Jackson Bass Mapped For September

10 locations for shallow feeding areas that are near deep water.

Ronnie Garrison | September 3, 2014

The cooler mornings we had in mid August, with temperatures only in the upper 60s, gave bass fishermen hope that September fishing would be better than normal. Early in the month, bass fishing can be tough. But even under tough conditions, the spotted bass at Lake Jackson will bite, and you can catch some good largemouth, too.

Jackson is a very old Georgia Power Co. lake built in 1910. Its shoreline is lined with docks, rocky banks and points. Although most of the deeper structure in the 4,750-acre reservoir is silted in and wood cover has rotted away, fishermen constantly put out brushpiles that attract bass.

Chuck Croft grew up in Decatur, Ala. but moved to middle Georgia after college and now lives in Newborn. He loves bass fishing and has been involved with local clubs like the Alcovy Bassmasters. Chuck has also fished pot and tournament trails like the old Redman and HD Marine tournaments. In 2008, he won the Ranger boat he fishes out of now during an HD tournament at Sinclair.

Working with JJ Polak, Chuck helps bottle JJ’s Magic and make Ol’ Nelle spinnerbaits, jigs and buzzbaits, which has kept him busy after retiring from the DeKalb County Police Department. He also fishes with the Flint River Bass Club, where he has been in the top-three in point standings for several years, and he competes with a “money club” that fishes several lakes including Jackson.

“Jackson is a good lake in September because of its spotted bass, good shoreline cover, docks that are near deep water and brushpiles put out by fishermen,” Chuck said.

You can catch bass all month long on a variety of baits, especially if you fish during the week and early mornings when the boat traffic is not too bad.

A variety of baits work well for Chuck this month. An Ol’ Nelle buzzbait is Chuck’s go-to bait, and he will throw it all day, but it is most effective before about 9:30 a.m. on most days. The spinnerbait will catch bigger-than-average bass, something very important in a tournament. A Pop-R also works well for topwater early in the morning.

Chuck will also have a 1/2-oz. brown or green-pumpkin Ol’ Nelle jig with a Zoom Fat Albert twin-tail trailer ready for probing cover. A 3/8-oz. chartreuse-and-white spinnerbait with one gold blade and one silver No. 4 blade is good on wind-blown banks.

A flat-sided crankbait—blue and chartreuse for stained water and green and white for clear water—allows Chuck to cover water 5 to 8 feet deep. A jerkbait is also good at times. When the fishing is tough, he will have a jig-head worm and a drop-shot rig ready, too, as well as a Carolina rig.

“Baitfish are the key at Jackson in September,” Chuck said.

The old saying, “Find the bait, find the bass,” definitely holds true. Chuck wants to be seeing balls of shad on his depthfinder near where he is fishing, and bream activity around shallow cover is always a good sign.

“Bass want to be near deep water in September, but they will run in to seawalls, rocks and wood cover in shallow water to feed,” Chuck said.

For that reason, most places he fishes this month are on the main lake. He concentrates on shallow, feeding bass most of the time, but he will try deeper brushpiles and drops during the day, especially if the sun is bright. Docks are also good on bright days.

In mid-August, we fished the following 10 locations and caught about a dozen spots between daylight and noon. Chuck proved a buzzbait is good even in hot weather by catching our bigger bass on it. These places will be even better now as the days are getting shorter and the water begins its fall cooling cycle.

No. 1: N 33º 19.880 – W 83º 50.437 —
Going up the lake from the dam, Goat Island is the big island in front of Martin Marina on the right. The second pocket upstream of the island has a middle point back in it. There’s a gray house with a dark gray roof and a concrete seawall. This point is typical of the kinds of places Chuck likes to fish this month.

This point runs out a long way on the end and has two small staircase drops on it. Those small drops are key structure that give bass places to move to deeper water to hold. The better places where you find bass this month will have one or more such drops. They can be small drops, just a foot or so, but they help.

Start with your topwater bait around the wood cover like the blowdown in the small pocket upstream of the point, and then work around it on top. Watch your depthfinder, and stay well off the point on the end where it runs way out. Keep your boat in at least 15 feet of water.

Chuck will quickly fish around places like this. He will move on unless he sees baitfish activity shallow, or if he catches a bass or gets a hit on top. If so, he will go back over it with topwater but also will try a crankbait, jig-head worm and jig ’n pig, fishing from right at the seawall out to about 10 feet deep.

Also watch for fish or brush out deeper near the boat. There is some brush on the drops as well as a lot of rock. If you see brush or fish on your electronics, offer a drop-shot rig, or work a shaky head through the area.

No. 2: N 33º 21.178 – W 83º 52.498 —
Run up Tussahaw Creek to a sharp bend on the left. Just downstream of the bend, on your left, is a small pocket. The downstream point of this pocket drops off fast and has big rocks on it. There is a dock with green posts on the point, and a concrete seawall starts just inside the pocket and runs around the point downstream.

Start at the dock on the point, and fish to the second dock inside the pocket. Try topwater first, casting right against the seawall and the rocks past the wall. Then try a jig-head worm. Chuck likes a 3/16-oz. Spotsticker jig threaded with a green-pumpkin Trick Worm or finesse worm. He always dips his worms in JJs Magic, using chartreuse on the tails most of the time, but he also uses clear when he just wants to add scent.

No. 3: N 33º 21.165 – W 83º 52.596 —
The upstream point of this cove is also good, especially later in the month. There is a small block cabin and dock, and the point has rip-rap around it. It slopes off more than the downstream point. This points also has a couple of small drops with broken rock and a couple of stumps for cover.

