Category Archives: Map of the Month – Georgia

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.

How and Where to Catch May Bass at Lake Seminole with GPS Coordinates

May Bass at Seminole with Jim Merritt and Brian Key

     May is a magical month at Lake Seminole. The grass beds are thick enough that you can see them and fish the edges easily. The weather has stabilized so you can fish the big water.  And the big bass have moved into their summer pattern, stacking up in places where you can find and catch them.

     Brian Key and Jim Merritt live in Bainbridge and fish team tournaments together. They have had great success on Seminole and May starts their favorite time to fish there. Their patterns and places pay off year after year in tournaments and will work for you.

     Jim moved to Bainbridge in 1979 and started fishing Seminole. He guided there for several years and learned the lake’s secrets.  Brian lived near him and they got to know each other. Fishing with the Bainbridge Bass Club, they paired up for a 24 hour tournament and found out they compliment each other well in tournaments, so they started fishing team tournaments together.

     Brian and Keith fish the R & R Team Trail as well as the Wingate Open and other team tournaments in the area like the Wingate Summer trail.  In 1999 they had a string of 3 wins in a row in R & R and other tournaments like the Wingate Open and the Memorial Day tournament, and did it again in 2001. After winning three in a row two years ago they had a poor tournament, then won a fourth that year at Seminole.

     Not only are the patterns Jim and Brian fish consistent, they produce big bass.  Jim has been in on three catches of 10 bass weighing over 50 pounds in tournaments. In 1990 he brought in 10 weighing 55 lbs. 13ozs. and he and Brian had ten fish weighing 57-3 in 1999 and 55 pounds even in a two day tournament in 2001.  Their best one day catch of 5 bass in a tournament weighed 37 pounds and they have won the big fish pot in Wingate’s tournaments three times. 

     Starting in May there are two basic patterns Jim and Brian fish to win tournaments.    Their primary target is grass beds on the river ledges, and they fish them a couple of different ways.  They will also fish the standing timber in Spring Creek if the ledges just don’t produce, something that seldom happens.

     The best grass beds are the ones that come to a point or have cuts in them and grow right on the ledge, dropping into 20 plus feet of water.  Current running across the grass and ledge helps. Jim says  you can be sitting on a ledge near the dam and hear the siren go off, warning of water release, and within a few minutes the bass will start biting.

     Before sunrise Brian and Jim hit grass points with spinnerbaits and top water. Jim tells a story of how he discovered his favorite spinnerbait. About 15 years ago some guide clients brought some spinnerbaits with big #7 willowleaf blades and he thought they were “tourist” spinnerbaits. When the sun came over the trees the clients had 7 bass to his 2.  The next day he was loaded up with spinnerbaits with #7 blades.

     Brian and Jim like to get near the grass ledges and keep the boat out in 20 feet of water. They cast the spinnerbaits up over the grass and bring it back to the edge. Bass usually hold right on the edge of the grass. A 1/2 ounce white spinnerbait with a big #7 silver blade and a smaller Colorado blade in either silver or copper is their choice.

     While one is working a spinnerbait the other might throw a Baby Torpedo top water plug. If the bass are not real active, they might try a Texas rigged worm with a 3/16 ounce sinker, worked down the edge of the grass. But Jim and Brian and looking for active fish and expect to “get rich” as Brian says, on a ledge with feeding bass.

     After the sun gets up they switch to their bread and butter tactic of catching bass.  Both will throw a Carolina rigged Hummer Hawg trick style worm in green pumpkin or a lizard in the same color. Hummer Hawg makes lizards and trick style worms using suggestions Brian and Jim have made so they really like their worms.

     The Carolina rig has a long leader, five or six feet, but the key is the lead.  Brian and Jim make a special 1 1/4 ounce lead that is long and has a pointed end. This lead comes through the grass better and they can pop it free, a technique that seems to turn on the big bass. They fish this rig from 6 inches of water to as deep as it gets.

     Jim and Brian use a long 7 foot rod and would like one 8 feet long for more leverage.  They found the perfect Carolina rig rod when Davy Hite showed them a Pflueger Trion 7 foot rod while they were fishing together. The rod has plenty of backbone but a light enough tip for the action they want. And best of all, I was able to order one from Berry’s Sporting Goods in Griffin for $44.95 retail.  You should be able to get one at a similar price.

     They like to team it up with a Pflueger Solar reel and Brian favors the PFLSOLARALP.  It has served him well in many tournaments and is affordable.  That combination works well for him.

     With the Carolina rig Jim and Brian throw the bait up into the grass and drag it to the edge, then pop it free and let it fall. They make long cast and work the bait to edge of the grass, then reel it in for another cast when they don’t fee the grass anymore.

     Both Brian and Jim warn to be careful when pulling through the grass. Fish, especially big bass, will grab the bait and hold on without moving. All too often you will pull your lead away from the grass only to realize you pulled your worm away from a fish. Be careful when you feel weight and make sure it is grass, not a bass, before pulling it free.

     The fall-back pattern is to go to standing timber and fish it with a Texas rigged worm.  They both like a 3/16s ounce sinker and use smoking blue, green pumpkin or grape with red fleck worms.  They drop a worm beside every piece of wood and let it fall until a fish hits.  The key to fishing the timber is to keep your boat in 20 feet of water and fish the deeper timber.

     Hydrilla used to grow in the timber in Spring Creek and you could follow the edge of it. Now, you just fish all the timber since bass might be anywhere.  There are no spots marked on the map for fishing timber, if you get into Spring Creek you can’t help but find it, it is everywhere.  And all of it can hold bass,  you just have to fish a lot of it.

     The following 8 holes are all good, and the lake is full of more just like them. Jim and Brian say they found these spots by getting out there and fishing. You can find more by getting on a ledge and following it, fishing all the grass you find until you find hotspots of your own.

     Note – the following number channel markers are numbered on the Atlantic Mapping Lake Seminole Map, but not all channel markers have numbers on them on the lake.

     1.  N 30 47.118 W 84 44.142 – One of Brian and Jim’s “get rich quick” spots is the bend of the river above Wingates near the island on the left side going upstream.  Head up the Flint to the island just downstream of the entrance to Ten Mile Still landing.  Just off black channel marker 10.2  you will see the end of a log sticking out of the water. Jim and Brian call this “leaning log hole” from that log.

     Look for the grassbed in this spot where it comes out to the river ledge and ends.  You will be sitting in 20 feet of water in the channel and throwing up on top of the grass. If you are here before sunrise start with topwater and spinnerbaits. Run the spinnerbait out to the edge of the grass and let it fall if they won’t hit it on a steady retrieve. Cast the topwater bait to the edge and work it slowly right on the edge of the grass as long as possible.

     2. N 30 46.397 W 84 45.351 – This is the spot where the old ferry used to dock and there is riprap on the edge of the old river channel. Grass grows right to the edge so you have rocks, a drop and grass all together. It is an excellent place to find fish. Look for red channel marker 11.2 and line it up with the little cut on the bank. That cut is the entrance to the slough upstream of Wingates. If you work from the channel marker toward the  mouth of the slough you will go right over the old riprap. 

     Sit in the river channel and work your spinnerbait and topwater along the grass. Follow up with a Carolina rig, but if the current is strong you will get hung in the rocks a lot.  You can work a lighter Texas rig along the rocks in the current by casting downstream and working it upstream along them.

     3. N 30 45.893 W 84 46.636 – Head down the Flint past Wingates to the green channel marker across from red channel marker 8.8.  The green buoy does not have a number on it. If you are heading downstream there is a grass point on the right of that channel marker a little upstream of it where there is an old wash out in the river ledge. You can see it on a map. The edge of that washout has a grass point on it that holds bass.

     If the sun is up, use your Carolina rig. If there is current running down the Flint bass will stack up here on the upstream side of the grass point, holding on the edge of it waiting on the current to bring baitfish to them.

     Keep your boat out in the channel and cast up into the grass. Let the heavy sinker go to the bottom, falling through the grass fast.  It will pull the worm down and then the worm will fall slower after the lead hits bottom.  Move the lead along, popping it through the grass when it hangs up. When the lead breaks free of the grass stop and let the worm follow it down right on the grass edge.  That is where you are mostly likely to get bit.

     4. N 30 45.954 W 84 49.496  – Going downstream, cut behind the line of standing timber near channel marker 7.3 and stay toward the bank to your right.  As you pass the islands and can see through to Spring Creek, stop and look for the grass line on your right.  You will see a big snag on your left with a osprey nest on it about six feet above the water when you are in the right area.

     This is really a triple shot hole. There are three excellent grass points on this grass bed within 1/4 mile.  The osprey nest is about even with the middle one. The first is back toward the big island upstream and the last one is downstream near the small island.

     Fish each of these grass points with spinnerbait and topwater early, then switch to your Carolina rig. The long leader is important in the grass since you will be throwing up into fairly shallow water.  The long leader lets the worm work better further away from the lead. The heavy lead will also stir up mud on the bottom and move grass, attracting the fish.

     5. N 30 44.250 W 84 53.133 – Run down to the main lake and go across to the Florida side to the entrance to Sneads Landing.   Near the green channel marker just upstream of the first two sets of poles going into Sneads, there is a good grass point on the river ledge on the Georgia side of the channel.

     You will be about 150 yards from the poles toward the island on the Georgia side. You can see the shallow river ledge on the map, and grass grows on it to the drop.  Fish it early with fast moving baits but slow down after the sun comes up and use the Carolina rig.

