Lake Seminole On Fire For 5-Pounders
Ten Seminole locations mapped for great June bass fishing.
Whether you’re ready for a summer vacation, a long weekend or just a day that includes some great June bass fishing, Lake Seminole should be one of your preferred destinations. Especially if you want to catch a lot of quality largemouth bass.
Seminole has been on fire lately. In tournaments this year, five-fish limits weighing more than 25 pounds have been common.
Seminole is a shallow, grass-filled reservoir formed by the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers where they join in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The population of bass in the 37,500-acre lake has had its ups and downs, as happens on all older lakes, but right now it is definitely up.
At a Bassmasters Elite Series tournament there in March, Shaw Grigsby weighed a 30.5-lb. five-fish limit. There were eight five-fish limits weighing more than 25 pounds during the four-day tournament.
You can catch some big bass on Lake Seminole right now. Fishing in June is fairly simple, and the bass are on predictable patterns.
Taylor Minick lives in Valdosta and fishes with the Valdosta State College team and the Valdosta Bassmasters club. He won the older age division Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Youth Top Six at West Point in 2010 and was the top fisherman on the Georgia team at the regional. Last year he made the adult state team at Eufaula, placing eighth.
Seminole is one of his favorite lakes, and he fishes it a lot and knows it well. He has done well there in tournaments. His best limit from the lake weighed 27 pounds. His best largemouth from Seminole was a 8.6-lb. fish.
“The bass have finished spawning but are still in fairly shallow water near the spawning areas in June,” Taylor said.
Largemouth move farther toward the deeper channels as the month progresses, and you can catch them all month long as they move deeper and feed. If you like topwater and fishing hydrilla, you will love Taylor’s patterns.
Keeping it simple, Taylor will have five baits tied on for a June day on Seminole. A frog and a buzzbait cover the topwater fishing, and a swimbait, punch bait and a curly tail worm cover all other conditions. Early morning and late afternoon low-light conditions are best for topwater, but cloudy days offer topwater hits all day long. On sunny days, the other baits will be best during the day.
The places you want to fish are easy to spot. Hydrilla will mat up from the shallows to where it drops off into deeper holes, ditches and channels. You can see the edges during June. Follow the edge of a grass mat, and you will find fish feeding along it. There are mats like this all over the lake, but Taylor likes the area from just up the Flint from Wingate’s to the dam and up the Chattahoochee River a short distance.
“If you fish a hydrilla line, you may fish a long way with no bites, then get on the fish in a small area,” Taylor said.
The fish bunch up in a small area, and there is usually some small change or irregularity that attracts them. You have to find the groups of fish, but when you do, you can put several in the boat in a short time.
Taylor took me out on Seminole in May when the lake was muddy and fishing was tough, but he still landed a nice 4 1/2-lb. largemouth on hole No. 8.
The following 10 places are excellent right now, and the water is clearing, which will make fishing even better. You can put in at Wingate’s and make a big circle to hit these locations.
No. 1: N 30º 47.426 – W 84º 43.794 — Go out of Wingate’s to the Flint channel, and head upstream to red channel marker 12.6. Across toward the south bank, standing timber sticks out of the water. Taylor says standing timber usually means deeper water, and in this area the bottom comes up from the river channel and forms a flat that runs over toward the trees where it is deeper. Hydrilla covers this flat, and there are edges on both sides to fish.
First thing in the morning or under cloudy conditions, fish a buzzbait along the edge of the grass along the drop-off. Taylor makes his own buzzbaits and likes a black double-bladed 3/8-oz. bait. He casts along the edge and fishes the bait as close to the edge as he can without getting fouled.
Also try a frog here over the grass. It will work all day since the fish will come up through the grass to hit it. After fishing topwater, switch to a swimbait and run it along the edge and through any cuts in the grass. If no active fish hit the swimbait, Taylor will pick up his punch bait and flip it into the hydrilla, letting it sink through the grass to the bottom.
