Lake Oconee Fishing Report January 2013

GON Staff | January 3, 2013

Oconee: Level: 1.2 feet low. Temp: 52-54 degrees. Clarity: Slight stain up the river and clear down the lake.

Bass: Tournament angler Aaron Batson reports, “Fishing has been good to great. Fish have remained somewhat shallower than normal with the higher-than-average temps. Fish have been caught on 3/8-oz. Net Boy Baits Flippin’ jigs in green pumpkin or black with Wackem Crazy Baits Tater Bug as a trailer. Work this jig on rock and red-clay banks in 2-6 feet of water. On sunny days, they are being caught tight to dock posts, especially in stained water with this jig/trailer setup. Some shad are still present in pockets and coves—the bass are still feeding on them. They can be caught on baits that you can cover water with, like a 1/4-oz. Ol Nelle white spinnerbait or a VIP Tight Wad crankbait. During January, I expect to see colder nights, and these fish will almost all move out to deeper water. Look for them to stack up on standing timber edges in 18-24 feet of water. Drop-shot rigs with Wackem Crazy Baits Little Sissy worm in tomato, LJ’s obession or blue ice will catch big numbers of these largemouths.”

Guide Doug Nelms reports, “January is when we can say for certain that the hybrids and stripers are on the run. You can start off by chasing the hundreds of gulls that will be all over the lake. The fish will begin to show from the middle of the lake (Great Waters) all the way to the dam. Ride and look for birds, and throw Flex-it or Hopkins spoons. The live-bait bite will be good, also. Make sure you are prepared to fish flatlines and downlines. Large bass minnows will work great, as most of the fish are gorging on small baits now.” Guide Mark Smith reports, “Bait and birds. Find the bait, and the linesides will be close by. Use the birds to locate the bait. If you are having trouble finding active birds, switch to a Capt. Mack’s u-rig, and start searching for the fish. The south end of the lake is usually a good location to start looking for the schools of bait and linesides. When you find the bait, drop a live shiner to the depth the bait is located, and the linesides will start showing up. As long as the water temperature stays above 45, the fishing will continue to be good.”

Crappie: Guide Jody Stephens reports, “The crappie pattern hasn’t really changed much over the last few weeks with the exception that some good fish are starting to show up a little shallower on flats and in brushpiles. Spider-rigged jigs tipped with minnows and/or live minnows downlined on a gold aberdeen hook seems to produce the biggest fish, while long-line trolling is still producing good numbers. Orange/chartreuse or black/chartreuse have been the go-to colors recently.” Guide Al Bassett reports, “Trolling with Jiffy Jigs tipped with a live minnow is your best bet. Areas that are good and will only get better are in Lick Creek, the mouth of Sugar Creek and Dyar Pasture. There are more fish in the Dyar Pasture area, but they are smaller fish. This will last for the month as the fish get ready to spawn. If we have a few warm days in a row, look for these fish to move into shallow water. This is the time of year to catch your big fish as these fish will move shallow first.”

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