Lakefront hotel in Eatonton, GA

Lake Oconee Fishing Report – April 2023

Bass fishing on Lake Oconee has been hit and miss for the past month. Things started off well in March, then we were hit with a deep freeze for the better part of a week. Temperatures began to climb again but we were hit with two plus days of rain and storms at the end of March. Most of the lake is now stained like chocolate milk and the backs of creek channels are filled with debris. There’s also plenty of flotsam and jetsam floating throughout the lake.

In mid-March I fished in the Sugar Creek area and in just over 3 hours pulled in a bag that weighed in just over 15 pounds. While not great, it’s OK for Lake Oconee. I caught some bass off points on a Carolina rig with an 8″ cotton candy colored lizard. Later in the day the bass were hitting on a gold bladed Jackhammer chatterbait with a Rage Craw trailer.

Fishing off the docks of the hotel has been hit and miss. In early March the were hitting on white and blueback herring colored paddletails on an underspin. While the biggest one I caught off our docks was only 2 pounds, the bite was consistent. But since the heavy rains and stained water in the past week the bass bite has been non-existent. That being said, there are tons of baitfish in the hotel’s creek channel so it should be only a matter of time – and the water clearing up a bit – before the bass start biting again.

I spent an afternoon out on my kayak last week in search of both largemouth and stripers, but the heavily stained water cut down the bite. I spent a lot of time pedaling around using my electronics and looking for bigger fish and was surprised at how barren it was at this end of the lake. I did catch a few small largemouth bass holding tight to the banks. On my electronics, I also saw some holding at drop offs but couldn’t get anything to bite.

Frustrated at finding bass, I started fishing for crappie and found schools of them around overpasses and sitting off at the bottom of big humps adjacent to the overpasses. Baitfish are everywhere. I don’t think that I made a cast all day that didn’t scatter a bunch of baitfish.

I haven’t fished for catfish this year, but a number of our guests have and the catfish have been plentiful fishing with cutbait.

As a reminder, we’re bringing back our Fishing with the GM program throughout the summer months. Visit our events calendar page for the dates and times.

On another note, I have two upcoming Major League Fishing tournaments in April. On April 15th we’ll be fishing right here on Lake Oconee and on April 29th I’ll be fishing the MLF tournament on Lake Hartwell.

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