Lake Oconee Fishing Report March 2013
Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 52-54 degrees. Clarity: Stained to heavily stained.
Bass: Good, according to tournament pro and guide Aaron Batson. “Bass fishing is good and getting better. March will be a huge month for catching bass on Oconee. Work pockets and coves that are warming faster with moving baits to locate fish. A 1/2-oz. double willowleaf Ol’ Nelle in all chartreuse will be hard to beat. Also, a 1/2- or 3/4-oz. chrome Rat-L-Trap would be a good choice. Once you locate a school with these baits and pick off a few fish, slow down and work a 3/8-oz. Net Boy Baits flipping jig in brown or black. Tip the jig with a Wackem Crazy Baits Tater Bug in the same colors. Fish the jig on any wood or rocky cover in 2 to 3 feet of water. This will catch big females staging for the spawn and looking for bedding location.”
Crappie: Good, according to guide Doug Nelms. “In spite of all the rain, this is the month when the huge crappie just go crazy,” Doug said. “When the water temp makes it up to 55 degrees, it should be on. I have always taken the approach that when the bradford pear trees start blooming, that is when the big fish are staging in the secondary river channels, preparing to run to the bank. This is when we catch the biggest crappie of all year. If you wait till the dogwood trees bloom, as we have always heard, the big ones will have done their thing and will be gone. We are still spider-rigging over the river channels, and we pull out on the flats whenever the water heats up. This time of year everywhere is great. Lick, Sugar, Rocky and Sandy creeks all have good fish in them. For baits, I will be using the old standby black-and-blue Jiffy Jig and the red sexy bug. My entire arsenal will be loaded with those two colors.” Guide Jody Samples said, “Oconee is slow for crappie as of Sunday, March 24. With 4 inches of rain, it has heavily stained the river arms and produced good stain in the main lake. Dark jigs are still the best producers. Fish can be found in as little as 10 feet of water to 30 feet of water. The bite is slow, but many fish are being seen. The good prespawn bite is coming if the weather will stabilize.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Due to the storm that came through, it did cause the lake to get very muddy. There is more rain scheduled to come in this week, which will not help. Currently the bigger fish are in 15 to 20 feet of water waiting to move up to spawn. Over the next week or two the bigger fish will move into the spawning areas. After this you should start catching more fish, but the size will go down. Trolling in the backs of the creeks around the lake is the place to be. Trolling with Jiffy Jigs tipped with live minnows is your best bet. These fish will move into water of less that 5 feet. Some good areas for these fish are Sugar Creek, Rocky Creek, Lick Creek and Sandy Creek. Around the full moon of March should be a great time to be on the water.”
Stripers: Doug Nelms reports, “March is when the stripers and hybrids show up at the dam! After we catch the last crappie, we will begin chasing the linesides. After a long winter wait, the fish will finally congregate up, and this is the easiest time of the year to catch them. There really is no need to throw your net and fish with shad when the fish first show up. I use big bass shiners on Jiffy Jigs. Jiffy Jigs makes jigs designed for this kind of fishing with bigger hooks. I like a red-and-white color, but you can call them, and they will make the ones you want. Just slow troll and downline in front of the barrel line and all over the south end of the lake. If you don’t know where to fish, just put your boat in, come to the dam, and do what everyone else is doing. This is the time of year when we renew acquaintances and make new friends. This dam bite will continue going until late April.”
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