Winter is prime time on Lake Martin for striped bass fishing. I am especially fired up for this winter because I feel I have two key striped fishing tools in my fly fishing repertoire: 1) an operable outboard motor, and 2) a new book on the subject.
Firstly, those who know me well know that I am super excited about an old Mercury Mariner 9.9 horsepower motor that I acquired over the summer. After a few fits and starts, and a ton of work on it by a skilled neighbor, the motor is running like a song, as Johnny Cash says. I have slapped this outboard on a 12 foot aluminum flat bottomed jon boat and I am ready to roll. It has exponentially expanded my fishing range. As proud as I am about this setup, you would think it’s a $200,000 inboard surfing boat. Or at least a sparkly bass boat. But nope, that’s not me. I can’t explain it, but that is me.
Second – I have been devouring Henry Cowen’s new book – Fly Fishing for Freshwater Striped Bass: A Complete Guide to Tackle, Tactics, and Finding Fish. Even if you are not a fly angler, this book is a must read. I have not been able to find another book on fishing for striped bass on freshwater lakes and rivers. There are several good ones for salt water. Since this one is freshwater AND fly fishing focused, it is right up my alley. Henry is a great guide. I went and fished with him on Lake Lanier a few years ago and learned a ton. This book is a boon.
So, I can get to more fish with my jon boat. I know what to throw once I get there because of Henry’s book. But my real ace in the hole is local Lake Martin striped bass guide David Hare. David is the owner and head guide at Alex City Guide Service. He and his company fish like 300 days a year on the lake for striped bass and there is no better source of local information. On top of that, David is a super nice guy and a great teacher of the sport. I like to post his fishing reports because whether you use live bait, crank baits, or flies to chase stripers, this info is invaluable.
484.00 (full pool 491.00)
Surface Temp 55
Water Clarity / Clear
Happy New Year. Looking forward to 2021 to say the least 2020 was very challenging for most people due to the pandemic and numerous other things brought on by the pandemic. It’s my hope along with everyone else’s that we will have all that behind us this year and we can get back to safer and healthier times. Our prayers go out to everyone that this virus has touched.
This January we as a guide service are going to be available to be on water guiding everyday due to “all” indoor boat shows that we normally are vendors at (ex.Atlanta & Birmingham) have been canceled. Each year even though we love seeing our clients and meeting new potential clients at these shows we know we are missing some of the best winter time fishing that Lake Martin has to offer. January, 2 years ago, we set a record on my boat by boating 92 stripers and bass combined in a 5 hr time frame with our clients. So again we are looking forward to taking advantage of having the opportunity to be on the water everyday this month.
Several things you need to be prepared for this year, especially January is safety measures of the cold temperatures. Be sure to dress warm and dry. You can get in trouble quick if you are not prepared for cold damp weather, as always wear a good PFD. Frigid water can overtake you quick if you end up overboard, keep extra batteries for your trolling motor remotes. The cold weather drains them quick, charged up cell phones is a must, and last but not least always let someone know where you plan to launch and the area of the lake you think you’ll be fishing. Then if God forbid if something does happen, family, neighbors and first responders have an idea where to start a rescue search for you.
Now to putting fish in your boat! Stripers which we specialize in are on fire this month. You will be able to locate them in most any area of the lake you choose to fish. You are also going to see more than normal number of seagulls this month which are your friend when it comes to finding huge schools of bait and when you have bait you have stripers somewhere close by. The bait fish are so plentiful in Lake Martin now that sometimes they will be so thick it’s hard to see the stripers in them with regular sonar so switch over to down imaging and should be able to quickly determine if the stripers are in that particular school of bait. Once you find what you think you’d like to fish on, lock down on them and drop your favorite lure or your favorite live bait – you should have success with both this month. January also is a month you don’t have to be on the water at day light if you prefer starting a little later in the morning. You should not be disappointed because with cooler water temperatures the stripers will normally hit all day. One thing to keep in mind when you get that feeding frenzy going on is this time of year you can release stripers (if not gut hooked) and they should swim away in good shape. So if you are not a fish eater you’ll be glad to know they are going to survive and go on to be available for the next time you fish.
If you’d like to run a winter time trip please keep us in mind we would love to help you make memories on beautiful Lake Martin.
Follow us on Facebook Alex City Guide Service Lake Martin for daily updates on what you could be catching.
Until next time catch one for me! Alex City Guide Service. Capt. David Hare 256-401-3089