Lake Oconee Fishing Report August 2014
Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 84-87 degrees. Clarity: Light stain to clear.
Bass: Fair. Tournament angler Aaron Batson reports, “Bass fishing is slow to average. Get out early and late when the temps are not as high. Look for fish to be mostly deep in the 20-25 foot range. We have been catching fish on Net Boy Baits 1/4-oz. screwball jig heads and Net Boy Baits 3/4-oz. football jigs on main-lake points, mainly when Georgia Power is moving some water. Tip the screwball head with a Wackem Crazy Baits Big Sissy worm in watermelon or sand color, use the Big Tater bug on the football jig. Adding some JJ’s Magic to the baits will help increase bites. There is also a good nighttime bite in the brushpiles on black Ol’Nelle spinnerbaits and big crankbaits like a 6XD.”
Linesides: Guide Mark Smith reports, “Striper fishing is tough this time of year. You can still catch a few fish on the pipeline when Georgia Power is pulling water late in the afternoon. Pull a four-arm umbrella rig over the humps on the pipeline, and you should be able to pick up a few fish. There is also a topwater bite early in the mornings. You can see the fish breaking water off of points on the main lake. Keep a popping cork ready the throw into the breaking fish.”
Crappie: Excellent. Guide Doug Nelms reports, “This is the time of year we all look forward to as guides. We get out the old sun umbrellas, load up the Yeti with cold Gatorade, and fill our minnow buckets up to the brim. The crappie get stacked in the timber, and we pick ’em off, like catching schooling tuna. This is the big numbers game, catching 40 to 50 on most half days, but we get into some really big fish from time to time. We like to keep only the filleting size over 10 inches, and it is non-stop action. A few of us guides have our secret spots—timber and structure that we have found or placed over the years, and so there are always places that haven’t been bothered by other anglers.” Guide Mark Smith reports, “Crappie fishing will be the best bite on the lake during August. Use your Lowrance to locate the large schools in the timber from Sugar Creek to the dam. When you find the fish on you Lowrance, drop a minnow down to the fish, and the catching will start. I use a Carolina rig with a 2-foot leader and a light-wire hook to help when you get hung up in the trees. This bite will last all summer.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Fish are holding in deeper water, over brushpiles, standing timber and deep drop-offs. Night fishing under the bridges and in the timber or around the lighted docks is good. Use your Lowrance HDS and LSS-2 to find the fish on the brushpiles or the deep drop-offs before you start fishing. Mark the area where you find the fish holding with a marker, and either use live bait or cast to the area using Jiffy Jigs Super Grubs. During this time of year make sure you take care of your live bait. Use bait saver, and get the water cool by either putting handfuls of ice in there during the day. If you plan to keep fish to take home, be sure you have plenty of ice on hand to put these fish on before they have an opportunity to spoil.”
Catfish: Excellent. Guide Chad Smith reports, “The catfishing on Oconee at the moment is off the charts—boating 25 to 30 in just a few hours with some good fish mixed in. The best bite has been on filleted gizzard shad and live gizzard shad drifting .5-.7 mph over shell beds in 13 to 20 feet of water. The drifting bite is very strong right now and should stay the same all through August. For a big bite, anchor your boat off the edge of a main-lake point close to deep water and use big chunks of cut bait, big live gizzard shad and big live bream.”
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