Eufaula Bass From Bream Beds To Ledges
Ten locations mapped by Matt Baty for June largemouth.
All spring we have enjoyed catching bass in shallow water, but June has anglers thinking deep on many lakes. Warming water makes bass head to the deeper summer structure and cover, and following the bass to deeper water is usually the best bet. However, a trip to Eufaula in June can offer the best of both deep and shallow bass fishing.
Eufaula is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake on the Chattahoochee River. It is a border lake in both Alabama and Georgia, but fishing licenses from either state are good on the entire lake.
Long known for its bass and crappie fishing, Eufaula has vast grass-filled flats, standing timber and many feeder creeks that offer a variety of structure. But Eufaula is probably best known for its summertime river and creek ledge fishing that can produce outstanding catches of quality bass.
Matt Baty lives in Faceville and fishes Eufaula often. Matt is also a regular on Lake Seminole, and he is guiding on both Eufaula and Seminole. He fishes most local tournaments, as well as BFLs and ABA tournaments. This year he won a BFL on Seminole and placed fifth in a BFL on Eufaula. He is 10th in the BFL points. Matt and his partners have been Anglers of the Year in the Real Money and West Side Team tournaments trails.
“There are two good patterns in June, one shallow and one deep,” Matt said. “The ledges are always good in June, but there is a good shallow bite around bream beds. You can choose which one to fish or fish both, depending on how you like to fish.”
For deeper ledge fishing, Matt will use a Spro Little John DD crankbait in nasty-shad color and a 1/2-oz. swing-head jig threaded with a 5-inch blue flash Big Bite Bait Fighting Frog or a Coontail worm. He also keeps a Flash Mob Jr. Alabama Rig baited with 3 1/2-inch Cane Thumper swimbaits in the reel-shad color.
Shallow water calls for a Spro popping frog in the outback color, a Buddha Bait In-Seine swim jig in bluegill color paired with a 4-inch prime-rib colored Fighting Frog. He also likes a 3/8-oz. Buddha Bait Snooze Alarm in white, and a black buzzbait.
The following 10 locations are a mixture of deep and shallow places to fish for the next month.
No. 1: N 31º 43.849 – W 85º 07.099 — Pataula Creek comes in from the Georgia side of the lake, and the channel runs across big flats to enter the Chattahoochee R0iver channel closer to the Alabama side. The points are good on either side of the creek channel where it joins the river.
There is a green channel buoy off the Alabama bank near the junction. You will find it if you line it up with a black-roofed dock on the bank on that side and idle toward the Georgia bank. The tops of the points are about 23 feet deep, and both sides drop off deep. There is standing timber around it, and there are stumps on the points.
Matt keeps his boat in the creek or river channel and casts his swing-head jig up on top of the points. He drags it along slowly with a small twitch every few inches to make the Fighting Frog or Coontail worm wiggle. Matt says he tried this rig in a swimming pool to watch it, and it has unbelievable action.
No. 2: N 32º 48.393 – W 85º 08.951 — Running up the lake, past Whiteoak Creek there is a long section of Alabama shoreline with no docks, and then the docks appear again downstream of Cheneyhatchee Creek. Matt says the first four docks and the last four on the Alabama bank are good places to pick up a few keeper bass.
He fishes these docks with his crankbait first, casting past the dock posts and running it by each one. These docks are high enough off the water to easily cast you crankbait under them to run the plug by the posts. Bass will be under these docks in the shade when the sun is high. Also fish the dock posts with a buzzbait, and then try a Texas-rigged worm. The water is about 11 feet deep, and there is a little brush the bass will hold on in front of the docks, so probe for it with a worm.
No. 3: N 31º 49.722 – W 85º 09.760 — Go into Cheneyhatchee Creek, and downstream of the bridge and the snag marker on your left you will see a big dock. It looks like a marina dock, but it may just be a subdivision dock with multiple slots. From the dock to the rip-rap on that side is good grass to fish. The bream bed here, and bass will stay near a bream bed in June.
Keep your boat out from the grass, and make long casts to work through the grass with a buzzbait, frog and swim jig. Matt says to always watch for open water behind the grass. These open pockets are favorite areas for bream to bed, so fish all around them and through them. Always watch for swirls or grass movement that indicates a bass may be feeding.
No. 4: N 31º 49.812 – W 85º 09.781 — Go out to the snag marker downstream of the bridge. It is on a hump, and there are shell beds around it where bass feed. Throw your swing-head jig to find the shells, and then concentrate on those spots.
Fish toward the bridge. When the water drops off, either idle around or use your trolling motor to find the old bridge pilings. They are about even with the bridge. You can see halfway between the snag sign and the bridge on the highway.
