Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: Low to mid 60s. Clarity: Stained over most of the lake.
Bass: Tournament angler Aaron Batson reports, “Bass fishing is great. Spring came so fast this year that the fishing just exploded. Bass can be caught just about any way that you enjoy. The spawn is mostly over, though there may be a few late spawning fish in April. Think about slow-moving plastics for the next few weeks. Try weightless Senkos, lizards and creature baits. Look for fry guarders to attack anything very shallow and in their faces.”
Crappie: Guide Jody Stephens reports, “Late February and March were awesome times to be a crappie guide—big fish and lots of ’em. Trolling went from deep to shallow as the warm weather hit and the last of the spawners moved in on the full moon in March. Continue looking for moving fish in creekmouths, and troll Jiffy Jig Super Grubs with Curtis Hobbs Litewire Hooks jig heads.” Guide Doug Nelms reports, “The crappie bite will be great for all of us guys who pull jigs. The long pushing poles have made their way back into the garage, and the pulling rods are getting busy. Any place you can find a deep cove will be a great place for the fish. Look around the full and new moon for a wide-open bite this month. There will be some crappie that didn’t spawn, and they will be ready to go this month. We fish a 10-rod spread, typically rigged with double jigs and whatever the flavor of the month curly tail is. It is a combination of big numbers and good fish for all anglers.”
Linesides: Doug reports, “It is full-blown wide open. The really big fish should arrive any day now, and at the time of this post on March 26, we are catching 20 fish in a half day. They are a mixed bag of stripers and hybrids, and they are ranging from 3 to 8 pounds, with the occasional striper going into double digits. You can catch them in two places, the dam and the dam. Wallace Dam is holding a lot of fish this year, more than I have seen in a long time, and you can run up to Barnett Shoals and catch them. Right now, the Wallace fish are hard on bass minnows, which is why the stores are out of them. In a week or so, when the shad spawn starts, they will only eat shad and typically not bother a bass shiner. This is the easiest time of the year to catch them, and anyone can do it. Fish flatlined minnows 50 feet behind your boat, or troll weighted downlines around about 0.5 mph. In the river, it gets a little more complicated. Using 15-lb. line with 1- to 2-oz. sinkers fished on the bottom will bring great results. This is the big fish month on our lake, and it should only get better.”