Lake Russell: So far this summer has been unseasonably good for crappie fishing on Lake Russell, and Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) reports that over brush piles in about 15 feet of water they are catching lots of good fish. The best brush has been in the backs of coves and creek, which is not typical for the summer. Perhaps it is the result of recent rains or relatively mild temperatures. The best action is coming casting curly tail jigs on a 1/16 ounce jighead and swimming them about 6-7 feet down, or fishing minnows on a drop shot rig/ float rig about 6-10 feet down.
On the bass front, Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that the fish are starting to get very deep in 15-25-35 feet of water. They are out on the main lake way off the ends of points, particularly where there is brush around. Fishing plastic worms or minnows on a drop shot rig is usually the best way to target them.
Wendell has also been catching bass in the same areas on a Spot Remover, and he has also been having success swimming a worm past bridge pilings. If you want to catch largemouth perhaps fishing the timber is the best option.
As is typical in the summer Wendell says that striped bass are on both ends of the lake. On the upper end below the Hartwell Dam you will be fishing fairly shallow water in 15-20 feet and so pulling trout or large herring on free-lines or planer boards is the best bet. On the lower end the water is deeper, and so far this summer fishing down-lines 20-30 feet down over 70-100 feet of water has been the best pattern.
There have also been some really big white perch caught on the bottom, with some 13-inch fish finding their way into coolers. They are basically in the same areas as the crappie, but a little deeper. Fishing minnows on the bottom in about 25 feet of water in the coves has been the best way to catch them.
While there are tons of little bream around the banks, the better ones can be caught in 10-12 feet with crickets fished near the bottom.
Finally, perhaps the hottest bite on Lake Russell is for channel catfish. Jerry is filling up coolers fishing off points and in the backs of pockets, with 15-25 feet the most productive depth range. He is mostly using cut herring.