Lake Oconee Fishing Report March 2012

GON Staff | February 29, 2012

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: Mid 50s. Clarity: Light to heavy stain.

Bass: Excellent, according to guide and tournament pro Tony Couch. “Bass are heading for the banks with spawning on their minds. Shad Raps, spinnerbaits, jigs and plastic worms are all working well. Lots of females in the 3- to 7-lb. range are being caught in 1 to 5 feet of water on secondary points, docks and in bedding areas back in the major coves. Things should only get better, and 2012 looks like it should be a banner year.”

Linesides: Guide Mark Smith reports, “After a few cold days, the water temp is ranging from 53 in the morning to 57 on the sunny afternoons. If this holds, we will have an early spring striper and hybrid run. As of the end of February, the stripers had not shown up at the dam yet. As the water temp climbs to 60, they should start to stack up at the dam, and the spring fun will start. Live bait is always the best choice for the spring run at the dam. The first part of the run they will be feeding on bass shiners. Then, after the shad spawn, they will switch over to threadfin shad. Most of my trips I will take a mix of bait because they will change without warning. As of this posting, I am catching most of my fish on Capt. Mack’s 4-arm U-rig out over the main-lake channel. I am pulling it 90 to 100 feet behind the boat at 3 mph. If you find large pods of bait, that is where you will find the stripers and hybrids.”

Good. “The quantity is not what it should be yet, but the quality is excellent,” Tony said. “Lots of crappie more than 2 pounds are being caught daily. Most of the fish are being caught in 3 to 7 feet of water in the upper ends of the creeks on jigs tipped with minnows being trolled. The hot areas change several times a week. Sugar Creek, Lick Creek, Apalachee River, Oconee River and Beaverdam Creek on the Richland Creek side seem to being well.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “The storm that came through (Feb. 24) caused the lake to get a little stain to muddy up the river. This should clear up if we do not have any other heavy rain by the first week of the month. The big fish are still biting, but this should slow down over the month as more fish will move into the spawning area. You should start catching more fish, but the size will go down. Troll in the backs of the creeks with Jiffy Jigs tipped with a live minnow. These fish have moved into water of less that 5 feet. Some good areas for these fish are Sugar Creek, Rocky Creek, Lick Creek and up the Apalachee River. Around the full moon of March should be a great time to be on the water.”

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