AHQ INSIDER Lake Russell (GA/SC) Winter Fishing Report – Updated February 9
The newest Lake Russell fishing report can be found at: http://www.anglersheadquarters.com/ahq-insider-lake-russell-gasc-spring-2018-fishing-report/
Lake Russell water levels have been above full pool (full pool is 475.00), but have just fallen back to 474.0. Water temperatures are up to about 50-51 degrees. The water is very muddy up the creeks and rivers, but the main lake is still clear. The lower ends of creeks are also still fishable.
With water temperatures only a degree or two warmer there isn’t a lot of change in the pattern on Lake Russell. Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that the bite for a mixed bag of species (including spotted bass, striped bass, largemouth, white perch, yellow perch and crappie) continues to be about the same on Lake Russell, and the only significant change is that – while fish are still 45-50 feet deep – at times they are suspended at that depth over water as deep as 90 feet.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that he is also still finding bass on the side of points, generally in the 20-28 foot range.
Wendell also reports that striper are still up the Rocky River and Beaverdam Creek. In addition to free-lines and planer boards, Alabama rigs have also been effective.
Lake Russell water levels are around full pool at 475.00, and water temperatures are about 48 degrees with very good clarity. On warm days surface temperatures can get up to about 52.
The bite for a mixed bag of species (including spotted bass, striped bass, largemouth, white perch, yellow perch and crappie) continues to be about the same on Lake Russell, but guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that the fish seem to have moved up about 10-15 feet into the 45-50 foot range. Depending on what you are targeting a variety of baits will catch fish.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) is also finding a really good bite for large striped bass up the Rocky River and Beaverdam Creek. Fish are from the surface down to 20 feet over fairly deep water, and the best way to catch them is to pull herring, gizzard shad or trout on free lines and planer boards. Watch for gulls to locate the fish.
In addition to the deeper pattern for spotted bass, Wendell has found another group of spots that have moved up to the sides of points in about 20-28 feet. These same fish were also previously about 10 feet deeper. Drop shot rigs or jigging spoons will also work.
The perch he was catching have also moved up shallower, and they aren’t ganged up as tight as earlier in the winter.
Lake Russell water levels are around 473.0 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures are approximately 47 degrees.
As the winter has progressed the Lake Russell fish have gotten deeper, and guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that there is now a mix of species grouped up in 50-60 feet of water off drop-offs and around bait. They are frequently also around brush, but it’s hard not to be around brush on Russell.
Overall the bite has been very good, and Jerry has been catching a mix of spotted bass, striped bass, largemouth, white perch, yellow perch and crappie all mixed together. Typically the fish have been on the main lake or at the mouths of creeks, and depending on what you want to target they will take minnows, live herring, or plastic worms on a drop shot rig.
Today the action was slow, perhaps related to the cold and precipitation yesterday. Jerry has not seen a major shad kill, probably because Lake Russell is so deep.
Lake Russell water levels are around 473.8 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures around 56 degrees. Clarity is normal.
There’s not a ton of change in the Lake Russell fishing pattern, and guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that there is still a mix of species grouped up in 25-40 feet, with some fish suspended and some on the bottom. In addition to finding bass, catfish, and perch together, Jerry reports that the striper fishing is starting to improve in the same areas. He is finding the best fish in the middle of the river channel way up the Savannah River, and both bucktails and jigging spoons (as well as live bait) are working for the striper.
At this time of year it’s rare to see striper schooling, but at times they are definitely “swirling” at bait on the surface.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) is seeing the same thing, and he agrees that the striper are certainly getting more active. There is still a good concentration of striper in the lower Rocky River.
The only other change Wendell reports is that yellow perch have been a bit more scarce this week.
Lake Russell water levels are ranging between about 473.5 and 473.8 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures are in the mid-50s.
It’s a great time to catch bass on Lake Russell, and guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that he is catching fish in both the main lake and the creeks. He is catching them on drop shot rigs and jigging spoons, usually in about 30-40 feet of water.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) is fishing a similar pattern in 30-50 feet, and he reports that he is also finding bait schools on the main channel as well as in some creeks and coves off the main lake. A mix of spotted bass, yellow perch and white perch are all grouped together, and there are also some catfish as well as the very occasional crappie mixed in. For a mixed bag minnows on a drop shot are the best way to catch fish, while bass specialists can substitute soft plastics or use a jigging spoon to target bass. The largemouth are also in the same areas, and Wendell’s boat caught a 6-pounder on a minnow recently.
Striped bass and hybrids can be caught around the same bait schools, but the best bet for a striper may be to head into the lower Rocky River (where gulls are gathering) and free-line live herring or large shiners. Jerry also suggests throwing bucktails or an Alabama rig.
It’s been a little hard to locate the crappie right now, but the best bet is to look on the edge of timber in about 32 feet. Each year about this time they get a little hard to locate.
Lake Russell water levels are ranging between about 473.5 and 474.0 (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures range between about 61 in the morning and 62-63 later in the day. Clarity is still very good.
The pattern for catching bass on Lake Russell remains very similar, and guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) says that the action has been fast and furious. In general the fish remain on the bottom, but on warm days it does cause them to suspend up in the water column. His boat is also catching a lot of perch mixed in with the bass.
While plenty of seagulls have arrived, for now they are on loons and aren’t providing very useful clues for locating fish. That will change soon.