November Bass Map For Lake Jackson
Follow baitfish and the bass into the larger creeks.
Lake Jackson bass are on the move, following schools of shad into creeks as the water cools. Go into creeks and fish deep, rocky banks this month to catch spots and a few largemouth.
Jackson is an old Georgia Power Co. reservoir on the Alcovy and South rivers and forms the start of the Ocmulgee River. Its shoreline is lined with docks, rocks and blowdowns.
For years, Jackson was known for producing big largemouth, with 6- to 8-pounders caught in almost every winter club tournament. But changes in the late 1980s to how wastewater was treated reduced nutrient flows into reservoirs, and Jackson became much less fertile, going from pea soup green in the summer to very clear.
At about the same time, spotted bass were illegally introduced by midnight stockings, and they pretty much took over the lake, out-competing largemouth for food and spawning success. Now, a largemouth is not easy to catch, and they make up less than half the catch in tournaments. A bass over 4 pounds is rare these days on Jackson.
But you can catch lot of spotted bass to eat and find some largemouth this time of year by fishing for both species as they follow shad into creeks on their fall migration. Cooler waters in November make bass more active and easier to catch.
Travis Clay grew up fishing around Jackson and got started tournament fishing at 14 years old when a friend invited him to fish local club tournaments at Jackson Lake. He now fishes the Berry’s trail with his son, Hunter, along with ABA Region 72 tournaments, the Skeeter trail and local tournaments.
“Hunter has been fishing with me since he could walk,” Travis said.
And Travis has taught Hunter well. As a high-school freshman at Piedmont Academy, Hunter can pitch a jig under a dock with great skill and accuracy. And he knows how to change to the right lure and figure out where the fish are each day. He is hoping to start a high-school fishing team at Piedmont.
Travis and Hunter like fishing Lake Jackson in November.
“Bass are following shad into the creeks in the fall, and you can follow them and catch them on several baits,” Travis said.
He targets major creeks on the lake and also similar places up the Alcovy River. The spots on the river are usually a little behind the creeks on the lake since the water is bigger and the migration a little later.
“You can catch fish on a variety of baits, but I like to fish fast so I choose moving baits, like crankbaits, topwater and spinnerbaits to start. But when I find the fish, I will slow down and pitch a jig,” Travis said.
When Hunter is with him, they fish different baits, and Hunter is very good at hitting any spots Travis misses, often with a slower-moving bait. The one-two punch often gets bass on follow-up casts that did not hit the faster-moving bait.
Travis and Hunter will have a jig, crankbait, topwater bait, hard and soft jerkbait and a spinnerbait tied on. Travis says the hard jerkbait is all Hunter, he does not fish one much, but Hunter catches a lot of fish on it.
Travis and Hunter took me to Jackson in mid-October on the coolest day of the fall so far, and they caught more than a dozen keeper bass in five hours. Most were small, but Hunter landed a 3.5-lb. spot. That catch would have done well in most local tournaments, since about 10 pounds has been a good tournament catch in them lately.
All the fish came off the locations listed below, although it was a little early for them. The cooler fall has made the fish move earlier than normal. They will be even better now and get better all month long.
No. 1: N 33º 23.925 – W 83º 49.020 — Go into Rock Creek and past the first smaller creek to the right. Straight ahead there is a creek that enters where Rock Creek turns to the left. Go to the upstream point, and start fishing into the smaller creek.
This is a good example of the kind of place Travis and Hunter target this time of year. The smaller creek draws shad in early, and they tend to follow the left rocky bank. It is a little deeper and offers both spots and largemouth good cover to hold in and ambush baitfish. Seawalls, docks, rocks and wood are all along this bank.
Start at the mouth of the creek, and fish all the way to the back. Usually after fishing a couple of places you will be able to target the section where bass are holding. Sometimes they will be at the mouth, sometimes halfway back, sometimes all the way in the back. Adjust where you start accordingly.
The morning we fished, Travis started with a topwater popper, and Hunter followed up with a weightless fluke. That is a good one-two punch, as is a buzzbait followed by a crankbait or spinnerbait. Cover the water column from top to halfway down for active fish early.
No. 2: N 33º 23.893 – W 83º 49.243 — The downstream point of the same little creek is a prime early ambush location. Bass hold on it first before moving into the creek, and since schools of shad move in at different times, some bass stay here near deeper water.
This is a deep channel bank for the main Rock Creek channel, so bass moving up the main creek as well as into the smaller creek will pass over it. Keep your boat in about 12 feet of water and cast to the bank all around the point. When Travis says “to the bank,” he means splash water on the seawall or bank rocks with your bait.
A buzzbait is a good topwater bait in November, and you can cover a lot of water with it. Travis likes a white 1/2-oz. bait with silver blades, and he keeps it moving fast. When Travis fishes a buzzbait, Hunter is ready to hit the exact spot if a bass misses the bait. A natural-colored weightless fluke or a jig both work well as follow-up baits.
No. 3: N 33º 23.702 – W 83º 50.532 — Run down to the first creek on the right downstream of the Highway 212 bridge. Go into Connaly Cove and to the green boathouse on the last secondary point on the left before the bridge in the creek. Keep your boat in about 10 feet of water and fish from there to the bridge.
If the bass don’t seem to be in the upper water column, get down to them. A flat-sided crankbait like a Fritside, Shad Rap or Bandit 200 will run 5 feet deep or so and get bites from deeper fish. Try a crayfish-colored crankbait in stained water or a natural-shad color in clear water, and cast right to the bank, then bump bottom out as far as you can.
