January kicks off the start of the Outdoor Show Season. With Old man Winter knocking on the door, many folks will not be on the water. They will be looking for things to do indoors.
The first show of the season is the Richmond Fishing Expo
Jan 25-27 at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell Va. Dave Fauntleroy and I will be there with a Fish Tales/Anna Point Marina booth. We will have the new Lew’s BB1 series of casting reels to go along with a many of other items. Stop by and say hello!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bass- The bass have finally moved into a full blown winter pattern. The water temps have been dropping and the fish getting less aggressive. Main lake points that have a steep drop to them are going to hold fish. Look for fish to be in 10-25 feet of water. On sunny days, they could pull up to the shallows looking for an easy meal and warmer water by the afternoon. My favorite area is between the splits and Sturgeon Creek. Suspending Jerkbaits are a great way of catching these sluggish fish. Long casts and a slow twitch- twitch-pause retrieve. (WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE FISHING SLOW ENOUGH, SLOW DOWN EVEN MORE)
Shad imitations like Sassy Shads and my favorite, Sea Shads, rigged on 1/4-1/2 oz jig heads slowly bounced on the bottom can entice large fish to eat when they are not active. This is aloso the time of year for MULTI ARM RIGS fished around bait balls to produce big bags of fish. Pig & Jig combinations dragged along the bottom at a snails pace can make the largest fish in the lake bite.
Slow rolling big spinner baits will also produce fish on the same main lake points. Big, meaning 3/4oz and larger with a single willow leaf blade. This is also the time of year when vertical jigging can produce numbers of fish. If you find a school onyour depth finder, try dropping a 1oz Hammered Tooth Ache Spoon or a River Side Ripper to them.
Striper- The most sought out winter time fish are going to be in the mid lake region for most of the month. The warm fall kept them in the rivers for longer than usual. Start looking for them around the 208 bridge up to the splits. Look for diving birds to give away possible locations of feeding fish. Casting is my favorite way to catch them, use a 1/4-1/2oz jig head rigged with a Bass Assassin Sea Shad or a 4″ Sassy Shad. A slow steady retrieve is the best. Sometimes they want a bait with little to no action. A Zoom Super Fluke Jr or Original 4″ Fluke are the tools for this.
Vertical jigging will also work if you locate a school of fish feeding on bait in deeper water. Tooth Ache Spoons, Silver Buddy’s and River Side Rippers will catch everything that swims in the lake. Live bait will also work great, if you can’t get out and catch your own bait, store bought Jumbo Shiners will get the job done.
Crappie- The specks are around just about every bridge piling on every bridge around the lake. Small minnows on either a slip bobber rig or a jig head will produce best. If you are wanting to fish with artificial, baits with little to no action will work best.Bass Assassin Tiny Assassin and Leeland Lures Crappie Magnets are great choices.
Lake Level- Full Pool
Dike 3- 52
Down Lake- 47-50
Mid Lake- 45-48
Up Lake- 40-44