Allatoona: Level: 11.9 feet below full pool. Temp: 48 degrees on the main lake. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. Craig Miller at the Dugout said it’s float-’n-fly time on Allatoona. “This is by far the best way to catch numbers, as well as decent-sized fish. Fish any steep, main-lake banks and points. Ten to 12 feet seems to be the best depth to set your float. The best fly colors are perch and 7-Up made by Red Rooster. You can also fish a jerkbait in these same types of areas. A Spro McStick in blue bandit or a Pointer Minnow in chartreuse shad are doing well. Small jigs like a 1/2-oz. Spanky’s in green pumpkin are catching fish on points. Matt Driver reports, “In January the bite tends to slow, but the big fish are there for the taking. When the temps drop to the lower 40s we begin to see a shad kill. When this occurs, I like to downsize my baits and use techniques like the drop shot and float-’n-fly. Fish the drop shot vertically on light line with a 3/16-oz. weight. Fish are in 15 to 30 feet of water over rock piles and sometimes brush. Use the graph to find them, and lower the bait and slowly jiggle until you feel the rod load up. The float-’n-fly is my favorite thing because it’s easy. Leaders ranging from 10 to 15 feet are common. I’m using a Red Rooster feather fly in shad patterns or white, and I’m also using something new to the market, a hybrid fly made of both feather and soft plastic called the Dominator. Not moving the fly gets more bites than an active retrieve. Never fish alone this time of year — one fall in the water could mean death. Be safe!”
Crappie: Craig Miller said trolling is the best way to catch crappie right now. Finding baitfish is the key. Troll 1/16-oz. jigs on light line. The best jig colors are tractor green and black/chartreuse. Some anglers are tipping these jigs with minnows.
Linesides: Good. “The 30- to 40-fish days are gone,” said Robert Eidson, “but 15-fish days are possible with a 20-pounder mixed in.” Robert said the crazy schooling bite of the last report has flipped over into a big fish bite, and he had just finished watching his client Brock Grogan, 8, of Locust Grove, reel in a 15-lb. striper, a 4-lb. spot and a 5-lb. hybrid when he gave this report from the Allatoona Creek arm on Dec. 22. The fish were mid-lake south, and Robert said they will keep moving farther south on into January to find a little warmer water. The pattern, however, should remain the same through January. Fish points and secondary points from Bartow-Carver south about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way back into the creeks. Pull trout on planer boards and flatlines early before switching over to downlines once the sun gets up. Drop your trout from 24 to 28 feet deep. About 9:30 or 10 a.m., switch over to U-rigs to keep catching fish. “Check leaders for frays because the big fish are showing up now,” said Robert. He said he’s caught several 20-lb. fish recently.