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Cold Weather has fish on the run
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There are many humps, trees and long points exposed lake wide.

Be very careful running the lake.

Charleston park ramps are now open. Be sure to buy a pass at the ramp or you can get an annual pass Forsyth County’s Central Park.

We do have another ramp up north at Clarks Bridge open.

Black bass are in the deeper natural structure and the deep water pockets off the rivers and creeks.

The cold fronts dropped the water temperatures even more and the fish are relating to sharp drops and heavy cover all over the lake.

As the water cools, largemouth feed slower and usually deeper. Sharp drops instead of slopping areas are easier for the fish to move up and down.

They do not expend a lot of energy in cold water. The «-ounce Stanley jig with the No. 11 Uncle Josh pork trailer is the one of the best winter time lure.

The sharp points on the left at the no wake area in Flowery Branch Creek are good areas for slow moving baits. It’s deep enough to spoon this creek channel and lots of shad are in the area.

As the fish get colder they will have to be coaxed into striking these baits.

The more the fish see the bait the likelihood of drawing a strike increases.

Warm fronts that come into the area can draw the bass to shallow cover in stained water up the rivers.

Down stream points at the mouth of Taylor Creek hold some good cold weather fish. The water is stained and the fish can move up on a warming trend. Larger fish can grab even a full one ounce jig around any cover.

Spoons in and over the deep trees in the middle of the major creeks are holding schools of bait fish as well as bass.

The Hopkins spoons and the Sidewinders are good for the winter spooning and use 12-or 14-pound Stren line on a stiff bait casting rods.

Cast to this bait into waters from two to as deep as 19-feet around wood, docks and even rocks around ramps and bridge pilings.

Black and brown combinations will work and the best presentation is slow and fish it deep. Any wood that is in the water on the deeper points and creek bends can hold bass but the trick is to get baits deep into the structure. The jigs and a heavier Texas rigged green or smoke colored worm can work.

Spotted bass are both shallow and deep and almost all the action has been in the afternoons. Brush and any kind of cover are keys and there are also some spots biting on man made brush on the deeper banks.

In the cold months fish travel only short distances for food and fishing in the heavy cover as long as possible increase strike possibilities.

Zoom’s natural green and the green pumpkin worms in the finesse styles are being used on a Texas rig.

A Bitsey Bug jig in browns and blacks are fair and use the smaller No. 101 Uncle Josh trailer.

Dark colors are best in the deeper waters and stay with light eight-pound test lines on spinning reels. A six-foot rod with a medium tip will allow soft strikes to be felt and don’t wait to set the hook.

Use the standard 3/16-ounce weight and add a small green or red bead to create the clicking sounds. Spots are curious and will come to investigate.

The No. 1 Mustad hooks are strong and but light enough allow to fish to take the worm.

The hooks are razor sharp and cut to skin cleanly for a strong hook set. Also drag a Zoom all white Super Fluke over the bottom like a worm.

Add a pencil lead into the Super Fluke and dip the tail in a red or chartreuse dye. Fish the bait just like a worm.

Stripers have been biting well lake wide and there are even fish rolling in the coves and pockets. The fish are scattered lake wide from the dam all the way past Little Hall Park to the mouth of Gainesville Creek.

Live bait, flat lines and down lines are all working once the fish are found.

The blue backs are roaming both shallow and deep so keep looking at a wide variety of depths.

Live bait should be on a long flat line and leader.

The heavier weights are allowing the baits to get deep faster on down lines so use at least a two ounce sinker.

It’s also worth using cut bait for the bank anglers and the ramps on or close to the creeks channels can draw a big fish.

When boaters finish a fishing trip many dump their baits out right at these ramps and the stripers can get an easy meal.

Up both rivers, the small cuts and coves can have some limited activity and the birds can help. Keep some buck tails on a ready rod and cast to any swirls all over the lake. It could be a spot or a 20-pound striper.

Crappie are schooling well up lake.

Use several colors in the Creme tube jigs and small hair jigs on light line. Slow presentations are the key. Sufix four- and six-pound test line are very small in diameter and very soft and easy to cast.

The fish are relating to larger double wide docks and once you find a school 30 fish can be caught.

Strikes will be light and then line may just go limp.

Be ready to set the hook quickly and add some scent on the baits.

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