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MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Report

Anglers and boaters who are not familiar with Wheeler Lake should take extreme caution when traveling this reservoir.

With low and fluctuating water levels, hard-to-see structure barely under the surface could ruin an outdoor trip and cause serious injuries. When traveling Wheeler and similar areas, have some type of communication handy (cell phone) and let someone on shore know your plans for the day.

Wheeler Lake: With water levels as low as they are, it is easy to find deep pockets that are holding fish. These deep pockets donít mean necessarily a ditch or similar structure, but they will have a sharp ledge and should not be more than 30 to 40 yards in length. Normally, when you find these pockets, there is some type of bottom structure, including rocks and old road beds.

With this in mind, especially if there is a rocky bottom, throw a jig-and-pig combination and experiment with the colors until you find one that works. If you catch a largemouth bass, especially a big fish, there probably are a bunch of smaller ones nearby.

Working ledges that are not that steep that creep up to stump flats can pay off if you are patient. Once again, throwing slow-baits such as a jig-and-pig combination works well if you find a concentration of fish. If the fish are short-striking, be patient and keep changing colors until you find one they strike aggressively.

Look for crappie to feed around causeway bridges when current is flowing. The crappie bite has been good during the day with the best stringers coming at night. Live minnows are the bait of choice.

Wilson Lake: Go deep into the creeks to find bluegill and other sunfish feeding. Look for an area that has shorelines covered in small gravel or small shells. Consider throwing a small in-line spinner on ultralight tackle to locate the fish and then switch to live redworms once you find a concentration of fish.

Anglers are catching a few largemouth bass around rock points on the backside of any current thatís flowing. If the backside leads to a small slough, throw Texas-rigged 7-inch plastic worms for best results.

Lake Guntersville: Jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits are still catching largemouth bass near and over submerged grass beds. If you are using jerkbaits, use a slow retrieve. Deadstick the bait if you have to.

If you are fishing on a cloudy day, look for largemouth bass to leave the floating grass beds they prefer when the sun is shining.

Throwing a lipless crankbait should attract attention quickly, and you can expect an aggressive bite.

Paul Stackhouse

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