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Pickwick/Wilson Lake Fishing Report With Timmy Horton

Pickwick and Wilson Lake Fishing Reports
2015THO Episode 26 THHSBAC

 
July 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

 This month start your search for catfish in the tailrace of Wilson and Wheeler Dams. Fish will gravitate to the tailrace in great numbers as they prepare for spawning later in the month. Bottom bouncing cut bait, shad guts, or night crawlers will work best. If the dam is not generating power try fishing a slip float in the slack water. Set your float depth about 3 to 4 feet off the bottom and cast along the wall of the dam. Search for larger fish in the middle portions of the lake. Ledges along Hog and Peach islands, Shoal and Four Mile Creeks will be good bets. Here suspend large chunks of cut skipjack 2 to 3 feet off the bottom and slowly troll over the deepest part of the ledge. Late afternoon and early morning will be the best times for hooking up with trophy fish.

Stripers will begin to group in the tailraces of both dams. Use Mister Twister 4 or 5 inch swim baits on a 1 ounce jig head to target these fish. My favorite colors are the natural tones with blue or black back. White with a chartreuse tail works great on cloudy days. Stripers will be aligned in the current seams between turbines directly below the dam. Bounce the jig along the bottom back downstream with the current.

Smallmouth bass will group all along the river ledges, mounds, and rock piles adjacent to the channel at this time. If the dams are generating current, position your boat just upstream of the structure and cast across the current. Fish tend to pull on top or to the front of structure when current is flowing. If water is slack, throw a BoJoLe flutter spoon on a Carloina rig. Work the spoon over the top and off the sides of the structure. As always, live shad are always best when they can be found. For Catfish, Striper, or live bait Smallmouth bass trips contact Captain Brian Barton at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit us on Facebook, or www.brianbartonoutdoors.com

 
June 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

This month start your search for catfish in the tailrace of Wilson and Wheeler Dams. Fish will gravitate to the tailrace in great numbers as they prepare for spawning later in the month. Bottom bouncing cut bait, shad guts, or night crawlers will work best. If the dam is not generating power try fishing a slip float in the slack water. Set your float depth about 3 to 4 feet off the bottom and cast along the wall of the dam. Search for larger fish in the middle portions of the lake. Ledges along Hog and Peach islands, Shoal and Four Mile Creeks will be good bets. Here suspend large chunks of cut skipjack 2 to 3 feet off the bottom and slowly troll over the deepest part of the ledge. Late afternoon and early morning will be the best times for hooking up with trophy fish.

Stripers will begin to group in the tailraces of both dams. Use Mister Twister 4 or 5 inch swim baits on a 1 ounce jig head to target these fish. My favorite colors are the natural tones with blue or black back. White with a chartreuse tail works great on cloudy days. Stripers will be aligned in the current seams between turbines directly below the dam. Bounce the jig along the bottom back downstream with the current.

Smallmouth bass will group all along the river ledges, mounds, and rock piles adjacent to the channel at this time. If the dams are generating current, position your boat just upstream of the structure and cast across the current. Fish tend to pull on top or to the front of structure when current is flowing. If water is slack, throw a BoJoLe flutter spoon on a Carloina rig. Work the spoon over the top and off the sides of the structure. As always, live shad are always best when they can be found. For Catfish, Striper, or live bait Smallmouth bass trips contact Captain Brian Barton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit us on Facebook, or www.brianbartonoutdoors.com

 
April 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

April is one of the best months for fishing on Wilson Lake. Crappie will be moving to the shorelines to spawn along with the bass and shell crackers. Catfish will begin to stage on shallow bluff ledges and points leading into the mouth of feeder creeks and sloughs. Target catfish in 10 to 20 feet of water on the upper portion of the lake. Hog Island, the Wheeler dam tailrace downstream to Town Creek, and the rocks of the old river lock system near Bluewater Creek will hold plenty of cats. Worms, shrimp, chicken livers, guts, and cut bait will all do well now. On the lower portion of the lake, search for catfish in Shoals Creek along the channel ledges and isolated wood cover. All the bluff wall ledges 15 to 40 feet deep will hold fish. For trophy fish try fishing just off the bottom along the ledges of Jackson Island near Wilson Dam. Whole live shad or large chunks of skipjack will be your best bet. Smallmouth bass will be post spawn and ready to feed. Drifting live shad in the Wheeler tailrace will be at its best. Smallmouth will also be found hanging off the ends of long points in 15 to 30 feet of water on the lower end of the lake.

The first week of April is historically the peak spawn for smallmouth bass on Pickwick Lake in the “Horseshoe” below Wilson Dam. Last year we had several 10 fish 45-50 pound catches trolling live shad in this region. Target fish in the calm water early in the morning and late afternoon. Move out into the edge of the current and eddy pools during the middle of the day. Fish will stage along the Pond Creek gravel bar as well as the pea gravel bars across from McFarland Park. On the lower end of the lake target both catfish and smallmouth on humps and gravel bars in 10 to 20 feet of water. Typically, the bass will hold on the up current side and top portion of the hump, while catfish tend to hang near the backside and closer to the bottom. Use live shad if you’re targeting both species. If your targeting catfish only, shad or skipjack guts will be best fished on light line with spinning tackle. For heavy weight catfish use your electronics to locate fish along the basses of the river ledges. Bigger catfish will be found near rock or wood cover near the bottom in deeper water. For catfish trips, meat or trophy, or live bait smallmouth action, contact Brian Barton at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
February 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Water temperatures on the Tennessee River will be the coldest of the year this month. Fish can still be readily caught but angler patience will be needed. For catfish on Wilson Lake, start your search along the steep bluff walls on the North side of the lake. Fish will position along ledges from 40 to 90 feet of water. The old Muscle Shoals Aqueduct in the mouth of Shoals Creek is good this time of the year. Fish vertically in the standing timber from Gray’s Landing to McKernan Creek. This flooded timber holds some big catfish throughout the winter, but anglers must fish stationary to avoid snags. Remember to downsize bait and to give each set at least 30 minutes before moving to another location. Search your electronics for deep schools of bait fish. On sunny days, the catfish will suspend underneath the balls of shad.

Pickwick Lake can be boom or bust this month depending upon the water conditions. If heavy rains and rising, muddying waters occur, search for catfish in the mouths of feeder creeks all along the lake. Fish will move into only a few feet of water to feed on the influx of worms, crawfish, insects, and other invertebrates that are washed in by the heavy rains. The pipelines near Pride Landing and Colbert Steam Plant are good bets if the river is stable. The river channel ledges from Cane Creek to Waterloo will hold plenty of catfish. Use your electronics to locate structure along the ledges then anchor upstream and work baits back to the cover. Stumps and logs traditionally produce better in winter than rocks from my experience. Late February is the one of the best times of the year to land a trophy smallmouth. Fish live shad around cover on gravel bars and tops of ledges in 10-18 feet of water. Drifting or anchoring will both work but I prefer to anchor if Wilson Dam is generating less than 50,000 cfs. When drifting use just enough weight to keep your bait down without constantly dragging the bottom. If anchored, cast at a 45 degree angle in the current and bump the bait along the bottom till it reaches the back of the boat then reel in and repeat the process.

For guided Catfish or live bait Smallmouth Bass fishing, contact Captain Brian Barton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com.

 
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