Alabama Fishing Reports
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River / Jones Bluff Lake
||JONES BLUFF LAKE /
By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Lake Level: Close to full pool (fluctuates with winter rain)
Winter on Jones Bluff Lake
Jones Bluff Lake situated near the mid Alabama capital of
Montgomery, is not fished that much during the winter months. Other
Alabama Lakes draw more interest from bass anglers looking for that
trophy bass, or anglers just looking for some consistent action to help
warm them up when its cold this winter. Its more like a river than a
lake and fishes like one as well. But Jones Bluff can spell disaster for
anglers planning a future bass fishing trip or anglers practicing for an
upcoming wintertime bass tournament. Reason being, the lakes headwaters
and its major feeder creeks can muddy up quite fast following a few days
of heavy, winter rain.
Fishing the lakes mid to lower section will usually show a persistent
angler more consistent success during this winter season. It will also
aid an angler in his search for clear water, schools of baitfish and
deep water retreats nearby, where often huge schools of both spotted
bass and largemouth bass congregate. Winter conditions can bunch them up
in some very predictable locations.
Fishing clear water during winter on this current laden river system
gives a bass (using its eyesight) a much better chance at finding your
lure. Fishing around evident schools of baitfish always shows more
action, than when fishing places where no baitfish are seen at all.
Fishing very slowly in or near deep water retreats, such as along creek
channels, river channel drop-offs, outside bends and ledges, anglers
will discover schools of bass...other anglers overlook.
Finding these deep water spots and successfully getting a few bites,
will also aid an angler in finding other schools of bass, bass that are
holding in similar depths, in similar places, catchable bass -- on any
given day. The mouths of creeks, main lake flats, the upper and lower
ends of islands, both sides of long, slowly tapering points and even
bridge pilings, are all places close to deep water. These are
dependable, wintertime spots, places dropping deep or leading into deep
water and places you will find bass this winter on Jones Bluff Lake.
Even along deep, rock bluffs there are slight irregularities that hold
or position Jones Bluff's spotted bass and some big largemouth bass all
here during the winter months. One spot (that is very obvious but often
overlooked by bluff beating anglers) is where the rock bluff bank first
meets a different looking bank usually featuring small boulders, rocks,
washed-out red clay bottom or a muddy bottom. Here anglers may discover
a logjam (such as in a deep, outside, river channel bend), laying logs,
isolated stumps or washed in wood debris like brush piles. Isolated
trees found on deep rock bluffs are usually bent at an angle facing down
river, due to recent current. The huge root jam at the base of these
trees, the trunk of the tree or its isolated branches, can hold either
one big lone bass or two, or it can position 50 bass in a spot as big as
your boat along a current / eddy edge. When current is evident,
positioning your boat downstream of this wood cover, thoroughly fishing
each spot and always casting your lures upstream, will show a more
natural approach for fishing these trees and logjams.
Broken off banks or banks where huge boulders are evidently washed out
due to recent current, are also good places to target along rock bluffs
during winter. Small, inobscure points or irregular banks, first and
secondary ledges, and deep river channel drop-offs are places that take
a lot of fishing and exploring, to discover the "sweet spots" often
found along rock bluffs during winter on Jones Bluff Lake.
Fishing aquatic weeds found throughout Jones Bluff during the spring,
summer and fall seasons will always show some cooperative bites from
some decent sized largemouth bass. However, during the colder winter
months, when water temps dip below 50 degrees (often into the low 40's),
aquatic weeds begin to die. Dead, decayed and brown looking weeds,
coupled with cold, muddy water situations are not as productive during
the dead of winter as it is during the rest of the year. Its true (as
most dedicated weed fishing anglers will tell), there are always a few
big bass within or around these weeds during winter. But bites are few
and your really just fishing for one or two bites, usually taking place
within an hour or two of slow, steady fishing.
Targeting greener weeds usually found in areas where the sun drenches
them all day (like northerly pockets) can show more consistent action
during the winter months. This especially hold true when fishing in
lightly stained water conditions or during very clear water situations
(which is filtered out water) found around aquatic weeds that are still
green and growing. Places showing evident baitfish movement and constant
fish activity during the winter months are usually good for weeks at a
time. For wintertime bass are going to stay with the food where ever it
Dress warm, be safe and always wear your life jacket and outboard motor
kill switch, the life you save could be your own! This lake report
provided by: Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service - Birmingham,
Alabama. E-mail: email@example.com
By Reed Montgomery
Reeds Guide Service
Call: Reed Montgomery - (205) 787-5133
Martin Tallipoosa River Chain
Alabama Discussion Board!
Martin Summer Fishing Tips
By Reed Montgomery
Smallmouth and Largemnouth on the Tennessee River
Looking down, you can see 10-20 feet deep to the bottom of the lake,
when fishing or navigating the lower end of Lake Martin's very clear
water. Deep, clear water and very skittish bass in shallow water, all go
together, and often calls for applying deep water tactics, on the lakes
lower end. This may call for downsizing your tackle and your choice of
offerings for both spotted bass and largemouth bass.
Or resulting to night fishing, like most Lake Martin regulars, can show
some of these bigger bass species foraging, unmolested, in the shallows.
Also at night, gone are the dozens of recreational water vessels, this
lake is known for displaying during the day, throughout the summer
months. Although just as clear as the main lake waters, some creeks on
the lakes lower end deserve some exploring, whether you day or night
fish, this summer on Lake Martin.
Starting at Lake Martin dam is rather deceiving, especially when not
familiar with the lake. You may not be able to even tell which direction
is upriver, without a map or compass. When these necessities are
obtained, you will see a massive feeder creek, Kowaliga Creek heading
off toward your left, heading in a Northwesterly direction. This huge
creek also has many smaller creeks that branch off.
After going under Hwy.63 bridge (that crosses the creek about 5 miles
from the dam), you will see Little Kowaliga Creek. It will immediately
branch off to your left, if heading upstream, after going under the
bridge. If taking the right fork, after going under the bridge, you will
be heading up Kowaliga Creek and you will see Parkers Creek, branch off
to your left. This is about 4 miles from the bridge, heading Northwest.
Proceeding straight (after going under the bridge) will take you to
another side creek, Pike Creek. Also a few more miles, from Pike Creek,
will show the headwaters of Kowaliga Creek.
This entire Creek has brush piles put out by residents, found around
piers, boat houses, marinas and along main creek flats. There is an
abundance of rocky banks, big boulders, rock bluffs, sandy banks and
plenty of main creek points and islands for bass to relate to, and for
anglers to target, for both day and night fishing Kowaliga Creek this
If leaving the lower lakes dam and heading exactly due North for about
5-6 miles (after passing 4-5 islands), you will see a small, narrow
opening. Unknown to many newcomers, without a quality map, this leads to
the mid-to-upriver portion of the lake. If leaving the dam and going
about 4 miles, you will see a huge creek off to your right, due east.
This is Blue Creek. It branches off to several smaller creeks and is
crossed in its headwaters by Hwy. 49 bridge. It, like Kowaliga Creek,
shows very clear water and has many piers, boat houses, and rocky banks.
When fishing or just boating, this midlake region has shown many boat
occupants, lost in years past. Like mentioned, a map of the lake and a
good compass, can help you avoid asking for directions on Lake Martin.
Especially for first timers, when attempting to learn this huge,
sprawled out impoundment.
Although its only 17 miles from Lake Martin dam to the famed, mid lake
region of Wind Creek, more people get lost here, in the mid lake, than
anywhere else on the lake. Small islands, narrow, main lake openings and
many, small to large islands, adorn this midlake section. If not looking
back, you may not even remember which direction you came from, because
it all looks the same. There are also some big feeder creeks to get lost
in as well.
Some creeks are so big, you will think you are still on the main lake,
when navigating blindly. Sandy Creek, Manoy Creek and Dennis Creek, will
all be on your right, if navigating upstream. Only a smaller Creek will
be found on your left. Perue Creek. It actually looks more like a deep
pocket, than a creek.
Right in the middle of the lake are two islands. Woods Island and
smaller, Youngs Island. Heading north, navigating right up the middle of
these two islands, will take you to the upper lake region and Wind Creek
about 5 miles ahead, on your left.
From Wind Creek State Park to the lakes headwaters, is about 30 miles of
twisting, turning river channel. This famous state park is home to many
bass tournaments, held each week. Hundreds of quality sized spotted bass
and some big largemouth bass, are released here each week. These bass
have no reason to leave, with plenty of baitfish and fish holding cover.
Rocks, wood cover such as stumps, trees and brush piles, including
points, islands and bottom irregularities, all show bass of both species
very catchable in this release site area.
There is also a lot of brush piles planted in the Wind Creek area, all
the way above Hwy. 280 bridge that crosses the lake, upriver from here.
These brush piles may have several Christmas trees tied together,
anchored in one spot. Put out around the first week of each new year by
the Alabama Power company for fish habitat. These brush piles are
excellent choices for fishing in water from 10-20 feet deep this summer.
They are easily identifiable, marked by a blue, floating styrofoam buoy.
Although the lake narrows from Wind Creek State Park to the lakes
headwaters, to a very small, more river-type terrain, there are still
many creeks and flats to fish, both day and night, this summer. Just
above Wind Creek, on the lakes Western side is very famous Elkahatchee
Creek. Many major bass tournaments have been won in this feeder creek.
It is rather featureless, with only sparse wood cover, and a winding
creek channel, bordered by rocky points and small pockets. Elkahatchee
contains quality sized bass for the knowledgeable angler to fool.
Heading upriver, it is obvious the lake begins to narrow, just before
Hwy.280 bridge comes into sight. Just past this main lake bridge (on
your right), is Sturdivant Creek. Not a big Creek, but it does contain
bass habitat. Piers, boat houses, roadbeds, rocky points and laydowns,
stumps and brush filled flats in the back of this creek, all make
Sturdivant Creek, an excellent place to fish day or night, for both
spotted bass and largemouth's this summer.
Above Hwy. 280 bridge is a railroad bridge that spans the lake. Studying
a map you will see the main river channel swings off far to the right,
after going under this second bridge. A huge island here, sits right in
the mouth of Britt Creek. Continuing north you will see rock bluffs,
laying trees and logs on main lake flats, and on your left (about 4
miles above the bridge), is Coley Creek. Both of these creeks have an
abundance of rocky banks, wood cover, and points and islands.
About 5 miles upriver from Coley Creek the lake narrows. After passing
two creeks on your left, Hilabee Creek and Timbergut Creek, you will see
a few small islands covered with logjams, especially on the upper ends.
From here, to the lakes headwaters (about 2 miles) is filled with rocks
and boulders. Navigating requires extreme caution, idling is suggested,
from here to the incoming white water ahead.
Explore massive Lake Martin this summer. Bring a map and a compass, you
may need it. Or call Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133. "Over 40 Years
Fishing Lake Martin and other Alabama Lakes for Bass and Stripers"
*NOTE See my website: www.FISHINGALABAMA.com for updated, fishing tips
and lure suggestions for fishing day or night on Lake Martin this
This Report Provided by:
By Reed Montgomery
Reeds Guide Service
Call: Reed Montgomery - (205) 787-5133
of the Year
Alabama Discussion Board!
BANKHEAD LAKE / Holt Lake / WARRIOR RIVER
By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Fall Bass Fishing Bankhead Lake on the Warrior River
Bankhead Reservoir (as its actually called) or just Bankhead Lake if you
prefer, is situated on the Warrior River System and is conveniently
located about 20 miles south of Birmingham, Al. This very old, man made
impoundment - just referred to as ," the Warrior" by locals - is now
nearing 100 years since it was first impounded many, many years ago.
When Bankhead Lake was first Impounded (back in the year 1916), it was
given the name John Hollis Bankhead Dam and Lock and it was put into
service backing up the 9,200 surface acres of water. Waters previously
made up of the incoming Warrior River System and the Little Warrior
River System. Not only did the building of this Bankhead dam flood the
back waters of these two major river systems, but also as the waters
rose, it flooded nearby roads, houses, bridges and farm buildings.
