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MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

Since mid-day catches of fish are extremely slow, this portion of the day might be better suited for taking a nap or working on a project indoors in air conditioning. Thereís never a good place to get sick, but just being on the water and have a heat-related emergency could mean a lengthy delay in getting help.

The best catches are coming during early morning and late afternoon, which are the coolest and safest portions of the day.

Wheeler Lake: The largemouth bass bite is fair early in the morning near portions of the main river channel. If current isnít flowing, expect the bite to be extremely poor.

Without moving water, consider changing locations to a creek where catching largemouth bass on a jig or Texas-rigged plastic worm might be better than deeper water.

If working the main river channel for largemouth and smallmouth bass, use a deep-diving crankbait and crank it so that the bill or lip of the lure digs in the lake bottom leaving a trail of mud floating in the water. This kind of retrieve can create a reaction bite in a hurry.

Catching bluegill hasnít been easy lately, but still a few decent stringers are coming from anglers using live crickets or live red worms late in the afternoon around tree overhangs and rock bluffs or any other place that produces a large amount of shade.

White bass are schooling early in the morning around creek mouths when current is flowing. Have a one-quarter-ounce, chrome-colored, lipless crankbait ready on light tackle and look for the surface action before casting.

Wilson Lake: Catches of catfish are still good late in the day around the tailrace of Wheeler Dam. When current is flowing, look for a large hump or like structure on the bottom with your locator and use cut-bait or rooster livers on medium/heavy to heavy tackle.

Working the north shore one to two miles down from Wheeler Dam has produced a few decent catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass.

If you find a rock points, throw a swimming jig with a quick retrieve to catch the bronzebacks. In the slough behind the point is the place to throw Texas-rigged plastic lizards around wooden structure to catch largemouth bass.

Pickwick Lake: Catching smallmouth bass at night is fair to steady at times when current is flowing.

Several night techniques are being such as letting a hair-jig bounce from rock-to-rock near the shoreline or by bumping spinnerbaits and crankbaits off of the structure to produce a reaction strike.

Causeway bridges is still a great place to find current breaks where predator fish are hiding and waiting for bait to come by. One of the best techniques for fishing this way is to use live minnows under a float and let your offering swim back-and-forth in the current.

Lake Guntersville: Catching 6- to 9-pound largemouth bass is becoming common for anglers throwing buzzbaits and other topwater lures early in the morning. The secret is to be ready and on the water at least 30 minutes before the sun comes up. As the sun begins to rise, throw topwater lures around floating grass beds and hang on.

Look for bluegill to feed late in the day around boat docks and boathouses. Live crickets and live red worms are the baits of choice.

Paul Stackhouse

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