Crank Rocky Points For December Bass On Lake Jackson

Bobby Ferris marks our Jackson map for a mix of quality largemouth and spots.

Ronnie Garrison | December 1, 2005

Lake Jackson is an excellent choice for a December trip if you want to catch a mixture of largemouths and spotted bass. The populations of both seem to be on an upswing this year, and they are easy to pattern this month. A typical December trip will produce several largemouth up to 5 pounds and a good number of spots up to 3 pounds.

For years Jackson was known as a big-bass lake, especially this time of year. Changes in the past 10 years have made it a different lake. The lake is less fertile because Atlanta’s treated sewage was diverted from the South River to the Chattahoochee. And spotted bass were introduced through “midnight stocking” by fishermen.

Bobby Ferris with a fat-headed, skinny-bodied Jackson largemouth that weighed about 5 pounds. This photo was taken in front of Hole No. 10 on Bobby’s map.

Spots took a liking to Jackson and have increased a lot. In the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Creel Census report in 1994, 99.5 percent of the bass weighed in during club tournaments were largemouths. Last year that report showed 55.4 percent largemouths weighed in.

The more aggressive spots are fun to catch, but they have supplanted the bigger largemouths in many cases. Fisheries biologists say there are some big largemouths still in the lake, and they shock up 10-pounders regularly, but you don’t see many over five pounds in tournaments. What you will see are a bunch of 1-lb. spots.

Since spots are more aggressive in colder water, you can have a lot of fun catching them right now, and you will catch some good largemouths, too. The bass are easy to pattern this month, and you can catch them on a fairly simple selection of baits.

Bobby Ferris grew up in Monticello and fished Jackson a lot. After college he went to work for Central Georgia EMC, and for five years lived a couple of miles from the lake, fishing it many days after work and on weekends. He knows it well, and last December on New Year’s Eve he had an exceptional trip. His biggest that day weighed 9-lbs., 8-ozs., and his best five weighed about 25 pounds. His biggest Lake Jackson bass ever came about three years ago and weighed 10 1/2 pounds.

When he lived near the lake, Bobby fished a lot of the old Kersey tournaments, and he fishes some Berry’s tournaments now. He also fishes with the Flint River Bass Club and won seven of 12 tournaments in that club last year and two of the seven he has fished this year. He and Donnie Schafer fished the Highland Trail at West Point this year and placed eighth overall for the year. Bobby is on Team Triton.

As Georgia Power drops the lake to winter pool, bass pull out and set up on main-lake points. Bobby likes the rocky points since the rocks hold some heat and give the bass excellent cover. These points can be found all over the lake, and the rocks range in size from huge boulders to small chunk rock, but they all will hold bass.

Points in the curves, or outside bends of the channel, are the ones Bobby likes best. The bass will hold on them in fairly shallow water four- to six-feet deep and feed all month long. The colder it gets the better the fishing on these points, and some current helps. Toward the end of the month when the water reaches its winter level and stabilizes, the fishing gets even better.

During December Bobby will fish two baits most of the time. A crankbait allows him to cover the points quickly and find feeding fish, and a jig ‘n pig fished in the same areas will attract bass that want a slower-moving bait.

Crankbaits like the Rapala DT6, Suddeth Boss Hog and small Fat Free Shad run at the right depths and are the right size for the bass. If the water is clear, Bobby will go with natural or Tennessee-shad colors. The water often stains up as the red-clay banks are exposed by the dropping water, and Bobby will switch to firetiger or crawfish colors as the water gets more color to it.

Bobby’s favorite jig is the Ol Nelle with a Zoom Super Chunk on it. In clear water he goes with green pumpkin jigs and trailers, and in stained water he switches to black jigs and trailers. With both colors he dips his jigs in JJ’s Magic clear dip to give them a strong garlic flavor.

Not wanting to play around with big bass on light line, Bobby throws his crankbaits on 12- to 15-lb. Trilene Big Game and uses 25-lb. Big Game line on his jigs. You never know when you will hook into that 9-lb. largemouth, and a 5-lb. spot is also a possibility on Jackson this month.

Spotted bass are becoming a larger part of the catch on Lake Jackson.

The following are 10 places Bobby likes to fish in December. They are all good, and there are many others just like them all over the lake. These will show you what Bobby looks for and how he fishes them.

No. 1 on the map: N 33º 23.562 – W 83º 50.024 — If you put in at Berry’s there is no need to make a long run. Start fishing at the floating dock on the inside of the first point downstream of the ramp and bridge. You won’t be far from the ramp. Fish it to the log house on the downstream side of the point.

This is a good example of the kind of place Bobby likes to fish this month, and this spot has the added advantage of being restocked with bass after every tournament out of Berry’s. There are good rocks on the bank, and this is a main-lake point that drops fast into deep water.

If you keep your boat a short cast off the bank, you will be sitting in 20 feet of water at full pool. A short cast to the bank will cover the four- to six-foot depths where the bass hold this month. You can make quick casts at a 90-degree angle to the bank and cover that depth quickly.

Fish a crankbait first to find active, feeding fish. You can go back over the same area with a jig ‘n pig or start with it for bigger bass. Work the jig down the slope with short hops, not moving it far since it will drop fast.  Be ready to set the hook on any mushy feel or movement of the line since bass will often hit as the jig drops from one level to the next.

No. 2: N 33º 22.978 – W 83º 50.416 — Head downstream past the swim area and ramp at Alcovy Shores. You will see a small cove on your left with a point that runs upstream. There is a white bench on the inside of this point and a weeping willow tree near it. Cast to the bank in front of the willow tree, and fish around the point.