In addition, when the Army Corps of Engineers built Bankhead lock and
dam the newly created Bankhead Lake consisted not only of inundating
this huge river system and its surroundings, but it flooded many small
lakes that were previously close to the old, original Warrior River
channel. This flooded nearby farm ponds, incoming streams and feeder
creeks. The building of this huge lake also included the addition of a
newly created lock for bigger boats and barges to pass through. This new
passageway soon opened these waters to barge traffic and lots of boaters
and anglers that soon discovered a much bigger body of water to explore.
Including loads of big bass!
When the year 2016 arrives Alabama anglers should all get together and
throw a huge, Birthday party in celebration of such a fantastic bass
fishery surviving 100 years.
Bankhead Lake this Fall
Yes, as many of you readers have heard me say many times before," I grew
up fishing Bankhead Lake." It was only a few miles from my home back
then located just south of Birmingham, Alabama. Not as many years as the
lake is celebrating, but long enough ago when I can still remember that
they rented wooden boats out of Lost Creek boat launch for $3.00 a day.
Today (just like back then), fall bass fishing is a season I always look
forward to, with as much anticipation as during my teenage years, as I
often reminisce in my mind some of my fantastic previous fall fishing
trips to the old Warrior, usually on my way to the lake.
Its been real hot since Alabama anglers experienced three weeks of 100
plus degree temperatures in late August. The fishing slowed on Bankhead
Lake as it did on every Alabama Lake, displaying 90 degree water temps.
Fall is now a very welcome sight.
As waters begin to cool (beginning in late September - mid 70's), it
seems a real triggering sensation overcomes both the tenacious spotted
bass and the big largemouth bass that make up this 77 mile long
impoundment. These bass will invade the shallows in search of food as
they are instinctively triggered to feed more and more with each cooling
day and fatten up for the upcoming winter months ahead.
From Bankhead's lower lake dam to the lakes headwaters below Smith Lake
dam, there are numerous incoming feeder creeks and the incoming Little
Warrior River system. These are the places anglers should explore this
fall and early winter seasons. Feeder creeks can have schools of both
bass species that cruise these incoming waters, from the creek mouths at
the main river, often far back in the scenic woods, twisting and turning
for miles and miles, all the way to the creeks headwaters.
Valley Creek for example, goes for over ten miles as it twists and turns
through winding creek flats, log jams, laying trees, stumps, rock bluffs
and weed lined pockets. Loads of weeds, wood cover, and rock cover, all
holding bass all throughout this entire major feeder creek this fall.
The same goes for the Little Warrior River System that junctions with
the main Warrior River at the famous Howton's Camp.
Topwater lures excel on this lake during the fall season and even during
early winter warming trends these bass will blast a well placed topwater
lure, even in water temperatures of 50 degrees! Its no wonder a big bass
will blast about any offering slung their way and drug across the waters
surface - Warrior River Bass will eat anything! So lures that simulate
meals they are accustomed to eating will be nailed when fished among all
the lakes visible weed, rock and wood cover. Cover this lake has to
offer...for over 70 miles!
Explore Warrior River's age old lake, Bankhead Reservoir, this fall
season as waters begin to cool and bass go on a major feeding spree. Rig
plenty of rods, not only with topwater lures like buzzbaits, frogs,
rats, poppers, prop baits and zara spooks, but rig many other rods with
lures like spinnerbaits, crankbaits and worms to be fished from top to
bottom as well. Or call on Reeds Guide Service...first!
" Bankhead Lake's oldest, most qualified licensed guide, fishing this
lake for over 40 years."
Remember, a guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide Service makes a great
surprise gift for Birthday's, Father's Day, or Christmas (certificates
available) or any occasion, for those loved ones that love to fish! See
my website www.fishingalabama.com for more info and for making
reservations. Several boats and qualified professional guides available
year round, for multiple parties and corporate guided fishing trips to
any lake in Alabama.
Smallmouth and Largemnouth on the Tennessee River
||Wedowee Lake Dano Bratton
|BassBum Angler of the Year
Alabama Discussion Board!
Smallmouth and Largemnouth on the Tennessee River
Henry Lake Larry
Rosser / Reed
Fishing Guide Listings
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Angler of the Year
Neely Henry Summer
By Reed Montgomery
Patterns on Neely Henry Click
Henry Lake Fishing Report has moved to a separate
Page. Please Click Here
to go to the new Neely Henry Fishing Report.
Eufala Seasonal Report / Reed
Angler of the Year
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Lake Summer Fishing Tips
By Reed Montgomery
Smallmouth and Largemnouth on the Tennessee River
Fall and early winter on Lake Eufaula
Lake Eufaula...back then
Lake Eufaula. No not the one in Oklahoma. Lake Eufaula (officially
known as Walter F. George Reservoir) is located in the southern region
of the United States. It is situated along the Alabama / Georgia State
lines on the Chattahoochee River. Impounded in 1963, the lake is now 43
I've fished, guided and even competed in a few bass tournaments on Lake
Eufaula for over 30 years. In addition (in my spare time), I've explored
this 45,180 acre lake, from one end of this huge 70 mile long
impoundment, to the other. Prior to that, my Father and Uncle (both now
passed on to catching even bigger bass up above) fished Lake Eufaula
together, from the week the lake was first opened to the public in 1963,
for over 30 years as well.
I've gained a whole lot of knowledge about Lake Eufaula over the recent
years, seen a lot of changes and you could say, "I know it very well."
Not only about fishing Lake Eufaula in all seasons (when both at full
pool and when down during drought or winter pool) but in knowing how to
navigate my boat throughout this shallow water impoundment during low
water... when it can be very dangerous for inexperienced boaters to
attempt to navigate.
I can remember those days of bringing in huge bass, often with as many
as a dozen bass over 5 pounds, caught in just one days fishing. I've
seen and netted several big largemouth bass over that magical ten pound
mark, including two 12 pounders. My father and uncle (like most anglers
of that time) were fish eaters and those old, red metal Coca Cola ice
chests were always slap full of fish. Always plenty of food for feeding
a big family of that time.
Back then (in the 60's and 70's), we either fished the lakes lower end,
the middle portion of the lake or to lakes upper end, always launching
on the Alabama side of the lake. There were major boat launches all over
the lake when it first opened, but there were a few we visited
regularly. If we planned on fishing the lakes lower end (near the dam),
we launched at Hardridge Creek on the Alabama side of the lake. It had
no facilities back then and was a free boat launch. Hardridge Creek had
very little weeds in the 60's, no gators and plenty of standing timber
left in the lake during impoundment for us to explore.
Of course we could always run the boat nearby to the huge, 2 mile long
rip-rap rock lined Eufaula dam and always plan on catching largemouth
bass, many weighing from 5-10 pounds. Usually this was successfully
accomplished despite the conditions with one type of lure. We found lots
of line tugging action on that dam by slowly exploring the rocks with
Tom Mann's worms, like those Mann's Hobo worms (which came 100 to the
bag for $2.00) or his world famous Mann's Jelly worms and Mann's
If we planned on fishing Lake Eufaula's mid to upper portion we either
launched at White Oak Creek or launched at world famous, Chewalla Creek
Marina and boat launch. There at Chewalla Creek Marina we displayed many
big bass for pictures, all hung on the bragging board of Chewalla Creek
boat launch. Memories that now fill our scrapbooks with pictures for
others to gaze upon for years to come.
Today, we just take their pictures and let them go. Catch and Release.
Back then we did not even no what that term meant. Even during the
earlier years of B.A.S.S. / Bassmasters Bass Tournaments many anglers
weighed in their bass brought to the scales on fish stringers (and even
some smaller ones brought to the scales in coffee cans) for "catch and
release" was not yet even a spoken term. We just did not know any
Eufaula has changed a lot over the past 40 plus years and today it is a
totally different impoundment. Although it still produces largemouth
bass exceeding ten pounds, there are not as many trophy bass taken by
anglers as before. Fishing pressure. Any time you see lake with such
world renowned recognition as Lake Eufaula is for big bass, it gets
pounded regularly by hopeful bass anglers from all over the globe. Also
at times (like during the spring season), there can be as many as a
dozen or more bass tournaments on this lake on any given Saturday or
Lake Eufaula's appearance has changed to. The standing timber (left here
during impoundment) is all but gone. Stumps, laying trees, brush piles
and other wood cover (including planted fish attractors) have mostly
just deteriorated away. Now there are those aquatic weeds for bass to
relate to. Weeds of all kinds that provide cover and plenty of oxygen
rich habitat for both predator and prey to take up residence in, mostly
growing during the seasons of spring, summer and fall. Winter season
shows the lake drawn down (extremely low in recent years) to aid in
flood control, often as low as 4-6 feet below normal full pool levels.
Aquatic weeds anglers fish most of year such as bulrush, maiden cane,
cattails and lilly pads are left high and dry during lake drawdown and
become obsolete as fish habitat during winter.
But there is recent surge of two new type of aquatic weeds growing
throughout Lake Eufaula, weeds that can grow during the winter season
and weeds that can grow in deep water. Eurasian millfoil and Hydrilla
aquatic weeds are spreading throughout the lakes mid to lower portion
every year. Weeds that were once foreign to this lake recently
introduced to Lake Eufaula by anglers that launch their boats after
fishing other weed infested waters on other lakes.
An example is Guntersville Lake in Alabama or Lake Seminole in Georgia,
both lakes of which are now choked out with these aquatic weeds that
grow very thick and matted when left unattended. The good side is
anglers like it, bass like it and the small fish and crayfish the bass
dine on like it. Millfoil an hydrilla weeds also hold bass during the
middle portion of the day, making them very susceptible to your lures.
Fishing Lake Eufaula during October, November and December
Fishing Lake Eufaula during the fall period is often as good as the
spring season, but with less company. Anglers hanging up their rods in
exchange for guns are now in the nearby woods deer hunting. Some would
be anglers are home watching football. While still others have given up
until next year, actually covering up their boats and parking them until
next spring. To bad. They are missing out on some of the year's best big
bass action and they could still have a shot at plenty of fish catching
action found lake wide.
Fall. Gone are the temperamental attitudes of the bass like during the
spring spawn and picky feeding bass schools following shad schools in
deep water this summer. These bass now invade the shallows of main lake
flats and feeder creeks with one thing in mind, to fatten up and put on
the needed fat reserves for the cold winter months ahead. Its true, like
said the rest of the year, "Find the baitfish and find the bass." This
not only goes for exploring the over 500 miles of shoreline cover found
in the shallows of Lake Eufaula (now exposed with lake drawdown) but
getting out on the main river and fishing deeper water found along
drop-offs and creek and river channel ledges, for bass relating to deep
water places, they will soon inhibit during winter.
As waters cool in October and November anglers fishing the weeds will
have success with a variety of modern day enticing lures. Unlike the
days of long ago there are now many lure choices to aid an angler in
fooling these Lake Eufaula largemouth bass...bass that have seen a lot
of tempting offerings during this past spring and summer seasons. But
bass forget. They have a short term memory and many, normally lure
conditioned bass, may not have even seen a lure of any kind recently,
since not as many anglers are now on the water.
Weedless lures are the lures of choice. Why fish with frustrating lures
that grab the weeds on every cast resulting in no bites at all and
possibly mean losing costly lures? Save the treble hook lures like
topwaters, lipless lures, jerkbaits and crankbaits for open water
fishing away from the weeds. Of course this goes for fishing wood cover
in the shallows to, more of which becomes visible with winter pool and
So arm yourself with a variety of weedless offerings if you plan on
fishing Lake Eufaula's few remaining weeds this fall and early winter
seasons. Lures like floating worms and soft jerkbaits are good for times
when nothing else works. Fished slow and with very long casts in and
around millfoil and hydrilla weeds these soft plastics lures do fool
bass and they are very weedless. Monofilament line tests of 12-15 pounds
are needed for these lures.
Frog and small mice imitation lures continue to fool bass that have
dined on these tasty morsels all summer long. Buzzbaits and spinnerbaits
are also still productive lures around weed and wood cover found in the
shallows of creeks and main lake flats. Some anglers have developed a
technique of swimming lures (lures normally fished on bottom) along weed
edges and around wood and rock cover. Swimming a jig combo is a deadly
tactic that covers water fast for big bass during the Fall and early
winter period. Monofilament line in the 20 pound class is suggested for
all of these lures. Some anglers use braided line. Strong rods in
lengths of 6-7 feet, wide spooled reels and sharp hooks are also
The old favorite the Texas rigged worm in lengths of 6-10 inches
continue to fool Lake Eufaula's largemouth bass, just like 40 years ago.
