Had 1 last vacation day to burn before I lost it, so I took the day off and headed to Bartlett with my brother and sister. After hearing some rather disappointing reports over the last week or two and hearing about the low water levels, I had very little expectation for this trip.
After staying up until 2 AM the night before restringing several reels, I got a much later start than planned. We got to the lake around 11, picked up a few dozen minnows from the marina store, and took off from the ramp around 11:30.
I fished the same set-up all day: casting a road runner with a grub. Because of how low the water levels were, we focused on fishing rocky points or any submerged rock piles we could find on the main channel coves and up the river. The only pattern I noticed was the standard "light colors in clear water, dark colors in murky water" on the grub. My sister had luck throwing a jig tipped with a minnow and my brother changed his gear constantly but kept catching, so really it was all dependent on where we were fishing. My advice, use what you're comfortable with.
At the end of the day we ended up with the following:
- 1 Channel Cat
- 1 big carp
- 12-15 large mouth bass (all released)
- 27 crappie
- Released 11, with only 5 of them being "dinks"
- Kept a reasonable 16 (See picture below)
I'm lost on the current spawn status because 6 of the ones we kept were full of eggs. I felt like they were post spawn because of the water temps, but the eggs in the females would indicate otherwise. It's possible some have spawned and some haven't... I don't know.
I was second guessing going to Bartlett, but definitely glad I did!