Doug Nelms

Lake Oconee Fishing Report – December 2022

This month’s special columnist is Captain Doug Nelms of Big Fish Heads Guide Service.

We’re in winter water conditions with the lake surface temperature at 51 degrees with stained water all around due to recent rainfall.

The White Bass Bite is on Fire!

I recently had two trips on the same day and all told we put 129 white bass, stripers, and hybrids on the boat. Most of that haul was white bass. The stained water and mud hasn’t deterred the white bass bite, but the stripers and hybrids have moved to clearer water towards the south end of the lake. The mud has made its way to Cuscowilla, and by the time you read this it could be muddy all the way to flagpole point. That will bunch all the line sides up on the south end. That’s where we will spending most of our time this new year.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for the seagulls – they are spotting the baitfish for you, and that bait fish means the big fish are coming to feed!

The bite on artificial baits has been great for the last month, and there has been no need to rig with live bait. We’ve had success with jigging spoons, sassy shads, and striper flies under a popping cork. On most half-day trips we’re putting thirty fish in the boat.

There’s a full moon coming up on January 6th, and in the past that usually meant fishing slowed down on Lake Oconee, but now it’s completely opposite. Instead of the big bite happening on the new moon phase, the full moon period has turned the bite on. I really have no wisdom as to why, but we really look forward to it these days.

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