Find clear water in lower end of lake, target rocky banks
For bass pro Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., successful fishing on Lake Wateree this month and throughout the winter means one thing: bass on the rocks.
“Bass fishing can be great in December on Lake Wateree, if the water color and weather cooperate,” he said. “That time of year, I usually like to fish down the lake, typically from Beaver Creek on down to the dam, because this are has steeper banks and a lot more rocks.”
Rocky areas are key this time of year, Rodgers said, because the rocks hold heat from sunshine, and they are more prominent around steeper drops. The water near rocky areas is warmer than other parts of the lake, and that attracts baitfish such as threadfin shad and small bream: favorite foods for bass. The rocks also are prime habitat for crayfish, which are like candy to a hungry largemouth.
“I generally look for rocky points or steep rocky banks in the first third of a creek or on the main lake,” Rodgers said. “Clear water or no more than stained water is a must for me at Wateree. Also, a warming trend weather pattern can also help tremendously.”
Rodgers said his favorite lures for this rock-fishing include a No. 5, No. 7 and sometimes a No. 8 Rapala Shad Rap in shad or crawfish patterns, a ½-ounce green-pumpkin Buckeye Mop Jig with a crawfish trailer, or a shad-colored Rat-L-Trap, especially when bait or birds are present.
“The bass this time of year may be suspended off a point or a rocky bank. When they get ready to eat, they will cruise up and down that rocky area,” said Rodgers. “Bass will use these rocky hot spots until April, so if you find a good one it can pay off until spring.”