Texas rigged or Carolina rigged plastics such as worms, lizards,
crayfish imitations, tube baits and creature type baits are also good
lure choices whether you fish shallow water or deep water this fall and
early winter seasons.
Deep water fishing for bass has its limitations when it comes to lure
choices, but there are plenty of old stand bys that always fool some
bass. The problem is many anglers have to stay on the move to find that
motherlode of bass in deep water. These deep water bass often bunch up
on certain, preferred locations during the late fall and early winter
periods. Sticking with three lure types will help you narrow down your
lure selection when targeting bass in or near deep water.
Worms or other bottom type plastics and jig combos always work here.
Deep diving crankbaits or lipless crankbaits are good for covering lots
of water fast and for triggering dormant bass to bite. Spinnerbaits,
although usually associated with fishing shallow water, are great lure
choices for probing deep water hangouts. Some anglers fish heavy 1-2
ounce spinnerbaits on 7 foot rods coupled with 20 pound test
monofilament or braided line, fishing with a lift and drop presentation
in deep water situations.
So give Lake Eufaula a try this fall and early winter season, you will
like the results! Just like years ago big bass still live in the lake
just waiting for some lucky (or skilled angler) to discover! Or call on
Reeds Guide Service for fishing this lake or any Alabama Lake year
round. Be safe, dress warm and always wear your life jacket and outboard
motor kill switch...it might just save your life!
||Mitchell Lake Reed Montgomery
Alabama Discussion Board!
Mitchell Lake Summer Fishing
By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Summer on Mitchell Lake
For such a small Coosa River impoundment, Mitchell
Lake is big on summertime bass fishing. This is easily
determined whether an angler is going after largemouth bass or
targeting one of Mitchell Lake's well known "fighting ball of fury"
the Coosa River spotted bass. At times both of these Mitchell lake
bass species can be found mingling together. Trophy-sized bass, in
both classes, any angler would be proud to battle with...even in the
hot summer time heat. An almost unbearable heat, that will
eventually be near 100 degrees again this summer.
I can remember one particular hot, summer day. A day
that took place many years ago. A day I'll never forget. When I
caught the biggest Coosa River spotted bass I have ever seen!
It was a very hot, fourth of July weekend. I was
doing what we anglers call, "just fishing." Not practicing for an
upcoming tournament, not even actually fishing in a tournament or,
as I have done dozens of times before, not taking a client fishing
to Mitchell Lake. Just fishing. No pressure, in no hurry and no one
in the boat - but me.
It does not matter where I was fishing (Mitchell
lakes headwaters), and it really does not matter what lure this,
"fish of a lifetime" was caught on, although it just happened to be
my favorite lure and my favorite style of fishing. It was the end
results of this fantastic day. A day that any angler would love to
have shared with me, including a memory that now stands out in my
mind every time I fish Mitchell Lake.
No, I did not load the boat that day. As a matter of
fact I had only caught 4 decent bass while fishing from dawn until
about 10 a.m. that morning, when the monster bass attacked.
On that hot, muggy mid-summer morning I was already
soaked in sweat and to tell the truth, I was contemplating a boat
ride back down the lake just to cool off. That was what I was
thinking anyway...right before a big gizzard shad went skipping
across the surface of Mitchell lake's calm waters and I quickly
fired off a long cast. A well placed cast that landed right on
A loud explosion took place, quickly changing my mind
about leaving an area I had not got a bite during the previous hour.
My trusty topwater lure, the Jimmy Houston signature series, "Zara
Super Spook" had scored again. The fight was on. For minutes it
seemed - when actually it was only for a minute.
I knew I could depend on the over sized # 2 front and
back (Gamakatsu) hooks I had replaced on the 3 hook model spook
earlier. Now, I was intently thinking, if only the 20 pound test
Trilene Big Game line held, my knot held up, the rod did not break
or the ABU Garcia 5500 reel performed well, as it had so many times
before. Maybe I could land this monster bass. I could actually see
the fish in the far distance. It had been a very long cast. But I
still could not determine whether or not it was a big spotted bass,
largemouth bass or a huge, striped bass.
Soon it was very evident as I wore down the forever
memorable fish and I got a real good look at the trophy sized
bass for the very first time, as it rolled up along side the boat
exhausted (as I was), from the lengthy battle. A spot. A huge spot
at that! So fat, so big, I was actually thinking in terms of some
kind of record sized spotted bass. The biggest spotted bass I had
ever hooked into or even seen alive. I netted the fish and then took
it back to Mitchell lake's Higgins Ferry public boat launch to
quickly get some pictures. After all I was alone.
Weighing the huge spotted bass, I discovered it
weighed 7 pounds and 4 ounces. We took some pictures. To the
disbelief of the on looking crowd, I walked down to the waters edge
and then rather reluctantly let the huge bass go, to live and fight
another day. To give another angler a very memorable day just like
So it is still possible for any angler to fool such a
trophy spotted bass on Mitchell Lake? I would say yes, for sure.
I've heard of anglers catching even bigger spotted bass. There are
also some big largemouth bass on Mitchell lake, some in the 10 pound
class. But bass of this size still do not come easy. Most anglers
that frequent Mitchell lake (whether they fish during the day or at
night), have still not caught a spotted bass exceeding 5 pounds or a
largemouth bass exceeding 6 pounds.
They do exist, but like any lake you have to fish
long and hard to even hook into one. Getting it in the boat is
another objective. There are many tales of "the big one that got
away" most of which falls blame on angler error. So first you have
got to be ready.
New strong, dependable line should be changed on all
reels, replaced hooks or sharpened hooks on all lures and you should
always tie a good knot. A good rod and reel combo and a good net and
netman, is all you need for this recipe for success. That is, if
everything holds and you successfully play down the bass as well.
This all takes patience and skill.
Mitchell lake is a small lake and it can get very
crowded during the summer months. Its just plain hard to get away
from the crowds on such a small lake. But there are times when less
boats are on the water this summer season. Night fishing will show
less company. Fishing early around dawn can show 2-3 hours of peace
and solitude on weekdays. This goes for fishing during late evening
hours when the summertime crowds are usually leaving the lake.
Location, location, location. Choosing the right
place to fish can have its rewards or its downfalls. Being in the
right place at the right time has shown many anglers success,
instead of failure, like when constantly fishing the same old spots
time after time. For one, I always mention Mitchell lakes
Any angler knows moving water attracts feeding fish.
The tailrace waters coming off of upstream Lay Lake dam can attract
all bass species during the summer. Call 1-800-lakes-11 for
summertime water generation schedules and be on these spots in the
lakes headwaters when the water is moving, from electricity
generation at the dam;
You will see big towering islands bordered by deep
drop-offs. There are also some small flat islands in Mitchell lakes
headwaters. Always fish both ends of these islands and along the
sides, especially banks with eddy areas or less current, for feeding
bass. Keep in mind, Airplane Island, the island closest to Lay lake
dam, receives the main flow of water and has lots of current around
it. It is also the first island the schools of washed in bait fish
hit as they are swept downstream.
There are main lake points and points leading into
flats, small cuts and pockets. These points hold bass hiding in the
slack water found here while awaiting and easy to catch, washed in
meal. Always fish both sides of points and along the deeper ends.
Even try to get your boat up on these points and then cast your
lures out deep, bringing your lures like worms, lizards and other
bottom dragging lures, up these points. This can be an approach for
fooling some big bass, that many anglers fail to even try
Rock bluffs can be found in Mitchell lakes
headwaters, along the mid lake area and some bluffs are seen in
Mitchell lake's major feeder creeks as well. Big, old spotted bass,
some big largemouth bass and an occasional striped bass can be
caught all summer long, while fishing along these rock bluffs. Look
for irregular features along these bluffs, places where both bass
and bait fish can escape the often swift current. Small pockets or
broken-off, boulder strewn banks, are very attractive to these prey
and predator alike.
Although swift current does not allow aquatic weeds
to grow near the Lay lake dam area, al least not as much as
downstream, there are some weeds worth investigating in Mitchell
Lakes headwaters. Largemouth bass are found within these weeds and
some big schools of spotted bass can be found cruising the weed
edges, often all day long. These weeds are places where being at the
right place at the right time can be possible. Returning several
times to a likely looking weedy bank can show active bass feeding,
often in places you did not get a bite in earlier.
Flats have edges, drop-offs or old river channel
ledges, places that both spotted bass and largemouth bass move up on
and feed during summer. Along these shallow flats are places they
rest in deep water when they not very active. You can catch bass of
both kinds here. Usually at dawn bass are feeding here, also right
when the water is cut on they feed here and when its immediately cut
off they feed here as well. Also at night.
Look for bait fish and surface activity no matter
where you fish on Mitchell Lake this summer. Try lures fished on
top, in mid depths and on the bottom. Also, just like when fishing
points, get your boat up shallow on these flats and then throw your
lures out in deeper water, dragging them up these deep drop-offs
bordering shallow flats.
Mitchell lake has plenty of places to explore this
summer. Try new places. Don't fish the same spots all the time
expecting miracles. There are miles of feeder creeks, many miles of
weedy banks and loads of wood cover to decipher and rock cover found
lake wide. This goes for fishing during the day or at night. Lures?
Bring all you've got they hit anything in the summer.
Or call on Reeds Guide Service...first! For a daytime
or nighttime guided trip to Mitchell lake. Same rate for one or two
anglers. "Over 30 years fishing and guiding on all Alabama Lakes." Discounts
Be safe and courteous to other boaters this summer on
our very crowded lakes!
Lake Level: Full Pool
Water Clarity / Stained to muddy in major feeder creeks (from recent
From Mitchell lakes headwaters to the lower lake is clear (Late Feb.)
Current Water Temperature / (Late Feb). Mid-to-upper 50's
Water Temps. / March Mid-60's Water Temps / April & May Mid-to-upper
SPRING ON MITCHELL LAKE
During the spring season Mitchell Lake (the fifth of six impoundments on
the Coosa River System), like most Alabama impoundments, can get awfully
crowded. As the weather warms and the spawning season gets underway
there are hundreds of new anglers visiting this small lake, now over 85
years since impoundment.
Every year, not only during the spring season, but year round as well,
they come for all over Alabama. Even anglers from throughout the United
States plan their fishing vacations, bass tournaments or just fun
fishing excursions, to sample some of Mitchell lake's very fertile
Coosa River spotted bass (some real, trophy-sized spots in the 6-7 pound
class) and largemouth bass (up to 10 pounds), are the species they come
to Mitchell lake to target. Often, this is the first trip to Mitchell
lake for some anglers. They may misjudge the sheer strength of both of
these very worthy, adversaries.
But, like any well planned fishing trip...getting ready comes first.
For the most part, these springtime anglers have been cooped up all
winter, anxious and ready to wet a hook (although many anglers fish
right through the winter months), some have not even fished for months.
So they are very "keyed up" and some anxious anglers just head right to
the lake, often unknowingly, very unprepared. A day destined to be
headed for disaster, if you have not fished lately or even got your boat
out for months!
First, comes a little preparation. This means a lot of anglers are
preparing the boat getting it ready, like replacing old batteries or at
least re-charging all batteries to see if they are still good enough to
hold a charge. A bad battery can ruin the start of your fishing day. No
matter if its a cranking battery or one or two batteries (some trolling
motors now have 3 batteries) that are used for trolling purposes. They
may need to be replaced.
In today's bass boats a lot of electronics and an other items can drain
the boats batteries on each outing. This takes place after every trip so
you must recharge each battery. Constantly re-charging your boats
batteries, is what wears them out. Cold, winter seasons can kill a
battery fast. Especially if has not been kept fully charged all winter.
Organizing all your old tackle boxes and making room and categorizing
all your new tackle, can take all day. This includes sharpening all
hooks or best yet, replacing all treble hooks on your lures that need
it. Check your equipment. Rods may need new eyes, new rod tips or just
cleaning up. Reels need servicing or at least oiled, all nuts and screws
tightened down or some old reels may just need to be rebuilt or
Check reel handles for wear and replace them if necessary. Always
reel-spool all your reels with fresh, new fishing line at the beginning
of your spring fishing season. Not that line you had last year, of which
has a short shelf life. Try new lines, new types of line, heavier line
or lighter line test and make a note of how each line performs with
various types of lures.