     6  N 30 44.024 W 84 53.121 – About 100 yards below the poles near the first green marker going downstream, look for a blowout on the river ledge on the Florida side of the channel. If you look upstream, you can make a triangle with the red and green markers and your boat – you want to be sitting at the peak of the triangle downstream of the two markers. The grass will form two points, one on each side of the drop where the current cut away the old ledges.  Both points hold bass.

     Fish both points on the grass bed, sitting in the channel and casting up onto the ledge. Current here running down the Chattahoochee River will make the bass feed, so listen for the siren at the dam and sick around if you hear it.

     7. N 30 43.504 W 84 51.694 – Run down to near the dam on the Georgia side, just downstream of the Chattahoochee Park swimming area. There is a long sand ridge running parallel to the river and bank, about 150 yards off the bank. There are two cuts through this ridge where the bass stack up.

     The first one is out from the second dock on the bank.  If you get straight out from this dock and ease along, you will see a dip in the sand ridge where a little channel cuts through it.  There are grass points on both sides of the cut, and bass hold on both of them.  Fish them just like the other grass beds.

     8.  N 30 43.079 W 84 51.591 – Ease down the ridge toward the Coast Guard station. Watch the radio tower behind the station and line it up with the first building if you are going toward the dam.  On this line is a hole that is a borrow pit made when they were building the dam. It is right on the sand ridge and grass grows on both sides of it, too.

     You will see the bottom drop from 12 feet on top of the ridge to 22 feet in the pit. Fish the grass on both ends of the ridge where it drops off. Here as in other places look for something a little different in the grass that the bass key on. A small point, a cut or a sudden drop in the grass will hold the fish and you should concentrate your casts to that spot.

     On the outside of the pit toward the channel there is an old road used in construction leading out of the pit. It forms a ridge on the channel side, and will have grass on it, too. Fish it as well as the points of grass on the bank side.

     These 8 holes are just a few of the spots on the river and creek ledges that hold bass in May at Seminole. And if you get tired of running the ridges, go to the timber in Spring creek for a different kind  of fishing. All of the timber and ridges may harbor a 10 bass, 50 plus pound catch for you like it does for Jim and Brian. Use their methods on spots you find for a fantastic catch of May bass at Seminole.

     Jim and Brian sell their Carolina rig 1 1/4 ounce sinkers for 25 cents each plus shipping. Call them at 229-246-6046 or 229-254-3884 to order some.

Where and How To Catch November Lake Seminole Bass

Seminole November Bass with Steven Wells with GPS Coordinates to ten spots

     All summer long the hydrilla beds at Seminole have been full of bass, but often the weeds are so thick you can’t fish it very effectively. In November the hydrilla begins to die back and open up, giving you access to those bass.  And the cooler temperatures mean they feed even better.

     Seminole is a one-of-a-kind lake in Georgia with its huge grass flats and stumpy water. So far south the dam is in Florida, it is like a Florida lake in many ways. The bass grow fat and spawn early in its warm waters.  And every bit of the lake looks bassy, like you should be able to cast anywhere and hook a hog.

     Unfortunately for the bass fisherman used to other lakes, looking good and being good are not always the same thing.  The sheer size of the grass flats often make it difficult to locate bass unless you have an idea what they are doing and where to start.  The bass are in the grass but you still have to find patterns within the grass to catch them.

     Seminole is right in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.  It covers 37,500 acres and has been famous for its bass fishing for many years.  Jack Wingate and his Lunker Lodge are one of the reasons for that fame and many happy bass fishermen have passed through his restaurant and dock over the years.

     Steven Wells grew up right on the lake in Faceville, and is kin to Jack. He loves to fish and was on the lake so much Jack talked him into guiding there.  Jack told him “As much as you like to fish you might as well let somebody else pay for your gas.”  Steven also manages Outland Plantation, a hunting preserve near the lake, so he gets to spend all his time outside studying nature.

     His time fishing paid off in another way this year when he married Pam Martin, a top angler on the Women’s Bass Fishing Association professional trail. She guides on Seminole out of Wingates with Steven when she is not off on the national tournament trail.  She and Steven share patterns, tips and fishing spots and help each other out on the lake.

     “If you are not fishing the hydrilla you are not fishing where the bass live, they get in the hydrilla,” Steven told me.  We were fishing on a hot early October day and he was showing me patterns and places that would be good in November when the water cooled down a little.

     In November you should start with topwater, then switch to spinnerbaits and lizards as the sun gets up,” Steven told me.  He likes to fish a topwater bait around the hydrilla early in the morning, varying his bait according to the wind.  If it is dead calm he throws a Mirror Lure topwater bait but if there is some ripple he switches to a Pop-R.

     “Throw the plug within inches of the grass mat,” Steven said.  You have to get it close to the edge, especially early in November when the grass is still thick.  Work it slowly in place, keeping it as close as possible to the grass while making it act like a hurt baitfish.  The longer you can keep it close to the grass the better your chances of getting bit.

     Steven chooses a silver plug and throws it using 12 pound Stren line.  The lighter line helps the bait work better and will still bet most fish out of the grass if they head back into it after you hook them.  You can also make longer casts which are needed if the water is real clear.

     Later in the month when the grass mat on top is breaking up, Steven will throw a buzz bait since it can be worked better.  He likes a white one and ties it on 14 to 17 pound Stren line. If the grass is thick under the water he uses the heavier line to horse big bass out of the cover.  The lighter line allows longer casts.

     As the sun gets up Steven will switch to a spinnerbait  and work it through openings and channels in the grass.  Some of his favorite places will have clumps of grass out from the main mat even early in November and he tries to run it right beside those clumps, too. 

     Steven always chooses willowleaf blades since they come through the grass better and he varies the color depending on the water color. White with silver blades is better in clear water and gold blades and chartreuse skirts are best in stained water.  The spinnerbait is fished on 14 to 17 pound Stren like the buzzbaits and for the same reasons.

     “Bring two packs of watermelon seed lizards and leave everything else at home and you won’t go too far wrong,” Steven said.  His go-to bait and what he uses most of the day is a Texas rigged Zoom watermelon seed lizard.  He uses a 1/8th ounce lead unless the current or wind forces him to go heavier since the slower fall seems more attractive to Seminole bass.

     Tie your lizard on 12 or 14 pound Stren since you will be fishing right in the grass.  If the water is heavily stained Steven will go to Junebug lizards and sometimes he dies the tails of both colors chartreuse. Lizard fishing is slow so he likes to start with topwater and spinnerbaits, but the lizard will produce all day long.

     “Cast the lizard right on top of the hydrilla and slide it to the edge, letting it fall when it hits open water,” Steven said.  You must watch your line carefully since bass hitting on the fall often don’t give much indication they have taken the bait.  If you see your line tick or move at all, set the hook hard to pull them away from the grass.

     Steven shared 8 of his favorite November spots with me and they will all produce fish this month. They are just a few of the hundreds of similar places but there are key things to look for.  Most of these are within a few miles of Wingates and Steven says some of the best fishing on the lake is a couple of hundred yards either side of the channel going in there.

     1.  N 30 47.355 W 84 43.050 – Upriver from Wingates at channel markers 13.8 through 13.3 the Flint River makes a sweeping turn across the lake.  Along the downstream edge of the channel the water is shallow and hydrilla grows in a thick mat all along it.  People use a cut-through behind a small island to run down to Wingates so sometimes there is a channel in the grass there.

     Start at the first red channel marker just downstream of the grass island and work the edge of the hydrilla all the way past the turn back up river to the third red marker.  The grass drops off deep here so you must cast topwater baits right to the edge of it.  Concentrate on any cuts or holes in the edge and try to work your topwater bait in it as long as possible.

     After the sun gets up switch to a lizard.  You may need a 3/16 or even a 1/4 ounce lead here if there is any current since you want the lizard to drop straight down the side of the grass.  The bass will hold all along the vertical face of the grass and suck in food, and your lizard, as it falls.

     Cast your lizard up on top of the grass and pull it off.  That insures it is as close to the wall of grass as possible.  Watch your line carefully. When it stops falling, make sure it is not a fish then twitch it to make if fall on down. If it is on the bottom twitch it a couple of more times then reel in for another cast.

     If you start here early, it is worth a pass with topwater then another pass with the lizard, especially if you catch a few fish on the first pass.  The fish may be scattered the whole length of the bed or concentrated in one place, so pay attention to where you get bites.

     2. N 30 46.736  W 84 44.381 – Just upstream of the Wingate cut there is a rockpile out on the old river channel where the ferry used to cross. You can see the old road bed on most maps.  The grass bed along this edge is another good place to fish.  The fish hold in the grass and also hold on the rocks and move into the grass to feed.

     Fish the outside edge of the grass here.  There is a wide band of grass and there is some open water behind it, but the best fishing in November is usually on the outside edge.  Work it with topwater first then come back with a lizard.  The water is not as deep on the outside edge of the grass here and a light sinker is usually best.

     3. N 30 46.397 W 84 45.351 – The poles marking the Wingate cut have grass around them out where they get to the river channel and this can be an excellent place to fish.  If you start upstream of the marker poles you should work the outside edge of the grass.  Below the cut there is a bed of grass on a ridge and it has water 9 feet deep on the back side of it.  This is a good place to work both sides of the bed.

     The outside edge has clumps of grass growing out from the main bed and a spinnerbait or buzz bait is good in that area.  The inside edge drops to 9 feet and a lizard falling down that drop is an excellent way to get a bass to bite.  You can fish down the outside edge then cut through and fish the inside edge going the other way to cover both sides.  If you catch a fish, concentrate on that area since there should be others nearby.

