Pickwick Lake is the reservoir created by Pickwick Landing Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lake stretches from Pickwick Landing Dam to Wilson Dam. Pickwick Lake has excellent sportfishing areas, including the Wilson Dam tailwater at the upper end of the reservoir, noted for record-size smallmouth bass and catfish. Another favorite spot is the discharge basin at Colbert Fossil Plant west of Sheffield, Alabama, where the warm water discharged from the power plant attracts fish during cold weather.
Many bass fishermen have been catching 30-40 fish per day on a variety of lures. Shallow-water anglers are using Texas-rigged plastics and floating soft-plastic jerk baits to catch good numbers of fish from 3-5 feet of water. Offshore anglers are having lots of success on Strike King 6XD and 10XD crankbaits. Crappie fishing is still fair with trollers catching good eating-size fish on red/chartreuse and blue/chartreuse jigs throughout the day. Most crappie are suspended several feet off the bottom in 12-15 feet. Channel catfish are still biting night crawlers fished under a float near the rock bluffs.
The lake has fallen nearly 4 feet this week, but the bass fishing has remained good. Anglers who are looking to catch good numbers of bass are targeting shallow, flooded cover in the backs of the pockets with Texas-rigged plastics, soft-plastic jerk baits and spinnerbaits. Those seeking big fish are targeting offshore ledges with Strike King 6XD and 10XD crankbaits. The crappie fishing is still fair for the moment, but itís slowing down fast as the fish move away from the banks. Trollers and drift fishermen are still catching good numbers of crappie in the Goat Island and Yellow Creek areas. The most popular jig colors have been red/chartreuse and blue/chartreuse. The catfish bite has really picked up during the past week with lots of good eating-size channel cats biting cut bait and night crawlers around the rock bluffs.
Pickwick Lake elevation: 416.58 ft. and slowly falling at the time of this report. High water and strong current is still the norm this week due to continuing rainfall throughout the TN River basin. For bass, anglers are catching fish on just about every bait you can think of as the fish are in all three stages of the spawn. It took a whopping 79lbs 11ozs to win a three day, semi-pro tourney out of Mcfarland Park this past weekend with two of the top 5 stringers coming from the mid to lower lake section. For numbers, anglers are hitting the shallow, flooded cover of pockets with T-rigís, senkos, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. The quality bite still seems to be off shore and anglers are throwing 6xd and 10xd crankbaits in hopes of getting them to bite. Bass anglers need to keep in mind the new minimum length limit on Pickwick that went into effect on March 21. All black bass (including largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass) must be over 15 inches in order to keep. The crappie bite is still fair to good but continues to slow down. Some quality fish are still being caught, but not at the frequency of weeks past. Mills Creek, Goat Island and Yellow Creek continue to be hot spots as anglers are loading the boat drifting/trolling jigs and casting jigs/roadrunners for suspended fish they found using their electronics. Anglers are targeting 5-12ft of water. The hot jig color(s) continue to be red/chartreuse and blue/chartreuse. The catfish bite has really picked up over the last week. It took 80lbs to win 5-fish limit tourney out of JP Coleman this past weekend, with a 36lb lunker taking top fish honors. Itís still a bit early for the fish to be spawning, but they arenít far off so get your fly rod ready. Cutbait and nightcralers are the bait of choice right now.
from Guide Clagett Talley
Bass fishing been hit-or-miss due to the weather. Your best bet is to start at daylight throwing a buzz bait around shallow points and over grassy flats. Once the sun gets up and the topwater bite dies down, you can usually catch a few more fish using Strike King Series 3 crankbaits around the rock bluffs. Citrus shad has been the best color pattern for crankbaits. The crappie had moved shallow before last weekís cold front, but they seem to have backed into deeper water for the moment. Anglers are still catching quite a few using black/chartreuse jigs around brush piles in 8-10 feet. Most of the stripers below the dam are still feeding in deep water, and anglers are using live skipjack near the bottom to catch them. A 3-ounce sinker is necessary to keep the bait in the strike zone in heavy current. On a good day, Talley says itís possible to catch 40-50 stripers below the dam in just a few hours. Catfish are biting cut bait on the bottom in 20 feet of water below the dam. Above the dam on the main lake, a few channel catfish have moved into shallow water to spawn. You can use a night crawler under a float to catch the shallower fish. Just fish along the rock bluffs and try to keep your bait near the crevices in the rocks.
With the water temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s, crappie have moved shallow. Anglers have been using jigs and minnows to catch them around all types of cover in 4-7 feet of water. Several good limits have been reported recently, and good numbers of fish in the 2-pound range have been caught. Bass fishermen are still doing well with topwater baits just after sunrise and midrange lures like crankbaits and spinnerbaits during the midmorning hours. Crappie fishermen using live bait have reported catching a mixed bag of black crappie, white crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white bass, yellow bass and drum. Stripe fishermen have been catching lots of stripers in the 10- to 15-pound range below the dam on live skipjack.
from Guide Clagett Talley
Been catching a few big fish in 4-8 feet of water on big spinnerbaits and a few more on Strike King Series 3 Crankbaits along bluffs and rocky banks. Heís been catching largemouth bass above the dam and smallmouth below the dam. The smallmouth have been biting mostly live bait. You can still catch a lot of white bass below Pickwick Dam on Strike King Series 3 Crankbaits. Stripers are starting to show up around the dam and have been biting crankbaits and spoons. Most of the stripers caught have been on the smaller side. Sauger fishing has slowed down, but you can still catch a few trolling crankbaits. Catfish are starting to move into shallow-water areas like they do every year to spawn. Talley has been catching them using live worms under a float in 3-6 feet.
from Jonathan Newton
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