Category Archives: Map of the Month – Georgia

Where and How to Catch October Bass at Lake Oconee, with GPS Coordinates

October 2015 Oconee Bass

With Cody Stahl

Die hard bass fishermen love October.  Pleasure boaters are mostly off the lakes so you don’t rock and roll all day while fishing. And a lot of part time fishermen are in the woods hunting or stuck in front of a TV watching football so there is a lot less pressure on the fish.  A great choice to take advantage of these things for an October trip is Lake Oconee.

Oconee is a Georgia Power lake in the middle of the state. It is lined by golf courses, houses and docks. There are so many pleasure boaters on a summer weekend day it can be tough to fish.  Right now bass are responding to cooler water temperatures and less boating activity by feeding.

Cody Stahl is a senior at CrossPoint Christian Academy in Hollonville, near Griffin, and loves to fish. His father Chad is a well-known tournament fisherman on the Berrys’ trails and won the Berrys’ point standings two years in a row.  He has taught Cody well.

Last Novemer Cody and his partner Tate Van Egmond won the BASS High School state championship at Eufaula.  They came in tenth out of 134 teams in the BASS High School National Championship on Kentucky Lake this past spring.  Cody plans on picking a college with a good fishing team next year to attend.

Cody loves bass tournament fishing so much he changed schools two years ago to attend a school where he could form a team.  His dad took him to night tournaments on Jackson starting when he was seven years old so it is in his blood.  Oconee is one of his favorite lakes, especially in October.

“By the end of September the cooling water is making the shad move into the creeks and the bass follow them,” Cody said. The old adage “find the bait and find the bass” definitely applies on Oconee this month.

“Active creeks are the best,” Cody says.  He likes to find a feeder creek that has a good ditch in it and fish it from the mouth back until he finds where the bass are feeding. Once you find that area is should be consistent in other creeks, too.

A wide variety of baits will catch bass right now on Oconee and Cody will be prepared to throw a lot of different baits.  He has a Texas rigged FishHog Angry Beaver, a Zoom Baby Brush Hog and a  FishHog JigSaw jig and pig ready to pitch to shallow cover.  For faster fishing a #6 Shadrap, Chaqtterbait and RC 1.5 square bill is on his deck. And he always has a Spro Frog to throw to grass and shallow wood.

Both a buzzbait and a spinnerbait are good for fishing faster around any kind of shallow cover.  These baits allow him to fish docks, grass, wood and rocks as he works from the mouths of the creeks all the way to the back.

Cody and Tate took me to Oconee in early September to check out the following places. Shad were just moving into them and fishing was tough, but we caught a lot of throwbacks and Cody landed three good keepers. Bigger fish will be on these spots much better now.

1.  N 33 25.184 – W 83 14.243 – Going down the river past the Old Salem Campground on the left the river makes a turn to the right.  On the left bank, an outside bend, there are a lot of rocks and small pockets that attract shad and bass early in the morning.  There is a gray dock with white post on a block seawall just upstream of a small pocket.

Start in the pocket just downstream of the dock with buzzbait and spinnerbait and fish upstream, working the wood, rocks and docks.  Fish around the point into the small creek upstream of the dock.  Cody likes a white three eights ounce Terminator spinnerbait with two sliver willowleaf blades and a Booyah black or white three eights ounce buzzbait.

Hit any cover you see and also cast right against the seawall.  The curves and changes in the seawall are key spots.  Pitch to the docks, too.  Wind blowing into the docks and seawall makes this and other spots better if it is not too strong.

2.  N 33 25.807 – W 83 14.571 – Back upstream a double creek enters downstream of the campground and the swimming area is on the left going in. Stop on the point between the two arms, across from the swimming area, and fish to the right, into that arm of the double creek.  There are rocks on the point and it is one of the first places the shad and bass move to as the water starts cooling.

Start on the point with your boat in about eight feet of water, a long cast from the bank, and fish a buzzbait and crankbait on it.  Cody likes a crawfish colored Shadrap and a squarebill in shad colors.  When you get past the point to the cuts on that bank and with other cover on it, cast a frog, buzzbait, chatterbait and spinnerbait to it.

There is a big blowdown on the bank past the first small pocket and Cody lost a good three pound bass right at the boat from it.  It hit his chatterbait on the end of the tree. Don’t hesitate to work a chatterbait through the cover like this. Cody likes a three ounce black and blue bait.

Fish all the way around the back of this creek. There is a good ditch in the back and I lost a two pound bass almost right in the back that hit a worm under an overhanging bush. Cody likes overhanging bushes like you find here and bass will often hold right against the bank under them.

3.  N 33 25.648 – W 83 15.290 – Across the lake there are some condos on the upstream point of a creek with an old dam across it.  Go to the corner of the riprap at the condo docks and start fishing.  Cast your Shadrap and spinnerbait on the rocks and try topwater early in the morning, too.

Fish through the gap and work the back side of the riprap, then fish the docks and other shallow cover on the left back in the creek.  Don’t hesitate to fish very shallow cover like the brush pile on the island with the “Traffic Island” sign on it back here.

A shad color frog is good on the thick shallow cover and your jig, Brush Hog and Beaver are all good when pitched very shallow, especially around dock posts.  Cody rigs his Baby Brush Hog in watermelon red or black and red on a quarter ounce sinker and skips it to the cover. He rigs a black and blue or dirty pumpkin beaver the same way.

4.  N 33 25.017 – W 83 14.550 – Going down the river the big inside bend on your right has some good docks to fish on the downstream side. Go around the point and stop at the first dock.  It has a black canvas top.  The house for this dock is way back in the trees.

The bottom at the first couple of docks is soft but turns to hard clay past them.  There are some rocks on the bottom, too.  Fish each dock with jig, Baby Brush Hog and beaver.  Also pitch a chatterbait under them.

Many people fish only the front of docks and Cody says this is a mistake. He always goes in behind them and fishes the back side and walkway, too. He skips his baits under them and works them back, hitting every post.

Cody is very good at skipping or skittering a jig under docks and says the rod action is critical to do this. He prefers to flip docks with an ALX Rods IKOS series Promise 7 foot rod because he says it has the prefect amount of tip on the rod to flip and skip docks,

Between the docks throw your crankbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbait.  Shad move down this bank in October into the small creek it leads to.  Cody will fish all the way to the back of the creek and then fish back out the other side, hitting the docks and banks between them.

5. N 33 24.817 – W 83 13.495 – Go down the river past the island on the left and around the bend to the second creek on the left. A marina is back in this creek in a cove to the right and the creek goes to the left. Stop on the left bank of the main creek just upstream of a long point with grass down to the seawall.  The creek narrows down at this point.

Just upstream of this point are three small docks. The bank is fairly deep with overhanging bushes. Start fishing at these small docks, hitting each one with jig, Baby Brush Hog and beaver. Also skip a chatterbait or frog under the overhanging bushes and pitch a soft bait under them, too.

Fish down this bank until you stop seeing shad or catching fish, then jump across to the other side and fish those docks to the point of the marina cove.  Try to hit every post of each dock.

6.  N 33 24.531 – W 83 13.914 – Go back up the river to the next creek upstream of the one in hole 5.  It is a smaller creek downstream of the island and has a good ditch and docks to fish, and there are overhanging bushes, too.  Start at the third dock on the left and fish to the back of the creek.

Cody likes docks with five feet of water in front of them but says most of the fish he catches are three feet deep or less, so don’t hesitate to fish very shallow docks.  Fish all the posts. It takes longer to get in behind them to fish the back side but it is worth it.  Also fish the shade on this bank.

7.  N 33 25.228 – W 83 14.608 – Go back up the river to the big point on the left, across from hole 1.  This long point gets a lot of wind blowing in on it and has a hard bottom. There is a lot of brush in the water from bushes that have been cut to clear under the trees to clear the bank.

Stay out and fish a crankbait, spinnerbait and beaver all along the bank.  Run your faster baits between the brush in the water but fish the brush in the water thoroughly with your Baby Brush Hog.   Fish all the way around the small pocket on the upstream side of the point and the upstream side of the pocket has brush, too.

Wind helps on this point and in other places if it is not too strong to make boat control difficult.  Wind stirs up the water, breaks the surface and moves baitfish into the area.  All those things make the fish bite better and makes it more difficult for them to identify your lures as fake.

8.  N 33 25.039 – W 83 14.256 – Across the river from the  point in hole 7, just downstream of hole 1, is a small creek that splits right in the back. There is a blue canvas cover dock on the downstream point of it and one brown shingle boat house on the left bank going into it. There are four docks in this small creek.

Start near the upstream point and fish the left bank to the back, then fish the dock on the point in the middle of the split and the ones on the other bank, too.   Cody says the left bank is usually better in October since it is a little deeper and has overhanging bushes to fish.

9.  N 33 24.339 – W 83 15.597 – Go up Lick Creek until you see the first bridge ahead of you. On the right before the creek turns a little to the left is a small creek with light gray siding house with a black canvas top dock just inside the point.

Start at the dock, fishing it carefully, then work to the back of the creek down the left bank. There is a seawall with rocks in front of it along this bank and it holds fish.  The little points on the seawall are usually best.

There is a pond back in the woods above this creek that feeds it and water flowing into the creek attract bass. Fish all the way to the ditch in the back and fish the cove in the back of it. Also fish the first three docks in the back of the creek on your right going in.

10.  N 33 24.410 – W 83 15.724 – Going up Lick Creek a big creek comes in on the right just upstream of the one in hole 9.  Go into it and stop at the dock on the right with a black canvas top and red Adirondack Chairs on it.

Fish this dock and all the others going into the creek.  Run a spinnerbait on the seawalls between the docks.  In the back on the left side is a small pocket with a blowdown in it. Fish the blowdown with a frog, Cody got a keeper out of it the day we fished. Also work it with Baby Brush Hog, beaver and jig.

All these places are good right now and give you examples of the types of places Cody catches October Oconee bass.  They are in a compact area so you don’t have to burn much gas to fish them but you can run all over the lake and find many similar creeks where you can use this pattern to catch bass.

Where and How To Catch September Bass at Lake Jackson, with GPS Coordinates

September Jackson Bass

with Keith Dawkins

September can be the most frustrating time of year for bass fishermen.  The water is as hot as it gets and the oxygen content is at its lowest level of the year. The days are still hot and uncomfortable and the bass are sluggish. But some lakes, like Jackson, offer you a chance to catch fish and forget the problems.

Jackson is an old Georgia Power lake at the headwaters of the Ocmulgee River.  It is lined by docks and rocks are plentiful. There are good points that run out to deep water and humps that hold bass.  Shad are the primary forage this time of year and you can find the shad and catch bass.

In the 1970s and 1980s Jackson was known for big largemouth.  Then spots were illegally stocked in the lake by misguided fishermen and they have taken over the lake. Rather than catching a seven pound largemouth now you are going to catch seven one pound spots.

Spots are fun to catch and taste good, so enjoy catching them and eat them.  You can’t hurt the population of bass in the lake by keeping every one you catch. In fact, fisheries biologists say keeping all of them, even those under 12 inches long, may help a little. They have no size limit anywhere in Georgia except Lake Lanier.

Keith Dawkins grew up fishing Jackson.  His parents still have a house there and he spends several days a month on the lake.  For years he fished the Berrys tournaments and bigger trails like the Bulldog BFL but his job now keeps him from fishing tournaments.

 “Early in September bass are out on main lake structure, feeding on shad,” Keith said.  As the month progresses they push up the points and toward the coves. By the end of the month, depending on the shad, they may be way back in them.

A wide variety of baits will catch fish.  Keith always has a Flash Mob Jr. with small swimbaits on the arms and a Fish Head Spin on the middle one.  He also likes a buzz bait, popper and X-Rap five inch bait with props on both ends for top water fishing and a Fluke or Senko rigged weightless for fishing over structure and cover.

For faster fishing a 300 Bandit with white and chartreuse is good as is a #7 Shadrap in black and silver.  When he slows down and probes the bottom he will have a Carolina rigged Trick worm and a Spotsticker jig head with a Trick worm on it.

If you are seeing fish on your depthfinder but can’t get them to hit, get right on top of them and use a drop shot worm. Drop it down to them and jiggle it slowly.  If they are right on the bottom let your lead stay on the bottom but raise it up to the depth the fish are holding if they are suspended.

Keith showed me the following ten places in mid-August.  Small spots were on them during the day. The afternoon before we went he caught some quality spots and largemouth right at dark, an indication the bigger fish were probably feeding at night. Those bigger fish will be feeding on these places during the day in September.

1.  N 33 20.606 – W 83 51.667 – The big point where the river turns downstream across from the mouth of Tussahaw Creek is a good place to start early in the morning or to fish late in the day.  It is a big flat where wood washes in and hangs up and there are a couple of small pockets on it and small points run off it.

Start on the upstream end where the biggest cove on the point starts.  There are rocks on it and it drops fairly fast.  As you fish downstream the bottom flattens out and there is a lot of wood to fish.  Stay way out on the flat in seven to eight feet of water since it is so shallow and cover all the wood with a buzz bait.

Fish all the way around the point where it turns to the left going downstream.  Also try a crankbait around this wood in case the fish don’t want a topwater bait. A weightless Fluke or Senko is also good around the wood.