     4. N 30 46.143  W 84 45.710 – Further downstream out from a couple of docks and pontoon boats on the bank the grass bed  continues in closer to the bank.  The river channel is a long way away here and the big flat has some grass on it, but as you get closer to the bank you will find a thick ridge of hydrilla. There is standing timber out toward the channel but it will be well behind you when you are fishing the outside edge of the grass.

     On the outside edge clumps grow up well out from the mat.  This is a good area for spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.  The inside edge has enough water to be worth fishing and the lizard should be better here.  Work all around the ridges of grass and fish both sides. Again, if you catch a fish work that area carefully since there should be others nearby.

       5. N 30 45.943 W 64 46.122 – Straight downstream from areas #4 you will see a red channel marker where the channel swings back across the lake.  Where it turns and runs down the bank is another good ridge of grass to fish. It is right along the channel and drops off fast.  Fish the outside edge of it, keeping your boat in the channel and casting to the edge of the hydrilla.

     6. N 30 46.036 W 84 48.063 – The Tractor bank is a well known local fishing spot.  It is called that because the DNR used to keep a tractor there to use in the management area.  You can follow the channel downstream then cut across to the north bank just downstream of a tall dead tree standing in the water. Be careful, there are a lot of stumps in this area and you need to find the clear area before running it if you don’t know it.

     You will see a point of land with a cove on the upstream side.  In the mouth of the cove is a small grass island and you will see a yellow sign on a pole out in the water upstream of it.  There are big grass beds all along this bank. Start fishing near the management area sign and work down the bank.   You can fish all along here, concentrating on areas where you catch fish.

     Watch here for scattered clumps of grass out from the main bed and fish them with spinnerbait, buzzbait and lizard.  It often pays off to drop a lizard down beside one of these clumps after running a buzz bait or spinnerbait through the area to catch a bass that is attracted by the faster bait but will not  hit it.

     There are also scattered stumps near the bank here so watch for them and cast to them.  You also need to keep your boat out in 10 feet of water or more when running this bank because of the stumps in closer to the bank.

     7.  N 30 45.550 W 84 47.903 – Back across the lake at red channel marker 7.3 a ridge runs out from the bank and hydrilla grows on it.  Fish both sides of this grass bed.  It runs down to channel marker 6.9 and there are several sand bars in the area.     This is a spawning area for bass and most of these grass beds are good in November because they are near spawning areas.  At Seminole bass are often moving near spawning beds to hold until the water warms, which can happen in January here.  When looking for similar places to fish keep in mind that you should look for fish near spawning areas.

     8.  N 30 44.134 W 84 51.837 – Down near the dam where the bank turns south, a huge area of grass runs all the way from the swimming area at Chattahoochee Municipal Park down to the Coast Guard station at the dam.  There is an old road bed running parallel to the bank and some real shallow places on it are marked by danger poles.  Grass grows all along the ridge the roadbed is on and also behind it.

     You could easily fish this area all day. Work both the inside and outside areas of grass.  This is a big spawning area full of sandbars so fish will be positioning themselves here in November.  Concentrate on areas where you catch a fish and look for keys.  Is the bottom a little deeper, are there cuts in the grass or is it a solid mat?  All those keys can point to concentrations of bass in similar areas.

     Seminole is a great place for a November trip.  It will be much warmer and the bass more cooperative than in more northern lakes if we have a cold month.  And just fishing legendary Seminole is a thrill.  Check out these patterns and spots and you will be able to find many more like them.

How and Where to Catch December Bass at Bartlett’s Ferry/Lake Harding

How and Where to Catch December Bass at Bartlett’s Ferry/Lake Harding
with Tommy Gunn

By this time of year lake waters are getting cold and bass are not feeding as good as they did earlier in the fall. Colder water means they are less active and more likely to be holding in deeper water. But a few warm days can turn them on and you can have some excellent fishing before the weather really gets harsh.

Some lakes seem to be better now and Bartlett’s Ferry on the Chattahoochee River below West Point is one of them. Also called Lake Harding, the water levels stay fairly consistent because it is a small lake at 5850 acres and generation at West Point keeps it full. The level can change a couple of feet each day but you will seldom see it more than three feet low.

Bartlett’s Ferry is an old lake that started producing power in 1926. It was bought by Georgia Power in 1930 and it is still owned and operated by them. The shoreline is mostly rocky, steep banks on the old river in the lower lake with some creeks offering different kinds of structure over the whole lake. The river above Halawakee Creek has steep outside bends and mud flats. Almost all the shore is lined with cabins and docks.

For a long time Bartlett’s Ferry was known for its largemouth but spotted bass have come on strong there. In the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Creel Census Report in 1996 just under 63 percent of bass were largemouth but by 2005 that was down to 48 percent. The population of spots is probably even higher than that indicates since spots are often culled for largemouth in tournaments.

In the Alabama Bass Anglers Information Team report for 2006 angler success rate at Bartlett’s Ferry was seventh highest of all lakes in the report. But it ranks low on the chart overall due to the average size of the fish caught. You can catch a lot of bass at Bartlett’s Ferry but they will mostly be smaller spots.

The good news is now is the time to catch a lot of bass there and you can bring in some quality largemouth if you fish it right. There is little of the boat traffic that plagues the lake during warmer months and you can fish in peace. Add to that the varied structure and cover and Bartlett’s Ferry is a good choice for this time of year.

Access to the lake is fair with a public ramp on the Georgia side at Idlehour and a public ramp on the Alabama side at Long Bridge. There are other ramps but these are open year round and have a decent amount of parking. There are a good many club tournaments on the lake and a weekly pot tournament goes out of Long Bridge ramp.

Tommy Gunn lives about ten minutes west of Bartlett’s Ferry in Cusseta. He started fishing Bartlett’s Ferry in the mid 1980s with his cousin and they fished many of the pot tournaments there over the years. He still fishes them and also fishes the Bassmaster Weekend Series, placing 7th overall in the Alabama South division in 2007.

Tommy agrees the size of the fish has gone down in the past ten years. His best tournament catch ever was a seven fish limit weighing 28 pounds in the mid 1990s but his best catches for the past few years in the tournaments has been five fish limits weighing 17 to 18 pounds. He landed a nine and one quarter pound largemouth in the 1990s, his best from Bartlett’s Ferry, but has not seen many over eight pounds recently.

Not only does he fish as often as possible, Tommy also makes Jawbreaker Jigs. He got started making them so he could have the colors he wanted but could not find. His jigs are sold in many stores in the area around Bartlett’s Ferry and he makes both skirted jigs and plain jigs for jig head worm fishing.

“I like to fish shallow, there are almost always some fish in shallow water here,” Tommy told me. As long as the water is above 55 degrees he is confident he will have a good catch in shallow water this time of year and he sticks with it until the water gets below 50 degrees. Then it is time to go deeper.

Since he is fishing tournaments Tommy is looking for five good bites. For numbers of fish he would go deeper and catch mostly spots, but he wants largemouth for weigh-in. You can catch fish both ways now at Bartlett’s Ferry and a couple of simple patterns will put you on fish.

For shallow fishing Tommy concentrates on docks. There are hundreds to choose from on Bartlett’s Ferry and many of them hold quality largemouth, and some good spots, right now. Tommy will flip and pitch a jig and pig to docks for bigger fish and throw a crankbait between docks as he moves from one to another.

Some docks are better than others. Tommy likes an older dock with wooden post and some brush or rocks under it. The best ones this time of year are at the mouths of pockets and sloughs. They must be near deep water to hold good fish and that is the most important factor. If there is not seven feet of water just off the end of the dock and much deeper water nearby it will not be as good.

Most of his dock fishing is done with a three eights ounce Jawbreaker jig in warmer water and a quarter ounce jig in colder water. He likes a black/blue/purple or black/blue/brown combination with a green pumpkin Zoom Super Chunk on either weight. Tommy tries to put his jig as far back under docks in places that are hard to get to and that are missed by other fishermen.

If the bite is real tough Tommy will throw a green pumpkin Trick worm on a 3/16 ounce head around the docks. That bait tends to catch more but smaller fish, but will sometimes get hit when bigger baits are ignored.

In deeper water Tommy likes a point or hump that drops off steep into the old river or creek channel. He will throw crank baits across it then back off and fish it with a Carolina rig or a jig head worm. He will start fairly shallow on the structure and work deeper until he finds fish. Rocks or brush on the structure help hold the fish in specific areas.

If the water is 15 feet deep or deeper where he is fishing Tommy will also jig a spoon for the fish. Sometimes you have to jig a spoon in their face, repeatedly moving it up and down, before they will hit. If you spot fish on your depthfinder drop a half ounce spoon straight down to them.

You can pick docks to fish by starting at the mouth of every slough on the lake and hitting them. Choose older docks with post and trash and you will do better. For deeper fish the following ten spots all hold bass this time of year and are some of Tommy’s favorites.

1. N 32 41.259 – W 85 09.095 – Put in at Long Bridge and go under the bridge. Ahead of you an island sits off the right bank. Out to the left of the island a hump comes up to within 18 feet on top and has brush on it. The creek channel swings by it and it drops fast on that side. It is an excellent place to jig a spoon or drag a Carolina rig right now.

Go up toward the island and watch behind you. A long narrow point runs off the left bank going upstream just above the bridge and you want to line up the end of it with the first bridge piling on that side. When you get even with the island you will see the hump come up. It helps to drop a marker out to stay on it.

Fish all around the hump from different directions. If there is any current it will help and you want to sit downstream of the hump and throw back up across it and fish with the current. Probe for the brush and fish it carefully when you hit some.

