Fayette County Reservoir is first and foremost a largemouth bass lake. Statewide annual tournament surveys consistently rank this lake at or near the top using quality indicators like average weight and bass caught per hour. Large numbers of two- to five-pound fish are available and relatively easy to catch at most times of the year. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish have been stocked. The lake record flathead catfish weighed 79.25 pounds and was 50 inches long. Redear sunfish also provide a fishery, with many fish exceeding 8 inches. This lake is not known for crappie fishing, and few anglers target this species.
Standing timber provides cover in the back of some coves. Submerged aquatic vegetation is present in limited quantities. Submerged tank dams, drop offs, roadbeds and creek channels also provide structure. Fayette County Reservoir is a power plant cooling reservoir. This elevates water temperatures and keeps bass active during winter and early spring. The warmest water can be found in the discharge canal, which also has currents that attract large schools of baitfish.
Largemouth bass anglers can be successful year round in Fayette, but the most productive time is between February and June. A lipless crankbait can be very effective in the spring, and allows anglers to quickly cover water. Chrome/blue and red are popular colors. Another extremely effective artificial bait is a Carolina-rigged centipede (french fry) or lizard. Fish slowly around points, along the dam or along drop-offs. A suspending jerkbait, such as a Rogue or Thunderstick, also works well in the early spring. As the water warms, a floating model works better. Topwater baits like chuggers and buzzbaits can produce early and late in the day, or on cloudy days when fished in shallow water, over or along the edge of the vegetation. Medium diving crankbaits are also popular with Fayette County regulars, fished over the top of the grass and along creek channel edges. Many bass anglers use live bait such as minnows and waterdogs. This is a good choice for families with children, as these baits are very effective and easy to fish.
Channel and blue catfish can be caught using stinkbait or cutbait, whereas flathead catfish prefer live bait and are often caught by largemouth bass anglers working crankbaits along the dam. Redear sunfish can be caught in the late spring and summer using earthworms or crickets. Look for these fish bedding in shallow water or suspended along the edge of the weedline.
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