Lake Wheeler Smallmouth

Last Friday I drove to Rogersville, Alabama and got a room near Joe Wheeler State Park on Wheeler Lake. For years I would have gotten up at 1:00 AM to make the five hour drive over but I think those days are gone!

The next morning I met Makenzie Henson, a student at nearby North Alabama College and member of their fishing team, at daylight to get information for my October Alabama Outdoor News Map of the Month article.

Wheeler is a big Tennessee River lake and it is a 5.5 hour, 200 mile drive from here. It is a pretty lake and it produces quality largemouth and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth have made a come-back in many of those north Alabama lakes and have added an exciting element to fishing them.

The lake is mostly river with small creeks entering it. We started at daylight and it was nice, for the first time this year, to actually want a jacket it was so cool riding in a bass boat. The first place we stopped, back in a small creek, Makenzie pointed to three does feeding in a pocket off to the side. One stood out a lot more than the other two since she was white.

We were not close enough to tell if she was a true albino or just a white deer. But I got some pictures of her with my zoom lens and they kept feeding there as we fished.

Makenzie had to be at work at 11:00 Alabama time so we fished for only four hours, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM central time. But in that time he landed five or six keeper size largemouth and I caught a couple of keeper largemouth, and we both caught several short largemouth and smallmouth. All hit either a drop shot worm or a Texas rigged worm on rocky points.

Although it was a beautiful Labor Day weekend Saturday we saw very few boats. Other than a small tournament that took off as we put in the lake was very quiet. Rumor had it fishing was not very good but our trip seemed to show otherwise.

The last place we fished some fish were schooling on the point and Makenzie caught a three pound smallmouth on his drop shot worm then got a hybrid on a topwater plug. A couple of cast later the highlight of the day, a four pound smallmouth, hit his topwater bait.

We hated to leave with fish hitting better than they had all morning, but he had to go to work. And I had a long drive home. It was a fun trip even if I didn’t get to fish much compared to the hours I drove. But a weekend or longer trip to Wheeler would be a good get-away and Joe Wheeler State Park would be a good place to stay.

2 thoughts on “Lake Wheeler Smallmouth

  1. Dave Altman

    Great article. I have always wanted to fish Wheeler, Wilson and Pickwick–but never had the chance. Your article was interesting in that there were smallmouth, largemouth and even hybrids mixed in. Was the water temperature cooler than our middle Georgia lakes? Sounds like you guys had quite a day–and it makes me want to plan a trip over that way this fall.

    1. ronniegarrison Post author

      i get to go to those lakes regularly and the water is usually about the same temp as here – it as in the mid 80s that day. it is a beautiful area of the us

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