Reed Montgomery


By Reed Montgomery

Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133

Impounded 1923

Lake Level: Full Pool

Water Temperature: Upper 80's

Its one of Alabama's most popular lakes for night fishing. This small impoundment on the lower Coosa River, also shows many reasons not to give up on the bass of daytime either. The lakes headwaters, displays one of the most varied fisheries on the Coosa River. Here are a few choices for targeting these Mitchell Lake bass, during the hot days of summer.

Easily accessible, the dam tailrace waters of upper Lay Lake Dam, can produce phenomenal catches of spotted bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, white bass and hybrid striped bass, during the summer months.

Fooling these fish can be done with only one type of lure. Or the versatile angler can have a dozen lures for offering these fish a variety of choices. Early light, late evenings and on rare, cloudy days, these fish will school on baitfish, busting them frantically on the waters surface.

This action calls for topwater lures. Some of the bigger fish will hit oversized lures. Smaller species may have to be enticed with smaller poppers, prop baits and walking type lures. If they won't come up, then you may have to probe deeper.

This can be on bottom with spoons and tail spinners. Or you can target the mid water column with inline spinners, crankbaits, jerkbaits or rattletraps. Grubs, shad imitations and tube baits, are also good lures, when bounced along the lakes bottom, as you drift in the swift current found below Lay Dam.

These Mitchell Lake headwaters also feature rock bluffs, many tall towering islands and small cuts and pockets, lined with a variety of aquatic weeds. All of these places are refuge for the bass and baitfish seeking shelter from the swift dam discharge.

Along the bluffs, anglers must search out the spots with the least amount of current. This can be right up against the bluff wall, or bass can be hidden within small cracks in these bluffs. Often, huge schools of bass can bunch up in one small spot, or they can found scattered around boulders or broken off sections of rocky bank.

The fish can be suspended along the eddy areas, where swift current meets the dead water. These rock bluffs also feature points and small cuts or pockets within the bluff. Laydown trees, washed in debris, and weedbeds, are a bonus. Bluffs with these features always deserve a few cast's with lures that probe the entire water column.

The islands found scattered here in Mitchell Lakes headwaters, were towering hillsides, when the river was impounded. Now, they are covered with water on all sides and most hold bass year round.

The upper points of these islands, extrude out for some distance, many hold bass facing the current, waiting on approaching meals. Some schools of bass roam the slack water, found along the islands sides and lower ends, for easy to catch baitfish and bottom dwelling crayfish.

Starting on the upper end of these islands and drifting the boat backwards, gives the angler, in the back of the boat, first shot at all the bank cover. But it is found to be much easier to maneuver the boat when done in this manner, facing upstream and using the boats trolling motor to position the boat. Precise cast's must be employed, for lure hang-ups require several minutes in the swift current, to retrieve your hung lures.

The small, weed lined pockets found on Mitchell Lake have given up some big largemouth's and nice spotted bass. The largemouth's can be found while probing deep within the weeds, with heavy worms, lizards, crayfish imitations, tube baits, shad imitations and jig combos.

Spotted bass are usually found cruising the weed edges or they can hold along desired cover choices, attacking baitfish that are washed in. The upper and lower points leading in to these cuts and pockets, always deserve many cast's, with a variety of lures, from many angles, fished from top to bottom. Even returning later to these places, several times during the day, will eventually show an angler places that may not have even produced a bite earlier.

Try the current induced actions of Mitchell Lake's spotted bass, striped bass and some hefty sized largemouth's, this summer. Shady banks, eddy areas, and an abundance of baitfish, found in these lake headwaters, pockets, islands and rock bluffs, are all great choices to begin your search this summer. