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Pickwick/Wilson Lake Fishing Report With Timmy Horton

Pickwick and Wilson Lake Fishing Reports
October 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Cooler weather has finally arrived and the catfish and smallmouth bass bite should be on fire this month. Wilson and Pickwick Lakes have both had bumper shad crops this year and the fish are in extremely good health. For trophy catfish, set your sights on the lower one third of the lake. Big cats will be located in 50 to 80 feet of water from Shoals Creek to Wilson Dam. Target contour breaks along the north side of the lake, as well as the long flats between Wilson Lake Shores and McKeirnan Creek. These flats have scattered standing timber which holds lots of big fish in the fall. Use your electronics to find suspended bait schools and the cats will be just below the shad. Live gizzard shad and large chunks of fresh cut skipjack will work best. For numbers of smaller eating size catfish target 20-40 feet of water on points and along the bluffs. Tapered bluffs tend to hold more fish than straight wall bluffs.

For smallmouth bass and stripers head to both the Wheeler and Wilson dam tailraces. The downstream sides of both dams will hold tremendous numbers of small shad minnows that provide an unlimited buffet for the fish. Drift live shad down the outside current seams or search out eddy pockets along the shorelines downstream of the dams. Mister Twister Sassy Shads in Pearl and Blue / Black will also produce well. For those hard to get fish, use a BoJoLe flutter spoon on a Carolina rig with a 1 to 2 ounce sinker. This rig takes a little practice to learn how to fish but it’s deadly on fish holding near the bottom.

For guide trips for Catfish, Striper, or live bait Smallmouth Bass fishing contact Captain Brian Barton at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
September 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

As temperatures begin to fall this month the catfish, striper, and bass action will get hotter. September is the official start of the fall live bait fishing season. This years’ shad minnows will now be 2 ½ to 3 inches in length and will perfect size for both cats and smallmouth. Areas to target on Wilson will be the Wheeler dam tailrace and bluff points in the mid lake region. In the tailrace, drift the current seams with enough weight to keep your minnow down near the bottom. Use your trolling motor to keep your boat align with the seam as you drift downstream. When fishing points hook the minnow just under the dorsal fin and use just enough weight to keep the minnow below the surface. Your presentation should be as natural as possible. For numbers of fish, target the south side of the lake from Lime Kiln Hollow to Wilson Lake Shores. For larger fish concentrate on the tailrace region. For trophy catfish use large portions of cut skipjack or shad and troll the ledges in 50 to 70 feet of water off the North side of the lake. The area from Shoals Creek to Wilson Dam produces several 50 pound plus fish at this time of the year.

On Pickwick, focus on the area from Pride Landing to Natchez trace. The entire lake will be good, but I have found more numbers in this portion of the lake. Smallmouth will be holding on the edge of flats and tops of main lake humps. For catfish, fish your minnow’s right along the bottom at the base of the river ledges. Mister Twister Sassy Shad will produce the best striper action. Look for stripers to be the most active in the early morning and late afternoon. The Sheffield rock row upstream to the dam will be a good area to try. For catfish, striper, or live bait bass action contact Captain Brian Barton at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
August 2015 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Fishing Report

Depending on the amount of rainfall we receive, water temperatures may reach the mid 80’s this month making fishing difficult. When water temps reach the low 80’s the bite becomes almost entirely at night or during the twilight periods. The midday bite will be best on cloudy or rainy days. Start your search for catfish on gravel bars, humps, and ledges where the current flow is the strongest. Many fish will seek out deeper holes in the river channel to escape the heat. Target humps directly below Wheeler Dam and the North side of Hog and Peach islands. There are also some deep ledges from Lime Kiln Hollow to McKeirnan Creek that will hold fish. The bluff ledges along the North side of the lake from Shoals Creek to Wilson Dam will hold fish in 30 to 50 feet of water. Use cut skipjack, live bream, or shad for the bigger fish. For fryers, the usual night crawlers, chicken livers, and shad guts will be best. The tailrace action below the dams will be good for Stripers and Bass if TVA produces enough current to hold bait fish below the dams. When the dams are at maximum generation try drifting live shad on a split shot rig or anchor and bump a Carolina rig across the bottom. Mister Twister Sassy Shad in pearl / black and white / chrt. tail will do best for the bigger Stripers. Try to plan your excursions for early morning and late afternoons and you should find good action across the lake.

For guide trips for Catfish, Stripers, or Smallmouth Bass contact Master Captain Brian Barton @ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at www.brianbartonoutdoors.com.

 
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

 
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