Nolin Guide Service - Terry Watts'

What's Biting 

Largemouth bass fishing is best from late March through May.  June through the middle of July offers good bass fishing at night. Mid September through early November offers good bass fishing as well.
White bass fishing is typically good from the end of May through late June.  

Crappie fishing is typically at its best from late March through the middle of April depending upon water temperature.  June through October are good for fishing deep structure.

 Recent Activity and Conditions

Lake conditions are changing fast.  Surface temps are in the high 50's to 60 degrees.  The lake is falling more than a foot per day right now.  The lower lake is clear with the upper lake being muddy.  A-rigs and craw crankbaits have been the best bet recently.  A BPS 3.8 inch Speed Shad in white ice has been good as well as shad and smallmouth magic flavors have been good on rigs.  Try varying the size of baits to give the fish a target.  I usually put a larger bait on the back hook of the rig.  Craw pattern baits such as the Rapala DT series, Shad Raps, Bombers, Wiggle Warts and Brad Wrigglers are good choices.  Rock banks that have a steep slope are a good place to start.  Ten feet appears to be a good depth.

Wear your PFD and be aware of hypothermia.


Currently the lake is nearing winter pool, stained and around 50 degrees.  Fishing has been good, but catching has been a challenge.  Jerkbaits and shad raps have been catching a few.  Most fish have been around 10 feet.  Protected main lake pockets and mud flats next to the channel have been best.  Keep an eye on the birds to locate large schools of shad.  A jig crawled on rock points can be good.  Use a trailer that does not have much action to it.  A ned rig has been good along docks and marina areas.  A 3/32 ounce head and a smoke/purple body has been working.  Good luck.

Wear your PFD and be aware of hypothermia.  

Recent rains have changed the lake level around 5 feet.  Temperatures are in the mid to upper 40's.  Clarity is stained on the lower end to muddy in the upper end.  Pretty typical for a flood control reservoir.  Jerkbaits and bluffs are a good combination for catching bass.  The fish tend to suspend around 10 feet either right next to the rock or out to 20 feet or so.  Bluegill are on the menu this time of year.  Keep a good variety of jerkbaits on hand.  I have found that color is not as important as depth or bait position at rest.  Since the fish are looking upward, a bait that runs near 10 feet is a good choice.  Fish will come up to get a bait, but seldom down.  A suspending bait will not sink or rise on the pause.  A sinking bait will sink slowly on the pause and the floating bait will rise on the pause.  A bait that has a head down position on the pause works well for me.  As far as colors, stick with patterns that have olive, blue and red.  As the water gets colder, let the bait soak longer between twitches.  Begin along the rock face and work your way out to open water till you find the fish.  Eight to 10 pound line, a smooth reel and a medium rod with a soft tip work well.  Bites are few, but the fun is being on the water in winter.


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