Lake Oconee Fishing Report February 2015

GON Staff | January 29, 2015

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 40s. Clarity: Lightly stained with typical medium stain up the lake.

Bass: Fair. Tournament fisherman Aaron Batson reports, “Some bass are still out very deep in 18 to 24 feet of water. They are being caught on 3/4-oz. Net Boy Baits football jigs tipped with a Trixster Baits twin-tail grubs in browns and greens. Dip the soft plastic in clear JJ’s Magic for more bites. Later this month if we get warmer weather, look for bass to move shallow. They can be found on sunny banks with a 1/2- or 3/4-oz. Rat-L-Trap in chrome/blue. Cover lots of water, and look for bites to be right on the bank.”

Crappie: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “This is the month when all the crappie madness begins. It is the only time of the year I can be sure that someone fishing on my boat will say, ‘That’s the biggest crappie I have ever seen in my life!’ It happens throughout the months of February and March, when the big female crappie come out of hiding and begin to window shop each day. They are looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs, but they may not necessarily lay them until March. It is amazing how far these fish can move in just one day, and we will be following them fishing in the places we have fondly named The Windmill, Big George’s Cut, Wayne’s Point, Purgatory, The Flats, S Curves, Mansion Cove and others. We will be spider-rigged with our favorite color Jiffy Jigs tipped with minnows. Black/blue/black, black/purple/black and the sexy red bug will be our go-to colors. I’ll have my 16-foot rods slowly trolling points sometimes more than 15 feet deep. The bite is typically really light and deliberate, and on a great day fish in the 1 1/2- to 2-lb. range are certainly the norm. This is a really exciting time for all of us crappie anglers.” Guide Jody Stephens reports, “Crappie were feeding sporadically or being a little tight-lipped during January. February is the month we all look forward to as these fish begin to stage in creek arms working their way to shallower spawning grounds. This action started late last year due to weather and super cold temps, but with moderate to normal temps in February, it could be more on time this year. Jiffy Jigs in dark colors tipped with minnows is a surefire way to nail some football-sized prespawn crappie. Black/blue, dark green metal flake/black and sexy red bug are my favorite colors. Find the fish, tip that Jiffy Jig, and warm up the fryer. Long-line trolling will become effective as water temps tip above 50 degrees.”

Linesides: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “They are getting fired up and will begin to trickle down to the dam. It is usually March before they show up en masse, but you will find the nice fish on many of the humps in the lower lake. Last month, Bailey Bowen, a high school senior, boated the largest striper I have ever seen on Lake Oconee. It weighed 19-lbs., 10-ozs. It was caught off one of these lower-lake humps. Also, we have seen many stripers this year go into that 12- to 15-lb. range, so I believe the coming striper bite is going to produce the biggest fish we have seen to date. Live bait is always a good choice, and it seems there is more shad on Oconee this year than I have seen in a long time. You can throw a net just about anywhere and fill your tank up. If you can’t catch bait, you can always use big bass minnows that are found in most of the local bait shops around the lake. Flatlining and weighted downlines will produce good fish, and if there is water movement from the dam, you can look for the bite to be great.”

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