January 2016 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Forcast

With some of the coldest water temperatures of the year the key to catching fish this month is to fish slow. Anchoring up on holes will be your best bet for success. Fish will be schooled by size and most likely holding tight to deep water structure. It’s more difficult to locate fish with your electronics because most fish will be tight to the bottom. Search for trophy cats in the deepest holes or depressions on the lake floor. Other key spots include the bases of deep bluff lines, channel bends, and the face of the dams on the upstream side. Smaller cats will be in more traditional spots such as deep flats, bluff points and channels. Fishing baits in a fixed position will still be most productive. I like cut shad, skipjack, and whole minnows in cold water. I have better luck on these in colder water than the traditional “ stink type “ or bloody catfish baits.

Stripers will be at the base of both Wilson and Wheeler Dams. Its typically a tough bite in winter but a few can be caught when conditions are right. Mister Twister 4” Sassy Shad and Striper Lightin Bucktail jigs fished slowly across the bottom will be your best bets. Smallmouth bass will also be holding in much deeper water. Search for fish at the bottom of the steepest river and creek channel ledges. If you can locate a rock pile or gravel bar at the base of a deep ledge you will find fish. When fishing live bait in winter I always anchor over a spot and cast back using a Caorlina Rig. Nose hook the minnow and cast just downstream of the targeted structure. On sunny days fish may move up on top of the humps and rocks. In this situation, try floating a minnow over the structure with a split shot rig. For guide trips for catfish, stripers, or live bait bass fishing contact Captain Brian Barton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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