Our lovely little lake Allatoona is still fishing well, and it has been an amazing winter with very few slow fishing periods. Current lake levels are holding around 824 feet and surface temperatures have dipped below 50° this past week with the recent cold snap, but should be expected to rise back into the low 50's this weekend.
While the North end still resembles a muddy lazy rolling river, there are still fish to be caught from Kellogg Creek down to Bartow Carver. Through today, cleaner water truly begins closer to Stamp Creek and down into the Pass and there are fish here, too. I can share this - Just over the weekend 6E had a lot of catchable bait and fish over the weekend in the morning when we made it by there. By noon, the bait had moved elsewhere and the fish with them as we looked on our way back through to load up on more mixed baits for the next day. Swimming fins and all that. But that area and the channels in particular have been good gathering locations for fish lake-wide. Scanning the channels for the masses is a good approach in addition to covering your favorite holes off the channel.
Down lining medium to large shiners as well as small gizzard shad have been producing well for both our striped and spotted fishes. For the most part, this will be predicated by the bait size the fish are feeding on as they do tend to become a little more particular this time of year. In the past two weeks I have sat on fish that would only eat small-medium gizzard shad or larger artificials and would not touch a smaller threadfin or shiner, and vice versa. The fact is, we have all size baits in our lake and sometimes the fish are staying with a school of gizzard shad and will tend to prefer basic 6 inch plus range, and sometimes they are to staying with threadfins that are mixed from 2 inches to 5 inches long. Our lake conditions were conducive to multiple spawnings of the threadfin shad this past year and your nets may come up with young of year-September/October shad - and when that is what they are eating you may be best with a small thread or shiner or even a 1/32-1/16 oz. tube jig or micro spoon for a more consistent bite. It's simply a reinforcement of the old adage - "match the hatch."
While down lining has been our primary go to this past week, there was a day this past weekend that activity slowed for nearly 30 minutes and I casted to a point with the Mini-Mack and hooked up with a nice Hybrid and a larger spotted bass in 2/3 casts. Simply had to put that rod down when the school moved back under our live bait rods and things became a little fantastically frantic when a wolf-pack of Stripes and Hybes moved back in under the boat. Good stuff.
Only 'time on the water' has the potential to put a fish on the end of your line, but if your time is limited due to your work and family, it is so hoped that this brief might provide a decent guideline for your upcoming trip. God bless and good fishing, friends!