Oh, I could go on. Like checking your boat trailer winch and bumpers,
runners and wiring. Especially your boat trailer lights, tires, brakes
and most importantly tighten the nuts on the wheels and grease or
replace the wheel bearings. Service your outboard motor. Change the oil
in the foot of your outboard motor, change to new spark plugs. Even
adding a gas additive will help prevent any moisture build- up that may
have occurred recently.
Trolling motors need new switches, cables, propellers or cotter pins.
Always remove both your outboard motor's propeller and the trolling
motor propeller. There may be a bad seal or fishing line could be
wrapped around the hub of either. A spare propeller for both is
So as you see a little (or a lot ) of preparation is at hand, if you
have not fished this past winter or even if you went fishing all winter.
Maybe the bass have been biting and you forgot...
Now, more on Mitchell lake for tackling those pre spawn bass of March,
April's spawning bass and my favorite month May. When, as we all know by
now, "its top water time" for those hungry, post spawn bass!
March / Pre spawn Bass on Mitchell Lake
I speak a lot of Mitchell Lake's famed, Coosa River Spotted bass. If you
read any of my wintertime Mitchell lake reports, you are sure to notice
I write a lot about fishing Mitchell lakes headwaters, islands and rock
bluffs, all situated right below upper reservoir Lay Lake dam. Well, not
to worry, you did not as they say, " miss the boat. "
Those huge, spotted bass we fooled in the winter months are still there!
March is a great time for searching out these places, all within a few
miles of Lay lake dam, for numbers of spotted bass in the 1-3 pound
range. An occasional one maybe even bigger, like 3-5 pounds. If you are
very lucky, you may fool a true, trophy size spotted bass into biting
your tempting offering. One that could reveal to be over that magical
mark of six pounds! These are rare, with my biggest spotted bass ever
fooled on Mitchell Lake coming from these lake headwaters. It weighed 7
pounds and 2 ounces!
All of this hinges on you landing the bass. These are huge, spotted bass
that will test any anglers patience and his tackle and equipment as
well. As a fishing guide on Mitchell lake for over 30 years I have seen
many big, spotted bass lost, some right at boat side. Simply taking
place by anglers just not prepared for tackling these very strong,
current-oriented spotted bass.
Besides the aforementioned plan of getting ready, "being ready" is just
as important. Always check your reels drag first thing in the morning.
Most reels will be frozen and will need the drag adjusted. Not to tight,
that can result in broken line, straightened out hooks, a big spot
ripping its mouth loose to freedom, or even a broken rod! Of course,
your drag must not be set "to loose" as well. Too loose of a reel's drag
will result in not even getting a good hook set or burying the hook,
which usually results in lost fish.
As Mitchell lake's headwaters warm into the low-to-mid 60's, its nearby
rocky points leading into smaller pockets, flats with drop-offs nearby
and boulder-strewn banks, are all excellent places to target these
spotted bass, in your search for these very catchable and fat, pre spawn
bass. By the end of March, they make their move to prepare another
year's spawn. This usually takes place on or near the next full moon.
At this time many feeder creeks are stained to muddy from recent rain
and still, incoming cold fronts plague the lake. This may influence
Mitchell lake's more weed and wood cover oriented, largemouth bass to
perk up a little. Or they may become more scarce. But during April and
May these largemouth bass can be found to be much more easier to fool.
April / Spawning Bass on Mitchell Lake
Although there is a lot to be said for the pre spawn bass of March,
there is more to be mentioned about fishing in April. Especially for
targeting Mitchell lake's largemouth bass. I did not mention the
largemouth bass of March, although the same places you find spotted bass
are often occupied by some big, pre spawn largemouth bass as well. Its
just that cold fronts, muddy water and still, dead aquatic weeds, always
affect the largemouth bass more in March. So, during April many more
factors are in their favor.
April on Mitchell lake shows new growing weeds and more largemouth bass
moving shallow, the closer it gets to the perfect spawning temperature
near 72 degrees. Major feeder creeks like Hatchet Creek or nearby
Weogufka Creek are all day excursions, in your search for these big,
spawning largemouth bass. Both of these creeks feature loads of flats,
small cuts and side pockets with weeds, wood cover, rocky habitat and
lots of points and flats for finding undisturbed, largemouth bass.
As Mitchell lakes various types of new growing aquatic weeds emerge, so
do the bass. Most largemouth bass have occupied any wood cover recently.
Lay down trees, isolated logs and logjams, stumps or any visible brush
may now hold several big, female largemouth bass. All getting ready to
mate and make their move shallow nearby in their newly prepared beds.
As both the male and female largemouth bass of Mitchell lake begin to
make their beds they may occupy some piece of wood cover nearby. They
usually prepare their bed very close to some sort of wood or rock cover.
If new growing weeds are beginning to emerge as they prepare these beds,
it only enhances these bedding spots.
Aquatic weed growth increases the oxygen level. This is very evident as
you can actually observe the clearing of the water surrounding new
growing weeds, immediately following heavy rain in stained to muddy
water situations. Weeds also provide great ambush spots for big bass
laying in wait for any potential meal passing by. Then again, these
weeds also hide the many types of smaller prey from bigger predators,
like the largemouth bass.
As Mitchell lake's flats and back waters warm more and more with each
passing day in April, the activity becomes evident as well. All within
and all around any of these green, newly- growing aquatic weeds, prey
begin to occupy the security of these oxygen-rich weeds...and the bass
seem to know it, with their evident explosions within the weeds.
These largemouth bass are big and its not easy hiding a two foot long
body from these very quick and agile prey. So the thicker the weeds and
the more wood cover they have to relate to, the better hidden they feel
and the more secure a big bass is for stealth and ambush purposes.
Largemouth bass linger by these weeds all day long at times. They can
occupy thick, matted weeds if its a bright and sunny day. Or cruise the
weed edges at night, early morning, late evenings (or all day if raining
or very cloudy), during low light periods.
So keep in mind. Always return to places "they were not in", or places
"they just were not active in" you fished early in the day. To have a
better chance at fooling these often weary bass of Mitchell lake in
spring. Bass moving in spawning areas or even bass that become more
active with daytime sunlight often warming the water 4-5 degrees. In
addition, mid mornings to late evenings during the month of April, often
show bass that are undisturbed when other boats leave an area...all for
you to explore in silence.
May / Post Spawn Bass
By around the first week May, the majority of Mitchell lake's bass will
have spawned. Most are through bedding and getting ready for summer. You
may ponder, "how does he know that"? Well, its no secret that some of
Mitchell lakes bass do spawn later in the spring season than other bass,
for some reason. Maybe they live on the lakes mid-to-lower end. On
Mitchell, this is where some of the lakes deeper water is and its
usually the last water to cool lake wide, to a more comfortable 72
One very evident factor anglers can look for, to determine if a bass has
already bed, is searching for small fry bass. They are usually visible
when you use polarized sunglass and cruise the shallows in clear water
situations. Small fry bass ball up in a small, dark mass, usually about
the size of soft ball. Or bigger.
If a lot of newborn balls of fry are evident, its a sure fact most bass
have bed in any given area. What's good about this is, small defensive
male bass are always nearby and often, a big female bass may not be to
far away. They are there and always ready to attack your lures with a
vengeance, in an attempt to protect the newborn fry.
How else can you tell if these bass have already bed? If you see a lot
of beds along flats, around weeds, or up in some very shallow backwater
area, look for those beds that display a dull looking color. These are
abandoned, silted-in beds, that help you determine if these bass have
given up house keeping.
Most of Mitchell lake's largemouth bass will keep a bed clean,
fanned-out, and free of any debris. They will run off all intruders,
until the eggs hatch, and the newborn fry grow to about one inch in
length. This is when both of the parents of these 10,000 (or more),
newborn bass and their surviving, newborn offspring will abandon the
bed. Of this many newborn bass, over half will not make it, due to
predators during the spawning season.
On the other hand, if you are searching for bedding bass on Mitchell
Lake its true they can be identified by observing if they have a bloody
tail or wore-off tail. This means both the male and female bass are
still fanning or preparing their beds. Bedding bass (bass actually on
the bed) will hover over a rounded out, brightly colored bed. Or they
can rest along weed lines and wood cover near the bed. They will also
look like they are in a trance and at times they will completely ignore
every lure you throw at them.
Fat, healthy bass, with healed up tails, are usually in a post spawn
mode by late May and around the first week of June, the beginning of
* Looking for help on exploring Mitchell lake or learning to fish for
bass and stripers on Mitchell Lake? Always call on Reeds Guide
Service...first! Alabama's oldest, freshwater fishing guide service.
Mitchell lake's only professional guide to call for spotted bass,
largemouth bass and an occasional striped bass, year round. Several
guides and boats available for multiple parties and corporate guided
Winter on Mitchell Lake
As waters begin to cool on all of Alabama's lakes, many would-be anglers
are finding their duties elsewhere are keeping them off the water.
Holidays, deer season and hunting in general, past times such as
watching football and for some, just trying to stay warm - like when
chopping wood for the winter becomes a real necessity. That leaves a lot
of water on Alabama's 5,850 acre Mitchell lake for wintertime anglers to
fish - in somewhat of a solitude setting.
Although Mitchell Lake (the fifth lake in a series of six Coosa River
Impoundment's), is unseasonably low for winter pool (it is usually close
to full pool year round) and Mitchell lake is somewhat of small lake
when compared to other Alabama impoundments, there is still plenty of
water to explore this winter. Even major feeder creeks (at full pool
displaying 20 foot depths), still have plenty of both spotted bass and
largemouth bass that can be very cooperative. That is, when you are
fishing during the right conditions on the right days. Like any
impoundment Mitchell lake has its good days and its bad days.
Often and more times than not, the weather dictates the way your fishing
day is going to be. Most of the time (very cold nights in the upper
teens and low twenties) coupled with daytime highs not even reaching 50
degrees can be downright miserable and staying home is smarter.
Including, it can be a day when only a few scattered bites make up an
entire day of searching for bass out of the high winds and often it can
be a cold, cloudy day. Tournament days on Mitchell lake go even faster
and before you know it your fishing day is at an end usually around 3
p.m. So making the best of your day, being in the right place at the
right time and making the correct fish catching decision is very
important to your fish catching success.
Most of these online fishing reports consist of, (for instance) Well, we
went out this week on Lake-What-a-Hog and we were fishing some "big bass
lures" in such and such water depths and we just literally slayed em' on
what just happens to be my favorite sponsors lures and ironically their
best selling colors! Of course you have got to have the new $1000.00
rods I use and the new, one and only $1000.00 reel as well. These are
made by my sponsors too!
And that's OK. But it does you no good.
Conditions change daily. That gets us back to the weather, fishing
locations and most importantly whether your fishing on a week day or a
weekend on Mitchell lake. So here's one likely location you can explore
all throughout this winter season on Mitchell Lake; Mitchell Lakes
Headwaters. When being in the right place, at the right time, fishing
the right lures during the right conditions...is what it takes to fool
Mitchell Lake's bass.
Mitchell Lakes Headwaters
Low water. That is not good for any angler, whether or not an angler is
in a shallow draft aluminum boat or when one is navigating a shiny, new
$50,000 bass boat. Extreme caution must be used in these Mitchell lake
headwaters, which is situated just below upper reservoir, Lay Lake dam.
During low water (wintertime pool levels), these rocks are just under
the waters surface. Boulders that are normally just a few feet under the
waters surface are reasonably safe to idle your boat around, that is
when the lake is at full pool.
But with Mitchell lake now down anywhere from 2-3 feet, a lot of these
previously submerged rocks and boulders are now either protruding above
the waters surface near the dam, or some rocks are now dangerously
hidden just inches under the waters surface. Just waiting for some
unfortunate angler to bang a boat into, causing boat damage, motor
damage or worst yet putting lives at stake. So having said that, if you
have ever fished Mitchell lakes headwaters then you know about idling
down your boat at the last island, right before seeing the dam.
