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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Now that warm temperatures have invaded North Alabama, winter techniques for catching fish are a thing of the past.

However, donít forget safety. Itís easy to do while boating on the river, because many parents allow their children to remove their life jacket for comfort during hot weather. Even though your child may be able to swim, the river is totally different from the neighborhood swimming pool. Do the right thing and make your children wear their life jacket — or purchase one that is more comfortable.

Wheeler Lake: Many species of fish are leaving their deep-water homes for the opportunity to feed and spawn in the shallows. With this in mind, working wood structure in shallow water when casting for largemouth bass can pay big dividends. Plastic worms, jig-and-pig combinations and spinnerbaits are attracting the attention of bass hiding in and around blowdowns.

If you are fishing for bass on a bright, sunny day, head for floating grass beds to find big fish hiding underneath the vegetation. Use a large bullet weight (1-ounce or better) and a flipping stick with strong monofilament or braided line. Using heavy-duty equipment allows the bait to penetrate the thick grass and pull fish out once you hook up. A jig-and-pig plastic craw is an excellent lure to use when casting in grass.

Look for the crappie bite to remain steady around rock structure that produces current breaks. There have been some good catches during the day, but the best stringers are coming after the sun goes down.

White bass are starting to school around creek mouths when current is flowing. Light tackle and a small, chrome-colored, lipless crankbait can make for a fun day.

Lake Guntersville: Catching big bass on Guntersville is becoming a common event. With all the grass that Guntersville has, fish can hide and feed. The vegetation also helps produce oxygen. Many of the pro bass anglers are rating Lake Guntersville as one of the five best places to fish for bass in the United States.

Bluegill catches are improving in sloughs and cuts close to creek channels. If you find a bank that has shade and a gravel bottom, itís a good bet the area is teaming with sunfish. Using light tackle, throw in-line spinners or small jigs for best results. If you have children fishing with you, switch to live redworms on a single, long-shanked hook.

Anglers are catching white bass, largemouth bass and catfish in areas around discharge pipes. Lipless crankbaits will attract the attention of gamefish, while you can use a single hook and strong line tipped with redworms or nightcrawlers to catch catfish.

Paul Stackhouse

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