Lake Oconee Fishing Report May 2017

GON Staff | April 26, 2017

Oconee: Level: Full. Temp: 72-74 degrees. Clarity: Stained to light stain.

Bass: Tournament angler Aaron Batson reports, “Bass fishing is bad. Fish are fresh off the spawn and very sluggish. They have been moving out of the shallow areas headed to summer holes. They are hard to predict until they get set up on points and ledges. You can try secondary points at the mouths of creeks and fish Carolina-rigged lizards and worms. You can also catch a few suspended fish on jerkbaits, like a Rapala Husky Jerk or a Pointer 78. Some schooling fish could soon be found on the main lake early in the day. Throw a Pop-R or Sammy toward these fish.”

Stripers: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “This month begins our umbrella rig bite season. This warm weather has put us about three weeks ahead of schedule, so it wouldn’t surprise me to read this report and already be into this bite. The fish have pulled away from the immediate dam structure, but they haven’t gone far. Their spawn is over, the shad spawn has ended and the fish are lean and hungry. If you have ever found a hump on your fish finder down close to the dam, I hope you marked it because you have found the perfect place to fish an umbrella rig. When Georgia Power starts generating, the fish will be drawn to these southern humps just like a moth to a flame. I use a fully loaded Capt. Macks Umbrella Rig with a 3-oz. head that you can find at Sugar Creek Marina. With 3/4-oz. heads and the bucktails, the fish are crazy about them. I attach them to 100-lb. Power Pro Braided Depth Hunter Line. Every 25 feet there is a different color, with hash marks at 5 feet, so you really don’t have to buy an expensive line-counter reel for this application. I use 100 pound, so if I hang something, and I always do, I can usually pull it off, but every now and again I have to pull out the retriever, which you should have if you are u-rig fishing. The big braid is also useful when you get four or five fish on one rig. A fully loaded u-rig, pulled at 3 mph, 100 feet behind the boat, with Power Pro braided line, will run about 18 feet deep. Some guys try to go the cheap route and pull an Alabama Rig, but I find they just don’t run deep enough without some aggressive and creative weighting. The afternoon bite is typically the best because that’s when they usually start generating at Wallace Dam. It isn’t unusual to boat 30 or so very nice fish in a four-hour trip. We will also get into some fun with the smaller white bass and hybrids dropping spoons on the same humps during water movement. It can be a blast. This is a great time to take kids to get their arms stretched on several big fish.”

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!