2.  N 33 20.313 – W 83 51.404 – Go down the river and there is a marked hump way off the left bank. There are two danger markers on it and it tops out about six feet deep at full pool, dropping off to 40 feet deep. Keith warns that boat wakes move the markers and they may not be right on top of it, so idle up toward them slowly.  The hump has rocks, stumps and brush piles on it the bass use for cover, and they will also hold in the saddle between the hump and the bank.

Start with your boat in deeper water and fish all the way around it, casting topwater and crankbaits to the top of the hump and working them back. Also try the Flash Mob Jr. here, fishing it the same way.  Watch your depthfinder as you go around it for fish holding deeper.

Try a Carolina rig and a jig head worm on this hump, too.  Keith likes to drag both baits along slowly, letting the lead stir up the bottom to attract attention.  Keith usually uses a Trick worm on both, preferring watermelon seed or pumpkin seed colors, but if the bass want a smaller bait he will go to a Finesse worm. He will often dip the tails of both size worms in chartreuse JJs Magic for added attraction.

We caught some small spots here on a drop shot when Keith saw fish near the bottom.  If you see them off the sides of the hump try that. Also, especially during the day, you can sit on top of the hump and cast a Carolina rig or jig head worm to the deeper water, working your bait up the drop.

3.  N 33 19.317 – W 83 50.574 – On the right side of the dam going toward it the Georgia Power park and ramp are on a big point right beside the dam.  There are two DNR docks in the pocket formed by the dam and point and there are “Boats Keep Out” buoys in front of them.  There is a public fishing pier on this side of the point.

A lot of wood washes in and sticks in this pocket, and the DNR and residents sometimes pull floating wood to it, so there is a lot of cover to fish. The bottom is also rocky and drops off into deep water.  In the morning or late afternoon start in the pocket, fishing the wood. Try topwater and a weightless bait like a Fluke or Senko around it, too.

When the sun is high sit way out even with the big park point but toward the dam side, and line up with the two tallest towers on the power station on the bank.  A ridge runs out parallel to the park point and flattens out on the end, and bass hold on it.  Fish it with your bottom baits and run a crankbait and the A-Rig over it

4. N 33 19.584 – W 83 50.563 – Go back upstream to the big point on the left where the river turns back to the left.  Downstream of this point, straight out from a cream colored boat house with a metal dock in front of it, a hump rises up to about 14 feet deep. Line up the end of the point with the park side of the dam and idle along this line. You will be in about the middle of the mouth of the creek coming out on the park side.

Keith caught his biggest spot from Jackson on this hump.  Sit out in deep water and drag your bottom bumping baits on it. Try a drop shot, too. Also run a crankbait across it for suspended fish.  Keith does not always bump the bottom with a crankbait but fishes it like a fleeing shad in the water column. He may go to a deeper running bait like the DD22 if the fish won’t come up for a more shallow running bait.

5.  N 33 20.028 – W 83 50.753 – Going upstream on the right bank, on the upstream point of the third big cove upstream of Goat Island, you will see a house and dock with bright silver roofs on the point.  There is a seawall around the point and big rocks are on it. As the bank goes upstream there are huge boulders where it turns into a bluff bank.

Stay way off the bank, the rocks come out a long way, and cast a crankbait or A-Rig to them.  Then try your jig head worm and Carolina rig around them.  Fish all the way around the point.  Way off the point a hump comes up and the saddle leading out to it can be good.

Watch for schooling fish here and other similar places.  There were several schools of small keeper spots chasing shad all around this point when we fished and Keith got one on his XRap.  They will school even better in September and you can chase schooling fish most of the day.

6.  N 33 20.145 – W 83 50.852 – Going up stream along the bluff bank a narrow point comes out at the upper end of it.  There is riprap around the point and a narrow pocket upstream of it.  The point runs way out and Keith says bass hold out on the point early in the month and feed on shad. Later in the month they will push shad up into the bay on the downstream side and into the narrow pocket upstream of it.

Fish the point with your Carolina rig, A-Rig and jig head worm.  Stay way out with your boat in at least 15 feet of water to fish the point early in the month. Later fish the cover in the bay and pocket on both sides with Senko or Fluke but try you’re A-Rig in the pockets, too.  Keith likes the light Flash Mob, Jr and does not put heavy jig heads on it so he can fish it shallower without hanging up.

7. N 33 20.840 – W 83 51.985 – Go to the mouth of Tussahaw Creek to the right side going in. A ridge comes up way off this bank and tops out about 14 feet deep. You will see a light brown roof dock in front of a white cabin on the right bank and the ridge starts about even with it and runs into the creek.

Fish up the ridge into the creek until you are even with a dark brown dock.  Try you’re a-Rig and crankbait over the top of it, keeping your boat on the river side in deeper water.  Then fish it with bottom bumping baits probing for the rocks and stumps on it.  Watch here, too, for fish on the bottom and try a drop shot for them.

8. N 33 21 094 – W 83 52.213 – Go on up Tussahaw to upstream side of the first small cove. There is a tall tree stump carved into a bear standing behind a dock on the bank. Start at the dock in front of the bear and fish upstream.  Fish hold on this point and the next one upstream, too, and feed early in the month then push shad into the coves on both sides of the points later.

Fish will often hold on docks so Keith works them carefully. He will fish every dock post with a jig head worm, hitting the post and letting the bait drop straight down it.  He says spots often nose up to the post and if the bait does not fall straight down beside it they won’to hit.  Keith says he will often spend a half hour carefully fishing every post on a dock. A Senko or Fluke will also catch dock bass.

Fish the points and banks going into the pockets with A-Rig and crankbait.   When fishing the crankbait Keith says he likes to crank it a few feet then pause it. Strikes will often come just as he starts the bait moving again. Try different lengths of pause before moving it again.

9. N 33 22.180 – W 83 51.728 – Go up the Alcovy to the mouth of the South River. As you go into the mouth of it, on your right, the second point is narrow and has an old boat ramp on it.  This point comes way out and has a lot of rocks on it and holds a lot of bass. Keith caught several spots here on his crankbait.

Run your crankbait and A-Rig across the point.  If there is any current coming out of the river, which often happens after a rain, Keith says it is important to stay on the downstream side of the point and cast upstream, working your baits with the current.

Also fish a Trick worm or Senko on top of the point early. It is very shallow a good way off the bank.  Then work your bottom baits on the point, all the way out to the end of it in at least 15 feet deep.  You will get hung up in the rocks but that is where the bass live.

10.  N 33 23.028 – W 83 50.590 – Run up the Alcovy River under the powerlines.  Upstream of them a ridge runs parallel to the river channel way off the left bank upstream of the first creek on that side.  Watch on the right bank for a white deck on the bank just off the water with lattice work under it. It is very white.

If you stop in the middle of the lake even with that deck and idle toward the far bank, at a very slight angle upstream, you will cross the ridge. The ridge is on the far side of the river channel and it tops out about 14 feet deep and has stumps and rocks in some spots on it.

Keith likes to keep his boat on the side of the ridge away from the river channel and fish it. He says bass tend to hold on that side and stripers hold on the river side.  Cast you’re a-Rig and crankbait over the top of it and work your Carolina rig and jig head down that side from the top to about 20 feet deep. Also watch for fish under the boat to use your drop shot.

Since the rocks and stumps are in patches, feel for them and concentrate on that area.  The end of the ridge is where Keith catches most of his fish.

Give Keith’s places a try and see the kind of structure and cover he likes this month. There are many similar places you can find and fish on Jackson.

GPS Coordinates for Catching Lake Jackson Bass

March Bass at Jackson Lake 

with Barry Stokes

     For many years Jackson Lake was known for its big bass.  Then spots got into the lake and it seemed the big lunker largemouth got very rare, but you could catch a pile of keeper size spots.  Stringers with several six to eight pound bass are not seen like they were years ago, but 20 pound tournament catches still happen.

     Filled in 1911, Jackson is the oldest big reservoir in the state.  This Georgia Power lake on the headwaters of the Ocmulgee River covers 4750 acres and its shoreline is lined with cabins, docks, rocks and wood cover.  Most of its channels are silted in but there are plenty of sandy spawning coves on the lake.

     Barry Stokes grew up near Jackson and fished farm ponds but did not get to fish Jackson much. He watched bass boats go by his house headed to the lake and was determined someday to be in a bass boat on Jackson like those guys.  He made those wishes come true in the early 1990s and joined the Conyers Bass Pros bass club. Later he joined Bear Creek Bass Club.

     In the past 15 years Barry has learned the lake well and, starting in 2001, fished as many pot tournaments on it as he could. He fished the old R&R, Dixie Bass and Charlie’s Bait and Tackle trail as well as the night and weekend pot tournaments on Jackson. Now he fishes the Berry’s trail, ABA, and any other tournaments on the Jackson.  He also fishes the BFL, HD Marine and other tournaments on Sinclair and Oconee. He is usually waiting around on a check after weigh-in in them. 

     Barry has learned the lake so well he now guides on Jackson as well as Sinclair and Oconee.  He knows how to pattern the bass on the lake and has learned how to catch them. His best day ever on Jackson he landed a 12 pound lunker and had five fish weighing 30 pounds.  In one string of tournaments he won 11 of 13 tournaments and had big fish in all 13.

     Over the years Barry has figured out good patterns for March bass.  In late February they start staging on rock, clay and sand points near spawning coves and feed up on crawfish and baitfish.  He can usually catch them four to eight feet deep on those points. 

     As the water warms during March Barry follows the bass from the points back into the spawning pockets. Some bass will bed in early March if the water temperatures go up and stay stable for a week and bass move into the bedding areas in waves all spring.  There will often be a lot of pre-spawn fish on the points, some moving back and even some on the beds this month.

     “Details are the key,” Barry told me.  He keeps a variety of baits tied on and also has others ready to try. He will vary the details like lure color, depth and speed he retrieves them all during the day until he finds the key. If the fish quit hitting he will start varying the details again until he unlocks the new pattern.                    Barry will have several kinds of crankbaits in different colors, a Ol Nelle spinnerbait, a Net Boy Jackson Jig and pig, a Net Boy Shaky Head, a Terry Bowden’s Cold Steel lizard worm and a Cold Steel Walking Stick all rigged and ready when he heads out this month.  The colors will vary with water color, with brighter colors for stained water and more natural colors for clearer water.  But he will vary all the details during the day.

     One of the details Barry pays attention to that many bass fishermen get lax on is speed he works the baits.   He will vary his speed until he hits what is working. Too many bass fishermen have a speed of retrieve they are comfortable with when using certain baits and don’t very it. Barry constantly changes. 

As the water warms the fish will get more active this month and chase a bait better, but some cold days they want a fast moving bait, too.  As a general rule you should fish slower in cold water and faster in warmer water, but Barry says pay attention to details and vary your speed constantly.

Barry and I fished the following ten spots in mid-February and bass were already on them.  We caught 20 to 25 bass that day and Barry caught almost all of them on crankbaits, but I managed a few of the bigger fish on a jig and pig.  These spots will pay off all month long as fish move up on them then move back to spawn.

1. N 33 25.195 – W 83 49.875 – Run up the Alcovy to the cove on the left called “Parker Neck” and look at the upstream point.  There is a small concrete piling/pier on the up stream side right on the edge of the water and a blowdown runs out off the end of the point.   The house on the point is brick half way up with green wood above it.

This point is an excellent staging area. The bottom is rocky and the pocket on the downstream side, Parker Neck, is a good spawning place.  Fish hold out on the point on the rocks and in the blowdown feeding then move into the cove to spawn as the water warms.

Barry starts out on the end of the point at the blowdown and fishes the tree and the rocks with a crankbait, spinnerbait and jig.  He will then work the bank going downstream all the way past the cut to the next point with a gazebo on it.  Fish the above baits but also try a shaky head worm, and a Texas or Carolina rigged Lizard Worm along this bank. Work the sand where the bass will be bedding.

2. N 33 24.301 – W 83 49.746 – Headed downstream Price Neck is on your right and a good rocky point is on your left. The point you want to fish has a small cabin on it with lattice work around the crawl space.  There is a white painted tire laying in the yard. Back in the pocket on the downstream side there is a house that runs right to the water’s edge.

This point runs out shallow toward the downstream side and there is some brush on the downstream side.  The bass spawn in the cut on the downstream side.  Stay way out and fish a crankbait, spinnerbait and jig around the rocks and brush, then work into the pocket with the other baits. Try to vary your colors and speed until you find what the bass want.

One trick Barry uses is to Texas rig a Cold Steel Walking Stick, a Senko like bait, and fishes it around all the cover in the pockets. It skips under docks well and has a little different action and look than the jig and pig that most anglers will be throwing. This is another example of the types of details Barry uses to catch bass behind other fishermen.

3. N 33 23.035 – W 83 50.279 – Downstream of the bridge and Berry’s there is a point on your left heading downstream that has a beige house with a brown roof on it. There is a three globe light pole in the yard and a dock on the point with a deck on the bank. The deck has lattice panels around it. There are big rocks on the point and the bass spawn in the pocket on the upstream side.