2. N 32 41.446 – W 85 09.401 – Upstream of the island there is a point and a cove behind it. This point leads to a ridge that runs parallel to the bank on that side. Go upstream staying way off the bank, about even with the point behind the island, and watch for a gray house with two small lighthouses to the left of it when facing it. Start going back and forth out off the bank from those lighthouses and watch your depthfinder. You will see it come up quickly on the back side, topping out at about 9 feet deep, then slope off.

Set up to fish across the ridge, bringing your Carolina rig, jig head worm or jig and pig up the sharp drop. Work the ridge casting over it from both sides. Also watch for bass holding on the side or brush on the sloping side. Jig a spoon around any fish or cover you see.

There is one sweet spot on this ridge right out in front of the gray house, according to Tommy. For some reason fish often concentrate in one small area of this long ridge and you have to fish it to find them. If you catch one bass fish that spot hard, there should be more on it.

3. N 32 41.286 – W 85 09.974 – Head up toward the old railroad trestle. Where the lake narrows down look to your left and you will see the last pocket on that side before the trestle. The downstream point of this pocket runs way out, angling upstream, and is covered with rock. There is a good drop on the inside of this point where the channel from the small creek hits the point and turns.

This is a good spot to throw a Carolina rigged Baby Brush Hog or Finesse worm. Spots love this point and those baits are good for them. Tommy likes a green pumpkin bait on cloudy days and stained water or a watermelon red bait on clear days and clear water. He will dye the tails of either color with chartreuse JJ’s Magic. Spots seem to really like a chartreuse tail.

Fish across this point from both sides and work it way out. When you get out on the end make some casts from the deep end up toward the bank and fish down the point on both sides. Also throw a crankbait in the shallow part of the point when you are in near it.

4. N 32 41.234 – W 85 10.416 – Go under the trestle and you will see a big pocket open up to your right. About 75 yards off the right point of the trestle a hump comes up to within 6 feet of the surface. If you start from the point at the trestle on the right going upstream and idle toward the far upstream point of the cove on your right you should cross it. The far point has two swift houses on it, one with gourds on cross arms and the other a condo style on a post.

When you find the top of the hump stop and cast all around, working your Carolina rig, jig and pig and jig head worm from deep to shallow. There is some brush here and the channel swings by the outside of the hump, making a good drop on that side. Fish all around this spot.

5. N 32 41.484 – W 85 07.631 – Head down the creek under both bridges and past the ramp. When the creek makes a turn to your left you will see powerlines crossing the lake from a point on your right where the creek turns back right. Go under the powerlines and watch to your left. You will see a rocky point running upstream at the mouth of the big cove on that side. There is no house on the point but it has been cleared of brush under the big pine trees.

Tommy says this is an excellent point because the creek channel swings in on the outside and the ditch on the inside is deep, making that side drop fast. There is brush and rocks all around this point. Start by throwing a crankbait working around it then back off and fish a jig and pig, jig head worm or Carolina rig down the slope. Watch and feel for brush and hit it hard when you find it.

Wind often blows in on this point and makes it better. Wind blowing across any of these spots will help, as it does when blowing in on a dock. As long as you can control the boat wind makes a spot even better.

6. N 32 41.528 – W 85 06.773 – Head downstream to the mouth of the river and go on the upstream side of the first small island with a house on it. Ahead you will see a big island with a red clay bluff bank on the downstream point. That downstream point forms a flat that drops off into the river channel on the far side of the island. There is an old state brush pile out on this point that no longer has a buoy marking it.

Work all around this flat and point, fishing Carolina rigs, jig and pig and jig head worm. Throw a crankbait and jig and pig in the blowdowns on the west side of the island, too. Watch your depthfinder and drop a spoon or other bait down to any brush you see. The point will top out at about ten feet deep way off the bank then drop fast and that is where the old state brush piles are located.

7. N 32 41.645 – W 85 06.541 – Go across toward the Georgia side of the river and you will see an opening a little to your left. The downstream point of this opening is actually the upstream point of a big island. There is trash all over the top of this point. Throw a crankbait across it then work your other baits deeper. Try a jigging spoon in the deeper areas.

Current coming down the river will rush right by this point and make it much better. Tommy likes to stay on the river side of the drop and fish from shallow to deep, especially when current is moving. Wind will often blow across this point making it better, too.

8. N 32 40.986 – W 85 06.194 – Run down to Kudzu Island, the island with a standing chimney on it on your left as you head downstream. If you look right on the edge of the water out in front of that chimney, with it lined up with the tree that is out from the others, you will see the old foundation of some kind of structure. A small point runs out from this old foundation and there is more cover on it.

Stay out from the point and fish all around it with all your baits. This point drops fast and is not very big, but it holds fish. Current coming down the river often stacks fish up on it.

9. N 32 40.733 – W 85 06.177 – Across the river on the Alabama side there is a big island in the mouth of a pocket. The outside bank of the island drops straight off into the old river channel. You will be in 60 feet of water two boat lengths off the bank. There are rocks on the drop and lots of logs and blowdowns.

Tommy says this is and excellent bank to fish after a cold front and during the winter. Bass hold in the cover and can move deeper quickly. Fish a crankbait around the cover. Then work a jig and pig through the branches of the blowdowns and be ready to set the hook and reel hard to pull a big bass out of them.

10. N 32 41.192 – W 85 05.443 – Go back across the lake and head into the big creek on that side. It does not have a name on the map but Boat Club Road runs out on a point in it. Across from the point with Boat Club Road watch for point with a dead pine on your left going upstream. Just past it is a little cove with a house in it that has a turret like room on the front. The dock in the pocket has a Coke sign on it. There were two flags on this boathouse when we were there in mid-November, one a solid yellow and the other a gray/white cross flag.

There is a hump that comes up to 22 feet deep on top on the point just past the cove with the dock and flags. Find it and fish all around it with different baits you can fish that deep. A spoon is good here most of the winter. Try the top of the hump and sides as it drops off.

These are the spots Tommy will be hitting in tournaments this time of year. Try docks all over the lake if the water is still above 50 degrees for bigger largemouth then hit these deeper spots for numbers of fish, mostly spotted bass. You can find more similar spots all over the lake and they will hold bass now.

How and Where To Catch Seminole Bass In November

Seminole Bass In November with Steven Wells

All summer long the hydrilla beds at Seminole have been full of bass, but often the weeds are so thick you can’t fish it very effectively. In November the hydrilla begins to die back and open up, giving you access to those bass. And the cooler temperatures mean they feed even better.

Seminole is a one-of-a-kind lake in Georgia with its huge grass flats and stumpy water. So far south the dam is in Florida, it is like a Florida lake in many ways. The bass grow fat and spawn early in its warm waters. And every bit of the lake looks bassy, like you should be able to cast anywhere and hook a hog.

Unfortunately for the bass fisherman used to other lakes, looking good and being good are not always the same thing. The sheer size of the grass flats often make it difficult to locate bass unless you have an idea what they are doing and where to start. The bass are in the grass but you still have to find patterns within the grass to catch them.

Seminole is right in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. It covers 37,500 acres and has been famous for its bass fishing for many years. Jack Wingate and his Lunker Lodge are one of the reasons for that fame and many happy bass fishermen have passed through his restaurant and dock over the years.

Steven Wells grew up right on the lake in Faceville, and is kin to Jack. He loves to fish and was on the lake so much Jack talked him into guiding there. Jack told him “As much as you like to fish you might as well let somebody else pay for your gas.” Steven also manages Outland Plantation, a hunting preserve near the lake, so he gets to spend all his time outside studying nature.

His time fishing paid off in another way this year when he married Pam Martin, a top angler on the Women’s Bass Fishing Association professional trail. She guides on Seminole out of Wingates with Steven when she is not off on the national tournament trail. She and Steven share patterns, tips and fishing spots and help each other out on the lake.

“If you are not fishing the hydrilla you are not fishing where the bass live, they get in the hydrilla,” Steven told me. We were fishing on a hot early October day and he was showing me patterns and places that would be good in November when the water cooled down a little.

In November you should start with topwater, then switch to spinnerbaits and lizards as the sun gets up,” Steven told me. He likes to fish a topwater bait around the hydrilla early in the morning, varying his bait according to the wind. If it is dead calm he throws a Mirror Lure topwater bait but if there is some ripple he switches to a Pop-R.

“Throw the plug within inches of the grass mat,” Steven said. You have to get it close to the edge, especially early in November when the grass is still thick. Work it slowly in place, keeping it as close as possible to the grass while making it act like a hurt baitfish. The longer you can keep it close to the grass the better your chances of getting bit.

Steven chooses a silver plug and throws it using 12 pound Stren line. The lighter line helps the bait work better and will still bet most fish out of the grass if they head back into it after you hook them. You can also make longer casts which are needed if the water is real clear.

Later in the month when the grass mat on top is breaking up, Steven will throw a buzz bait since it can be worked better. He likes a white one and ties it on 14 to 17 pound Stren line. If the grass is thick under the water he uses the heavier line to horse big bass out of the cover. The lighter line allows longer casts.

As the sun gets up Steven will switch to a spinnerbait and work it through openings and channels in the grass. Some of his favorite places will have clumps of grass out from the main mat even early in November and he tries to run it right beside those clumps, too.

Steven always chooses willowleaf blades since they come through the grass better and he varies the color depending on the water color. White with silver blades is better in clear water and gold blades and chartreuse skirts are best in stained water. The spinnerbait is fished on 14 to 17 pound Stren like the buzzbaits and for the same reasons.

