Lake Blue Ridge Fishing Reports – January 2023
Blue Ridge: Level: 11.5 feet below 1681. Temp: 51-58 degrees. Clarity: Clear.
Bass: Guide Eric Welch, of Welch’s Guide Service reports, “Fishing has been good. We’ve received a lot of rain the past couple weeks, which has brought the lake up some, but the rain we’ve been having has not really been a cold rain, so the water temps have been holding about the same. I start out my mornings fishing the main lake. I’m targeting long, rocky points that have a deep-water drop-off. I’m also looking for rocky bank lines and any kind of brush. The rock is going to warm up the fastest during the day and also holds the crawfish that will come out and feed when it gets warmer. I use multiple baits in these areas; a drop-shot, Ned rig and a 3.5-inch tube bait. I will also use a crankbait like a 200 series, a Deep Wee R, Shad Rap and a jerkbait. It is also a good time of year to start throwing the A-rig. I like using 2.5- and 3.25-inch swimbaits on a 1/8-oz. head. Sometimes I will dip the middle one’s tail in some chartreuse dye. Always keep a topwater lure tied on. These mountain lakes that have herring can see bass chasing them anytime. Midday I will start working my way up the river, fishing the deep rocky banks, and I will use the same type lures. I will look for brush and throw a 3/8-oz. jig. Now it is the time of year to throw the Float-n-Fly. Start out with a 15-foot leader and look for any rocky areas, deep rocky banks and the mouths of pockets. On sunny days, you can use brighter flys, and on overcast days, you want to use a more natural shad pattern.” Guide Eric Crowley reports, “The bass bite has been downright ridiculous at times. On warm days, the topwater bite has been pretty good. There’s also big schools of fish cruising the rocky drop-offs looking to ambush schools of herring. They will absolutely destroy a 3/4-oz. spoon, live bait or a jig worked right in the school.”
Walleye: Guide Eric Crowley, of Lake And Stream Guide Service, reports, “The warm weather we had in December kept the walleye bite solid all month. This has also kept the fish scattered versus stacking up like they typically do this time of year. There are fish in shallow and deeper water. The smaller fish are up in the 20-foot range roaming what’s left of the grassbeds. The bigger fish that we are targeting are still holding in the deeper water, which has been the 50-foot range, on rock. Both seem to be feeding more on bluegill and small herring than anything else, so matching the baits is easy. We are fishing vertical and using sonar to locate fish laying on the bottom. Don’t spend too much time on fish that don’t react. Keep moving until you find ones that do. As the water cools, look for the fish to school up more and stack up on the main-lake points and hold there feeding throughout the month.”
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