According to guide Wendell Wilson, the fishing on Lake Russell the past couple of weeks has been and continues to be as good as he’s seen all summer. With the later levels finally settled down, the bite for spotted bass, crappie and striped bass has cut on.
“If somebody wanted to come down here and catch a limit of fish for any or all three of these species, it wouldn’t be that hard to do right now,” said Wilson (706-283-3336). “We’re catching 30 to 40 fish per day and it’s been a mixed bag of spots, crappie, and stripers.”
Wilson was most encouraged by the numbers and size of crappie he’s been finding lately. On days when he is not booked for guide trips, he’s been building and sweetening brush piles specifically to target crappie, and he said his numbers have been better this year after the flooding than in the past several years.
“In the summer, I mainly target brush piles in mid-lake areas in about 25 feet of water,” he said. “I use a drop-shot rig baited with medium minnows. I guess it’s just commonplace these days that you’re going to catch a bunch of spotted bass doing this, but the crappie have hung in there, and we’re getting good ones.”
Wilson said all the water moving through Russell had disrupted the striped and hybrid striped bass bite up the lake, but since things settled down, he’s back to catching good numbers of those fish down the lake in 30 to 40 feet of water using Carolina-rigged down lines with live herring for bait.
“I’ve not had to go all the way down to the oxygen lines at the dam yet,” he said. “I’ve heard fish are starting to show up down there, but I’ve found good fish in the 8- to 12-pound range further down the lake than I’m crappie fishing – but not too all the way to the dam.”
Wilson’s only negative comment that it looks like there’s a bathtub ring around the lake where the water stayed up for so long and killed a lot of the shoreline vegetation. After the water receded, he said it looks like somebody sprayed Round-Up around the lake.
“The natural beauty may not look as good as it has in the past,” he said, “but the fishing is good, and that’s what most people care more about anyway.”