Cold weather seems to separate the casual fishermen from the true patriots of the sport. But those of us that brave the cold are usually rightfully rewarded! It is a great time to boat some of the biggest fish of the year, but best of all, the bite is very consistent. Fish are easy to locate and target. Numbers are typically lower than in warmer months, but we have fewer spikes in numbers from day to day with a consistent bite as fish group up into winter patterns.
I've been a professional fishing guide for many winters now, and I've always taken pride in the product I offer my customers. The winter bite is not only great for consistency, but those of you looking to boat a truly giant trophy fish really shouldn't miss out this season. Some of our biggest Spotted Bass and Striper have shown up in winter months.
Not convinced? Check out some of these wintertime monsters we've caught over the last couple years...
Polish Your Sonar Game this Winter
Those of you looking to improve your sonar fishing skills, there is simply no better time to be on the water. Most fish are deep and keyed in on large schools of bait. Winter fishing forces you to learn to use your electronics effectively --do it well in winter and you'll be better prepared next summer when fish move offshore into summer holding areas. I use my electronics as part of my day on EVERY trip. So if you want to learn more about vertical fishing with sonar, book a trip and tell me that you want to work on your sonar game. I have many clients throughout the year book such trips and have dramatically improved their own game. I'm not one to hide secrets --tell me what you want to work on and I'll tell you what I know.
Winter Bass Fishing
Bass fishing in winter offers some opportunities we don't get in warmer months. Float-n-fly is one in particular that people look forward to all year. This technique requires a little skill in casting, but otherwise something most clients can master quickly. Float-n-fly is strong the throughout the entire winter, last year we fished it all the way through February with success the past few Winter seasons.
Float-n-Fly targets suspended fish, but these fish can also be caught on jerkbaits. We fish a little slower than in warm months, with long pauses in key target areas. Bites can be aggressive, but typically they are very subtle and you have to pay attention to pick up on them. It takes a little skill but is a lot of fun to learn.
Deeper into winter, those suspended fish will move a little deeper where they can ambush bait in the low light of deep water. Threadfin, Alewive, and other Herring species will group up into large schools in winter, and we will use spoons and dropshot rigs to target bass that are pushing these schools into pockets. Also this time of year, large crayfish will be out on rocks, and big bass love to eat these things because they offer a big meal when metabolism is low. So football jigs and hula grubs can really get bites from the big ones. Both of these techniques will be used to target very deep fish and starts around mid-November and runs through spring. If this is a technique you would like to learn, book a trip and I'll teach you how to do it.
For those of you near Atlanta...
Rick has been on a GREAT bite lately. If you are in the Atlanta area and want to get after some great Spotted Bass, Crappie, and Hybrid fishing, book a trip with us and tell us you want to fish with Rick. He's a great guy and can really put you on them!
Winter Striper Fishing
In summer months when striper are difficult to catch we might say "When it gets colder we will catch them better." Striper eat all year, but in warmer months, they tend to be deeper, more scattered and more lethargic. In winter months, they are easier to locate and are often active throughout the day. If you're interested in catching REALLY big fish, striper fishing in winter is PRIME TIME. Carters Lake is one of the best lakes in the southeast for truly giant striper. You could catch the fish of a lifetime! The last two winters, 2012-13 and 2013-2014 were banner years, and with the blooming Alewive popoulation, I expect this year to be even better. So far, it is definitely shaping up to be that way. Follow our Facebook page to see recent catches!
Bait Fees Apply
Unless otherwise noted, you can assume that all winter trips include $25 bait fees. Live bait is essential to get the best bite on ALL STRIPER TRIPS. So day trips start at $325. Please add this option when booking a trip online. Click here to book online.
Deposits Also Required
I didn't want to do it, but I had too many last-minute cancellations in 2013 to not do so... But you all have been great about submitting deposits in 2014! I sincerely appreciate the early "good faith" money to secure your trip. This policy has worked out very well, and has really helped with scheduling of trips this year. We will be continuing this policy in 2015, and as always you can easily make your deposits via credit card or PayPal on our Booking Page.
Here Kitty, Kitty
Like big cats? We've been catching a lot of them lately, and they seem to be getting bigger! If catfish are your thing, give me a call and book a trip.
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Good luck out there,