Carters: Level: 5 feet below full. Temp: 82 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Spotted Bass: Guide Louie Bartenfield reports, “Fishing has been good for late summer. My guys have been catching pretty good numbers all summer, and I expect September to be no different. As the days get shorter and the air temps slowly start to cool, expect Carters spots to move a little farther into the creeks and for the mid-depth and shallow bites to start picking up. I’ll focus on deep channel banks and steep edges a quarter to halfway back in the creeks in September. Jerkbaits, topwater and the always faithful SpotSticker jig-head worm are my primary baits in September. In September it’s not uncommon to catch a lot of fish shallow, but the really big fish are deep, so keep an open mind. Even if you’re getting bit shallow, there are still bigger spots behind you in 40 to 50 feet.”
Linesides: Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The fish on the lower end of the lake are holding from 80 to 120 feet. There are some fish near the beach in 60 to 90 feet of water. As you head up by Worley Creek and Doll Mountain, they are in 50 to 80 feet, and as you go to river, we have caught some fish as shallow 30 feet. All this means the fish are focusing on water quality not food. When the lake reaches a certain temp and oxygen level, the fish will leave food sources and head for better living conditions, which can change every few days until turnover happens. I like fishing up the river in September due to the cooler, fresh water flowing in from the Coosawattee River. I’m still fishing downlines in the 30- to 60-foot range with live herring. The main difference is I’m not trying to locate fish on the sonar, but I’m really just covering water and keeping fresh big baits on 2-oz. egg sinkers and long, 8- to 10-foot leaders of 14-lb. fluorocarbon. The bite seems best from sunrise until about 11 a.m. Right now I’m working the area from Ridgeway upstream. There are some other fish species using the same area for the water quality—walleye, hybrids and the ever-present big green spots are there.”