Nothing brings more happiness than sunshine this time of year, unless it’s sunshine and the lunker largemouth bass bite turning on at Caney Lake at Chatham.

And this month is a good time to find that happening.

“There are two things that you can do in January to take advantage of the bite,” Ruston’s Greg Terzia said. “You have to work slow, but if you get out in front of the spillway in the deep water, you can find some really big bass. I’m talking water that may be 30 to 40 feet deep.

“We like to use a Little George-type tail-spinner and an Alabama rig with spinners on it. With either, you throw it out and bring it in slowly right on the bottom.

“You can also vertical fish a big 5-inch jigging spoon or the tail-spinner right over the fish. You’ll have to depend on your electronics for that and put your bait right where the fish are.”

Terzia uses a Humminbird Helix 10 DI to explore that area of the lake, and when he finds fish he throws out a bouy and fishes there.

Often big fish will stack up, and electronics is vital to finding them.

Of course, some days it is too windy to fish the open water, but weather might move fish up shallower — and when that happens, Terzia recommends technique No. 2.

“I go to the deep docks, like on the big lake and around Smith Creek, and flip the docks with a Baby Brush Hawg in South Africa color or a black-and-blue jig,” he said. “Craworms will work, too, and the best colors are watermelon and green pumpkin.”

Fishing pressure on the Jackson Parish lake isn’t as heavy as in the early days of the 5,800-acre lake when it gave up a 15.97-pound bass to Greg Wiggins, which still stands as the state record.

But fishermen who have patience to deal with feast and famine still love the potential of landing a 10- pounder at the reservoir.

The lake still claims six of the top 10 largemouth bass caught in Louisiana.