“Bring two packs of watermelon seed lizards and leave everything else at home and you won’t go too far wrong,” Steven said. His go-to bait and what he uses most of the day is a Texas rigged Zoom watermelon seed lizard. He uses a 1/8th ounce lead unless the current or wind forces him to go heavier since the slower fall seems more attractive to Seminole bass.

Tie your lizard on 12 or 14 pound Stren since you will be fishing right in the grass. If the water is heavily stained Steven will go to Junebug lizards and sometimes he dies the tails of both colors chartreuse. Lizard fishing is slow so he likes to start with topwater and spinnerbaits, but the lizard will produce all day long.

“Cast the lizard right on top of the hydrilla and slide it to the edge, letting it fall when it hits open water,” Steven said. You must watch your line carefully since bass hitting on the fall often don’t give much indication they have taken the bait. If you see your line tick or move at all, set the hook hard to pull them away from the grass.

Steven shared 8 of his favorite November spots with me and they will all produce fish this month. They are just a few of the hundreds of similar places but there are key things to look for. Most of these are within a few miles of Wingates and Steven says some of the best fishing on the lake is a couple of hundred yards either side of the channel going in there.

1. N 30 47.355 W 84 43.050 – Upriver from Wingates at channel markers 13.8 through 13.3 the Flint River makes a sweeping turn across the lake. Along the downstream edge of the channel the water is shallow and hydrilla grows in a thick mat all along it. People use a cut-through behind a small island to run down to Wingates so sometimes there is a channel in the grass there.

Start at the first red channel marker just downstream of the grass island and work the edge of the hydrilla all the way past the turn back up river to the third red marker. The grass drops off deep here so you must cast topwater baits right to the edge of it. Concentrate on any cuts or holes in the edge and try to work your topwater bait in it as long as possible.

After the sun gets up switch to a lizard. You may need a 3/16 or even a 1/4 ounce lead here if there is any current since you want the lizard to drop straight down the side of the grass. The bass will hold all along the vertical face of the grass and suck in food, and your lizard, as it falls.

Cast your lizard up on top of the grass and pull it off. That insures it is as close to the wall of grass as possible. Watch your line carefully. When it stops falling, make sure it is not a fish then twitch it to make if fall on down. If it is on the bottom twitch it a couple of more times then reel in for another cast.

If you start here early, it is worth a pass with topwater then another pass with the lizard, especially if you catch a few fish on the first pass. The fish may be scattered the whole length of the bed or concentrated in one place, so pay attention to where you get bites.

2. N 30 46.736 W 84 44.381 – Just upstream of the Wingate cut there is a rockpile out on the old river channel where the ferry used to cross. You can see the old road bed on most maps. The grass bed along this edge is another good place to fish. The fish hold in the grass and also hold on the rocks and move into the grass to feed.

Fish the outside edge of the grass here. There is a wide band of grass and there is some open water behind it, but the best fishing in November is usually on the outside edge. Work it with topwater first then come back with a lizard. The water is not as deep on the outside edge of the grass here and a light sinker is usually best.

3. N 30 46.397 W 84 45.351 – The poles marking the Wingate cut have grass around them out where they get to the river channel and this can be an excellent place to fish. If you start upstream of the marker poles you should work the outside edge of the grass. Below the cut there is a bed of grass on a ridge and it has water 9 feet deep on the back side of it. This is a good place to work both sides of the bed.

The outside edge has clumps of grass growing out from the main bed and a spinnerbait or buzz bait is good in that area. The inside edge drops to 9 feet and a lizard falling down that drop is an excellent way to get a bass to bite. You can fish down the outside edge then cut through and fish the inside edge going the other way to cover both sides. If you catch a fish, concentrate on that area since there should be others nearby.

4. N 30 46.143 W 84 45.710 – Further downstream out from a couple of docks and pontoon boats on the bank the grass bed continues in closer to the bank. The river channel is a long way away here and the big flat has some grass on it, but as you get closer to the bank you will find a thick ridge of hydrilla. There is standing timber out toward the channel but it will be well behind you when you are fishing the outside edge of the grass.

On the outside edge clumps grow up well out from the mat. This is a good area for spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. The inside edge has enough water to be worth fishing and the lizard should be better here. Work all around the ridges of grass and fish both sides. Again, if you catch a fish work that area carefully since there should be others nearby.

5. N 30 45.943 W 64 46.122 – Straight downstream from areas #4 you will see a red channel marker where the channel swings back across the lake. Where it turns and runs down the bank is another good ridge of grass to fish. It is right along the channel and drops off fast. Fish the outside edge of it, keeping your boat in the channel and casting to the edge of the hydrilla.

6. N 30 46.036 W 84 48.063 – The Tractor bank is a well known local fishing spot. It is called that because the DNR used to keep a tractor there to use in the management area. You can follow the channel downstream then cut across to the north bank just downstream of a tall dead tree standing in the water. Be careful, there are a lot of stumps in this area and you need to find the clear area before running it if you don’t know it.

You will see a point of land with a cove on the upstream side. In the mouth of the cove is a small grass island and you will see a yellow sign on a pole out in the water upstream of it. There are big grass beds all along this bank. Start fishing near the management area sign and work down the bank. You can fish all along here, concentrating on areas where you catch fish.

Watch here for scattered clumps of grass out from the main bed and fish them with spinnerbait, buzzbait and lizard. It often pays off to drop a lizard down beside one of these clumps after running a buzz bait or spinnerbait through the area to catch a bass that is attracted by the faster bait but will not hit it.

There are also scattered stumps near the bank here so watch for them and cast to them. You also need to keep your boat out in 10 feet of water or more when running this bank because of the stumps in closer to the bank.

7. N 30 45.550 W 84 47.903 – Back across the lake at red channel marker 7.3 a ridge runs out from the bank and hydrilla grows on it. Fish both sides of this grass bed. It runs down to channel marker 6.9 and there are several sand bars in the area.

This is a spawning area for bass and most of these grass beds are good in November because they are near spawning areas. At Seminole bass are often moving near spawning beds to hold until the water warms, which can happen in January here. When looking for similar places to fish keep in mind that you should look for fish near spawning areas.

8. N 30 44.134 W 84 51.837 – Down near the dam where the bank turns south, a huge area of grass runs all the way from the swimming area at Chattahoochee Municipal Park down to the Coast Guard station at the dam. There is an old road bed running parallel to the bank and some real shallow places on it are marked by danger poles. Grass grows all along the ridge the roadbed is on and also behind it.

You could easily fish this area all day. Work both the inside and outside areas of grass. This is a big spawning area full of sandbars so fish will be positioning themselves here in November. Concentrate on areas where you catch a fish and look for keys. Is the bottom a little deeper, are there cuts in the grass or is it a solid mat? All those keys can point to concentrations of bass in similar areas.

Seminole is a great place for a November trip. It will be much warmer and the bass more cooperative than in more northern lakes if we have a cold month. And just fishing legendary Seminole is a thrill. Check out these patterns and spots and you will be able to find many more like them.

How and Where to Catch September Lake Eufaula Bass

September Bass at Eufaula
with Dwayne Smith

September is one of the worst months for bass fishing in many of our Georgia lakes. The water is at its hottest and bass are deep and hard to find. But at Lake Eufaula the numerous ledges are full of bass and the grassbeds all over the lake entice some bass to feed shallow. You can take advantage of both patterns and catch bass there this month.

With 45,180 acres of water, there are lots of places to fish at Eufaula. Stretching 85 miles from the dam to Columbus, this long lake is mostly river bottom with lots of shallow areas and good drops into channels. Those are perfect places for bass to hold and feed this month.

Eufaula is a shallow lake with big flats everywhere. Grass grows on many of these flats and points leading to the channels, and willow bushes grow all over the lake, even on some mid-lake ledges. Bass like to feed around this shallow cover and can be found there all year long, but this pattern gets even better in late September when the water begins go cool.

Dwayne Smith won the Georgia Bass Chapter Federation Top Six tournament at Eufaula last April. He won it early, catching a limit of bass on spinnerbaits first thing each morning. Fishing with the Blackshear Bass Club for the past six years has taught Dwayne a lot about the lake since they fish it about four times a year, and he put his knowledge to good use in the Top Six.

Making the Top Six team each year that he has been in the club is something Dwayne is proud of doing, and he likes fishing the Top Six. He also likes Eufaula and can catch fish there most of the year. He says September can be a good month if you know were to fish.

“Start early in the grassbeds, then move to the drops as the sun gets on the water,” Dwayne said. That is a simple pattern but it works well for him most of the year, and September is no exception.

Dwayne will start each morning throwing a half-ounce white Terminator spinnerbait with a gold willowleaf and a silver Colorado blade. He likes a split tail white trailer and says the bait looks so good in the water sometimes he wants to eat it himself! The spinnerbait is fished in the shallows all over the lake, anywhere there is grass or willows.

Dwayne may start out on the main lake on humps but the sun hits those areas early. As the sun comes over the trees he will often move to the shady bank to get some more time with his spinnerbait. But when the sun gets bright, it is time to move to deeper water.

“Look for shallow water near deep water,” Dwayne said. A drop from the shallows to the channel is going to hold bass, and the steeper the drop the better it usually will be. Dwayne will fish a Carolina rig on these places, casting up shallow and working his bait down to deeper water.

A black Trick worm rigged behind a one ounce sinker on a 24 to 30 inch leader is Dwayne’s standard Carolina rig. He likes heavy line on both spinnerbait and Carolina rig, and uses 15 pound Trilene Big Game line on everything, including his leader.

