Lake Oconee Lineside Report: June 11, 2019

Brad Gill | June 11, 2019

GON was in the boat with Mark Smith with Reel Time Guide Service on the morning of June 11, 2019 and put together a timely fishing report.

Mark hosts an annual summer fishing trip for the Putnam County Middle School girls basketball team through Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Mark called on some buddies to help make the trip happen. He thanks Jimmy Holmes with Fish On Guide Service, Capt. Ron Johnson and Danny Lockhart.

Expect a few crappie mixed in with this bite.

We found a good concentration of hybrids and stripers up Richland Creek at the mouth of Double Branches at the double islands. We were fishing the west side of the channel in 60 feet of water, and all the bites were 30 feet down on suspended fish. Just watch your electronics for big wads of fish.

“Lively threadfin shad are the way to go right now,” said Mark. “You have to catch them in a cast net, and I’m catching them at the bridge in Lick Creek at the marina. You can see them dimpling on top of the water. I was on the water at 5:30 catching them. Once the sun gets up, you can forget it.”

For a half-day guide trip, Mark likes to carry about 100 baits right now. If you can’t catch threadfins, you can try a jigging spoon. In fact, Jimmy’s boat caught several fish this way. You can try the store-bought bass minnows, but they just aren’t working right now. The next-best live bait below threadfins would be small bream.

Once a bait gets hit, reel it up and put another lively one on. Dead bait just won’t work. Mark downlines four rods using 1.75-oz. pencil weights on a 3-foot leader of fluorocarbon and lip hooks the threadfins using a No. 4 Gamakatsu circle hook.

Mark said the fishing may stay good a little while longer, but once it gets real hot, the stripers and hybrids head way up the river toward Athens where there is much cooler water. At that point his lineside trips will be on Clarks Hill.


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