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Tobesofkee’s Great Summer Bass Fishing

This little lake near Macon is busy with pleasure boaters during day, but when the sun goes down, the bass move shallow. Here are 10 summertime GPS locations for Tobesofkee bass.

Ronnie Garrison | July 1, 2009

Good things often come in small packages, and that is true of bass fishing in the Macon area. Even in the hot summer, Lake Tobesofkee provides excellent bass fishing. You have to avoid the pleasure boaters, like on all lakes, but the payoff on a trip here this month can be surprising.

Tobesofkee is a 1,750-acre lake owned and operated by Bibb County. It is about 5 miles west of the I-475 and Highway 74 interchange.­ The lake is ringed by houses and docks, and Bibb County operates several recreation areas with boat-launch facilities.

The lake gets a lot of pleasure-boat traffic this time of year. On weekends the best fishing is from late afternoon through the night and early the next morning. There is a weekly night pot tournament on Wednesday nights out of Claystone Park, and the catches in it may surprise you.

Although small, the structure and cover on the lake is as varied as any other middle Georgia reservoir. It has points, humps, creek channels and drop-offs, with rocks, brush, grass, stumps and docks for cover. You can find just about any kind of fishing that you like.

Davey Montford was born and raised in the Macon area and lives just off the lake now. He is president of Global Parts Distributors LLC, and that job supplying auto air-conditioning parts keeps him very busy this time of year. But he likes to slip away to Tobesofkee after work and at night when he can.

As a member of the Procasters Bass Club in Macon, Davey has met many good bass fishermen. He teams up with Tony Green on the Berrys trail and also fishes a good many pot tournaments on Tobesofkee and other lakes with Rusty Cohen. In June, Davey won the Inter City Bass Tournament at Sinclair with 18 pounds.
Davey’s best bass from Tobesofkee was an 8 1/2-pounder he caught in a tournament here last January. He says he has caught sacks of five bass weighing more than 20 pounds in tournaments here, too.

“There are a huge number of 4- and 5-lb. bass in this lake,” Davey said.

In many of the local pot tournaments it takes 20-lb. stringers to win. The largemouth population is good, and the fish are healthy.

By early July the bass have set up on their summer patterns. They hold in deep water, and many move into the shallows to feed late in the afternoon. They will feed all night and until the sun gets bright the next morning.

You can catch deep bass during the day, but weekend boat traffic makes it hard to fish.

“Bream seem to be the major forage for the bass,” Davey said.

He likes to find bass shallow this month around shoreline cover like grass and throws something that imitates a bream. A topwater plug works well, and both poppers and prop plugs draw strikes. This is especially effective when the bream are bedding.

Frogs also catch bass around the grass, and Davey keeps one tied on. When fishing on top he will try different baits and see what the bass are in the mood for that day. You will be happily surprised at the size of the bass you can catch on top at Tobesofkee right now.

For deeper water, Davey goes to crankbaits like the DT Series in various sizes to get to different depths and a Carolina rig. He will often work a point or hump with the crankbait to catch the more active fish, and then slow down with a Carolina rig.

For docks, Davey will rig a curly tail worm behind a 3/16-oz. sinker. He pitches the worm under docks around pilings and probes for brush, too. This worm also works well around lighted docks at night, as does a small crankbait or spinnerbait.

Davey showed me around Tobesofkee in mid June, and in about three hours we caught six nice bass. The biggest was a skinny bass that hit under the docks at the marina and should have weighed 5 pounds. Three of the others were good, solid tournament fish in the 2- to 3-lb. range. We had to quit at dark, just when the fishing often gets good.

All the following locations hold bass this summer. Check them out, and you can find similar places to fish on Tobesofkee.

No. 1: N 32º 49.757 – W 83º 46.351 — If you put in at Claystone Park there is no need to crank your motor. Just start fishing the boat docks near the ramp. These marina docks extend from the bank out to almost 15 feet of water, and the second one runs down the bank into the cove. Bass released at the ramps often move to the docks to hold and feed.

