Great Fishing In October For Lake Sinclair Bass

One of Lake Sinclair’s best tournament teams shows us how and where to catch bass during one of the best bassin’ months.

Ronnie Garrison | October 1, 2007

Lamar Moody holds a Sinclair bass at hole No. 1 on this month’s map. (Inset) His fishing partner Verland Best with a keeper caught at hole No. 4.

The start of deer season is a great time for bass fishermen. Many people who have been on the water are now in the woods, making the lakes less crowded and giving you first shot at the fish. With the water and air finally cooling down, the fish feed better, and fishing is much more comfortable.

Typically in October, bass fishing is going to be good no matter which lake you choose, but you might as well go to one of the best. Lake Sinclair is one of our most-popular lakes year-round for a good reason. It is full of bass, there is good access and it is easy to find structure and cover that the bass like. In October, those factors come together to make this an excellent time to be on Sinclair.

The good fishing in October allows anglers to take advantage of a wide variety of fishing structure that Sinclair offers. Since it is a Georgia Power lake and the water level doesn’t fluctuate like a corps lake, Sinclair is ringed with docks set on posts in the water — great bass structure. Sinclair also has grassbeds, rocks, blowdowns, long shallow points, humps and other kinds of cover and structure to hold bass.

Sinclair is the home lake to many of Georgia’s best anglers. If you follow the Berry’s Boat Dock trail, the names Lamar Moody and Verland Best are very familiar to you. This past year they won the points championship, and you can expect them to place high in any tournament they enter. Lamar has been tournament fishing for a long time, spending several years on some of the pro trails before concentrating on more local tournaments.

Verland has been fishing many Georgia tournaments for years. They have been fishing as a team since 1996. Verland is a retired coach and city councilman from Villa Rica. Lamar headed up a Georgia Power office before retiring. Their fishing styles compliment each other, and they make an excellent team.

Other than the Berry’s trail, they also fished the Valley trail for several years. Lamar teams up with another partner on the HD Marine trail and is sponsored by Skeeter boats and Lowrance Electronics. Lamar and his partner won the HD tournament at Lanier this past spring with an impressive 23.35-lb. catch.

On Sinclair, Verland and Lamar once weighed in five bass at just over 19 pounds, one of their best catches on the lake. They also had an 8-lb., 4-oz. largemouth from Sinclair caught in a tournament. They are as consistent as any team of fishermen on Sinclair.

I got with Lamar and Verland on a stormy Wednesday to get information on Sinclair, fish for a few hours and mark some holes on a map. We sat at Lamar’s lake house for a couple of hours early that morning waiting on the thunderstorms to pass and talked about the lake and what the bass are doing there in October.

“Sinclair is a current-oriented lake,” Lamar said.

The current flows both ways depending mostly on what is going on  at the Oconee dam. Current positions bass because of the movement of baitfish, and you can pattern the bass based on the water movement.

Shad control where the bass hold and feed on Sinclair. A big key to finding October bass is finding shad. The shad move more shallow and start to move into creeks and coves this month,  and the bass follow them. Find the shad, check out what the current is doing there, and you will likely have bass positioned in an understandable way on that spot.

Long, shallow points and humps near the mouths of creeks and pockets are the typical kinds of places Verland and Lamar fish this month at Sinclair. Rocks and brush help hold fish, but the most important thing is a good drop into deeper water.

“Lamar won’t go down a bank,” Verland said, just after Lamar had commented that he liked offshore structure and did not like to run the banks. They will fish some grassbeds in shallow water, but they are usually looking for schools of bass out away from the bank.

Verland and Lamar team up to fish a variety of baits and colors of baits. Even when the bass seem to be dialed in to one bait and color, one of them will continue to change, looking for something a little different. Sometimes a change will produce bigger bass. They both agree that if you are catching smaller bass, switch baits and you may catch bigger bass at a location. And if the bite dies, definitely try a different bait before moving on.

A wide variety of baits will be tied on when Verland and Lamar start fishing. They both like Shakespeare reels and All Star rods. Baits will include a Rico popper with a Front Runner ahead of it for bass schooling on top, a No. 5 Shad Rap, a 1/4-oz. Rat-L-Trap and a 1/4-oz. jig head that Lamar pours himself and rigs with a Trick Worm. There will also be a Carolina-rigged worm and a Mojo or split-shot rig ready to cast. Regardless, each will throw some- thing different.

Shad that the bass are schooling on are very small in October, and their baits match the hatch. The small plugs are about the size of the little shad, and the smaller worms seem to work better. They will have a bigger crankbait tied on ready to hit deeper spots, but the smaller baits get more bites, even from big bass.

