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Lake Blue Ridge Fishing Report January 2008

GON Staff | January 3, 2008

Blue Ridge: Level: 25.4 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 40s in the river and 50 in the main lake. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: The topwater bite fell off with colder temperatures in mid December. If the fish aren’t on top, Blue Ridge guide Nathan Lewis recommends fishing down until you find them. His two main lures this time of year are a tube jig and a drop shot. He generally uses a 1/4-oz. lead head on the tube but occasionally goes to a 3/8-oz. weight. “Sometimes on a bank with a mix of rock and mud, the heavier weight seems to get down to the mud and kicks it up a little to make it easier for the fish to see,” he said. Green pumpkin is always a good tube color, but he said he had been having good luck with a root-beer color — brown with black flakes. “I think this time of year they are keying more on crawfish than on shad,” he said. Nathan said he had been having good luck on a drop shot by downsizing to 6-lb. or even 4-lb. line in the very clear water. He fishes 1 1/2-inch tubes on the drop shot. “Some of the shad are real small right now,” he said. “We don’t catch as many big fish on the small bait, but we make up for it in numbers,” he said. “There have been a lot of 4- and 5-lb. spots caught recently. It is only a matter of time before the lake record (of 5-lbs., 1-oz.) is broken.”

Walleye:
Hit or miss. “The trick is finding them,” said Nathan. “One day they might be on river ledges in 40 feet, and the next day they might be in 50 feet.” Recently the TVA has not been generating much and that tends to pull the walleye a bit more shallow, he said. Down to depths of 50 feet, Nathan likes a 6/10-oz. Flex it spoon. Beyond that depth he switches to a Rapala Ice Jig. “I like the Ice Jig for weight so I can feel it in deep water,” said Nathan. “I use the No. 9 jig. I think it is a 1 1/4-oz. jig.” Color doesn’t seem to matter at that depth. “I do well on any of them,” he said. “Blue/chrome, chartreuse/silver or white. A silver Hopkins or Strata spoon will work, too. I have tried matching colors to shad or perch, but if you put it in front of them, they will hit any color. Finding them is the hard part.”

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