Friday Fishing Report: Fall Migration Underway for Large Deep to Shallow Water Mouths
Find the bait, find the fish – that’s the consensus of Alabama Freshwater Guides this week, who report that fall migration is underway for large mouths from deep to shallows as the water cools.
From Guntersville, Captain Mike Gerry reports the fish are here today, gone tomorrow as they move with the changing weather and torrential rains, but he says the weedless frog bite is steadily improving if you may find a “live” moss bed where there is abundant bait. The trick is to keep moving from bed to bed and focus on those that have at least 3 feet of water under them, near an area of current, and with evidence of bait below. , like the “burst” of bream. Gerry likes Spro Bronzeye frogs for this assignment, but also notes that buzzbaits caught on scattered grass at depths of 2 to 3 feet attract fish in the early morning. Otherwise, anglers should keep an eye out for bass on the surface at all times of the day and fish them with surface waters like the Heddon Spook; www.fishlakeguntersvilleguideservice.com.
In Pickwick, the recent BFL tournament was won mostly with a smallmouth catch by an angler who found his fish about 12 feet above a bed of seashells with good current. The winning lure was a Strike-King 3XD crankbait, and as usual, finding the fish on the electronics was a big part of the catch. Otherwise, good big mouth takes start to arrive on soft plastics, spinnerbaits and grassy plains buzzbaits along the canal, but you may have to search for some time to find an area that hasn’t been worked on. by other fishermen. Crappie fishing is still slow, but should resume by the end of the month with the cooling down. The best areas will be Bear and Yellow Creek, where trolling the 10 to 12 foot canals with tiny jigs will help locate schools.
In Lewis Smith, the spotted bass bite is found around schools of herring at depths of 10 to 20 feet, often in much deeper water, as the fish are suspended near the bait balls. Anglers who won the regional tournament last weekend all relied on vertical fishing with Damiki-type rigs, small jigs with soft plastic tails fished directly from benches spotted on electronics. Striper fishing is also good around bait schools, with some anglers scoring with Storm and Tsunami swim lures, although live shad is still best for these giants. Downstream from the dam, trout fishing is still reliable in the first half mile when the current is flowing at a moderate pace – live worms, Berkley trout baits or drowned flies catch them; www.riversideflyshop.com.
From Lake Weiss, guide Mark Collins reports that the water temperature is 68 to 70 degrees, great for bass and best for poop and strippers. He said the bars are on bumps, ledges and drops off where they take Rat-l-Traps, flat-sided crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Crappie fishing, Collins’ specialty, begins to pick up with the cooler weather, but most are still 12 to 14 feet over a wooded cover in the canals, and live minnow drifting is still the best tactic, although some fish can be caught “from the shooting docks with piles of brush underneath; www.markcollinsguideservice.com.
From the coast, the water temperature dropping in the 1970s means the trout and rockfish bite will resume quickly until the end of the month, but some areas of Mobile Bay still have too much fresh water to handle. these saltwater species – your best bet is to fish the Mississippi Sound and around Dauphin Island and Orange Beach and look for clear water banks and bait. Diving birds will update you on the feeding of the trout in the lower bays – fish the schools with a Vudu shrimp or a DOA shrimp under a cork. For reds, try rockfill areas, gas rigs, bridge pilings, and other hard structures with live croakers or other live fish, or plastic tail jigs hopped along the bottom. In the waves, pompano fishing should resume as the water clears up and becomes more brackish – catch them on live sand fleas or fresh cut shrimp with a strip of sand flea flavored attractant Fish Bites on a pompano platform; www.ateamfishing.com.