Lake Oconee Fishing Report April 2014
Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 55-62 degrees. Clarity: Stained.
Bass: Great. Tournament angler Aaron Batson reports, “Huge numbers of fish are shallow in 1 to 3 feet of water looking to fatten up for the spawn that is about to bust loose. Work any shallow cover very slow with Texas-rigged Zoom lizards, Wackem Crazy Baits Big Tater Bug and a Senko. Good colors are junebug, black or redbug. Fish the cover slowly, just like there is a bedded bass on every piece of cover, even though you can’t see it. They are probably there and need some time to bite. Late in the month, look for the shad spawn to start on rip-rap and seawalls. Fish Buzzerbaits buzzbaits and spinnerbaits in white or black up tight on the rocks and shad spawn. It can happen fast in the mornings and be over in 30 minutes or less but can be very productive.”
Linesides: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “This time every year we get two big runs, one goes to the dam, and the other runs up the Oconee. You can catch them on live shad or big bass minnows. We will be flatlining and downlining throughout the day. You never know which pattern is going to work the best, and it will change without a moment’s notice. Good places to catch shad will be at the Lick Creek and Sugar Creek bridges. If you are not minnow fishing, try using the larger Jiffy Jigs they make just for hybrids and stripers. The color they seem to like the best is red/white/chartreuse. If you call Jiffy Jigs, be sure that you ask for the Hybrid Fly. It has a stouter hook for fighting the big ones.” Guide Mark Smith reports, “Spring is finally here, and the stripers and hybrids are at the dam and feeding on shiners. As the shad start to spawn in April, the stripers and hybrids will switch to the shad. Fish these baits on downlines and flatlines. Keep your Capt. Mack’s umbrella rigs ready. When the fishing slows down, start pulling the umbrella rigs, and you can pick up a few extra fish. April is the best time of year to pick up a big fish and also the best time of year to put numbers in the boat. Now is the time to take a child fishing as the action should be good all day long.” Crappie: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “The first spawn for the crappie has happened, but the second spawn is going to be around the middle of the month on the full moon, and they will be on the banks just about everywhere. You can catch them spider-rigging, longlining and throwing a jig under a cork to the bank. The numbers will pick up as the water warms, and by the middle of the month the temps should remain in the 60s throughout the day and night.” Guide Jody Stephens reports, “Trolling Jiffy Jigs Super Grubs in black/blue or black/chartreuse have been deadly on a double-jig rig pulled about 0.8 to 1.1 mph. Fish are deeper in the mouths of the creeks to shallow after a two- to three-day sunshine warm up. Dark-colored Jiffy Jigs tipped with minnows are also very effective pushed in shallow water. Water has been slow to warm, so I expect the spawning bite to last well into April.” Guide Mark Smith reports, “Longlining with curly tails will be a good way to catch a limit of crappie. As always, live minnows on downlines will also put fish in the boat. Look for the crappie to be in the major creeks and up the rivers.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Trolling with Jiffy Jigs tipped with minnows is your best bet. Use a cork to control your depth, and this way you will be able to keep your bait from getting hung up on the bottom. Some of the key areas of the lake will be Sugar Creek, Rocky Creek and Sandy Creek.”
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