Alabama is blessed with an abundance of lakes and rivers teeming with many different species of fish. It would be impossible to cover all of the bass lakes in the state since a majority of them are top notch. So, we have chosen some lakes around the state to offer a few tips for catching bass in the summertime.
Lake Eufaula to the south
In the southeastern part of the state, we find the famous Walter F. George Reservoir, better known as Lake Eufaula. Covering some 45,000-plus acres on the Chattahoochee River, the lake is home to largemouth and spotted bass. A 2008 sampling indicated the lake had a high bass recruitment and showed good numbers of 2-to 5-pound bass.
“If pulling water, the flow of the current will be a little stronger on the north end of the lake,” said Billy Darby of Ft. Gaines, Ga., a long-time guide on the lake. “The current will push the shad to the edge of the ledges, and the bass will be waiting to feed.”
Darby said there numerous ledges, humps, bars and ditches all over Lake Eufaula. On the south end toward the dam, ditches were dug out to extract a special clay dirt for the base of the dam. These can range from six to eight feet down to around 30 feet of water.
“During the warmer weather, the bass will hold on the deeper ledges,” Darby said.
Darby likes the Mann’s 20-plus or the 30-plus diving crankbaits to fish the ledges and channel or creek drops. These cranks can get down deep enough to where the bass are holding. There are stumps and broke off trees along the old river channels and in the creeks for the bass to congregate.
“If the water is clear, I go with a Grey Ghost color or shad pattern on the deep diving crankbaits,” Darby said. “If there is some stain, I’ll go with something with a hint of chartreuse.”
Can’t miss on Guntersville
Located in the northeast section of the state is monstrous Guntersville Lake. Covering 69,000 surface acres, the Big G, as it is affectionately called, is the largest lake in Alabama. A TVA impoundment, Guntersville is well known for a hefty population of bass. In the 2007 BAIT report, Guntersville ranked at the top for big bass. Bass in the 4-to 6-pound range are common, even in the summer months.
Hydrilla and Eurasian Milfoil cover many parts of the coves, sloughs and creeks across the lake. These nonnative grasses have been a blessing and a curse for the lake. Chris Jackson of Guntersville, is a year-round guide on the lake with Fins –N-Grins fishing. He makes a living helping anglers catch fish consistently on Guntersville. Over the years, he has learned how to pull bass out of the grass.
“For summer fishing, start off on the river ledges,” Jack-
From today until June 28 Top fishing times and days for the coming weeks. For best results, begin fishing one hour before and continue one hour after times given. Times apply to all time zones (X-best days). son said. “Ledges along the river channel and main lake points are top areas for bass under the sun.”
Jackson said you will want to keep your boat in about 1520 feet of water and cast into about 3 feet. Also, the back side of the ledges will hold bass and some anglers forget to fish each side. On the lower end of the lake below Guntersville State Park, use your sonar equipment to locate humps in open water areas.
“On the upper end of the lake, above Goose Pond, fish the bank and tributaries,” Jackson said.
Some may think Jackson has been out in the sun to long since he fishes crankbaits in the grass. A round bill cranks will come through the grass much easier. Jackson uses a Jakal Muscle 10 crankbait in shad colors. He chooses lures to dive around 10-12 feet and fishes them in grass around six to eight feet.
“Fish the bait slow, extremely slow,” Jackson said. “ You want to finesse the crankbait through the grass like a worm. When the lure catches the grass, shake it loose and only move it about oen to two feet at a time.”
Another productive lure for bass in the grass is a Texas rigged soft plastic worm. Large soft plastic worms around 8-10 inches in length will entice the larger bass to strike. Jackson says to use ¼-to ⁄-ounce slip sinker weights for the worms.
On the west side
Near the western border of the state is Aliceville Reservoir, sometimes called Pickensville Lake by locals. This 8,300 acre lake is near Aliceville in Pickens County and the lake ranked at the top of the BAIT report in overall fishing quality. Aliceville was formed in 1980 by the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam as part of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
Aliceville does not receive a lot of fishing pressure. Even though it is the smallest lake on our journey, it has good numbers of large bass. Little shoreline development and being located away from a large population makes Aliceville a good choice for quality bass fishing.
“To catch summer bass, fish the points and ledges,” said Big John Sowins of Pickensville “Ledge fishing near deep water is the key.”
Sowins said deep crankbaits, like the Norman DD22 in Citrus Shad color, is a good bet for catching bass on Aliceville Lake under the summer sun. Also, X-Caliber and other deep diving cranks will pull bass off the ledges.