Written By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service www.fishingalabama.com
This is the continuing article (Part Two of Two, with Part One, posted at my Internet website www.fishingalabama.com), which is all about fishing for some Big Largemouth Bass, the Coosa River breed of Spotted Bass and some Big, Striped Bass. Fishing on any of all six of Alabama’s Coosa River System Lake’s during the hot, summer season.
Which can often be a tough fishing situation.
These bass fishing tips and techniques can be applied during any season and utilized by any bass angler, when fishing on any other Alabama Lake as well. While these fishing tips and techniques are suggested for targeting bass during the hot, summer season, in a more narrow river-type situation. They can be applied year round on your favorite lake as well!
Using a variety of lures and lure presentations suggested in this Two part article (with both parts consisting of information for fishing the mid-to-upper portion of these lakes and each impoundment’s headwaters), bass anglers will discover some new ways to fool these bass. Bass that are often so hard to figure out, during the hot, summer season!
This information is for fishing along the mid-to-upper portion of most Coosa River System Impoundments. Where anglers will see each lake’s much swifter waters, are very evident, when found in a more narrowed down, river-type situation. Where small to major incoming feeder creeks, and small cuts and pockets, can show the only refuge (for both predator and prey), in slack water areas out of the main river current. Depth changes are found here too!
During scheduled, water generation hours (held at various daily times on each Coosa River Lake), there can be some very swift and very evident current. Its all according to how many turbines will be open at both the upstream dam and downstream dam. With Alabama Power Company generating some very needed electricity all throughout the hot, summer season, it’s a sure bet, there will be current found here daily.
Call 1-800-lakes-11 for information on each lake’s current level and daily water generation schedules, for each impoundment’s lower lake dam. Its always good to know when water is being generated, both at the upper lake dam and the lower lake dam.
Note – Part One of this Two Part Article, consists of information about the past construction and building of each of dam, on these Alabama lakes built by the Corps of Engineers. Some, like Lay lake Impounded in 1914 are now over 100 years old.
There are six Alabama Coosa River System, man-made lake’s. They are situated (running north from mid-Alabama near the state capitol of Montgomery), going upstream to the northeastern section of the Alabama / Georgia state line, in the Coosa River headwaters of Weiss Lake.
Now, for PART TWO – These bass fishing techniques are for anglers targeting Alabama’s fighting fury, the Coosa River breed of spotted bass, including some great info for fooling some big, largemouth bass and tackling some huge, striped bass as well.
These lake headwaters all consists of these predator type bass and these freshwater fish can be found in numbers, with some often huge schools of fish discovered in the mid-to-upper portion of all six of these Alabama Coosa River, man made lakes.
Included is information for; fishing the mouths of small incoming streams and major feeder creeks and the often very in-obscure small cuts and pockets. Including some great info for finding those often unseen, hidden underwater river-type places, and info for fishing these places in a certain fashion.
Including many various ways, using many types of lures and utilizing certain lure retrieves. Some ways, of which even the most astute bass anglers often overlook!
Note; This info is about fishing the lake’s headwaters and fishing below the dams on these Coosa River Lake’s; Weiss Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake, Mitchell Lake and Jordan Lake. Which always calls for safety first! Caution is advised!
Make sure each boat occupant wears their life jacket and always have an approved and charged fire extinguisher and a throw cushion on board the boat. Especially when the boat is close to some very dangerous tailrace waters, often found below all of these dams! Many anglers and boaters have died that failed to heed this advice!
The driver of the boat should be sober, an experienced boater, and he/she should also be wearing a life jacket and have an outboard motor kill switch attached to his/her body any time the boat is on plane!
FISHING THE MOUTHS OF MAJOR FEEDER CREEKS, SMALL INCOMING FEEDER STREAMS AND THE MOUTHS OF SMALL CUTS AND POCKETS
In any river-type situation, knowing where there is a combination of places featuring both current and slack water, is the key to catching bass. A sudden depth change is always exhibited here as well.
Current can be natural, like overflowing creeks during times of high flooded lake waters, or any natural incoming river. Man made current is created, by water being generated for electricity at the upstream dam (or the lower lake dam as well), with tons of water suddenly flowing out of the dam’s discharge waters, into the lower lake’s headwaters.
Current, positions both predator and prey around any cover and bottom change. There are many out-of-the-current spots, that can be found on every lake, and many schools of predator bass are to be discovered where small creeks, cuts and pockets empty into the river. Bringing these bass, the day’s next meal!
