Captain Rich Greenough at Sure Strike Charters (www.fishvermont.com) has been finding good numbers of trout in Lake Champlain trolling in 60 feet of water over the reefs. He added that salmon fishing has been good in the Inland Sea and Malletts Bay areas. Largemouth bass are still tending their beds, but smallmouths are suspended in deeper water. Rich is catching them with crawfish on Carolina or Texas rigs. “That will work for the next month-and-a-half,” he said. When targeting smallmouths, Rich suggests rigging a lizard backwards and dropping it into the weed beds. “Smallmouths hate lizards,” he said. Rich rigs the rubber lizard with the weight in the head and drops it in holes in the weed beds. “They don’t like lizards so they eat them,” he says.
North Carolina: According to Richard Witt from Curtis Wright Outfitters (www.curtiswrightoutfitters.com) the rivers around Asheville, North Carolina are low but the water temperatures are stable so the trout fishing is still strong. He says that the best fishing is on the Davidson River and recent rain has made the fishing even better. “It’s a midge fishery,” he explains, so the fish are keyed in on small flies in size 24 and 25. “The fish are real selective,” he says, “it’s a very technical fishery.” He adds that local anglers are starting to target trout in the tailwaters below dams by using sulfers in all stages. In the high-country, anglers are finding native brook trout and rainbows with yellow Sally stoneflies or yellow palmers on a green stimulator. The fish may be small (a nine-incher is a whopper) but they are suckers for a dry fly, which Richard says makes catching them big fun.
Georgia: Anglers stopping by Hammonds Sports (www.hammondsfishing.com) report great striped bass fishing on Lake Lanier. Local Guide Shane Watson has been finding the bass by first finding points and humps in 60 feet of water then dropping a live blue-black herring 30 to 35 feet down. Shane reported that as anglers venture farther north they may encounter topwater action on bass feeding on the surface. For guys who can pull themselves away from the striped bass, Shane says spotted bass action has been fantastic. He’s noticed that the fish have moved deeper, but will come into the shallows early in the morning. “Jig-and-drop shot fish all day in 15 to 25 feet of water,” he suggests. He looks for the fish around brushpiles, points, humps, ledges, and timber. “Crawfish are coming up from the deep so the fish will respond to jigs,” he says.
Missouri: Captain Don House at Branson Guide Service (www.bransonfishingguideservice.com) told us that the bass on Table Rock have finished spawning and have returned to deeper water. He said that the fish can be found shallow in the morning, but move deep during the day. As a result, he’s starting the day with topwater plugs, then moving to drop shots in the afternoon. “Without dropshots you won’t catch much at all,” he says. Up the river, he said that the bite has been good with ½ to ¾ ounce football jigs with the best colors either peanut butter and jelly or brown and purple. He also said that swimming grubs in white and salt and pepper have been hot. “The bite changes in every area we fish,” he says, “so you have to pay attention.”
California: We caught up with guide Tony Buzolich when we called Johnson Outdoors in Yuba City. He told us that shad are thick on the Feather River. “The low water has the fish stacked up below Shanghai Bend and falls.” Local anglers are catching small striper on cut anchovies. “The small ones will eat anything that stinks,” Tony said, “But the fly guys are finding bigger fish.” He told us that a 4 to 5 inch chartreuse and white Clouser minnow is the ticket for these bigger bass. The fish are hanging with schools of shad on the drops and ledges. The Sacramento River is also holding good numbers of striped bass. Tony says that the water is higher on the Sacramento River and anglers are finding bass along the rip-rap walls. “Drift along the walls and cast into the rocks,” he suggests. Tony added that the action really fires up just before dark when the fish start feeding on the surface. “The fish are busting on the surface and we’re having a grand old time,” he says.
This just in from buddy Andy Martin: “For the second day in a row, the Huntress produced the daily derby winner in the Seward, Alaska, Halibut Derby, this time with a 125-pounder (167-pound live weight) taken on a herring chunk soaked in Pautzke Nectar. One more barn door today, plus we lost a big one on the way to limits for 13 anglers.