Lake Monticello water temperatures still range from the upper-50s to mid-60s depending on area of the lake, with the lower end warmer because of proximity to the cooling station. Lake levels always fluctuate daily.
Considering the temperatures it’s not surprising that Lake Monticello bass are moving shallow, and Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that there are a lot of buck bass around the banks. Some of these fish are already making beds and some are just thinking about it, but soft plastics are a good way to catch them. Fishing a Texas-rigged worm, a shakey head or a floating worm in spawning pockets should generate lots of bites from fish up to 3 pounds or so.
Another group of fish is staging for the spawn, and this group should include more of the big female bass. They will be off points leading into spawning pockets, and could be out to about 15 feet of water. Andy wouldn’t advise fishing deeper than about 15 feet right now. Alabama rigs and Carolina rigs are a good way to target these fish.
On the catfishfront Captain Chris Simpson (864-992-2352) reports that there is not a whole lot of change in the last few weeks, and many catfish remain scattered out in 45-70 feet of water. However, with continued warm temperatures more and more fish are moving into the shallows. Fishing around mussel beds will become a stronger and stronger pattern as temperatures rise. Cut gizzard shad and white perch continue to be the best big fish baits.