The bass seem to know, that when the current is evident and it really gets to moving, its time for a move! They all instinctively know, its time to make their daily move towards these shallow, out-of-the current places…for its now, its time for them to eat!
Most bass and the baitfish meals they dine on, will not stay and fight the often, very swift main river current found in these lake headwaters. They all seek refuge out of the swift current and they can be found mingling, in and around any current blocking area, and/or a sudden bottom change.
There can be points leading into the mouths of these small feeder creeks, rock bluff-type banks or a sudden drop-off right into deep water, and many places containing loads of washed-in wood cover like trees, logs, brush and log jams. Any ambush spot will do!
Or there can only be a few big, old stumps left there during the lake’s impoundment. Including other current blocking cover such as rocks, boulders or man made rip-rap rocks. All, good ambush spots for anglers to discover some really big schools of bass!
Basically, there are four very different types of ways for bass anglers to be fishing along these various types of main river / slack water, out-of-the current, spots.
One way, is how most bass anglers fish here. Casting your lures up in the creek mouth.
But other, more astute anglers, can also get the boat in real close and fish their lures at various depths, retrieved parallel along the river banks, where these creek mouths and smaller cuts and pockets meet the main river.
Or, another really off-the-wall technique, is getting your boat up in the creek mouth and vertical fishing with lures like jigging spoons and utilizing a number of soft plastic offerings fishing with the now popular technique dubbed, ”the drop shot rig.”
These two lure types and techniques alone, will fool a lot of bass that are on or near the lake’s bottom. Big bass, that you and other knowledgeable bass anglers can often over look! They can easily be missed, as they hold tight to cover along these sudden depth and bottom changes. These bass are always to be found in any spot featuring shallow water, wood or rock cover, and an access to a sudden, deep, main river channel drop-off.
There is another way to fool these bass, that many anglers fail to even try. You can sit up in the creek mouth in your boat, facing out into the main river. Then, you can direct your very long casts, far out in the main river channel with a variety of lures.
Like when using deep diving crank baits on light line to achieve maximum depths. Or when using, shallow-to-mid diving crank baits to fool those suspended bass holding at various depths. Or anglers can use lures where you control the depth with a lift and drop presentation, like when using lipless lures, swim baits, spinner baits, jigging spoons, tail spinners, grubs or shad imitations on a jig head and multi-rig lures, like the Alabama Rig.
These main river bass can be holding at any depth. Like on those days, when there is no evident current at all! Coupled with bright sunshine and no clouds at all. They may be far from these main river banks! Suspended in depths only you can discover by making multiple casts, with a variety of lures, fished at various depths, from top to bottom!
Bass anglers have found that’s it’s a pretty simple situation, to just fish these places for bass. You just pull up the boat (coming in from the main river), fan cast the entire creek mouth or small cut or pocket, utilizing a variety of lures and presentations. Then, if you get no bites, you move on.
This technique is always good for a few bass bites and it often works as well as any technique for anglers targeting the lake’s often more anxious and smaller breed of bass. Oftentimes anglers can hope to fool a big old bass coming or going through these creek mouths as well!
Still, even the most very astute bass angler may be missing a lone, very important piece of the puzzle. Those huge schools of bass (and some big “loner bass” too!) that may all be hidden, can often be found right under the boat, of the bank-beating bass angler! They can be fooled and caught! That is with a little persistence!
Besides, when you are sitting in your boat, up in these creek mouths or when fishing close to the main river bank, remember you can often be much more comfortable, in shade. Which can be easily be ten degrees cooler…much cooler, than when sitting in your boat out in the middle of the lake, with the hot, summer sun beaming down on you!
So give these summertime techniques a try! Maybe you will discover that mother lode of bass and possibly find some unknown technique you have over looked or not given a try, each summer season. When you may otherwise be wasting your time in a very crowded downriver lake situation! So like said, ”Give it a try”!
When, “Fishing Alabama’s Coosa River for Big, Summertime Bass!”
Thanks and Good Fishin’ Reed Montgomery, Owner of Reeds Guide Service “Over 40 Years Guiding on all of Alabama’s Lakes For Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass and Striped Bass!” Phone (205) 663-1504 located near Birmingham in Alabaster, Al. Website www.fishingalabama.com Like us on face book too!