Gilchrist Island (Airport island) sits right below a bridge in Mitchell
lakes headwaters. You will see Lay Lake dam about a half mile ahead. As
for you experienced anglers (a reminder), or for anglers new to
navigating their boats in Mitchell Lakes headwaters, this means running
the boat up the left side of this island as usual. Upon seeing the
bridge slow down to an idle and stay close to the left side of the lake,
close to the middle of the bridge, but away from the long, upper
Airplane island point, it runs way out towards the bridge pilings.
Just above this bridge, using the trolling motor is suggested, as you
near the main lake point obviously sticking out on your left, just below
the mouth of Yellowleaf creek. From here to the dam (excluding the dam
discharge area and a few deep holes), the water is only 1-3 feet deep.
The current can be swift at times in these lake headwaters, so bringing
an anchor is highly suggested. There are very few places where an angler
can escape the current and the batteries on most of today's boats, no
matter how new they are, could be drained by mid day, especially if the
current is evident all day.
Anchoring down the boat does have its good points and its drawbacks.
Anchoring down a tournament boat with the trolling motor in the "stowed
position" is a good way to claim a spot. Most tournament rules specify
an angler can claim a spot when fishing in this manner. It is common
courtesy for other tournament anglers to stay at least 50 yards away or
anchor down and claim their own spot! Some anglers may not like it, but
as they say, "that's the rules." I always carry an anchor and a long 50
foot rope for anchoring down. You never know when you are going to need
Besides anchoring down your boat in these swift, lake headwaters
claiming a spot during bass tournaments, there are other advantages to
having an anchor. For one, it does make you thoroughly fish a spot, not
getting off course when trolling all around in the current and
concentrating on your lure presentation. It also keeps the boat
stationary and you can easily cast upstream bringing your lures with the
current in the right manner, while not having to deal with the wind,
current and trolling motor.
All fish face into the current, they are looking for an easy to catch
meal in these current laden, Mitchell Lake headwaters. Usually these
meals are washed their way as they stay hidden down below in ambush
spots just out of the current. Minnows, shad of all sizes, bream,
crayfish, worms, fresh water eels and other prey all live in these lake
headwaters. They are all susceptible to being ate by Mitchell Lakes
predator fish such as spotted bass, largemouth bass, white bass and
striped bass. So your lures should simulate these prey in shape, size,
color and even lure action.
The disadvantages of anchoring down the boat is hanging up lures fished
on or near bottom. Hanging up costly lures means either breaking them
off or pulling up the anchor and having to go after them. Remember time
is money in bass tournaments. Doing this 5 - 6 times alone means at
least 30 minutes of your tournament day is gone wasted on retrieving
hung lures, instead of enticing bass to bite. So beforehand, whether
your in a bass tournament or just plain fishing discuss hanging up your
lures with your partner to avoid this problem to start with.
Lures that will not hang up can be many when fishing in 1-3 feet of
water. Although winter is not thought of as topwater lure season ask any
angler and most will exclaim they have seen schooling bass in these
Mitchell lake headwaters and most anglers have managed to fool a few
bass even in low 50 degree water temperatures. So always have two rods
rigged, one with a large topwater lure and another rod rigged with a
smaller topwater offering.
The same goes for your fishing partner, who may be experimenting with
various topwaters, different colors or even topwaters with qualities
such as prop-baits, cup-faced topwaters or walking type topwaters. You
can fish most topwaters with 14-20 pound test line in these lake
headwaters. Long rods and wide spooled reels allow for longer casts with
less frustration. Sharp hooks are a must, for many bass just slap at the
lure missing it, if it is not sporting very sharp or newly replaced
Another topwater lure or one that can be fished weightless is a soft
jerkbait. Line test of 10-14 pound test is suggested to get these
not-so-wind resistant weightless lures out there. Adding nails or
rattles to the center, head or tail of a soft jerkbait, will cause these
soft jerkbaits to slowly sink and allow for better casting distance with
more weight. Going to a bigger hook or fishing a thick-shanked hook,
also adds needed weight to soft jerkbaits.
You can also fish these lures with a sharp jerking motion keeping it on
or near the water's surface. Or you can dead stick them or allow them to
slowly sink while feeling for a strike. Other lures in this weightless
category are slowly sinking plastics like Gary Yamamoto's Senkos or
Zoom's trick worms. Even wacky rigging soft plastics fools bass that may
ignore all other lures and presentations in these oftentimes very
crowded lake headwaters.
To avoid hanging up in these lake headwaters calls for the use of many
other types of lures. Spinnerbaits will not hang as much if you pay
attention on every cast and choose your spinnerbait weights according to
the swiftness of the current. You can slow the spinnerbaits fall using
bigger blades, gaudy trailers, or heavier line. Long rods and heavy
17-20 pound test line are suggested.
Shallow running crankbaits, especially square billed crankbaits are
great for fooling bass, bass that other anglers fail to entice. Many
meals in these lake headwaters look like a crankbait. Keeping your rod
held high and giving a slight jerk when your crankbait careens off of a
rock can avoid hang-ups. Floating or suspending jerkbaits are also
weedless and really help avoid hang-ups while fishing in Mitchell lakes
1-3 foot of rocky, boulder-strewn lake head waters.
Rattletraps or other rattling, lipless lures can be fished fast to avoid
hang-ups or they can slowly be fished in a lift and drop fashion. Paying
attention to what your lures are doing is a big part of either hanging
up or learning to fish Mitchell lakes headwaters with less frustration.
If you are just casting out your lures and allowing them to sink to the
rocky bottom, then you can expect to hang up all day. If fishing lures
along the bottom and planning on anchoring down, start with cheaper
lures like small worms, lizards, grubs, shad imitations and crayfish
plastics rigged on jig heads. Breaking off these lures is less costly
and can be afforded by most anglers.
Planning a trip to Mitchell Lake this winter season? Always call on
Reeds Guide Service...first! "Over 30 years exploring, tournament
fishing and guiding on Mitchell Lake and other Alabama Lakes" Several
guides available, year round, for multiple parties and corporate guided
trips. Discounts available. Tournament anglers welcome!
Fall Bass Fishing on Mitchell Lake
Mitchell Lake, the fifth man made impoundment in a series of six Coosa
River Lakes found running from north to south Alabama, can be deceiving.
It looks like a big lake when first encountered, but actually Mitchell
Lake is less than 20 miles in length, from Lay Lake dam at its
headwaters to the lower end of the lake at Mitchell Lake dam.
Again, in fishing terms -- looks can be deceiving. Although Mitchell
Lake, is a rather small lake (especially if compared to other Alabama
Impoundment's, it is still a great lake to explore as waters cool during
the fall to early winter period.
Mitchell Lakes Headwaters
Whether an angler targets spotted bass, largemouth bass or even those
ever moving striped bass, its a sure bet within a day's fishing in the
headwaters of Mitchell Lake, his quarry will be found. Often fooling all
three bass species in one day (including a trophy bass or two within
each species), is very possible during the entire fall season and often
this action lasts on into the early winter period.
From Mitchell Lakes headwaters, to the far back ends of its major feeder
creeks, there are some very catch able bass just waiting to be had on
any day during the fall season. These cool weather bass can be fooled on
a variety of lures all fished from top to bottom this fall season.
Just like when fishing other portions of the lake, being in the right
place at the right time or during the right circumstances...is when an
angler catches fish. Not when running all over the lake, burning a lot
of gas, with nothing in the means of fish to show for the days fishing
can often be the results. Its simply called, staying put.
Here in these Mitchell Lake headwaters timing is everything. Calling the
Alabama Power Lake level info and water generation number at
1-800-lakes-11 is suggested, if you plan on fishing the lakes headwaters
just below Lay Lake dam during the most productive times. Its no secret
by those anglers that frequently fish below these Alabama Lake dams,
these lake headwaters are seldom very productive if the water is not
Here an angler can really mop up on numbers of spotted bass species
during the fall period. There are a lot of 1-2 pound size smaller
schooling spotted bass, often seen erupting on the waters surface. But
don't be fooled. During each fall and winter season some of the year's
biggest trophy sized spotted bass are taken, that is by the angler
fortunate enough to land one of these true, tackle testing bass.
Largemouth bass are not usually associated with moving waters such as
what's seen below Lay Lake dam in Mitchell Lakes rocky headwaters during
the fall season. But they are here. Usually following a day or two of
heavy fall rains the current is increased from water being released at
Lay Lake dam. Big meals are then washed through the dam, such as
minnows, crayfish, catfish, crappie, bream or oversized baitfish, such
as the now bigger end of the year threadfin shad and gizzard shad.
These crayfish and baitfish that survive the swift dam discharge waters
or those prey that are just living below these dams in Mitchell Lakes
headwaters are susceptible to becoming the days next meal. They can be
found holding in eddy areas away from the swift main lake current. The
largemouth bass seem to know the best places to lay in wait.
Rocks, boulders, islands, main lake points and rock bluff banks make up
the lakes upper mile of current swept headwaters. Some aquatic weeds are
here, but only if the lake is at full pool. All are homes to some trophy
sized spotted bass and some big, largemouth bass. Even a striped bass
can be fooled once in a while in these lake headwaters.
But what about those other bass in other parts of the lake?
Mitchell Lake's Mid Section and Lower Lake
Mitchell Lakes mid section and lower lake consists mostly of places
anglers fish main lake waters this fall season. (More on fishing its two
major feeder Creeks Hatchet Creek and Weoguftka Creek next.) Leaving the
lakes headwaters and heading south down stream, anglers will immediately
notice several main lake islands.
One island found immediately (about one mile), below Lay Lake dam is a
flat and long island. It is dubbed, "Airplane Island" due to its mid
island section featuring an airplane landing strip. Other islands
feature towering rock bluffs so far above the lakes water line and so
tall, very few boaters have ever even parked the boat and explored them.
Bass gather around these islands, places that can block the swift main
lake waters found here in the fall.
From here on down the lake to the public boat launch (Mitchell Lakes
Higgins Ferry boat launch), are rock bluffs, main lake points, timber
and stump filled small cuts and pockets and loads of aquatic weeds that
line the banks, places to explore that hold all species of bass this
Anglers can target Mitchell Lakes weeds by probing deep within the weeds
with jig combos and Texas rigged worms or they can fish topwaters and
spinnerbaits all among the weeds. Topwater lures such as buzzbaits,
frogs and rats and even spinnerbaits are proven favorites for fall's
largemouth bass found in and around these weeds.
Mitchell Lakes major Feeders / Hatchet Creek and Weoguftka Creeks
Besides main lake waters and the lakes headwaters there are always
plenty of fish to catch in the lakes major feeder creeks. Across the
lake and downstream about one mile from Higgins Ferry State public boat
launch is the junction of these two major feeder creeks. Here these two
creeks join the main lake waters with water depths of over 50 feet found
around the main lake island nearby.
Leaving this junction and heading up in Hatchet Creek you will notice
the huge amount of visible cover such as the constant weed lined banks
and wood cover found all within the weeds. Anglers that like to flip and
pitch lures like jig combos, tube baits, worms and lizards of all sizes
while getting the boat in close to fish thick and matted weeds, are
right at home here.
Deep diving crankbaits, floating and suspending jerkbaits and rattling
lipless crankbaits like Bill Lewis Rattletraps, Rapala's Rattlin' Raps
and Cordell's Rattling Spots are all especially good reaction strike
lures when cast all around the sides and ends of laydown trees and along
both sides of main lake points.
About one mile traveling up in Hatchet Creek on your right is actually a
small feeder creek. Its called Pennemotly Creek. Good for harboring
schools of baitfish in the fall and also good for feeding bass all
throughout the fall season. This section may call for the use of lighter
line and the use of smaller lures due to clear water clarity.
As you travel up in Hatchet creek you will see a small weed lined pocket
loaded with fallen trees, brush and laying logs with an island very
close to the weedy bank. This is a good spot (normally considered to be
a community hole), no matter how many anglers you see fish it. It is
very close to a deep water junction where Hatchet Creek and Weoguftka
Creek join. It is also very susceptible to high winds and baitfish that
are usually on its wind blown banks following windy days.
From this creek junction far up in both creeks the water gets shallow
the further you travel up in each feeder creek. It can get dangerous for
navigating. If the lake is low even more so. Use extreme caution and
study your map before navigating unknown waters on Mitchell Lake this
Planning a trip to Mitchell Lake this fall or winter season? Always call
on Reeds Guide Service...first!
