Carters Lake Fishing Report – September 2020

GON Staff | August 28, 2020

Carters: Level: 0.2 feet above full. Temp: 85 degrees. Clarity: 6 to 8 feet.

Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports, “Fishing as of late has been less than good, and recent tournament catches reflect how tough the evening/night bite has been in recent days. With all the summer rains we’ve had in the last two weeks, the water surface temps have fallen 3 to 4 degrees in the last several days. Even though fishing has been tougher than normal, there are still some nice spotted bass to be caught, and there’s always the bonus of a big walleye, hybrid or striper to add a little excitement to your trip. Over the last three weeks, we’ve actually had better success in the daytime versus the night and have caught some 3- to 4-lb. fish in the evening before dark on shaky heads, like the 3/16-oz. Picasso Rhino Head with a Softy Lures Finesse worm. We’ve also caught a few fish on a 3/4-oz. War Eagle jigging spoon and the Silver Buddy blade bait. September will start with more of the same patterns that we have been seeing, but for me we’ll be doing mostly daytime fishing, and early morning topwater will begin to be a factor. Of course, at Carters you need to keep a topwater bait like a Zara Spook ready for any schooling activity that occurs. September is a month that has offered better fishing ever since a few blueback herring showed up in the lake a few years ago. With that in mind, topwater lures, swimbaits and spy baits can all be fished over brush on structure in the 20- to 25-foot range, even during the middle of the day. Other baits that will come into play include the Picasso Suijin (scrounger style bait) with the original Zoom Fluke and a spinnerbait, especially on overcast mornings with some wind present. It can still be pretty warm in September, but cooler temps are just around the corner, and then the spotted bass will get focused on bait and be easier to pattern as they start to feed up for winter. September is a big transition month for spotted bass, but keep an open mind and remember the fish will be in all parts of the water column from bottom to top during the next few weeks.”

September Plan For Carters Bass, 10 GPS Locations

Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The stripers are holding deep on the treelines 70 to 90 feet deep. The best bite is on live alewife or threadfins fished on 10- to 12-lb. leaders just above the fish. Once you find them, just sit on them. They are eating from early, early morning until about 8 a.m. We tend not to target them much this time of year since pulling them up from the depths into the heat is not very good for their survival success. Look around the creek mouths on first or secondary points that are holding bait. The areas around the mouth of Worley Creek, the beach points and the mouth of Fisher Creek have all been holding fish. Look for the stripers to stay deep all month. The hybrid bite is pretty solid halfway back in the creeks. Pulling live threads on light leaders with just a split-shot back about 75 feet has been our go-to method for catching them. The first few hours of the day will be the most productive. If you’re looking to target them with artificials, I’d go with a Captain Mack’s umbrella rig in white or chartreuse or even just a few Chipmunk Jigs with various trailer colors. We have seen some really big schools of hybrids in the last month holding in Fisher Creek and around the beach area.”

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The walleye bite has been excellent for the last month and should remain steady until the turnover happens. We have boated over 100 walleye averaging 22 inches in length since mid July and are dialed into their daily activity and locations. Similar to the stripers, they are down in the 70- to 90-foot depths holding near treetops around shallow-water areas. Use the sonar to locate them on steep contour lines, which they use to ambush prey. Vertical jigging spoons have been the go-to in the early morning hours, and we have also been catching them trolling deep crankbaits that make lots of racket in the evening. The fish don’t roam very far. They are moving up and down in the water column to feed versus chasing schools of bait around the lake. So when you do find them, work that area thoroughly. By the end of September, they will be on the move again, hopefully moving up a little shallower where they are more easily targeted. Our biggest fish in the past few weeks has been 6.5 pounds, and the best trip was seven walleye over 20 inches. We are after a new lake record, and hopefully we will see it this fall.” 

Eric Crowley with Lake and Stream Guide Service posted this on his Facebook page from an Aug. 2 trip to Carters Lake. “These youngins had a blast with their first walleye experience at Carters,” he said.

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