January in Alabama is a special time of year, everything is bigger and better from deer hunting, duck hunting, and bass fishing. Cold days are passing and we have dreams of warmer days ahead. Tomorrow evening we hang up our hunting rifles and pick up our fishing rods as weapons.
For my first ABT guide report I am just going to fill you in on Lake Neely Henry and what the lake is like. Lake Neely Henry is like most other Coosa River lakes in north Alabama, very current dependent, lots of water willows along the bank(coosa grass), when we say it is “clear” it really isn’t all that clear, and we have some huge spotted bass in this lake. If you like flipping a jig all day, head north on the lake, you will find enough lay-downs and stumps to make your head spin. My tip for this is, make sure they are pulling water, if not you could be in for a boring day. If they happen to be pulling water, focus your efforts on current breaks and eddies along the bank for big spots. I have seen numerous 22+lb sacks come from fishing like that especially this time of year!
If you are like me, and enjoy fishing crankbaits, jerkbaits, and off shore structure focus your efforts south of Hwy77 bridge. This is where Lake Neely Henry really begins to look and fish like a “lake” rather than the north where it fishes like a smaller river system. This time of year, I recommend throwing a rattletrap, and jerkbaits on points going into creeks. Fish are starting to think about spawn and feeding up. I have seen this technique produce 30-40 fish a day. When the water starts to warm up at mid-day also try throwing a squarebill along rock banks going into creeks. You may luck into a big Neely Henry largemouth up shallow and top off a great sack of fish. Good luck out there and I look forward to fishing with you this year!