Bass in most of our lakes are moving toward spawning areas by the first of March, but Lake Seminole is as far south as you can get in Georgia. Some Seminole bass have already spawned, some are spawning now, and some are just off bedding areas ready to move in and fan beds. You can catch March bass at Seminole on sandy flats, in pockets and on sandbars on the main lake.
Seminole is a big, shallow lake in the corner of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Everywhere you look makes you think you can catch a bass right there. Grass and stumps are all over the lake, with lily pads and cattails lining the banks and shallows. But if you don’t know key areas, you can do a lot of casting without getting bites.
For the past year or so, the bass fishing has been fantastic on Seminole, with many tournaments being won with five-bass limits weighing more than 30 pounds. If you fish a local pot tournament against fishermen who know the lake well, you better have more than 20 pounds to even hope for a check. Five- and 6-pounders are common, and it usually takes a 7-plus-lb. bass to win the big-fish pot.
If you’re just a weekend angler who likes catching lots of big bass, Lake Seminole needs to be on your get-there list for this spring.
Jason Smith lives in Albany and has fished Seminole all his life. His mentor, Jackie Hambrick, was a well-known Lake Seminole expert. Fishing with the Albany Bassin Buddies bass club taught Jason a lot about the keys to catching bass.
Jason loves fishing so much that he started Buddha Baits, which makes jigs, spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, soft baits, fishing line and rods and reels.
In a Seminole Winter Trail tournament in mid-January, Jason had a 24-lb. sack and did not get a check. That tournament shows the kind of bass being caught this year on Seminole.
“I love Seminole because you can catch so many quality fish,” Jason said.
March is the best month to find the sows in the spawning areas many years, and our cold winter has stacked them up even more this year, delaying many of the early spawners that go on the bed at Seminole as early as January.
Jason will have as variety of baits rigged on his rods for March fishing. Since most of the Seminole bass will be located around grass or other weed cover, Jason throws most of them on Buddha Braid. He said you need braided line to get big fish out of the weeds and grass.
Ready to cast in March, Jason will have a rattle bait, a Texas-rigged lizard or Senko, a Swagger Swim worm, an Enlightened Swim Jig, a Carolina-rigged Trick Worm or lizard, a bladed Swagger Jig and an Inseine Jig. For thick hyacinth beds, he will be ready to flip them with a Baby Mama behind a big 1 1/2-oz. sinker.
We fished Seminole the last day of January after a cold front, with bluebird skies and little wind—some of the worst possible weather. Even under those bad conditions, we had a decent limit with a 5 1/2-pounder to anchor it. The bass were not really in the bedding areas yet, but many fish were just off them and ready to move in, so you can catch them in these locations now.
No. 1: N 30º 47.304 – W 84º 48.447 — Going up Spring Creek, look for the Grassy Flats Cut on the left, which is marked by poles as you’re heading up Spring Creek. The Grassy Flats Cut is just downstream of the Big Jim’s Cut. Where the Grassy Flats Cut hits the creek channel, on your right is an island that is just off the creek channel. A ditch runs in behind the island and forms a good staging area going into a spawning flat behind the island. This is an example of an ideal area for this time of year.
Idle in through the standing timber to the point, and start by working it near the channel and ditch
junction with a Carolina rig and a jig. There are stumps and grass on the point. Start out deep, and work up the ditch to the shallow spawning flat.
There is a grass edge around the point and on the ditch side. Keep your boat off it, and fish a bladed jig through the grass. Work fairly fast until you get a bite, and then slow down and make multiple casts with your bladed jig, and follow up with a Carolina rig.
As bass move toward spawning areas, they follow the grass edge and feed, and then they move into the shallow water behind the grass edge to spawn. Keep a watch for beds behind the grass as you fish. There will usually be several bass beds grouped together with empty space between them. When you spot a bed, fish it with a paddle tail Baby Mama, swimming the worm up to the bed and letting it fall into the fanned-out spot.
No. 2: N 30º 44.878 – W 84º 50.604 — Out on the Flint River, on the south bank before the turn toward the dam, River Junction ramp is on your right (if you’re heading upstream. Bass hold out on the grassline in 6 to 8 feet of water and then move to the bank in the shallow bay to spawn.
Start by fishing the outside grassline, especially if the water is still cold. We caught a couple of keepers out there. Then go back in behind the grass, and work the bedding area. Keep your boat in about 5 feet of water, and fan cast a swim worm behind a 1/4- to 5/16-oz. sinker.
Also drag a Carolina-rigged lizard through the shallows, searching for bedding fish. The water is often too stained on the Flint to see the beds, so probe for them with a lizard. Since beds are usually grouped together, make multiple casts to any area you catch a fish.
No. 3: N 30º 45.087 – W 84º 50.005 — Going up the Flint, upstream of the River Junction ramp, there is another bay that swings back, providing a more protected spawning area. Fish it the same way as hole No. 2. You will see cattails on the bank and lily pad stems in the water. Watch for them everywhere you fish, since they grow on sandy bottoms where bass spawn.
For covering water more quickly until you hit a group of bass, a bladed jig works well. Jason rigs his black-and-blue or green-pumpkin Swagger Jig with a matching 3- or 4-inch swimbait, and he fishes it through the grass. A paddle tail worm also allows you to cover water quickly to find the key spots.