This is a good point for topwater early, and then Chuck will fish it with a Carolina rig and a jig. Sit in 15 feet of water, and cast near the rip-rap with all your baits, working them back to the 10-foot range. Probe for rocks and stumps, and slow your baits down when you hit structure.

No. 4: N 33º 21.373 – W 83º 52.519 — Across Tussahaw Creek from holes 2 and 3 is a small creek called Bass Alley. Go into this creek to the first point on the right. The point has powerlines coming off it, and there is a stucco seawall around it. There’s a small dock on the right side of the point if you are facing it.

Chuck starts at the dock with a Pointer 100 or 78 jerkbait depending on the size of the baitfish he is seeing. He will usually just reel it slowly with some pauses but will try jerks and pauses, too, depending on what the bass want.

He will also fish his double-bladed 1/4-oz. buzzbait or Pop-R around the point, casting right to the seawall and working them out over water about 8 feet deep. There are rocks and stumps on this point, so keep your boat in about 22 feet of water and fish a jig or jig-head worm around the point under the powerlines to the third dock past the powerlines.

No. 5: N 33º 20.962 – W 83º 52.257 — Head back down Tussahaw Creek. On the right, just past the straight bank downstream of hole No. 2, a cove opens up on the right. The straight bank continues underwater as a creek ledge. The ledge runs downstream from a white boathouse that has a gray metal boathouse beside it.

Idle across this ledge, and you will see that it comes up from 25 feet deep to a few feet deep near the bank to 15 feet deep farther out. Chuck starts out near where the ledge comes up to about 15 feet deep. He keeps his boat sitting in the channel in 25 feet of water and casts up on top of the ledge.

Start with a crankbait and Carolina rig. With the rig you will find a couple of small rock patches, and those are the key spots, so work them thoroughly. Then move up on top of the ledge, and fish your baits from the deeper water up the ledge. Also fan-cast up and down the ledge.

No. 6: N 33º 20.941 – W 83º 52.072 — Go across the creek to the mouth of the first small pocket inside Tussahaw Creek on that side. If you stay well off the bank starting in about 25 feet of water and idle downstream, you will see the water come up from 18 to 25 feet deep up to 14 feet deep.

On the bank to your left is a gray house with three dormer windows. In front of it is a seawall with a dock on the upstream point and a small boat ramp near the other end. The underwater point tops out in front of the small ramp.

Chuck will start by sitting out on the end of the flat point and casting up on it with a jerkbait and crankbait. Then work a jig ’n pig and Carolina rig on it. Then Chuck will move up on top of the point and fan-cast all around the point, bringing his bait from deeper water to the shallow water.

No. 7: N 33º 20.851 – W 83º 51.553 — Start up the river, and go to the first small creek on the right as you enter the mouth. A narrow creek runs back from the first point. The upstream point of the narrow creek flattens out and goes upstream before turning out to the main river point.

There is a bluish-gray house with white trim on the inside point, and there are two white park benches in the yard. The dock is usually flying a U.S. and a British flag. There is a small cement fisherman sitting on the block seawall.

Start at the seawall to the right of the little fisherman, and fish to your left, casting your buzzbait and Pop-R right against the seawall. Work to the end of this bank where it turns out to the main river point. Also fish your shallow-running crankbait the same way. Chuck got our biggest fish here on a buzzbait at about 9:30 a.m. the day we fished.

No. 8: N 33º 21.511 –W 83º 51.649 — Go up river through the wide area above hole No. 7 and stop on the rock point on your right where it narrows. From this point upstream is a rock wall that drops off fast and is a good hole for big spotted bass.

Start fishing at the first dock that is in front of a green-roofed cabin. Fish upstream with your topwater baits. This bank stays shady late in the morning and will be good on top a longer time. Fish move in and out of the rocks to feed, so it is worth fishing several times during the day.

Also try a crankbait here, casting right against the rocks and fishing it back at an angle to keep it close to the rocks. A jig or jig-head worm also works well here. Fish them slowly, keeping the bait on the bottom in contact with the rocks.

No. 9: N 33º 21.930 – W 83º 51.600 — Go up just past the mouth of the South River, and you will see a boat ramp with ceramic bulldogs on either side of it on your right. Start at this ramp, and work upstream. This ramp and all others you see are always a good place to make a few casts.

Fish your topwater bait and crankbait from against the rocks and seawalls out to deeper water. Also fish the docks along this bank. Chuck fishes docks when the sun is bright by hitting the four corners of docks with a jig-head worm or jig ’n pig.

Cast right to the dock post, and let your bait fall to the bottom, and then shake and hop it near the post. Then “slide” those baits under the docks, getting them way back in the shade by flipping, skipping or pitching them. Work them through the shade under the docks, shaking and hopping them.

No. 10: N 33º 21.732 – W 83º 51.603 — Go back downstream to where the river narrows just past the mouth of the South River. On your left (going downstream) is a point with a boat ramp for the Turtle Cove development. A long point runs off the end of the main point across from the mouth of the small creek.

There are rocks on top of this point and brush along its edges. It tops out about 5 feet deep but gradually slopes off toward the end, with good drops on both sides.

Keep your boat out in 20 feet of water or deeper, and cast up to the top of the point with topwater early. If the sun is up, fish a Carolina rig from the top of the point down the sides. Use as light a lead as you can to lessen hang-ups. If the wind is blowing, sit on the downwind side, and cast into the wind, working your bait with the water moving with the wind. Be careful to not get too close in since this point runs way out downstream across the mouth of the small creek.

These places were holding bass in mid August and will be even better throughout the month of September. They will get better and better all month long. Give them a try, and try Chuck’s favorite baits and your favorites. When you see the kinds of places he fishes, you can find many similar places to fish.

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