Lake Oconee Fishing Report – November 2019

GON Staff | October 26, 2019

Oconee: Level: 1 foot below full. Temp: 71-72 degrees. Clarity: Stained in the rivers and a little color to clear below I-20.

Bass: Tournament angler Karl Pingry reports, “The bass have been scattered and hard to pattern. I fished last weekend and had three on topwater and two on a green-pumpkin fluke with a chartreuse tail in extremely shallow water in the first two hours. The frustration was my partner and I fished seven similar locations and only caught fish in one 300-yard stretch, and those fish were on the main lake. I finished my limit on the south end near the dam on rock 5 to 20 feet deep fishing a Trick Worm on a shaky head. We were beat by half a pound. They had a 5-pounder, and we had a 4.67. In November, the bait and bass should move into the pockets and probably make it to the back. How far the bait and bass move back out of the pockets near the end of the month will depend on water temperature. Stay shallow and fish topwaters, shallow cranks, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits in the early morning. Topwater should work until the temps get below 55. The fish will be active with the water moving early in the morning. After the morning bite, the fish should remain willing to bite if you can find the location and depth in the pockets the fish are holding. As the temps drop below 60, I start to concentrate on rock and hard bottoms in the sunshine to hold fish due to warming during the day. Another pattern that will come into play is the metal boat lifts on the docks. That metal will warm and hold bait, bass and crappie this month.  Special thanks to Barry Bishop for teaching me that pattern years ago.”

Linesides: Capt. Doug Nelms reports, “The cool days get here, the seagulls arrive, and striper fishing just explodes all across the lake. If gulls are sitting on the water, there is probably a ton of shad under them. When they are flying, it means the fish are feeding, and the birds will tell you exactly where they are. There are two things I never go on the water without: a good spinning rod that I can throw a bait a mile and a spoon rod for dropping down to feeding fish. You can have live bait on your boat this time of year, but I can put twice as many fish in the boat casting and dropping than I can with live bait. You may get some bigger fish with live bait, but the largest striper I have ever seen boated on Lake Oconee ate a jigging spoon. You should start looking around the Highway 44 bridge and work your way south. There are times when they get north of there, but not too much, and don’t think you’re wasting your time by looking in small pockets and fingers. The fish are chasing bait into places where they can attack them, so these tiny areas on the lake are perfect for that. It is not a bad idea to have an A-rig with 3- or 4-inch baits ready to cast. A Shad Rap is another good bait to have ready. They seem to work really good once the fish go back down. I love pearl-white colors on all these lures.” Karl Pingry reports, “The hybrids and stripers should start to school as the temps drop into the 60s. Use poppers, Rat-L-Traps and umbrella rigs with 3-inch paddletails to enjoy this action. Use jigging spoons to catch a few more when they quit schooling.”

Crappie: Capt. Doug Nelms reports, “The bigger fish have started showing up in droves, and the time for longline trolling is upon us. I am writing this article on Sunday, Oct. 27, and today I could notice a definite change in our single pole, dipping the trees bite. One bush in particular that I have caught 500 fish on this summer was actually hard to find because there were no fish on it. As the water cools, the fish start hanging in channels and ditches. They don’t completely leave the timber by no means, but they do spread out, which means trolling is the ticket. Jiffy Jigs are perfect for trolling. Try Doug bug, red sexy bug and ‘pank, pank and pank’ (quoting Jiffy Jig owner JC Brantley). Concentrate your fishing at Lick Creek, the main creek channel on the Oconee side and Rocky and Sandy Creek up the Richland Creek area. They will hold some big fish this month. My longline spread is eight rods, double jigged, on Todd Huckabee Prime 8 rods. My colors are about anything that has a chartreuse tail.” Karl Pingry reports, “The crappie have started to move shallow and can be caught under the docks and on the ends of blowdowns. The fish will also remain in the timber. Use your electronics to determine the depth the bait and crappie are holding. Both jigs and minnows will work.”

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