Spring is here... Finally!
In the last week of March we had lows in the 20's, blasting wind, and even a few early morning snow flurries. Fish are wanting to move shallow but crazy weather has had them gun-shy. This week's forcast looks like... Well, it looks like April in Georgia. Highs will be in the upper 70's and lows will be in the 50's. Going into April, lake water temps are 51-54 and a bit warmer in the rivers and in the backs of some creeks, those temperatures are going to rise fast! Each Spring, the 50 degree mark gets fish up and feeding, but 60 degrees is THE number that really gets things cranking. April is one of the most fun times of year to fish, and you have this month to look forward to some great fishing!
April is the month most of our bass spawn, and one of the most fun times of year to fish. It is also the month the shad and herring start their spawn too. Look for increased activity early mornings and late evenings, as our shad and herring use the low light for spawning, with big gamefish following them to the shorelines.
Over on "Rick's Lake," we're excited to report that trips at Lake Allatoona have been fantastic. REALLY fantastic. This past weekend while out with regular clients Kelly and Michelle, they boated approx 30 spotted bass on jerkbaits, SpotStickers, and Carolina rigs. Crappie fishing continues to be strong as well, but won't last forever! If you want to take a few home for the table, book a crappie fishing trip with Rick. As temps rise, look for trips to transition to Allatoona striper and hybrids.
It is always fun to see what trophy bass turn up each spring; not just in Georgia, but anywhere in the U.S., and recently we saw the erasers go to the Tennessee record books with a near 7lb spotted bass caught on a lake not too far from here: Parksville Lake in east Tennessee. While many people are saying that Parksville is on a downturn and fishing 'isn't what it used to be', local angler Shane McKee turned up this beast, now confirmed as the new Tennessee State Record. Story here.
Just over two years ago, the state record was set by FLW pro Wes Strader, with a 6.43 spot caught in the Ocoee tailrace just below Lake Parksville.
Ok, this is just sick...
Check out this 40 lb bag of spotted bass that came over Jay Kumar's Bassblaster. That is an 8-POUND AVERAGE of spotted bass caught in a tournament in California.
Also out of California, one year ago (March 2013) the 10 lb 1 oz spot shown below pushed the 2001 all time record by 3 oz. How is California growing such big spots? --unconfirmed rumors are that some of California's lakes have been stocked with the same Coosa (Alabama Spotted) fish native to the Coosawattee drainage, but they are feeding on nutrient rich trout. Population density and fishing pressure are other factors.
Scheduling & Booking
We have seen a faster pace in bookings this year than ever before, and at the time of this blog, I'm booking approx a month out. HOWEVER, please don't let that discourage you from booking --Cancellations happen, as do moving trips around here and there. Also, we are a little more flexible on dates for Allatoona right now, so for those of you looking for flat out numbers and fun over trophies, then you will enjoy a trip to Lake Allatoona with Rick!
Book Summer Trips Now!!! The tightening schedule means that if you want to enjoy some Summer fun on the water, you need to go ahead and reserve a seat now. Summer is a fantastic time for family and corporate trips, lots of fish-to-go-around. Remember To book, simply make a deposit on our booking page then send me a booking request and we'll get you on the schedule.
Catch & Release Important for Next 60 Days
PLEASE remember April is a very important month to practice CATCH & RELEASE, and not just the big spotted bass. A lot of the small males, often considered "eating size" fish, are actually males that play a very essential role in the spawn in April and May. Remember, ALL fish caught in these months should be released immediately. Males need to guard the nest and fry. Without their protection, fry and roe will get quickly eaten by bluegill, carp, herring, crayfish...just about everything. So please help us protect our fantastic fisheries!
Fun Fact: Males develop deep red eyes around the time of the spawn, as in the picture above.
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Gearing Up in April
You'll have aggressive males and pre-spawn females roaming the shorelines early this month. These fish can be caught on a variety of methods, but one of the most productive will be to drag jighead worms down long points on the inside of pockets. Fish will be sensitive to weather this month: cooler temps will push them down and slow the bite, and changing weather may shut them down big time. Keep changing your game until you unlock a pattern.
Recommended baits for April:
- Strike King KVD Jerkbait Sexy Shad color, I prefer the smaller Jerkbaits this month due to all the small shad being introduced from the spawn.
- Mini-Me 3/4oz Lavender Shad Spinnerbait is a MUST in April
- Big Bite Jerk Minnow is Alewife color fished on a weighted 1/16oz Gamakatsu 4/0 hook
- Strike King Series 3 Crankbait Summer Sexy Shad color
- Spotsticker 3/16oz Jighead tipped with BB Shaking Squirrel
6'6 to 7ft Med St Croix Premier Series Rod for Jerkbaits and Crankbaits and I always prefer 12lb Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon when Jerking or Cranking.
7ft to 7'3ft Med/Hvy St Croix Legend Tournament Series Rod for my Mini Me Spinnerbaits and Fluke Style Baits, 14-16lb Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon for SB's.
7ft Med Legend Tournament Series Spinning Rod for my Spotsticker Jighead fishing, I use 7lb Sunline Sniper for this technique
Good luck out there,