipped with a Big Bite Baits finesse worm. You must fish slow to get these fish to bite, but they’re worth the effort. Use your Humminbird Lakemaster Chart to make finding these break lines much easier. I color my 35- to 45-foot depth range by selecting 40 feet as my depth highlight, and +/- 5 feet as my highlight range. This color codes the proper depth and takes away the guessing.”

Linesides: Good. Guide Eric Crowley reports, “With night temps reaching the high 50s, the lake water temps have dropped about 5 degrees, and the fish are starting to feed during the day much better then they did last month. September has always been a good month for both stripers and hybrids on Carters. It is usually our last month of summer pattern fishing before the fish start to break into small groups of fish and spread out following the bait with the cooling water temps until the turnover happens in late September to October. Until then look for fish in the thermocline. On Carters the thermocline is holding between 50 to 60 feet, and this is where the stripers are. Keeping your bait in that water column is important, and you will know if your not fishing in it because your bait will only live a few minutes before it suffocates and will need to be replaced. The hybrids are more warm-water tolerant, and due to this they can be found in shallower water. Look in the standard 18- to 30-foot range near points, pockets and backs of creeks. Both species want the alewife in the 4- to 7-inch range but will also eat the big threadfins. Both bait species can still be caught under a Hydro Glow Light, but be careful not to overload the bait tank, as this time of year that can be a huge mistake leading to a tankful of dead baits. The area around the campground ramp at Woodring, Worley Creek, Doll Mountain main points and the mouth of Ridgeway all have fish on or near them and should until around the first of October. That’s when we will start to see the lake temps drop, the bait go deep, and the fish move up shallower than they have been in the last few months.” Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Stripers will be following the herds of bait back in the creeks. Look for surfacing fish early morning, and fish deep timber tops in the midday hours. I always have a bucktail jig tied on to cast at surfacing fish. I have my best luck with a 3/8-oz Castaway Jig in Lanier blueback color, and usually I like casting it without a trailer. For the timber tops, I focus on downlining big shad and herring 40 to 60 feet over the creek mouths. Use your Humminbird Lakemaster Chart to help zone in on the timber tops. I like to focus on 80- to 90-foot breaklines. Usually this puts your boat right on the edge of the timber. Set your Depth Highlight at 85 feet and Highlight Range at +/- 5 feet, and it will color code the proper depth range. Makes fishing the timber tops much easier.”

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