Use marker buoy on Cedar Creek
The water is cooling off fairly quickly. Sand bass fishing has been consistently good wherever you find the fish. The fish aggressively take our slabs in depths ranging from 9 to 17 feet. You have to go through a lot of smaller sandies to get a limit of good-sized fish. The fish are definitely putting on weight right now; many of the fish I have cleaned have been full of shad.
The high north wind we experience this time of year (just as the fronts pass) actually seems to help - wait too long into the front and the fish get lockjaw.
One thing that is absolutely essential is a highly visible marker buoy. Most of my fish are coming off of a steeper 9 to 20 foot dropoffs. The marker helps you keep in position on the drop off and gives you a point of reference as you work an area. Almost all of my fish are coming off the points on the east side of the lake from Crappie Island north to the spillway area.
My partner, Tom O'Kelley, and his party were fortunate enough to get into some hybrid action very early in the morning on the humps just out from the center of the dam. Crappie are biting well in 5 to 10 feet of water near brush and boat docks, with some fish being caught in 15 to 20 feet. Jigs or minnows are doing equally well.
The blue cats are starting to show up in most of the back coves and creek channels in 5 to 7 feet of water. One of the things I like to do is to get a very early start, catch shad, then cut them into chum and bait an area. Then I'll meet my clients to go after the sand bass and hybrids. At some point in the morning, we'll head back to that area and use more cut shad to catch the blues. This works quite well for the blue cats in the 3 to 10 pound range. Fishing should peak sometime between now and the end of November.
Omar Cotter and Tom O'Kelley