Davey likes a Texas-rigged worm with a curly tail on a 3/16-oz. sinker pitched under the docks. Red shad and green pumpkin are good color choices. He lets the bait fall beside posts and watches for a tick in his line or for it to stop falling too soon. Both indications mean it is time to set the hook. Most hits come as the worm falls.

When the bait hits the bottom, hop it one or two times, and then repeat the process. Work all around all the docks, and also fish the ramp between the two docks. Bass will often hold on the end of it.

After dark this is a good spot since the dock lights attract baitfish and bugs. You can continue to catch fish on the worm, but Davey will also throw a small crankbait or spinnerbait and run it at the outside edges of the light on the water. We caught two of our best keepers here when we fished, including the biggest one of the afternoon.

No. 2: N 32º 49.789 – W 83º 46.195 — Across the creek from the marina is a point with condos on it. The upstream side of this point drops back, and the creek channel swings in by it. It continues out at the same angle as the bank, making a drop that holds bass. You can see some rocks on the bank at the water’s edge, and there are rocks on out underwater. There is also a big brushpile you can see.

Keep your boat out in about 18 feet of water, and fan-cast the point with a crankbait. Use one that will get down and bump the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water. Stay on the upper end of the point. Davey says that is where the rocks are located. After fishing it with a crankbait, try a Carolina-rigged worm. Drag it along the bottom, and when you hit a rock, pause it for a few seconds, and let the worm attract a bass. There are also a few stumps on this point. After working the point, move in and cast to the brushpile. Davey says he doesn’t know if the tornados deposited brush here or someone put it here, but it appeared after the last tornado. Work it with your Texas-rigged worm. Early and late when the light is low, fish a topwater bait around it, too.

No. 3: N 32º 49.499 – W 83º 46.323 — As you come out of the creek with the marina and ramp in it, the main-lake point between the creek and lake has a big rock pile and brush way out off the bank. This is the point at Claystone Park, and there are benches and tables on it. Idle around about 75 yards off the bank on a line between the dam and the end of the point, and watch for the underwater point to come up to about 10 feet deep. There are some big rocks and man-made brushpiles out here that hold good fish. Davey says this is the perfect place to throw both crankbaits and Carolina rigs. Back off, and cast your crankbait across the point, and then work it with a Carolina rig. Davey says you will get hung up a lot in the rocks here, but the fish hang around them. The brush just makes it better. Davey likes a 1-oz. sinker on his Carolina rig and makes long casts with it. He uses a 3-foot leader and likes a blueberry Trick Worm on it. He drags it along the bottom to hit cover the fish hold on.

No. 4: N 32º 49.573 – W 83º 47.060 — Run up to where the lake makes a left turn at Sandy Beach Park. Ahead of you will be the beach, and to your right will be a small cove, and then a main-lake point. The cove has some grass in it that is a good place to find fish feeding, and the point holds fish day and night. Stop out on the end of the point and fan-cast it with a crankbait and then a Carolina rig. Davey likes a shad-colored crankbait in clear water and a brighter one like parrot or hot mustard if the water is stained. After fishing the point, work in to the bank and throw a topwater bait into the grass. Fish from the point around the cove up toward the beach. Fish all the grass you see along this bank and cove. Use your favorite topwater bait.

Buzzbaits, poppers and prop baits, as well as frogs, work well. Cast your bait back near the bank, and work out, fishing over and through the grass. This is a water willow grassbed, and that is the most common type grass on Tobesofkee. It will grow in water as deep as 3 to 4 feet, so it is an excellent type grass to hold bass.
No. 5: N 32º 49.459 – W 83º 48.634 — Run on up past the open water and up the narrow channel until you see the island ahead of you to the right. Look to your left, and there is a long narrow creek with docks on it running way back. There is a dock on the point with grass around it. This is a good late afternoon, night and early morning topwater hole. Start on the point throwing topwater around the grassbeds.

Davey got a good keeper fish here right at dark when we fished. Fish the grass, and then work on into the creek, running your topwater bait near seawalls and docks. Also watch for more grass. Bass will hold all along the banks of this small creek. Throw the frog and buzzbait back into the grass, and work them out. They will come through the grass with no problem. Most bites will come near the edge. With poppers and prop baits and their exposed hooks don’t throw back into the thickest grass; instead work the outsides of the beds. But one good thing about water willow is you don’t get hung in it much.

