Lake Oconee Fishing Report January 2012
Oconee: Level: 0.9 feet below full pool. Temp: High 50s. Clarity: Slight stain upriver; clear on main lake.
Bass: Aaron Batson reports, “Fishing is fair to good. Bass have moved out of the backs of the creeks to the main lake. Look for them deep in 15 to 25 feet of water. Try to drop a spoon on them vertically or make long casts and yo-yo a Buckeye Pulse jig through the schools. Gulls have begun to show up and can give away the location of big schools of fish that push bait toward the surface. Burn Rat-L-Traps or the Pulse jig to catch the schoolers.”
Crappie: Good. Al Bassett reports, “The fish are on the move. Trolling with Jiffy Jigs tipped with a live minnow is your best bet. Areas that are good and will only get better are in Lick Creek and Dyar Pasture. There are more fish in the Dyar Pasture area, but they are smaller fish. This will last for the month as the fish get ready to spawn. If we have a few warm days in a row, look for these fish to move into shallow water. You also can use your Lowrance HDS unit to find your fish before you start fishing. Currently this is the way I am fishing and catching some really good-sized fish.” Guide Doug Nelms reports, “The crappie have been really good, and we are spider-rigging black-and-blue and black-and-purple Jiffy Jigs tipped with minnows. For some reason, the fish love the Jiffy Jigs better than any other brands we use on Oconee. They make a pink/pink/pink that works really well in the stained water. The fish are at the Old Brantleys Marina in Lick Creek right now but should be showing up all over the lake any day.”
Catfish: Guide Chad Smith reports, “With this unseasonably warm weather, the catfish bite is still good on most days. The slow, controlled-drift technique is still dominating other techniques and will continue being the main technique through January. I’m still finding catfish bunched up halfway back into big coves and in creek channels with bait present. Water depths have been 10 to 25 feet. It seems if the water gets deeper then 25 feet, the fish are not there. The baits of choice for me have been gizzard shad and crappie cut into big chunks. I have not had to downsize my tackle due to the water still being in the high 50s to low 60s. Hook size is 6/0 circle and 1 1/2- to 2-oz. snake weights. My controlled drift speeds are .04 to .07 mph.”
Stripers: Doug Nelms reports, “The stripers are down toward the dam, and you can catch them on live bait, downlines and flatines. This time of year I use big bass shiners instead of throwing the net. The fish are accustomed to eating small bait, and the shiners work really well. I also use jigging spoons to catch the stripers when the bite is slow. Sugar Creek Marina has a full line of all kinds of spoons, but your best ones are 3/4-ozs., so you can feel them in the deeper water.”
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