Fish all along both sides of the hydrilla mat. Early in the month the side toward the timber may hold more fish, but as the water gets hotter, the channel side, where the water drops off deeper, will be better.
No. 2. N 30º 47.679 –W 84º 47.780 — Taylor’s next stop will be in Spring Creek. Take the Wingate Cut across to it and head down the left bank. There is a lot of timber out along the channel, but you can run the area between the bank and timber on this side. There are houses on the far bank to your right. Run down until you are about even with the last house. You should run outside the grass mat coming off the left bank.
About even with the last house across the lake, you will be close to the first islands between the river and Spring Creek. This area is shallow, but there are 12- to 13-foot deep holes in this area. The bass stay in these holes along the edges of the hydrilla. You will be able see the open water in the holes surrounded by hydrilla. There are several of these holes to fish here.
Work the edges of the grass around the holes with topwater, and then try a swimbait. Taylor likes a white Skinny Dipper with a 1/8-oz. Fish Catching Fool tungsten sinker on it. Try it near the surface first, but work it deeper and deeper until you get bites. Also try a curly tail worm on a light sinker along the edges of the grass. Sometimes the bass want a slow fall. After working these baits for active fish, go after bass lurking under the mats with a punch bait.
No. 3: N 30º 47.795 – W 84º 48.638 — Carefully ease out to the timber and down the Spring Creek channel to the poles marking the channel that leads in to the Spring Creek Access ramp. Go toward the bank in this channel, and stop at the next to last set of poles from the bank. On the left side of this set of poles you will see a good grassline way off the bank.
Fish this hydrilla like the other areas, trying topwater first and then soft plastics along the edges. Taylor likes to work a curly tail worm like the Zoom Ultravibe Speedworm with a 1/8-oz. tungsten weight. Cast or pitch it to the edge of the grass, and let if fall slowly to the bottom. Be ready for a hit as it falls. Also pitch it to any holes and cuts in the grass, and let it fall straight down.
Look for any changes in the mat that may hold fish. Points, cuts and holes all attract bass. Also watch for wood or hyacinth hung up in the grass. Anything a little different seems to attract bass.
No. 4: N 30º 44.868 – W 84º 52.280 — Go back out to the Spring Creek channel, and take it down to the Fish Pond Drain channel. Turn left and go out the Fish Pond channel to where it ends at the river channel. Go to the right toward the island between the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers, and you will hit a big flat with grasslines on it.
This area is good especially later in the month since it is farther out toward deeper water. Fish it with all your baits. A frog will draw strikes all day long—even when sunny—in this area and others. Taylor likes a Spro Poppin’ Frog in leopard color, and he fishes it on 80-lb. Sun Line braid to pull the fish out of the grass when he hooks one. Fish the frog over the grass, especially where it is thin enough for the fish to come up and get it. They will bust through a heavy mat, but it is usually better to punch the thicker mats.
Work the whole area, looking for openings in the grass showing deeper water. There are ditches and holes here where the grassline ends, and those can be key spots to hit. There are grasslines from the junction of the river and Fish Pond Drain channel all the way to the island.
No. 5: N 30º 45.573 – W 84º 54.419 — Go out to the channel and head up the Chattahoochee River. The newly dredged channel swings in very close to the right bank across from the first island going upstream, and the original channel swings toward the island. There is a big flat between the two channels. Stop about even with the end of the island on the edge of the channel, and work the grassline on the island side. Fish all your baits here.
Current helps the quality of fishing at these locations, and this is a good area to find some current. That is why fishing during the week, when current is more likely to be moving, is better than on the weekends. If the current is moving, work upstream for better boat control. You want to fish all these places fairly fast to try to find a school of fish, but you have to fish slowly enough to get your baits down effectively.
No. 6: N 30º 45.665 – W 84º 50.404 — Going back up the Flint River, standing timber starts on the left side of the channel, not far off it, upstream of the first three small islands between the Flint River and Spring Creek. Deeper water is off the side of the Flint channel, but on the north side of it there is open water with no timber, and you can run in this area.
