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Friday, January 04, 2013

January fishing report

Provided by professional fishing guide Capt. Dale Wilson

Capt. Dale Wilson with a 27-lb. striper caught in late November while fishing with John Jones of Vinton.

Capt. Dale Wilson with a 27-lb. striper caught in late November while fishing with John Jones of Vinton.

Overview: Winter is a great time of year to catch a large fish. If the weather is mild, it will be more comfortable to be out on the water. Water temperatures will be in the upper 40s.

Early morning, late afternoon and cloudy days will be the best times to try your luck, but be extremely careful when operating your boat because of the low water levels.

Largemouth bass: Fishing will be fair. Best lures will be spoons, Carolina rigs, shaky heads, football-head jigs and crank baits. Most largemouth bass will be caught around rocky shorelines, points, brush piles and docks. Best depths will be from 5 to 40 feet. Cloudy days with wind will be the best time to fish this month.

Smallmouth bass: Fishing should be fair. Best areas will be rocky banks, humps and main channel points. Best lures will be floating-fly rigs, crawfish-colored crank baits, tube lures, drop-shot rigs and shaky heads. Best areas will be in the mid- to lower sections of the lake. Cloudy days will be the best time to try your luck. Most smallmouth bass will feed on crawfish.

Striped bass: Fishing will be good. Stripers will be caught mostly in the midsections of the lake and in the major creeks. Best lures will be spoons, Alabama rigs, swim baits, buck tails and Zoom flukes fished with 1/2- to 3/4-oz. jig heads.

Jigging will be a good method to catch stripers this month. Using live bait and trolling also will be productive. The best depths will be from the surface to 50 feet. Best time to try your luck will be early mornings and late afternoons. Seagulls will be active this month.

Crappie: Fishing for crappie will be good. They will be found 10 to 20 feet deep, and the best areas will be in the main creeks around deep docks, fallen trees and brush piles in the mid- to upper sections of the lake. Small live minnows and 11/2-inch tubes fished on 1/16- to 1/8-oz. lead heads will work best to catch crappie this month. Small gulp minnows also work well when fished on small lead heads or drop-shot rigs.

Tip of the month: Chemical hand warmers will help keep hands and feet warm during the cold winter days. It is a good idea to always fish with a partner in the cold months. Keep your running lights on when fishing after dark. Take a kid fishing.

You can reach Capt. Dale Wilson at 297-5650 or 874-4950 or by visiting www.captaindalewilson.com.