Alabama Friday Fishing Report – al.com
With water temperatures approaching 80 degrees on northern Alabama lakes, it’s time for anglers to shift gears from hunting spawning bass and start looking for fish on their way to deeper waters. Along the way, as Kaleb Cuphall and other Bassmaster Elite anglers discovered last week in Guntersville, it might be beneficial to try your lures around the litter bluegills, right after a heavy full moon spawn. .
When the shadow spawning ends, the bluegills take control of the shallows and the basses follow them. Cuphall caught many of his winning fish on a platform and a bed of watermilfoil just outside a large red sunfish spawning area, and noted that he could hear sunfish feeding in the areas and occasionally see bars explode on them. He didn’t imitate the bluegills, however; his flippin ‘decoys were pumpkin / brown crayfish imitations, which he smashed through the mat ceiling to get plenty of his keepers.
Also from Guntersville, Captain Mike Gerry says it’s time for anglers to start targeting boathouses with 3 to 7 feet of water under them as the water warms up. He says fish hang under structures for shade, and also because they are often home to baitfish. He says one with the right depth is worth a lot of throws with a soft plastic, hitting it from all angles to allow the fish to see it. One of his favorite soft baits for this assignment is the Missile Baits 48 Stick, he notes, but bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, and other lures also work sometimes; www.fishlakeguntersvilleguideservice.com.
From Weiss Lake, guide Mark Collins rates the crappie action as fair, with most fish coming from the channels between 8 and 14 feet around the brush cover on Jiffy Jigs dragging dead or alive minnows. He said the bass action is also fair on the usual soft plastics, including jigs and worms around weed lines, boathouses and rip rap as well as deep cover; www.markcollinsguideservice.com.
From Pickwick, Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reports the bite is all over the map; behind streams, docks and ledges all produce fish. Some fishermen report good biting surface water in some of the marine areas where grass and bushes are flooded. Soft weightless plastics are a good option at the moment. For crappies, Mill Creek, Goat Island and Yellow Creek continue to be hot spots as anglers drift / drag jigs and throw small jigs and Roadrunners for hanging fish. Anglers target between 10 and 15 feet of water. Minnows and jigs catch fish.
From Lewis Smith, the spotted bass and stripers have mostly returned to deep water, although a few flurries are reported at dawn on long spikes and bars. For stains, fish heads shake and soft plastics drop-shot on ledges and deep spots to depths of 25 feet and more. The stripers are 45 feet and deeper on the edges of the fairways and around the flooded wood – catch them on some live shade. Under the dam, trout bite whenever there is a constant flow, especially just below the outlet – access is on the east side of the river from the Highway 69 bridge. Get bait , flies, lures and drift boat rentals at www.riversideflyshop.com.
From the coast, the water temperature climbed to 76 at Dauphin Island, ideal for coastal trout and reds as well as kings and spaniards offshore. Fishing on the marsh banks, oyster bars and mouths of streams at dawn with the surface water brings up the larger trout, while the reds hang around the pilings of bridges, riprap and platforms. gas forms where they will take live shrimp or cut bait caught just at the bottom. The Spaniards are anywhere from just outside the waves up to several miles offshore, and the Kings are off the beach 20 feet deep and deeper – the two hitting spoons trailing behind a planer number 2, but for great kings, fish live pogies or mules around offshore buoys, wrecks and artificial reefs. The big news this weekend is Alabama’s red snapper season, which opens today, the 28th, for four-day weekends until the quota is met – a date end has not yet been set. The limit is two fish per day over 16 inches. Be sure to visit www.outdooralabama.com for other reef species regulations.