Carters: Level: Full. Temp: 53 degrees. Clarity: 8 feet.
Linesides: Decent. Guide Robert Eidson reports, “The fish are starting to move out of the river back to the main lake. They are splitting up into groups. Some are following the threadfins to the backs of the creeks, and others are staying on the main lake chasing the alewife. If you’re targeting the fish in the backs of the creeks, you need to use small baits, like threadfins, small trout and even shiners. Fish the baits on planer boards and freelines early. Once the sun comes up, change over to downlines. If you’re targeting the fish on the main lake, fish the pockets. These fish are holding on 90-foot bottoms and are eating big baits. Big shad and trout are working best on downlines 55 feet deep.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “After a few cold snaps, the lake is fishing like it should be. Striped fish are scattered and can be caught any time of the day. Flatlines, planer boards and balloons are the best way to start a day. Pull the creeks from the back to the mouth. I like to zigzag in and out of the shade and sunlight line. I try to pull a little above 1 mph and will slow down or stop when I mark fish. Work the banks, and if you mark bait, make a few passes around it. Spend more time fishing and less time running around looking for fish. We have been seeing the most action in the 20- to 40-foot zone in the creeks and at 50 and 60 feet on the points. It’s a pretty typical winter pattern for Carters. Live trout are the way to go this time of year. I like to have a variety of sizes on the boat. As far as the spotted bass are concerned, you can slowly move around the points looking for them on the sonar and drop jigs and spoons on them. White, silver and chartreuse are the artificial colors I like in the winter. Stay warm, and we will see you on the water.”
Walleye: Guide Robert Eidson reports, “It’s that time of the year, and the bigger walleye are starting to show up. Threadfins, small gizzard shad and shiners have been working best for us, but I would imagine that they would eat a nightcrawler very well right now. The walleye we are catching are coming early on a 20-foot bottom in the backs of the creeks with standing timber. Most of the fish we are catching are good fish in the 5- to 7-lb. range. I am very pleased to see fish this size this far south.”