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AHQ INSIDER Lake Russell (GA/SC) Winter Fishing Report – Updated December 14

  • by Jay

The newest Lake Russell fishing report can be found at:

December 14

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 basson 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 bassand 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.

A 12-pound hybrid caught on Jerry Kotal's boat (without a cameraman)
A 12-pound Russell hybrid caught this week on Jerry Kotal’s boat (without a cameraman)

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.

December 1

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 basson 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 perchmixed 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.