December fishing report

Capt. Dale Wilson shows off a largemouth bass he caught while fishing last month.

Fishing will be good the next several weeks as the water temperature has fallen and will be in the 50s. Most species of fish will become more active as the water temperature cools. Look for striper fishing to continue to improve. The baitfish are in shallow water in the back of the creeks and deep in the lower end.

Largemouth bass:

Fishing will be good this month. Best lures will be drop shot rigs, crank baits, shaky heads, spoons, spinner baits, Carolina rigs and plastic worms. Most largemouth bass will be caught on points, rock piles, brush piles and docks. Best depths will be from the surface to 30 feet. Bass will be caught both deep and shallow. Points, rocks, stumps and brush are key factors to finding them. Practice catch and release.

Smallmouth bass:

Fishing for smallmouth is usually great this month. Best areas will be rocks, ledges, humps and main channel points. Best lures will be Ned rigs, hair jigs, drop shot rigs, crank baits, jerk baits and Carolina rigs. Best areas will be in the mid- to the lower sections of the lake. Smallmouth bass will feed on crawfish this month. Cloudy days are good times to try. Light line will increase chances of catching, and night fishing will be fair.

Striped bass:

Fishing will be good. Stripers will be caught in the mid- to upper sections of the lake and in the larger creeks. Best lures will be swim baits, jigging spoons and Zoom flukes fished on ¼- to ½-ounce lead heads. The best depths will be from near the surface to 50 feet. Vertical jigging is a good method to catch stripers. Try to find areas with the largest concentrations of baitfish. Fishing at night will be fair, and some stripers will surface early morning and late afternoon this month. Live bait fished on planer boards and down lines are also good methods to try.

Crappie:

Fishing for crappie will be good this month. They will be found 10 to 20 feet, and the best areas will be in the main creeks around docks, fallen trees, stumps and brush piles in the mid- to upper parts of the lake. Small live minnows and 1½- to 2-inch tubes or shad-shaped plastic lures fished on 1/32 to 1/16 oz. lead heads will work best to catch them.

Tips of the month:

Fishing will be better this month. A gift certificate with a fishing guide makes a great Christmas gift. Fishing on cloudy days and at night are usually the best times to fish. Wear a life jacket and never fish alone at night. Also, keep running lights on after dark. Remember to practice catch and release and take a kid fishing.