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12/8/02 Deep December Fish

Oh the decisions we must make during the month of December.  Deer season is winding down, duck and goose season is in full swing, quail season is well under way, and the brief opportunity to hunt pheasant is looming over the horizon.  Then, there is also the tremendous opportunity to catch some very solid fish.

Numbers are not generally the name of the game when you talk about fishing in December.  Generally the quality of the fish that are caught during the colder months are far more appealing than the quantity.  Undoubtedly, there are still plenty of numbers to be caught if you are chasing stripers, sandies, or crappie.  Right now is a prime time to load up on the slab crappie from most of the lakes across the state.

If I had to nail down 1 rule of thumb for December freshwater fishing, I would be forced to choose the rule, fish deep.  This holds true for all freshwater fish this time of year.  Sure, these fish might be caught at a depth of 3 - 10 feet, but that will happen when they are chasing the baitfish straight up from the depths.  Electronics are truly your friend this time of year and the fish should be easy to spot since they will be bunched up, lurking in the depths of your favorite fishing hole.

Another option that should never be forgotten is the vast opportunities available to fish power plant lakes.  In these lakes, the water temperature maintains a comfortable temperature for its inhabitants.  I have a theory about power plant lakes that I will share with you in February when I feel that some of the best power plant fishing is abound.  For now though, just know that these lakes will provide the winter angler with a substantial opportunity for quality fishing throughout the colder months.

If you are brave enough to challenge the weather and head out to your favorite lake, remember to dress warm and fish deep.  The fish are there and they are still feeding.  They are just feeding a little different than they were a few months ago.  Good luck to you and be safe.

Mike -- webmaster/editor

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