Lake Monticello: Lake Monticello water temperatures are in the lower to mid-80s, and conditions are relatively clear. Lake levels generally fluctuate daily.
Tournament angler Andy Wicker of Pomaria reports that bass have finally gotten out deep on Lake Monticello. On Sunday afternoon he saw water temperatures hit 85 degrees, and he speculates that the warm water is the reason the fish have finally headed offshore.
Most of the fish Andy has been catching have been in the 35-foot range, although a few have come in 21-22 feet. Long points and humps are usually the best spots. Spoons and jigs have been the best baits, although big Texas-rigged worms like Ole Monsters and deep diving crankbaits like Strike King 6XDs and 10XDs will also catch fish.
Early in the morning there is a good topwater bite around the banks, and you don't have to worry about missing the best deep bite during that window. It stays good all day. Anglers can try to scratch out a limit shallow during the day, but it can be hard to find big fish around the banks. After dark fish will often back into the shallows to feed around brush.
On the catfish front, Captain William Attaway (803-924-0857) is disappointed to report that fishing has been a little tough the last few days. This happens every year at some points, as the mussels die off and the fish feed up on them to the point where they are gorged. The beginning of the mussel die-off can be hot, but not the tail end. For now the best action can probably be found at night in the shallows, and fishing around sandy banks or sandy spots in the coves is a good option. Fresh cut gizzard shad, bream or perch are the best baits. The bite including the free-line drifting bite should get good again very soon things typically change after the mussel die-off within a week or so.