October 2015 Oconee Bass
With Cody Stahl
Die hard bass fishermen love
October. Pleasure boaters are mostly off
the lakes so you don’t rock and roll all day while fishing. And a lot of part
time fishermen are in the woods hunting or stuck in front of a TV watching
football so there is a lot less pressure on the fish. A great choice to take advantage of these
things for an October trip is Lake Oconee.
Oconee is a Georgia Power lake in
the middle of the state. It is lined by golf courses, houses and docks. There
are so many pleasure boaters on a summer weekend day it can be tough to
fish. Right now bass are responding to
cooler water temperatures and less boating activity by feeding.
Cody Stahl is a senior at
CrossPoint Christian Academy in Hollonville, near Griffin, and loves to fish.
His father Chad is a well-known tournament fisherman on the Berrys’ trails and
won the Berrys’ point standings two years in a row. He has taught Cody well.
Last Novemer Cody and his partner
Tate Van Egmond won the BASS High School state championship at Eufaula. They came in tenth out of 134 teams in the
BASS High School National Championship on Kentucky Lake this past spring. Cody plans on picking a college with a good
fishing team next year to attend.
Cody loves bass tournament fishing
so much he changed schools two years ago to attend a school where he could form
a team. His dad took him to night
tournaments on Jackson starting when he was seven years old so it is in his
blood. Oconee is one of his favorite
lakes, especially in October.
“By the end of September the
cooling water is making the shad move into the creeks and the bass follow
them,” Cody said. The old adage “find the bait and find the bass” definitely
applies on Oconee this month.
“Active creeks are the best,” Cody
says. He likes to find a feeder creek
that has a good ditch in it and fish it from the mouth back until he finds
where the bass are feeding. Once you find that area is should be consistent in
other creeks, too.
A wide variety of baits will catch
bass right now on Oconee and Cody will be prepared to throw a lot of different
baits. He has a Texas rigged FishHog
Angry Beaver, a Zoom Baby Brush Hog and a
FishHog JigSaw jig and pig ready to pitch to shallow cover. For faster fishing a #6 Shadrap, Chaqtterbait
and RC 1.5 square bill is on his deck. And he always has a Spro Frog to throw
to grass and shallow wood.
Both a buzzbait and a spinnerbait
are good for fishing faster around any kind of shallow cover. These baits allow him to fish docks, grass,
wood and rocks as he works from the mouths of the creeks all the way to the
Cody and Tate took me to Oconee in
early September to check out the following places. Shad were just moving into
them and fishing was tough, but we caught a lot of throwbacks and Cody landed
three good keepers. Bigger fish will be on these spots much better now.
N 33 25.184 – W 83 14.243 – Going down the river past the Old Salem
Campground on the left the river makes a turn to the right. On the left bank, an outside bend, there are
a lot of rocks and small pockets that attract shad and bass early in the
morning. There is a gray dock with white
post on a block seawall just upstream of a small pocket.
Start in the pocket just downstream
of the dock with buzzbait and spinnerbait and fish upstream, working the wood,
rocks and docks. Fish around the point
into the small creek upstream of the dock.
Cody likes a white three eights ounce Terminator spinnerbait with two
sliver willowleaf blades and a Booyah black or white three eights ounce
Hit any cover you see and also cast
right against the seawall. The curves
and changes in the seawall are key spots.
Pitch to the docks, too. Wind
blowing into the docks and seawall makes this and other spots better if it is
not too strong.
N 33 25.807 – W 83 14.571 – Back upstream a double creek enters
downstream of the campground and the swimming area is on the left going in.
Stop on the point between the two arms, across from the swimming area, and fish
to the right, into that arm of the double creek. There are rocks on the point and it is one of
the first places the shad and bass move to as the water starts cooling.
Start on the point with your boat
in about eight feet of water, a long cast from the bank, and fish a buzzbait
and crankbait on it. Cody likes a
crawfish colored Shadrap and a squarebill in shad colors. When you get past the point to the cuts on
that bank and with other cover on it, cast a frog, buzzbait, chatterbait and
spinnerbait to it.
There is a big blowdown on the bank
past the first small pocket and Cody lost a good three pound bass right at the
boat from it. It hit his chatterbait on
the end of the tree. Don’t hesitate to work a chatterbait through the cover
like this. Cody likes a three ounce black and blue bait.
Fish all the way around the back of
this creek. There is a good ditch in the back and I lost a two pound bass
almost right in the back that hit a worm under an overhanging bush. Cody likes
overhanging bushes like you find here and bass will often hold right against
the bank under them.
N 33 25.648 – W 83 15.290 – Across the lake there are some condos on the
upstream point of a creek with an old dam across it. Go to the corner of the riprap at the condo
docks and start fishing. Cast your
Shadrap and spinnerbait on the rocks and try topwater early in the morning,
Fish through the gap and work the
back side of the riprap, then fish the docks and other shallow cover on the
left back in the creek. Don’t hesitate
to fish very shallow cover like the brush pile on the island with the “Traffic
Island” sign on it back here.
