Lake Nottely Fishing Report January 2012

GON Staff | December 29, 2011

Nottely: Level: 15.8 feet below full pool. Temp: 48-53 degrees. Clarity: Very clear.

Stripers: Guide Josh Garrison reports, “December has produced some great fish with the biggest being a 37-pounder in the snow and wind during a front in the middle of the month. With the cooling water, look for the fish to concentrate around the warmer waters. The key from now until March will be find the warm water. Once you find it, move upstream on the river or in the creeks until you find the edge of that warmer water. This is where the majority of the feeding fish will be. Our bluebacks are huge this year. With the big bait, and lots of it, the fish are still being a little funny. All of the creekmouths are full of these huge herring, but there is so much of it, fishing over it isn’t producing many fish. Find the areas around the bait that give the fish structure to feed against. These big herring are fast. The stripers need something to pin them against, so look for steep rock points or coves around the bait that the schools can push the fish up into. With the bait in the creekmouths, focus on the upstream side of the large bait balls. Most of the feeding fish will be on this side of these huge schools of herring. The bait is so large the fish are feeding only in short bursts. Find the areas that meet these descriptions, and stick with them. The fish are turning on and off like light bulbs, but when it’s on, it’s on. You may clear every line you have in the water before you get a break, and then it’s over. Most of our water is still really clear, so stay small on your tackle. I use 8- to 12-lb. Seagar flourocarbon leaders with nothing bigger than a 1/0 Gamakatzu octopus circle hook on your downlines and planers. Keep your freelines clean with only a nail knot 8 feet up from the hook. These baits are big enough you don’t have to worry about them spinning and twisting up your line. As for artificial, look for topwater on the cloudy, calm days on the main body of the lake and up the creeks early in the morning and especially late in the evenings. Throw 7- and 9-inch Redfins and V-wake it around schooling bait. Fish Storm’s lipped swimbaits when fish are rolling but not breaking.”

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