Lake Claiborne gets hot for bass

Greg Terzia has won many tournaments on Claiborne with fish like these, taken from the ends of deep boat docks.
Greg Terzia has won many tournaments on Claiborne with fish like these, taken from the ends of deep boat docks.

And less pressure can make for good trips

Like most bass, the largemouths on Lake Claiborne near Homer just like to find a good spot to hang out in January while waiting for warmer weather and the spawn.

But you can heat up those bass in a hurry if you follow some simple advice from Greg Terzia of Ruston.

“Head down to the main lake, find some deep docks and drop a Carolina rig on the brush at the end of the dock,” he said. “It works every year. You’d think the fishing is a bit slow in January, but it isn’t. It’s just a matter of hitting the right spots with the right bait.”

For Terzia, that means finding docks that drop of to 10 to 12 feet, instead of the usual 4 to 6 feet of water on Claiborne. Most docks have some brush around them, and you can work it with a Carolina rig finesse worm or a 6-inch Zoom lizard. Terzia’s favorite colors are cotton candy chartreuse or tilapia magic with a touch of chartreuse on the end. Christmas tree red also is a favorite.

“If you are cruising around in 4 to 6 feet of water and you come to a dock with 10 feet or more in depth, that’s where you need to fish,” he said. “And when you start getting bit, work that dock over. A lot of times you’ll catch one or two on the worm or lizard, but you can back off and hit them with a shaky head jig and start getting into numbers. I’ve caught as many as 15 off one dock doing that.”

Two other lures that produce are the Bandit Flat Max, or a Bomber Flat A in shad colors. That tighter wobble seems to work best in cold water.

Another good thing this time of year is that a lot of folks bypass fishing in January: Less pressure means better fishing for those that do go. One thing to watch out for, though, is when the water temperature dips below 50 degrees after big cold fronts. Fishing gets pretty tough then.

“If you want bigger fish, stay in those same-type areas but throw a black and blue pepper jig,” he said. “You get more quality fish on a jig, but more action on the other lures. I like a quarter-ounce jig. Most people throw bigger ones, but I think the slow fall turns the fish on this time of year. I’ve won a lot of tournaments doing that.”

The 6,400-acre lake has several good landings, private marinas and a big full-service Louisiana state park that give anglers good facilities to choose from while fishing the reservoir.

About Kinny Haddox 597 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.