The most difficult thing about fishing this month is deciding what to fish for! Here on Lake Russell, we will have many options. The bass fishing will be fantastic for both spotted bass and largemouth. The banks will be flooded with bass eager to chase down a fast-moving bait. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, even topwaters will all work; however, my favorite is a simple plastic paddletail jig on an unpainted eighth-ounce jig head. It is much easier and less stressful for the fish if you are going to release it with a single hook as opposed to three sets of treble hooks.
The crappie will be spawning in the shallow coves. They will be holding around treetops and rocks in quiet little places out of the wind. My favorite way to target these fish is to use a 12-foot fiberglass jig pole with a float, split shot, and hook. Put the hook through the lips of a small shiner minnow and drop it around the shallow cover. To watch that float go under is still one of the greatest thrills in fishing.
The stripers will be moving into shallow water also. They will be following the herring that are in the shallows spawning or preparing to spawn. Stripers will show up on random shallow points and can be caught on the same lures as the bass. Just be sure to have your drag loose enough to survive that hard first run or you can kiss your lure goodbye. Live herring on free lines can also be used to target stripers.
Wendell Wilson / Wilson’s Guide Service / 706-283-3336