Lake Oconee Fishing Report – September 2019

GON Staff | August 28, 2019

Oconee: Level: 0.4 feet low. Temp: Low to mid to upper 80s. Clarity: Color from I-20 down to Sugar Creek. Stained above I-20.

Bass: Tournament angler Karl Pingry reports, “Catch your fish early with the water moving and the sun below the tree line. Stay shallow along seawalls and the mouths of pockets with buzzbaits, prop baits and Pop-Rs. Cover a lot to water to find the bite. Morgan Arnold of the University of Montevallo had a great morning this week fishing the mouths of short pockets in the Double Branches area with a small Whopper Plopper. By 9 a.m., the morning bite is almost over. Then try anything from fishing docks and brush to dragging a Carolina rig. Expect to really have to work for a bite or two. The fishing really shuts down until Georgia Power moves water again. We’ll need a big rain or cooling trend to get the fish to start biting again. Hopefully the second half of September will bring the dog days of summer to an end.”

Linesides: Guide Doug Nelms reports, “Hopefully the month of September will bring some milder fishing and some great topwater action. It appears the stripers have survived the summer heat, and I have only noticed a handful floating on top. To me, their carcasses have a certain look when they die by stress. Of course this is just a silly observation from a fishing guide, but it appears that we are no worse for the wear on Oconee. Another unusual thing that I think will be really good for the future is I have caught a gaggle of stripers this year in the 6-inch or smaller range. These little things just attack a spoon, which is half the size of their body. This year there have been a lot, which to me equates to a good survival rate for the ones put in this year. The fish will begin to feed more throughout the day, instead of just feeding on the pumpback as they have been doing to past month. We will begin to venture out beyond the early mornings and locate baitfish, which will show us where the stripers and hybrids will be. Hopefully some of these cooler nights will lower the water temps, and the fish will get back into their regular patterns.”

Crappie: Guide Al Bassett reports, “Crappie fishing is currently good as the fish are over brush in 10 to 15 feet of water. They are also being found over the sharp drop-offs around the lake. The fish should stay in these types of areas for the rest of the month before they start their move to shallow water. First, locate the fish on the drop-offs or brushpiles using your depthfinder, like a Lowrance HDS unit, before you start fishing. Look for the brushpiles in 10 to 15 feet of water or look for sharp drop-offs, where the river channel is very near a flat. Use a live minnow, and fish right over the brush or drop-off where you have located them. Using a drop-shot rig with a minnow is a good way to also locate fish on the drop-off. In most cases, when you find one fish, you have found a school of fish, so work the area well. Fishing at night with lights off the side of the boat is also working very well, and this is a way to beat the heat.”

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