By: John Martin, Owner and Operator of True South Custom Lures

With the rush of the Holidays behind us, it’s time to start the new year. The water temps on the Yadkin lakes will continue to drop and the bass are settling into their winter patterns. Fishing in January can be tough but with some planning and proper gear it’s possible to catch some really nice bass during this period of winter. There are several ways to approach these lakes this time of year but try to keep it simple.
I like to break it into two parts.
1. Bass that are shallower and closer to the bank. Look for areas that are warmed from the sun, like rock and wood. Creek channel swings are great places bass can move up shallow on sunny winter days. Crank baits like a shad rap or DT-6 can be deadly on these fish. Also a jig or shakey head can be effective if a slower presentation is needed.
2. Bass that are deeper and off the bank near deep structure. These offshore bass can be tough to catch but if the timing is right you can catch them really well when you get the school fired up. Bait fish is key to locating these schools. Look for bait in creek channels and main lake pockets. Umbrella rigs, suspending jerkbaits and underspins are great choices to target these areas. Good electronics and an understanding of how the fish are set up on deep structure is key.
With a little patience you can learn which group of fish to target on a given day. Watch for stable warming trends in January as these can be great times to hit the water. Be prepared for the cold and stay safe. Enjoy January on the Yadkin Lakes, you may catch a fish of a lifetime!