I love fishing Alabama Lakes. I am constantly amazed how different they are from our lakes in middle Georgia. Coosa River lakes are full of big, hard fighting spotted bass and the water is often full of grassbeds, something we just do not see here. And the current makes a big difference in the bite, and it runs most of the time.
Tennessee River lakes are big and full of grass, too. And they have smallmouth, some of them excellent smallmouth fishing. The tailraces below the dams provide fishing that is just not available here.
Lakes in south Alabama are similar to our Eufaula and Seminole. Their tannic water is covered in the shallows by grass and cypress trees and largemouth are king.
Last week on Tuesday I fished Logan Martin on the Coosa River near Pell City. I-20 crosses its upper end and it is usually a great lake. Unfortunately, I was staying in a motel near I-20 about 40 miles from Birmingham where a tornado killed someone in a motel there. Strong storms came through the area with thunder keeping me awake most of the night, then the morning dawned bright and cold, something not good for fishing.
We had about five hours on the lake and caught some small bass, but nothing like what I had hoped.
I was on Lake Weiss last Saturday, a cold, cloudy day. Fishing was tough and disappointing. We did not catch a fish in the 43-degree water. After noon, we were fishing an area with several other bass boats nearby. They were in a local tournament. We heard two of the teams talking and both said they had not caught a fish that day. Another team we talked to said they had one little keeper. So it was not just us.
Fishing should get better soon, with longer days affecting the bass and making them want to spawn. They will start their annual movement toward spawning areas but will stay deep and not feed much until the water starts to warm. With lows most nights in the 20s and highs only in the 40s “forecast” most days for the next ten days, it will take a while.
I put forecast in quotations since it seems it is at best a guess. I call meteorologists “Weather Guessers” since that seems to describe their forecast. Last week I kept watching the guess as what the weather would be at Lake Lanier this Sunday for the Flint River Tournament and my four-night camping trip to Don Carter State Park on the lake.
It started last Monday saying lows Saturday night would be in the low 20s with snow Sunday morning, and a high Sunday of 43 and clouds all day. By Tuesday night the forecast was low of 34 Saturday night and a high of 56 Sunday with mostly sunny skies.
A few years ago we postponed a club tournament at Sinclair the following Sunday due to the forecast at meeting Tuesday night. By Sunday it was a beautiful, warm day and I went to the lake and caught several bass, including a five pounder. The next Sunday, the day we postponed the tournament to, was windy, cold and miserable. And the whole club caught fewer fish than I had caught the Sunday before!
I never make my plans based on weather guesses a few days in advance and encourage my clubs to wait to the last minute to cancel a tournament if we have to do so, and only for dangerous conditions.