Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 46-50 degrees. Clarity: Mostly stained.
Bass: Tournament pro Aaron Batson reports, “Bass fishing has been slow but will get much better this month. Right now, slow-moving baits are the best bets. Fish in 5 to 8 feet of water with 3/8-oz. jigs and Texas-rigged Zoom lizards in dark colors, like redbug or junebug. Look for sunny banks to hold fish. Lately a new bait has really began to work well for me, Standford Lure’s new Missing Link (bladed) Jig. Work this bait on rip-rap rocks and any wood cover. The bait can be fished slow like a jig or just a tad faster like a slow-rolled spinnerbait. I expect it to be a big factor this spring. Good colors have been black/blue flake and bluegill bream. Later in the month, fish will get more active and can be caught on spinnerbaits and square-billed crankbaits. Look for them to be stacked at the mouths of spawning areas.”
Linesides: Guide Mark Smith reports, “Even with the lake still muddy, the stripers and crappie are feeding. As we move into March, the stripers/hybrids will start the movement to the dam and up the rivers on their annual spawning runs. It is also the time of year for big fish. The big females will be looking for a big meal as they get ready to spawn. Live bait fished on downlines and flatlines with planer boards will be the best bet to catch these fish. You can also catch fish on spoons and umbrella rigs, but live bait will out produce on most days. March is the start of the striper/hybrid season. The fishing will get better and better as we move deeper into the month.”
Crappie: Guide Jody Stephens reports, “By the time you read this, the crappie should be in full swing. Expect the fish to move from deeper water to staging areas to shallower pockets in search of spawning grounds. Pushing jigs tipped with minnows is a great bet when they go shallow. Jiffy Jigs in purple/black and hot pink/black are great. Longline trolling with dark jigs and bright chartreuse tails is deadly. Just match your weight to the depth of the fish, and vary speeds from 0.9 to 1.1, and see what they want.”