Fishing Reports

Timmy Hortons Home Lake Pickwick Lake

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Catfish Report

The success of cat fishing this month will depend highly on the amount of rainfall we receive, monthly temperatures, and daily cloud cover. The ideal scenario would be above average rainfall and below normal temperatures. Rainfall is critical because the best fishing on Wilson and Pickwick lakes will be near the dams. The more rainfall we get, the more water the dams will have to release which will create more current which is essential for a steady catfish bite. This combined with cooler temperatures and a cloudy day will produce the ideal fishing situation.

On Wilson Lake, look for catfish to be located along ditches, ledges, and humps in the upper portion of the lake. The sides and downstream portion of Hog Island, Pebble Beach ledge, and the bluff banks between Town and Big Nance creeks should all be good. Cut baits like bream, shad, and skipjack as well as shad guts and chicken or turkey livers will all be good choices. When the current is flowing, try drifting while fishing the tops of the humps and ledges. If the dam is not generating, anchor down and fish the deeper areas.

On Pickwick, the best area to fish for numbers of cats will be from just below Wilson Dam downstream to the Cypress Creek area. If current is moderate to strong, fish can be caught drifting down the entire lake. Jugging in the early morning hours is a good way to catch a lot of catfish fast. Set jugs at depths of six to twelve feet deep and place them along the channel ledges. Use a cut bait or shrimp for bait. My favorite places for jugging are the ledges and rock rows from Mulberry Creek down to the Waterloo area.

On both lakes the best fishing will be in the tailrace or directly against the wall of the dam. Fish will congregate at the base of the dams seeking the cooler more oxygenated water coming through the turbines. Only experience boat operators should fish these areas and always wear your PFD. The turbulent discharges occur quickly and can easily tip a boat over without warning.

Brian Barton
Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...........

Catfish Report

On Wilson Lake look for catfish to be almost everyhwere. Fish will be in both spawn and post spawn patterns. Best bets will be the main river flats and tailrace below Wheeler Dam. Look for fish to be holding along the sides and rear of Hog Island in 10 - 15 feet of water. In the mid lake region, fish along the shorelines in 15 to 25 feet of water until you loctae fish. For trophy fish try whole skipjack herring or live hand sized bluegills fished under the bluffs in 45-70 feet of water on the lower portion of the lake.
On Pickwick, concentrate on the upper half of the lake from Natchez Trace bridge to the dam. Like Wilson, the tailrace should be hot. Drift chicken livers, shad gut, or small cut baits for fryer size fish between the dam and Seven Mile Island. Kroger Island and the Mulberry Creek portion of the main river channel will produce plenty of action. Anchoring over shell mounds or drifting a bottom bumping rig will be your best bets.

Brian Barton
Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...........

Crappie Fishing Report

Well the crappie don't stop just because it hots! July is a great time to get kids started on fishing.  Get there at daylight and most of the fishing is done by 10:00.  Now, were can you go and catch 25 to 35 crappie in July here on Pickwick Lake.  Don't think so, book and at trip and see! Well back to the report.  I have been draging those cranks down at Bear Creek.  Its, pretty simple.  Keep your speed up while your trolling.  That is ther number one mistake most guys are making.  I like to run 1.3 to 1.5mph.  Sounds crazy but it works!  Give us a call!
 
Brad Whitehead (256) 483-0834
 
Bassfishing Report

May 19, 2012 Dennis Evans Benefit tournament was held and anglers could fish either lake (Pickwick or Wilson Lake). Winners were Andrew Hamilton and Andrew Bacon with 22.09 lbs, 2nd was Ricky Smith and Eric Smith with 17.10 lbs and third was Terrell Smith and Sammy Barnes with 17.05 lbs. Some fish were caught early schooling on topwater, while most were caught up in the day on offshore humps and ledges with deep diving crankbaits and carolina rigs. May 23, 2012 Started Boat U.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. First day leaders were Cameron Trousdale and Trevor Miller with 26.61 lbs, but were disqualified due to tournaments rules. They like hours met to be eligible to fish. So Calhoun Community College lead with 21.08 lbs, 2nd was Tennessee Tech University with 20.75lbs, 3rd was NC State University with 20.33lbs, 4th was local team from Northwest Shoals Community College David Allen and Micah Crunk with 20.18lbs and Auburn in 5th with 18.31lbs. Most of the top five fish were caught on Wilson Lake on Crankbaits.

Catfish Report

Catfish on Wilson turned on this week. Caught 21 tuesday afternoon and 41 thursday afternoon. Fish caught on cut skipjack about quarter size. Fish were suspended 20 -30 feet deep in 40-55 feet of water along bluff lines on the south side of the lake. Caught a few bigger fish in 40- 45 feet of water in the mouth of McKernan Creek. These fish were on the bottom.  Smaller fish are starting to move in the sloughs and pockets out of the main lake. Channel catfish are bedding in 3-10 feet of water along bluffs and steep dropping pea gravel banks. For these fish night crawlers, shrimp, or hot dogs are best baits.

Brian Barton
Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...........

