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MONDAY, JULY 9, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Many boaters are finding out the hard way that having an extra plug for their boat is something everybody should have.

Most of the time, it isnít until after the boat has been launched into the water that people realize they forgot to put the plug in at home. A couple of extra dollars paid now can save a boat worth thousands later.

Wheeler Lake: Anglers are catching a lot of dink largemouth bass around shoreline grass beds during early morning hours. While they arenít large, they can be a lot of fun to catch, especially if you have young anglers aboard. A Texas-rigged plastic worm or plastic lizard and buzzbaits can make for a great time.

If you can find a big willowfly hatch, chances are you are going to find a lot of bream feeding on them. Popping bugs and fly rods are the preferred technique by many, but live crickets on ultra-light-to-light tackle work just as well.

Look for white bass to be schooling around creek mouths early in the morning when current is flowing. Look for the surface action and be prepared to throw chrome-colored, lipless crankbaits.

Catfishing has been excellent at night when current is flowing. Chicken livers and cutbait on the bottom could make for an interesting night.

Wilson Lake: Anglers are catching white bass, hybrid stripe and stripers in the tailrace of Wheeler Dam. Drifting live shad and live minnows is a great technique to use that can bow a rod quick. Using this method, you can also expect to hook-up on a smallmouth bass or two and even a big drum.

Look for willowfly hatches to find bluegill feeding aggressively. If you canít find willowflies, throw small in-line spinners around rock bluffs or small sloughs that have a gravel bottom.

Look for largemouth bass to feed early in the morning around blowdowns or standing timber. Spinnertbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms are two excellent choices for lures to use.

Pickwick Lake: Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and hybrid stripe in the currents well below Wilson Dam. The best catches come from fishermen drifting live shad and live minnows in the swift water.

Look for largemouth bass to feed early in the morning and late in the afternoon around islands and shorelines that offer semi-submerged brushpiles and grass beds. Spinnerbaits on medium tackle are a good technique to consider.

Anglers still are catching white bass around rocky causeway bridges when current is flowing. Chrome-colored baits such as a lipless crankbait should attract attention immediately.

Lake Guntersville: Topwater buzzbaits used around floating grass beds are catching plenty of largemouth bass weighing more than 6 pounds. When the grass is extra thick, some anglers are using one- or two-ounce weights to puncture the vegetation on sunny days to try and reach the bass hiding underneath.

Late afternoon is a good time to use live crickets and live redworms around boat docks and boathouses to catch a few bluegill resting in the shade. This is a good technique to consider if you can not find a willowfly hatch to your liking.

Paul Stackhouse

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