Greetings fellow fishers, both ladies and gents of all ages. Merry Christmas!
Lake Allatoona is steady cool at 50-52 degrees mid-lake though much cooler temps can be found in the creeks. Today's water levels are at 827.40 feet. As a public service announcement, it was noted today that the US Army Corps of Engineers has extended the comment period for the proposed Allatoona Lake Draft. In these decisions will be Raising the Winter guide curve from 823 to 824.5 feet, as well as a Water Supply reallocation of 33,872 acres. We encourage you to be well informed and more information may be found here directly
We basically fished in the backyard this past week though found active fish from Kellogg Creek to Little River. The continued pressure on the previous weeks' 'hotter' spots has helped moved the fish along from where they just were. Good bet that they continue to use the channels for a southward surge and we hope to be right where that bite is always happening.
These Allatoona fish are adapting to a winter pattern that is predicated by water temperatures and stability of bait supply. Some of these pods of fish are down in the 40' range and are less affected by a surface temp swing and there are days you need to focus your efforts there. The gizzards are so very hearty and just a staple bait for myself and others time of year. We plan to pull a trout or 30 when the time comes, but right now the gizzard shad are producing well for a live-bait approach.
Smaller baits have proven most effective when the fish were not in lockjaw mode this past week. On 3 of 4 outings, we enjoyed a fantastic early bite with enough to satisfy your urge to hook and boat fish by 9 a.m. Small Gizzard shad on the downlines from 15-35 and freelines. Yes 2' - 35' and beyond. We bounced the bottom with small gizzards in 40' to catch 2 hungry 5 pound Stripers that took the bait. Jigged some up in 35/55. Maybe more of the Hybrids came on the freelines overall (8 lb. test with a #1 hook and small split shot), but both delivery systems were working well.
One morning were blessed enough to see over 30 lbs. of fish come into the boat in just a little over an hour. Catching 5 good fish an hour was not unheard of. This was new as the late mornings had been producing better just a week or 2 ago.
We also enjoyed a cold-front driven winter's day that produced some Grade-A lockjaw most all day. While our target species was acquired it was a tough bite to find and fewer opportunities were granted by those wiley linesides. Huge thanks to Bob Rice and Dick Gillespie for sharing their wisdom and laughter aboard the Sweet Marie this week and we look forward to having them back real soon. Bob and Dick are two of the South's finest gentleman, both representing the Angler Magazine - a great publication that we encourage you to link to here or pick up monthly at your local tackle shop.
Trolling A and U Rigs did not produce well this past week when applied, but those were already lockjaw periods. Please feel free to share your go-to's when the fish are in lockjaw mode. Cast Nets don't count. If there was an easy solution for it, it wouldn't be called lockjaw. Don't take it personal. Lockjaw happens. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. And fish.
Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of ours. We look forward to continued exciting Adventures for 2020, sharing info within our community, providing weekly fishing reports and hopefully having you on board for an Adventure. Please do not hesitate to contact us direct at 404-919-4918 for availability or last minute Gift Certificates for Sunset Cruises, our Birdwatcher's Delight (we can have you looking eye to eye with a Bald Eagle) or a Guided Fishing Trip for up to 4 on lovely Lake Allatoona or Carters Lake and beyond.