Barry says this is a numbers game point. Spots stage and spawn here and you can often pick up several fish.  Crank the point then try a spinnerbait. Start on the downstream side and parallel the point fishing from near the bank casting out toward the lake. Then work out around the point fan casting both baits.  It gets real shallow on top so don’t get in too close.

After working the point work into the spawning area dragging a worm on the bottom. Barry likes a green pumpkin Lizard Worm this time of year and dips the tail in JJs Magic chartreuse dye to give it some color. Spots seem to especially like the wiggling chartreuse tails.

4. N 33 22.225 – W 83 51.113 – Go under the power lines and you will see a swimming beach and picnic area for Turtle Cove on your left. There are three buoys in front of the beach and the point that runs out downstream of it is a good staging area. The point is red clay and rock, an excellent combination for holding bass this time of year.  They are often feeding on crayfish on this kind of point.

The point runs at an angle downstream across the mouth of a cove.  Start near the swimming area where the sand transitions to clay and rock. That kind of change often holds bass. Work it then keep your boat way our and go downstream, fan casting around the point. 

There is a real good drop on the inside of this point where the small creek coming out of the pocket runs by it. Fish that drop and the blowdown on the inside of the point.  Flip a jig in it and work a spinnerbait through it.  Then work on into the creek for spawning bass.  This is an excellent spawning area and holds a lot of bass.

5. N 33 22.044 – W 83 51.376 – Go past the next cove downstream and you will head straight in to a high bluff bank.  The old river channel swings in right by it and it drops off fast. There are three small points along this bluff bank you should fish in March.  Start on the outside one at the dock on the rock sea wall in front of the series of decks running up the hill to the house. 

It is rocky and holds the first transitioning fish coming up out of the river channel. Stay out and fan cast it then work toward the next dock. There is a rock ledge that runs out under the dock. You will see the dock with a walkway that runs behind a tree leaning out.  The dock has the numbers “3108” on the walkway.

Stay out from the dock on the downstream side and cast toward the walkway and tree. You can see how the rocks run parallel to the bank coming out. Run a crankbait, spinnerbait and jig along these rocks, then work around the dock and fish the other side. Also drag a plastic bait along the bottom here.

The next point going into the creek is a round clay point and you should fish all around it, then fish into the creek, concentrating on any sand you come to.  The Lizard Worm is a good choice on sandy spots since spawning fish will hit it.  You may not see the bed but can catch fish off the beds with this bait.

6. N 33 22.202 – W 83 51.771 – Round the point headed into the South River and you will see a sharp narrow point on your right.  It comes out and drops off fast on both sides but is shallow on top. There is no house on the point but you will see four benches on it and there is a concrete boat ramp on it.  There are two pines on the point with black protectors around their bases.

The point is rock and clay and bass spawn in pockets on both side of it. It is steep and gives bass quick access to shallow water. They can hold deep and quickly move shallow without moving far.

Start on the downstream side and work around the point, staying way out. Fish along the upstream bank leading into the next pocket up. Rocks, clay and sand along this bank hold bass and they will move along it feeding and working into the spawning pocket. Barry will usually stop fishing about where the seawall starts unless he is going back into the pocket for spawning bass.

7. N 33 22.294 – W 83 61.856 – The next point up also has good deep water access.  This point has a brown cabin and there was a US flag flying on the dock in front of it when we were there.  There are two floodlights on a tree right at the dock. There is a big blowdown on the upstream side and a rockpile out on the point.

The wind can be important here and on other spots this time of year. Some wind blowing across the point or into it helps and Barry will fish wind-blown points as long as he can hold his boat on them.  Wind creates current that moves the food baitfish eat and they will follow it. Bass wait on the baitfish.

Start at the blowdown and fish it. Then get out about even with the flag pole and cast across the point, aiming your casts parallel to the bank toward the cove.  You will hit some rocks on this point and that is where a school of bass will often hold.

The downstream pocket is full of wood and a good spawning area. Especially near the end of the month Barry will fish into it, running his Ol Nelle spinnerbait along the wood. He likes a double Colorado blade bait with white skirt, especially in clearer water, but will go with double willow leaf and chartreuse and white skirt in stained water.  He will also flip a jig around the wood before leaving.

8. N 33 21.446 – W 83 51.763 – Head back down the river and it will narrow down. Straight ahead you to the right you will see a pink house with tin roof on a flat point that runs out upstream of a bluff point. There is a green picnic table in the front yard.

Get on the downstream side of the point and cast in toward the seawall. The bottom is very rough here and often holds a lot of bass. Fish this bank into the pocket, working the dock and fishing to the boat ramp. Be sure to his this boat ramp and any others you come to before leaving.

9. N 33 21.393 – W 83 51.391 – The lake opens up just at this point and the far left bank going downstream has a creek coming out. In the mouth of this creek is a hump that is marked with three danger buoys.  It is deep on both sides and bass stage on this hump before going in to spawn.

Barry likes to stay out on the lake side and cast up onto the hump, bringing his baits back shallow to deep. Wind often blows in here and makes it better.   There are rocks and clay on this hump and you should fish all the way around it before leaving. Try all your baits in different colors and speeds. Assume the bass are here and you just have to figure out the details to get them to hit.

10. N 33 22.047 – W 83 53.882 – For something a little different run up Tussahaw Creek under the bride on up to the last pocket on the right before the weekend “no wake” section. You will see a green metal roof dock in front of a brown house. There is a little narrow point here downstream of two small pockets. The point has a cross tie seawall and a big Pampas Grass clump on it. Downstream of the point you will see a white cabin with a red roof just past a blue cabin.

There are some stumps on this clay point and the bass will stage on it.  Fan cast all around this point and try all your baits here. The water is often clearer in the Tussahaw so you may need to change colors to draw strikes. 

These are some of the places Barry will be fishing this month. They will pay off for you, too.  Barry has caught a lot of bass off all of them and gives credit to Jesus Christ, his lord and savior, for his successes.

Call Barry at 770-715-2665 for a guided trip on Jackson, Sinclair and Oconee or visit his web site at www.barrystokesfishn.com.   You can see Cold Steel products at www.teamcoldsteel.com/, JJ’s Magic at www.jjsmagic.com/ and Net Boy Jackson Jigs at www.netboybaits.com/.

Where and How to Catch Lake Seminole August Bass

August 2015 Seminole Bass
with Laura Ann Foshee

Hot August weather, grass and bass just go together on some lakes. Throwing a frog to grass beds and getting explosive strikes is just about the most thrilling way to fish. And Lake Seminole is one of the best lakes anywhere to fish grass beds. Even better, right now Seminole is at the top of its cycle with lots of quality bass feeding in the lake.


Seminole is a big Corps of Engineers lake in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Formed by a dam on the Apalachicola River just downstream of where the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers join, it is very shallow and full of a variety of kinds of grass that form thick beds that bass love.

    Laura Ann Foshee is a rising senior at Gardendale High School near Birmingham.  She fishes with the high school team there and they fish both the FLW High School Trail and the BASS High School Trail.  They are also in the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association.  She does well with the team, finishing second in both the FLW State Championship and the TBF open which qualified me for the SEC Championship in September on Lake Lanier.  She also fishes some local pot and charity tournaments.

Laura Ann’s uncle is Scott Montgomery, owner of Big Bite Baits. He got her excited about fishing when he took her with him practicing for a tournament and she caught a big bass. He and members of the Big Bite Baits Pro Staff have taught her a lot about fishing. She also raises money for the Outdoor Ability Foundation and Pink Fishing, two charities that she cares deeply about.


She received the highest honor any high school fisherman can get this year when she was named as one of the 12 members of the BASS All American High School Bass Team, and is the only female angler to make the team this year.


By late July bass at Seminole are well into their summer pattern, setting up on ledges in deeper water. At Seminole, many of these ledges come up to a shallow grass bed where they move in to feed. Some bass will move back to deeper water after feeding, usually early in the morning and late in the day when light levels are low, but others will stay in the heavy grass shade and feed all day.


A variety of baits will catch those feeding bass. Early in the morning a popping frog, buzz bait or walking bait will get hit on top. Those baits will work later in the day if there is cloud cover. Some wind just rippling the water helps, too, as does current moving down the lake.


On brighter days a Sugar Cane eight inch paddle tail worm or Fighting Frog swam right at the top of the grass will catch them. A big Texas rigged worm like the Kriet Tail ten inch worm is good to work through the grass. And punching the mats with a Texas rigged Fighting Frog is also a good way to get bites from big bass, especially on calm, sunny days.


In late June Laura Ann and fellow Big Bite Pro Staff member Matt Baty from Bainbridge showed me how to catch these bass. First thing that morning Laura Ann caught a five pounder on a Spro popping frog and she and Matt also missed some big bites as well as catching several keeper bass. Then, just before we left, another five pounder hit a swimming Fighting Frog.


The following ten spots had bass on them when we fished and will be even better now. They are in the order we fished them, leaving Wingates Lunker Lodge and working downstream, then going up the Flint River and working back down to Wingates.

1N 30 45.844 – W 84 46.235 – If you put in at Wingates you can run the flat downstream without going all the way to the channel if you are careful. The channel is on the opposite side of the Flint River across from Wingates but swings across the lake and comes close to the south bank at red channel marker 8.8.


Go to it and you will see a good grass line running from the channel marker upstream. Start there or on the upper end of it in front of a house sitting up on the ridge with a dock in front of it. This house has a cleared bank in front of it and the dock is the first of four docks fairly close together.


Keep your boat in 10 to 12 feet of water out from the grass line and cast a popping frog into the grass and work it out. Laura Ann expects the bass to be swimming the grass line and feeding, so she works her frog from the grass to the edge and pauses it for a beat, expecting a reaction bite when the frog clears the grass. This is how she caught the five pounder here.

2 N 30 46.314 – W 84 46.086 – Follow the channel upstream across to the opposite bank. Near the bank just downstream of the black channel marker where the channel comes to the bank there is a small island. Go to the upstream end of this island and start fishing the grass line working upstream. This is the Fort Scott Island area.
The channel edge here has rocks that hold a lot of bass and the grass itself has points, cuts and ditches in it the bass use for ambush points. Cast your frog into the grass. You can also cast a buzzbait or walking bait to the edge of the grass and into cuts in it.


Laura Ann likes a Strike King half-ounce white buzz bait and a bone Spook for fishing the more open water over the submerged grass. Another effective way to get bit is to cast these baits across the ends of points of grass that stick out from the main bed. A very good one is near the channel marker as you work upstream from the island. We got a good keeper bass here.

3 N 30 46.163 – W 84 46.995 – Going downstream past the small island a big bay opens on your right. This is Carl’s Pass where you can go between the islands all the way to Spring Creek when the grass is not too thick. A channel comes out of the middle of this bay and turns and goes downstream to come back in near the bank at the downstream end of the bay.


Bass use this ditch to move in and out and feed along the grass lines on it. Keep your boat in the ditch in about six feet of water and fish the grass with topwater. Laura Ann likes a white frog first thing in the morning since bass are usually feeding on shad, but later in the day she will switch to a more natural color frog since the bass are usually feeding on bluegill then.


If you have a good GPS with a good map chip you can see this ditch and follow it. If not stay out from the visible grass and work from the middle of the cove toward the downstream side of it, fishing the grass edges and changes in it. A keeper bass hit a buzzbait here when we fished.

4 N 30 45.181 – W 84 50.577 – River Junction Access is a boat ramp on the south bank near where it turns toward the dam. Go down to it and stop well out in front of it at the pole marker showing the channel in to the ramp. There is a small number 508 on this marker.


If you leave hole number 3 you can follow the north bank down and hit the channel markers coming out of Spring Creek, or go back upstream and follow the markers from hole number 2, but there is standing timber in the middle of the open water between the north bank and the river channel, so it is not a good idea to go straight across.


The green marker pole is on a small hump just off the river channel that has a good grass bed on it. Keep your boat in 10 feet of water and fish all the way around it. The points on either end are usually best, especially if there is any current moving down the river.


Fish topwater on this hump, especially if you are there early in the morning or late in the day, or if cloud cover keeps the light low. A light breeze rippling the water helps, too. So the best time to fish grass beds is a hazy to cloudy day with a slight breeze just rippling the water.

5 N 30 45.554 – W 84 47.555 – Go back up the river to red channel marker 7.4. The grass line along the drop here is good so fish both sides of the marker along it. The grass is thick from this edge all the way to the bank and you can get in the grass and punch through it with a Fighting Frog behind a one to one and a half ounce tungsten sinker.


For a different look Laura Ann also likes to punch mats with a Big Bite Tube on the same rig. Drop your bait so it falls through the grass to the bottom and be ready to set the hook if you feel anything different, like it feels a little heavy.


If you are fishing near the time of a full moon another pattern can often catch big bass and this is a good place to try it. Go into the bank. You can punch the mats as you work in. When you get a long cast from the bank, throw a Spro bream colored popping frog to the bank. If the bream are bedding some big bass will often be hanging around the bream beds and hit it.

6 N 30 47.019 – W 84 43.648 – Upstream of Wingates a huge flat runs for a long way on the south bank. You can run this flat if the grass is not too thick. On the bank you can see some houses and docks, and Brocketts Slough is a big slough with a spring in it. Across from it the river makes a definite wide horseshoe bend to the north bank.


