Lake Juliette’s Big ‘Peace-and-Quiet’ Fall Bass
Big bass and little boat traffic - Juliette fishes like a private lake.
What angler hasn’t yearned for private bass waters? A lake where access is limited, the bass grow big and fat, and where there are no irritating pleasure boaters buzzing by all day. While that is a dream for almost all of us who love to bass fish, anglers can actually find those conditions at a public reservoir, Lake Juliette.
Juliette is a 3,600-acre Georgia Power Co. lake about 20 miles east of I-75 halfway between Atlanta and Macon. The lake was built to provide water for the cooling towers at Plant Scherer. It is built on Rum Creek, but the small flow from the creek is not enough to keep the reservoir filled, so water is pumped in a pipeline from the Ocmulgee River to keep it full.
Fortunately, Georgia Power provides access to anglers and works with the DNR to manage the lake. The water is very clear since there is little inflow. Natural fish habitat ranging from standing timber to huge grassbeds is abundant.
There is good access to the lake from two boat ramps, but there is a 25 h.p. maximum on motors. You can put your bass boat in and fish, but you can not crank a gas motor that’s over 25 h.p. The size of the lake makes it difficult to fish with just a trolling motor, but if you have access to a smaller boat, the fishing can be fantastic. And the horsepower limit means no skiers, jet skis or other pleasure boats on the lake.
Jack “Zero” Ridgeway has lived in Griffin all his life and owns Zero’s Garage there. He fishes a variety of lakes with two local bass clubs, but Juliette is one of his favorites. Zero has a boat with a small outboard legal to run on Juliette, and he fishes the lake a lot.
November bass fishing means the bass are following the shad shallow and into the creeks.
“Bass at Juliette don’t have to move as far as they do on bigger lakes in the fall migration,” Jack said.
The bass do follow the shad into the creeks and coves, but the lake’s smaller size means it is easier to fish many creeks and find active bass without burning a lot of gas.
Most baits will catch November bass on Juliette. Jack’s favorites work well for him, and he’s able to keep it to a manageable number of rods in the boat.
First, Jack will have a rattling bait like a 1/2-oz. XCalibur One Knocker. Also, he’ll use a rattling and suspending Shad Rap, a DT 6 or Norman’s Middle N crankbait and a Carolina-rigged worm. He may also throw a spinnerbait a little.
Lake Juliette has a lot of 4- to 6-lb. bass, and there’s a good chance of a bigger bass, too. While Jack and I fished his November holes to check them out the last Sunday in September, the last of the monthly Juliette tournaments was taking place. It took five bass weighing 19.97 pounds to win, and that stringer included two bass topping 6 pounds. The top-six teams all had more than 16 1/2 pounds, and there were six bass topping 5 pounds.
Juliette is a good big-bass lake. Jack’s best Juliette bass weighed more than 7 pounds, and he has boated more than 40 in the 6-lb. range since he started fishing the lake in 1988. In one pot tournament, Jack had five bass weighing just above 20 pounds—and he came in second that day. While he fishes Juliette every month of the year, November is one of his best months.
We fished the following 10 spots, and bass were on most of them already in late September. More and bigger fish are on them right now, and these locations will get better as the month progresses.
No. 1: N 33º 01.940 – W 83º 47.027 — Going up the lake from the Dames Ferry Ramp, Davis Cove is a big creek on the left. It is just downstream of the long, shallow island where the lake narrows. Go back into the cove to the first small cove on the left bank, and start fishing on the upstream point.
This point has some clay and rocks on it. Bass live in here year-round, but more fish move into this cove in the fall. Fish crankbaits, rattle baits and a Carolina rig as you go from this point to the next one toward the back of the creek. Then jump across and fish the rocky point on the other side of the creek. The cove channel runs down this bank.
The rocky point on the right going in is the upstream side of a small feeder creek. On the bank there is a blue pole with the number 8 on it. Fish this rocky point, and fish the point on the other side of the creek, too. Jack says he has caught four bass that weighed more than 6 pounds off this rocky point, and one of them was a November bass caught the day after Thanksgiving. We caught several bass here.
No. 2: N 33º 02.637 – W 83º 47.041 — Out on the main lake, go to the upstream side at the end of a long, shallow point that comes off the island where the lake narrows. This point and the pocket upstream of the island is covered with hydrilla, and there is a patch of standing timber out in the middle of the cove.
Jack says more 8-lb. and better bass have been caught in this area than anywhere else on the lake. Start out on the end of the point, and work toward the bank on the upstream side of the island. Stay on the outside of the hydrilla, and cast a rattling bait to the edge of the visible grass, ripping it free when it hits underwater grass.
The 1/2-oz. silver-and-black One Knocker is Zero’s favorite bait for this area. He will also cast a suspending Shad Rap in natural-shad color to the grass, ripping it free when it hits grass. We caught several keepers here and saw the tournament winners fishing the same way while we were there.
When you get to the back of the cove, ease out to the timber, and cast your Carolina rig around it. There is an old graveyard near the timber, and bass hold around the trees and around the holes where the graves were dug up for removal when the lake was built.
No. 3: N 33º 03.025 – W 83º 47.768 — Across the lake, the last pocket on the right before you get to the intake cove for the power plant holds bass. Go into the pocket, and you will see an old beaver lodge on the bank. Near the lodge the bank is steep, and a ditch runs along the bank. Jack says he thinks it is an old silage trench.