The pilings will top out at about 12 feet deep with deeper water around them. When you find the pilings, make long casts with your deep crankbait to get it down to fish feeding around it.
No. 5: N 31º 51.176 – W 85º 09.504 — Go into Barbour Creek, and you will see a red dock on your left. It is well downstream of the bridge. There is a good grassbed running along the bank upstream of the dock. Start fishing at the dock, and fish toward the bridge. The grass makes a good point just upstream of the dock.
Fish a buzzbait in the grass early, and then switch to a swim jig. Matt casts the swim jig well back in the grass, and then swims it fast, keeping it off the bottom and moving quickly. He twitches his rod tip constantly to make the trailer wiggle during the retrieve. Be sure to cast to any openings in the grass here and other similar places.
No. 6: N 31º 51.812 – W 85º 08.048 — Going toward the causeways, there is a big island on your right downstream of the railroad bridge. It is called “Rabbit Island” because of its shape. A red channel marker buoy sits off the island toward the Alabama bank. This marker is on the edge of the river channel where it makes a very good ledge.
Matt says this ledge runs at least 100 yards both upstream and downstream of the buoy. He will ride the ledge, watching his Lowrance HDS units to find bass holding near the bottom at the edge of the ledge. Once he marks fish, Matt will keep his boat in the channel and make long casts past the ledge. He wants his crankbait to be as deep as it will go when it gets to the fish. To get your big crankbaits down deeper use fairly light line, a long rod and make very long casts. Matt uses 12-lb. Sunline fluorocarbon line and a 7-foot, 3-inch Buddha Rod. He will crank the bait down after it hits the water, and then vary the speed. He wants to keeping it down deep, but let the bass show him what they want a bait retrieved that day. It can vary.
No. 7: N 31º 52.782 –W 85º 06.876 — Go to the Georgia side of the lake where the railroad causeway hits the bank. A narrow point separates a pocket there from the main lake. This shallow pocket is full of grass and lily pads, so bream bed here. And quality bass feed on the bream.
Matt starts just inside the point on the right and works around the right side of the pocket. This pocket is an excellent one to fish your popping frog around the pads and grass. Matt makes a long cast with his frog, lets it sit for a few seconds, and then pops it five or six times fast before letting it sit again for five or six seconds.
No. 8: N 31º 53.427 – W 85º 07.963 — Go under the railroad trestle to the highway bridge. Just downstream of the bridge—off the right point of the causeway—a big flat point and hump runs out off the rip-rap. It is about even with the new pilings on the second bridge support. The point tops out about 10 feet deep before dropping off into the channel. Matt keeps his A-Rig ready mainly for this location. He says fish—largemouth, spots, stripers and hybrids—stack up on this point and feed. He says you may pull up here and catch 10 hybrids and then a 5-lb. largemouth. Some current coming under the bridge makes the fish feed here much better.
When we fished, the hybrids were stacked on the flat. We saw them on Matt’s electronics. He caught several on crankbaits, and then both of us started fishing A-Rigs and caught seven or eight more, including some in the 5-lb. range. It was lots of fun, but the largemouth and spots didn’t show up as hoped, possibly because of a strong cold front that day.
No. 9: N 31º 53.508 – W 85º 07.941 — Go under the highway bridge to the upstream point of the rip-rap. It’s on your right as you go under the bridge. The point runs out a good ways under water, and Matt says it is usually good for two to three bass, and one of those may be a 5-pounder—often enough that Matt often starts a tournament day right here.
Keep your boat a long cast off the rocks, and cast upstream and parallel to the rip-rap. Run your crankbait along the upstream side of the point. If current is moving, this is the best angle to fish it, letting your bait move naturally with the current. Also cast across the point from both sides before leaving. Sometimes when current is not moving the bass will suspend off one side or the other and will hit your crankbait as it approaches the point or as it comes over it back to deeper water.
No. 10: N 31º 56.220 – 85º 06 .415 — Run up past Old Town Creek on your left, and stay on that side of the lake. You can run this shallow flat if you stay off the bank. You will be in 5 feet of water or so, but many people run it all the way to Lake Point.
You will come to a small island sitting well off the Alabama shoreline. Stop at the island, and idle in to the bank. Matt says you can fish the grass along this bank for 400 yards and catch bass. It is a good frog bank, so start with your frog, and then try your swim jig here.
All of these places and many similar ones will produce bass this time of year. You can fish both shallow and deep, or stick with one or the other. Check Matt’s favorite spots, and then find similar ones to fish. For a guide trip with Matt on Eufaula or Seminole, call (229) 726-0153.
To order an eBook or CD with Map-of-the-Month articles for each month of the year on lakes Clarks Hill and Lanier, visit http://fishing-about.com/keys-to-catching-georgia-bass-ebook-series/.
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