Crappie Fishing Report
 
Most guys have already put there crappie gear up for the year, but you are making a big MISTAKE!  June is a great time to catch crappie.  I would say Pickwick Lake is at its best in the summer months.  Look its getting hot so get on the water at daylight and your done by lunch.  Most of the time I put in at Rose Trail boat ramp, it easy and your not to far from where you will be fishing.  One word in the summer that you will see from my reports" crankbaits".  This is my number bait to use for summertime slabs!  Some of my favorite  are Bandits, Bombers and StrikeKing make some of the best on the market.  I use a RG82 rod from B'n'M Pole Company with 8lb Vicious Line.  I pull these cranks at Bear Creek all summer.  Also look to see us on Wilson Lake.  Town Creek gets hot and Shoals Creek.  If I can help with a trip our pass some information please give me a call!

Brad Whitehead (256) 483-0834

Crappie Report

One word, WOW! The crappie fishing has been the best this year than the past few years. Pickwick Lake and Wilson Lakes are on fire. Lets start with Wilson Lake. I have been catching fish trolling jigs on my B'n'M Poles at depths of 20 to 25 ft in the major creeks. Here is the great thing about it with " no minnows". Find the crappie on your graphs and put it in there face. If trolling is not your thing try casting. Two inch grubs in jungbug or black and red have been the best. Pickwick Lake, one word there " numbers" there have been numbers caught this year. Also big crappie catches coming in everyday. The Bear Creek area has been where you will see my WarEagle Boat! Also creeks like Little Bear Creek or even Cain Creek have put out some nice slabs! If I can help you with information about the lake or book a trip just call me at (256) 483-0834

Brad Whitehead
Crappie Fishing at its Best!!

Catfish Report

The catfish bite is starting to pick up on Wilson on Pickwick lakes. Water temperatures have risen quickly this spring and the catfish are moving shallow earlier than usual. On Wilson target channel catfish along bluff walls and chunk rock in 3 to 10 feet of water. Shrimp, nightcrawlers, and cheese baits work best. For blue cats fish ledges and humps in 20 to 40 feet of water concentrating on the contours. Smaller fish are loading up on gravel bars and secondary points inside sloughs. Cut skipjack, shad, and shrimp all work well. Below Wilson Dam some cats are starting to make their way to the dam. Large concentrations of fish have not arrived, but some good fish are being caught. Best locations are directly below the dam in eddy waters off tailrace and bridge pilings downstream of the dam. The mouths of Dry and Little Bear Creeks will be holding fish in about 8 to 10 feet of water. Would you like a trip? Call me 256-412-0969

Brian Barton
Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...........

This is one of my favorite months of the year for catching catfish on Wilson Lake. Water temperatures will ease back to the upper 60’s this month and that will fire the cats up. Wilson and Pickwick Lakes have an excellent shad hatch this year and that should lead to great fall fishing. Best bets on Wilson for numbers of fish will be the area just downstream of Wheeler Dam and the base of the dam itself. A slip float rig fished along the base of the spillways and lock area will be hard to beat. I use a B-n-M medium action spinning rod spooled with 12 lb. test Vicious Ultimate fishing line to target these fish. Most of the fish will be in the one to three pound range so heavy tackle is not required. My bait of choice is a lively shad minnow attached through the lips on a 3/0 Daiichi Bleeding Bait circle hook. If you cannot collect shad minnows try store bought minnows or small fresh shrimp. Set your float depth two to three feet above the bottom. Make a long cast and allow your offering to sit still a minute or so, then reel a few turns of the handle and allow it to sit still again. Most strikes occur as soon as your float stops movement. Other good choices are the ledges of Hog Island and the flats in the mouth of Town Creek. Here I use the same tackle but go to a drop shot style rig with a ½ to ¾ ounce split shot 18 inches under my hook. Slowly bump the bottom with this rig while drifting downstream.

For big catfish head down the lake to the Shoals Creek area and to the South toward the Robert Trent Jones clubhouse. These flats range from 50 to 65 feet deep and have numerous humps and other topographic features. Here I switch to Vicious 80 lb. test braided line with a 50 lb. test mono leader. I tie a Carolina rig with a 2 to 3 ounce sinker about 3 to 4 feet above a 7/0 Daiichi circle hook. I attach a golf ball size float about half way between the swivel and hook in order to float my bait up off the bottom. Bait of choice here is a chunk of cut skipjack 3 to 5 inches in length. When fishing this pattern, I’m fishing for 20 pound plus fish so I use much larger baits. Trolling at .3 to .4 mph over contour usually works best, however if the bite is slow an anchor down approach is your best bet.

Pickwick Lake will be good from one end to the other. Cats can be caught in the tailrace below Wilson Dam is big numbers. Here anchoring in eddy currents usually produces best. For drifters, grab some minnows and drift from the Singing River Bridge to the Seven Mile Island area. Your likely to boat some good smallmouth and hybrids as an added bonus in this area with lively minnows. Further downstream, try the river ledges from Kroger Island down to Waterloo. Shad will bunch up in large schools along the river ledges and the cats will be just below waiting on an easy meal. To catch these fish drift or use your trolling motor to move downstream while keeping your bait a few feet of the bottom. Wherever you fish this month carry an extra cooler because the bite should be great. For fishing tips or fishing trip information visit www.brianbartonoutdoors.com.

 
 

Pickwick/Wilson Lake Fishing Guide

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