Summer Fishing on Wilson Lake
Reed's Guide Service
Fishing an impoundment on the Tennessee River System that previously held the World Record for Smallmouth Bass, kinda gets the blood to boiling, every time I visit Wilson Lake. With the possibility of just evening hooking into one of these tackle-testing bass, most anglers would feel the same way. World famous Wilson Lake. Impounded in 1924 and situated in North Alabama, although small in size, this lake has shown to big on a variety of fish species.
The lakes headwaters is where the lake gets so much recognition. Fishing the upper portion of Wilson Lake, always involves at least a few hours fishing (for a variety of fish species) in the tailrace waters below Wheeler Lake dam.
Here, in the rocky, boulder-strewn waters not only can anglers have a shot at a true, trophy sized smallmouth bass, but also a good chance of hooking into a number of largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, striped bass including bream, crappie, catfish, sauger, drum, carp, gar and many other fish species.
Summer fishing here, day or night, shows huge schools of these fish gathering here to feed on the hapless baitfish washed through the dams turbines. The often swift water found here, along with shallow rocky bottom water for the first mile immediately below Wheeler Lake dam, shows anglers wearing life jackets and outboard motor kill switches all the time. Besides its the law you must.
Most anglers that have fished Wilson Lakes headwaters are accustomed to the swift water. It is a common sight to see boats run all the way up to the dam and then drift in the current for a mile or two and then repeat the process.
Some anglers use live bait, shad caught at the dam in throw nets. Others opt to use small grubs, which are not all that costly when hung up and lost in the rocky bottom. Heavy spinnerbaits, allowed to bump the bottom as you drift in the current, fool a lot of different fish species, both day and night. Again, bring plenty of spare lures, for the rocks have a way of eating them up.
Spinnerbaits also make excellent lures for night fishing for trophy smallmouth bass in Wilson Lake's swift headwaters. Heavy line 15-17 test, and big gaudy spinnerbaits with single Colorado blades are proven favorites.
Daytime fishing here this summer will show schooling fish. Often it can be hundreds of white bass, frantically tearing up the water's surface feeding on baitfish schools. Always have several rods rigged and ready, for these picky feeders can have a preference when it comes to certain lures.
One lure that always produces in a schooling situation is an inline spinner. In the past, this involved using a popular Mepps inline spinner or a Rooster tail.
Recently, a new inline spinner was introduced to the angling world. The Reel Pearl USA. The world's only counter-rotating inline spinner made by Gulf Coast Products in Alabama. If you have not tried this unique inline spinner, featuring two blades that turn in opposite directions, heres how to get some. Go to their website: www.ReelPearlUSA.com (mention the words "Fishing Alabama" and get a free lure with your order) They come in many sizes for all fish species, from small 1/8 ounce models to some models over one ounce.
Schooling fish always get fooled by topwater lures. On many occasions you will find that they seem to school just out of casting distance for most conventional lures. This may call for the use of big walking or popping type lures. The Heddon Zara Spook has been a popular topwater for over 50 years.
Recently an updated version, the Zara Super Spook has shown to be a great lure for fooling all fish species. Not only are they heavier than previous models, (allowing an angler very long cast's for schooling fish) but they also have 3 hooks instead of two and internal rattles. Now manufactured under Pradco Lure Company name, you can see them at www.lurenet.com
You can also see topwaters there by Excalibur such as the Spittin' Image, Heddon Baby Torpedo, Rebel's Pop-r and a number of other topwater and subsurface lures, all good for these schooling fish.
In addition to spinners and topwaters anglers can always hook into quality fish in Wilson Lakes headwaters with shallow-to-deep diving crankbaits, floating and suspending hard bodied jerkbaits, soft jerkbaits, rattling lipless lures, jigging spoons and a number of offerings fished on bottom.
One finesse fishing technique that is very successful in these lake headwaters is with small jig heads, adorned with small grubs, shad imitations and crayfish type lures. Check out www.Spotsticker.com for a jig head made by Spotsticker Lure Company. Jig heads in all sizes, with an extended, very sharp, red hook.
Discover the fantastic fishing this summer in Wilson Lakes headwaters, famous for a 10 1/2 pound smallmouth that once held the world record, caught here many years ago. Just think how many are here now.
Or call Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133 for a day or night fishing trip to Wilson Lake, or any lake in Alabama. Several guides available year round, with discounts for more than one boat or more than one days reservation.
Thanks, be safe and courteous to other boaters, on our very crowded lakes this summer.
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