Clarks Hill Fishing Report – September 2006
Clarks Hill: Level: 6.1 feet below full. Temp: 86 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Good. Craig Johnson said there’s some pretty good schooling going on right now, but the fish are small. Craig said the night bite has shut down; it only took nine pounds to win the other evening, and second place only had three pounds. “Early in the morning I’ve been fishing a buzzbait in main-lake cuts and points,” said Craig. “They’re not keying on anything. You can go two miles without a bite and pull up and pop three real quick in one place. The water’s down, so it’s messing the fishing up a little.” Craig has been using a buzzbait from Buckeye called the DH2. It’s got two spinnerbait blades and then a regular buzzbait blade to make it run on top. “I’m taking the skirt off it and putting on a Fluke body,” said Craig. “You can fish this on up until about 10 o’clock, but the hump bite turns on about eight, so we’ve been going deep about then.” Craig does three things on the humps. “I always start with the (Lucky Craft) Gunfish 95. I’ll keep the boat in 40 feet of water, and I’m throwing up in 18 to 35 feet. Once I do that I’ll turn around and throw a Fluke in white-ice or a five-inch Berkley Jerk Shad in watermelon pearl. It looks different than a Fluke, and one day that’s all they want.” Next, Craig is burning a spinnerbait. “The spinnerbait thing is pretty cool,” said Craig. “I’m taking a 1/8-oz. firecracker-colored spinnerbait from Buckeye. The bait has really small blades, double willow, double nickel. You want it under the surface. You burn it back as fast as you can. They’ll just kill it. Last Sunday I caught 22 bass and seven hybrids on it. They’ll really get on this into September.” Right now there’s a few patches of eight- to 10-foot tall grass, but with the lake down five feet it’s only in 10 and 11 feet of water. “That’s not deep enough to hold fish right now,” said Craig. “Come October, it’ll be great. I’ll probably throw a Speed Worm in green-pumpkin red, a spinnerbait and swim a jig.”
Linesides: Good. Guide Daniel LaDow fishes a combination of downlines, umbrella rigs and artificials around the humps and timber to catch stripers in September and October. Daniel moves around looking for balls of bait in these areas. Turn to page 96 for more on how Daniel catches these fish in September. Up in the Russell tailrace, guide Wendell Wilson said he’s catching lots of small fish in the 2- to 4-lb. range that are schooling on top. He said to try swimming lead-head jigs with curly tails or topwater plugs like a Sammy, and also live herring either freelined or downlined. “We’ve been catching 25 to 30 in a half a day. The small fish must be beating the big fish to the bait. I don’t know of anybody having much luck on big fish in the past three weeks or so,” Wendell said.
White Perch: Good, especially up the lake in the Russell tailrace. Fish minnows right on the bottom on the flats and points 11 to 12 feet deep.
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