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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

As we get into the fall fishing season, area boat launches will start to fill up once again as fish become more active with cooler temperatures.

A lot of lakes, such as Smith Lake, have extremely low water levels, and boaters are going elsewhere to get on the water for a good time. When this happens, popular creeks such as Wheeler Lakeís Flint Creek with smaller driving channels start to fill up, creating a dangerous situation.

To solve the problem, be considerate of your neighbors and try to avoid anything that will make tempers flare.

Wheeler Lake: Anglers are catching a few excellent bags of largemouth bass early in the morning throwing topwater lures. The popular technique is to pitch plastic frogs or floating worms as far under tree overhangs as possible. Once you make a good cast, a slow but erratic retrieve entices big largemouth bass into striking. As always with topwater lures, wait until you feel the fish before setting the hook.

Catfishing is good at night when current is flowing around rock or concrete structure. Chicken livers and cutbait on the bottom offer the best chance for a good stringer.

Fishermen are catching some excellent stringers of bluegill early in the morning around large stumps bordering creek channels. If you catch one bream, expect to find a few more very close by. Live crickets are the bait of choice.

Wilson Lake: Early morning anglers are catching limits of smallmouth bass early in the morning around rock points when current is flowing. The sizes of the bronzebacks have not been very big, but even the smaller fish put up a good fight. Swimming grubs and crankbaits are two excellent choices of lures.

Look for hybrid stripe and a few stripers to be caught in areas where the tailrace water of Wheeler Dam turns into a current break. Spoons, live minnows and live shad have been getting good results.

Pickwick Lake: The smallmouth bass bite has been fair but sporadic. On cloudy mornings, consider throwing topwater lures such as Zara Spooks or Pop-rís over chunk-rock bottoms in sloughs just off the main river channel. The brown bass have been schooling at times where they are pushing shad out of deep water in the pockets before starting a feeding frenzy. If you get into a school, crankbaits and chrome-colored spoons should offer a chance to bow a rod fast.

White bass and hybrid stripe are schooling early in the morning around small tributary mouths and causeway bridges when current is flowing. If you locate a good current break or swirl, in-line spinners or lipless crankbaits could make for a super catch.

Lake Guntersville: During late afternoon, a few trophy-sized largemouth bass are feeding on crawfish around rock bluffs and gravel or chunk-rock bottoms. If you locate such a place with the proper structure, be prepared to throw a jig-and-pig combination and consider using medium/heavy tackle.

The bluegill bite is slow but still a few good catches are coming from boat docks and boathouses late in the day.

The best dock areas have structure such as Christmas trees that have been placed on the bottom.

Paul Stackhouse,
Daily Correspondent

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