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MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2007
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North Alabama Fishing Reports

The next couple of weeks will provide prime fishing times for North Alabama anglers, and with that comes a lot of excitement. Some anglers get so excited, they just canít wait to get on the water. They wind up leaving the house without some important equipment.

If you forget something, especially safety equipment, donít take to the water until you get what you need.

Anglers should make a checklist of items theyíll need. Include a cell phone, first-aid kit, life jackets, jumper cables and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Wheeler Lake: The topwater bite for largemouth bass is red hot. Anglers are catching a lot of largemouth bass even though the size isnít all that great. For the most part, they are glad to hook up with fish from 1 to 3 pounds.

Working topwater lures, such as a torpedo lure with spinners on both ends or something like a Zara Spook, can pay big dividends when used around points in 2 to 5 feet of water. After you have had your fill of catching the smaller-sized largemouth bass, think about dropping a big, Texas-rigged plastic worm around dropoffs in depths of more than 15 feet. Doing this may get you the trophy largemouth bass you want. The best bass catching time is early in the day.

On the upper end of Wheeler, fishermen are searching for schools of smallmouth bass and having quite a bit of luck — when theyíre patient. Take time to find the bronzebacks around rocky outcrops and points and start by throwing topwater lures. If topwater isnít working, consider using crankbaits, swimming grubs, spinnerbaits or even jig-and-pig combinations.

The crappie bite is improving, especially around Spring Creek, Limestone Creek and certain areas of the Decatur Flats. Anglers who are catching a lot of fish are drifting live minnows and small crappie jigs.

Wilson Lake: Anglers are catching plenty of smallmouth bass below Wheeler Dam when current is flowing. If there is current, drift live shad or live minnows and use at least medium or medium-heavy tackle. If you do not have live bait, spoons are catching some nice brown bass as well.

Catches of largemouth bass are improving in sloughs and small cuts just off the main river channel. Early in the morning, consider throwing spinnerbaits or Texas-rigged plastic worms around rock formations or logjams.

Pickwick Lake: If you have current flowing, take the children to rocky causeway bridges where there are plenty of current breaks. Then set up your tackle for white bass and a few hybrid stripe. Anglers drifting live minnows in the current swirls have caught a few nice crappie.

Working points and creek/ditch mouths with crankbaits and spinnerbaits have produced a few good bags of smallmouth bass.

Lake Guntersville: Largemouth bass are hitting topwater lures around islands that have plenty of submerged grass. Also, anglers are catching a few bragging-size largemouth bass by using jig-and-pig combinations around semi-submerged rock piles and steep banks loaded with large rocks.

The crappie bite is improving as anglers drifting small jigs over stump flats are filling up stringers in a hurry. When using small jigs, itís important to keep the boat moving to give the jigs a life-like appearance.

Paul Stackhouse,
Daily Sports Correspondent

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