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Lake Allatoona Fishing Report January 2018

Allatoona: Level: 12.3 feet low. Temp: 52-54 degrees. Clarity: Stained to muddy on the north end.

Bass: Tournament angler Matt Driver reports, “Fishing in the month of January can be really challenging at times. This month, fish are out deeper and continuing to follow migrating shad patterns. January is one of the tougher months on Lake Allatoona, especially if temperatures get really cold. When water temperatures dip into the low 40s, we sometimes see a shad kill. Fishing is great on the onset but gets really bad if low temperatures persist. January is a good month to catch suspended bass. The Float-n-Fly and the jerkbait bites are getting good. As water temps drop into the low 50s and high 40s, fish activity tends to slow, but the bite can still be good. I am targeting main-lake bluff walls and secondary points near channel swings. This time of year, the bite can be hit or miss, especially after a strong cold front where we have bluebirds skies. Many times when the bite gets tough, I rely on my sonar and fish the drop shot. I use 6-lb. Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon with a 3/16- or 1/2-oz. weight, a Gamakatsu drop-shot hook and a Big Bite Baits Limit Maker worm in silver smoke. The bite can be light, so be on guard. Another great way to catch bass this month is on a Picasso Lures Tungsten Neds Head and a Big Bite Limit Maker or a 3-inch Trick Stick. Constantly be on the lookout for schools of fish. Lastly, a great bait for multi-species is the 1/2-oz. spoon. Spotted bass, hybrid and white bass love the spoon. Look for these schools in longer creeks in 15 to 25 feet of water. Target areas from Stamp Creek north to Little River. Have fun, and never fish alone this time of year because hypothermia can be a killer.

Linesides: Decent. Guide Robert Eidson reports, “The snow storm really dropped the water temperature and stained the north end of the lake, but it is still holding a ton of fish, mostly white bass and small hybrids. These fish have been picky, but they will still eat live bait and will take a spoon, as well. Look for these fish north of Galts Ferry. Mid-lake is where you want to be if you are looking for stripers. Bartow Carver to the dam is the place to be for stripers and bigger schools of hybrids. These fish are wanting to eat big baits. Try jumbo threadfins and gizzard shad. If you don’t have shad, trout will work. If you’re looking for a bigger fish, I suggest going by Striper Soup and picking up a couple dozen gizzards. I have also had some really good luck mid-lake pulling u-rigs the last few times out. These fish have moved out of the river channel and up on the edge of it. Look for these fish to be in water 20 to 40 feet deep. I look for the live-bait bite to really ramp up once the water temperature stabilizes. I think hitting the lake without live bait could be a big mistake. This time of the year, you need to be open minded on your techniques. Topwater, trolling, spooning and live bait can all work this time of year, but what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Take the kitchen sink with you when heading out to the pond this time of year.”

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