Lake Oconee Fishing Report January 2015

GON Staff | December 23, 2014

Oconee: Level: Full. Temp: 49-53 degrees. Clarity: Stained.

Fair. Tournament fisherman Aaron Batson reports, “There are some deep and shallow fish. The deeper fish are on shad in 18 to 35 feet of water. Some are holding in standing timber at these depths, also. The best bait for them is a 7/8-oz. War Eagle jigging spoon in silver or white. Also mix in a fluke on a 3/8-oz. jig head. Look for bait on the Lowrance, and fish for them vertically right under the boat. The shallow bite is better on warm, sunny days. Look for bass to hang around rocks, and 3/8-oz. Net Boy Bait jigs in greens, browns and blacks are catching them well.”

Guide Doug Nelms reports, “We are catching lots of stripers with jigging spoons in January, and the fun way to do it is to follow the gulls. I don’t know if these things come from the Gulf or the Atlantic, but they are already here en masse, and we are boating lots of ‘happy fish’ in the 3- to 5-lb. range. It’s hard to give a specific spot on where the fish are this month, because they will show up just about anywhere. Just ride and watch, and when you see gull activity, drop the spoons on their heads. We are presently going out and boating 30 to 40 fish in a half day.” Guide Mark Smith reports, “Fishing on Lake Oconee as of this report is good for stripers/hybrids. The fish are in the main lake from the pipe line to the dam. Use your Lowrance, and locate the large schools of bait on the main lake, and the striper/hybrids will be close by. Also, keep an eye out for the birds to be diving on bait. You can use live bait or spoons. The larger fish are coming on the live bait, and the numbers have been on spoons. This pattern will last as long as the water temperature does not drop into the low 40s. January can be tough, but if the weather stays good, then the fishing will also be good.”

Guide Doug Nelms reports, “The larger crappie will be showing up this month, and I am already getting booked up on prime dates. Just before and after the full and new moon will be the prime time to go after these big fish. I am using 1/16-oz. Jiffy Jigs tipped with minnows. There is something really good about these jigs. I think the owner (J.C. Brantley) is the Lake Oconee Crappie Whisperer. It seems they bite these jigs better than any of the rest. My go-to colors are black/blue/black, black/purple/black, all pink, and my favorite is the sexy red bug. We will be fishing in Lick Creek and all the way up the Apalachee River over the next few months. If last year was any indication of this year, it is going to be unbelievable. On a stretch of 14 trips, we caught crappie heavier than 2 pounds 13 out of 14 trips. The one trip we didn’t, our biggest fish weighed 1-lb., 15/16-oz. I look for the same results this year!” Guide Mark Smith reports, “January is the month we start looking for the big slab crappie. Spider rigs pushed very slow in the middle to the backs of Lick and Sugar creeks are the areas I will start looking first. Match your jig to the water color, and tip it with a minnow for the best results. Remember the water is cold, so slow down. Now is the time for the big fish to bite.”

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