Smith Lake

Impounded 1961
Lake Level: Full Pool 510.0
Water Temperature: Upper 70′s
Water Clarity: Clear (no rain in weeks, possible light stain in some feeder creeks
after tonight’s predicted heavy rains)

* WEATHER FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – Friday, Partly Cloudy High 88 Lows Mid-60′s /
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Hot! Highs in the low 90′s and night time lows in the
mid 60′s. Not much chance for rain after Friday morning.


Although many anglers that know me, may not know it, I fish Smith Lake a lot these
days. My travels weekly over the past forty plus years, both while competing in bass
tournaments and while professionally guiding bass anglers to all of Alabama’s Lakes,
have taken me to Smith Lake many, many times.

Since my child hood days, when I first started fishing Smith Lake, tagging along
with my Father and Uncle — both of which fished Smith an entire life time — to
later teenage years, when I got my first drivers license and began seriously guiding
for a living, I have explored this massive, sprawled-out, very deep, highland type,
man-made reservoir for spotted bass, largemouth bass and some very big, striped
bass. Long before any other guide set foot here.

Launching at Duncan Bridge at dawn (about 10 miles from the dam near the mouth of
Clear Creek) in late May, I was greeted by a local angler by the name of Jeff, that
fished bass tournaments on Smith Lake occasionally, and he was just wanting to learn
some of my techniques (and I’m sure some good fishin’ holes too!), for fooling these
often hard-to-catch, late Spring bass into biting.

We were also greeted by a very unseasonably cold, late-May morning of the low-to-mid
40′s, requiring me to dig out my old jump suit, toboggan and gloves! It was also
very foggy, so we made plans to idle the boat and fish nearby until it cleared. Good
thing we did!

Our first stop was about one half mile from the Duncan bridge, not far from the
mouth of Clear Creek, fishing along a laying-tree, timber lined, red clay bank. A
spot I had fooled numbers of big spotted bass before!

We both began the day fishing with topwater lures like three-hook, Excalibur or
Heddon / Zara Super Spooks in “Jimmy Houston Bleeding Shad” colors (on the box JHBS)
and Blue / Black back colored Sammies, also we fished suspending jerk baits. Me – a
3 hook blue back / orange belly, “Tim Horton Signature Series”, James Heddon model
suspending jerk bait. Jeff fished a suspending Rapala X-Rap two-hook jerk bait with
silver sides / black back.

We both also fished white 1/2 ounce spinnerbaits, both adorned with straight,
twin-tailed white grub trailers and each spinnerbait featured a set of double,
silver willow leaf blades, with the back blade a # 5 size. Why so specific? Oh, not
for any kind of favorite sponsor sales, but for specific colors, which is what it
often takes to fool Smith Lake bass! In addition, I do not hold back information due
to being a tournament angler on this lake!

The topwater lures produced doubles on our very first casts! Jeff’s spot looked to
weigh about 3 pounds, mine about one pound! Six more nice spotted bass followed
those two in the next 30 minutes of frantic, topwater bites.

Only two were close to 3 pounds with the smaller bass of 1-2 pounds. I started
throwing the jerk bait while Jeff fished his Sammie. After no bites for about 15
minutes it was starting to clear and get sunny. The warm sun actually felt good. I
could have almost read Jeff’s mind and the words he was about to speak, “Any good
spots close by where we can catch some big bass?” He soon implied. A hard hit on the
jerk bait interrupted my answer. It was a big bass!

I fought the obvious big bass, thinking it was a big spotted bass or possibly a
striped bass, and then Jeff went for the net. It had hit the jerk bait right in the
middle of three laying trees and now it was hung. I hit the trolling motor on high
and as I arrived at the tree to my surprise was my bass about 2 feet under the
surface of the water and two more bass as big as it, were just hanging nearby

The bass soon pulled loose and we thankfully netted it. A good 5 pounder! We put it
in the live well, so as not to spook the three remaining bass we had just seen
hanging around the now very disturbed tree tops. I then, to Jeff’s obviously
reluctant surprise, proceeded to quickly troll the boat away from the trees. ” Where
you going ? ” He quickly replied.

I told him there was no way those spooked bass would bite. But in as little as 10-15
minutes they will! If only, we leave them alone and do not fish for them right now.
So he said O K. I think I heard some kind of grumble but I was not sure.

We fished on down the bank, he caught one small bass on the jerk bait, a lure Jeff
was now thrashing the water with in all directions. So I poured myself a cup of
coffee and then turned the boat around and headed for the bass-filled set of trees
where the big bass had came from 15 minutes ago.

As we approached the laying trees, I did not fish. I turned the boat where Jeff
could get a good shot and possibly fool one of the bass we had just seen. He was
already getting ready to make a long cast with the jerk bait when I suggested he
fish the Sammie. But the sun was out and he had his doubts going ahead and casting
the jerk bait hanging it up on the first cast. ” I guess we got to go in there and
get it ” he now sadly said. “Hold on”, I returned.

“Lay down your rod and watch” I told him. I then cast the Zara Super Spook far past
the tree limbs protruding above the waters surface, laying the 20 pound test line
perfectly right above his hung up jerk bait, placing it right between the limbs. I
then handed Jeff the rod. ” Now walk it through there and be ready ” He was.

When the spook cleared the tangled trees, a blow up occurred, it was another big
largemouth bass now tangling up with Jeff’s hung jerk bait line! Somehow we landed
it and it was about the same size as mine. But that was it. We returned again and
again to no avail to those trees and we really worked that bank over, but no more
bass responded. But we had two five pounders!

Our day ended well. Besides the two big largemouth bass and two 3 pound spotted
bass, we also fooled a number of bass on lures like worms, both Texas rigged and
Shaky head rigged, jig combos, spinnerbaits, rattle traps and crankbaits. Even some
deeper bass on jigging spoons.

As our day ended and we loaded up to head for home that evening Jeff replied, ” You
know, I would have never returned in there and fooled another bass like that, I
learned something today.” Also he implied, ” the 5 best bass we had today, easily
weighing close to 18 pounds, would be a sack of bass he would take while fishing any
bass tournament on Smith Lake…any time! ”

” Me too! ” I said, as we shook hands and parted, ending another successful day of
bass fishing on Alabama’s Smith Lake.

* Be safe and courteous to other boaters on this very crowded Memorial Day weekend!

” Always call on Reeds Guide Service…first! Smith Lake’s Oldest, Professional –
Bass Fishing Only — Guide Service for Over 40 Years.” Now offering both daytime and
nighttime bass fishing trips to Smith Lake (or any Alabama lake) for this summer
season. You pick the hours!

Discounts for two day trips. Novice and tournament anglers welcome, corporate trips
or family trips available. Several boats and professional guides available year
round! Call (205) 663-1504 or e-mail me for more info and rates.
See my website for more info at

* Remember, a guided fishing trip makes a great gift for those loved ones that love
to fish! Great gifts for Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Christmas, Birthday’s or any
E-mail me for your printable gift certificate sent to you by E-mail, or call today!

Thanks and Good Fishin’ Reed
Reed Montgomery / Outdoor Writer
Owner / Reeds Guide Service
Alabaster, Alabama (205) 663-1504
” Over 40 Years Guiding, Fishing and Exploring Every Lake in Alabama For Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass and Striped Bass ”
Always Call on Reeds Guide Service…first!
Alabama’s Oldest Professional, Freshwater Fishing Guide Service!

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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