There are rocks, seawalls and docks to fish here and a few blowdowns and boulders. Hit every piece of cover you come to. Travis lost a good fish when it hit his popper right on a seawall behind a little brushpile and hung him up in the brush.
No. 4: N 33º 23.344 – W 83º 50.863 — Pope Neck is the second big creek on the right going downstream. Go into it to the big boat dock with a cement seawall behind it and fish to the back until you are kicking up mud with your trolling motor. Travis says bass often get in the backs of these places “dirt shallow” and will hit topwater, spinnerbait or jig pitched to cover.
A 3/8-oz. white War Eagle spinnerbait with one gold Colorado and one silver willowleaf blade is Travis’s choice. Cast past any cover and slow-roll the bait by the cover. Run it from just under the surface down to the bottom depending on the depth of the cover.
Here and at other places, try to find a pattern to which kinds of coves bass prefer that day. Are they on docks? Wood? Rocks? Seawalls? They are likely to choose the same kind of cover in most places.
No. 5: N 33º 22.509 – W 83º 50.576 — Leverette Neck is the first creek on the right going up the river from the powerlines. Go into it to the point at the orange dock in front of a double concrete seawall and start fishing into the creek. You boat should be in 10 to 12 feet of water when the lake is at full pool. Fish all the way to the back.
Here and at other places, watch for brush around docks. If you go over brush, mark it to fish later. Forward-facing sonar will alert you to it before you get to it, but you can find it with sonar and remember where it is. Run a crankbait and spinnerbait over it and probe it with a jig.
Travis and Hunter like a 3/8-oz. Net Boy Baits jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer. For clear water, they choose a brown with blue chunk bait and go with traditional black and blue in stained water. This jig is especially effective when skipped under docks.
No. 6: N 33º 23.221 – W 83º 50.048 — Going up the river, the next big creek on the right before the bridge is Will White Neck. Travis says he sticks with bigger creeks since they seem to produce bigger fish this time of year. The left side of Will White Neck is lined with docks, seawalls and rocks, while the right bank going in has more blowdowns. Travis likes the left side better.
Start near the mouth and fish to the back, hitting all cover with all your baits. Hunter pitched his Net Boy jig under a floating dock and caught the biggest fish of the day, an ugly 3.5-lb. spot with big sores on its sides. It hit his jig as it fell and put up a good fight, despite looking like it wasn’t in great condition.
Travis says a floating dock with black floats is especially good this time of year, and he catches more bass under them than docks with posts. They are easier to fish in a way since bass hold right under the float. They usually hit a jig as soon as it starts sinking.
Both kinds of docks will produce fish so don’t pass any of them up. Fish all your baits on them, running crankbait and spinnerbait right beside or under floats and beside posts. Let your jig fall to the bottom under both kinds of docks, but be ready to set the hook as soon as it starts to fall on floating docks.
There are also several private ramps on this bank. Travis says never pass up a boat ramp here or anywhere else. Bass hold on the sides and ends of ramps and are usually in a feeding mood when on them.
No. 7: N 33º 24.553 – W 83º 49.715 — Run up the Alcovy past the bridge to where it starts to swing right. First there is a big, wide cove and then a little upstream a narrower dogleg creek. Stop on the main creek at the green house with a cement seawall that is starting to crumble at the water line and fish upstream.
This location is far enough up the river that shad move up it like they do in creeks on the main lake, but usually a little later. We got fewer bites on these places, but they will be much better now and get even better as the water cools in November.
Keep your boat in 8 to 10 feet of water and fish all the docks and rocks along this bank into the next cove. Travis says he has caught several good bass on the docks. Some of them have rocks, some have brush, and there are both post-anchored and floating docks to fish.
There is seldom enough current even on these main creek places to make a difference, and Travis says he likes a little chop on the water, but he said wind really doesn’t matter. The main thing he wants is some color in the water—not very clear water. This area up the river is more likely to have that color.
No. 8: N 33º 24.790 – W 83º 49.662 — Go up the river past the upstream point of the dogleg cove. Just past the three orange buoys, the left bank has deeper water on it and is a good place to catch November bass. There are docks and seawalls on it to fish.
Travis usually fishes out of the port side of the boat since it allows him to cast over the trolling motor, while Hunter stands on the front deck with him. That way they don’t interfere with each other.
Fish up this bank to where it goes into the next small cove and work into it, too. Fish fast enough to cover the water until you find an area with fish, or until you pick up a pattern to follow on different places.
No. 9: N 33º 24.302 – W 83º 49.547 — Go across the river to a point between coves. The upstream cove has a no-wake buoy and the next one downstream one has an orange ball float in it.
Start at the yellow seawall between the coves. It has big boulders in front of it that are underwater at full pool. Bass feed all along this bank. Fish downstream into the little cove with the orange ball, hitting all coves with a variety of baits.
Travis says he likes a sunny day rather than a cloudy day to fish. Sun positions the bass in specific places, and he can make fewer and more targeted casts rather than fan-casting for scattered fish.
No. 10: N 33º 23.624 – W 83º 49.965 — Going down the river, the right point of the Highway 212 bridge and the rip-rap at Berry’s always holds bass. Many tournament fish are released here every week and some will stay and feed, and the rip-rap is an excellent place to catch them.
Start at the corner and fish the rocks with a variety of baits all the way to the end of them. A topwater followed by a spinnerbait or crankbait are good choices. Hunter likes to throw a silver with purple back Megabass 110 jerkbait, and he varies his cadence to find what the bass want each day.
Check out these places this month to catch numbers of spotted bass and some scattered largemouth.
Other Articles You Might Enjoy