Carters: Level: 0.9 feet low. Temp: Low to mid 60s. Clarity: Clear.
Linesides: Guide Robert Eidson reports, “Good for size. The fall bite is starting to take hold. Big shad and trout are the ticket right now for catching trophy fish. Flatlines and boards are working best early up the river from Ridgeway up to the no house boat sign. Once the sun comes up, we have been moving down to the main lake. Main-lake points from Striper Island (island just up from Doll Mountain) to Stumpy Island (island just south of Worley) has been good midday. All the creeks are holding fish, but the bigger fish seem to be off the river channel. As we move into December, look for these fish to migrate with the bait to the backs of the creeks. Carters isn’t a numbers lake, but it does give up some really big fish this time of the year. Just be patient, and good things may happen.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “Big stripers and big spotted bass are what Carters is all about, and December can be a great month to put your hands on some. We typically start our days pulling planer boards with trout trailing behind them about 60 to 75 feet. We also fish one downline about 25 feet down. I like mono leaders when the temps drop as the stretch in the cold water can be imperative. The 20-lb. test is pretty much our go-to size. As far as areas to fish, look for life: bait, fish on the screen, loons, fish popping on the surface, seagulls circling. Any of these are sure signs of life in the area. Work the areas of interest thoroughly, and don’t give up if the bite isn’t instant. December is also a good month for topwater action from the striped fish here. They can be seen crushing 2-inch or smaller shad on the surface usually first thing in the morning but more often last thing before sunset. Live shad, small spoons and small flukes are the way to go.”