The following 11 spots show the kinds of places Lamar and Verland like to fish this month and how they fish them. You can use this information to find and catch bass all over the lake.

No. 1: N 33° 11.385–W 83° 17.666 — Go upstream under the Little River Bridge, and the first point on your right at the intake for the power plant is an excellent place to find schooling fish this month. It has all the characteristics Verland and Lamar like for October bass. It is at the mouth of a cove, it runs out shallow and drops off sharp on one side, and current moves across it.

If power is being generated at the  Oconee dam, the current runs upstream here in Little River. Position your boat on the upstream side of the point at the intake to the power plant, and cast downstream. It seems strange, but you will be fishing with the current. Do the opposite if current is moving down- stream like it does when Oconee is pumping water back. Always fish your bait with the current.

Watch for fish and shad breaking the surface and also for schools of shad on your depthfinder. Fish a topwater bait over the point, especially if you see activity. Throw your small crankbait up near the bank, and work it back. Try both a jig-head worm and a Mojo-rigged worm, too. When you hit rocks with the worm rigs, concentrate casts to that spot.

No. 2: N 33° 10.652 – W 83° 18.088 — Lamar and Verland will fish banks with grassbeds at times, and this is a good one. Head up Little River and go under the first set of power lines. On your left will be a cove, and the left bank of it has a good line of grass and docks to fish. The grass here and in other spots is willow grass, and it grows out to several feet deep.

As you come off the river, the main point drops back into a pocket, and on the other side of the pocket, the one back in the cove, you will see a dock with a mercury-vapor light on a pole on one side and a cement boat ramp on the other. Start fishing at that dock and ramp, and work farther into the cove. Lamar said they usually do not fish the main point and first pocket.

Keep your boat out from the bank, and cast topwater baits to the grass edges. Also try small crankbaits and worm rigs. Often Lamar will throw a crankbait or topwater while Verland follows up with a Mojo-rigged finesse or Trick Worm.

Fish feed all along here, so work it slowly and carefully. If you see baitfish or bass swirling, cast to them. Wind blowing into the cove moves food the baitfish follow, so that makes this spot and others better when the wind is blowing into or across them.

No. 3: N 33° 10.815–W 83° 18.840 — Head up the river, and go under the second set of powerlines. On your left, a point runs way out, and the river channel makes a sharp turn to the left above it. On the downstream side of the point is a flagpole with three flags — United States, Georgia and  UGA — flying from it. It is across from the Dennis Station boat ramp cove.

A hump rises in the middle of the pocket formed by the point and drops off fast into deeper water. About even with the flag poles, it rises up to 8 feet deep on top and drops to 20 feet deep on either side. The end drops off into 40 feet of water. Fish across this point with all your baits. Start sitting deep and casting a small crankbait across the shallow top, then follow up with worm rigs. After covering the top, move your boat on top of the hump and fan cast to deeper water all around. There are stumps and rocks that hold bass here.

No. 4: N 33° 11.723–W 83° 22.017 — Way up Little River, just before making the turn to the left where you can see Double Bridges, there is a small creek entering on the right. The point between the creek and the river channel is good place to find October schooling bass. The point stays shallow way out from the bank, then drops off fast, and there are rocks and stumps on it. There used to be a danger marker on top of this point.

The point runs downstream, so you want to position your boat on the creek side and cast up and across the point. Work topwater and crankbaits across it, then probe for rocks and stumps with plastics. Shad were already holding on this point in late August, and we caught several bass there the day we fished.

No. 5: N 33° 10.348 – W 83° 21.214 — Run back down the river past Optimists Island, and go in behind it toward Cedar Creek. On the left about halfway up the back side of the island a small creek enters before you get to the mouth of Cedar Creek. Go into this smaller creek, and it makes a sharp turn to the left. You want to fish the downstream side of the point on the left where the creek turns left.

If you idle around on the down- stream side of the point, you will see how the channel swings in and drops to 15 feet in front of the dock down the point, then rises up shallow toward the point. There are rocks all around on this point and drop, so fish them with all your baits. There were shad on this point when we fished it, and there will be even more shad and bass there now.

Verland Best with a Sinclair largemouth.

No. 6: N 33° 15.554 – W 83° 14.764 — Run way up the Oconee River to the mouth of Crooked Creek. On the east shore, opposite the side with the bridge over the creek, you will see a bunch of danger markers. There are about five buoys and three poles marking a long, shallow ridge that runs off the upstream point parallel to the river channel. Go in near the bank on the point, and start working shallow, fishing crankbaits and plastics. Then get out on the river side, and let the cur- rent take you down the side, making casts from deep to shallow toward the markers. The point forms a rocky ridge that drops off into the channel, and the current runs by it strong most days.