You will often see bass busting shad on top during September, so Dwayne also keeps a chrome half-ounce Rat-L-Trap rigged and ready to cast toward them. And he will have a big Fat Free Shad on another rod to run across shallow drops in case the bass want something moving a little faster than a Carolina rig. He likes shad colored crankbaits if the water is clear and something with some chartruese in it if the water is stained.

I fished with Dwayne in early August to get a look at the way he fishes Eufaula. He showed me ten of his favorite places to fish in September to share here, and he explained how he fishes each. The following ten spots will give you some grassbeds and shallows to fish this month as well as drops to move to when the sun gets bright.

1. N 32 03.171 – W 85 03.321 – The bank straight across from the mouth of Little Barbour Creek has a good grassbed and is on the east side of the lake, so it stays shady for a good while each morning. Dwayne will start right across from the mouth of the creek and fish upstream all the way to the small creek.

Keep your boat out and easy cast from the bank and throw your spinnerbait back into the edge of the grass. Fish it back out, running it by any clumps of grass or any wood cover out from the bank. Dwayne fishes the spinnerbait fast, keeping is down under the water but running it back quickly at a steady speed. Making a lot of cast as fast as possible is important since this pattern does not last long.

2. N 32 01.997 – W 85 03.413 – Head downstream and the channel will make a sharp bend to the Georgia bank, then swing out toward the Alabama side. Right where the channel leaves the east bank there is a small island. A point runs off this island and follows the edge of the channel as it cuts across the lake. There is a red channel marker just off the island.

Dwayne likes to keep his boat upstream of the drop running off the island and casts up onto the flat formed by the point. He will work his Carolina rig or crankbait back to the boat, fishing some of the top of the flat and then covering the edge of the drop.

If there is current moving the lip of the drop is probalby the best spot. If the current is not moving Dwayne will work the Carolina rig down the drop and probe for any wood stuck there. He will work from the island out to the channel marker, fishing the edge all along there.

3. N 32 01.546 – W 85 02.876 – Head on downstream and the channel goes to the Alabama bank then makes a sharp turn back to the Georgia side. The mouth of Rood Creek is where the channel hits the Georgia bank, but just upstream is a small creek with a split near the mouth. The river channel runs near the mouth of it and the double opening has deep water in it.

The point on the split in the mouth of this creek has a hump off it that has stumps on it. It is only four feet deep on top and drops off to 25 feet or deeper all around. Keep your boat out in the deeper water and fish around the hump, making casts up on top of it and fishing down the slope.

This is a good place to run a crankbait across the top of the hump, then fish a Carolina rig on it. You will get hung up on the stumps but there will often be bass holding by them, too. Fish this spot carefully, taking time to cover it from all angles.

4. N 32 00.670 – W 85 03.605 – Downstream of Rood Creek the channel swings toward the Alabama bank and then right back to the Georgia side. A little further downstream it angles across the lake to the Alabama side, and just upstream of where it hits the bank is an opening to a big flat split by an island. This big area is actually the ends of two old oxbow river runs cut off from the lake by an island. Dwayne calls the big flat grassy area behind the island “The Barn.”

This very shallow water has lilly pads and other grass along the bank. Out in the middle you will see clumps of hydrilla. Bass will feed here year round, but move in more as the water starts to cool near the end of September.

Start fishing near the mouth and cast to every cut and hole in the grass and pads. Watch for dark clumps out in the middle of the open water and fish them with your spinnerbait, too. Run your spinnerbait along and through every fishy looking spot.

5. N 31 59.003 – W 85 04.129 – Head downstream past the mouth of the Witch’s Ditch and the lake will open up. The island that runs parallel to the river on the Georgia side, the one that cuts off the Witch’s Ditch, ends and the lake will open up. Just downstream of the end of this island is a red channel marker and there is a good river ledge here where the channel makes a small turn toward the Alabama bank.

Position your boat just downstream of the marker and you will be in about 40 feet of water. You can cast up onto the top of the ledge to 12 feet of water and fish the stumps on it. Fish all long this ledge, trying a crankbait and then the Carolina rig. When you hit a stump, pause your bait and let the bass have a good look at it. If you don’t get bit, cast right back to the same place to fish that stump again.

6. N 31 58.304 – W 85 03.888 – As you go downstream the channel will swing all the way to the Georgia side just below the mouth of Bustahatchee Creek. The red channel marker 103.1 will be near the bank and just upstream of it you will see some small willows sticking up out of the water about 200 feet off the mouth of a small creek called “The Watermelon Hole.” There is a big irrigation pump in this small creek and you can usually hear it running.

This hump was the site of a house before the lake was backed up, and the old brick foundation is still there. Fish all around this hump and the willows with your spinnerbait then back off a little and fish it with your Carolina rig. The river channel is just off the outside of it and the creek channel runs by it, too. Fish the drops into each with your Carolina rig and feel for the bricks. When you hit them fish them slowly.

Watch for schooling fish here. While we were fishing it some big shad scooted out of the water and Dwayne threw his Rat-L-Trap to it. He hooked a stong fish that fought more like a bass than a hybrid, and I was ready with the net when it got close to the boat. Unfortunately, the bass made a strong run and pulled loose before we saw it.

7. N 31 58.221 – W 85 03.924 – Just downstream of this hump, right at channel marker 103.1, the channel makes a sharp bend back toward Alabama and the mouth of Cowikee Creek. The water in the channel is 58 feet deep and it comes up to a shallow flat with a small point running out on it. You can see the small point as a buldge on the bank in the grassline.

Keep your boat out in the channel and cast up onto the flat. Some wood cover sticks here at times but the main feature is the drop. Fish the lip of the drop with crankbait and Carolina rig.

Dwayne told me this was a good spot hole as we pulled up on it, and he caught a small keeper spot here on his Carolina rig. Fish all long the lip of this drop as the channel swings away from the bank.

8. N 31 58.103 – W 85 05.776 – Run into the mouth of Cowikee Creek and head upstream until you get to the island on your right just outside the channel. The channel will make a wide sweeping bend all the way across the creek from the far bank to the end of this island and then back to the far bank. Stop just outside of the red pole channel marker that has a small number 271 on it that is standing off the end of the island. Keep your boat in the channel.

The outside bend here has brushpiles and stumps all along it. Dwayne will fish from this pole all along the outside bend all the way to the next red pole marker downstream. Near the channel marker at the end of the island Dwayne hung a strong fish on his Carolina rig but it got him down in the brush. He sawed it back and forth for a short time before it broke off.

9. N 31 54.845 – W 85 07.082 – Dwayne runs the Alabama side from the mouth of Cowikee Creek all the way to Old Town Creek Park. This is very shallow water and is dangerous if the lake is down any at all, which it may be in September. You are much safer following the channel.

When you get to Old Town Creek Park swimming area, just downstream of the fishing pier, a ledge runs way out from the swimming area toward the Georgia bank. It is called the “Closeline” because it runs so straight and far. Dwayne will keep his boat on the upstream side of this drop and fish all along it, casting up onto the top of the flat and working his Carolina rig down the drop.

There is some brush on this drop and the drop runs about even with the bank at the swimming area. If you look at the bank you can tell how it continues on out in the lake. If there is any current this is an excellent place and you can fish it out 100 yards or more. Current helps here just like on all other holes where there is a drop.

10. N 31 53.025 – W 85 07.843 – The last hole Dwayne showed me is a long point with rocks on it running out from the Alabama side. It is easy to find because there is a railroad on top of this point. The point he likes to fish is the railroad causeway on the Alabama side.

Dwayne will start on the upstream side of the causeway and work around the point with a crankbait or spinnerbait, casting up near the rocks and fishing back out. If there is current running around this point the bass will stack up on the rocks to feed on shad moving downstream. It is a good place all day long and is easy to find.

Give these spots a try and then use what you see on them to find others. There are acres of grassbeds on Eufaula and many of them hold bass. And the miles of river and creek ledges hold bass this time of year. Eufaula is one of our best lakes in September. Spend some time there.

August Bass at Lake Juliette

August Bass at Lake Juliette

Ready for an August bass fishing trip where you can fish, not bounce around from wakes of off-shore ski boats and yachts? Where the sound of skidoos never irritate your ears? Want to fish a lake full of big bass, where five pounders are brought in regularly and ten pounders are not unusual? Then plan a trip to Lake Juliette.

Located about 15 miles east of I-75 near Forsyth, Juliette is a 3000 acre Georgia Power lake. It is on Rum Creek but that creek is so small water is pumped in from the nearby Ocmulgee River to keep the lake full. Since there is almost no run-off, the lake is extremely clear for middle Georgia.

Clear water means lots of underwater plant growth. Grass grows thick in most parts of Juliette and breaks the surface from ten feet down in many places. In early July there was a distinct grass line 21 feet deep in most of the lake, with a 2 to 3 foot line of grass growing that deep. Bass love that grass.

You are restricted to a maximum 25 horsepower motor on your boat, so you will need a smaller boat to get around. In August a depthfinder is invaluable and you need one that will clearly show the grass. You can put in your bass boat and use the trolling motor but Juliette is big enough that you can not fish much of it that way.

Two ramps give good access to Juliette. Dames Ferry near the dam has a double paved ramp, picnic area and campground. Holly Grove on the upper end of the lake does not have any camping. The upper end of the lake if full of standing timber at and just under the surface, and you must follow the channel to avoid stumps and trees. Since you are restricted in the size of your motor, choose the ramp closest to where you want to fish.

