Topwater Striper action in the lake picks up when the water temp hits 65 is what I always found. Last couple of years it has been around the 3rd week of October. Have not fished C Land all year so don't know the water level or temp. Indian Creek and Beaver and Otter is where I would try. Always had good luck around the river channel from Indian to the Dam as well with planer boards if the topwater bite is off. Look for birds and follow the shad to find the Stripers. Never fished the river so can't help you with the Pontoon question.