Start just outside the beaver lodge with your boat out a fairly long cast from the bank. Cast a Carolina-rigged worm to the bank. Jack likes a 3/4-oz. sinker, 3-foot leader and a ruby-red or red-shad Ol’ Monster or Mag 2 worm. Work the Carolina rig from the bank down the slope. Fish slowly and carefully. Jack says bass often just suck the worm in and hold it without moving, so it might be hard to tell if you have hit grass or have a fish on.
No. 4: N 33º 02.873 – W 83º 49.876 — Go upstream past the power plant. Turn into the cove that has the dam for the settling pond on the right. As you enter the standing timber, be careful to follow the marked channel. There is an open field on the right. Across from it you will see a clay point. It is the point that sticks out the most on that side upstream of Billy’s Island.
Go to this point, being careful as you idle through the timber when you leave the channel. This is the downstream point of a small cove with an old pond in the middle of it. There is standing timber all around the cove, but the middle is open where the old pond was located. Stop on the point, and fish back into and around the cove.
Fish a crankbait and rattle bait around this cove. For crankbaits, a chartreuse splatter back or sexy shad color works well. Jack fishes both kinds of baits on 8-lb.-test line and makes fairly long casts from the middle of the cove toward the bank as he fishes around it.
Jack says this is an excellent cold-weather cove, and there were schooling bass here the day we fished. We caught several keepers, and Jack had a 5-pounder that enhaled his One Knocker, jumped twice then wrapped the fishing line around the trolling motor and broke off.
No. 5: N 33º 02.382 – W 83º 49.909 — Go back downstream to the next big cove on the same side of the lake. It is behind Billy’s island. This is called Fletcher Cove on the map. Stay to the left as you’re going back into the creek. This arm splits into three fingers in the back.
Stop on the point between the finger to the right and the one straight ahead, and fish it with all your baits. Fish from the point down the right bank into the middle finger. The bank is steep, and the clay and scattered rocks hold bass. Down this bank in a small indention there is an old beaver lodge that holds bass. Fish around it carefully with your crankbait and Carolina rig.
No. 6: N 33º 02.747 – W 83º 48.877 — Go back out to the main lake, and head downstream. Past the next big creek on the right the main-lake point is called Treasure Point. It is across from the cove at the power plant.
Stop on the downstream side of this big, round point where it goes into the next big creek. There is timber off this point. Keep your boat near it in about 10 feet of water, and cast to the bank. There is some clay bottom and scattered rock. Upstream of the end of the point a blowdown is in the water. Fish from the end of the point past the blowdown. Jack fishes a crankbait here. Try to bump the bottom from 2 to 10 feet deep. Some wind blowing on the point helps make fish move up to feed. Since there is no current from the dam at Juliette, Jack says it fishes like a big pond, with wind having an impact.
No. 7: N 33º 01.936 – W 83º 47.916 — Go downstream past the big creek and around the point. The next creek is Fleming Cove. Go into it, and keep to the right arm all the way to the back where this side splits into two small arms.
Stop on the point between the two arms. There is an old bridge in the back of the right arm. The point has rocks on it, so fish it with crankbait and Carolina rig. Sit out in deep water a moderate cast off the bank, and fish water from the bank to at least 10 feet deep.
Fish down the right bank past the point, and you will see another beaver lodge. The bank and beaver lodge hold bass. Jack likes to fish around the lodges with a crankbait and Carolina rig, and he said he can usually catch bass on beaver lodges.
No. 8: N 33º 03.146 – W 83º 46.542 — Go across the lake to the left bank (if you’re heading down the lake). There is a big three-arm bay, named Buzzard Bay on the map, just downstream of the power plant. Downstream of the bay two small islands sit off the bank back in the next big cove. There is lots of grass all around them.
The back island has a saddle between it and the point on the bank. There are rocks on the point and grass in the saddle. Start on the end of the island toward the bank, and fish from it across the saddle to the bank point.
Jack fishes a crankbait and Carolina rig in this area, and he will throw a spinnerbait around the grass in the saddle. He usually keeps his boat on the downstream side of the saddle and fishes across the points and saddle in that direction.
No. 9: N 33º 02.852 – W 83º 46.413 — The next cove downstream of the islands splits into two arms, and both of the arms then split, too. The downstream point of this cove is called Quail Head because of its shape. The point sticking out toward the power plant is a good rocky point.
Fish your crankbaits around the rocks on the point. Keeping your boat in 20-plus feet of water—you won’t be too far off the bank. Also, cast a spinnerbait around the scattered grass on this point. Wind helps a lot here.
No. 10: N 33º 02.542 – W 83º 46.173 — Go around Quail Head point to the downstream side. There is a shallow hump off the bank on the downstream side. Behind the hump is a point that sticks out toward the dam. Stop out in 10 feet of water off this point.
Fish the point with a crankbait and rattle bait, and then work into the pocket on the downstream side. The left bank going into the pocket is good. There is 30 feet of water not far off this point and bank. Jack says at some point during the day bass will move into the shallows to feed, so it is worth hitting several times during the day.
Give these spots a try—they are some of Jack’s favorite Juliette locations. There are many other good locations around the lake, and this is good time to fish Juliette and find some good spots.
Enjoy the peace and quiet, and catch some quality bass.
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