Lake Russell: Lake Russell water levels are right around full pool (full pool is 475.00), and water temperatures have dropped about 8 degrees to 50-53 degrees in the last week. Despite all the rain the color is still pretty good and the main lake is very clear.
Unstable weather conditions have fish dispersed, and Guide Jerry Kotal (706-988-0860) reports that as a result of temperatures getting warm then cold again bass can be found both shallow and deep on Lake Russell. Fish can still be caught shallow on a square-billed crankbait or a spinnerbait in the creeks, and there are also fish in 20-25 feet of water and even some in 30-40.
Guide Wendell Wilson (706-283-3336) agrees and reports that most of the bait seems to be deep on Lake Russell, while the shallower fish are certainly shallower than the bait. Shallow he is also using crankbaits and spinnerbaits, while in 20-25 feet of water he is catching fish on a drop shot.
Due to a bait shortage, Wendell reports that minnows have been about the only bait they can get, and so they are pulling free-lines with the biggest minnows they can get their hands on for striped bass and hybrids. The best area to fish has been the mid-lake creeks about half-way back, and around 30 feet has been the best depth range. When fish are seen swirling or rolling they are throwing Alabama rigs at them.
It is worth noting that the fish are on tiny threadfin shad, and when they catch striper, they will cough them up.
Crappie are staging a bit, and trolling curly tail grubs on 1/16th ounce jigheads in 25-30 feet of water in the creeks, Wendells boat has been catching fish. Some of the fish are near the bottom, while others are suspended about halfway down. On warmer days Jerry has caught a few crappie shallow in pockets with about 3 feet of water.