Stop way out from the mouth of the slough. Bass hold along the grass bed here along the seven foot contour line. Follow this grass line for about 200 yards, keeping your boat in eight or more feet of water and cast to it. Try topwater as well as punching the mat here. Fish any changes in the grass that will give the bass a holding and feeding spot. Points, cuts and holes are all good.

7 N 30 47.227 – W 84 42.883 – If you go upstream on the flat the grass will be very thick, possibly too thick to run. But if you do you will see a small gap ahead of you near a red channel marker where the river swings back across the lake on the upstream side of the horseshoe bend. The gap is where boats cut through to run the flat so there is a channel in the grass made by them.


The river channel is just off this grass bed at the gap and is a good place to fish. Current coming down the river hits it and it drops off fast. Stay in the channel and fish the grass with all your baits.
When boats come by and cut through the grass line, don’t get mad, just fish behind them. Their props and wakes disturb the baitfish in the grass and make them move and that will often turn on the bass and make them feed. Fish all around the cut when a boat goes through it.

8 N 30 47.365 – W 84 41.753 – From the bend in hole 7 the channel runs fairly straight up to Butlers Creek as it narrows down. On your right, out from the creek mouth, the grass forms a point running downstream. The creek channel comes in and turns downstream to join the river channel and the point of grass is an excellent feeding spot. There is always some current here due to the narrow area and that makes it better.

Fish the point of grass on the river side and on the creek side. Start with your boat in the channel and fish the outside edge, working along the point until the grass ends. Then move in and fish the grass line on the inside, following it as it curves toward the mouth of the creek. Try topwater and punching the mat. But also swim a paddle tail worm or Fighting Frog over the submerged grass and through any openings in it.

Rig your Fighting Frog behind a one quarter ounce tungsten weight Texas rigged. Keep it down so it bumps grass as you swim it along. If it hangs up on the grass jerk it loose and keep it moving. Bass will suck it in as it swims along so be ready to set the hook if your rod loads up at all.

9 N 30 47.327 – W 84 43.967 – Go downstream to red channel marker 12.6. A good grass line runs along the channel edge between this marker and marker 12.5. Start at either marker and fish all along the grass between the two. Keep your boat in the channel and cast to the grass with all your baits.
Laura Ann uses Sunline FX2 Braid for fishing grass since the bass will bury in it. Fifty to sixty pound test works well.


And she fishes it on Lews Tournament Lite Reels and custom rods wrapped by TigeRodz with Rainshadow Revelation & Eternity rod blanks to suit her different kinds of fishing.
.

10 N 30 46.318 – W 84 45.291 – Go down to the entrance to Wingates. There are three double sets of poles marking the channel in to it. Stop at the middle set of poles and fish all the grass around it. A ditch goes both ways from this set of poles and fish feed along it, and it is restocked with tournament released fish at Wingates.


The other five pounder hit a Fighting Frog swam along the top of the grass here. Try it and topwater, too. But also work a big Texas rigged worm through the grass. Laura Ann likes the green pumpkin ten inch Kreit Tail worm with a chartreuse tail. A light tungsten sinker, one quarter ounce or lighter, will make your worm come through the grass better. Move it along with pauses and let it fall into holes in the grass.


All these places hold bass right now and there are a lot of quality bass from four to six pounds on them. Give them a try and you can see the types of grass to fish and find many more similar grass beds all over the lake.
You can keep up with Laura Ann’s fishing by following her on Facebook and Twitter at lauraannfoshee or on Instagram at Foshizal_Fo_Sho.

Where and How To Catch July Lake Hartwell Bass

July 2015 Lake Hartwell Bass
with Trad Whaley

Hate the heat of July? Think it is too hot to go fishing? You should plan a trip to Lake Hartwell and enjoy catching quality fish on topwater plugs to make you forget how hot it is!


Lake Hartwell is a big Corps of Engineers lake on the Savannah River. The lower lake is full of long points, humps, standing timber and brush piles. Blueback herring are a favorite food of the bass in the lake, making them grow to good average sizes and making the bass feed on specific patterns this month.


The water on the big water is very clear and topwater plugs draw bass from the depths to smash them. Bluebacks tend to come to the surface on sunny days so the bass’s attention is focused toward the top, so surface activity is attractive to them. That combination insures good topwater fishing all month.


Trad Whaley lives in Abbyville, South Carolina and has fished Hartwell all his life. Although he has not been fishing a lot of tournaments lately he is well known in the area on the tournament trails. His father Danny is also a well-known tournament fisherman and taught Trad a lot about catching bass on Hartwell.


When he was just eight years old Trad started fishing team tournaments with his father and learned how to catch fish in competition. It paid off. Trad has won two BFLs on Hartwell and placed seventh in an FLW series tournament there. He also won many local tournaments over the years.

Right now Trad is concentrating on helping kids learn to catch bass. He is one of the coaches for the Abbyville High School Team and his nephew, Carter McNeil, who Trad taught about fishing, is one of the 12 students on the BASS High School All American Team this year. And Trad’s daughter Caelyn is a good bass fisherman winning tournaments although she just finished Middle School this year.


For July Trad relies on a small selection of lures. He will have a top-water walking bait like a Spook or Sammy, a top water popper, a frog, a wobble head jig and a Fluke ready for fishing near or on the surface. And he always keeps a drop shot worm ready for casting or dropping down to fish or brush piles he sees on his depthfinder.


“In July bass on Hartwell are on main lake structure feeding on herring,” Trad says. They will school on top in the morning then move to brush piles when the sun gets high. They will still come up to hit a bait fished over the brush even in the bright sun.


We fished Hartwell in mid-June and the bass were feeding. In just a few hours we caught or lost four or five bass in the four pound range and several more not much smaller. The following ten spots were holding bass then and will have even bigger schools on them now.

1 N 34 20.745 – W 82 49.680 – If you put in near the dam at daylight go to the riprap on the Georgia side of the lake. A small island sits off the riprap and the gap between the island and the riprap focuses any current and bass feed on herring on the rocks and the shallows around the island on top before the sun gets on the water


Bait is the key here and on other places. Trad asked me if I could smell the herring as we idled to the rocks to start out day. That is one way to know they are in the area. You can also see them on your depthfinder or, hopefully, see bass chasing them on top before the sun gets bright.


Fish the rocks and the shallows near the island with your Spook or Sammy. Always keep close watch for anything on the surface and cast to it. Make long casts, the bass are often spooky in the clear water. Walk your bait fast back to the boat and fan cast the area if you are not seeing surface movement.

2 N 34 20.752 – W 82 50.300 – Watsadlers ramp sits on the point on the north side of the first pocket at the dam on the Georgia side. A series of humps run off this point and there are shoal markers on some of them. Trad starts on the big flat between the ramp and the first shoal marker and fishes out to the humps marked by two shoal buoys.


Again start with a walking bait and watch for surface activity. Bass will scatter in the shallow water and chase herring before the sun gets bright, then move to brush piles on the humps. If you watch your depthfinder you will find many brush piles on every hump. In fact, there are so many it is often hard to fish them all.


Trad likes the Sammy 100 in chrome or similar colored Spook. He will also cast a Zoom white or transparent Fluke to surface feeding fish or fan cast it in these areas early. Sometimes the bass want something worked just under the surface and a Fluke is perfect for this. Make long cast with it and fish it back fast with a lot of action.

3 N 34 22.816 – W 82 50.602 – Powder Bag Creek is the first big creek north of the dam on the Georgia side. The upstream point of it runs way out and Long Point ramp is on it. Out from the downstream edge of this big point are three shoal markers forming a triangle. Line up the two just upstream of the one downstream and stop on the hump that comes up to 16 feet on top. You will be straight out toward the middle of the lake from the point and markers.


Fish all around the hump with topwater and Fluke, keeping your boat in 25 to 30 feet of water and casting to the top of the hump. This hump has a hard bottom like the others marked and that makes them better, but the brush piles on them are more important so keep a close watch for them as you fish.


If you find brush piles mark their location to fish over them. Bass concentrate around and over the brush even at first light and roam from there, so they are hotspots all day. If you get right on top of one before seeing it, remember where it is to fish later in the day.

4 N 34 23.138 – W 82 50.430 – Channel marker 7 sits upstream and out from hole 3. Upstream from it, out right on the river channel, a danger marker with “Danger Tree” on it marks standing timber on the edge of a hump. The trees, hump and brush piles on it make an ideal place for bass this time of year.


Keep your boat near the marker in 25 feet of water and cast over the trees and the hump. Work a topwater bait over them. Bass will school here but will also come out of the trees and brush to hit on top when the sun is up.
Some wind blowing across this spot and others makes it better. Trad says the perfect day is when the sun is fairly bright and the wind is making the water ripple. If the waves and ripples are big enough to make working the walking bait ineffective he will throw a popping bait like a Pop-R to make more noise to attract the fish.

5 N 34 23.076 – W 82 50.841 – Go back in toward the point just north of channel marker 9. There is a shoal marker on the upstream side of the big point behind it, the same point hole #3 is on the downstream side. Stop out upstream of the shoal marker in 25 feet of water and fan cast over it.
Trad will often idle in fast toward the hump here and in other places and stop before he gets to the 25 foot depth. He says the boat moving in will often push the schools of bait toward the hump or point and turn the bass on.


Fan cast all over the hump from the deeper upstream side. Trad got a solid four pounder here on his Spook and there were several more that size and bigger following it as he fought it to the boat. If two people are fishing it often pays off for the second person to cast to the fighting bass to catch followers.

6 N 34 23.238 – W 82 51.134 – West of hole 5 is the mouth of Gum Branch. Go toward it and the big white house sitting on a point back in it a little ways. There is a marked hump with bushes on top of it just inside the big point. Stop out in 25 feet of water and fan cast all around the downstream side and end of it. I lost a four pounder that hit my topwater plug three times before taking it here.


Work topwater first but also try a wobble bait like a Pulse Jig with a Fluke on it. Sometimes, especially when the sun is higher or if the wind is fairly strong, the Pulse Jig will draw strikes better than the topwater. Make long casts, let it sink a little then reel it in slowly. When you feel weight just keep reeling until the rod loads up. Trad says if you set the hook as soon as you feel the fish you will miss it.

7 N 34 23.430 – W 82 51.321 – Toward the mouth of Gum Branch an island sits west of channel marker 11. A flat around it drops off into the channel and bass hold on it and feed. There are a couple of ditches on it and many brush piles. The island helps concentrate any current in this area.
Stop in 25 feet of water and fish the flat on the river side. Try topwater then a Fluke and a Pulse Jig. Watch for brush piles on your depthfinder and fish them with a drop shot when you see them. Trad caught several bass out of brush here but they were smaller and there were several spotted bass. He says you can catch keeper size bass all day by fishing brush with dropshot but they tend to be smaller than the fish you will catch on topwater.


Trad hits many places fast during a day of fishing. He will pull up on a place like this and do what he calls his 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 punch – topwater, Fluke, pulse jig then drop shot. He quickly fishes all four baits then moves on to the next spot. We hit about 15 places in four hours and he says that is not unusual.

8 N 34 24.408 – W 82 51.270 – Go across the mouth of Lightwood Log Creek to the islands on the upstream side of it. Stop on the island closest to the bank, between it and the one further out. A point comes off this island toward the outer island and fish hold on it and feed.


The two islands concentrate current here and current always makes these spots better. For that reason, week days are better fishing since there is less current during the weekend. Many fishermen have seen this change from week day practice to a weekend tournament.


Fish all your baits here. With the drop shot, Trad uses a fairly heavy three eights ounce sinker and puts a Zoom Meathead or Tiny Fluke about 18 inches above it. He drops it to the bottom around the brush and moves it very little, with light shakes of the rod tip to make the bait dance. He will also drop the bait down to suspended fish and hold it at their level, shaking it a little right in front of them.

9 N 34 25.669 – W 82 51.527 – Going upstream a small double creek enters on the Georgia side between channel markers 19 and 21. In the mouth of this creek, out even with the island downstream at Lightwood Log Creek and the upstream point of the double creek, is a hump that holds bass.


This hump is near the river channel and comes up to a feeding table. It has brush on it to fish. Keepyour boat in deep water and cast to the top of it all around it. Trad says be ready to follow up with a Fluke if a bass boils on your topwater plug but doesn’t take it. We had several fish hit up to three times before taking the plug the day we fished. Following up quickly with a Fluke will often catch a bass that misses the topwater.

10 N 34 26.692 – W 82 51.527 – There is a big island right at the mouth of the Tugaloo River on the left going upstream at channel marker T1. A point runs off this island toward the channel. It slopes off on one side with a sharper drop on the other and current moves across it making it a good feeding spot.


Keep your boat out in 25 feet of water and fish across the point with the current if it is moving. Trad says the key depth here and on all other places in July is 18 to 25 feet deep. Fish hold at that depth in brush so watch for brush in it, but fish over it, too.


All these places held fish a couple of weeks ago and are even better now. Try Trad’s baits and learn from these places for the kind of structure and cover you want to fish in July and you can find many more all over the lower lake.

