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MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Anglers in small boats met high winds and large swells while operating on Wheeler Lake this past weekend. If the waves are big enough to cause concern, think strongly about going home and fishing on another day.

Wheeler Lake: Changing weather conditions have anglers frustrated while casting on Wheeler Reservoir. The cold temperatures and high winds will keep many species of fish close to thick structure where they seldom leave to feed.

With largemouth bass staying close to structure, it makes sense to cast in these areas. Blowdowns are an excellent location to throw a jig-and-pig combination.

One species that isnít affected much by the weather is white bass. This schooling fish will gather and force shad out of hiding in ditches and other deep areas and chase them onto flats where they will circle the prey and gorge themselves. Look for the surface action in the creeks and be prepared to throw a small, chrome-colored, lipless crankbait on light tackle.

While the weather is cold and blustery, this is a good time to get ready for bream fishing. It may not be right to get out the fly-fishing gear, but ultralight tackle should be cleaned and prepared as bluegill are already starting to bite is shallow water.

If you are on Wheeler during a bright, warm day with no clouds in the sky, head for areas that have rock bluffs bordering the banks. Once you get to such a location, look for small sloughs in the rocks and check to see if there is a gravel/sand bottom.

If there is a spot where shade covers the water or will develop later, that is the place to drop live redworms and small spinners. It wonít be long before youíre catching limits of bluegill and other sunfish.

Catches of catfish are fair with the best stringers coming from anglers using chicken livers for bait and casting near rock and concrete structure. The rock and concrete structure holds in the heat from the sun, keeping catfish close by.

Wilson Lake: Even with the changing weather patterns, a few decent catches of bluegill and white bass are coming from deep in the creeks around gravel beds and discharge pipes. Small spinners and live redworms are excellent choices to entice a strike.

Look for largemouth bass to be feeding around the back portions of coves, especially where there is thick structure or logjams. A Texas-rigged plastic worm and jig-and-pig combinations work well during the warmest portion of the day.

Lake Guntersville: Anglers have caught a few nice bags of largemouth bass by throwing jig-and-pig combinations around rock formations. When using these combos, donít downsize the offering. Largemouth bass want to get a meal as big as possible while using the smallest amount of energy.

Anglers still are catching catfish around discharge pipes during sunlight. Chicken livers and nightcrawlers work well as does manufactured stink baits.

Paul Stackhouse

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