Right now bass fishing on Lake Russell is good – maybe even very good – but Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) believes the bite is about to be on fire. Fish are grouped up in 20-40 feet of water in the middle to backs of the creeks, and catching 30-40 fish in several hours of fishing is the norm. However, a few more cold days and Jerry says a good day will instead be a 100-fish day! As water temperatures drop look for fish to follow the bait and head from the back of the creeks towards the fronts, and for them to start to get deeper. The bait will be around deep flats, and in addition to drop-shotting fishing jigging spoons will get better and better.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) has been fishing a similar pattern to Jerry, and he reports having most of his luck in the creeks in about 28-30 feet of water. The bass are there following shad, and they have been catching some nice spots up to 3 or more pounds. Of course other predator species are also mixed in with the spotted bass, and Wendell’s boat has been picking up white and yellow perch as well as largemouth. Most of these fish have been caught on the largest medium minnows available as well as on spoons.
Overall, Lake Russell is 474.10.
Striper: Fair to good. Both Wendell and Jerry report that the striper fishing is about to turn on, and more and more gulls are getting to the lake each day. When the water gets a little bit colder Wendell says striper will start to eat the young of the year shad, and anglers will be able to target them effectively with Alabama rigs. Other anglers will pull free-lined shiners as well as herring, and planer boards will also be effective. While fish are transitioning now most fishing will be concentrated on the lower end and in the area where the three rivers meet very soon.
Catfish: Fair. Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that catfish are mixed in with the bass around the same bait schools, and although he has only targeted them occasionally he has caught a good number fishing with a spoon for spotted bass. Anglers who want to target crappie should fish cut bait on the bottom around the shad schools in 20-40 feet of water in the creeks. As the bait moves deeper so will the crappie.
Crappie: Slow. Guide Wendell Wilson reports that he has not caught enough crappie to speak of, and in the last couple of weeks they have only put four or five crappie in the boat. Anglers who want to target crappie despite the tough bite should look around brush in 15-20 feet of water.