Wheeler Lake Fall and Early Winter Bass FishingAuthor: Captain Reed Montgomery | Posted: 09/25/2012
The Tennessee River / Wheeler Lake Impounded 1936 By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service (205) 663-1504 Website www.fishingalabama.com
This is Alabama's second largest reservoir, but only by a scant 800 acres of surface water. Compared to Guntersville Lake (Alabama's largest man made reservoir), Wheeler's massive 68,300 surface acres is very similar, but only in size.
These reservoirs are still two totally different lakes on the Tennessee River system in North Alabama, especially during the Fall cool down period and even as early winter arrives
Wheeler's lower lake consists of rock bluffs, small cuts and pockets, main-lake flats and some mighty impressive feeder creeks. Near the lakes lower end near Wheeler dam, you will find Second Creek and First Creek.
As you enter these small feeder creeks the cover is evident. Rip-rap around the bridge area in Second Creek always has smallmouth and largemouth bass lingering around these man made rocks during Fall.
Excellent fishing for both of these bass species can be found in First Creek (which is actually the second creek coming from the dam) and along the same side of the lower lake near the dam, is good fishing as well.
A little map study will also reveal two road beds in Second Creek. An underwater highway still in use, as bass migrate along this high spot and forage towards shallow water this Fall.
The Elk River on Wheeler Lake's lower end, winds far back through the hills of Northern Alabama. This scenic feeder river features scattered log jams, resident-built piers, boat houses, small feeder creeks (like Anderson Creek), and many rocky bluffs and points for bass to relate to.
Lake drawdown for winter pool shows bass and baitfish really "bunch up" as they are forced to relocate to a much smaller Lake this Fall and winter. The lake is returned to full pool in the spring.
Some big schools of bass, will feed along the river flats, attacking the wandering schools of baitfish. This traditionally takes place from late September on into December. This is when the lake level stabilizes, showing the fishing at its best, before Winter sets in.
* Note - Wheeler lake can be 3-5 feet below normal full pool lake levels when drawn down for winter pool. Use extreme caution when navigating.
Across from The Elk River is Spring Creek. Here you will find aquatic grass, but only in September. As October and November bring lake draw down of 4-5 feet, this greenery will be left high and dry.
There is very little stain to the water in Spring Creek, so shad look-a-like lures usually work fine, but always include a few crayfish colors, for bass dine heavily on both of these prey.
Up the lake you will find several feeder creeks to explore this Fall.
Mallard Creek and Fox Creek are two feeder creeks that hold bass year round. Fall and early winter shows both of these creeks excellent for targeting smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Look for bass to relate to the weed edges as lake levels drop.
Hydrilla weeds like seen on the famed "Decatur Flats" grow a little deeper than the thick matted milfoil weeds and hydrilla weeds will appear as dark spots just beneath the waters surface, usually visible in water deeper than 3 feet if the water clarity is right.
From the I-65 Interstate bridge crossing at mid lake, to Wheeler lakes headwaters (situated right below Guntersville Lake dam), you will find over 40 miles of a river-type area as the lake narrows down, heading upstream.
Drop-offs, ledges, rock bluffs and the mouths of feeder creeks are good places to start your search. As you look for these nomadic bass, during Fall and early winter on Wheeler Lake.
Or you can always call on Reeds Guide Service…first!
" Wheeler lakes oldest, professional -- bass fishing only -– year round guide service, guiding on all Alabama lakes for over 40 years " Phone: (205) 663-1504 Website www.fishingalabama.com
Thanks and Good Fishin'!
About The Author: Captain Reed Montgomery
Company: Reeds Guide Service
Area Reporting: All Alabama Lakes
Bio: Captain Reed Montgomery a Birmingham, Alabama native Guides on all of Alabama\'s Lakes for all species of Bass. Alabamas Oldest Professional Freshwater Guide Service For Over 40 Years. Website www.fishingalabama.com