Carter’s Lake is an Army Corp’s impoundment located about 80 miles north of Atlanta, between Calhoun and Jasper, Georgia. It is approximately 3200 acres in surface area and has 62 miles of shoreline. It was named for Farrish Carter who owned property nearby in the 1800’s. Most notable about Carter’s Lake is that it is the deepest lake east of the Mississippi River, at nearly 450 feet. Unlike many lakes in the south, Carter’s lake is deep and clear, with rocky shorelines and very clear water.
As where many lakes in Georgia have healthy populations of native spotted bass, Carter’s Lake is considered by many to be one of the top lakes in the country for monster trophy spots. Anglers regularly pull 4 and 5 lb. spots from Carter’s Lake, with the freakish monster spot over 6 lbs. showing up regularly. What is incredible about this lake is the number of these large fish that show up at tournaments, with 5 fish sacks over 25 lbs. being “expected” year round.
The conditions for growing big spots in Carter’s are ideal. Some of the contributing factors are
1.) Low Fishing Pressure: Carter’s Lake is fairly remote. At a 1.5 hour drive from Atlanta, most area fishermen would rather go to the larger, and closer, lakes of Allatoona and Lanier. Carter’s Lake is also smaller, at 3200 acres, compared to the 47,000 acres of Lake Lanier, so it doesn’t get the attention that the big lakes do. Also, there are virtually no residents on the lake, and subsequently all anglers on the lake are imported from the surrounding area. Thus, no residents there beating up hotspots day in and day out.
2.) Alewives: There are mixed stories as to how Alewives, a cooler water baitfish, ended up in Carter’s Lake. A more expected baitfish would be blueback herring or threadfin shad. Whatever the reason, Alewives are the dominant baitfish in Carter’s Lake, and they grow large. Very large, with 8” specimens not uncommon. This means big, juicy fish nuggets for hungry spots.
3.) The Water: Spots prefer cooler water than their bigmouth cousins. Being very deep, Carter’s Lake stays cool in the summer. Being in the south, the lake is relatively warm in the winter. This means moderate growing temperatures year-round. The water is also very clear, which spots prefer.
But before you pack up your gear and head to Carter’s, you should know that spotted bass are elusive little critters, and bagging a sack of trophies isn’t easy. ---Yet another reason for the low fishing pressure is the number of disgruntled fisherman who have left Carter’s Lake after a frustrating day on the water. No doubt, it’s a tough lake to figure out. The chance at catching a magnum spot is good, but only if you’re in the right place with the right lure.
This is why you need to hire a professional guide that has already sunk those frustrating days for you. When it comes to catching big spots on Carter’s Lake, there’s no better guide than Louie Bartenfield. Give him a call today.