North Carolina’s Badin Lake is a cold-weather bass hotspot

Badin Lake bass

Bite is especially good when water temps are 45 to 55

Guide Joel Richardson of Kernersville, N.C., said that Badin Lake in North Carolina’s Uwharrie Mountains in the Piedmont, is a “great cold-water lake” that gives up plenty of quality bass during the winter.

“As a bonus, you are likely to catch stripers that often share in the same areas as largemouth. That’s not a bad deal,” said Richardson (336-803-2195). He finds a great December bite when the water temperature is between 45 and 55 degrees.

“Oddly enough, when the water temperatures are in the mid-40s, you’re likely to see schools of largemouth driving shad to the surface,” said Richardson (336-803-2195). “These aren’t little schooling bass. These are fish in the 3- to 4-pound range. Often, you’ll catch stripers mixed in with the bass.”

Richardson said finding forage in conjunction with fish isn’t that much of a problem.

“You don’t need expensive side-imaging units to locate the fish,” Richardson said. “Just scan an area with your own eyes and look for diving birds feeding on forage. That’s where the fish will be.”

Badin is a great cold-water fishery

In December, Richardson targets rock in 4 to 15 feet of water, laydowns and docks.

“I fish rocky places with a Bomber Model 6A, a Strike King square-bill and deep-running Little N crankbaits in shad patterns in clear water. I use chartreuse and brown patterns in dingy water,” said Richardson. He also likes chrome/blue Rat-L-Traps for schooling or suspending bass. “I prefer dingy water, though Badin is usually clear in the winter.”

Badin Lake is full of 3- to 5-pound largemouth bass, and some larger ones. The lake has always been regarded as an excellent cold-weather fishery.

Richardson probes waters from the islands in the Beaver Dam Creek area to the main body of the lake, all the way up the lake to Garr Creek. He favors the steep, rocky and stumpy banks that characterize that portion of the lake.

Richardson likes docks and laydowns situated along the main lake. He fishes them with 3/8-ounce jigs in black/blue color combinations.

“You won’t catch numbers of fish on docks and laydowns. But the ones you catch will be big,” he said.

When cranking, Richardson uses a 7-foot cranking rod paired with a 5.1 gear-ratio baitcasting reel filled with 10- to 14-pound monofilament. For jigging docks and wood, he switches  to heavy tackle and 17-pound line.

“In December, the bass at Badin will run from 3 to 5 pounds.And some fish are up to 8 pounds,” said Richardson. “That’s about as good as it gets for winter fishing in this state.”

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