Keep your boat way off the bank here, there are some huge boulders on the upstream side of the point near the white bench. You will be able to see them if the water is down some, and bass often hold around them. Fish your crankbait around and over the boulders, then work a jig ‘n pig all around them, dropping it to the bottom beside and between them. Fish around this point to the main-lake side where the rocks end and the seawall starts. You will see a sign with the Ten Commandants posted just before the seawall, and that is about as far as Bobby fishes this point.

No. 3: N 33º 22.240 – W 83º 51.118 — Go down the river under the powerlines and past Leverette Neck. The next big cove below it on the left is a good rocky point with a swimming area on the upstream side. This is a park for Turtle Cove, and there are some picnic tables on the bank.

Start fishing just past the last downstream swimming-area marker, and fish around the point. Stay way out on the upstream side, the point is flat here and rocks run a long way off the bank. As you get to the point running slightly downstream, there are good rocks on the end of it, and it drops off fast on the inside. The creek channel swings near the point, and this drop often holds fish. Fish the drop, and go to the two trees in the water on the inside of the point. Make a few casts to the blowdowns with your jig ‘n pig before leaving the area. Bobby says those trees often hold a big bass.

No. 4: N 33º 22.180 – W 83º 51.743 — Across the lake and downstream is the mouth of the South River. Go into it, and look to your right. You will see a narrow point with rocks on the downstream side going into a small cut, and there is a wooden seawall on the left side of the point when you are facing it.

Stay way back off this point, it runs out a very long way. At full pool it will be about eight-feet deep when you are 60 feet off the bank. Start fishing on the downstream side and cast across the point, working a crankbait across it. Fish around the end and up the upstream side, covering it from both angles. Bobby says this is an excellent point when they are pulling water since you get a good current across it. Study the way the water is moving, and cast so your baits move with the current like a natural baitfish would move.

No. 5: N 33º 22.645 – W 83º 51.817 — Run up the South River and make the hard bend to your right. From this bend on up be very careful, watching for sandbars and mud flats that run out to the middle of the river.   After you make the bend to your right, straight ahead, before you make the turn back to the left you will see a small white cabin with a tin roof on a point that runs to your left across the cove just upstream of it. This is a good example of a point on an outside bend or curve of the river.

A lot of wood washes up here and lodges on the rocks, making them even better. Start fishing out from the cabin, and work around the point, staying out far enough so your casts cover the four- to six-foot depths. As you work around the point there is a lot of good wood cover on the back side of it and in the pocket behind it to fish a jig ‘n pig through.

No. 6: N 33º 22.624 – W 83º 52.355 — On up the South River across from and a little downstream of the old Walker Harris Marina is a big, round, rocky point. There is a beige house with a black roof on the point, and it is very steep on the downstream side, flattening out some on the upstream side. There are big rocks around the point and good deep water all the way around it. Fish it with the crankbait and jig. You will be sitting in about 20 feet of water at full pool just a short cast off the bank. There is usually some wood trash hung up on the drop on the upstream side near the dock. Bobby says he caught a 9-lb. bass off this point a few years ago.

No. 7: N 33º 21.852 – W 83º 51.741 — Run back out of the South River and head downstream. Where the river narrows below the big open water at the mouth of the South River the first point on your right is excellent. There is a brown boat house with boat rails on the upstream side of this point, and there are blowdowns on both sides of it.

The dock on this point has a cement seawall behind it. This is another good main-lake point where wood washes in and hangs on the rocks. Start at the boat house, and work downstream, fishing past the blowdowns on the downstream side. Bobby will sometimes throw a bigger crankbait here since the water drops off so fast and big fish hold on it.

No. 8: N 33º 21.537 – W 83º 51.684 — Across the lake on the left heading downstream, just before the river bends back to the left and opens up you will see a rebel flag on a rocky point. There are big rocks just past the cement boat ramp, and that is where you want to start casting.

Fish around the point past the house and dock. Both have green roofs. Make several casts to the ramp. Bobby says he has caught more than one bass off it. Fish on around the point working all the rocks on it.

No. 9: N 33º 20.084 – W 83º 50.788 — Run down the lake to the dam area, past Tussahaw Creek and the big, flat point on your left at the mouth of a small creek there. Downstream of this creek the bank turns rocky and drops off fast. On the upstream side of the next big cove is an old brick house with a flat roof. This was known as “Snoopy’s Point” because of a Snoopy cutout on a sign.

Just upstream of the house, big rocks line the bank, and then a cement seawall starts. There are big rocks under the water 10 to 15 feet off the bank, so stay well out from the bank and make long casts until you locate them. You can fish all the way around this double point, working the one with the brick house and the next small point into the cove, too.

No. 10: N 33º 19.689 – W 83º 50.638 — Across the lake there is a big, round point on your right heading downstream right at the last bend toward the dam. There are some big pines on this point and several brown houses on it. On the upstream side is a dock with a pole out from it on your left facing it, and a tin boathouse toward the point. You will see two bluebird houses between the dock and the boathouse. The seawall is made of those round corelike concrete blocks.

Start fishing at the dock, making several casts around the pole in the water. There are some Christmas trees around it. Fish the rocks between the dock and the boathouse, and make some casts to the rails in front of the boathouse. Just at the downstream side of the boathouse there is a good brushpile way out from the bank. If the water is down you can see the top of it, and there is a big timber, about a 4×12, sticking up. Fish all around the brush with a jig ‘n pig. Work down the point toward the dock on the downstream side. There are good rocks and stumps here as well as lots of wood and an old dock that has washed up on the bank. Fish will hold all along this area.

Bobby and I fished Jackson in mid November just before the cold front arrived, and bass were still hitting topwater baits then. Bobby had several nice bass, including a 4- and a 5-lb. largemouth and several spots in the 2-lb. range. His best five would have weighed about 15 pounds.

Those fish are now on the December pattern described above. Give it a try, and you might be surprised how good the fishing at Jackson is this month.

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