Level: .25 feet below full pool. Temp: 65 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Fair. If you can catch five smallmouths that weight 1 1/2-pounds apiece, you are likely to be in the money at a Blue Ridge tournament this time of year, said John Hembree. “You will catch an occasional 2- or 3-lb. bass, but nine out of 10 will be a pound or a pound-and-a-half.” The cool weather has slowed the aggressive crankbait bite on rocky points, he said. Some anglers are catching a few bass on slower-moving tube baits and little crawfish-imitation crankbaits. When the water temperature rises, the fish will get back on a Shad Rap pattern, and the topwater bite should pick up. For topwater, Sammys and Spooks are standard, but you might consider a less-common, smaller-profile bait like a Pop-R, Spook Puppy or Tiny Torpedo. “The lake is full,” said John, “and there is a lot of water in the brush around the edge of the lake that will be good for topwater.”