Lake Burton Bass Mapped For April
This beautiful mountain gem isn’t just home to lake-front mansions, it can offer some very good bass fishing.
Lake Burton offers some great options for catching quality bass in April. Whether you like sight fishing in coves for largemouth on the bed, catching big spots bedding on rocky points or landing both species on those rocky points as they feed on herring and shad, Burton can be super in April.
Lake Burton is a 2,775-acre Georgia Power Co. lake on the Tallulah River in northeast Georgia between Clayton and Cleveland. Its 62 miles of shoreline are lined with beautiful houses with extravagant docks, and its steep banks and long points are covered with rock. Burton is small enough that anglers can quickly learn some of its bass-producing secrets.
Lake Burton sets up as a perfect spotted bass habitat, and midnight stockings of blueback herring have probably helped the spots and largemouth temporarily. Long term, biologists say the bluebacks will likely hurt the largemouth population, since the adult herring eat bass eggs and fry, and the herring fry compete with the bass fry for food. But right now populations of both bass species are in good shape.
Jeremy Eaton lives in Dahlonega and grew up tournament fishing with his dad Stanley in local pot tournaments. His dad saw very good results fishing the old Jerry Rhine trail, as well as others, and he taught Jeremy well. Jeremy fishes the Skeeter and Palmetto trails, as well as some BFLs and many local north Georgia tournaments. This year Jeremy and his partner came in sixth out of 132 teams in the Palmetto Boat Center trail tournament on Keowee, and he had 13 pounds in the Skeeter tournament on Lanier. He likes herring lakes that are home to big spotted bass, and he likes open-water fishing.
“Clear water makes Burton a good sight-fishing lake for largemouth, but I prefer to target deeper spots and prespawn and postspawn largemouth,” Jeremy said.
He likes to get out on main-lake points and catch spotted bass that are bedding deep, and he likes catching both species as they feed on herring and shad. Near the end of the month, the baitfish start spawning, and this action make the bass fishing even better.
Ready to fish this time of year on Burton, Jeremy always has a jerkbait, crankbait, shaky head, underspin, jig and topwater. He prefers the faster-moving baits, but he will slow down when he needs to catch fish under tougher conditions.
And Burton can be tough.
“It seems Burton is either feast or famine,” Jeremy said.
When the bite is on, you can catch five bass weighing more than 20 pounds, but some days it seems almost impossible to catch anything. In other words, it is “bass fishing.”
Jeremy showed me 10 April locations to mark on a map. These 10 locations will offer you a good idea of the kinds of places to fish this month on Burton, so you can work on setting up a productive pattern for the conditions on the day you fish.
No. 1: N 34º 49.767 – W 83º 34.071 — Wildcat and Moccasin creeks enter from the west side of the lake. Go to the junction of the creeks, and stop on the point between the two. The point has a double rock seawall, and there is a flagpole, bird house and pirate statue on the Moccasin Creek side. Keep your boat in 40 feet of water, and cast up to 10 feet deep with a jerkbait, shaky head and underspin. Fish all the way around the point, working your jerkbait over the 10- to 20-foot depths and crawling your underspin on the bottom at those depths.
Jeremy says bass usually feed 10 to 20 feet deep, and spotted bass will spawn here down to 10 feet deep. If he thinks spots are spawning, he will cover shallower water, too. Spots on the bed are aggressive and will hit an underspin crawled through their bed or a shaky head jiggled through it.
No. 2: N 34º 49.718 – W 83º 33.536 — Going out to the main lake, at the mouth of these creeks watch to your left on the north bank for a white boathouse with a covered deck that’s natural-wood colored. Downstream of this dock is a small, rounded point with a rock seawall and rip-rap. Stop at the dock and fish downstream until you are past the point.
Stay out in 30 to 40 feet of water on this point, and fish that same 10- to 20-foot range. The way this point sets up, Jeremy usually sticks with his jig or shaky head here. It drops fast, and those baits stay in contact with the bottom better.
Jeremy likes a 1/4-oz. SpotSticker shaky head rigged with a green-pumpkin/blue Trickster Finesse Worm He often dips the tails in chartreuse dye to add attraction, and he constantly shakes his rod tip, making the worm jump and jiggle.
No. 3: N 34º 50.190 – W 83º 33.157 — Going up the Tallulah River, stop on the downstream point of Timpson Creek across from a big island in the mouth of the creek. There is a large cream-colored boathouse with a fancy deck and a huge house up on the hill. Rumor has it Nick Saban built this house to see if he liked having a place on Burton. He later built a bigger house down the lake.
This point like the others will hold bass year-round on Burton, but it gets better as fish stage on the point as they move in and out of the creeks to spawn. And some spotted bass spawn on the points. Then, later in the month, both largemouth and spots will move to points to feed on the herring and shad as they spawn.
Stay out just far enough off the bank to cast your jerkbait near the bank and work it back to the boat. This point drops fast. Jeremy likes a French Pearl Megabass 110, and he works it with a jerk-jerk-jerk pause, jerk-jerk pause cadence. He will speed it up later in the month but keeps it slower in colder water. Slow down with your shaky head and jig, and cover this point carefully, working down the steep bottom from 5 to 20 feet deep. Jeremy says he got a five-fish limit weighing 20 pounds here this time of year a couple years ago.
No. 4: N 34º 50.265 – W 83º 33.159 — Go across to the downstream end of the island. It has a shallow point coming off the downstream side that runs out toward the river. The island has a rock seawall, but the only house is on the other end of it.
Fish it like the others, sitting out in 40 feet of water and casting a jerkbait, shaky head, jig and underspin up to about 20 feet deep and working them back. The underspin seems to work better on flatter points—it is easier to keep on the bottom.
