Lake Pickwick Spring Fishing Report

Lake level: down for winter pool 3-5 feet – w/rain varies

Spring Fishing Lake Pickwick

A smallmouth fishery so under rated, in the past only the Bassmasters and the surrounding locals, really knew how good the fishing was on Pickwick Lake.

Pickwick Lake In March
This 47,500 acre lake has loads of prespawn spots for both smallmouth and largemouth bass. With lake levels still down for winter pool navigation can be hazardous, so exercise extreme caution when navigating Pickwick Lake. Study a map ( and use your depthfinder when exploring this lake in March.

Just below Wilson Dam at the lakes headwaters is some of the best smallmouth water in the South. As waters begin to warm in March bass will gather here to feed and begin looking for slack water areas to bed in. As below all Tennessee River Lake dams, the current is often swift and dangerous. Wearing life jackets is a must, for all boat occupants, when fishing below any of these Lake headwater dams. Boating within 800 yards of the dam, it’s the law. Wear em’, it could just save your life.

Drifting with live bait is popular and takes many trophy smallmouth bass in March. Live bait, catches anything that swims below these Tennessee river dams. Lures can mop up below these dams. March shows a lot of suspending bass hitting floating and suspending jerkbaits. Lures like Excaliber’s new Ghost Minnow and the original LongA or Excaliber’s suspending minnow are good with a very slow, stop and go, erratic retrieve. As waters warm, speed your retrieve on these lures and look for surfacing or schooling bass. They will also rise to a well placed topwater lure, but be fast, at times these fish of all species disappear as fast they appeared.

Creek fishing in March on Pickwick lake shows less water to explore, with low lake levels. But many nice bass are still taken in March in creek mouths, along main lake points and near the lake headwaters in deeper creeks. Creeks and backwaters such as Little Cypress Creek, Spring Creek, Coffee Slough, Sinking Creek, Dry Creek and Little Bear Creek, all deserve a little exploring…with caution, when navigating in low water. The lake will return to full pool by the end of April.

Pickwick Lake in April
April on Pickwick Lake will show some changes. Lake levels slowly returning to full pool and several things, affecting the movement of bass, taking place throughout the lake. Slightly stained water or muddy water conditions from spring rains, warming water near 70 degrees, new grass of several varieties, and bass of all species bedding or preparing to bed, will take place according to April’s unpredictable conditions.

Below Cane Creek as you pass the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, the lake will take on a riverlike appearance with smaller feeder creeks and pockets. These outofthe current spots all have weeds, stumprows, blowdowns, rocky banks and some have excellent spots for both bedding smallmouth bass and some huge largemouth’s, some in the 10 pound class. Secondary points, humps, bars, old underwater Indian mounds, ridges and submerged islands, all hold trophy bass neglected by most bankbeating anglers in Spring. Check out Little Cypress Creek, Dry Creek, Little Bear Creek and around Seven Mile island, when fishing very shallow in April on Pickwick Lake.

On the lakes lower end many creeks go unnoticed due to more upriver activity. Still, there is a well kept secret about excellent springtime bassin’ in such creeks as Bear Creek, Second Creek, Yellow Creek, Panther Creek and Indian Creek, all found on Pickwick Lakes lower end. Clearer and much deeper water, heats slower than shallow, stained water, and on these lower lake regions, there are a lot of bass bedding later in April than upriver bass.

Pickwick Lake in May
: From massive Pickwick Lakes upper lake headwaters, to the lower lakes deeper creeks, the fishing is exceptional for smallmouth bass, spotted bass and largemouth bass in May. May is often noted as “the” topwater month. But on Pickwick Lake, May also shows bass holding in areas that brought them shallow a few months ago, as they leave the shallow water and head back to deeper water, usually around the first week of June.

During these transition times try fishing midlake areas, far back up in creeks, or midways, around first and secondary creek points. Fish with deepdiving Excaliber Fat Free shad crankbaits in midtodeep running models. Spro’s crankbait 25 series in baby bass colors are also excellent running crankbaits. Jerkbaits always generate a few strikes from all species of bass during May.

Some bass, suspending away from the bank, will nail fast, erratic retrieves with these injured baitfish imitating lures. These anxious and hungry fish can be enticed with fast, erratic stopandgo retrieves. Try Trilene Big Game 1015 lb. test monofilament line on these jerkbaits, along with other floating model jerkbaits. Storm’s Suspend Dots and Suspend Strips will make floating model jerkbait lures suspend. Experiment, for every lure takes different amounts of added weight to attain perfect suspending qualities.

Pickwick lakes lower end has lots of grass and in Spring, like on other Tennessee River lakes, lure choice can vary. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, shallowrunning crankbaits, rattletraps, super spots, floating worms, lizards, soft jerkbaits, frogs and rats, all bring surprising results. Try these and other lures in and around, the many varieties of grass, that bass inhabit on Pickwick Lake, this Spring.

Or call on Reeds Guide Service and learn to fish Pickwick lakes shallow to deep water bass. “Over 40 years exploring Pickwick lake in all seasons.” Remember, a guided fishing trip with Reeds Guide Service makes a great surprise Christmas gift, Birthday gift, Father’s Day gift, or good for any occasion, for those loved ones that love to fish. See my website: for more info.

Remember, a guided trip with Reeds Guide Service to any lake in Alabama makes a great surprise Birthday gift, Fathers Day gift or Christmas gift (certificates available), for those loved ones that love to fish. Call today (205) 663-1504, or e-mail me at for reservations this fall, winter or next year’s spring and summer seasons.

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Good Fishin’

Reed Montgomery

About Reed Montgomery

Alabama's Oldest, Professional "Bass Fishing Only" Guide Service For Over 40 Years Fishing all of Alabama's Lakes for all Species of Bass and Striped Bass.

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