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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife offered me a free day to fish, Jerry Condrey hasn't been able to go since before Christmas, so we set up a trip. Badin or Belews, I left it to him because I would have been happy either way. Jerry still wanted to check a spotted bass off his bucket list, so we loaded up pre-dawn and hit the road for a chilly first-light launch at the land of the warm Winter water.

Water temps above Hwy 65 were about 43. Main lake was 58 to 60 degrees.
Air temp 28 degrees at launch, got a little breezy but not as cold once the sun was out, probably mid 50's by mid day. I had really hoped for cloud cover so we could get a topwater bite, but we had a beautiful bluebird sky pretty much all day.

First place we stopped, on his third cast in the low light of dawn, Jerry threw his trusted Pointer over a rocky point with some current running by it, and locked up with.... his first spotted bass. Mission accomplished!

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We moved to a cove area where I hoped to find some topwater action. Didn't find that, but Jerry scored with another spotted bass on the pointer, and I picked up a largemouth with the shakey head jig.

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We hit a few more places, I picked up a spot with the pointer on another rocky point. The spots were aggressive and slamming the plug like they meant business, but we both agreed that our largemouth of similar size were fighting pretty much just as strongly as the spots.

Jerry noted a spot that I have not really spent much effort on, where a rocky flat drops faster than I had realized into deeper water, and asked that we go give that good once-over. I love fishing with experienced anglers, because I often learn new things and new locations to try. We worked that 10 to 12 foot zone where it starts to drop (just as one could no longer see the bottom, what I call the "green line" where the water goes green); Jerry picked up another couple bass, and I managed one more as well on that shoreline.
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These fish were really nailing that pointer... this one clearly hit it like it meant business

We had beautiful weather, while a little windy, and we had some good fishing. We figured out what they were doing at least enough to get 1 to 3 fish in several different locations.

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Water Fisherman Lake Fish Fishing


We ended the day on a good note. Caught two fish on our last spot, and had 7 fish apiece for a healthy total of 14 bass... mix of largemouth and spotted bass, most the fish on the pointer, several on the shakey head, and one on an umbrella rig. Great company, and we were happy with the results. Not bad for late January on a breezy bluebird day!
 

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Had a blast, Sam. Was great to get back at it and have a good day! Glad to finally catch a few spotted bass, they're tough fish, but honestly in my opinion, not much different in fight than the largemouth we caught. Maybe we need to catch bigger ones, I don't know. But they were fun.
 

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Thanks guys for posted, my son and I planning to go next Sat. We've not been there in about 8 yrs so we're looking forward to it. Just painted up some jerk baits looking forward to playing with them. Does one have to be in the warm water of the lake to get hits? Thanks and God bless all.
James
 

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Most of the water we saw was over 56f, and close to the "Hot Hole" it was 62. But the Pointer is a cold water bait, I've caught bass in water in the low forties on them. So I would say you don't have to be in warm water, it just worked out that way for us today.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
James-

Most of the lake is warm. You'll find cold water up above Hwy 65, and perhaps up the arm of the lake South of the dam where Carolinas Marina is. "Warm" is relative; the water distant from the discharge may be in mid 50's, but that's still more than 10 degrees warmer than a non-heated lake this time of year. The fish are pretty well-adapted to varied temps, so you can fish it like you would anywhere else this time of year but the fish have a little more pep since they aren't so frozen. There has been a lot of bait around and above the 65 bridges but I have not fished up there much this season.

Main lake points have been good lately if it's sunny for working jerkbaits, hopping shakey heads downslope or pulling C-rigs across the "goodies" (aka rocks and stumps), the more rock the better. A little breeze helps for the moving baits. If the bite is tough, I will often pick up a sparse here-and-there fish on really steep rocky banks in the "turns" (the section between the discharge and Hwy 65. Cloudy days the action is more scattered and there can be a topwater bite if you're fast with the cast to the swirls.

Belews can be finicky and has multiple personalities. Send me a PM with your email address and I'll see if there is anything I can do to help your trip next week.
 

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Jerry could probably move to the pro ranks, if he would quit scaring off so many fish with his attire! Good job you guys.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! LOL!
Thanks. It was an unbelievable day, what with the weather conditions. We talked to a few others that said they couldn't get bit. But they wanted that Pointer and shaky head. And, it says a lot for Sam and what he's learned about that lake, he found the fish.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
he found the fish.
Actually, Jerry we caught nearly a fourth of our fish in that one area you noticed and suggested. I would have skipped it, I knew about the road bed but I did not recognize the drop-off further offshore... you called it.

Thank you guys for the blog, I appreciate that. I was glad to be able to tell the story, Jerry has been wanting to get that spotted bass milestone for a while.
 
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Well done gents. You're having quite the winter on Belew's. I kinda figured since Jerry dislikes the spots so much that he would take it and chuck it on the bank for spite :D. Seriously though, glad Jerry added a spot to his list and you got into some good fishing. If the lake would just sprinkle a couple 4 lb fish in there you would have had a good trip for any time of year.

BTW, which Pointer were you using. The lip in the photo looks like a deeper diving version than the one I have.
 

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Lucky Craft makes a series of jerk baits called Pointer Minnows and they are pretty good fish catchers. They come in several sizes, each named for the length of the bait.
 
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