" Over 40 years fishing, exploring and guiding on this and other Alabama
Lakes." Remember, a guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide Service (205)
787-5133 makes a great gift for Birthdays, Father's Day or Christmas!
(certificates available). For those loved ones that love to fish!
Summer on Mitchell Lake
Its one of Alabama's most popular lakes for night fishing. This
small impoundment on the lower Coosa River, also shows many reasons not
to give up on the bass of daytime either. The lakes headwaters, displays
one of the most varied fisheries on the Coosa River. Here are a few
choices for targeting these Mitchell Lake bass, during the hot days of
Easily accessible, the dam tailrace waters of upper Lay Lake Dam, can
produce phenomenal catches of spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped
bass, white bass and hybrid striped bass, during the summer months.
Fooling these fish can be done with only one type of lure. Or the
versatile angler can have a dozen lures for offering these fish a
variety of choices. Early light, late evenings and on rare, cloudy days,
these fish will school on baitfish, busting them frantically on the
This action calls for topwater lures. Some of the bigger fish will hit
oversized lures. Smaller species may have to be enticed with smaller
poppers, prop baits and walking type lures. If they won't come up, then
you may have to probe deeper.
This can be on bottom with spoons and tail spinners. Or you can target
the mid water column with inline spinners, crankbaits, jerkbaits or
rattletraps. Grubs, shad imitations and tube baits, are also good lures,
when bounced along the lakes bottom, as you drift in the swift current
found below Lay Dam.
These Mitchell Lake headwaters also feature rock bluffs, many tall
towering islands and small cuts and pockets, lined with a variety of
aquatic weeds. All of these places are refuge for the bass and baitfish
seeking shelter from the swift dam discharge.
Along the bluffs, anglers must search out the spots with the least
amount of current. This can be right up against the bluff wall, or bass
can be hidden within small cracks in these bluffs. Often, huge schools
of bass can bunch up in one small spot, or they can found scattered
around boulders or broken off sections of rocky bank.
The fish can be suspended along the eddy areas, where swift current
meets the dead water. These rock bluffs also feature points and small
cuts or pockets within the bluff. Laydown trees, washed in debris, and
weedbeds, are a bonus. Bluffs with these features always deserve a few
cast's with lures that probe the entire water column.
The islands found scattered here in Mitchell Lakes headwaters, were
towering hillsides, when the river was impounded. Now, they are covered
with water on all sides and most hold bass year round.
The upper points of these islands, extrude out for some distance, many
hold bass facing the current, waiting on approaching meals. Some schools
of bass roam the slack water, found along the islands sides and lower
ends, for easy to catch baitfish and bottom dwelling crayfish.
Starting on the upper end of these islands and drifting the boat
backwards, gives the angler, in the back of the boat, first shot at all
the bank cover. But it is found to be much easier to maneuver the boat
when done in this manner, facing upstream and using the boats trolling
motor to position the boat. Precise cast's must be employed, for lure
hang-ups require several minutes in the swift current, to retrieve your
The small, weed lined pockets found on Mitchell Lake have given up some
big largemouth's and nice spotted bass. The largemouth's can be found
while probing deep within the weeds, with heavy worms, lizards, crayfish
imitations, tube baits, shad imitations and jig combos.
Spotted bass are usually found cruising the weed edges or they can hold
along desired cover choices, attacking baitfish that are washed in. The
upper and lower points leading in to these cuts and pockets, always
deserve many cast's, with a variety of lures, from many angles, fished
from top to bottom. Even returning later to these places, several times
during the day, will eventually show an angler places that may not have
even produced a bite earlier.
Try the current induced actions of Mitchell Lake's spotted bass, striped
bass and some hefty sized largemouth's, this summer. Shady banks, eddy
areas, and an abundance of baitfish, found in these lake headwaters,
pockets, islands and rock bluffs, are all great choices to begin your
search this summer. Often, for bass that can cooperate all throughout
the season, on into the Fall.
Thanks and Good Fishin'!By Reed Montgomery
Reeds Guide Service
Call: Reed Montgomery - (205) 787-5133
Lake Reed Montgomery
BassBum Angler of the Year
Alabama Discussion Board!
Jordan Lake Summer Fishing Ti[ps
By Reed Montgomery
Winter on Jordan Lake
After fishing Jordan Lake (the last of six man made
impoundments on the Coosa River System), for over 30 years, I can
still say, "an angler has as good of a chance at hooking into a
trophy sized spotted bass here on this 18 mile long lake, as when
fishing any other lake in Alabama. Landing one of these trophy sized
Coosa River breed of spotted bass is another obstacle anglers just
have to overcome, for all of Jordan Lakes trophy sized bass will
give up a fight to the finish. Sometimes they win.
Even Alabama's Smith Lake, that has given up
several spotted bass world record "spots" can't compare. One reason
being, they are easier to fool into biting on Jordan Lake. These
Coosa River breed of spotted bass do not have to go as deep as Smith
Lake bass, to locate food or preferred depths, with most of Jordan
Lake's spotted bass known to inhibit water depths less than 30 feet
deep. Although some really big, spotted bass have been taken in
deeper water on Jordan lakes lower end with 50 foot depths more
Even Jordan Lakes headwaters, situated in a deep,
rocky boulder-strewn valley, only shows water depths of 10-20 feet.
When near the Lakes headwaters you may see deep holes or old, deeper
original Coosa River Channel drops, about 2 miles downstream of
upper reservoir, Mitchell Lake dam.
So why do I keep telling anglers year after year,
season after season, and week after week on guided trips that Jordan
Lake is the place to be when searching for these really big, Trophy
sized Coosa River spotted bass? Because I've been there and done
that. I've seen hundreds of spotted bass exceeding 5 pounds, many of
which were weighed in all kinds of bass tournaments all throughout
this 6 Lakes / Coosa River System. That's over 25 years of
tournament fishing, 30 years of guiding on this lake and other
Alabama Lakes and still, from just exploring Jordan lake in every
season, I can still say its the best. My personal best is a 6 pound
spotted bass. But I've netted 4 between 6- 7 pounds and seen 8
Trophy Spotted Bass
"A trophy spotted bass is as big as the picture took
with an angler's eye (that fooled it into biting) and stored in his
Like a good pair of eyes, when you land one of these
trophy bass, the memory will stay with you for a lifetime. Its a
very hard fighting bass. Spotted bass not only hit your lure with a
vengeance, but as you bring a hooked spot to the boat the lunging
pulls it creates, one after another, are very distinct. If your
hooks are sharp and they hold its good. But hooks can be bent,
straightened out, broken, or easily shaken loose if not sharp
enough, or if an old hook displays a broken point or missing barb.
Its called paying attention to detail. Of which there are even more
details that require your attention as well.
Details such as the knot between you and these
tackle-testing bass. Another often easily broken obstacle for these
bass to overcome. Tie a good snug knot. Check it for line nicks
usually overlooked and found close to the knot or up the line. Any
weakness, like the short tagged end of the line, cannot be
overlooked. If it does not look right cut and retie. At times even a
sharp spilt ring on today's lure can cut your monofilament line or a
bad ceramic eye in your rod.
One mistake, even professional bass tournament
anglers make, is not re-tying enough, which can be a costly mistake.
Knots are weakened from constant casting, retrieving hung lures from
snags, or your line or knot can get up against one of today's very
sharp treble hooks, damaging it as well. Knots can be weakened from
battling a small bass and a knot can really get stressed out real
fast, from battling a much bigger bass. Rocks, wood cover and even
some weeds, can damage your line. So re-tying any lure you use,
often, which only takes a minute, may aid you in landing that trophy
sized spotted bass this winter season. Rather than seeing it break
off, leaving you with the old tale of, "the one that got away."
Want to learn more about fishing for bass on Jordan
Lake this winter? Or learning to fish any Alabama Lake year round?
Always call on Reeds Guide Service...first!
"Jordan Lake's oldest, professional guide service,
fishing and guiding on this lake for over 30 years." Several boats
and professional guides available for multiple parties or corporate
guided trips, year round.
Remember, "A guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide
Service makes a great Christmas gift, Birthday surprise, Fathers day
gift or just any occasion, for those loved ones that love to fish."
Lake Level; Fluctuates (Call 1-800-lakes-11 / Normal full pool level
Fall Bass Fishing on Jordan Lake
There are many anglers that visit Alabama's Jordan Lake for the first
time, not knowing they have stumbled on one of Alabama's best Lakes for
targeting the Coosa River breed of spotted bass. There are some Alabama
anglers have fished Jordan Lake for years and many of these astute
anglers can say, they do know how to fool these spotted bass into
biting. But many anglers still lack the bragging rights of a true,
trophy seeking bass angler.
These hearty bass have made quite an impression on many anglers, some
that have the honor of experiencing their first fight with these
tenacious fighters. Just landing a 6-7 pound spotted bass is a feat and
an experience all within itself. These are true, trophy sized spotted
bass (those exceeding 5 pounds), a bass that any angler would be proud
of and talk about for years to come. That is, if they are fortunate
enough to get it in the boat!
Jordan Lake's so noted, Coosa River breed of spotted bass often draw all
the attention of these trophy bass anglers. Anxious anglers, that often
travel miles to this lake in their search for that bass of a lifetime.
But going blind as they say, often has its downfalls especially when
visiting a lake for the first time. There are only so many hours in a
days fishing and without any prior knowledge of the bass species you are
seeking...its often ends with failure.
So heres some fishing tips, places to target and suggestions for you
first timers to Jordan Lake, or for you anglers that are just plain
stumped after fishing Jordan Lake for years. There are certain lures,
lure colors, lure sizes and even lure actions that help narrow your
search. Applying certain fishing techniques and mapping out several
places to target, when searching for these ever roaming schools of
spotted bass this fall season, is next in this recipe for success.
Lures and locations
Ask most anglers and this is all they need to know. What lure are
they hitting? Where do I need to go to find the fish? As a fishing
guide, when coming off the lake or when at home, I hear these two
questions more than all others. Why? Well, these are the basics of all
bass fishing. If an angler is fishing the right lure in the right place,
he will catch fish!
But equally important is knowing the right depth to be fishing, locating
the places with the correct water temperature, knowing the current
situation, the weather conditions and many other variables are important
as well. So to eliminate fishing useless water put all of these
variables together including the right lure and the right place, and you
will be headed in the right direction.
Jordan Lake's Headwaters
What lure? Where do I go?
This is the place to find some of Jordan Lakes really big spotted
bass. This fall season and on into the early winter period is the time
of the year many anglers find is the best time to be fishing the lakes
headwaters. The lakes headwaters feature a rocky, boulder strewn terrain
with rock bluffs eventually dropping into deep water, perfect habitat
for spotted bass.
These Jordan Lake headwaters feature plenty of current coming off of
upper Mitchell Lake dam, plenty of oxygen and plenty of prey these
spotted bass eat, like baitfish and crayfish. So, your lures should
mimic these meals and anglers should be very select when it comes to
choosing lure colors, lure size and the action of each lure. Of course
with today's wide array of fake offerings and hundreds of tempting
morsels in all shapes, actions, colors and sizes to choose from, it can
Keep it simple. Start with the basics, like lure choice. This usually
boils down to each anglers preference more than that of the bass. But in
order to be an excellent angler in all aspects of fishing you have to
adjust. That is, if you want to be successful at even fooling these
often very picky spotted bass into biting your lures.
Lure selection, when fishing Jordan Lakes headwaters during the fall and
early winter season, always involves another aspect many anglers
overlook. Water Clarity. Clear water can mean downsizing your lures or
it can call for the opposite, going to the extreme and fishing oversized
lures like big, gaudy looking topwater lures, or big spinnerbaits,
oversized deep diving crankbaits or other oversized off the wall lures.
Small, would mean having to choose from a wide selection of lures. Far
to many choices. So like said, keep it simple. Small worms or lizards
rigged on jig heads for instance are excellent lure choices when fished
on light tackle outfits. Most anglers opt for this selection when faced
with a very clear water situation or during tough fishing conditions,
like fishing after a cold front.
Colors can vary. Watermelon / black flake has sold more colors in small
worms since this jig head rage began a few years ago. Pumpkinseed is
also a good color choice in clear water. Cotton Candy
and Root Beer are also good lure colors. But what if an angler is faced
with swift, stained to muddy water conditions? Will finesse fishing be
as productive? Maybe, but not as likely in these lake headwaters, not as
good as other lure choices could be.
