Spring on Wheeler Lake
By Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Lake Level: Down until April
Water Temperature: Late March 60 degrees, April 70 plus degrees, May 80 degrees and above
Spring on Wheeler Lake
Unseasonably warm weather showed Wheeler Lakes prespawn bass preparing beds in mid march. Mid 70 degrees air temperatures triggered bass to move shallow, much earlier than most spring seasons when these bass are usually just coming out of a winter state of mind.
Anglers should focus their fishing efforts on flats found lake wide for spawning largemouth bass. This can be along main lake flats or far back in Wheeler's many major feeders creeks and in the incoming waters of the Elk River. This is generally fishing in waters displaying depths of less than 5 feet deep best.
Smallmouth bass and spotted bass can also be found on these sandy and small pebbled bottomed flats as they prepare beds for spawning in March and early April. Wheeler lake is still down in March and early April, so use extreme caution when navigating this lake. It will be down until about mid April when the lake is returned to full pool.
As waters warm into the low 70's bass of all species will bed around the full moon. April is also when the lake is warming up and new growing aquatic weeds will begin to turn green once again. When Wheeler Lake returns to full pool in mid April the lake can rise from 3-4 feet. Rising waters show many new places in the shallows for bass to bed in and as they once again return to the shallows to bed around wood cover, weed cover and rocky cover, they become very susceptible to variety of lures.
Topwater Lures now become a "first" on the list of avid bass anglers that know some very big bass can act very foolish for a few weeks in the spring throughout Wheeler Lake. Around new growing weeds (like along Decatur Flats, fast growing millfoil and hydrilla weeds), try fishing lures that do not hang up as bad as topwaters featuring 2-3 dangling treble hooks. This avoids frustration, retrieving hung lures or having to break off precious and expensive lures the angler's boat cannot reach.
Use more weedless lures like buzzbaits, floating worms and lizards, swimming a jig, frogs and rats, or just try fishing spinnerbaits and Texas rigged plastics in and around aquatic weeds and wooden cover.
By mid April most bass are bedding (or some have already bed) lake wide. But there are some bass in some every different modes of bedding and some bass with a very distinct eating attitude, that is until they all bed. If you are not catching any bass, perhaps you are in the wrong part of the lake. Keep in mind most bass on the lower end of any impoundment bed last during spring. If you have to, run the boat down the lake 10-20 miles or try launching your boat on the lakes lower end to explore new water.
As anglers fish for Wheeler Lakes various species of bass this spring, catching more and more bass becomes very evident. This is the time of year when more bass are shallow, more that any other time of the year. It is also the time (like the rest of the year), for anglers to practice catch and release and let these bass go. Male bass must guard the beds from egg eating intruders. Female bass are weak and very susceptible to your lures. Neither male or female bass cannot live and reproduce another years offspring next season...without your help.
This report provided by:
Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Producer / Host "Fishing Alabama" With Reed Montgomery Radio Show
"6 Years on the Radio / Jan 2005"
Call Reeds Guide Service...First! (205) 787-5133
"Over 40 Years Fishing Alabama for Bass and Stripers"
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