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MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

When anglers are catching crappie, itís a good bet that boat ramps in feeder creeks that lead to the Tennessee River will fill up fast. If the boat ramps are full, that means the creeks are going to be crowded with boats as well.

When approaching a sharp curve or turn, do everybody a favor and slow down. Most sharp turns in feeder creeks have limited visibility, which can be dangerous. As always, be sure to wear life jackets when using the boatís main engine.

Wheeler Lake: The overall crappie bite has been steady to good. One day you may be catching slab crappie, and the very next day in the same spots you may catch nothing. Unusually warm temperatures for this time of year and fluctuating water levels have fish confused. The only way to find out if the bite is good is to go fishing.

Live minnows placed close to large blowdowns are a good technique to use.

On certain days, anglers are catching crappie around causeway bridges when current is flowing. Dropping live minnows in the current at night can make for a big stringer of black and white crappie.

The largemouth bass bite has been good with no slowdown in sight. Like the crappie, bass are probably confused with the warm weather and changing water levels.

Working shoreline grass beds with a Texas-rigged plastic worm or plastic lizard is one method catching largemouth bass on Wheeler. Some anglers are easing out from the shoreline where they can throw lipless crankbaits in deeper water.

The favorite color when using lipless crankbaits appears to be red/craw.

Wilson Lake: Anglers are catching a few decent bags of largemouth bass in the morning when fishing grass clumps close to rock structure. The strikes havenít been very aggressive so be sure and set the hook if you receive a light tap on your line. Plastic worm and spinnerbait techniques are good when casting close to structure.

Many anglers are having a good time catching catfish during the day and night. Shad guts in depths beyond 18 feet have been catching catfish as well as rooster livers and live nightcrawlers. Look for submerged rock structure that can create a current break and mark the area so you donít lose your place.

Another catfish method is using manufactured stinkbaits around discharge pipes. If you find current from discharge pipes where the water is 10 feet deep or more, be sure to drop a bait down on the bottom using a tightline technique.

Lake Guntersville: Catches of largemouth bass appear to be improving every week. Guntersville is blessed with plenty of grass structure and anglers are taking advantage of it.

One method working for anglers is to drop a jig-and-pig combination directly into a bed of thick grass using a one-ounce sinker. Once the bait hits bottom, constantly twitch your rod tip and expect the bite to be soft. When working thick grass, using 20-pound test or stronger is a good idea.

Another grass technique is throwing lipless crankbaits over submerged vegetation. Expect the bite to be extremely aggressive and using a rod with a lot of backbone is important.

As with Wheeler Lake, red/craw is a great color to use when throwing lipless crankbaits.

Paul Stackhouse

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