Although finesse fishing with small lures is often productive in off
colored water or just fishing with a plain old Texas rigged worm
(whatever happened to purple fire tail and motor oil chartreuse tailed
worms?) on Jordan Lake, there are other lures that display fish
attracting qualities that work better in stained to muddy water
Like spinnerbaits with big blades and bright colors. Or buzzbaits that
make lots of noise and attract bass from far away in stained water.
Chartreuse or chartreuse and white is the best colors for either of
these lures in stained to muddy water conditions. Keep in mind these
bass eat lots of baitfish in these lake headwaters and shad colored
lures are good choices. But so are bream colored lures, minnow type
lures and lure colors or shapes (like jerkbaits), or even crayfish
Crayfish are high on the fall menu for these spotted bass. Within all
the rocks, boulders, rip-rap rocks and rock bluffs in these lake
headwaters are crayfish of all colors and sizes. Brown, green, black,
blue and lighter colored lures work very well in these lake headwaters.
Always include a bit of red or orange (like on the belly of crankbaits
and rattle traps) on crayfish imitating lures. Size matters too.
Small crayfish are often consumed, for their size and the fact that they
are easier for these spotted bass to catch, much easier than bigger
crayfish. Spotted bass do have small mouths. Small plastic crayfish
rigged on a jig head, Texas rigged, Carolina rigged or even drop shot
rigged works very well. Or try jig combos, like a jig with pork trailer
or soft plastic chunk trailer, or add a twin tailed grub or plastic
crayfish to the back of a jig, to maybe fool some Jordan Lake trophy
size spotted bass this fall and early winter season.
Other lures for fall
Other lures to try in these lake headwaters? Jigging spoons in sizes of
1/4 ounce to half ounce are great lures to try on 14-17 pound test line,
in the fall season and when waters cool in the winter. Bring plenty of
spoons for they do hang up and you will lose some in these rocky
bottomed lake headwaters.
Crankbaits are good lure choices when fishing the banks of Jordan Lake
in these headwaters or when fishing open water away from places out of
the swift current like points, flats and other eddy areas. Be sure to
use 10-15 pound test line and sharpen or replace all hooks on your
crankbaits. Rig three rods with shallow divers, mid runners and deep
diving crankbaits to determine the days preference on crankbait depths.
Floating or suspending jerkbaits are excellent lures although not very
many anglers even try these lures. They do work you, while working them
in a days time, with a constant stop and go action achieved while
applying a jerking and pausing type method. Which is needed to generate
instinct strikes from these lure conscience bass in these lake
Topwater lures may at their best during the fall season and even better
during the early winter period.
But is bigger better? Like said, spotted bass do have small mouths, but
so do their cousins the smallmouth bass and both bass species have been
known to hit oversized topwater lures. Ask any angler that has done
battle with either of these bass species and I'm sure they can relate.
So simply rig two or three rods. One with a big topwater lure like a
zara spook and the other with a smaller offering like a baby torpedo
(prop bait), or a popping type topwater like a pop-r. Keep the bigger
topwater lure hanging off the rod tip and always laying at your feet for
the fast and furious action of schooling bass, they often erupt in these
lake headwaters during the fall. Big topwater lures are great lures for
getting distance with your casts.
The list goes on. There are many, many lure choices today and it can
boggle the mind when stocking up your tackle box for the trip of a
lifetime, so bring plenty. Especially if you plan on probing the lakes
bottom with bottom grabbing lures.
Worms come in all sizes. So do lizards and other creatures these bass
feed on. Tube baits simulate baitfish and crayfish so bring plenty of
colors and sizes as well. Creature baits have several trailing legs,
arms or appendages and they are good lures in stained water conditions.
Fish Jordan Lake this fall season and discover the Coosa River Spotted
bass action to be found in these lake headwaters. But also explore the
lakes wood cover and weedbeds for some big largemouth bass exists here
as well. Or call on Reeds Guide Service...first! (205) 787-5133 "Fishing
and guiding on Jordan Lake and other Alabama Lakes for over 40 years."
Remember, a guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide Service also makes a
great gift for Birthdays, Father's day or for Christmas (certificates
available), for those loved ones that love to fish.
Summer on Jordan Lake
Its hot and getting hotter. No, I'm not talking about
the weather this time. I'm referring to the spotted bass fishing on
Jordan Lake. Each year, this lake, now near 75 years old, gets better
The Lakes headwaters get all the notoriety for the spotted action found
here throughout the summer months. Below Mitchell Lake dam, the spots,
as most anglers call them, are right at home in this perfect, spotted
First of all they have current. Spotted bass love current. They also
have boulder strewn banks, rocky bluffs and rocky points and even some
washed out holes and ledges on the lakes bottom. All "spots" love these
Baitfish, washed through the dam discharge, keeps em' coming back for
more and many huge spotted bass just spend their lives within a few
miles of the dam. Spotted bass, weighing up to 8 pounds (or more) have
been taken here, by the angler fortunate enough to land them. Spots, in
the 4-5 pound range, are common in these Jordan Lake headwaters and some
anglers catch a 5 bass, 20 pound limit, on any summer outing here.
Fooling these bass, that have seen so many lure choices, would seem to
be difficult. But you never know, unless you throw. Choosing many types
of lures, in a days time, will eventually show them a lure, they have
not seen very much or a retrieve that triggers that reflex strike.
The old standby, the worm, has fooled many of the bigger spotted bass
species found here. Although these spotted bass have features such as a
small mouth, they can be gluttons when it comes to soft plastics. Many
anglers choose small 4-6 inch worms. But 7- 8 inch models, seem to
target the bigger bass.
This oversized lure choice also goes for crayfish or lizard imitations.
The bigger the offering, the bigger the bass. Around these rocks many
crayfish are consumed by the bass. Lures such as jigs, with pork or
plastic trailers, get the attention of bass feeding on these bottom
With all the evident baitfish found here in Jordan Lakes headwaters,
lures that resemble shad or bream are good choices. Spinnerbaits fool a
lot of these bass. Crankbaits, rattletraps and jerkbaits, are all
excellent for covering a lot of water fast and getting that reflex
strike from lure conscience bass.
Topwaters, such as zara spooks, baby torpedoes, spittin' image, pop-r's,
double prop baits and buzzbaits, always generate a few anxious bass
bites. Prepare for these bass. They are very strong and will test any
tackle or anglers patience. Many anglers leave Jordan Lake, with just
the tale of the one that got away.
You don't have to use light line and tackle, unless you want to. Line in
the 14-20 pound test category can be safely used, without breaking off
any trophy sized bass. Give it a try this summer and discover the
incredible spotted bass action on Jordan Lake.
These bass are conditioned to move about at any time to feed during
conditions that may arise during incoming cold fronts, or during rainy
cloudy periods, on sunny days and week long warming trends. Various
situations that involve moving water (current on the main lake from dam
discharge in some areas of the lake), shows that these bass in some
spots, are often biting better than in other places.
Varied conditions found lake wide can have a tremendous effect on the
habits of all Jordan Lake's bass. Conditions of many kinds take place
during winter and each condition affects all bass and the meals they
feed on, especially when its comes to them eating and putting on the
needed fat to make it through a harsh winter.
Jordan Lake is the last lake of six lakes situated on the Coosa River
System (that runs from north to south Alabama) and anything is possible
for this mid Alabama impoundment created in 1928. With water
temperatures currently in the low to mid 50's and air temps close to 60
degrees constantly warming the lakes creeks and backwaters, you can see
a difference 5-6 degrees water temps can make.
In various places throughout the lake, warming spots take place on every
sunny day this winter. Places such as main lake flats are bathed in an
all day sunshine and shielded from high winds. In addition, they are out
of the constant, main lake current. Also out of the current are small
cuts and pockets such as those found on main lake rock bluffs and the
dozens of weed lined, timber filled pockets.
Always keep in mind, evident current found on the lake (just look at
moving trot line jugs facing down river) will not heat up like the lakes
still backwaters that remain calm, still and constantly bathed in water
warming sunshine. Flats found in incoming feeder creeks, bathed in
sunshine all day, show that from mid day to late evenings the rising
water temperatures do have an effect on these bass.
Anglers may get plenty of bites from bass that become more active when
water temps rise 4-5 degrees in a days time. So always return to places
such as this (places you may not get a bite in during a cold morning
prior to a warm sunny day) for active feeding fish. Just the opposite
can occur in these areas when it is colder a few degrees. You may get a
few bites early, but often no bites during very cold, cloudy days when
water temperatures do not rise significantly.
LURES AND TECHNIQUES FOR JORDAN LAKE'S BASS
Lures and the many ways to fish them can involve many choices during
both cold front situations and warming trends during winter on Jordan
Lake. Most anglers associate this "January and February winter fishing"
with a slow, bottom dragging process utilizing various types of lures
such as grubs, small worms, lizards and crayfish imitations, jig combos,
tube baits, creature baits and finesse lures fished on small jig heads,
Conditions always dictate the use of many different types of lures, lure
colors, lure sizes, lure actions and the various ways to fish all of
them. Traditionally, most anglers fish slow and think slow during late
winter. This is when the winter season slowly winds down and eventually
March will bring in prespawn conditions and schools of bass move
But often in this mid Alabama Lake during the January to February
period, the bass will chase down a crankbait, nail a rattletrap or
suspending jerkbait, or hit spinnerbaits with a rod jarring strike, even
on a cold, winter day. They will even hit a topwater lure, when very
active bass are affected by various conditions and at times even a cold
front can turn them on!
So "Look" at the conditions prior to your trip and see what's taking
place during your planned trip to Jordan Lake. These conditions dictate
lure choice. If its been raining for a week this lake can get a lot of
rain run-off. There five lakes above Jordan Lake and it all comes done
the Coosa River to this last of six lakes.
Spinnerbaits can be lures you throw all day when stained water and
swifter current following heavy rains can swell the lake and create
conditions where bass cannot see as well. This is when flash, vibration
and lure colors come into the picture. Choosing spinnerbaits with gold
and silver blades creates flash and more vibration the bigger the
blades. Bright colors on the spinnerbaits head, skirt and trailers
create various colors.
Crankbaits, rattling lipless lures, and both floating and suspending
jerkbaits are all good lures on Jordan Lake during stained water
conditions. These lures with rattles and lots of wiggling lure action
help draw bass in for strikes in stained water conditions. Colors like
chartreuse, white, yellow, lime, red and orange can be seen better and
should be included on each lure. Conditions again, may show an angler
fishing clear water and fishing with more subtle colored lures and
natural lure colors
CURRENT, LAKE LEVELS AND WATER CLARITY
Current, Lake levels and water clarity play a huge role as well in your
daily fishing on Jordan Lake. Anglers can check on Jordan Lake's daily
lake levels (normal full pool level is 252.0) and dam discharge
schedules for 3 days by calling Alabama Power Company's toll free Lake
information center at 1-800-lakes-11.
Always check water generation schedules for both upper Mitchell Lake dam
and lower Jordan Lake's (2) dams. Write these water generation scheduled
times down and tailor your fishing to each situation created by this
current moving through the lake and its tributary creeks.
The current released by these dams affects both spotted bass and
largemouth bass during the winter months just like the rest of the year.
When they are feeding and water is evidently being generated there are
certain places you need to be fishing and evident, current related signs
to look for.
For example: If both dams are running all day bass will be tight to
cover on the main lake. If the upper lake (Mitchell Lake) dam is running
and the lower Jordan Lake dams are not running, then the lake fills up
and bass move into flooded waters. If lower dams are running and
Mitchell Lake dam is not, then the lakes water levels can fall, moving
bass away from the banks and shallow flats.
Dam discharge areas are dangerous so always wear life jackets and
outboard motor kill switches when fishing here or any where you fish!
Hypothermia kills, so be prepared and be aware throughout your day and
always play it safe! Dams are rocky and lures like grubs, small worms,
jigs and jigging spoons fool bass every day. But bring plenty of lures,
you will lose some in a days time in the swift current found below the
dam discharge area.
Bring warm clothes and spare clothing. Have dry fire starting material
(wood or paper) on board and a lighter. Always let loved ones at home
know where your at and when to expect you home. Cell phones can be life
savers. In winter, the life you save could just be your own!