Jeremy likes a 1/2-oz. brown and orange True Grit Jig, and he puts a green-pumpkin/blue Trickster Baits Rowdy Craw trailer on it. He tries various retrieves—from a straight drag to high hops—to see what the fish want that particular day.
Fish from even with the bank across from the main land to out past the light-colored man-made rip-rap on the seawall. Try to hit the bottom around this point from 10 to 20 feet deep. If you are getting bites at the upper end or lower end of that depth, adjust and fish a little deeper or shallower.
No. 5: N 34º 50.457 – W 83º 33.124 — Go around to the other end of the island out from a dock and house located there. There is a long, shallow bar making a deep blow-through on this end that shows up on a good GPS map. Stay out in 40 feet of water, and fish around this point a good distance out from the bank.
All these points have rocky bottoms. Fish your jerkbait over 10 to 20 feet of water, and then bump the rocky bottom with an underspin, jig and shaky head. As you go around the point, adjust your boat depth to stay in the 10- to 20-foot depth.
Here and at all other places, keep a topwater bait ready to cast to schooling fish. Even in early April, but more often toward the end of the month when herring and shad get into their spawn, you will see fish hitting on top. Jeremy is always ready to make a long cast with a Super Spook or Ima walking bait to any topwater activity.
No. 6: N 34º 52.071 – W 83º 32.385 — Run up the river to the Highway 76 Lookout Mountain Scenic Highway bridge, and stop on the downstream point on your left. The river makes a sharp turn under this bridge, and there is lot of good structure to fish here.
Fish the rocks on the point on your left with a jig and shaky head, and then work the pilings, both old and new, with a jerkbait and underspin. Bass hold on the pilings year-round, but in April they will stack up on them when the shad and herring spawn on them.
Run your jerkbait on both sides and ends of the pilings. Then crawl your underspin along them at different depths. Try to keep your underspin bumping the concrete like a spawning or feeding baitfish.
Jeremy sometimes pours his own underspin, but he likes a 1/2- to 3/8-oz. Super Fish bait rigged with a 3.8 Keitech shad-colored swimbait. Vary your lure weight to fish different depths, current and wind. Current coming down the river helps the bite here. It will turn on the bass that are on the bank and those on the pilings. Current positions the bass facing upstream.
Fish the right-side bank with your jig. There is some wood in the water, and the bank drops almost straight down. Cast right against the bank, moving your jig very slowly so it stays in contact with the bottom. Bass will hold under shelves and in holes on this bluff, so you want your bait to fall only a short distance each move.
No. 7: N 34º 52.531 – W 83º 32.263 — Go upstream past the long no-wake zone, and look ahead and to your right for a point that has huge boulders on it where the river narrows down. There are blowdowns in the rocks, and the bank drops steeply into the channel.
Stop out in about 15 feet of water, and fish from the sandy patch on the bank on the downstream side of the point around to the upstream side. Work the rocks and wood carefully with your jig. Try to bump every piece of cover.
No. 8: N 34º 49.444 – W 83º 33.277 — Run down past the mouth of Moccasin Creek and stay to the left side of the river. Watch for a boathouse with a green top that is in front of a yellow house. Just downstream of the boathouse there is a dock with new wood that has a red ball float in front of it. Stop way out in front of the dock in 60 feet of water, and ease downstream until the bottom starts coming up fast.
A long shallow point runs out from just downstream of the dock. The channel swings in on the upstream side, creating a spot where very deep water suddenly comes up to shallow water. Stay out in 55 feet of water, and work around the point, casting across it and up it from all angles. You can hit 20 feet of water with your jig and shaky head easily while the boat is sitting in 60 feet of water. Fish both baits on the bottom, working them from 20 to 30 feet deep here. Jiggle the shaky head a lot with your rod tip, but try different actions with your jig. The bottom is rocky, so ease up to more shallow water and fish shallow if the spots are bedding.
Pockets behind this point on both sides are likely to hold bedding largemouth. Go in them and ease around them watching for bedding fish. There are some very big largemouth in Burton—hatchery-stocked trout and blueback herring make them grow fat.
If you are good at sight fishing, coves like these and others around the above points will be good places to look, especially around the full moon April 16.
No. 9: N 34º 48.755 – W 83º 33.012 — Go to the mouth of Murray Cove, and watch for a danger marker way off the bank on the upstream side of it. There is another near the bank of the long peninsula running off the north bank. They mark as long, shallow ridges that runs out to the river.
Stop at the one out from the bank in 15 feet of water and fish all around it. Working out toward the creek channel there are dips and humps that run along the ridge that bass use moving in and out, and they will move up on top of the ridge to feed. Spots will also bed on the rocks and clay on top of the ridge.
This is a good place to fish a demon-colored DT-10 crankbait and bump the bottom on the humps and ridges. It will work on other places, too, but flatter bottoms are better to keep it in contact longer. Follow up with a jerkbait, shaky head and jig. Wind blowing on this and other places helps the bite, especially with a jerkbait or crankbait, as long as it is not too strong for boat control. Try to cast into the wind and bring your jerkbait or crankbait with it.
No. 10: N 34º 48.801 – W 83º 32.592 — Many fishermen overlook a boat ramp. Boat ramps offer a hard bottom running out to deep water. There is usually rip-rap on each side giving bass a place to eat baitfish and crawfish living there. And many ramps see tournament-released fish that restock the area. The Murray Cove Boat Ramp is a good one to fish. It meets all the above requirements. Jeremy covers it with his jerkbait, and then he will work a shaky head and jig on the concrete and around the rocks on the ramp.
All these places hold fish year-round on Burton, and they get even better in April. Give them a try to see how Jeremy catches Burton bass this time of year.
Other Articles You Might Enjoy