How and Where to Catch June Lake Russell Bass, with GPS Coordinates To Ten Spots

June 2015 Russell Bass

with Carter McNeil

    June is finally here and its time for vacations and fishing. If you want to catch a lot of spotted bass on a beautiful lake with a natural shoreline and clear water, head to Lake Russell. And keep some of the small spotted bass for a fish fry!

    Russell is a Corps of Engineers lake on the Savannah River between Hartwell and Clarks Hill.  Shoreline development is restricted, so it is one of our prettiest lakes.  And it doesn’t get as crowded with pleasure boaters as most of our lakes.

    The lake has a lot of good rocky points and humps that spots love. And the channels are marked by poles where they drop off so it is easy to find them and fish. Brushpiles have been put out on many of them and there is standing timber all over the lake, giving bass ideal habitat.

    Spots were illegally introduced into Russell not long after it was filled and they have overcrowded the lake, as happens all too often on lakes where they are not native.  They are fun to catch and eat but they tend to harm the largemouth population and fill the lake with “rats,” spots around 12 inches long. Since there is no size limit on them you can keep ten a day to eat and actually help the lake.

    Carter McNeil lives near in Russell in Abbyvile South Carolina and fishes with the Abbyville Panthers High School team. He also fishes many pot and open tournaments on Russell and other area lakes.  His Grandfather Danny Whaley and uncle Trad Whaley brought him up fishing and taught him a lot about bass and he fished his first tournament when only ten years old.

    Their training has paid off. Carter is going to Bethel College this year on a fishing scholarship and will be on their fishing team. And he had an incredible honor this year when he BASS named him to their High School All American Bass Team, one of only 12 fishermen nationwide to get that recognition.

    In their press release on the All American Team, BASS says about Carter: “He and his partner won the B.A.S.S. Nation High School Southern Divisional on the Pee Dee River in April and took third place in the 2015 Costa Bassmaster High School Classic Exhibition. McNeil is the founder and president of his fishing team and a frequent volunteer for Corps of Engineers projects aimed at planting aquatic vegetation on South Carolina’s Lake Russell.”

    Carter likes fishing Russell and does well in tournaments there.  In June he says the bass will be set up on their summer holes, points and humps out from spawning creeks, and can be caught on a variety of baits. 

    “Shallow water that drops off fast into deep water is key this time of year,” Carter said.  Any hump or point that falls into the channel will hold fish, and the key depth to catch them is eight to 15 feet deep. So he wants his boat to be in at least 20 feet of water when casting to water eight feet deep.

    A variety of baits to cover those key depths is fairly simple. A Norman’s Deep Little N, a drop shot worm, a shaky head and a Pulse Jig all work well and are really all you need for a good day of fishing.  You will catch a lot of bass on those baits but for bigger fish he will have a big worm like a Zoom Old Monster Texas rigged to flip standing timber.

    The following ten spots are good right now and give you an example of the kinds of places you want to fish in June.

    1.  N 34 08.284 – W 82 41.570 – Go up the Savannah  River to Channel Markers 43 and 45 and stop about one third of the way across the river out from them.  There is a hump that comes up right by the channel and tops out about ten feet deep.  There is some brush piles on the hump and standing timber around it.  You will be at the tip of a triangle with the two channel markers on the bank as the base.

    When you find the hump stop off the river side of it with your boat in 30 feet of water and cast to the top in about ten feet.  Carter starts with a Deep Little N in a baitfish color like sexy shad or glimmer blue, with some chartreuse in it.  Cast past the top of the hump so the bait is hitting bottom on top in ten feed and fish it back to the boat. Carter got a keeper spot on the crankbait here the day we fished.

    Carter reels his crankbait fairly fast and sweeps his rod every few feet to make the bait dart forward. He says fish will often follow the bait and when it speeds up will eat it.  Fan cast all over the hump from the river side with a crankbait, then fish a jig head worm, drop shot and Pulse Jig around it, too.

    2.  N 34 08.039 – W 82 41.513 – Go in toward the small creek with the big island in the mouth of it just downstream of channel marker 43. Behind and downstream of that channel marker a ditch comes off the bank in the mouth of the spawning creek that is behind the island and bass move to it in June.  Stop in about 20 feet of water and cast to the top of the flat along the ditch.

    This is the kind of “feeding table,” a flat area that drops into deep water that Carter concentrates on in June.  Fish your crankbait over the top of the flat and ditch edge then try your other baits.  Remember that bass seem to feed best in eight to 15 feet of water so work that depth hard.

    Carter keeps a Robo morning dawn worm on a drop shot rig ready to drop down to fish he sees on his depthfinder.  He likes a fairly heavy lead to get to the bottom fast and stay there as he gently twitches his rod tip to make the worm jiggle in place. His leader is about a foot long.

    3.  N 34 07.677 – W 82 40.182 – Across the river and a little downstream a fairly big creek enters the lake between channel markers 42 and 44.  In the mouth of the creek, not far off the upstream point of it, you will see four shoal markers.  Out from the downstream point of the creek there is a hump that is good.  It is way off the red clay small bluff bank on the point. 

    This hump tops out about 15 feet deep and an old road bed crosses the deep side of it.  Sit out on the river side in 30 feet of water and cast across it. Carter will switch to a DD 22N on deeper places like this so he can bump the bottom.

    The bottom here is hard, a key since Carter says bass like hard bottoms.  Fish along this long hump downstream. It will drop off some on a more narrow area then come back up on the end of that section of it.  Fish that area where it comes back up shallower before leaving.

    4.  N 34 07.163 – W 82 40.277 – Back across the river and downstream channel marker 35 sits on the upstream side of a point where the channel hits it. On the back side the point drops off fast and there are some brush piles here and on almost all the other places, too.

    Stop in at least 20 feet of water on the back side of the marker and cast your crankbait and jig head up on it. Rocks here hold mostly spots and we got a couple of small ones when we fished it. Work from the end of the point toward the bank a short distance, keeping most of your cast in the area around the pole.

    Current moving across this point in both directions, from generating power and pumpback at the dam, make this and other places much better.  Baitfish move across the shallow water with the current and the bass wait on them to feed as they pass.

    5.  N 34 06.090 – W 82 39.937 – Downstream on the same side Indian Creek enters the lake between channel markers 29 and 31.  There is a small island on the downstream side and underwater timber signs warn that the creek is full of standing trees. You can see many of them sticking a little out of the water.  

    In tournaments or other times when bigger bass are the goal Carter will go to timber like this and flip it with a big worm.  He rigs a big worm or lizard Texas style behind a one quarter ounce sinker for a slow fall and flips it to the trees, letting it fall on the shady side of the trunk. The bigger the wood the better.  Fish will hold on these trees at different depths at different times of the day and the higher the sun the deeper they go.

    Carter will work through the trees, targeting the bigger ones, going into the creek. He lets his worm fall watching his line for a tick or if the worm stops falling before hit should.  That is the time to set the hook!  He seldom lets his worm go all the way to the bottom, expecting the fish to be suspended in the tree.

    6.  N 34 05.817 – W 82 39.543 – Further downstream on the same side of the river there is a big double cove between channel markers 27 and 29. The middle point of this cove is a good feeding flat table and it drops off into deeper water on the downstream side. Carter says many fishermen ride past places like this a little off the main points so they don’t get fished as hard as the spots marked by poles.

    Stay on the downstream side of the middle point out in 20 plus feet of water and cast up on the point to eight to ten feet of water with all your baits.  When fishing a Pulse Jig Carter puts a white or translucent Fluke on a half-ounce head and counts it down to the depth fish are holding. He then reels it back with a steady retrieve, keeping it at that depth.

    The Pulse Jig is a wobble head jig and is a more subtle bait than the crankbait, but you can fish it faster than a jig head or drop shot.  Keep it near the bottom and don’t set the hook when you feel a hit. Just keep reeling until your rod loads up then sweep it to bury the hook.

    7.  N 34 04.238 – W 82 39.332 – In the mouth of Beaverdam Creek, just upstream of Elbert Park, usually called the Highway 72 ramp, the first big cove on the left going upstream has three islands in the mouth of it. The downstream one has a shoal marker on a point running off it toward the channel.

    This big long point has some rocks on it and fish feed on it.  Stay out in about 20 feet of water and cast up on the top of the point to about eight feet and work your baits back.  Stay on the river side of the point. 

    “Wind is your aggravating friend,” Carter said.  Some wind blowing across these spots helps like the current does, making baitfish move across them.  It makes boat control and positioning more difficult but can help the fishing as long as it is not too strong to allow you to fish.  We caught a couple of small spots here, too, so fish were on it in mid-May.

    8.  N 34 04.909 – W 82 40.477 – Going into Beaverdam Creek channel marker 8 sits on a hump off the bank and there is a shoal marker between it and the point.  Carter says this is one of the biggest community holes on the lake and there is a race to it in tournaments since it holds so many fish.

    The water drops off on the downstream side of the channel marker and forms a ledge going toward the bank. Stay on the downstream side in deep water and cast up on the hump around the channel marker then work all the way to the point. There is a big flat that is an excellent feeding area and fish hold all over the edge of the drop so fish it carefully.

    9.  N 34 04.880 – W 82 41.725 – Further up Beaverdam Creek channel marker 9 sits on the creek side of a small island.  It marks a point coming off the island and dropping into the channel.  Carter says it is a real good rocky point and has some brush on it, too.

    Stop on the downstream side near the island and fish that side of the point out to and past the channel marker.  This is the deeper side and holds the most fish so Carter works it rather than the flatter upstream side.

    Fish all your baits.  With the shaky head Carter slides it along the bottom until he hits brush or rocks, then stops it and shakes it a little before moving it more. He uses a quarter ounce homemade head and likes a Zoom red bug Trick worm on it.

    10.  N 34 05.260 – W 82 42.390 – Going upstream Beaverdam Creek makes a fairly sharp bend around an island on the left side. On the right just off a point channel marker 18 shows where a good flat drops off into the channel.  The channel swings in right by it making it even better.

    Stay out in deep water and cast along the shallow flat that runs parallel to the channel around the marker. Here and other places keep a watch on your depthfinder for fish holding out in the deeper water. Carter got a spot here by dropping his drop shot worm down to fish he saw holding well off the flat.

    Check out these places, fish them the way Carter suggests and try his bait.  Once you get the pattern down you can find many similar places all over the lake and catch fish from them.

How and Where to Catch October Bass at Lake Allatoona, with GPS Coordinates

October Allatoona Bass

with Brian Cox

    October is a great month to go bass fishing anywhere in our state. But mention Lake Allatoona and most fishermen will give you a strange look and ask why go to the “Dead Sea.” That misconception about Allatoona keeps many from enjoying the great fishing there.

Allatoona gets crowded since it is just outside Atlanta.  On the weekends in the summer pleasure boaters make it hard to fish during the day. But right now the lake is not nearly as crowded and the spots are biting. Largemouth can be caught this month, too. 

Brian Cox grew up in Woodstock and his father and grandfather taught him to fish.  He got the bass fishing bug at 12 years old and started fishing Allatoona when he was 15.  He now lives near the lake, guides on Allatoona and fishes several tournament trails and pot tournaments on the lake.

Three years ago Brian was won the point standings for Angler of the Year in the ABA trail, winning about ten tournaments that year.  He also fishes the Bulldog BFL and AFT tournaments and does well in them.  For the past year he has taken some time off from tournament fishing to spend more time with his kids but is getting back into it now

Kids are important to Brian. He loves taking them out on trips and seeing their delight in catching fish. He hopes to start a fishing camp for kids, where they will go for a day camp or for a multi-day camp and learn about fishing.

“October is great on Allatoona,” Brian said.  The bass are moving more shallow and feeding, and you can catch them on a lot of patterns and baits.  Brian’s favorites include a buzzbait, Zara Spook, crankbait, Fluke, jig and pig and jig head worm. With those baits you can cover any condition any day in October.

Rocks, from pea gravel to chunk rocks are a key, and brush piles and blowdowns increase your odds that bass will be feeding on a spot.  Wind makes a big difference and it helps all kinds of places, but clay banks can also be good when the wind is blowing in on them. Points and banks in the mid lake area are where he concentrates his time.

    Brian took me to Allatoona in early September to show me the following ten spots and how he catches bass on them. The fish were just starting to hit on some of them but by now all will hold bass.

1.  N 34 08.088 – W 84 40.365 – Bass follow the shad and the shad move into creeks and cuts during October, especially later in the month. A good place to check for shallow bass is in the back of the creek just downstream of the Bartow-Carver Camp ramp. This creek goes back and splits into several fingers. Brian likes the one to the right going into the creek.

There are many trees in the water cut by the Alltaoona Tree Cutting Project and by fishermen back in this creek. Brian starts near the mouth of the fork and works all the way around it. He fishes an Albino Shad Zoom Fluke over the trees and along the bank in here.  You can keep your boat near the middle of the cut and fish all the wood in the water.

After working the wood with a Fluke, Brian will follow up with a shaky head worm. He likes a one quarter ounce head with a green pumpkin Finesse worm on it.  A jig and pig will also catch fish in the trees.  Dip the tails of the jig trailer and the Finesse worm in chartreuse JJ’s Magic to make the fish bite better. Spots seem to love a flash of chartreuse.

