Tennessee Valley Area Fishing Reports – Seeing all the cars, trucks and boat trailers filling area boat launches this week, it is quite obvious that crappie are biting. Anglers should take note that water levels are extremely low and while riding to their favorite crappie holes, be sure to watch for submerged stumps and other structure that can cause damage and injury when struck.
Wheeler Lake : Anglers are using several methods to catch crappie with the best stringers coming from creeks with plenty of wooden structure.
One crappie-catching technique is to work blowdowns and treetops that border some of the deeper creeks. Using an ultralight-to-light rod and reel outfit or extra long crappie poles will help get live minnows as close to the structure as possible without spooking the fish.
Another successful crappie fishing technique is to drift live minnows or jigs across stump flats. If you get a bite or catch a crappie, be sure to mark the area with landmarks or buoys. After working an area thoroughly, go back to the marked spots and use live minnows to entice a bite.
Largemouth bass are being caught late in the day around boat docks that have enough water below to cover brushpiles or other structure where fish might stage to ambush minnows, shad and crawfish. Be sure to utilize an outfit that will allow you to pitch a jig-and-pig combination as far under the docks as possible to reach the fish.
Catfishing is good late in the afternoon around rock points when current is flowing. Use chicken livers on the lake bottom for best results.
Wilson Lake : Like Wheeler, Wilson Reservoir’s best crappie catches are in the creeks where thick structure can be found. Be sure to purchase a few extra dozen live minnows as the crappie bite has been steady-to-good lately.
Look for largemouth bass to be feeding late in the day around creek mouths where swirls can be found in the current. If you find an area where the current breaks off into two different directions, start casting medium-diving crankbaits and expect the bite to be aggressive.
Pickwick Lake : A few decent bags of smallmouth bass are being caught during afternoon hours by anglers working ledges with jig-and-pig combinations and medium-to-deep diving crankbaits. Look for ledges with submerged rock piles which can cause current breaks and expect the bite to be aggressive. Also, using live shad in the same locations has produced some trophy bronzebacks.
Crappie are being caught near causeway bridges when current is flowing. Using live minnows under a medium-sized float is a good technique that keeps the bait at the same level, even when the current is swift.
Lake Guntersville : The crappie bite is steady as anglers are using live minnows near creek mouths to entice bites. Look for blowdowns around creek mouths when current is flowing and anchor the boat to give you the best opportunity to place the minnows in the middle of the structure.
Largemouth bass are being caught during daylight hours around submerged and floating grass beds. Texas-rigged plastic worms and jig-and-craws work well when the presentation is extremely slow. If the bites are aggressive, consider switching over to soft or hard-plastic jerkbaits which allows you to work a lot of territory in a short amount of time.”
— Paul Stackhouse