No. 4: N 30º 46.014 – W 84º 50.517 — The big flats between Spring Creek and the Flint River are huge spawning areas. Straight across from Sealy Point in Spring Creek, there is a small group of islands just off deeper water. This is a highway for the bass moving in.
The downstream island in this group is a cluster of cypress trees, and this island is closest to the deeper water. Go to the downstream side of this last island, and fan cast the entire area, keeping your boat in 4 or 5 feet of water. Drag a Carolina-rigged lizard, or fish a little faster with a bladed jig, working the whole area.
Always watch for bass beds in areas like this. If you see a lighter spot on the bottom, look at it closely. There are light spots on the bottom that are not beds, but the active beds will be brighter, and there will often be several close together. When you see them, slow down and fish a paddle tail worm all around them and in them. The water is clearer here from the Spring Creek influence, and you can usually see the beds in this area.
No. 5: N 30º 46.181 – W 84 50.056 — Go around the island at Hole No. 4. There is another smaller island on the Spring Creek side a little upstream. It is more shallow around it, and you can see clumps of cattails, pad stems and grass all around it. On sunny, warm days, this water warms quickly, and move bass into the area earlier than they do at most other areas.
Start on the downstream end of the smaller island, and fish on the side away from Spring Creek, working upstream behind it. The flats all around this island have sandbars where the bass spawn, and there are often a lot of beds in the area. Fish from the bank of the island all the way out to deeper water. Just remember that “deeper water” at Seminole this time of year is only 3 feet deep or so.
No. 6: N 30º 44.748 – W 84º 52.621 — On the Chattahoochee River side of the point—between it and the Flint—is a group of poles in a circle that are way off the last island. They are on a point and mark the Indian Mounds. On the Chattahoochee River side of the island, across from the Indian Mounds, a shallow bay forms a good spawning area.
There are scattered stumps as well as grass in this bay, and bass spawn all over it. Keep your boat in 4 or 5 feet of water, and fish the water 3 or 4 feet deep, fan casting all over the flat. You may not be able to see the beds in the more stained river water, but they will be here, and they will be grouped together like in other places.
Fish from near the downstream point of the island up the Chattahoochee River side. Watch for lily pad stems marking sandy areas. A bladed jig comes through them well and is a good choice for a search bait. A Carolina rig is good for slowing down and working an area.
No. 7: N 30º 45.542 – W 84º 47.298 — Heading up the Flint River on the right bank, a wide bay swings in away from the channel markers. On the upstream end of the bay, a wood dock with no top sits out on the downstream side of the point. Downstream of the dock, there is slightly deeper water closer to the bank.
Start about 200 yards down the bank from the dock, and fish toward it, casting to the bank and the scattered grass. Sometimes a red rattle bait will attract bites in areas like this when other baits are ignored. A swim jig like Jason’s Enlightened jig or Inseine jig will also attract bites from more active bass, especially if they are feeding on bluegill.
Work the rattle bait fast, jerking it from grass when you hit it. With the swim jig, keep it near the surface, and work it with twitches as you reel it along. Jason likes bluegill or green pumpkin in clearer water and black and blue in stained water, and he puts a matching swimbait on his jig.
No. 8: N 30º 45.759 – W 84º 46.104 — A little farther up the river the channel makes a hard swing from the right bank to the left. In the flat bay just downstream of the last channel marker before the turn, there is a depression that runs back to the bank, offering a good path for bass to follow. It goes in between two groups of two docks. There is one silver-roofed dock and one green-roofed dock on each side.
Follow this depression in from deeper water, fan casting to both sides of it and down the middle of it. The water is 10 to 12 feet deep not far off the bank where it goes in. This is a good area for rattle baits and bladed jigs. When you get to the bank, fish it and down both sides to the docks. A paddle tail swim worm like Jason’s new Swagger Swim Worm in tilapia or black and blue is good, depending on water color. Keep the worm moving near the bottom, making the flapping tail wiggle to get bites. Jason will often dip the tail of his plastics in chartreuse JJ’s Magic for added attraction.
No. 9: N 30º 46.215 – W 84º 46.989 — Across the river channel, Fort Scott Islands is part of a Waterfowl Management Area. A small island sits just off the bank where the channel comes across and hits the north bank. Just downstream of this island there is a big flat just off a slough that goes back. This is a good bedding area, full of lily pad steams and cattails.
Keep your boat off the bank in water about 20 feet deep. This is a good place to cast your jig ’n pig, Texas-rigged worm or Carolina rig up onto the grassy sandbar that runs along the bank. Keep your bait in contact with the bottom as it comes out of the grass, and follow the bottom down the drop. Bass will often stack up just outside the grass and move into it to feed.
No. 10: N 30º 46.334 – W 84º 48.949 — Going down the bank, the “Fire Break” goes in just downstream of the island with the waterfowl management area signs that are out in the water. Follow the slightly deeper water in behind the island, keeping the signs to your right.
Bass spawn all back in here in the shallow, sandy flats. Watch for keys like lily pad stems and cattails, and fan cast the whole area. Try a variety of baits and speeds to find fish, and then slow down and fish that area.
All these places hold bedding bass right now, and others post and pre-spawn. Try them with Jason’s baits to catch quality bass all month long.
You check out Jason’s baits and fishing products at www.buddhabait.com.