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Friday, February 01, 2013

February fishing report

Provided by professional fishing guide Capt. Dale Wilson

Capt. Dale Wilson shows a huge - 5.15 pounds - smallmouth bass caught and released in late December while fishing with John Gaylord of Roanoke.

Capt. Dale Wilson shows a huge - 5.15 pounds - smallmouth bass caught and released in late December while fishing with John Gaylord of Roanoke.

Overview: Overall, winter fishing has been good. Stripers, largemouth, smallmouth and crappie continue to be active. Water temperature will be in the 40s. Early morning, late afternoon and cloudy days will be the best times to try your luck.

Largemouth bass: Fishing will be good. Best lures will be A-rigs, jerk baits, 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 2 to 35 feet. Cloudy days with light wind will be the best time to fish. Shad will start to migrate into the creeks later this month.

Smallmouth bass: Fishing should be fair. Best areas will be rocky banks, humps, steep ledges and main-channel points. Best lures will be floating-fly rigs, A-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, windy days will be the best time to try your luck. Smallmouth will suspend under schools of shad.

Striped bass:Fishing should be great. Stripers will be caught mostly in the mid- to upper sections of the lake and the major creeks. Best lures will be spoons, A-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. Using live bait and trolling also will be a productive method. The best depths should be from the surface to 50 feet, and the best time to try your luck will be early mornings and late afternoons. Watch for the seagulls this month.

Crappie:Fishing will be good. Crappie will be found 10 to 25 feet deep this month. 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 1 1/2-inch tubes and twister tail grubs fished on 1/16- to 1/8-oz. lead heads will work best. Small gulp minnows also work well when fished on small lead heads or drop-shot rigs.

Tip of the month: When the water temperature is below 55 degrees, try a slower presentation of your lure. It is a good idea to always fish with a partner in the cold months. Keep your running lights on when fishing after dark.

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