Kevin Whidby grew up fishing Lake Juliette. He lives in nearby Gray and started fishing the lake with his father and uncle as soon as it was opened. He has been fishing the monthly tournament there most months for the past 15 years, first with his father and uncle, then out of his own boat a few years ago.

Over the years Kevin has done well in the tournaments. His biggest bass ever out of Juliette is a 10 pound 11 ounce monster, and he caught a 10 pound 6 ounce hog in a tournament there. It was not big fish that day, another fisherman had one a few ounces heavier.

In the June tournament Kevin came in second place with four bass weighing 9 pounds 12 ounces and had one bass weighing right at 5 pounds. There were two other 5 pounders brought in that day by 21 teams. A few days later when he and I fished the lake for a few hours after work, he landed a 4.25 pound bass on a spinnerbait and I landed one around 3.5 pounds on a Texas rigged Mag 2 worm. Bass that size are caught on most trips.

Kevin keys on the grass in August. He looks for a shallow hump or long point near deep water where the grass on top comes to the surface. Early in the morning and on cloudy days he says the bass move up in this shallow grass to feed. He will throw a topwater plug, Trick worm and Fluke, and a spinnerbait to these shallow feeding fish.

As the sun gets up the bass back out into the deeper grass. Then is when Kevin rides with his depthfinder looking for bass holding along the grass edge. He is also looking for baitfish since the bass will not be far from them. When he finds bass holding near the bottom he will cast a Carolina rigged Finesse worm, Trick worm or lizard to them.

Since the bigger bass tend to suspend off the bottom, Kevin likes to use a light 1/4 ounce lead on his Carolina rig and a two foot leader. The lighter lead allows the bait to fall more slowly and give suspended bass a chance to hit it. It also comes through the grass better.

Since the bass tend to hold right on the edge of the grass, Kevin will start by getting his boat over the shallow part of the structure and casting out into deeper water. Bringing the bait to the grass edge works best if the bass are concentrated. If they are scattered, he tries to hold his boat right on the grass edge and make parallel casts to it, covering as much of it as possible on each cast.

When the bass are suspended off the bottom and won’t hit the falling Carolina rig, Kevin will make a long cast with a spinnerbait and allow it to fall to them before making a slow retrieve, keeping it at their level as long as possible.

Bass will position on different parts of the structure and may move every day. Some days they will be on the steep drop side, others they seem to favor the more sloping side of the structure. There is so much grass on all the bottom that they can find the edge on whatever kind of bottom they want.

The following ten spots are all good in August and Kevin fishes them. They will give you an idea of the kinds of structure you should fish at Juliette this time of year. There are lots more similar places on the lake to discover, too.

1. N 33 02.908 – W 83 46.199 – If you put in at Dames Ferry Ramp, come out of the cove to the main lake and head upstream toward the power plant. The first long point on your right runs way out and continues underwater. The upstream side drops off fast and the downstream side slopes into a flat on the cove side, offering bass different kinds of bottom contour. Both sides have lots of grass on them.

Start by keeping your boat out in deeper water and casting topwater, soft jerkbaits or a spinnerbait across the shallow grass. Work all the way around the point with these baits, covering all the grass from different angles. When your spinnerbait hits a clump of grass, jerk it free and continue the retrieve. Bass will often hit when the bait jumps forward after being pulled free.

Watch your depthfinder as you fish around this point, and then ride it after casting to it. Go over the edge of the grass looking for bass near the bottom. If you find a concentration, move up on top of the point and cast out past them to the clean bottom. Work your Carolina rig up to them and then into the edge of the grass for any holding there.

If the bass are scattered, get out and cast parallel to the drop in the grass, keeping your bait as close to the grass as possible. Also cast a spinnerbait and let it sink almost to the bottom, then slow roll it back for suspended bass.

2. N 32 02.377 – W 83 46.016 – The big cove upstream of you has a point in the middle with a visible roadbed running off it. The point is marked “Quail Head” on some maps. The road bed comes out into the cove and turns toward the downstream point you just fished. There is a shallow spot out in the middle of the cove on the roadbed, too.

Keep your boat off the road and cast to the grass on top of it. Watch for visible grass sticking out of the water, sometimes it is just visible, depending on the water level. Fish it all the way across then come back with your boat shallow, casting out to the edge of the grass and fishing it from shallow to deep.

On this spot as others you can find a 3 to 4 foot tall wall of grass down around 21 feet deep. This wall is where the bass hold. Keep your depthfinder on and learn how the grass grows to help you find the bass.

3. N 33 02.047 – N 83 46.254 – Run across to the opposite side of the lake, the left side running upstream away from the dam. You will see some big rocks on a island near the dam, Taylor’s Island on some maps, and you want to fish the second main lake point upstream of it. There is a small pole out on the point on the downstream side that will help you identify it.

Idle in toward this point slowly since it runs way out in a big flat. On the downstream side of the point there is a good drop on the channel side and a good grass line on the drop to fish. Fish it like the other spots, fishing shallow first then working out to the deeper fish.

4. N 32 02.373 – W 83 46.346 – Back across the lake just off the upstream point of Quail’s Head, a hump comes up shallow about 100 yards off the bank. The point on the bank is clay and white rock and the hump comes up to about 8 feet deep when the lake is full. Grass grows on it and bass hold there all summer long.

Watch out when looking for it, there are two big rocks on it that will eat a lower unit if the water is down any at all. You should be able to see the grass sticking out of the water on this hump and the bottom color will show if the sun is out.

5. N 33 02.675 – W 83 46.943 – Head on upstream and you will see a small island on the left with a long point running out across the channel. The island is just downstream of Persons Point and the shallow point runs way out off the bank. There is a small patch of standing timber in the cove upstream of the point and a small pole on the point to help identify it.

Kevin says he likes to start way out on the point out near the channel and work up it toward the bank. Bass will hold on both sides of this point as well as out in the deeper water on the end. Check it all out, and don’t forget to cast across the shallow grass with your spinnerbait and topwater baits.

6. N 33 03.234 – W 83 47.215 – Straight across the lake are two big bays. The one on the left headed in is Buzzards Bay and it has some white box-looking structures in it. You want to go into the cove to the right of it. There is a point running across this cove and you will be almost on top of it when the box structures disappear behind the trees on the point between the two bays.

Wind often blows into this cove and that makes it even better. Wind will make the bass move up more shallow to feed, and position them on the windy side. Stay out from the point and cast across it first, especially it the wind is blowing across the point. Then get up on the point and cast out toward the lake, into the wind, and bring your bait back to the grass edge with the wind.

7. N 33 02.695 – W 83 48.404 – Back across the lake, directly across from the power plant, a rocky point runs out and drops off, then comes back up into a rocky hump a few feet off the bank. The bare rocks are visible off the point, but there are many others underwater. This point and hump are right at the mouth of the first creek with standing timber.

The timber, rocks and two creek channels make this an excellent place to find August bass. Fish all around the point working the rocks and grass on it from all angles. Bass will hold on either side of the point so check it all out.

8. N 33 02.801 – W 83 48.542 – The upstream point on the right going up, the one on the cove for the power plant, holds a lot of bass this time of year. It is deep on both sides but comes up real shallow. The main lake point is excellent and the smaller secondary point going into the power plant cove also holds fish. There is a flat between them with grass on it.

Fish both points and the flat shallow first. Then work around the two points and the outside edge of the flat, fishing the grass line off them. This is right where the timber starts on this side so bass have a variety of places to hold, and can run in and out of the timber to feed.

9. N 33 03.066 – W 83 49.397 – Head up past the Settling Pond Dam but go slow, there is a lot of timber in this area. The point on the upstream side of the cove with the settling pond dam in it runs out to the middle of the cove and there is an old duck blind on it. This point runs way out into the timber and is very shallow.

Fish the point all the way to the end and watch toward the channel. You will see a hump coming up that breaks the surface if the water is down any. You can see the red colored bottom if the lake is up and there is a big stump on it. Work around this hump like you fished the point running out to it.

10 N 33 03.029 – W 83 49.928 – Ease out to the channel and head upstream to the roadbed crossing just upstream of a point. You can see it well defined on the right and can see where it comes out on the left bank, too. Fish the drops on both sides of the roadbed as well as the point where it comes out of the water.

Kevin told me he has caught two bass over eight pounds each off this roadbed. Fish it with a spinnerbait down deep as well as a Carolina rig. You can cast across it, working both sides, or sit on one lip and cast parallel to the drop, working one side then moving to the other.

Kevin catches a lot of bass off these ten spots, and there are many others similar to them. You can discover some by studying a good map, but to really learn the lake you have to do like Kevin, get out there in a boat with a good depthfinder and ride the lake. It will pay off in quality bass this August.

The tournament at Juliette is the last Sunday each month out of Dames Ferry. Their end of year tournament is in October and the trail starts over in November, so now it a great time to learn the lake and start fishing the tournaments in a couple of months.

Entry fee is $50 per team and that includes a $5 big fish pot. Payback is one place if five boats enter up to three places if enough boats enter, and $10 per boat is held back for the year end Classic, which is the top 15 boats from the year, by weight.

They fish from daylight to 3:00 PM and you can show up at the ramp 30 minutes before daylight to enter, or call Greg for more info at 478-471-1254.

How To Catch July Bass at Lake Seminole

July Bass at Lake Seminole
with Daryl Davis

Big bass in shallow grass, even in July. If that sounds like a good pattern to you, plan to head south to Seminole this month. The hydrilla has grown thick on river ledges and the bass move into it to feed. You can catch some bragging size stringers right now fishing the grass at Seminole.

