Anglers in the Carolinas battle a mixture of conditions throughout the year, from freezing winter temperatures to sweltering-hot summer dog days. While most states experience a steady seasonal climate, the Carolinas often experience  the yo-yo effect, where cool and warm days routinely bookmark each other during the winter. 

Bass fishermen can find exceptional fishing in the many lakes and reservoirs around the two states, but they have to know where to pinpoint bass when Mother Nature throws them a curve ball.     

According to NOAA’s National Climatic Office, January’s average temperatures for Charlotte, N.C., just north of the state line, are a daily low of 32 degrees and a daily high of 54 degrees. But at least several days this month, the temperature will normally swing into the 70s, then back into the 20s within a few days.  

Last Jan. 13, the temperature just before dawn was 46 degrees, but six hours later, it was 80. Those kind of temperature shifts are real occurrence in the Carolinas, and bass will respond accordingly. 

When temperatures fluctuate erratically, anglers must understand how fish react, especially during winter when it’s supposed to be cold and gloomy.  

Brett Mitchell guides on South Carolina’s Santee Cooper lakes, fishes some pro tournaments and is the chief advisor to the University of South Carolina’s bass fishing team. 

Guide Brett Mitchell is a Santee Cooper Fishing Guide, B.A.S.S. Tour Professional, and the chief advisor to the University of South Carolina’s Bass Fishing Team. Abrupt changes in temperature change his fishing battle plan just as abruptly because of their effect on baitfish.

“There are two things that bass do; they spawn to make more fish and they eat,”