Lamar likes this point. He started here in the June HD tournament and had 12 pounds in the boat early. The current positions fish here and moves shad along the ridge. Sometimes the current is so strong you have to put your trolling motor on high and fish down the ridge backward as the current pushes you along. We caught several bass here during our trip.

No. 7: N 33° 14.266 – W 83° 15.299 — Head down the river past the big cove downstream of Crooked Creek, and watch on your right. There is a series of small pockets and points here, and three of them are good, but Verland and Lamar like one in particular. Just where the lake opens up there is an old green dock on the upstream side of a grass point, back in a cove. On the point is a house with an unusual-looking roof, it almost looks like a reverse A-Frame with high front and back and low middle. It has four big, glass panels across the front.

A ridge runs upstream from this point across the mouth of the cove that has the dock. The next point upstream has a white house with a gray roof, and it has three dormer windows on it. The next point downstream has a brown- shingle-roofed dock on it. Fish the one with the ridge across the cove first.

Bass and shad stack up on both sides of this point. Current moving downstream can make the bass fill up the inside of the point, and they feed all over it. Fish across the point from both sides with topwater and crankbaits, then try plastics. Out on the end, where it drops off, try a big crankbait across the deeper water. This is an excellent place that is the kind Verland and Lamar try to find. The point is across a cove, current moves along it, it drops off into deep water, and there is a good flat on it. Look for those characteristics on other spots, too.

No. 8: N 33° 12.369 – W 83° 15.843 — Running down the river, you will pass an island in the mouth of a creek on your left. Below it, past the next pocket, a big point comes out, and there is a brown dock with a deck on top on the upstream side. Up on the bank in front of the cabin you will see two model deer in the yard.

This point drops off on the upstream side and is really rough. The river channel swings in, and it drops off fast from a bar running out from the point. Verland and Lamar say this is a good spot to fish a Carolina rig. Stay back off the bank in deep water, and cast toward the bank and across the point. Work your worm or other plastic bait down the drop.

You can fish all around this point, but the drop on the upstream side is the best area. It is best when current is going up the river from pumpback at Oconee. Current in that direction brings baitfish across the bar to the bass waiting there on the deeper side. Cast from deep to shallow. Make your casts so your bait will go with the current.

No. 9: N 33° 12.397 – W 83° 15.527 — Run into the mouth of Rooty Creek, and stay near the right-hand bank. You will see a concrete-block boat house with two docks out in front of it, a blue-top dock with a blue-top boat house behind it just inside a point. A ditch runs out near that dock. Keep your boat out in 20 feet of water, and cast toward the bank. You want to cast and cover the area between the block boat house and the blue-top boat house, working your bait down the slope around the ditch. If you idle across the ditch, you will see the water drop from about 11 feet deep on the edge into deeper water. It is best to cast to it before idling across it, but the first time you fish it you may want to idle around to get the lay of the ditch and drop.

No. 10: N 33° 12.274 – W 83° 15.310 — Back out on the river, go under the powerlines, heading downstream, and look to your left. A small point comes out, and there is a cabin with a Century 21 for-sale sign on the point. There is also a light pole with three light globes on it on the point. Ditches run out on both sides of this point, and there is a wooden seawall around it with low-intensity lights on it. A boat house on the downstream cove has a fancy “T” on it. This point is rocky and usually holds October bass. There is grass up shallow, and a yellow choker vine grows on it. Fish around the grass, then work out and across the point where it runs out. There is some brush on this point, too. Probe for rocks and brush with plastic baits.

No. 11: N 33° 09.020 – W 83° 13.335 — Way down the lake there is a big island in the mouth of Reedy Creek at the airport. The downstream end of this island has a long ridge that runs downstream toward the dam. There is brush on the ridge, and it has some rock, too. Lamar says this is a great place to start early in the morning in October. Bass school up near the point of the island and also on the inside of the point toward the main bank. Try topwater, then follow up with crankbaits and plastics on the ridge.

These 11 spots give you a good idea what Verland and Lamar look for and fish this month on Sinclair. Check them out, then you can find many other similar spots on the lake. Fishing will be good on all of them in October.

Lamar and Verland have fished a lot of tournaments. They say the Berry’s and HD trails are both examples of the ways tournaments should be run. If you are looking for good trails, try them. Also, take a kid fishing. Lamar and Vernon are both concerned about the future of our sport, and we talked a good bit about how we must get younger folks involved to protect the future of fishing. Do your part to help out.

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