Go up this side of the timber to the next set of small islands, and stop even with the first one. There will be a big hydrilla flat running toward the islands, and the edge of it holds fish that have spawned on the flats between Spring Creek and the Flint. Those fish move out to the grass on both sides and feed in June.
This grassline is very long, so it takes a long time to work it. Fish as fast as you effectively can, keying on irregularities, like a point or cut. Punching the mat is a good way to cover it after the sun gets up. Taylor likes a 1 1/4-oz. Fish Catching Fool tungsten sinker ahead of a Missile D Bomb plastic bait. Peg the sinker so it stays with the bait, and pitch it to the grass and let it fall to the bottom.
You need a tungsten sinker to slip through the grass, and a bait like the D Bomb slides through it better than curly tail baits but has enough bulk to draw strikes from big bass. Concentrate on changes in the grass, and keep moving until you find fish. Taylor usually lets the bait fall—ready for a strike on the fall—and then jiggles it once when it hits bottom before pulling in and pitching again. When you catch a fish, slow down and work the area carefully, jiggling the bait longer on the bottom.
No. 7: N 30º 46.045 – W 84º 48.896 — Run up to the downstream end of Fort Scott Island. It is the big island where you can no longer see across to Spring Creek between the islands. A good grassline is along the outside of the island, and fish moving out of the pockets after spawning hold and feed here, too.
Fish it like other grasslines. All of these places are similar, and you can effectively cover all of them with your five baits. A little wind blowing in on the grass will usually help, so you can key on the ones where the wind is right. As long as the wind is not too strong for boat control, it will break up the surface of the water, making your bait harder for the bass to identify as fake. The current from the wind also moves baitfish into the grass.
No. 8: N 30º 46.050 –W 84º 47.408 — Not far upstream you will see a fairly big cove covered with hydrilla. This spawning cove holds a lot of fish, and a ditch comes out of it on the upstream side that they follow as they move toward the channel. There will be grass on both sides of the ditch and on the outside edge of the bar between the ditch and channel.
Hydrilla was already growing to the surface in clumps along this ditch in May when we fished it. Taylor got a nice 4 1/2-lb. postspawn largemouth here, even though the water was too muddy to be optimal. When fishing the thick grass, punch it or fish along the edge, or fish on top of the grass mat with the frog. If there are scattered clumps on the edges, try your swimbait through them.
No. 9: N 30º 45.826 –W 84º 46.269 — Not far upstream, the river channel swings near this bank. Go to the channel and across to the south bank to red channel marker 8.9. You should stop about even with the fourth dock on this bank. A good hydrilla mat runs off this bank out to the deeper water near the channel and holds fish coming off the bank.
The river channel leaves this side and goes across to the far bank here, and this channel swing makes it even better. Anytime there is a bend in the channel like this, it attracts bass. Even later in the month when the bass move to the channel edge they will still feed in the grass, so it is good all month long. Fish it with all your baits.
No. 10: N 30º 46.436 – W 84º 45.128 — You can run the flat on this side up to the Wingate Cut. Stop about even with the last set of poles at the Wingate channel. You should be about even with a red river channel marker on the far bank. A little ahead of you on the right is an island on the downstream side of the Wingate channel.
Fish the grassline and scattered clumps of hydrilla here. Try all your baits. If you catch a fish, slow down and fish hard. Taylor says if he catches several bass then they stop hitting in a spot, he will leave it but come back to it later in the day. Sometimes giving the fish a rest will start them biting again a little later.
Check out the grass mats Taylor fishes, and try his baits. You can find many more similar places to fish once you see the pattern.
Editor’s Note: Twenty years of Ronnie Garrison’s popular Map-of-the-Month articles are being compiled and published in digital eBook format. The first collections for Lanier and Clarks Hill are now available at fishing-about.com.
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