Clarks Hill Fishing Report March 2006

Clarks Hill: Level: Full pool. Temp: 52-54 degrees. Clarity: Clear.

Bass: Good, said Craig Johnson, who with partner Kip Ashmore has won six tournaments in the past seven weeks. “We have been catching 30 or 40 fish a day,” said Craig. “We are floating a white-ice Super Fluke. Everyone else is fishing the ditches with a weighted fluke, but we are throwing ours without any weight.” Craig said they fish the fluke on an exposed 5/0 Gamakatsu round hook, a fine-wire hook that is not as heavy as a standark wide-gap hook. He fishes the fluke with a small swivel 18 inches up the line to keep the weight of the swivel away from the bait. “We are working the fluke real slow and keeping it up,” said Craig. “We see every fish that hits.” Finding a productive ditch is easy, says Craig. “Just pull into any major creek on the lake and you will find two or three good ditches. They just have to have grass, and they have to have bait. We are fishing the same, identical place on each ditch — where the grass meets the ditch. That is usually in about 12 feet of water. The bass will sit right on the edge of the grass.“ If fish are there, they will generally bite quickly. “If you don’t catch a fish in 10 minutes, move,” said Craig. “If you catch a fish, make the same cast over and over. We caught 32 bass out of one place.” Their last catch was five bass that weighed 24 1/2 pounds. “On our worst day we caught 18 bass, and our best five weighed 17 pounds,” said Craig. “If it is cloudy you will catch them all day. If the sun comes up strong, the bite will end at about 9 a.m. Then the same thing will start at about 4 p.m. and last until dark.”

Crappie: Slab fishing is just getting started on Clarks Hill, according to Ronnie Long. Ronnie was on the lake in mid February and caught 27 in a few hours fishing jigs and minnows over brush placed in 25 to 30 feet of water. White and chartreuse jigs caught the most fish. “When the water is cold early in the season, I always seem to have better luck on jigs,” he said. “When the water warms up, they will hit minnows better.” The fish Ronnie caught were in the 1- to 1 1/2-lb. range. “We will catch bigger fish when the water warms up four or five degrees,” he said.

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