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MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Much needed rain that fell last week should improve water conditions along the Tennessee River Reservoirs that stretch across North Alabama. And with better water conditions comes better fishing.

Many people are saying that Wheeler Lake is at full pool now, but because of the recent drought conditions you should be cautious and keep an eye on the depth finder. Driving full speed across the Decatur Flats can make for a dangerous situation.

Always wear a life jacket when crossing the Flats with your primary engine, even if you are traveling at a slow speed.

Wheeler Lake: Look for largemouth bass to be in shallow water with some females on the bed. The recent rainfall should make the water a little bit dingy, but that is normal for Wheeler. With that in mind, sight fishing might be somewhat difficult.

If working shallow water, be prepared to utilize several different techniques. A Texas-rigged plastic lizard or plastic worm, a tube bait or even a jig-and-pig combination should attract attention.

If you are working the bass beds, getting the male out of the way is important. If he sees an dangerous situation, like a salamander too close to the eggs, he will attack. As a matter of fact, you could even catch the male largemouth bass several times in just a matter of a few minutes. Placing the male bass temporarily in the livewell will solve this problem and give you a shot at the big female on the bed. Placing both the male and female back into the water near the bedding sight makes for good conservation.

A few good crappie catches have been coming out of Flint Creek recently where anglers are launching their boats just off U.S. 31 at the foot of Hartselle Mountain. Live minnows are the bait of choice when working shoreline structure.

The catfish bite is improving and as nighttime temperatures begin to warm, the cats will begin to feed aggressively after the sun goes down. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers and manufactured catfish baits all work well when placed on the bottom with a mild current present.

Wilson Lake: The largemouth bass bite should remain at a good level with the best catches occurring in shallow water. Baits resembling crawfish or salamanders are excellent choices to get largemouth bass to attack the bait.

Work the tailwaters of Wheeler Dam where there is a sharp change in the current when casting for catfish. Rooster livers and shad guts are good choices of bait.

Lake Guntersville: Many of the largemouth bass are in a post-spawn pattern so be sure to have plenty of tackle handy when hitting the water. Soft plastics, hard plastic jerkbaits and spinnerbaits are excellent items to have in your tackle bag.

A few decent catches of bluegill are coming from areas near Goose Pond in depths of 2 to 6 feet. Shoreline grassbeds that have a stump or other wood structure nearby are good places to cast redworms.

Pickwick Lake: No report available.

Paul Stackhouse

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