Feb Carters

Temp 46
Level +/- 8ft
Clarity 2 ft
Jan fishing was amazing on this lake and Feb is shaping up to be similar.  There’s a few good bites right now we are working. First we have 2 good walleye bites happening there’s big schools of males cruising open water hunting the shallow schools of small yearling baitfish .  These baits are smaller and slower then their larger adult counterparts and provide a consistent food sorve for the active pre spawn male fish . We also have the fat egg filled females pinned to the bottom looking for easy meals in the creek arms where the bait is holding near the bottom.  These big girls don’t eat a lot right now cause their belly are slap full of eggs but will always take a easy meal without exerting too much energy.  The open water fish can be best caught trolling artificials , casting crank baits ,or fishing a flutter spoon. The bigger fish are going to be best targeted with jigs and spoons . Typical rules apply for color going with bright baits on cloudy days or when the lake is stained and darker colors like green or purple on bright sunny days . Worley creek ,fisher creek and the beach creek seem to be the best areas right now.
     The striper have been cooperating lately eating live baits and artificials anywhere from 15 to 35ft deep . They are smashing the small baits in open water . Planers have been my go to these past few weeks, getting multiple baits out and covering an area quickly with live bait. As far as artificials go they have been loving the spoons and shad shaped crank baits like a Rapala Dt12 and 16 fished on 10lb leaders . Look for scattered bait balls in 15 to 30ft of water over deep bottom and there will be fish somewhere near by . Some food areas have been just off the marina and the mouth of the Doll mountain area .
  Whether you’re fishing for stripers, walleye ,or spotted bass keep in mind the waters cold and the fish are not super active so fish slow and make the bites count . Stay warm and we will see you on the water !
Blue ridge

temp 45
level -19ft
clarity 3 ft
The chill has set in on this lake . It’s winter time but this doesn’t mean there aren’t great opportunities to be had here. The walleye are still buried in the mud looking for easy meals. Small baits are what’s getting the most attention right now for 2 reasons. First the females are full of eggs and can’t even fit a big bait in their belly at this point. Second the smaller baits are more prone to be up a bit shallowerer relating to the bottom vs the larger herring are more offshore. This gives you half the equation of matching the hatch. Small crank baits ,spoons,jig n minnows anything you can keep in the strike zone for maximum exposure time. I like a vertical presentation the most this time of year as it keeps lethargic fish from having to chase down a bait vs letting it hit them in the face . Plus if you find a school of fish you’re not leaving them or past them when you get a bite like if you were trolling.  That being said, if the fish are spread out or not stacked up at all trolling may still be the best option . 1.5 to 2mph is max speed for cold water trolling targeting walleye . areas to target are typical walleye areas like flats holding bait fish,grass beds,and rocky outcroppings near major structures like the dam, points, or big bends in the river channel. This time of year I like 2 or 3 color options: green and white, purple and fire tiger matched with current sun conditions.
   The bass bite has been pretty steady the last few weeks with big schools of fish out chasing herring . Bait selection isn’t as important here as timing. When the spots are chasing bait they will hit pretty much anything that’s in the water . I’ve been keeping big flutter spoons like a 1oz krocodile spoon and a zara spook tied on for when they are up on top and a hopkins spoon for when I mark schools under the boat . You can find the fish by  running and reading sonar or by just trolling a few crankbaits around till you catch a few in the same area then pick that area apart with the spoons. 15 to 35 ft of water had been the starting point for finding the fish early but we are seeing and catching fish as deep as 60 ft this week . 

Capt.Eric Crowley
Head Guide
Lake and Stream Guide Service