Lake Monticello is known for being full of catfish, ranging from small to medium eating-sized fish on up to monster blue catfish that would be considered trophies anywhere. And true to expectations Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that right now Lake Monticello continues to live up to its reputation, with an excellent numbers bite as well as a respectable bite for big fish even in the heat of summer.
To target big fish Chris suggests anchoring on humps and points to cover a broad range of depths from 20-60 feet of water. Patience is critical and anglers need to be prepared to wait for the big fish to bite; Chris often lets big baits soak for an hour or more. For numbers of fish free-line drifting is working very well, and some bonus big fish are also being caught in the middle of the water column this way. For free-line drifting herring and shrimp are ideal, and for anchoring up and waiting out the big fish tougher white perch, bream and gizzard shad have been best.
Outside of catfish, tournament angler Andy Wicker reports that overall bass remain in a deep water pattern. Right now he is still targeting textbook main lake, deep water structure such as points, humps, and drops in the 20-50 foot range. As noted previously he is mainly fishing on the bottom. Within the deep pattern the biggest change is that instead of fishing deep diving crankbaits, Alabama rigs, jigs, flutter spoons and worms, in the late summer he is almost exclusively fishing finesse baits such as small worms.
The other two significant changes in August are that in addition to the very deep stuff he will add in a mid-depth pattern, fishing shallower rock in the 8-15 foot range with finesse worms. Additionally, early in the morning during the late summer he will fish a small topwater lure to target a few fish that come back shallow. However, this bite does not usually last long once the sun starts to get up.
As always, if you know of anyone who would be willing and able to provide a crappie report for Lake Monticello please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.