Lake Sinclair Fishing Report – March 2007

GON Staff | February 27, 2007

Sinclair: Level: 1.4 feet below full pool. Temp: 53-58 degrees. Clarity: Light stain.

Good, according to tournament angler and guide Barry Stokes who gave his report from the lake while practicing for a late-February BFL tournament on Sinclair. At the first spot he and his co-angler hit that morning, a five to eight foot deep rock pile on a sandy bottom near deep water, they caught five fish. “We pulled up, and once we hit the spot, we had five bites in three minutes — just like that,” he said. “The sand is probably drawing ’em in, and the rocks are probably keeping ’em there. It’s the heat, It’s definitely putting out heat.” Barry got his bites on a Carolina-rigged finesse worm in green pumpkin, and he also said he’s been having some luck on crankbaits. “I’ll stick with the little crankbaits all the way up to the spawn,” he said. He suggested a two-inch Fat Free Fingerling in a blue/chartreuse for muddy water, and said he’s gotten into some bigger fish on a Stanford Cedar Shad in a variety of colors. He likes the 2 3/4-inch, medium-depth model that runs to seven or eight feet deep. “That’s been working pretty good for our big bite,” he said. “You don’t get many bites, but when you get one, it’s been pretty big. It’s been a good little bait.” Toward the middle of March, if the weather stays warm, Barry expects the fish to move shallow. “I’m hoping these warm days and warm nights will push them up shallower. I would say they’re going to get more on rock and sand and red-clay mix, where the actual banks make a transition. They’re going to push up and be on those transitions, and even pea gravel,” he said. “Those big females will move up on those points like that, and a Rat-L-Trap — like a blue chrome Rat-L-Trap and a gold Rat-L-Trap — they ought to be killer in another couple of weeks.” A Carolina rig should also continue to produce fish, and Barry said he is looking forward to the early spawn. “If the weather stays warm like this for another two weeks, they’re going to be getting close to spawning. Some of those early-wave fish will be ready to spawn,” he said. Early in the morning he suggested running buzzbaits and spinnerbaits through the grass beds, and when the sun comes out he will switch to a Texas-rigged Cold Steel Lizard Worm in either green pumpkin or junebug and work it slowly through the grass or flip it to three to four foot deep cover or docks. “It’s a real good thing for when the fish get ready to bed,” he said. “They’ll be in the bedding areas around the backs of pockets and creeks. They’ll be in three feet of water, and sometimes shallower than that. You just work that little Lizard Worm and shake it real slow. Man, you’ll catch a lot of fish on that worm.” For spinnerbaits, Barry likes double Colorado blades, both in gold, with a Lizard Worm trailer. He said a spinnerbait fished in the grassbeds or around docks and structure will always produce fish this time of year.

Crappie: Good. Tournament fisherman Richard Saunders said. “They’re pushing farther up in the creeks and staging as the water temps go up. I would start now moving toward the backs of the creeks a little more, not necessarily in the shallows, but in a little deeper water. They won’t be fully committed to the backs of them yet, but they’re in that transition period, and as the water warms up, the more they’ll stack up. It’ll be full-blown by middle to late March.” Richard likes to troll 1/16-oz. jigs in various colors, and said he would look for them in water six to 12 feet deep (See page 104 for more on Richard’s techniques). “You definitely want to ease back and check some of that shallower water.”

Good. “You catch them doing the same thing you’re doing crappie fishing!” Richard joked (see page 104). He said the hybrids should start pushing bait balls up to the surface later in the month. “They’re still going to be in those channels. You can catch them coming up to feed,” he said. “They’ll be pushing those balls of shad to the surface. You see any activity like that, you can go right to ’em.” He suggested a Rat-L-Trap or a Pop-R for feeding hybrids. “I’d try a Rat-L-Trap, something you can cast real far with, and I’d burn that Rat-L-Trap back through there,” he said. “You can get ’em with those Pop-Rs when they’re on the surface.”

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