Lake Oconee Fishing Reports – June 2020
Oconee: Level: 0.3 feet below full. Temp: 71 degrees. Clarity: The lake is stained up the rivers above the railroad trestle on the Oconee side. The Apalachee is stained a mile above Swords Bridge. The rest of the lake is lightly stained, to clear down by the dam.
Bass: Tournament angler Karl Pingry reports, “Tournament angler Tony Couch is hoping that June sees the bass ‘return to normal.’ May was tough to find a bass pattern, but with consistent warm weather, Tony says to look for bass 2 to 5 feet deep the whole month of June. There is a sporadic shad spawn. Some places will have it, other places won’t. The shad spawn should last another two weeks. Right now, Tony is fishing spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and frogs along the seawalls in the morning. If there is current, it’s hard to beat a crankbait around the bridges and rip-rap. After the sun is up, stay shallow and experiment with the same baits but out a little from the bank. Look for the mayfly hatch to really come into play this month. A Pop-R, buzzbait and frog will do well when you find the bugs. The other strong pattern this month will be flipping a worm, shaky head or a jig on docks. A dock bite was the ticket for Tony and his partner George Goodman to win the Berry’s Classic and $10,000 this past weekend. Remember the saying, ‘One bite is luck, two is a pattern.’ If you get two bites in the same place on two different docks, you have just discovered the pattern the bass are using that day.”
Crappie: Capt. Doug Nelms reports, “I love this time of year when the big slabs get on the timber. From the Redlands to the dam, wherever the timber was originally cut off below the water surface, this is where the crappie will be. Look for the tornados with some good electronics. My Humminbird Solix is the bomb, and the tornados you are looking for are groups of crappie that will be wide at the top, and as you look down the tree, they get smaller, in the shape of a tornado. When you find that look, you are going to be rewarded with some fast fishing. Drop a marker and determine exactly where the tree is. If you’re 20 feet away from it, you may not get a bite. Drop a minnow or jig and start reeling them in. If you sit two minutes and don’t get a bite, you are not putting the bait on them and need to re-adjust your boat position. If you want to see how it was done on Oconee years ago before the age of high tech sonar, just go to YouTube and search “Jiggin Summer Crappie on Lake Oconee” and watch Mr. Larry King do it. He’s an old pro, and you can learn a lot by watching his technique.” Capt. Kevin Alexander reports, “I have been longline trolling around 1 mph with 1/16- and 1/32-oz. jigs tied on 6-lb. hi-vis line about 3 feet apart. This time of year I prefer using jigs from Litewire Hooks, which are available at Sugar Creek Marina. These ensure that you are able to pull most of your jigs free if you were to snag any timber while trolling. As the water continues to clear, brighter-color curly tail grubs on your Litewire jigs will be the ticket. Acid rain, fire and ice and popsicle should all work well. This method will put fish in the boat well into the summer until the higher water temps cause the crappie to get really tight to the timber. Then I will stop trolling and start dropping minnows down to them on individual brushpiles and trees.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Fishing right now during the day is excellent and should stay this way throughout the month. Using live bait or Jiffy Jigs Super Grubs in the blue star or junebug red glitter/chartreuse over brushpiles or sharp drop-offs are the places where you can locate the fish using your Lowrance depthfinder. I have been finding fishing holding anywhere from 7 to 20 feet deep. Most fish we are catching are good hand size, with a few 1-pounders in the mix. Fishing at night with the lights over the side of the boat is also doing very well. Either under the bridges or in the standing timber is what seems to be working. Use your depthfinder to see at what depth the fish are holding. During the summer month, if using live bait, make sure you are keeping the bait aerated and the water is kept cool. If you are keeping the fish, make sure you have enough ice to last for the day and put the fish right on the ice when you catch it.”
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