Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Oh, it's cold outside for sure. It doesn't matter if you grew up in New England or Manitoba but are now a resident of the southeast, there's a winter nip to the air that you are sure to feel this week. So, let's go fishing!
Lake Allatoona is 827.34 - down nearly 13 feet below full pool of 840 feet. This is a great time of year to better study the points and fish holding crags in the rocks closer to shore if you are already thinking ahead to Spring Striper and Spotted Bass hidey holes.
Water Temperatures are dropping along with elevation, and the fierce multi-directional winds this week have been crafting a hopeful fishing bonanza soup. Surface temps are dropping below 50° in many areas.
The fish are moving again this past week and a little trolling while scouting can prove productive. Pulling Mini-Mack's and U rigs has been proving quite an effective presentation and when that bite is hot, it's hot! We've been working through a lot of different combinations of arm candy, weights and distances. For most of our applications, a mini at 125'+ out is a great starting point. Pair it with a full size U Rig at 50-60 back. This is targeting fish in the 14-17 foot range and you'll know if they are ready to rise up to the occasion. If you have a slow idle or are targeting schools in the 17' flats, you can hit bottom easily on a tight turn. Adjust accordingly as needed.
Then there's the slow roll. Whether you start or finish out with live bait is up to the fish, so don't get caught without a dozen or three per person. Our Linesides are still transitioning into a winter pattern, I do believe. They are still being found moving in the channels and a common southward movement could occur. This past week, there were days we had to simply slow it down or sit on top of them for the bite. Downlines with shad, minnows, trout and other line caught specialty baits have tripped up one or more of the most finicky school, but sometimes we have to wait it out for that bite. The freelines are still producing well at a slow roll, so keep a feeler or two out from the start if you can.
Casting an A rig or Jigging up these fish is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. A mini or smaller A rig cast into a school might be the only way to trigger a bite and there are boats out there putting on clinics to prove it. I like the flexi-spoons for jigging and you can even shape them to change the flutter presentation if nothing else seems to be working. This is also a great time of year to teach the kids to fish for the artificial bite, and the White bass in particular have been very amenable to providing tons of action on the spoons. It can be a confidence booster for all ages, myself included.
We are running trips full time and on demand and we will always make room for you and your plus one or three aboard the Sweet Marie.
Your accommodations can be meet to get you out on the water for the winter Striper bite early or afternoon. We'll fish livebait and/or troll artificials as the bite demands, but we'll find the bite and give them just what they want. While the schoolies can prove rewarding, if you're an advanced angler and ready for 'hero or zero' on the big bite for an hour or four, we have some nice Striper candy we've been gathering. We have some coffee and a toasty heater on a comfy craft just awaiting your Adventure. Let's go fishing!