Lake Eufaula Fishing Report March 2013

GON Staff | February 27, 2013

Eufaula: Level: 0.8 feet above full pool. Temp: Mid to high 50s. Clarity: Stained.

Bass: Good. Guide and tournament pro Randy Duncan reports, “The first wave of spawners have started their migration to the spawning flats. Look for the closest pockets to deep water below the causeway. Early spawners are being caught on beds with white Rage Craws dripped in red JJ’s Magic dye. North of the causeway, the fish are being caught around staging areas in that 4- to 6-foot range. With the incoming rains and fluctuating water, they are skeptical to make a run for the flats. Warmer weather right around the corner should change this. By the middle of the month, start targeting shallow vegetation with light plastics such as lizards, creature baits and jigs. Shallow crankbaits and jerkbaits are still producing a fair number of decent fish around those staging points. The Alabama Rig has been producing some very good fish, but it is definitely hit or miss. Try the A-rig over points leading into creeks and flats. Topwater is still fair and getting better especially in the afternoon. One last option that has been working when the sun is out is swimming a jig over submerged vegetation. This is the time period for some huge bass, but be safe.” Capt. Sam Williams reports, “The constant rains have the river extremely muddy. The weather has kept us off the river for the time being, but spring fishing on Lake Eufaula promises to be the hottest in years. The water level has been below normal for nearly two years now. God always has good to show from all things. We are going to benefit from the new growth on all the shorelines and islands exposed during this long period. For those who do not enjoy the deep ledge fishing, look out, there will be baitfish in all these new areas, and the bass and other fish will be there eating. For those who enjoy the ledge fishing, with the loss of the hydrilla over the past couple of years, the old ledge bite is coming back. Last June during the Lee King Tournament, I had one of our older fishermen tell me he went up river, found one of his old ledge spots, and worked it all day culling fish. The hydrilla took this off the table to a great extent; it became more of a catch one or two and run to the next ledge spot. We got used to finding the fish all stacked up in the old days. Eufaula is coming back the way it used to be. It has always been a good water to fish, but in the past few years it took more skill and work, but the easy fishing will be back soon. This spring, the frog and topwater shallow bite will be on fire. For those who like the soft plastics on Texas or finesse rigs, the shallow and first-drop bite will be on. Jigs are always a good bet to help the anxious fisherman to slow down. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are another sure bait to throw on the shallow areas. A shallow-running crankbait works off the edge of these cover areas. The fluke-type baits, either on top or weighted just beneath the surface, are another productive tool. When you find dingy water, the ChatterBait will draw attention. The ledge fishing is a challenge when it comes to locating the correct areas. A good sonar unit is necessary in finding the drops, ledges and brush cover that hold the fish. Also, the points underwater are good spots to locate in the deep water. Another way to locate these points is to study the tree line coming off the points on land or islands coming into the river or creeks. Where you see the tree tops sloping down towards the water—they look like someone has trimmed the tops like a hedge, slanting down like they are pointing to the water. Watching your sonar, follow this angle into the water and begin crossing back and forth over this area, getting farther offshore until you find the point in the deepest water. This is where you will find the fish holding when the sun is high and the temperature is hot. The shallow points are for morning fishing. The fish move to the first deeper area during the heat. Bass do not travel far as long as they have a food source. Throw your makers on both sides of the point as you move to deeper water and if you mark trash or fish as you go. These are spots to come back to while working the area. The deep points work best when the water is moving. The ledge fisherman will enjoy getting his favorite deep water arsenal ready for action. The Ledgebuster spinnerbaits are a favorite, bounced on the drop, work them like a jig. They are flashy and noisy and are a good choice in dirty water. Carolina rigs are good any time. Heavy jigs are good when you need a very slow presentation. Deep-running crankbaits are also productive. Try to match the shape of lure to the bait the bass are feeding on. If you find that threadfin shad are the food of choice, the black dot on your bait will draw a strike. I keep a black magic marker in my boat and change any lure when I need to. I do not believe the bass know one color from another, but they do react to the spot and shape when feeding. If the bass like a slow presentation, I will throw the deepest-lipped bait I have and roll it slow, and it will still reach the depth I need. When I find feeding fish working the surface, I like to work a lipless crankbait under the school. You will find the bigger, smarter bass down below waiting on the injured shad. Like humans, they learn to let the youngsters do the heavy work. With all our creeks and coves, Eufaula offers a safe place to fish in most weather conditions. The creeks offer plenty of fishing waters when the wind gets up and the river is not safe.”

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