There are a LOT of lure options out there, and for the weekend warrior, it is often difficult to filter through the options and select the right tool for the job. Although day-to-day conditions will always favor "this lure" or "that lure", we have compiled an annual profile here that you can use as a guide whenever you are on the water.
January: Jigs, Fish Head Spins, Float N Fly, Drop Shots, Spoons. (January fishing can be spread out, it's not uncommon to catch fish from 10ft to 50ft the same day. Most every morning in January I start with a Float N Fly, fishing bluff walls at or near mouths of pockets and large bays near the creek channel.
After the morning bite I like to fish major creeks looking for ditches feeding large pockets or bays off the creek channel. Follow these ditches looking for cover on edges and keep my eye on the graph for bait fish as well. Jigs and Fish Head Spins work if the fish are positioned along the bottom or near cover. If fish are positioned around bait I like to sight fish w/ Drop Shots and Spoons using my sonar.
February: Spoons, Dropshots, Grubs. (February may be the toughest month on the calendar on Carters and most clear water highland lakes. By this time the water is as cold as it gets, the bait fish are at a creeping pace sometimes near death, and the fish are simply well fed and not willing to spend much energy to get a meal. Electronics are key in February, use Side Imaging Technology to locate bait in the mouth of creeks and over open water. It's common for large schools of Spots to gather around creek channels. They become easy targets with sonar and Drop Shots/Spoons.)
March: Jerkbaits, Spinnerbaits, Worms. (The days are getting longer, lots of wind, warm trends... It's almost Spring !!! Fish start moving shallow when the days start to lengthen regardless of water temps so start to look shallow. Jerkbaits are my number 1 bait for big Spots in March. Take advantage of March winds and get on windy shorelines, particularly flat rocky banks near pockets or spawning flats. Slow rolled Spinnerbaits and jerkbaits work well for me. Also long flat points in the same area's hold lots of fish this time of year, Texas Rigs and Carolina Rigs work great in these area's.)
April: Everything, Worms, Topwater, Crankbaits, etc. (April should be a great month for numbers most everywhere. Lots of spawning fish, buck bass should be all flat banks, surface schooling, etc, etc. Most important thing about April is get out and go fishing !!!)
May: Topwater, Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, Worms, (This is a great month !!! I love May fishing !!! Biggest thing about May from North GA-Ten River is two words,,, SHAD SPAWN. Both Threadfin and Gizzard Shad start their spawning when water temps get mid-upper 60's and they will spawn literally every day most of the month. When you start seeing shad jumping up on rocks and floating debris you know it's the spawn. This normally happens the last hour before dark and first hour of the mornings. Spinnerbaits, Cranks and Topwater are hard to beat fished in and around anywhere the Shad are spawning. Shad like to spawn on something hard, like rocks and wood. Worms through the middle of the day work great as well.)
June, July, AND August: (Jig Head Worms, Drop Shots, Carolina Rigs, Topwater (Fish start moving to deep water area's around timber edge's, long slow tapering points, rock piles, brush piles, any flat area's that intersect or break channels are area's fish will spend the majority of the Summer months. 15-40ft is where I focus most of my efforts throughout the daytime during these three months. Find as many brush piles and structure in this depth range as possible, you will need them. I like to drag worms, Sight Fish, and always keep a topwater rod handy just in case there are surface schoolers. It's not uncommon for Spots to run bait to the surface around these deep water areas as well.)
September: Topwater, Jig Heads/Jigs, Fish Heads, Cranks (September can be a tough month as fish are in transition. Topwater around mainlake points and humps early will work most mornings. Fish Head Spin and Crankbaits fished around all transition banks like points and steep channel banks leading off the main lake into major creeks.)
October-November: Float N Fly, Jigs, Fish Head Spins, Cranks, Spinnerbaits, Spoons. (Another transition month October can sometimes be tough but fish are following bait and can be found in large numbers. Look for massive schools of bait fish moving into major creeks off the main lake, fish will often position along long points in these creeks and feed heavily on passing bait fish. Spoon bite often picks up in Oct-Nov, follow the bait and watch for the fish, sight fish with the spoon. Also as we move into November start looking for ditch's running off creek channels into coves and pockets. Fish these area's with Jigs and Fish Heads on the bottom really slow. Good big fish pattern.)
December: Fish Heads, Float N Fly, Jigs (This is the month of the big Spot !!! Get in all the ditch's of the major creeks, look for fish shallow to deep in and around these ditch's. Float N Flys shallow and Fish Heads and Jigs deep is the ticket. Great month to catch a huge Spot)