Carters Lake Fishing Reports – January 2021

GON Staff | December 27, 2020

Carters: Level: 7 feet low. Temp: 53 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Guide Bill Payne reports, “The winter bite is in full swing, and it really is my favorite time of the year to be on Carters. As you might expect, there are plenty of fish out in deeper water, but a few remain in the 15- to 25-foot range in cover like pallet piles and brush, especially near breaklines or drop-offs to deeper water. Jigs like a 3/8-oz. Picasso finesse tungsten football head with a Zoom Creepy Crawler trailer or a small Super Chunk Jr. in natural colors like shades of green pumpkin can work well. Also, as is the case nearly year-round, the old reliable shaky head in 3/16-oz. worked slowly around the same structures will continue to account for a few fish. I like the Picasso Rhino head with a Softy Lures Finesse worm. This is a great time to break out the Float-n-Fly technique. Concentrate on bluff-type walls and steeper banks with 10- to 12-foot leaders under your float. Red Rooster makes an excellent fly in some great colors for this technique. There are plenty of deep fish 60 to 80 feet deep, and this bite revolves around finding the big schools of bait and the schools of bass that are always nearby. This is where having good electronics can pay big dividends. You don’t have to have a $10K sonar array to do this. Just a good 2D traditional unit will work, and if you have a unit with Down and Side Imaging, that can help. I use Humminbird units, and they do a great job, and the other brands work, too. Lures such as jigging spoons like the Georgia Blade, blade baits like the Silver Buddy, and swimbaits such as the Keitech Fat Impact are some of my favorite baits to go after the deep fish on Carters. Again, the key to this bite is realizing the bass are relating to bait and not to structure. This bite should last throughout the winter months and can produce some very good results.”

Stripers: Capt. Eric Crowley reports, “Stripers we have been catching have been early in the morning on bigger gizzards. I’ve been pulling boards and running slip bobbers with gizzards in the creeks in 30 to 60 feet of water. I keep the bobber stops at 50, and I’m stopping the boat when I mark fish on the screen. I’m typically 50 feet behind the boards using 20-lb. leaders, and in-line circle hooks are the terminal end right now. After the sun clears the trees, I’ve been switching over and spot fishing in the backs of the creeks. Minnows and trout are both getting bit. Just be sure not to put your minnows in the tank with the trout or you will be missing most of your minnows pretty quick. Downlining baits to fish deeper than 30 feet and just pitching them on spinning rods to shallower fish has been the go-to. As for an artificial bite, I’ve just been fishing the spoons vertically. We have caught a few walleye and some really nice spots on the 4-inch chrome spoons recently, so I usually have two or three tied on at all times.”

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