If you see shad on the surface or balls of them on your depthfinder fish the area slowly and carefully. Brian says this time of year find the shad and you will find the bass, so if baitfish are present the bass will be, too.

2.  34 08.415 – W 84 40.116 – Come out of the creek and stop on the downstream point of the second pocket below the ramp.  This bank is shady in the morning and Brian says it is a great place to throw a buzzbait.  He will start at the point and work all the way down the bank to the back of the pocket.

For some reason the fish here will put their nose right on the bank so Brian casts so his Strike King white one half ounce buzzbait hits on the bank. He pulls it off the bank without a splash and is ready for a bite as soon as it gets in the water. 

If wind is blowing in on this bank it is even better. Some chop on the water really helps the bite anywhere you are fishing on Allatoona. Also keep a watch or surface activity here and be ready to throw a Spook or Sammy to them.

3.  N 34 09.512 – W 84 39.881 – Another good bank for topwater and a jig and pig or jig head worm is in Illinois Creek. Go past the buoy at the bend and watch the right bank past it.  There are big rocks on this bank and it drops off fast, and bass hold on it and feed on passing shad.

There are some key spots along this bank where big boulders are under the water.  Keep your boat out in 30 feet of water and work the jig and pig or jig head worm from the edge all the way out to the  boat. When you see or hit the big rocks with your bait out in 15 to 20 feet of water fish that spot carefully.

Fish a topwater bait along this bank, too. With all your baits cast at an angle ahead of the boat. The bank is so steep you will be fairly close to the shore even in 30 feet of water so cast to the bank ahead of the boat and work your bait back at an angle to hit the big boulders.

4.  N 34 07.848 – W 84 39.712 – Run up to the Atlanta     Yacht Club and go into the creek on the downstream side of it.  Go all the way to the split in the back and fish the right side split of it.  Start near the point and keep your boat out in the middle of the cove and cast to the bank. There are stumps, brush and rocks back in here that hold the bass.

A jig or jig head worm works well but this is a good crankbait area, too.  Brian likes a chartreuse and brown crankbait that will hit the bottom when fishing this area. Fish all your baits all the way to the middle of the creek and make some casts ahead of the boat to cover the channel, too.

5.  N 34 08.431 – W 84 38.211 – Running up the river, channel maker 19.5 will be on a point on your left.  There are several pockets along this bank across from Gault’s Ferry ramp but Brian likes to fish the upstream point of the second one upstream of the channel marker. 

It is ideal, with deep water just off it and clay and rocks on the bank and a blowdown you can see half way into the cove. There are also some trees and brush out from the bank underwater that hold bass.

Start with a buzzbait or Spook casts to the bank and worked out, then go back over the area with your crankbait.  Fish over the tip of the blowdown you see and try to find the hidden brush.  You can also probe the brush with a jig and pig or jig head worm.

Brian says there are three kinds of rock that hold fish right now. Pea gravel is good, especially when wind is blowing on it. Chunk rocks the size of softballs are good as are boulders.  Banks like this one where there is a transition from one kind of rock to another is even better. Fish the edge of the rock change hard.

6.  N 34 07.595 – W 84 38.053 – Across the river and upstream is Harbor Town Marina. In a cove just upstream of it is a youth camp with a dock on the downstream side.  The point across from the dock is a good one, with clay, rock and a few boulders on it. There are also some blowdowns on the downstream bank..

Start on the point and fish topwater, crankbaits and jigs from the point about half way into the cove.  You will be fishing the bank across from the dock.  The transition areas are key places and you want to make sure shad are in the area. Also keep an eye out for surface activity.

Work the tips of the blowdowns, too.  Try topwater and crankbaits over them then probe them with jigs and jig head worms.  Try to hit the ends of the limbs and raise your bait up and let it fall back several times, and jiggle your rod tip to make the bait dance.

7. N 34 08.179 – W 84 38.146 – Just upstream from #5 the river makes a big bend and a huge flat runs out from the left bank going upstream.  The flat has small islands on it and some danger markers. If you idle parallel to the flat near the channel, out from the shoal marker near the willow tree on an island just underwater, you will cross a point running off the flat downstream.

This point has pea gravel and other rock on it. The point runs out 30 to 40 yards and drops off into very deep water. It is ideal since it comes out of deep water and leads to a good feeding flat.  And there is usually some wind here.

Keep your boat out in 25 to 30 feet of water and make long casts across the point with jigs and worms. Work the bait up one side, across the top and down the other side.  If this doesn’t work, cast your jig so it falls straight down on top of the point. Brian says those two methods, working your bait to and through cover or letting it fall straight down into it, are both good.

8.  N 34 08.412 – W 84 37.574 – Above the channel bend there is a huge flat off the left bank going upstream.  A key area on this flat is a ditch that comes out of a small cove near a danger marker on top of a hump way across the river from channel marker 22 E. The ditch runs out to the river and offers the bass a perfect path.

When wind is blowing across this flat Brian will fan cast it with a crankbait, staying out inabout 15 feet of water.  You can catch fish from the danger marker all the way back to #7 working it with a crankbait. Make long casts and try to hit bottom as much as you can with your bait.

Also keep a topwater ready. Brian says fish school up in this area a lot. If you have your Spook or Sammy ready and hit where they are breaking you will catch fish.  Some may be hybrids but bass school up here all over this flat.

9.  N 34 08.025 – W 84 37.323 – Across the river a big clay bluff point sits on the upstream side of Kellog Creek.  There are laydowns and boulders on it as well as clay.  Channel marker 22 E sits on the point and it is an excellent one to fish this time of year.

Brian keeps his boat in about 15 feet of water on the downstream side of the point and casts across it with a jig and pig.  Most of the boulders are on the upstream side of the point so casting past them and working back through them moves the bait in a natural way.  Also fish the blowdowns on the point.

10.  N 34 07.948 – W 84 36.843 – Go into Kellog Creek and watch for a big block rock seawall on your left past the first couple of coves.  It is just upstream of a house with a huge catfish replica on the roof of the garage. The seawall point holds a lot of big spots and Brian says he has caught several four pounders here.

Start with topwater here and fish all the way around the point to the next small cove. Work it carefully and give the big fish time to chase down your bait. You can also probe it with a jig and pig or jig head worm, or run a crankbait on it.

All these places are great right now throughout October.  Try Brian’s favorite baits and your own, and you can find similar places to fish these patterns, too.

To see first-hand how Brian fishes Alltoona call him at and check his website at 770-855-7388 http://www.metroatlantafishing.com/ for more info.

How and Where to Catch September Lake Lanier Bass with GPS Coordinates

September 2013 Lanier Bass

 with Rob Jordan

    Tired of summer doldrums fishing for bass in deep water and not catching much? There is light at the end of September, when water starts cooling and bass get more shallow and active on our lakes. But why wait several more weeks?  You can catch some big spots at Lanier right now.

    Lanier is a big lake at 40,000 acres and since it is just northeast of Atlanta it gets heavy pleasure boat traffic, especially on weekends. And it gets a lot of fishing pressure.  The lake is known for its big spotted bass that took advantage of the introduction of blueback herring.  Five pound spots are caught often and most tournaments are won on spotted bass, with five-fish limits weighing 15 pounds common.

    Rob Jordan grew up fishing Lanier and now lives in Swanee.  His cousin Jim Murray, Jr. got him started tournament fishing and taught him a lot about catching bass.  Rob also worked with Jim painting custom lures and Rob has a business making realistic looking baits.  He also guides on Lanier and fishes tournaments.  Next year Rob plans on fishing the FLW Everstart and BASS Opens.

    This year Rob fished the Savannah River BFL trail and is right on the qualifying point to fish the Regional at Lanier with one tournament to go.  He hopes to do well in the Regional on his home lake.

    Rob’s best five spots in a tournament on Lanier weighed 21.5 pounds. This summer he has had big fish in two night tournaments.  Two years ago he placed third in the Weekend Series on Lanier and was in the top ten in the BFL there that year.  He knows the lake and how to catch good spots.

    “Lanier is a fantastic lake but you have to understand the waters and when the bass bite to do well,” Rob said.  It is a unique lake and you won’t catch the big spots by fishing like you do on other lakes.

    “The biggest spots are hard to catch since they roam the lake, living in water 50 to 60 feet deep,” Rob told me.  Weather and moon phases are keys to figuring out the bite. And you have to fish in the right places to catch the quality spotted bass.

    September is a transition month for spots on Lanier and you can catch some really big fish, especially late in the month.  Last year Rob got a six pound, six ounce spot toward the end of September on a guide trip.  But you can catch quality fish starting right now.

      A wide variety of baits will catch spots on Lanier this month. Rob will have a drop shot worm and a shaky head worm ready for slower fishing.  When the bite is good he likes a swim bait or a top water plug. All these baits are fished in deep water, with his boat often sitting in 80 plus feet of water and fishing water that is 30 feet deep.

    Rob will try a variety of depths and lures until he finds where the bass are feeding, and that depth will usually be consistent all over the lower lake.  The key is a long point or hump that drops off into very deep water. Standing timber in the deep water and brush or rocks on the humps and points make those places much better.

    Rob took me to the following ten spots in early August and we caught fish on most of them.  They are good right now and will get even better as the month progresses.

    1.  N 34 10.029 – W 84 02.492 – Green channel marker 3SC in Shoal Creek sits on a rocky hump right by the channel.  There is also a danger marker on it and one small bush stuck out of the water when we were there.  The hump is right off an island, too.  It always holds bass, according to Rob, and it typical of the type place he fishes this month.

    There is brush all over and around it as well as the natural rocks to hold feeding fish. Rob says it is important to locate the brush piles and fish them, so ride it with your electronics and mark the brush. Good electronics will even show the fish in the brush and how they are setting up on it.

    Start on the upstream end and work the whole area, keeping your boat out in the channel.  Wind rippling the surface of the water is critical here and on other spots to make the fish active, and overcast days help, too.

    If there is some wind and some clouds try a big swim bait like the Bucca Bull Herring hard swim bait or a Zman Grass KickerZ over the brush. Topwater plugs like a big Spook or Sammy will draw the bass up to the top from the brush.

    If the water is slick or it is sunny Rob will fish a Zman StreakZ on a drop shot or a Big Bass Baits jig head with a worm on it in the brush.  It is important to get the baits right on the fish so work each brush pile carefully, especially if you see fish in or around it.

    2.  N 34 11.681 – W 83 03.607 – Run over to Young Deer Creek and right in the mouth of it on the left side going upstream marker 1YD sits on a hump with a danger marker and some bushes on top.  Again, it is right on the channel where deep water is very close to shallow water. 

    Your boat should be in about 100 feet of water and you want to fish brush around 30 feet deep. Rob says 30 foot deep water is usually a good depth in September but they may feed a little shallower later in the month. If you are not catching fish in the deeper brush, or if you see them in more shallow brush, try it.

    Rob says bass are caught here every day. There are a lot of brush piles and big rocks on the hump to cover.  Try all your baits around them.

    A big swim bait is Rob’s go-to bait if he wants quality fish. In a tournament where five bites from big fish is all you want, try the Bull Herring worked slowly over the brush.  Rob’s custom painted versions are best since the spots on Lanier see so many swim baits but all will catch bass.

    3.  N 34 11.766 – W 84 03.499 – Across the mouth of Young Deer Creek channel marker 2YD sits on a deep rocky point that is excellent.  Rob fishes the downstream end of the point where it runs out parallel to the channel.  You will be sitting in 70 to 100 feet of water when fishing the end of the point.

    First try the swimbaits and topwater. Always keep a topwater plug ready to cast immediately to surfacing fish.  We caught a couple the day we fished when they came up near us. They may not stay up long so be ready.  If the spots are consistently schooling on top but not staying long, Rob will stand in the front of the boat with a topwater bait ready to cast, waiting on them to come up again.

    4.  N 34 12.494 – W 84 01.432 – An island sits in the mouth of Six Mile Creek and marker 4SM sits just off it. The creek channel is on one side and the river channel on the other.  Rob says this is one of the best big spot holes on the lake and he caught a six pounder here. 

    There are stumps and brush piles on the point on the downstream side of the island where the big spots live. Rob says a big swim bait or topwater is the way to go here for the big ones.  Work both baits all around the point, concentrating on brush piles and stump beds you find with your electronics.

    Rob fishes both hard and soft swimbaits with a steady retrieve and keeps them near the surface is there is cloud cover or wind on the water.  When a fish hits he sets the hook with a sweep of his rod, not a hard set, and does not drop the rod tip. 

    If there is little wind or if the spots just don’t seem to eat the big bait, Rob will drop down to the smaller size Zman SwimmerZ soft swim bait.  He fishes the soft baits on a three sixteenths to three quarter ounce jig head depending on how the fish set up. The lighter head is better for running the bait shallow but the bigger head will allow you to fish it a little faster and deeper.

    5.  N 34 13.464 – W 84 01.406 – Further up Six Mile Creek it narrows way down right at channel marker 7SM.  There are several good humps and points in this area. The left side going upstream, between the last cove on that side to the point where the creek narrows way down, have the better ones.

