Lake Oconee Fishing Report January 2016

Oconee: Level: Full pool. Temp: 55-59 degrees. Clarity: The main lake is stained. Richland Creek is clear.

Bass: Guide Mark Smith reports, “Bass fishing during January should be fair to good, and it will be tied to the weather. Expect it to be good as the cold front approaches and slow after the front passes. As the water temperature drops, think slow. The fish’s metabolism slows down during cold weather. They will not chase baits like in warmer weather. Jig ’n pigs along with slow-rolling spinnerbaits will be the way to go. You can also target deeper fish with a spoon on the main-lake humps on the south end of the lake.”

Stripers: Guide Mark Smith reports, “Stripers during January will also be affected by the weather. Stripers do like cold water better than largemouth, but they will also slow down during water temperatures below 50 degrees. There are several ways to catch stripers during cold weather. As always, live bait will work. Look for schools of fish on your Lowrance, and when you find them, drop a live bait down in the school. You can also target these fish with a spoon. The fish will tell you which one they prefer that day. If the water temperature stays in the 50s, an umbrella rig is a great way to search for schools of stripers. As you can tell, January fishing will be tied to the weather. Go before the cold fronts, and think slow, and you should have a good day of fishing.”

Crappie: Guide Jody Stephens reports, “The mild weather has made the crappie fishing great all fall. Looking for suspended to bottom-hugging crappie near creek mouths or ledges has been the key. Don’t be afraid to troll or push bait deep, as most of the fish we are catching are not on structure. I suspect this pattern will remain the same until or if old man winter shows up.”

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