Sinclair: Level: 1.3 feet low. Temp: Low 50s. Clarity: 2 to 5 feet.
Bass: Tournament angler Mark Denney Jr. reports, “Fishing in January on Lake Sinclair can be great. As water temperatures reach their yearly lows, it is critical to match your lure and presentation to the current conditions. Fish are lethargic this time of year and less willing to chase a fast-moving bait as they conserve energy. When throwing a crankbait, I really prefer to slowly reel a flat-sided lure, such as a Blademaster Boss Hawg that has a tighter wobble and gives off a more realistic action. Target rocks and blowdowns with similar presentations. This cover will retain heat from the sun and consistently hold a good bass population. When throwing a jig or worm around docks, a lighter weight gives my bait a slower fall and helps get more bites when the fish are inactive. This action can be key during the winter months and really makes a difference. Deeper banks allow the fish to transition from shallow to deep with minimal effort, so target these areas with a slow-rolling spinnerbait or jerkbait. Two Colorado blades on your spinnerbait will allow you to crawl it at a slower pace, and implementing longer pauses for your jerkbait will generate reaction strikes when the fish aren’t necessarily wanting to feed.”
Crappie: Allan Brown reports, “As December brings colder temperatures, crappie move into deep water, but with a few warm days, they will move up. Concentrate trolling 25 to 30 feet deep with tandem-rig double, 1/16-oz. jigs. I prefer a hair jig over the usual grub jig in colder water. The ‘do-nothing action’ of the hair jig seems to trigger a strike better than a grub jig. The tipping of the jig with a minnow increases the chances for a bite. In January, fish will move into a staging period before the spawn. With three excessively warm days, fish will turn on and move shallow. Lighten up your jig weights, and move into shallow flats off creek channels 10 to 12 feet deep, paying careful attention to your electronics. Look for brushpiles or drop-offs for the schools of fish. Colors like black/blue/black, bubble gum/chartreuse work good. Stop by Lakeside Bait and Tackle and see Big Ed. He stocks a great selection of jigs that will get you hooked up on some slabs.”