Lake Oconee Fishing Report July 2011

GON Staff | June 29, 2011

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 88-90 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Fair to good. Guide and tournament pro Tony Couch said the best bite is under docks from the mid-lake to upper-end areas. “Most fish are being caught on Zoom Ol Monsters and Trick Worms in junebug and green-pumpkin colors. Some fish are being caught deeper on the south end and up the Richland Creek arm on points and humps in 10 to 20 feet of water. Texas- and Carolina-rigged worms in redbug and green-pumpkin colors seem to work best,” Tony said.

Good, according to guide Doug Nelms. “The summertime striper bite is great and looks like it may just keep going. We have been catching lots of stripers in the 6- to 9-lb. range fishing off the humps on the south end around Wallace Dam. Some half days have produced more than 20 fish for customers, and the fish that are less than 9 pounds seem to be doing okay. We are fishing them with live shad on downlines, casting Zara Spooks when they school and pulling umbrella rigs in the deeper water.” Tony said to downline live shad 10 to 20 feet down on the south end of the lake over points and humps and along the buoy line at the dam. “Some fish are still being caught trolling on the pipeline and on the flagpole point near Long Shoals boat ramp,” Tony said.

Catfish: Excellent. Guide Chad Smith said, “Right now the catfishing is great for numbers. I am catching 20 to 40 fish a night when we are going for numbers. The average smaller fish is 3 to 5 pounds. The average big fish has been 12 to 15 pounds. The big-fish weights will increase as we get into July. Right now concentrate on the main-lake channels that drop into 30 feet of water and deeper. If there is brush along the channel, that increases your odds. If the fish are not in the channels, head to the main-lake flats in 7 to 10 feet of water. There is a major flat at the mouth of Sugar Creek in front of the osprey nest. The best bait for the smaller fish has been big threadfin shad and small cut gizzard shad fished on a Carolina rig on the bottom. Big bream cut into chunks has been the bait of choice for the big catfish. I always put out at least one rod with a live bream for a big flathead.”

Crappie: Guide Al Bassett reports, “Crappie fishing is currently very good and should stay this way for the month. These fish have moved back to deeper water over brushpiles, in the standing timber, or over deep drop-offs. First locate the fish on the drop-off or brushpiles using a depthfinder like a Lowrance HDS unit. Use a live minnow, and fish right over the brush or drop-off where you have located the fish. Using a drop-shot rig with a minnow is a good way to also locate fish on the drop-off. In most cases, when you find one fish you have found a school of fish, so work the area good. Night fishing with lights off the side of the boat in the timber or under a bridge is good and will only get better and the month goes on. A third option is to go around the lake at night and look for the docks that have lights and cast a Jiffy Jig Super Grub on a 1/16-oz. jig head. Work all areas of the docks that have lights. Make sure you keep your live minnows in good shape by adding a little ice to the water to keep it cool, and add a bait saver to your bait.”

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