By Reed Montgomery
Reeds Guide Service
Call: Reed Montgomery - (205) 787-5133
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Fishing Tips for Gunthersivill Lake
Information and Report 9-27-06
Fall on Demopolis Lake
I've had lots of phone calls and e-mails this year pertaining to info
needed for Demopolis Lake. Many anglers have qualified for an October
Bassmasters Tournament scheduled to be held here out of the City of
Demopolis this Fall season. Many of these professional bass anglers have
never fished Demopolis Lake (now over 52 years since impoundment) and
some will have no trouble figuring them out when their tournament takes
place. Many anglers are having trouble getting maps so heres help.
* MAPS * Carto Craft Maps in Birmingham, (205) 822-2103 or Toll free
Demopolis Lake - Really more like a river than a lake. The joining
of two major Alabama Rivers in 1954 backed up the waters of the
Tombigbee River and the Warrior River. Demopolis Lock and Dam was built
just a little over a mile below Demopolis City Boat launch, backing up
the waters of these two major Alabama Rivers and Demopolis Lake,
featuring over 10,000 surface acres of water was created.
Tombigbee River - Leaving Demopolis City launch and heading
upriver you will see a very evident looking Two River junction about one
mile north. At this Y junction the Tombigbee River goes to your left and
the Warrior River goes to your right. The Tombigbee River runs for 68
nautical miles, from Demopolis Lock and Dam to Gainesville Lock and Dam
upstream. It features many creeks, Cyprus filled backwaters, rock bluffs
and weedy swamps, including a barge navigated River. There was a barge
navigated canal dredged right through the nearby woods and this created
an area just above the Two Rivers junction called, Rattlesnake Bend.
There are also many places to explore in these 68 miles of Tombigbee
River waters, all filled with weeds, Cyprus Trees and other wood cover.
Just above where the two rivers junction is Taylor Lake Slough. In the
Rattlesnake Bend area are Mc Connico Creek, Birdeye Creek and Birdine
Slough. Up the Tombigbee River places worth trying this Fall season
would have to include, Logjam Slough, Spidle Lake Slough, Belmont
Landing Slough, Culpepper Slough, Foscue Creek and Lock and Dam Slough.
Warrior River - The Warrior River runs for 53 miles of twisting,
winding, barge navigated river heading North, from the city of Demopolis
to Warrior River Lock and Dam, just below the city of Tuscaloosa in mid
Alabama. Leaving the two river junctions and heading to your right up
the Warrior River (right before you go under the Hwy. 43 bridge), on
your left is Dobbs Swamp, full of weeds and wood cover. Runaway Branch
that features weedy banks, standing timber, stumps, fallen trees, Cyprus
trees and resident built piers, is closest to the Hwy 43 bridge on your
left. Just past the Hwy. 43 bridge heading up the Warrior River, is a
small spot on your left called, Kelly's Slough. Hidden like many
backwaters on Demopolis Lake.
There are many unnamed swamps and backwaters, some with mouths so small
the boat is touching weeds on both sides as you enter. But keep in mind
most of these backwaters have water 5-10 feet deep during full pool and
resident bass. French Creek is an all day exploration if you really
wanted to fish the entire Creek. It is on your right just after you pass
Citadel Cement Plant and Slough. Idling the boat is suggested in this
winding creek channel flat loaded with stumps. Noted by its name,
Powerline Slough just above French Creek is evident. Backbone Creek a
weed and wood filled creek, is on your left, just above Powerline Slough
as you navigate north up the Warrior River.
A few miles north of Backbone Creek is the Greene County Steam Plant,
evident by the tall smoke stacks and the straight, carved out canal
created for warm water discharge during winter (The water intake is
further upstream on this huge island). A few miles above The Greene
County Steam Plant discharge area is a very evident creek mouth. Big
Prairie Creek. It is so big it looks like another incoming river. But
looks can be deceiving. Shallow water flats (due to floods silting in
this creek) can make navigation hazardous. So use extreme caution after
you reach the piers and mid creek islands in Big Prairie Creek, about
one mile from the creek mouth junction. Idle the boat or troll from here
on into this huge creek, that goes for a few miles back in the scenic
Fishing Demopolis Lake - There are over 500 miles of shoreline to
explore on Demopolis Lake this Fall season. Backwaters feature weeds
that are now underwater due to their growth this past summer and due to
drought induced low water. The lake was down 3 feet this past summer and
aquatic weeds grew all along the banks, banks that are now covered with
water as the lake is back to full pool. So many of those weeds are now 3
feet under water. Cyprus trees have roots that grow as far as 10 feet
from the main tree trunk. Some Cyprus trees and their roots labeled
"knees" can be found in water from 1-5 feet deep.
These are excellent places to target this Fall season as cooling
backwaters attract the baitfish...and the bass are always nearby.
Shallow to deep diving crankbaits, floating and suspending jerkbaits and
rattletraps can all be fan cast around weeds, wood cover and creek
mouths, all the way to the far back ends of backwaters. Weedless lures
like frogs and rats are deadly in flooded weed situations. So are all
sizes of spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, floating worms, soft jerkbaits, lures
like inline spinners (snagless sallies) and the now famous, chatterbait.
Lures that can be manipulated to stay in one spot can draw strikes from
bass in flooded waters. Zara Spooks, Sammie's, Pop-R's, The Spittin'
Image, the baby torpedoe and other prop baits, are all great topwaters
for picky bass.
Flipping or pitching lures to the thick weeds or around Cyprus trees and
other wood cover is a big bass tactic on Demopolis Lake. Especially when
slowing down extremely may be needed in your presentation. Finesse
fishing, like on many lakes is a good tactic as well, utilizing small
plastic lures such as worms, lizards, crayfish imitations, grubs or shad
imitations. Fished Texas rigged or on a jig head, coupled with light
tackle outfits featuring 8-10 pound test monofilament line, during clear
to lightly stained water situations, these small lures can entice bass
to bite. This especially holds true while in highly pressured waters,
such as during a huge bass tournament featuring 200 boats.
Big Bass? Casting, flipping, pitching or swimming lures such as tube
baits in lengths of 6-8 inches, oversized 8-10 inch worms or Texas
rigged lizards, big, gaudy jig combos with oversized jig trailers like
plastic chunks, big crayfish or pork chunks, all get the "big bass bite"
when looking for that kicker bass, especially when fishing thick cover
and stained waters. These and other big bass lures aid anglers in
fooling these normally skittish bass into biting with tempting over
Other big bass lures for Demopolis this Fall season? To many to list,
but topwaters are always first on my list for tackling Demopolis big,
largemouth bass and spotted bass. One, the big three hooked, Zara Super
Spook (originally made by James Heddon as the Zara Spook) with internal
rattles, fished on 20 pound test monofilament line and strong 6 foot
rods, will always get the attention of Demopolis big largemouth bass.
Spotted bass like em' too!
Fished around main river wood, rock and weed cover, in creek mouths,
around mid creek Cyprus trees, creek points, small islands, weed lined
banks, stumps, laying trees, logs, brush and other wood cover, these
annoying walking spooks can be deadly. Especially in backwaters at dawn.
Rainy periods or real cloudy days can show all day topwater action
around weeds, rocky banks, Cyprus trees and other wood cover. Late
evenings are good too (after the pros are off the water)! with Spooks
(and noisy, clacker type buzzbaits as well). For more on fishing the
Zara Super Spook go to: www.fishingalabama.com and click on the cover
page link, "Everything you always wanted to know about fishing the Zara
Spook," by author, Reed Montgomery. Over 30 years experience fishing the
Not only are the creeks and backwaters of Demopolis Lake good this Fall
season but the creek mouths and the main river are good as well. Stumps,
laying trees, logjams in bends, wood cover, weed cover and rock bluffs
all adorn this Lake. Places where the noted spotted bass lurk, along
with largemouth bass that do not get pressured as much as creek and
Fish Demopolis Lake this Fall season and join the professional anglers
as both of you enjoy some of the year's best bass fishing on this lower
Alabama Lake. Or call on Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133 and see how
over 30 years of fishing Demopolis Lake (and other Alabama Lakes) will
help aid you in your ever elusive search for that trophy bass.
Keep in mind our lakes are crowded, but these waters belong to all
anglers. Respect other anglers and give them room to fish. Some are
fishing Demopolis Lake for the first time, competing for thousands of
dollars with lots at stake if they do not catch fish and get a check.
Lets give them a good impression of Alabama anglers!
Be safe and dress warm during these cold, Fall and Winter seasons and
always wear your life jacket and outboard kill switch...
The life you save could be your own!
By Reed Montgomery
Reeds Guide Service
Call: Reed Montgomery - (205) 787-5133
Guntersville Seasonal Reports have been moved to another page.
Wilson Impounded 1924/Wheeler/Pickwick Lakes
Alabama Discussion Board!
|Wilson Lake Report
has moved please click on the link and change your
bookmarks for the report
Spring on Pickwick Lake
One big difference anglers will immediately notice while fishing this
Lake this spring is the lake at low water pool. Pickwick Lake was down
4-5 feet as of the first week of March. It will be down throughout the
entire month of March. After the first week of April, the lake will
slowly be returned to full pool until next fall. Navigation is very
hazardous during this low water period, boaters should use extreme
caution when navigating Pickwick Lake in March.
Fishing, on the other hand is tremendous, as waters warm and smallmouth
bass and largemouth bass head for the shallows to spawn. As most anglers
will discover there is more to fishing Pickwick Lake than just fishing
the lakes headwaters below Wilson Lake dam, the rock bluffs and many
rock piles and islands anglers usually target in the lakes upper
There are plenty of creeks, flats and backwaters just down the lake that
will produce some of the lakes biggest bass during April and May this
spring. There are usually many ways to catch bass and most anglers will
discover some great places to fish, especially when the lake is returned
to full pool flooding the shallows again in April.
If they do their homework prior to the lake returning to full pool in
April, many anglers will be one step ahead of anglers that have not seen
this lake down. With water down as much as 6 feet during March anglers
scanning the high and dry shallows will be unknowingly logging it in
their memory banks for fishing in April and May. This is when loads of
male and female bass are found in water less than 5 feet deep. But as
the lake is returned to full pool, a second wave of bass will move even
further up in the lakes newly flooded shallows.
By April, Pickwick Lake takes on a new appearance. The lake is returned
to full pool and new growing aquatic weeds will be visible in the
shallows by the end of April. Around mid April, with a full moon nearby
most largemouth bass will head for the newly prepared beds made by the
smaller male bass, usually in water 1-4 feet deep.
Smallmouth bass traditionally bed earlier on Pickwick Lake than
largemouth bass and smallmouths usually bed in a little bit deeper water
than largemouth bass. But on occasions even smallmouth beds can be seen
in areas with good water clarity, in small pebble bottoms or sandy
bottom in 1-4 feet of water, and often right next to bedding largemouth
bass as well.
Targeting these bedding bass takes certain kinds of tackle, stealth and
lots of patience. Its all up to each individual angler. Does that angler
want to spend as much as an hour attempting to get maybe a 5 pound or
bigger bedding bass to bite? Or cast the shallows and hope to find a
school of bass not bedding at the same time?
May is when bass come off the beds on Pickwick Lake. They are hungry and
topwater lures can be the best choice for getting these bass to bite. By
the end of May most bass have bed on Pickwick Lake. Before they group up
and head back to deeper water this can be a great 2-3 week period for
lots of shallow water action, fishing with a number of different types
Give Pickwick Lake a try this spring and discover a few hidden holes of
your own. This is the best time for fooling both largemouth bass and
smallmouth bass in the shallows. Often some of the years biggest bass
are taken, that is by the angler fortunate enough to land these hearty
bass of Pickwick Lake.
If you need a guide for this Tennessee River system lake or any Alabama
Lake, always call on Reeds Guide Service...first! "Over 30 years of
fishing and guiding on all of Alabama's Lakes for bass and stripers."
See my website: www.fishingalabama.com for more info, fishing tips, lake
reports and links to other fishing websites for springtime bass fishing
* Please practice catch and release this spring on all Alabama Lakes
Please Read Reed's Article on Winter Fishing these
and Largemnouth on the Tennessee River Impoundments