Area Fishing Reports Decatur – Cold temperatures and high winds have kept many anglers off of area waterways this past week. A few anglers who did go out into sheltered areas caught enough fish to make for a good day.
Wheeler Lake: Work large sloughs where water depths are 5 to 10 feet or deeper with several blowdowns nearby. Use 7-to-9-inch Texas-rigged plastic worms and make your cast as closer to the bank as possible. It’s a good bet that buck bass will pick up the worm with larger fish waiting in deeper water in an ambush position. Since largemouth bass will be holding tight to cover, worm the plastic worm in the thickest portion of the fallen tree.
Crappie catches have slowed but days with mild wind conditions should have fish feeding in thick cover such as submerged brushpiles. Look for structure that extends beyond 10-feet deep and use live minnows for bait.
Catfishing has been sporadic-to-slow and should stay that way this week. The best catches should come late in the day around submerged rock or concrete structure that can hold in heat from the sun. Using a Carolina-rig baited with chicken livers, make your cast as close to the structure as possible with your leader line stretching at least 24 inches.
Wilson Lake: Some of the best catches this week of white bass and hybrid stripe should come from anglers working points with crankbaits when current is flowing. Chrome-colored crankbaits work well as will a large in-line spinner that has silver blades and a white body. Look for largemouth bass to be staging on the back-current side of points during the warm part of the day. The bass will be looking for easy prey such as injured minnows or shad. Cast jerkbaits for best results and change out all hooks to those that are red in color which imitates an injured and bleeding shad.
A few decent stringers of crappie have been caught near creek mouths where water depths are beyond 8 feet. Using a long crappie pole, place live minnows in the thickest portion of brushpiles and expect the bite to be soft.
Pickwick Lake: The smallmouth bass bite has slowed with the best bags coming late in the day around submerged rock structure. Slow baits such as jig-and-pig combinations and Texas-rigged jig-and-craw should attract attention quickly, especially if you are using black/red colors with a red hook.Largemouth bass have been feeding in the back of sloughs where calm waters and crawfish can be found. A Texas-rigged jig-and-craw placed near the mouth of secondary creek channels can entice larger bass to strike, especially if the lure is worked extremely slow.
Lake Guntersville: The largemouth bass bite has slowed quite a bit with the best bags coming from areas with submerged grass and stumps. Stump bumping with spinnerbaits can attract a reaction strike from some of the larger bass.Use live minnows and a light spinning outfit that is capable of pitching your bait as far under boat docks and boathouses as possible when fishing for crappie. The bite will be soft so utilizing a tight-line technique gives anglers the best chance at hooking-up with papermouths that are in a feeding mode.
Smith Lake: The best stringers of crappie are coming during mid-morning hours around boat docks and boathouses that have plenty of submerged structure below. Using live minnows under a small float will give you the best chance at picking up the bite, which could be light. Using an ultralight- to light-spinning outfit, cast close to the structure and let the minnow swim around the outer edges of the brushpiles and rocks for best results.
A few spotted bass are being caught around steep points with large submerged rocks that offer places for fish to hide and ambush passing minnows, shad and crawfish. It’s best to use slow baits such as a small, red/black jig-and-pig combination with a red hook.
— Paul Stackhouse,