A shad color frog is good on the
thick shallow cover and your jig, Brush Hog and Beaver are all good when
pitched very shallow, especially around dock posts. Cody rigs his Baby Brush Hog in watermelon
red or black and red on a quarter ounce sinker and skips it to the cover. He
rigs a black and blue or dirty pumpkin beaver the same way.
N 33 25.017 – W 83 14.550 – Going down the river the big inside bend on
your right has some good docks to fish on the downstream side. Go around the
point and stop at the first dock. It has
a black canvas top. The house for this
dock is way back in the trees.
The bottom at the first couple of
docks is soft but turns to hard clay past them.
There are some rocks on the bottom, too.
Fish each dock with jig, Baby Brush Hog and beaver. Also pitch a chatterbait under them.
Many people fish only the front of
docks and Cody says this is a mistake. He always goes in behind them and fishes
the back side and walkway, too. He skips his baits under them and works them
back, hitting every post.
Cody is very good at skipping or
skittering a jig under docks and says the rod action is critical to do this. He
prefers to flip docks with an ALX Rods IKOS series
Promise 7 foot rod because he says it has the prefect amount of tip on the rod
to flip and skip docks,
Between the docks throw your
crankbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbait.
Shad move down this bank in October into the small creek it leads
to. Cody will fish all the way to the
back of the creek and then fish back out the other side, hitting the docks and
banks between them.
5. N 33 24.817 – W 83 13.495 – Go down
the river past the island on the left and around the bend to the second creek
on the left. A marina is back in this creek in a cove to the right and the
creek goes to the left. Stop on the left bank of the main creek just upstream
of a long point with grass down to the seawall.
The creek narrows down at this point.
Just upstream of this point are
three small docks. The bank is fairly deep with overhanging bushes. Start
fishing at these small docks, hitting each one with jig, Baby Brush Hog and
beaver. Also skip a chatterbait or frog under the overhanging bushes and pitch
a soft bait under them, too.
Fish down this bank until you stop
seeing shad or catching fish, then jump across to the other side and fish those
docks to the point of the marina cove. Try
to hit every post of each dock.
N 33 24.531 – W 83 13.914 – Go back up the river to the next creek
upstream of the one in hole 5. It is a
smaller creek downstream of the island and has a good ditch and docks to fish,
and there are overhanging bushes, too.
Start at the third dock on the left and fish to the back of the creek.
Cody likes docks with five feet of
water in front of them but says most of the fish he catches are three feet deep
or less, so don’t hesitate to fish very shallow docks. Fish all the posts. It takes longer to get in
behind them to fish the back side but it is worth it. Also fish the shade on this bank.
N 33 25.228 – W 83 14.608 – Go back up the river to the big point on the
left, across from hole 1. This long
point gets a lot of wind blowing in on it and has a hard bottom. There is a lot
of brush in the water from bushes that have been cut to clear under the trees
to clear the bank.
Stay out and fish a crankbait,
spinnerbait and beaver all along the bank.
Run your faster baits between the brush in the water but fish the brush
in the water thoroughly with your Baby Brush Hog. Fish all the way around the small pocket on
the upstream side of the point and the upstream side of the pocket has brush,
Wind helps on this point and in
other places if it is not too strong to make boat control difficult. Wind stirs up the water, breaks the surface
and moves baitfish into the area. All those
things make the fish bite better and makes it more difficult for them to
identify your lures as fake.
N 33 25.039 – W 83 14.256 – Across the river from the point in hole 7, just downstream of hole 1,
is a small creek that splits right in the back. There is a blue canvas cover
dock on the downstream point of it and one brown shingle boat house on the left
bank going into it. There are four docks in this small creek.
Start near the upstream point and
fish the left bank to the back, then fish the dock on the point in the middle
of the split and the ones on the other bank, too. Cody says the left bank is usually better in
October since it is a little deeper and has overhanging bushes to fish.
N 33 24.339 – W 83 15.597 – Go up Lick Creek until you see the first
bridge ahead of you. On the right before the creek turns a little to the left
is a small creek with light gray siding house with a black canvas top dock just
inside the point.
Start at the dock, fishing it
carefully, then work to the back of the creek down the left bank. There is a
seawall with rocks in front of it along this bank and it holds fish. The little points on the seawall are usually
There is a pond back in the woods
above this creek that feeds it and water flowing into the creek attract bass.
Fish all the way to the ditch in the back and fish the cove in the back of it.
Also fish the first three docks in the back of the creek on your right going
N 33 24.410 – W 83 15.724 – Going up Lick Creek a big creek comes in on the
right just upstream of the one in hole 9.
Go into it and stop at the dock on the right with a black canvas top and
red Adirondack Chairs on it.
Fish this dock and all the others
going into the creek. Run a spinnerbait
on the seawalls between the docks. In
the back on the left side is a small pocket with a blowdown in it. Fish the
blowdown with a frog, Cody got a keeper out of it the day we fished. Also work
it with Baby Brush Hog, beaver and jig.
All these places are good right now
and give you examples of the types of places Cody catches October Oconee
bass. They are in a compact area so you don’t
have to burn much gas to fish them but you can run all over the lake and find
many similar creeks where you can use this pattern to catch bass.