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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Anglers fishing during the day would be wise to use a sunscreen and drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages while on the water. Also, checking the weather forecast for pop-up thunderstorms and keeping and eye to the sky can mean the difference between a fun and disastrous day.

  • Wheeler Lake: Early morning largemouth bass anglers are bending a few rods when working shoreline rock structure just after the sun comes up. Working rock points and other riprap areas with crankbaits and rock/grass banks with a Texas-rigged plastic worm does well when baits are retrieved slowly.

    The bluegill bite is extremely slow with the best catches coming late in the afternoon around structure that offers plenty of shade such as tree overhangs and boathouses. Live red worms and live crickets are two excellent baits to use.

    White bass can be found schooling late in the afternoon around creek mouths when current is flowing. Using a pair of binoculars, scan creek mouths from a distance for any signs of surface action and move in slow if a school is found. Once you are in casting range, use chrome-colored, lipless crankbaits on light-to-medium tackle for best results.

    The catfish bite is steady at night around bridge pilings when a slow-to-moderate current is flowing. Chicken livers and nightcrawlers do well when combined with a Carolina-rig on the bottom.

  • Wilson Lake: Some of the best catches of largemouth bass come early in the morning by anglers bumping spinnerbaits off of rock structure on the back-side of the current. If fish are short striking, consider adding a trailer hook to the spinnerbait or switch to a Texas-rigged plastic lizard.

    A few decent bags of smallmouth bass are being caught late in the day on deep-diving crankbaits trolled near rock bluffs and points.

    The bluegill bite is fairly slow but anglers are catching a few bull bream early in the morning on small, in-line spinners cranked near rock and mud bluffs.

  • Pickwick Lake: Like Wilson Lake, many smallmouth bass that weigh more than the 2- to 3-pound mark are striking crankbaits being trolled as close to rock points as possible. The bronzebacks appear to be staging in depths of 10-20 feet when current is flowing and are most aggressive during early morning hours.

    Look for largemouth bass to feed early in the morning around boat docks and boathouses that offer plenty of submerged structure. One method anglers are using is pitching jig-and-pig combinations as far under the docks as possible where you can expect the bite to be light.

    The white bass bite has been good late in the day around causeway bridges when current is flowing. Drifting live minnows is a great way to hook-up on white bass, hybrid stripe and occasionally a crappie or two.

  • Lake Guntersville: Start casting before the morning sun begins to rise if searching for largemouth bass. Anglers have caught a few largemouth bass that top the 9-pound mark by throwing buzzbaits and plastic rats in and around floating grass beds.

    Late in the day, throwing a jig-and-plastic craw or jig-and-pig combination around riprap has proven effective for catching largemouth bass in the 2- to 4-pound range.

  • Smith Lake: Anglers are finding a two-hour window after the sun comes up in the morning when they can hook-up on largemouth and spotted bass. A six-inch, Texas-rigged plastic worm is a great all-around bait to use around rock structure when casting for largemouth or spotted bass.

    Paul Stackhouse

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