By: Colt Bass
Colt Bass Fishing Guide Service – (828)-381-3426

January can be… a headache. I think that’s a nice way to say that, right? There’s an issue that everyone is very aware of. It’s cold. The weather can be nasty, with cold rain or frigid morning temperatures. So I go at January fishing with a simplistic approach.
Look for bait. If you can find bait, there’s going to be fish around it. That’s honestly the best advice I can give you for fishing these lakes this time of year. Getting them to bite can be a whole different story. You just got to sit on ‘em. They’ll turn on and they’ll feed for, maybe, a one hour feeding cycle a day. Live baits, small stuff, like three inch shad. Your baits are going to be around the obvious stuff – points and drop offs. Use your down lines. Most of the baits will be down at about 20 foot or better, with most of the stripers being down at about 25 foot or better.
January is an “old man” month. You just have to go out there once you can stand the cold, which a lot of times can be not until 10 in the morning, and you pretty much just have to practice that patience you’ve been working on all of the previous year and sit on the fish, hoping they turn on while you’re there. Now you’re reading this saying “so, why would I go fishing in January again?”, and there’s a couple of answers I can give you. A lot of times if you can catch fish this time of year, it’s usually a pretty good fish! The old adage of ‘quality over quantity’ rings very true in January. The second answer I’d give you is – we fish in January because we love to fish. It’s what we do. Grab a nice hot coffee, layer up the clothes, and start hoping and praying you catch that monster that makes the shivers all worth it.