Murky Water

Lake Oconee Fishing Report – April 15, 2022

Last week we had two days of severe weather in the area and it left the lake a mess with lots of flotsam and jetsam throughout the lake and piling up in coves. As you can see by the attached photo, the sedimentation throughout most of the lake makes it look like chocolate milk.

That being said with last Sunday’s temperatures approaching 70 degrees I couldn’t resist heading out on my kayak to fish. I knew the bite would be difficult at best, but at least I’d get away from my desk and get some exercise. I set out to fish a cove I had not fished before, about a 2.5 mile pedal from the hotel. Winds were 6-12 mph so it was a bit of a slog getting there, but surprisingly the lake was nearly empty of boat traffic and it wasn’t too bad getting there. I had planned to fish a point and flat outside the cove, but when I got there the wind had picked up and the wind direction wasn’t conducive for drifting and picking apart the point so I moved right into the cove.

I pitched a few docks on they way in with no luck. But again, when there’s no vegetation around the docks it doesn’t provide a good ambush point for bass to feed. Towards the back of the cove things got interesting with no docks, some muddy banks, lots of laydowns, and a feeder stream. If the lake hadn’t been in such rough shape this would have been a great spot.

As I moved further into the coves I targeted the shallows along the banks and the laydowns using a Jackhammer Chatterbait with a paddletail trailer. With the water as stained as it was, I wanted a bait with some vibration to it. I didn’t have any takers, but I saw a nice 4-5 pound largemouth breach the surface but couldn’t get her to bite. I switched to some finesse fishing with spinning gear and a Ned Rig, targeting the shallows and the brush. Still no takers.

I switched back to my favorite baitcaster setup (Shimano Curado DC reel and Shimano Expride rod), this time with a big thumping Colorado blade spinnerbait with a black and blue skirt. This time I targeted the feeder stream area and that did the trick and I landed three largemouth in the 2 pound range. This is definitely an area I want to target again under better lake conditions and when teh water is a little warmer.

Later in the week I took a break at the end of the day and fished the docks out back of the hotel and that’s when things got interesting. Every time my bait hit the water it send the baitfish jumping and scrambling. That’s a great sign when the baitfish start to move back into the coves. But it got better.

I started hearing fish splashing, breaching the water, and making a ruckus. In the back of the cove the bass were pinning the baitfish up against the seawall and gorging themselves. I saw at least one 4 pounder breach the surface. Unfortunately, where that was happening was out of casting range because the Lure Eating Tree at the edge of our property was blocking any casts to that area. Still, I managed to land 4 smaller bass casting towards other areas in the back of the cove. One bit of advice – when you fish off of our docks DO NOT go into the neighbor’s property to fish. That would be trespassing.

The timing could not be more perfect with the baitfish heading into the coves as next week we have our first Fishing With The GM event on April 23rd. I hope to see kids of all ages join us on the docks that morning.

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