No. 6: N 32º 49.564 – W 83º 48.65 — Upstream of the creek in hole No. 5, the main creek channel swings near a small island and makes some turns in the area. Bass will school up all along this creek channel, and you can work the whole area. Ride the channel edges, and watch your depthfinder for brush. Fish along the drops. Davey’s favorite spot is downstream of the island where the channel swings near a hump. The top of the hump comes up to about 12 feet, and there is 18 feet of water around it. Davey will fish all around this hump covering it with a DT 14 and a Carolina-rigged worm. Davey got a good keeper here on a Carolina rig the afternoon we fished.

To find the hump, look to your right if you are facing upstream, and you will see a big house on the bank, the last one before the point. In front of the house are two no-wake buoys and a dock. Line the dock up with the middle of the house, and idle out in that line. Look upstream, and when the island lines up with the end of the point, upstream past it you will be near the hump. The hump rises and then dips as you go toward the island. The channel swings in here, too. Fish all around this area, probing for brush and stumps. Bass may be holding anywhere in this area, but Davey says you can count on finding a good school of summertime bass somewhere in this area.

No. 7: N 32º 50.067 – W 83º 48.903 — Above the island, the creek narrows, and you get to the bridge over Lower Thomaston Road. Davey says you should never pass up fishing the four corners of the rip-rap here, since this spot has probably accounted for more big bass than anywhere else on the lake. Work around the ends of the rip-rap with crankbaits, using different sizes to get down to different depths. Davey likes the DT 6 and 10 here. Pay special attention to the corners, both upstream and downstream sides of both ends. There may be a little current here, and it helps. Some wind blowing in on the rocks also helps. Don’t hesitate to throw your topwater baits here early and late, too. Try to throw them right on the rocks, and work them out to cover the underwater rip-rap.

No. 8: N 32º 50.453 – W 83º 48.777 — Above the bridge on your right is a big creek that runs straight back. It is a good place to throw topwater baits early and late around grass and seawalls. Davey says the entire creek is good on both sides, but he likes to start working it on the right side.

Run into the creek mouth, and watch on your right for an old boathouse that had gray and black splotches — it looks like it needs painting. The dock along the bank by it has lattice panels under it. Start at the dock, fishing from the edge out. Fish up the bank toward the back of the cove, hitting every kind of cover you come to. Just up from the dock is a point with some grass near it and then a cove. The seawall past the cove is good, and Davey got a good keeper here on top when we fished. Keep working all the cover in this cove. You can work all the way around it and back out the other side.

No. 9: N 32º 50.591 – W 83º 49.690 — Across the big open water, the left bank is shallow. Look for the point that sticks out the most on that side. It is between two small creeks. Just downstream of the upper creek, the point has grass all along it, and there is an old dock made with telephone-pole posts. It has several PVC rod holders on its rails.

Fish the grass on both sides of the dock in the morning and afternoon. Davey says you shouldn’t pass the dock without pitching a worm under it. Fish all the grass you see along this point from the downstream cove to the upstream one. Throw way back into the grass — the fish will get surprisingly shallow at times.

No. 10: N 32º 50.695 – W 83º 49.325 — Back across the creek and upstream a little, the last dock you see on your right coming upstream sits out on a point. There are other docks above it, but you don’t see them until you get past the one on the point, since the bank swings back there. The dock on the point has a screened-in house on it.

Way off this point is a hump that rises to about 2 feet deep. The channel swings in near it, and at times there is a danger marker on it. There was nothing marking it in mid-June. Keep your boat out in 10 to 11 feet of water, and circle the hump, running a DT 6 over it. It is very rocky, and you will get hung, but the bass hold here. After trying your crankbait, throw a Carolina rig in the same area, working all the way around the hump from different angles.

These 10 spots are holding bass right now. Check them out, and then look for similar areas. Although Tobesofkee is small in size, there are many other good places to fish, and the size of the bass on this small lake will please you.

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