Pickwick Lake News Article

Bass Fishing on Lake Guntersville

Reed's Guide Service
Posted: 7/16/2004

Reed Montgomery

Alabama's Big Bass factory, Guntersville Lake (Impounded in 1939,    could just be the best big bass lake in Alabama. There not many lakes in Alabama that can lay claim for a real chance at fooling a true, trophy sized largemouth bass, those rare bass exceeding the magical 10 pound mark.

This past spring (as in years past), showed bass caught by the numbers, many in the 7-8 pound range. Still, those huge largemouth bass, those that top the 10 pound mark, were scarce, as most anglers seeking these rare bass soon found out. Even major tournament trails such as FLW Outdoors and Bassmasters, most with as many as 200 boats per event, failed to produce many bass in this class. But they do exist.

Bass on Guntersville Lake (those that have lived long enough to reach 10 pounds or better), have for the most part, avoided a lot of lures and lots of anglers that fish this huge impoundment every week. Those bass that don't ignore the many, enticing offerings tossed their way daily, usually wind up on some anglers wall. Never again to thrill some other angler that will always catch bass (in smaller sizes), released by the same anglers that hesitate to let a 10 pounder go.

So catch and release could not have more importance than right now, on this lake in North Alabama, this summer. If you can let a 5-8 pounder go, then you can just as easily let a 10 pound plus bass go. Take plenty of pictures and return these rare bass to the waters you caught them in. Who knows maybe you, or a relative, or close friend could catch the same bass again!

But first, you've got to fool them into striking your lures to even have a chance at catching one. That can be difficult, with summer's scorching days of mid-to-upper 90's, always testing your patience and always beckoning you to head home to the cool comfort of your air conditioning. But you can't catch these bass from an easy chair or most anglers would just stay at home!

So you have got to find ways to tolerate the midday highs of near 100 degrees, such as night fishing, fishing early morning hours, or fishing late in the evening when its much cooler, less traffic on the water, and when most really big bass are feeding in shallow water.

Most of Guntersville Lakes bass spend the midday hours in deep water during summer, some are buried up in thick weedy cover, many are hanging under shade producing piers, boat houses and marinas, or the more harder to catch bass are suspended out from points, drop-offs and ledges.

But its a known fact on Guntersville Lake, that many of these so called hard-to-catch bass, are actively feeding from the late morning to midday hours. Unknown to most anglers, these are very catchable bass, and they are very susceptible to your offerings. Being on any of these locations at the right time can show tremendous fishing, if your a dedicated angler, expecting only a few bites in a days time.

When targeting these gluttonous bass, most anglers fail to keep one thing in mind. Big bass want a big meal. Many anglers seeking these bass of a lifetime, find that fishing oversized lures can entice bites from these trophy bass. Huge bass that will not go far for a smaller meal, usually not worth chasing. These huge bass may shun smaller lures, lures that simulate smaller creatures. These seemingly easy-to-catch meals usually require to much energy to chase down, for such a small reward.

So here are just a few big bass lure suggestions, for both day and night fishing Guntersville Lake this summer:

Big Worms
A big, slow moving 10-12 inch worm, fished on the bottom
(Texas-rigged), has fooled many big bass in years past, some bass exceeding 10 pounds on massive Guntersville Lake. Even when fishing with these big plastic worms, on a 2-3 foot leader Carolina-rigged, anglers can fool the bass of lifetime. You may need to insert a few pieces of Styrofoam in these oversized plastics, to allow the heavy lure to float up behind the Carolina rigged weight.

This goes for both fishing during the day and at night. Dark colored worms such as purple, black, brown, or June bug, are all good choices at night. If confronted with clear water conditions during the day, your oversized worms should be lighter colored such as red, blue, green, watermelon or pumpkinseed colors. Or you may choose more natural colored lures during the day.

One mistake most anglers make is using to small of a hook on these big, thick plastic worms. I suggest 4/0 to 5/0 offset shank Gamakatsu hooks. Also try adding rattles and fish attractants, to increase strikes and make these bottom dragging lures more enticing. I have even added another hook, tied to the eye or the bend of the first hook, and positioned this second hook far in the back portion of these oversized, worms, for short strikes.

Trilene Big Game line (no less than 20 pound test) is strongly suggested. Or be prepared to tell the old tale of the one that got away! Also stout rods, like flipping rods, or those in 6-7 foot lengths with medium to heavy actions, are suggested. And lastly (a spotlight at night) a good net and netman!

Deep Diving Crankbaits
In past summer's an oversized deep diving crankbait, has shown to be the winning lure in major bass tournaments held on Guntersville Lake. Just ask any local bass tournament angler that frequents this lake each week, about the team of Gettys and Ledbetter. These two Guntersville Lake regulars, have shown deep water bass do exist and some big tournament winning bags of bass are very catchable during the summer months. Even to the tune of winning Bassmaster tournaments with these deep diving crankbaits.

In combination with these deep diving crankbaits are other lures that can enhance these bass to bite, often when some lures fail to produce in these deep water spots. Jigging spoons, tailspinners, heavy one ounce or bigger spinnerbaits, and especially Carolina-rigged plastics can all be deadly at times, but only in the hands of a skilled summertime angler.

Its a big lake and lots of homework must be done before even arriving at the lake. Map study, checking fishing reports and reliable information are all important when trying to find these big bass, usually in small spots, often bunched up there all summer. And yes, they fish these lures at night, as well as during the day

Spinnerbaits
Big, gaudy spinnerbaits, can be slow rolled, dropped in deep water, or helicoptered down into the deep waters of Guntersville Lake, day or night. At night there is a better feel for these lures when utilizing single half dollar sized Colorado blades. Darker colors with a contrasting twin tail trailer, grub, pork or plastic chunk can be seen better by these bass looking up for these flashing and vibrating spinnerbaits.

During the day most anglers use a small gold #3 Colorado blade up front and a #6 to #8 silver willowleaf blade on the back of these heavy spinnerbaits. Colors of white, chartreuse, blue, green, lime (or a combination of these colors) are usually good enough to fool most deep water bass. But experimenting with various skirts and trailer colors may help you discover colors other anglers are not using. Trailer hooks may be needed for short strikers. Like worms, adding fish attractant's and rattles will increase your bites with oversized spinnerbaits fished in deep water. Stout equipment and heavy line is also suggested for these lures.

There are many other bottom dragging lures to try this summer on Guntersville Lake, whether you day or night fish when seeking these true trophy sized bass.

Bigger than average tube baits, 8 inch lizards, oversized crayfish imitations and especially big gaudy jig combos.

Even big floating and suspending jerkbaits, fool bass day and night throughout the summer months. One lure that has not caught on as well (as out in Californi

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