News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

North Alabama Fishing Reports

As a severe heat wave continues across North Alabama, unfortunately the fishing hasnít gotten hot, too.

Many species of fish have crept into deep water in search of water temperatures that are not so unbearable.

However, during early morning, when the heat isnít as bad, some fish move into the shallows to feed.

Every angler who is going to fish this week should consider taking frequent breaks, sitting in shady areas and drinking plenty of water.

Wheeler Lake: Steep ledges, especially those bordering the main river channel in the Decatur area, are excellent places to work deep-diving crankbaits and jig-and-pig combinations.

If working crankbaits, get the lure down deep fast by cranking quickly.

Once the crankbait is at the preferred depth, start a yo-yo retrieve where you reel in a few turns and then stop. When you stop reeling, the lure will float toward the surface.

As the crankbait starts back up, be ready to set the hook as largemouth and smallmouth bass are going after lures. Using this technique, the rising lures will imitate injured baitfish.

White bass and hybrid stripe are schooling early in the morning around creek mouths when current is flowing. Look for the surface action and be prepared to throw a one-quarter ounce, chrome-colored, lipless crankbait.

When catching hybrids and white bass that are schooling, consider removing the treble hooks and replacing them with single hooks.

This makes removing the fish youíve hooked a lot easier. It doesnít mess up your chance at setting the hook as schooling hybrids battle each other for the bait.

In many cases, other hybrids or white bass will follow the hooked fish and try to remove the shad imitator from the mouth of the fish that is hooked. With this in mind, donít be surprised if you catch two fish at a time with a treble hook. It isnít unusual.

Wilson Lake: The catfish bite is still fair in the tailrace of Wheeler Dam.

Anglers are watching their sonar units for sharp variations of the lake bottom where they will drop rooster livers and cutbait.

Look for a few decent catches of hybrid stripe to come from anglers drifting live shad in the tailrace as well.

Lake Guntersville: Before dawn is still the time to start throwing topwater lures around floating grass beds. Remember, especially if you are throwing buzzbaits, donít set the hook immediately after the mini-explosion around your lure.

Your chances are much better of bringing in the bass if you wait to feel the fish before setting the hook.

Paul Stackhouse,
Daily Sports Correspondent

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