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Lake Oconee Fishing Report December 2018

GON Staff | November 28, 2018

Oconee: Level: Full. Temp: Mid 50s. Clarity: Light stain from I-20 to past Lick Creek and in the back of Richland Creek. Muddy above I-20 up the Oconee and Apalachee rivers. Stained in backs of some pockets.

Bass: Tournament angler Karl Pingry reports, “Fish are hitting a variety of baits, including spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits, small crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps. Also, try a buzzbait in the afternoon. The most consistent bite has been one-half to three-quarters of the way back in the pockets. The dock bite has been the most consistent on a shaky-head worm after 10 a.m. if the sun is out. A jig or creature bait will also get a few bites.”

Linesides: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “I love December. It heralds the start of the best fishing for the year. The water has cooled down, the fish are hungry, and the gulls have arrived. My customers will be casting artificial lures when we find the fish, and on some occasions, we will drop live bait, too. I will carry an assortment of different offerings. I will have some live bass shiners, maybe some threadfin shad, but my go-to bait is a 3-inch Sassy Shad on a DOA head because it is the closest match to what the fish are feeding on. So many times I’ve seen a hooked striper come to the boat and spit up a handful of 3-inch baits. They are gorging on these tiny baits, and a Sassy Shad looks just like them. I also have a three-arm A-rig ready to cast into schooling fish. When you see the gulls and fish on top, be sure not to run up on them with your big motor. It will only spook them. Drop your trolling motor 50 to 75 yards out, stand on the bow and get ready to fire. Many times the bigger fish will be on the outskirts and deeper than the schooling fish, and if you watch your depthfinder, you will see them before you get into the surface action. We will be concentrating on the areas at the south end of the lake. Double Branches, Rocky Creek, Little Stone Mountain and also in the deep, open water just past Tornado Point. Three years ago, the day before Christmas Eve, we came around Tornado Point and was greeted by the largest flock of gulls and school of fish I have ever encountered on Lake Oconee. For almost three hours, we caught big stripers and hybrids cast after cast. The key was nasty weather that only a duck could love. It was so cold and drizzling rain, but the fish were on fire. I learned that day when there is a nasty weather pattern coming in, I really want to be out there fishing.”

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