Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the high 70s to low 80s.
While Sunday and Monday have been cooler, last week and into Saturday it felt like summer had already arrived. But that didn’t mean that bass had moved into a summer pattern yet on Lake Monticello, however, and in a small event last Thursday evening tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria found that the fish were still only in a post-spawn pattern – not a summer one. Instead bass are in a transition period between the spawning season and summer.
Andy and his tournament partner checked their favorite deep holes but didn’t find fish there yet, so they moved back to shallower water. They caught a bunch of smaller fish on topwater lures, and the winning team reportedly caught their fish by dragging a worm across points in 5-15 feet of water. Underscoring that is definitely an “in-between” period it only took about 12 pounds for the win, although storms did eventually run the anglers off.
While the fish may not be there yet, the next move is out to deep humps and points in 20-30 feet of water. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, and it could be next week – but Andy thinks it is coming very soon. On Lake Monticello Andy believes that bass are primarily eating white perch (it has a very large perch population) and threadfin shad, and these fish will be on the bottom. Accordingly, he likes to fish big, deep-diving crankbaits and to cast and vertically jig big spoons once fish set up deep but before they get super deep.
While the predominant pattern will soon be fishing deep water, there should continue to be a shallow bite for about the first 45 minutes or hour of the morning. Some good fish can be found up shallow that will take a Pop-R, a small buzzbait or other surface lure. Lake Monticello has a good amount of riprap and that is one of the better shallow areas to target – until the sun gets up.
Catfish: Fair to good. Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that the overall bite for both big fish and numbers of fish has been pretty good. Anchoring on humps and points that allow you to fan cast baits from 10 to 40 feet of water has been the most effective pattern. Cut herring, shad and white perch cut into small pieces about the size of a mussel are the best bet.