Lake Oconee Fishing Report August 2011

GON Staff | July 28, 2011

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 90 degrees. Clarity: Slight stain upriver; clear on main lake.

Fair. Tony Couch reports, “Most fish are being caught extremely shallow under docks with brush on plastic worms. Junebug and green pumpkin continue to be the best colors.”

Slow. Tony reports, “A few fish are being caught early and late on Pop-Rs and Rooster Tails when they’re schooling on the south end of the lake.”

Catfish: Excellent. Chad Smith reports, “Right now the catfishing on Oconee is on fire. Look for the catfish staging on steep-sloping points first thing in the morning. Then as the sun gets up, move to the outer bends of the main-lake channels and fish the ledges in 25 to 35 feet of water. Any point or channel you can find that has structure on or around it will be a great place to anchor down and fish. The night bite is all about shallow flats in the 3 to 7 feet of water. The catfish are coming out of the deep channels after dark to feed on top of the flats. The best bait right now has been big fresh-cut bream or big gizzard shad cut into chunks. The big fish are biting, and it is not uncommon to catch a 25- or 30-lb. fish right now. We had three 30-lb. catfish pulled into my boat over the weekend of July 15.” Tony reports, “Catfish continue to bite fair to good even during the heat. Live bait and shrimp work well both day and night in both deep and shallow water.” Two new potential lake record catfish — a flathead and a blue cat, both heavier than 40 pounds — were caught at Oconee July 21. The big ones are biting.

Crappie: Very good. Al Bassett reports, “Crappie fishing is currently very good and should stay this way for the rest of summer. The key is the fishing is best when Georgia Power is moving water. Locate fish on drop-offs or brushpiles using your depthfinder, like a Lowrance HDS unit, before you start fishing. Look for brushpiles in 15 to 20 feet of water. Or look for sharp drop-offs where the river channel is very near a flat. Use live minnows, and fish right over the brush or drop-off where you have located fish. Using a drop-shot rig with a minnow is also a good way to locate fish on drop-offs. In most cases, when you find one fish, you have found a school of fish. So work the area thoroughly. Night fishing with lights off the side of the boat in the timber or under bridges will help you beat the heat and still catch a good number of fish. You can also go around the lake at night and look for the docks that have lights. Cast a Jiffy Jig Super Grub on a 1/16-oz jig head. Work all areas of the docks that have lights. Make sure to keep your live minnows in good shape by adding a little ice to the water to keep it cool, and add a bait saver to you bait.”

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