Seminole is an impressive 37,500 acre lake right in the corner of Georgia, Florida and Alabama. This time of year half its surface can be covered with hydrilla, making it look like a fantastic place to catch bass. And it is, but if you go out casting to all the hydrilla you may never get bit. The bass hold in specific areas that you will have to learn.

Although the heat can be oppressive this time of year, and the hydrilla gnats will drive you crazy if there is no breeze, you can catch bass all day long out of the thick cover if you fish it right. Early mornings and late afternoons are still best, but big bass will hit in the middle of the day, too.

Daryl Davis lives in Ochlocknee, near Thomasville, where he runs a family owned grocery store and fishes with the Rose City Bassmasters. He has been with that club for about 12 years and they fish Seminole often. This year Daryl made the state team at the Top Six tournament on Eufaula.

For several years Daryl has fished the BFL trail, the Georgia/Florida Team trail and other local tournaments on Seminole. He has learned its secrets and knows where to go to catch bass every month. He agreed to show me his July patterns and some places where they work. We spent an afternoon on the lake on June 17 and landed several bass, including a 3.5 pounder I caught and a 5 pound fish he caught.

Hydrilla is the key but the bottom structure where it grows controls where the fish will be in it. Bass hold in deeper water this time of year, so hydrilla edges near channels are the best place to find them. They will move up ditches across hydrilla flats to feed, too, but you need some kind of bottom contour to attract them to an area.

First thing in the morning Daryl likes to start off with topwater baits for the early bite. He will throw a black or white skirted buzzbait and run it across the hydrilla edges and around clumps of the grass. A chrome and black Pop-R is also a good bait when the bass want something moving a little more slowly.

About an hour after the sun gets above the trees Daryl will try a 3/16 or 1/4 ounce double willowleaf white spinnerbait with chrome blades. This bait is run above the hydrilla and dropped into cuts and holes in the grass. The bass will often slam it as it flutters down past them.

A Carolina rigged Zoom Mag 2 or Ultravibe in Junebug red or green pumpkin is a good bait for some areas. If the grass is scattered enough to drag it effectively, Daryl will rig up with a half-ounce lead and cover flats around ditches with it. He also likes to cast it to brush piles in deeper water.

A Bandit crankbait works well when the hydrilla is thin enough to work it around clumps of grass or over it. Daryl will fish a crankbait along the edge of the hydrilla and over the flats when he can. That allows him to cover more water and find active fish.

Daryl’s go-to bait is a Texas rigged Baby Brush Hog or Mag 2 worm in Junebug red or green pumpkin. He uses a 3/16 to 5/16 Florida sinker ahead of the bait. These sinkers have a screw eye that will hold them to the worm so you don’t need to peg it. This bait is dropped into holes, cuts and points in the hydrilla to attract bass all day long.

Heavy equipment is needed to drag big bass out of the grass, and Daryl uses 17 to 20 pound clear Sensation or Silver Thread line. A stiff rod helps drag the bass and grass to the boat when the fish burrows down into it, and he often cranks down the drag on his bait casting reels till it won’t slip.

The following ten spots all hold bass and we caught fish on several of them two weeks ago. Check them out and then you will be able to find many more just like them.

1. N 30 47.356 – W 84 40.990 – Up the Flint River above Wingates near Faceville Landing you will go past an island on your right running upstream. It is just downstream of the place the channel goes to the right bank below Faceville. On the upstream end of the island is a red channel marker. A ledge runs from the island out past this channel marker, parallel to the channel.

There are some brush piles on the point around the marker in about 16 feet of water. This is a good place to cast a Carolina rig and probe the point and brush since July bass hold in and around it. Fish all around the marker, casting toward it from a big circle. You can also ride the point with a good depthfinder and mark the brush. When you locate the brush make repeated casts to it. Current running into the brush helps.

2. N 30 47.367 – W 84 42.011 – Downstream of the island Butler Creek enters on your left going downstream. The downstream point of it has a good hydrilla edge to fish. A flat runs out to the channel and you will see a group of 5 stumps and a sixth one a little away from them. Bass hold out on the channel and run in to the grass to feed.

Start fishing the hydrilla edge at the point of Butler Creek and work downstream. Early in the morning try topwater along the edges and give the spinnerbait a try. Then pitch or flip a Baby Brush Hog or Mag 2 worm to the edge of the grass. Concentrate on cuts, holes and points in the hydrilla. Bass will hold on any irregularity.

Try to make the bait enter the water without a ripple first. When the bass are holding shallow sometimes a loud splash will spook them. At other times Daryl says a loud splash seems to attract them, so try that if the quiet entry is not working. In either case, expect a hit on the fall. When your bait hits bottom, twitch it once or twice then pick it up to make another flip.

If the day is cloudy and early in the morning Daryl says the bass are more likely to be roaming the outside edge of the grass. When the sun gets on the water it tends to make them back up into the cover, holding inside the grass. That is when you must make your bait fall right beside the grass and pitching into holes back in the grass is more likely to pay off.

3. N 30 47.307 – W 84 42.831 – Head downstream and the channel will kick back to the left a little. Just before it goes into the sharp right bend, around the last green marker before the bend, start fishing the grass on your right. You will be across the channel from two tall sanding trees out in the water. This grass is just off the channel and the big flat behind it is full of stumps and thick grass.

The bass will hold along this grass edge, moving up out of the nearby channel to feed. Fish all along this edge, working all the way down to where the channel bends. Current moves parallel to the grass so any little point or pocket in the grass is a good holding place for bass to ambush food.

4. N 30 47.407 – W 84 43.169 – Head downstream and the channel makes a sharp sweeping turn all the way across the lake to the right bank. The outside bend of the channel drops off sharply and there is a huge grass flat running all the way past Wingates. Many bass move off this flat in the summer and hold on the outside bend.

Watch for a big stump on your left that sits right on the channel. It will be even with the green channel marker across the channel and about half-way between two red markers. There is a shallow ditch that runs across the flat at an angle, running to your right and downstream if you are facing downstream. You can see it as an opening in the grass and stumps. Start fishing near that stump.

Fish the main channel edge but also fish down the ditch, pitching to grass on both sides of it. The water in the ditch will be 7 to 9 feet deep and each end drops off into the channel. This is a big area to work since you have the outside edge of the river channel all the way around the bend and both sides of the ditch.

It was near the downstream end of this ditch, but back on the main river channel, that I caught a 3.5 pound bass on a green pumpkin Baby Brush Hog two weeks ago. The bass thumped the Brush Hog as it fell then headed straight to the boat with it. When you feel a bite, set the hook fast, the bass often run to deep water as soon as they hit. Daryl also caught a couple of bass in this area.

5. N 30 47.578 – W 84 43.363 – On the right going downstream where the river hits the bank a big cove full of cattails sits off the edge of the water. About 100 yards downstream is the entry to Ten Mile Still Landing. Look at the grass and you will see a point on it. This grass is on a sandbar that runs out toward the channel.

Fish the grass edges all around this point and also work the point with a Carolina rig and a crankbait. Bass will use the sandbar to move out of the channel to the grass to feed, and will feed on the sandbar, especially when there is current flowing across it.

6. N 30 45.721 – W 84 46.216 – Run down past Wingates to where the channel swings back to the left bank. You will see some docks on the bank and one has a green roof on it. Go in toward that dock and you will be crossing a big grass flat that runs from the channel to the bank. Upstream of this dock is a small creek that enters the lake and there is a lot of sand on the bottom in this area.

Start fishing out in front of the green roofed dock and fish the flat, working upstream. Daryl likes to cast a crankbait here, running it above the grass if it is still deep enough or around the clumps of grass growing here. Daryl got a keeper bass here when we fish together. The bass can be anywhere on this flat so you need to cover all of it. If you catch a bass on the crankbait, stop and fish slower with either a Carolina or Texas rig since there should be more nearby.

7. N 30 45.811 – W 84 50.156 – The next spot Daryl calls “Stinky Island” because of the birds roosting and nesting there. It is the last big island before the channel to Sealey Point. You can run down the marked channel to the Sealey channel then go upstream to the island, or you can cut across and run the right bank if you know how to avoid the stumps.

There is a huge grass bed off the bank of this island on the Flint River side. There is also a ridge of grass off the bank here. Fish both grassbeds, fishing all along the edge on the island and then the one out further that runs parallel to it. If you are here early in the morning try topwater and spinnerbaits. After the sun gets up fish the grass edges with plastic baits.

8. N 30 47.382 – W 84 55.679 – Sometimes the Chattahoochee River is better that the Flint, often because of current moving there. The next three spots are up the “Hooch” and a long run from Wingates, but convenient to Land’s End Marina. If you are coming upstream from the dam, you will enter the channel behind a long ridge of an island between the channel and the huge flat toward the Florida shoreline.

Watch for the first gap to your left running up the river. The downstream point is an excellent place to catch bass. There will be some hydrilla patches near the bank to fish and out on the point is some rock and brush. Daryl likes to fish the shallow grass then set up inside the cut and cast out onto the point if current is moving across it.

Work a Carolina rig on the point and probe for the cover on it. Fish all around the point if there is no current, but fish with the current if any if moving. Current really makes the bass bite better and Daryl says he has hung some big bass here.

9. N 30 47.716 – W 84 55.679 – Run on up almost to the cut to Land’s End and watch for a big opening on your right. The point on the downstream side of this cut runs out as a ledge parallel to the channel and has some stumps on it. Daryl fishes the grass around the point into the cut and then casts across the point with a Carolina rig. He says he lost one of the biggest bass he ever hooked here.