    The danger marker on the left sits between two long points that are excellent. Sit out in 45 feet of water and cast up into 25 to 30 feet of water.  There are a couple of road beds, an old house foundation and brush piles on the points.  Fish them all.

    The pinch point where the creek narrows way down funnels fish into this area as they move up the creek in the fall. Rob says when the water temperature drops into the 70s it is like a switch turns on and the bass get into action chasing bait. Swim baits and topwater are even better when it cools down.

    6.  N 34 14.772 – W 83 56.843 – Run up the river to the mouth of Flat Creek. A big island sits in the mouth of it and red channel marker 26 is on a point where the river channel swings in toward it. Rob says bass live here year round and it is always good, but in September even more bass get on the point while moving into the creek.

  Sit out in 40 feet of water and cast up on the point with all your baits, starting shallow and working deeper. There are rocks and brush piles here that hold the fish. If you can’t find the brush with your electronics, drag a jig head worm along the bottom until you hit rocks or brush and work it.                 

    7.  N 34 13.602 – W 83 55.772 – For a change of pace run into Mud Creek all the way to the narrow creek channel in the back.  Rob fishes docks back in places like this. Spots and some big largemouth can be found back around docks in creeks as the water cools.  Fish all the docks from the ones on the left past the big rocky point where it narrows down all the way around the creek.

    Try a one eighth to three sixteenths ounce jig head with a Zman finesse worm on it.  Fish all of each dock, from the deepest water in front of it to the back under the walkway.  The bass may be feeding anywhere around the docks. 

    The bass will be on the outside deeper docks early in the month but move further back as the water cools. Since the weather this summer has been fairly cool and the rain and cool weather in the middle of August kept the water temperatures down, they may move further back sooner this year.

    8.  N 34 13.967 – W 83 56.271 – Going out of Mud Creek Old Federal day use park with a boat ramp is on your left.  Past it a long point runs out toward the main lake and there is an island off the bank, with danger markers between it and the main point. 

    Stop about even with the island in Mud Creek and idle over the ridge that runs out on that side toward the Mud Creek channel.  This ridge runs way out and has rock and brush on it, and bass stack up on it all summer long. Even more move to it as they follow shad back into the creek in the fall.

    Sit in about 40 feet of water and cast up on top of the ridge to 20 to 30 feet of water.  Try all your baits.  When using a drop shot in the brush Rob likes to pitch it ahead of the boat a little rather than fishing it straight under the boat. He will let the lead hit bottom, raise his rod tip to keep the bait up off the bottom and twitch it in one place, moving the lead very slowly as he works it around the brush.

    9.  N 34 13.447 – W 83 57.774 – Out off the end of the point with Old Federal Campground there is a big flat point with a danger marker off a small island with bushes on top.  There are brush piles all over it but Rob’s favorite area of this big point is downstream of the island and danger marker. 

    As in other places, start with topwater and swim baits over the brush piles you locate with your electronics, then try the dropshot and shaky head.  Rob likes a light one sidxteenths to one eight head, as light as conditions will allow, since the slow fall will often draw a strike.

    Rob lets the shaky head hit bottom then slowly drags it along with an occasional snap of the rod tip to make it wiggle and jump. Many people shake it in one place, as the name implies, but Rob moves it slowly along the bottom without constant shaking.

         10.  N 34 11.424 – W 83 58.442 – In Flowery Branch across from the Van Pugh ramp a long underwater point runs off the upstream side of the danger marker between the small island and the main point.  This point actually runs off Van Pugh park out to the island then on out toward the creek channel.

         Stay out on the creek end of the point and work it with all your baits.  Resident fish live here and more move in during the fall.  If you are fishing a tournament use big baits for a few quality bites. Use smaller topwater baits like the Sammy 100 early in the fall but go bigger later. For numbers the shaky head or drop shot will get more bites.

         All these places hold bass right now and will get better as the month progresses and the water gets cooler. Give them a try and you can find many more just like them.

         For a guide trip with Rod to see first hand how he fishes Lanier call him at 770-873-7135 and check his web site at http://robjordanfishing.com  Also check out his custom painted baits at http://www.xtremelurecreations.com

Where and How to Catch February Bass at Sinclair , with GPS Coordinates

February Bass at Sinclair 

with Todd Goade

NOTE – THIS WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THE POWER PLANT WAS CLOSED AND TORN DOWN.

Cold winter weather always puts a damper on bass fishing in February on most of our lakes.  Bass go deep and school up tight and don’t eat much. But Lake Sinclair is an exception to that rule.  The warmer waters from the steam plant make it the most popular lake for club and other tournaments this month.

There is a good reason so many tournaments are held on Sinclair in the winter. Bass are more active because the water is warmer and also because of the currents created by the steam plant intake and outflow as well as those generated by power generation and pump back at the Oconee dam.

Sinclair is a 15,330 acre Georgia Power lake on the Oconee River.  It was dammed in 1953 and the lake is ringed with cabins and docks.  Almost all docks are on posts and many have brush piles around them.  There is a lot of grass in the lake and it still attracts baitfish this time of year although it is brown now.  There are sandy pockets and banks, rocks and wood cover to fish. 

When Plant Harlee Branch, the coal fired steam plant, is taking in water to cool its boilers, current near the mouth of Little River around the bridge and intake moves upstream.  In Beaverdam Creek release of warmer water from the boilers not only heats the lake, it creates a strong current around the discharge, under the bridge and downstream.

When the power plant at the Oconee Dam is generating current a strong flow comes down the river.  When the turbines are reversed and water is being pumped back into Oconee there is a strong current going up the river.  This current also affects the creeks and will reverse the flow in Little River, too.  The strongest effects are from the mouth of Little River upstream.

Most of Lake Sinclair stays stained in February with Little River often the muddiest area.  Near the dam, Island and Rock Creek almost always remain clear.  Those creeks down the lake are also less affected by the warm water so are usually the coldest water on the lake.  So you can fish shallow relatively warm stained water or colder clearer water within a few miles.

Sinclair is usually one of the top three lakes in Georgia for numbers of tournaments reported in the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Creek Census Report, with over 80 tournaments reported each year.  In recent years Sinclair has been one of the best lakes for numbers of bass with over 20 percent of anglers catching a five fish limit.  But the bass are small, with an average weight of about 1.5 pounds and an average tournament winning weight of about 10 pounds.

 Todd Goade remembers the first bass he ever caught and it turned him on to bass fishing. He was eight years old and caught a six pound bass on a topwater plug in Missouri. That would turn on any fisherman, especially a young fisherman.

Most of his life Todd lived in Tennessee where he fished with local clubs and the pot trails. When he moved to Georgia in 2002 he quit fishing for a few years but got back into it in 2005 and started fishing the BFL trail, the HD Marine Trail, Boating Atlanta and others. 

Over the past few years Todd has been very consistent in tournaments, placing in the money in many of them.  Last year he finished 3rd overall in the Bulldog BFL point standings and in 2006 was 7th in the HD Marine point standings.  Last February he finished in the top 20 at Sinclair in the BFL and needed just one kicker fish to finish much higher.

“There are always some shallow fish at Sinclair,” Todd told me.  He prefers to fish Sinclair shallow this time of year and likes to go after them with lighter tackle and smaller baits than most anglers use.  Finesse fishing will catch lots of bass on Sinclair most winter days and will often get you in the money in tournaments.

For fishing Sinclair this month Todd has a variety of baits rigged and ready. He will have a small jerkbait like a Pointer on a spinning rod with eight pound test line, a Texas rigged Zoom Finesse worm and another Finesse worm on a 3/16 Spot Remover jig head, both on eight pound line, a crankbait like a Bomber 7A or a Bandit Flat Maxx and a small spinnerbait on 10 to 12 pound line and a Carolina rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog or six inch lizard. He will also keep a Flexit Spoon ready for deep jigging if he spots bass holding on deep structure.

Todd prefers to fish in eight feet of water or less and will often be sitting in 12 to 15 feet of water fan casting a point or working a bank.  Although the bass are shallow they will usually be on cover and structure with deep water nearby.  He likes main lake banks and points or banks near creek channels that drop off fast now.

Current will position bass on structure and sun will position them on cover, according to Todd.  He likes banks and points where the current is moving and will concentrate on brush, docks and rocks when the sun is bright. This time of year Todd says he does better on sunny days.

Todd and I fished Sinclair the second Sunday in January, a tough day for us and others, based on the weigh-in of three clubs at Little River that day.  He showed me the following places he likes to catch fish on Sinclair in February and they will hold fish you can catch, too.

1. N 33 11.211 – W 83 17.476 – The bank above the steam plant intake drops off fast has overhanging brush and rocks along parts of it and the pockets have grass in them.  Todd likes to fish along this bank and often catches a limit of keeper size bass here.

Start on the point above the mouth of the intake on the right and work upstream to the next main lake point.  The channel swings in near the big upstream point and the deep water is good. You will be sitting in 12 to 14 feet of water along most of this bank.  The water is usually stained in this area and is warmed by current coming up the river.  When water is being pulled into the steam plant current will run downstream.

Cast a Texas rigged Zoom Finesse worm under the overhanging brush to the rocks and also work it around any grass you see.  Todd likes a green pumpkin worm and will dye its tail chartreuse.  Work it with short hops and jiggles, trying to hit any cover along this bank.

If water is moving and the bass are more active, cast your jerkbait close to the bank and work it back in short jerks. Try several cadences until the bass show you what they like.  The colder the water the slower you should fish the bait with longer pauses between jerks.

2. N 33 11.351 – W 83 16.242 – Run down the lake past the mouth of the river and watch for the first cove on your left. There is a big mesh satellite dish on the point.  Go into the pocket downstream of this dish and start fishing before you get to the first dock that has a green metal roof and several PVC rod holders on it.

Fish down this bank with your Texas rigged and jig head worms, casting to the bank between docks and working under the docks and around the posts.  When you get to the third dock you will know you are in the right spot if you see a big UGA emblem on the dock and house and the walk going up from the dock has little UGA helmet lights and a sign that says “Dog Walk.”

Fish that dock and the grass just past it. You can run a spinner bait through the grass and work your worm rigs around it, too.  Todd likes a small white spinner bait with silver blades.  He fishes this cove to the dock with the US flag on it and stops since the water gets real shallow past it.

3. N 33 11.330 – W 83 15.679 – Across the river is an island and just downstream of it a marked hump. There are three danger buoys on the hump and three PVC poles, two side by side. Stop straight out from the PVC poles in about 25 feet of water and fan cast your crankbait as you ease in toward the poles. You can cast to the top of the hump and it is very rough here.  Try a worm along the bottom, too.

If you have a GPS on your boat you will see a point running out from this hump and that is where you want to stop and start fishing.  You can see the point on a good map, too.  The contour lines will be close together and that is a key Todd looks for this time of year. That shows a fast dropping bottom and the fish hold on those kinds of places.

4. N 33 09.806 – W 83 13.802 – Head down the lake to the big island just upstream of the mouth of Reedy Creek and the airport.  There is an old quarry under the water on the upstream side of the island and the bottom is hard clay.  Stop on the outside point of the island in about 20 feet of water and work around the point, casting a crankbait up shallow. Try to hit the bottom with it.

After working the crankbait back off a little and cast a Carolina rig or other worm rig here. There is a good brush pile in 12 to 14 feet of water that often holds bass. They will hold in the brush and run in to feed.  Probe the brush carefully with all your worm rigs.

5. N 33 09.752 – W 83 13.973 – Idle over to the center of the upstream side of the island. You will see three points, the one you just left and two more. Stop out from the center point and you will be in the quarry in very deep water.  Fish the center point here with your crankbait, then probe for brush in 16 feet of water.

Todd likes a half-ounce lead on his Carolina rig and usually has a 24 inch leader.  He will drag the green pumpkin lizard or Brush Hog with dyed tails around and through the brush, working it slowly and feeling for any resistance. The bass will be sluggish most days in the cold water.

6. N 33 11.106 – W 83 12.509 – Run toward the back of Island Creek and watch for a bright red barn on the left side before you get to the power lines.  Start on the point just upstream of the pocket with the red barn and work around the shallow pocket to the dock with a green slide on it. The bottom drops off fast and it is rocky, with docks and brush along it.

Fish your Texas rigged worm or jig head worm here, hitting rocks and wood cover on the bottom and also fishing around and under all the docks. Todd says this is a good place to find bass pulled up to feed this time of year.  He will hit this place and others several times during a fishing day since fish may move in to feed anytime during the day.  You just have to be there when they are feeding.

7. N 33 10.775 – W 83 12.444 – Running down the middle of Island Creek back toward the river, watch on your left for a flat point with a seawall around it. There is a house sitting way back from the water but nothing out on the point.  Across the creek you will see a big brown brick house and just upstream of it a green roof dock.

On a line between the point and green roof dock, out in the middle of the creek, is a hump that comes up to about 18 feet on top. There is brush on it.  Todd will stop here and jig a spoon on this hump, especially if he sees baitfish or fish near the bottom with his depth finder.  It is close to the creek channel and often holds a school of fish. He says he will not spend a lot of time here but does check it out.

