Lake Weiss Fishing Report – June 2007

GON Staff | May 29, 2007

Weiss: Level: Down 1.1 feet below full pool. Temp: Upper 70s. Clarity: Mostly clear.

Bass: Lake Weiss guide Mark Collins says he has been fishing a 3/8-oz. spinnerbait in firetiger with double gold Colorado blades and a Gizz 4 crankbait from Smack Tackle in solid white or blue-and-white — still fishing in the spawning pockets. Use these lures to cover water, says Mark. Fishing a Texas-rigged lizard around the grass is producing well. Fish a Texas-rigged lizard or worm or a 4-inch flipping tube in junebug when you find any shallow cover or boat docks. Target the backs of the docks and especially any that meet a seawall. The grass is up good all over the lake, and the postspawn bass are starting to use it. Fish it with a 3/8-oz. spinnerbait in firetiger with double gold Colorado blades. Spotted bass are back out on the deeper main-lake points and river-channel ledges. Carolina- and Texas-rigged plastics are producing well. Stroking a 3/8-oz. jig in a brown-crawfish pattern with a Zoom chunk trailer in pumpkin seed is catching some good fish. Little River is producing some good spots on the river-channel ledges above J.R.’s Marina up to the Cave Hole. Guide Warren Barnes said the bass are starting to use the grass, and he has been catching them with the usual baits — Trick Worms and spinnerbaits. Most of what you will catch in the grass are smaller bass, he said. The better bass have come from docks, and soft plastics have been catching them. Warren said a shaky-head jig — a Gambler Giggy Head Finesse Jig in brown pumpkin with red flakes — has been a good choice. “I pitch the bait under the dock, let it sink and then shake the rod tip four or five times. The bites have been pretty light.” Warren said the topwater bite is improving on Gunfish and Spooks.

Crappie: Good. Lake Weiss guide Kelly Matthews said that on his last trip out his clients boated 45 keepers fishing minnows on a spider rig on river-channel ledges. Kelly is catching fish on a bottom-bumping rig with a 1/2-oz. bell sinker on the end of the line and a dropper about 18 inches up the line with a No. 2 Eagle Claw hook. “You drop the weight all the way to the bottom, then bring it up a crank or two,” said Kelly. “I look for brush or stumps along the river ledges and then move back and forth hovering over the structure. The other day we were catching five or six fish off each stump.” Kelly said you can still catch fish shallow by shooting docks. Look for docks with 6 or 8 feet of water under them, and deeper water close by is a plus. “I shoot Southern-Pro jigs with the stinger tail,” said Kelly. “I like the 1/24-oz. lead-head because it will fall a little slower.” Black/blue with a chartreuse tail has been a productive color lately for shooting docks.

Stripers: The fish are scattered but beginning to return from the rivers and starting to show up in the river channel from the causeway bridge down lake. Downlining live shad along the river channel ledges will catch fish. Trolling a 1/2-oz. silver and black Rat-L-Trap will also catch fish. The summer schooling has yet to set up, but keep an eye out for gulls working bait that the stripers have pushed up. When the fish start schooling, any shad imitation will draw strikes. Rat-L-Traps, Lil’ Fishies, and bucktails are all worth throwing. The fish will also be showing up in the cold-water refuges like Cave Hole in the Little River and the shoals in the Chattooga. Live shad, or live bluegill in deep holes will catch fish. Unweighted pearl-colored flukes are also good.

Catfish: According to the guides on Weiss, the catfish will bite nearly any time all summer. The Little River around J.R.’s Marina is a favorite area for good catches, in part because of all the fish that come into J.R.’s and are cleaned there. Cut shad, nightcrawlers or stink baits fished on the bottom on flats next to the river channel will all catch fish.

Lock & Dam Report: Evelyn at the bait shop said the crappie and white bass runs have slowed down as the water temperature has climbed. Good numbers of catfish and striped bass continue to come in. Stripers in the 6- to 8-lb. range are hitting white bucktails made by a local fisherman that are sold at the bait shop. “They work,” said Evelyn. “People come from Alabama to get them.” The flow at the lock is a little low, and the water is heavily stained.

Etowah River Stripers: Jim Garren said the bite has been off in the Etowah River, due primarily to the drought. “The fish bite best when they are generating water, and they haven’t been generating,” he said. Jim has been fishing below the Thompson-Wyman dam, where access is nearly impossible without flowing water. When the water is up, Red Fins, swimbaits and bucktails will catch stripers. Jim said he saw a 20-lb. striper brought into another boat that hit a Stome Lures Swim Shad. The striper fishing in the Etowah, Coosa and Oostanaula is generally better in June and July. Bucktails cast into creekmouths or over deep holes, or live shad or bream are good bets.

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