Forecast For LAKE WYLIE

Written By: Captain Phillip Rizzitello, Rizz’s Outdoors 803-230-6309

Winter is officially here and brought the cold weather with her. The weather has been back and forth and so has the fishing. Weather this time of year can be your worst enemy or best friend if you know how to follow it. Winter also tends to yield less numbers but better quality. The fish have slowed and so should you. If you’re using artificial despite the species, slow your retrieval. This is a great time for live bait fishing as well. Sharp temperate drops will slow the bite if not shut it off. Daylight and warmer days will obviously work in your favor.
Bass are no exception to this. Try throwing live shiners and let them do the work. Artificials are another great option with go to colors being white and chartreuse. Don’t forget slow your retrieval and sensation. A misconception is they will only hold deep which isn’t entirely true. They will go shallow looking for water warming from the sun or find where warm water feeds the lake. Bass will still be on structure just holding a little tighter. Rocks, especially those warmed from the day’s sun, will hold fish enjoying the warmth they hold as well. Bass will move shallower during day light to try and get some warmth from the sun.
Crappie can be caught throughout the lake and in big numbers. Long lining or trolling will allow you to cover lots of ground. Trolling with jigs or minnows are good options. Watch your electronics for target depths. Night time under a light is always an efficient way to target them at night. I typically look for 25-30ft and fish according to the depth they are holding that day.
This is my favorite time of the year for catfish. Not for numbers but for quality. If you can brave the cold, you may be rewarded with some of the larger sized catfish. Drift fishing and trolling will allow you to cover ground and present your bait to more blue cats and flat heads. Mid to lower column for blues or dragging bottom to just off bottom for flatheads. Planer boards will allow you to spread your bait much better. Often overlooked, make sure you have enough weight to keep your bait down if trolling or drifting. You don’t want your bait floating on top of the water while moving. The direction and amount of line you have out will help you determine if your bait is staying at the correct depth while moving.
This is a great time of the year to get out and avoid all the boat traffic, enjoy the mild day and just enjoy the changing weather. The quality of fish will surprise a lot of people this time of year. Just remember, despite the temperature or time of year, you cannot catch them from the couch. So put the cell phone down and go outside and enjoy mother nature!