8. N 33 09.568 – W 83 12.765 – Near the mouth of the creek on your left is a small island sitting close to the bank.  A long shallow point runs off it toward the middle of the creek.  Todd stops his boat just upstream of the island, lining up the trees on the upstream side of it with the red top dock on the bank behind the island.

Sitting in 15 feet of water he will cast a crankbait all over this point, covering it with fan casts.  He will also try his jerkbait here as well as worm rigs.  This long underwater point is typical of the kinds of places winter bass hold on Sinclair and the water is clear enough here they will come up for a jerkbait.

9. N 33 09.448 – W 83 12.700 – Downstream of the island a big cove runs from the island to the main lake point between Island Creek and the river.  About in the middle of this cove is a long shallow point running out to deep water.  It has a sharp drop off on the downstream side.

Look for and old high boat house roof with no sides and a gazebo on the bank near it. There are swift gourds on a pole near it.  Just downstream is a gray roof dock with a boat ramp just upstream of it.  The point runs out with the downstream sharp edge right at the ramp. You can see this point on your GPS or map, too.

Todd starts way out on this point and make long fan cast across it with crankbaits and jerkbaits.  Try to hit the drop from several angles. Then work your worm rigs across the point and down the drop for fish that are not very active.

10. N 33 08.296 – W 83 11.535 – Run down to the dam and start into Rocky Creek. On your right is a point between the river and the creek.  There is a Georgia Power park and pavilion on the bank here.  This point runs way out shallow and Todd starts way off the bank with his boat in 15 to 16 feet of water and casts his crankbaits up toward the point. You will be casting to water about eight feet deep.

Try to bump the bottom with your crankbaits. Todd likes a fire tiger coach dog pattern for his Bomber and will usually throw a pearl and chartreuse or blue back Flat Maxx. Those baits will dive deep enough to bump bottom in eight feet of water so you will cover the depth many bass will feed this time of year.

Check out Todd’s spots and try his methods on Sinclair this month. There are many other similar spots you can then find and fish.  You should catch a lot of keeper size bass.

Where and How to Catch December Bass At Miller’s Ferry, with GPS Coordinates

 December Bass at Millers Ferry 

with Skip Spurlin

     The Alabama River has some great bass lakes on it and Millers Ferry ranks high among them.  All the river lakes contain excellent populations of largemouth and spotted bass and this is a good time to catch both species on Millers Ferry.  As the water cools they follow patterns that you can take advantage of right now.

     Millers Ferry is officially known as William “Bill” Dannelly Reservoir and covers 105 miles of the Alabama River south of Selma.  It contains about 17,200 acres of water and over 500 shoreline miles.  A Corps of Engineers Lake that officially opened to the public in 1974, it has more than three million visitors each year.

     Skip Spurlin grew up near Millers Ferry and has fished it for a long as he can remember. It was the lake he fished in his youth with his Uncle Jerry Hollinghead, Grandfather J.C. Hollinghead and father Gordon Spurlin.  He has learned what the bass are doing there over the years with them and fishing on his own.  The patterns they follow each fall make finding and catching bass a good bet.

     Skip now lives in Opp and fishes several tournament trails including the BFL and Airport Marine tournaments.  He also fished some of the Fishers of Men tournaments and a lot of local pot tournaments and charity tournaments on Millers Ferry.  He is on the Airport Marine Ranger Pro Staff.

     Some of Skip’s best catches at Millers Ferry include a spot weighing a 5.5 poounds, a good fish anywhere, and a 7.5 pound largemouth.  His best tournament catch on the lake was a five fish limit weighing 22 pounds.  There are plenty of quality spots and largemouth in Millers Ferry.

     “Fall fishing is all about the shad,” Skip told me.  The shad move off the river into the pockets as the water cools in November and the bass follow them.  Then in late December the shad will head back out to the river and bass will say on them.  You can catch them on the points at the mouths of creeks and pockets coming and going.

     Skip and I were on Milers Ferry in late October, the first cold front of the year and the coldest day up until then, and the shad were already back in some of the creeks.  That seemed a little early but you need to follow them and not worry about why they are moving when they do, just stay on them like the bass do.  Find the shad and you will find the bass.  At times you can see them feeding on top and other times you will need to watch your depth finder to spot the balls of shad in deeper water.

     “When you catch a bass on a buzzbait it will be a fat one,” Skip said.  Each morning Skip will start with a white or black Lunker Lure buzzbait around wood cover in the mouths of pockets.  He will throw this bait on shady banks back in the creeks as long as the fish are hitting. 

If they don’t want a topwater bait he will try a silver blade white spinnerbait in the same areas.  He will also offer them a Trick worm or Senko around the shallow cover if they don’t seem very active, working the Trick worm by cover and dropping the Senko beside logs and letting it sink to the bottom.

     As the sun gets higher or if the bass are not hitting the  spinnerbait and buzzbait he will try a crankbait.  Skip likes to start shallow with a bait like a Rattle Trap and will throw it around the mouths of creeks and pockets.   He likes a one half ounce shad colored bait in clear water and a gold bait in stained water.

     After trying the Trap shallow work deeper with a Norman’s Deep Little N then a DD22 in the same colors. Probe for drops, cover and fish around shad in the mouths of creeks on points with these baits.  The point between the river channel and creek channel is often an excellent crankbait hole this time of year.

     If nothing else works Skip will go to a jig head, Carolina or Texas rigged worm, but they tend to catch smaller bass.  He likes a Zoom Speed worm for largemouth and a Zoom Trick worm for spotted bass.  On sunny days a green or green pumpkin color is best and on cloudy days he will switch to the same worms in Junebug or redbug colors.

     Skip likes the Gee’s Bend area this time of year.  He and I put in at Roland Cooper State Park and fished the following holes in late October. There were shad and bass on several of them but we had a tough bluebird sky/cold front day to fish.  Each will be even better now and you can catch bass on them on through December or even later. Just remember to find the shad to find the bass.

1. N 32 03.363 – W 87 15.031 – Going upstream from the opening at the ramps at the state park you will pass a long island on your right.  Watch to your right for an opening going back into a big area at the state park golf course. There is a small island in the middle of the opening and a green channel marker is lodged in some stumps on the downstream point.

     Start here early throwing a buzzbait and spinnerbait around the wood and grass cover on the point. Work back into the pocket behind the point and around behind the island.  Fish school up on shad in places like this and feed early around shallow cover.  Make several casts to the best looking spots.

     Later in the day or if nothing hits shallow work around the island with your crankbaits. Work deeper if you don’t get bit shallow.  The water drops off fairly fast on the river side of the island so work this areas back to the downstream point.  You can also fish a plastic bait around the cover here.

     2. N 32 04.194 – W 87 14.206 – Run up to the next cut on your right and go into it.  Be careful if you run in on plane, there are some stumps near the channel.  Go around the point on your left and head to the left.  Near the back of the creek you will see a concrete seawall and dock on a point on your right. Start fishing on this point.

There is a good grass bed to fish around this point and some wood cover. Work up this bank hitting grass beds and wood cover with buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. This bank stays shady for a good while so it will be better a little later in the morning. Fish all the way up to the last dock on that side. Just past it you will see a causeway coming across the small creek. 

If the fish don’t hit a buzzbait or spinnerbait work a plastic bait around the cover. A Trick worm or Senko can be good in the shallows if the bass don’t want to chase your faster moving lure.  If shad have worked this far back into the creek there should be bass feeding on them.

3. N 32 04.246 – W 87 14.629 – Back out at the main river stop on the upstream point of this creek. The point between the creek and river has a lot of visible brush off the bank on the river side and you will see a long cedar tree growing on the point. On the map this point is near mile marker 46.

Fish around the shallow cover with spinnerbaits and buzzbaits on the point between the two channels.  Also work a jig head worm or Texas rigged worm on it. Skip says the bottom is nasty here with lots of rocks that will eat your bait.  You can’t fish a crankbait here without getting hung up on every cast.

Current is critical on these points.  Bass will feed much better when there is some current moving. The current will move the shad across the points and position the bass.  You will catch some bass without current but not as many and not as big as when it is moving. This point is mostly a spot hole.

4. N 32 04.385 – W 87 14.770 – Across the river is an opening going back to flats of an old oxbow and Skip likes to fish the left bank going it. Start about even with the point on the island between the river and the oxbow and fish all visible cover.  The left bank going in is the side the old river channel was on and is deeper and better.

Fish from the area across from the river side island to a point where there is a deep pocket going further in. You will see a field across this pocket and that is as far as Skip usually fishes this spot.  The sun gets on the water early here so he likes to start here in the mornings.

This is a good area for pattern that works on some spots. Look for patches and pockets of water hyacinth and flip them with a heavy jig and pig. You need a half to three quarters ounce jig to get down under the mat. Skip says this pattern can be good all day since bass hold in the shade on sunny days.

5. N 32 04.687 – W 87 14.508 – Another good pattern on Millers Ferry is to flip and pitch to shoreline cover along outside bends in the river.  Back out on the main river head upstream and the river will start bending to your left a little.  Watch for a big oak tree leaning over the water on your right and start fishing there, working upstream.

Flip a jig and pig to all wood cover along the outside bend. The bottom drops off fast and there are lay down trees and logs as well as stumps along this bank.  Also watch for any change in the bottom like a ditch or the change from dirt to clay. Those things can concentrate the fish.

Skip likes to flip a three eights to one half ounce jig to the wood along the bank.  He chooses a black and blue Eakins or Lunker Lure jig with a Zoom sapphire blue Super Chunk.  Fish it on heavy line like 15 to 20 pound Seaguar fluorocarbon to pull bass out of the cover.

6. N 32 05.367 – W 87 14.905 – Up the river you will come to the mouth of Buzzard’s Bay on your right. You can see a lot of standing trees back in the bay and there is a red channel marker just off the upstream point.  The upstream point is where you want to fish.

Skip likes crankbaits and plastics on this point. There is a good break in eight feet of water and wood washes in and hangs up on it. Bass will hold in the cover and school up on the flat behind the break.  Start with your boat out in 15 feet of water and cast up shallow, covering the flat and drop. Then move on the shallow side of the break and work your plastic baits through the wood cover, fishing deep to shallow.  

Skip will throw a Carolina rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog on this point.  He likes green pumpkin and dips the tails in JJs Magic chartreuse dye.  The Carolina rig is good for fishing the cover on the bottom. Moving water makes shad pull up on the flat on this point and bass will follow them, too.  Watch for surface activity while fishing the deeper water.

7. N 32 02.394 – W 87 16.671 – Run down the river past the state park and watch on your left for a line of tall post that run along the bank.  They were put there for a seawall or some other structure but stick up by themselves with some wood along their lower edges. 

Start fishing at the downstream side of these posts and work upstream.  This is another good outside bend area and working upstream helps you position your boat if there is any current. Current really makes the bass bite better so you want to be fishing it when the current is moving.

Skip says you can take a limit of spots weighing 15  pounds if the current is moving and everything is right. Flip a jig and pig to shoreline cover here like in hole number 5.  There are also riprap banks and docks along this area to fish. 

Fish upstream to the double dock with the workboat tied to it.  There was an American flag flying here the day we fished.  Skip says flip to all the post on this dock, that wood washes in and hangs up here and holds bass. Work this whole bank probing for wood cover as the water drops.

8. N 32 02.315 – W 87 16.920 – Just downstream of the posts on the same side is a cove that holds shad and bass this time of year.  There is a big gray house on the upstream point with a gazebo out on the point.  Across from that point they are clearing brush on the lot on the downstream side. That is the side Skip likes to fish.

Start fishing on the riverside of the lot they are clearing. There is wood and grass along that bank that holds bass as they move in and out of the pocket following the shad. Try all your baits along this bank, hitting visible grass and wood cover.

9. N 32 02.903 – W 87 18.535 – Further downstream on your left is the opening to go back to Ellis Ferry landing.  The downstream point of this creek has a two story white house behind and a little downstream of it.  This point has a bar that runs across and upstream of it and is an excellent place to find spots schooled up.

Fish a crankbait and jig head worm on this point, covering it from all angles. Watch your depth finder to see how the bar runs and work it out to deeper water.  A jig head worm is especially good fished along the bar out toward deeper water.

10. N 32 02.493 – W 87 18.493 – Go back into the creek until you see the ramp at Ellis Ferry ahead of you as you round a point on your right. Start at that point across from the boat ramp and work into the creek. Ahead of you there is a causeway that cuts off part of the bay. This is a good bank to start on if you put in here.

Shad will often hold along the grass beds on this bank and they were thick in there in late October.  Bass were schooling on them when we fished it and it will be even better now.  Fish this bank with buzzbait and spinnerbait early, then work a Trap a little later.  It is a shallow bank so stay way out and make long casts.

Fish the docks and grassbeds back until the water out from the bank where your boat is sitting is only two feet deep.  Watch for action on top and make casts to it. Also hit dock pilings and brush under the docks.  There are enough tournaments held from this ramp that the area is constantly restocked, adding to the fish that are moving in following the shad.

Try these ten spots Skip likes to fish and see what kind of structure and cover he is looking for. Check other areas of the lake that are similar and find the shad on them and you will catch bass.