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MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

The early and late fish-catching patterns are in full swing as anglers begin to avoid the hottest portion of the day for the next couple of months.

The best catches of fish are coming early in the morning and late in the afternoon when air temperatures are cooler than they are around noon.

If you plan on staying out during the hot portion of the day, be sure to use sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Also, wearing a hat and shoes may help keep you from a severe sunburn. The top part of ears and feet are notorious for getting blistered.

Wheeler Lake: Points with a moderate-to-steep ledge are good places to cast crankbaits early in the morning when trying to catch largemouth bass. Be sure to work both sides of the point and then work the top portion of the point as well, especially if it is covered with any type of structure, including grass.

Before leaving the point, consider casting a buzzbait and Zara Spook to see if any hawg bass had staged near the surface.

Bluegill catches are good around willowfly hatches and structured areas that produce plenty of shade. If you find willowflies, popping bugs and live crickets are popular choices for bait.

In shady areas such as rock bluffs and boathouses, small, in-line spinners, live crickets and live redworms should get positive results if bream are nearby.

Catfishing is good at night when current is flowing around bridge pilings, concrete structure and rock piles. Chicken livers, nightcrawlers and live shiner minnows on the bottom are excellent baits to use near current breaks.

Wilson Lake: Catching hybrid stripe and stripers in the currents below Wheeler Dam has many anglers drifting live shad or shiner minnows early in the morning. Catching large stripers in the current right now is a common occurrence.

Some anglers are having fun and staying cool by trolling in areas that have points, rock bluffs and other semi-submerged or submerged rock structure. Crankbaits are popular lures for trolling and many different species are being caught using this technique such as white bass, hybrid stripe, stripers, smallmouth bass, skipjack, largemouth bass and drum.

Several techniques are working for anglers seeking bluegill. Grassy areas around shorelines and islands are good places to drop live crickets and live redworms to see if any bream are in the area.

If you catch one fish rather swiftly, itís a good bet that others are nearby.

Pickwick Lake: Trolling has become popular with some late afternoon fishermen when temperatures are soaring in the upper 80s and 90s. Anglers have trolled crankbaits at different depths to see how far down the smallmouth bass are staging, especially on the back current portions of points and also in or near creek mouths. After catching a few of the bronzebacks, some anglers are returning to the areas where they caught the fish and casting with the use of the trolling motor instead of the big engine.

Anglers are catching catfish in the current below Wilson Dam. Using cut skipjack on the bottom is a good cat-catching bait to try.

Look for white bass to be schooling early in the morning and late in the afternoon around creek mouths and causeway bridges when current is flowing.

Drifting live minnows in the current with a float is a fun method for kids to use and if you wish to throw a lure, chrome-colored, lipless crankbaits are hard to beat.

Lake Guntersville: Look for floating grass beds near the main river channel during early morning hours and get ready. Anglers throwing topwater lures such as buzzbaits are catching bruisers over the 8-pound mark just about every day. Also, if you know of or find a large, submerged grass area, 10-inch plastic worms rigged Texas-style is a big bass catcher, also.

Paul Stackhouse

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