I always thought bass fishing was a warm weather activity until I moved to Griffin and joined a bass club. The third tournament I fished was in January 1975. That day on Jackson was cold with rain and sleet. I caught only one bass but at weigh-in there were six weighing more than six pounds each. I was shocked!
Over the next few years I found out how good bass fishing in cold water could be. I landed my first two bass weighing more than eight pounds each in January tournaments on Jackson. And I learned how to jig a Little George at Clarks Hill to land dozens of bass a day.
On a Wednesday in early January I went to Logan Martin Lake near Birmingham to get information for my February Alabama Outdoor News article. It was cold, windy and cloudy but we caught fish. Logan Martin is on the Coosa River and is known for its big spotted bass. They bite better than largemouth in cold water, but we managed to land several largemouth as well as some spotted bass.
I should have caught more than I did. I was fishing a jig head worm and jig and pig while Tim Ward, a local expert, fished a chatterbait and crankbait. We landed bass on all four baits. But I stupidly broke my line setting the hook on one fish.
We were fishing rocky banks and points and I know to check my line often when bumping a bait over rocks. But my hands were so cold I did not, and paid the price in a lost fish. Another time I thought I was pulling my jig over a rock but, when it pulled back, I knew it was a bass. Again, I blame my lack of touch on cold hands.
Logan Martin is about 145 miles and three hours away but it is a fun lake to fish, even in the winter.