Hope everyone had a great holiday season. Now that the big guy in the red suit has come and gone and the new year’s ball has dropped, it’s time to start seriously thinking about our favorite pastime….fishing!!

In January most of us small water anglers are faced with either cold and slow fishing conditions or waiting until the ice clears from our favorite fishing holes. There are some exception to this rule as you move down south, but in general this month is one of pent up frustration as we wait for the warmer weather to come.  The great thing for us is that we don’t have to wait as long as the big water guys. In most areas of the country, the water in our small or protected fishing hole will begin to warm and the fish will become more active considerably sooner than the big lakes. Warmer water means active fish which means the fishing season is closer then you think. There can be a totally different pattern to our favorite fishing hole than for those folks that are waiting for the big lake to warm up. So instead of getting the cold weather fishing funk, let’s get excited and ready for the fishing season to start!

This time of year we should be doing 1 of 4 things to get ourselves ready for upcoming season.

1.  If you live in the south there are going to be some days between cold fronts that you can get out on the water to treat the symptoms of the cold weather blues. There may not be many active fish but there will be a few moving around that should make a short trip out on the water well worth your time. I know for me there is no better medicine than to spend a couple of the warmer afternoon hours on my Twin Troller. These few days help get me mentally ready for the spring.

Where did all these come from?

2.  If you can’t get on the water then take some time getting your fishing gear in order in preparation for the days when you can. For most anglers it doesn’t matter how hard we try during the year, it seems we always end the fishing season with at least some of our gear out of place. Who knows, you may be like me and find you have more of your favorite lures than you thought you did.

3.  Find new places to go fishing. Small water fishing locations are all around you, no matter where you live. With my Twin Troller I have many more fishing options available to me than my neighbor with his big boat.


Some of my favorite fishing holes are the ones I found by looking at a map of my local area and going out and finding them. If they are public waters I’ve found a way to get my boat close enough to get in them with the use of my boat dolly. If they are private waters I’ll knock on the door, introduce myself and ask if I can go fishing in them. The worst that has happened is they said no, but to date I’m batting about 50% with being allowed to get on the water. Do it now because if you wait until March you’re likely to spend another year missing out on a great small water fishing adventure that was just down the road from you.

4.  Read articles about your fishing passion. We at the Small Water Angler Newsletter try to provide you information with a small water focus that we hope helps. In addition, many of the big water techniques that are the focus of most of the fishing publications can be adapted to produce great results in small waters.

Well that’s about all the advice I can offer for getting through January and being ready for the coming fishing season. I have found over the years that the old saying “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today” is sound advice.

Tight Lines,
Frank Jones

By: Mike Pehanich

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