Alabama’s Three Upper Coosa River System Impoundment’s (Weiss Lake, Neely Henry Lake and Logan Martin Lake), For Targeting Big, Pre spawn Bass During the Month of March
Written By Reed Montgomery, Owner of Reeds Guide Service (205) 663-1504 www.fishingalabama.com Face book too! Alabama’s Oldest, — Bass Fishing Only –Professional, Freshwater Guide Service, Guiding on all Alabama Lakes For
Over 50 Years
MARCH THE PRE SPAWN MONTH
Weiss Lake – during the month of March (which is the pre spawn month in these northern Alabama waters), Weiss lake is a huge, sprawled out lake over fifty miles in length and often down for winter pool. This lake features excellent habitat for those big, pre spawn largemouth bass (and Coosa river spotted bass), that all begin to roam the lake’s shallows, while preparing to create another year’s offspring and also in search of a mate to share the rituals of bedding with for the next few weeks. But anglers and boaters should use extreme caution when navigating this typically, very shallow lake that can be down a few feet for winter pool, that is until the lake is returned to full pool lake levels around mid April.
This is the first Impoundment of Three Upper Coosa River system lakes that can be down for winter pool until mid April, with its headwaters coming out of northern Alabama located along the western Georgia state line. Including two major incoming feeder rivers, The Chatuga River and the Little River, both found at mid lake.
* Again, boaters should exercise extreme caution when navigating these incoming rivers and lake headwaters, especially during low pool, lake levels in March. There are hidden unseen rock piles, stumps, laying logs and other life endangering and boat damaging obstacles, often discovered when it’s often too late.
Many incoming streams and feeder creeks also adorn this wide, sprawled out, man made lake, including dozens and dozens of small, unnamed cuts, pockets, huge flats, islands and Weiss Lake has a lower lake power pool. Thus creating two dams, Weiss lake dam and the power pool dam, both located on the lower portion of the lake, separated by a narrow canal.
Targeting, these often labeled, “Trophy sized bass” (and usually these are the biggest bass of the year), that are at their heaviest this time of the year loaded with winter fat reserves and eggs as well, they are your much bigger than normal pre spawn bass! March means also including timing your fishing trip accordingly when better weather conditions permit and preferably fishing around the full moon that takes place during the end of the month. This is actually the best time for discovering big schools of both male and female bass often found gathering in some very predictable places each spring season.
First and secondary long, tapering points are ideal places to look for schools of pre spawn bass. Deeper channel swings found along the outside bends of creeks and river systems. Islands, especially those bordering deep water should be fished thoroughly. Big, sprawled out flats like those found along the main lake and incoming feeder creeks and rivers are good places to find schools of pre spawn bass. All of these flats heat up very fast especially while bathed under the all day March sun shine and when coupled with warm nights and these warming flats should be targeted from mid morning until late evening when the surrounding waters are the warmest.
Besides these various types of cover and places to look for big, pre spawn bass there is also all types of rocks and boulders (including many stumps left here during impoundment), and these boulders can be scattered or they can be found along broken off cuts and pockets found along deep, rock bluff walls.
This includes heat absorbing rocks and rip rap rocks around bridges
NEELY HENRY LAKE
MARCH THE PRE SPAWN MONTH
The month of March is the pre spawn month on Neely Henry Lake which is located near the town of Gadsden in north Alabama. This is the second of six Coosa river lakes that run from north to south Alabama. Like upper reservoir Weiss Lake and Logan Martin Lake located just downstream of Neely Henry Lake, it too may be down for winter pool until mid April. Often Neely Henry Lake may be only a foot or two down for winter pool but still caution is advised for first timers or boaters that are not very familiar with this over fifty mile long man made lake.
Gadsden city boat launch is hosts to many major bass tournament trails and there are many dozens of local bass tournaments held here as well each spring season, all taking place all throughout the spring and summer seasons lake wide. There are two major bridges here that span the lake and from here upstream is more of narrow, river-type situation. Some smaller creeks exist and there are backwater flats with smaller incoming streams. These are places largemouth bass and Coosa river breed of spotted bass will be bedding in April.
But those so noted,” big pre spawn bass of March” are not quite ready to make their annual move to shallow water yet, to begin the rituals of the bedding spring season, no not yet. These pre spawn bass can be located in some very predictable locations in these more narrowed down, river type lake headwaters like the mouths of creeks and deep river bends, and they can even be found all the way north to Neely Henry Lake’s headwaters that is located below upper Coosa river system Weiss Lake reservoir, including Weiss lake dam and Weiss Lake power pool dam.
LOGAN MARTIN LAKE
MARCH THE PRESPAWN MONTH
March is the pre spawn month on Alabama’s Logan Martin lake. Drawn down for winter pool the lake can be down over four feet during the early spring season. It will be back to normal, full pool lake level by mid April.
Again, as noted before with other Coosa river impoundments that are drawn down for winter pool, boaters should use extreme caution when navigating Logan Martin Lake during the early part of the spring season. This fifty mile long man made lake is loaded with hidden, unseen underwater obstacles such as rock piles, isolated stumps and stump rows and bottom irregularities that can damage your boat and endanger lives.
Crossed at its midway point by Interstate 20 going from Birmingham to Atlanta is where the lake begins to narrow down to a more river type situation heading due north all the way to the lakes headwaters, located just below upper reservoir Neely Henry lake. There are many small cuts, pockets, incoming creeks and main lake flats to explore.
Pre spawn bass can be holding in the mouths of these types of places out of the main lake current and these can be places that can display big schools of bass that will gather in huge numbers prior to moving shallow when the lake is returned to full pool in April. There are also islands, river bends, rock bluffs and even old underwater dams and roadbeds in these lake headwaters.
Leaving I-20 and heading south the lake begins to widen out into a more lake looking appearance. Major feeder creeks, islands, boat houses and piers, bridges, culverts and other fish holding cover can be feast or famine, so staying on the move is suggested until bass are enticed to bite! Many piers have resident planted brush piles and some are located near deep water. These may be the first places to look for big, pre spawn bass in March, especially around the full moon at the end of the month.
Release sites show lots of bass that are let go after major bass tournaments that are held at marinas on the mid to lower portion of Logan Martin Lake. Some bass stick around these types of places often feeding on baitfish and crayfish, so lures looking like this prey are suggested.
All throughout the Spring season big bass will be shallow on all three of these Coosa River Lakes. Always practice CPR Catch, photo and release these bass to live and fight another day! Be safe and courteous to other boaters and anglers on our very crowded lakes this spring and summer seasons!
Thanks and Good Fishin’ this spring on all of Alabama’s Lakes!
Reed Montgomery Owner of Reeds Guide Service (205) 663-1504 website www.fishingalabama.com See us on face book too!