Lake Oconee Fishing Report – October 2019
Oconee: Level: 0.9 feet low. Temp: Despite almost no rain for September, the water temps are slowly falling as daylight is decreasing. Water temps are 82 in the morning and warming to 85 to 86 in the afternoons. Clarity: The Oconee and Apalachee rivers have a little color, and that color extends down to the 44 bridge.
Bass: Tournament angler Karl Pingry reports, “There is a good topwater bite in the morning on buzzbaits and hollow-body frogs. Rip-rap and grass seem to be key elements to finding the bass on seawalls. In September, Georgia Power was putting water back in the lake early and then pulling water somewhere around 9:30 a.m. for an hour or two. That is triggering a second bite each morning. Stay with your topwater in the shade, and flip the docks as you go by them. Pay attention where the bite is on the docks when it occurs. I fished a little club tournament on Sept. 14 where the bass were on the front posts. I got bit on seven of the 10 docks on one stretch of bank when the water was moving that second time. You can really be efficient when you can eliminate most of the dock and zero in on what to target. October should be outstanding as the water finally starts to drop into the 70s. I’m assuming this heat can’t last much longer! Topwater, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits, plastics and jigs should all come into play as the shad and bass start to move into the pockets. Also, try any incoming water if it ever rains enough to cause runoff. It will be cooler and well oxygenated. Remember that Oconee does not have a turnover event like a lot of lakes, so any time you can make it to the lake in October, that’s one less issue to overcome. Stay safe.”
Crappie: Crappie USA and Crappie Masters national tournament angler Scott Williams says October is the month when Oconee crappie begin to feed up and put on some weight. Fish can be caught a number of ways, but Scott highlights his technique for vertical jigging in timber on pages 28-30. Included are instructional YouTube videos on using LiveScope and shooting docks. A recorded podcast with even more information on how to catch Oconee crappie in October can be found at www.gon.com/gon-outdoors-podcasts. Guide Jody Stephens reports, “The majority of the crappie are schooled up in isolated trees and brushpiles. Find the right group of fish, and it’s game on. Side scan and down scan units really pay dividends in this situation. Jigs and tightline minnows over these groups of fish will produce good numbers. Expect the fish to turn loose of tight bunches and return to scattering amongst the submerged timber patches as the water cools and they feel like chasing bait. Longline trolling Tex Jigs on Curtis Hobbs’s Litewire Hooks will do the job.”
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