Lake Oconee Fishing Report February 2013

GON Staff | January 30, 2013

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 49-52 degrees. Clarity: Stained up the lake in the river arms; main lake is lightly stained to mostly clear depending on area and depth.

Linesides: Guide Mark Smith reports, “February is a month of change. The first of the month the fish will be scattered all over the lake. The best way to find them is with an umbrella rig. Look for the schools of bait, and pull the rig in and around the bait. I start looking in the mouths of the major creeks and work down to the dam. As the month progresses, I will start looking for the fish to show up at the dam. Depending on the weather it could be from the middle of the month to the end. If you find the fish at the dam, it will be the start of the spring run. If they are at the dam, live bait will be the bait of choice.”

Guide Doug Nelms reports, “Fishing is going to reach its first peak around the full moon this month. We are already catching huge slabs spider-rigging in 12 to 25 feet of water. If we get a couple of sunny days in February, it always seem to turn the fish on. Incredibly, if the water bumps just a few degrees, they will run up into the shallows. This time of year you will start fishing in deep water and by the end of the day you’ll be fishing in 3 feet. The black/blue/black Jiffy Jig is always the go-to bait this time of year. Also, my favorite Jiffy Jig, The Red Sexy Bug, seems to work better for the bigger fish. We will be tipping the jigs with minnows and watching our graph for fish in Sugar Creek, the Apalachee River and Lick Creek.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Fishing is currently slow, but if you are looking for big fish, this is the time of the year you should be on the water. The large females will move into spawning first, and they are on the move now to the shallow water. Trolling is the best method to use this time of year due to the fact you will be able to cover a lot of water. Use Jiffy Jigs tipped with a minnow. Put out as many different colors as you can, but take notes on which ones you are catching fish on and change the other rods to that color. If we have a few cold days in a row, these fish will just back off into deeper water and will move up and down in these waters until they move back shallow. Some good areas for these fish are Sugar Creek, Rocky Creek and Lick Creek. The Dyar Pasture area is still good but smaller fish are being caught. Before you start to fish, look for the school of baitfish with your Lowrance depthfinder. When you find this, your crappie will not be far off.” Guide Jody Stephens said, “The crappie are moving into their prespawn pattern and will be easier to catch in shallower water beginning mid February most likely. Water temps play the biggest role now. Fish are still lethargic and slow to bite. Pushing minnow-tipped jigs will produce good fish as they move more shallow. Darker jigs in blue/black will work better in stained areas.”

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