Guide Jerry Neely targets several lakes in January when he’s crappie fishing, and he said one that can be sneaky good is High Rock Lake on North Carolina’s Yadkin-Pee Dee system.

“High Rock is better known as a spring and summer¬† lake, but I do well here during the winter,” Neeley said. “The mid-lake area is a favored place, and I’ll target a few different-type places.”

“A favorite lure for the cold water during January is a 1/32-ounce hair jig. I’ll cast to targets such as brush, logs and other woody cover in 10 to 12 feet of water,” he said. “I like the hair jigs because the jig falls slower, making it more productive when the water is very cold.”

Neeley (704-678-1043) said fishing deep docks can produce limits in January; he prefers docks with plenty of brush or pilings set in deep water. He’ll work the pilings all the way to the bottom; and docks that have steps down into the deeper water are ideal.

“I literally work the jig down the stair steps; often, big crappies will hold under the steps and grab the jig as it falls,” he said.¬†

Neeley said to stay patient, because you may work several docks without a bite and then find a dock loaded with fish and catch 15 to 20 in short order.