Lake Oconee Fishing Report – December 2009
Oconee: Level: 1 foot above pool. Temp: Mid 60s. Clarity: On the Oconee River side of the lake there is a lot of trash in the water, and the lake is very muddy. Down the lake near the dam and most of Richland Creek has a little stain.
Bass: Fair to good. Guide Todd Lowe reports, “The lake continues to look like tomato soup, and the fishing is fair to good. The Richland Creek side is in pretty good shape clarity wise, the river side looks like you could track a deer across it. With the rain last weekend, I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. The water temp is in the low 60s in the mornings and the upper 60s in the heat of the day. I will be throwing spinnerbaits and Little Earl crankbaits around boat docks. I’m still catching a few fish early on topwaters, but they are getting few and far between. To catch numbers right now, I would say that a shaky head is the best on the Richland side, and on the Sugar, Lick and Oconee River sides I would use a spinnerbait with at least one Colorado blade. You need something with some vibration. Rat-L-Traps have been catching a few, also. With the lake color, the fish seem to be very close to cover. For a few quality bites I would flip a jig with a rattle to try to catch better fish. The standard black-blue combo is working as well as a green pumpkin in the clearer water. With the mud, the one good thing is that the fish are still shallow in 1 to 5 feet of water. As the weather cools, the jigging-spoon bite should improve as the water clears — whenever that happens.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Most of the bass are in shallow water in the back of the small pockets and coves around the lake as they follow the shad. Use your Lowrance HDS unit to find the large schools of baitfish. Fishing a 1/2-oz. Rat-L-Trap with a stop-and-go retrieve is a good way to catch numbers of fish. In some areas you may get a mixed bag of largemouths, hybrids and stripers. An Ol Nellie spinnerbait in white/chartreuse has also been a very good bait to use. Over the next few weeks as the water temperature drops to the low 50s, work your way out from the backs of the pockets to the mouths of pockets as you follow the shad.”
Crappie: Fair. “These fish have been shallow but are starting to move back into deeper water over brushpiles,” Al said. “Your best bait has been live minnows. Night fishing has been good setting up lights under the bridges or in the timber. This will be good throughout the month of December.”
Linesides: Doug Nelms said there’s so much bait in the lake that it’s washing up on the banks with the boat wake in some coves. The result is feeding fish. Doug said, “We have had several anglers finding stripers chasing bait and schooling in the middle of the lake. You can throw Sassy Shads or small flukes at them with incredible results. Of course, live bait is always a great option as we are putting them on downlines and flatlines. It is just starting to get great and if the rain doesn’t hurt us too much, the next few weeks are going to be off the chain!”
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