Lake Blue Ridge Fishing Report – June 2021

GON Staff | May 27, 2021

Blue Ridge: Level: Full. Temp: 70 degrees. Clarity: 5-foot visibility.

Bass: Guide Eric Welch reports, “It’s the time of year that we’ve been waiting for. The lakes are at full pool, and the bass have just come out of their postspawn funk. The bass are moving out to deeper water in brush and laydowns where they will be for the summer. I have been seeing some fish chasing bait early in the mornings, so I’m throwing a Whopper Plooper and a Berkley Drift Walker the first couple hours in the morning. Once the sun gets up, I target docks that have access to deep water. I am fishing those docks with a drop shot, shaky head, jig and a 3.5-inch tube. I will then move on to fish points, brush and laydowns with a Texas-rigged 6.5-inch Strike King finesse worm, a drop shot with a 6-inch morning dawn red flake Roboworm or a pb&j jig. In the summer, there are different depths you can fish. Once the water temps get up in the mid 70s to 80s, there are two depths to look for fish. You have your smaller fish that will stay in 8 to 12 feet of water, and then you will have fish in the 20- to 40-foot range, and most of the time these are the bigger fish. The reason is they won’t waste the energy to compete with the smaller fish with the water temps being warmer. Summertime is a great time to really learn to use your electronics. Everyone was amazed years ago when Down Image and Side Image came out. It was a game changer because you could idle around points, docks and humps and find brush, trees and rock. But now with the Garmin LiveScope and the Lowrance ActiveTarget, it just takes fishing to a whole new level. You can idle up 35 feet away to the brush you have marked and scan it before you even make a cast. You can tell if there is any fish and what size fish is there before you ever make a cast.”

Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “After an amazing spring, the walleye have spread back out across the river and main-lake points. They are holding anywhere from 10 to 40 feet deep, depending on what the bait and weather is like that particular day. Cloudy days keep the fish shallow and feeding. Live bait is the slower approach to finding fish, but if you find them with baits down, you will get bit. Live shiners, small shad or herring will all do the trick. A simple split-shot or downline rig will work just fine or a slip bobber to keep so many snags from happening. Adjust your depth accordingly, and keep the baits close to the bottom. Use 8- to 10-lb. line max on this lake since the water is really clear. Also, use the smallest hooks you feel comfortable with matching the bait size. On the artificial side of things, spoons are my favorite. Also, trolling crankbaits can be productive at times with the right speed and color. Finding the fish before you start fishing is the key to putting fish in the boat. Don’t waste time fishing an area because it looks good if there’s no fish there. The bass bite is good as always. Unfortunately it’s about 99% spotted bass versus smallmouth. I’ve been targeting big wide points on the main lake or in the larger parts of the river, especially if there’s any structure on the points. Use the same gear as above for the walleye.”

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