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Top Winter Fishing Destinations Across the Southern U.S.

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter November Outdoor Living Newsletter

Few things beat the exhilaration of waking up at the crack of dawn, getting on a boat with your rods and tackle box in hand, and going fishing. Fishing is an awesome way to spend quality time with your family and friends. It is a sport where everyone can bask in the excitement of seeing who will catch the biggest or the most number of fish at the end of the day. And when the day comes to an end, you'll have the satisfaction of savoring the fruits of your labor around the campfire with the people you love. Don't let the winter cold stop you from casting your lines; just head to the South where it is warmer and relish the sport to your heart's content. Here are five fabulous fishing spots in the South that you should try out.

Lake Powell, Arizona

Magnificent Lake Powell, known for the silky, mirror-like sheen of its waters, is a lovely spot for bass fishing throughout the year. You can find the striped bass in the deeper waters, particularly in the areas of Rock Creek, Warm Creek and Red Canyon. Largemouth bass are plentiful in shallow and brushy areas, while the smallmouth ones are more likely caught in open waters. To catch the stripers, you'll need grubs and hard plastic baits. Buzz baits, spinners and crankbaits will be good for the largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Crappie and walleye fishing are also good in Lake Powell. You can head towards the Hite area for these fish if you want them. Go for the brushy areas with hair jigs if you want crappie or the mud-line with nightcrawlers if you want walleyes.

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Child fishing in winter proudly displaying his catch
Anyone can enjoy fishing in winter

Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Lake Okeechobee has always had a reputation for great freshwater fishing. It is a favorite place of many a bass or crappie enthusiast. In the last few years, though, anglers have been turned away from this place because the lake became marshy and the siltation made fishing bad.

However, thanks to the efforts of the South Florida Water Management District, Lake Okeechobee is experiencing resurgence. The lake's rehabilitation brought the largemouth bass back. Just sail your boat westward from the town of Okeechobee, sink trick worms and weighted flukes in hydrilla, and you're sure to get bites. Plus, you'll be treated to the gorgeous changing views from the lake in wintertime.

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Savannah River, Georgia

Savannah River, that mighty river that flows between Georgia and South Carolina, is a good place to catch some bluegill and redear sunfish all year-round. The trick to catching these fish is to stay near sandbars or the backwaters and lure the bream with crickets or live worms.

If it is bass fishing you want, you can cast for both striped and largemouth bass. Just head towards the estuarine areas on the southern section of the river, where the bass are concentrated this time of the year, and have your jigs or blueback herring ready for baiting. Georgia has some strict rules about harvesting bass, though, so be sure to stick within the limits.

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Caddo Lake, Louisiana

Late winter and early spring are excellent for crappie fishing in Caddo Lake on the Louisiana side. The same goes for the white bass if you feel up to boating along the currents on the lake. You may chance upon largemouth bass on the lake this time of year even though they are more plentiful in springtime.

The bass in Caddo Lake respond best to topwaters, shads and spinnerbaits. You're likely to find these bass near the pads and the grassy areas. As for the crappie, go for the creeks or work your way along the main channel. Shiners and tube jigs work best with the crappie in Caddo Lake.

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Toledo Bend Reservoir, Texas

The Toledo Bend Reservoir, located on the Sabine River flowing between Texas and Louisiana, is a good place to catch some largemouth bass in late winter. You'll find the bass in the shallow waters in the lower part of the reservoir where hydrilla and other aquatic plants thrive. You can make them bite with spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

If you're not up for bass, crappie is good all year-round at Toledo Bend. You'll have to sail to deeper waters and along brushy areas to find them, though, and you'll have to lure them with jigs and minnows. If you use live bait, you may surprise yourself with huge flathead catfish on your line.

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Fishing is a great way to bond and spend quality time with friends and family. In the southern areas of the United States, it is never too cold to go fishing even in winter. At the end of the day, you are sure to enjoy a fresh catch for dinner, not to mention some fun and colorful memories for life.

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