Written By: Cory Davis
Instagram: carolinafishin3

There are two sayings I have found to be true throughout my years of fishing. The first is,” 10% of the fisherman, catch 90% of the fish.” And the second, “90% of the fish are in 10% of the lake.” The latter is especially true during the winter months. As the temperature drops, so will the fishing productivity. The one thing we have on our side as anglers is, no matter the temperature or weather. The fish have got to eat.
Fishing slow is the name of the game this time of year. Most people know to use big soft plastics, jigs, and spoons to drag or bump the bottom. So this piece will be more about strategy than tactics. As I said above, 90% of the fish are in 10% of the lake. Now obviously that doesn’t mean that there is one special cove in the lake where all the fish are hiding. More like, there is a specific cover the fish will be attached to. Covered docks, rocky shore lines or and other structure that may heat the surrounding water is a good starting point in the winter months. Crawfish and minnow will seek refuge in a the cracks between the rocks, dragging jigs and drop shot with smaller minnow imitations, along with deep diving cranks can do well this time of year. Just remember, once you catch a fish, try to remember the structure the fish was on. Then search around for similar structures and find the pattern.
Crappie fishing can be slow this month, fishing the 20’+ range depth around brush piles and bridges can be productive. Vertical jigging with live minnows and artificial jigs are still the best bet. Try fishing a few inches off the bottom or bouncing the bottom with jigs.
The Catfish have also gone deep. Fishing the lower half of the lake, in 30’+ will give you the best odds. Fishing with cut bait on main lake points, bridge pilings, and main lake ledges are all good spots for the big ones to hang out. Cats will be hugging the bottom either cruising around to different points of cover, or they will be sitting still while in or under cover. Stink bait can also be effective in bringing them out of cover to eat.