For the last few months Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) has reported an excellent bite for numbers of eating-sized blue catfish on Lake Monticello, and although the bite for big fish has been fair he has promised that once cooler temperatures arrive the big fish bite will turn on. He has also predicted that the deep drift bite would turn on as it typically does in the fall.
Cooler temperatures have now arrived, and true to Chris’s prediction the bite for big fish is getting hot as things settle into a fall pattern. Anchoring on humps and points and fan-casting to depths of 20-65 feet has been the most consistent pattern, but free-line drifting is also doing pretty well for big fish in the same depth range. Interestingly, Chris reports that he cannot recall another time when the big fish have displayed a clear preference for one bait over all others, but this fall he says that gizzard shad have outperformed everything else by leaps and bounds.
In addition to a strong catfish bite, tournament angler Andy Wicker reports that this is an exciting time for bass fishing on Lake Monticello. Much of the year Lake Monticello bass fishing revolves around a deep bite, but for the next month or so Andy says this is a strong period for shallow water fishing on the lake. Early in the morning he likes to throw a Zara Spook off points, and he reports that most days this bite lasts for a couple of hours – although on cloudy days it can last all day.
That is not to say that fish cannot be caught deep, and after the early morning fishing deep is still the primary pattern on Lake Monticello. Andy says that fish can also be caught deep first thing, although his preference is to pursue the shallower fish early. 30-40 feet of water is a good depth range, and the primary pattern is to fish off long tapering points. There will also be some fish found around humps. Both Alabama rigs and jigging spoons are good lures, although particularly on the spoon anglers need to be prepared to weed through large numbers of white perch – which Lake Monticello is full of.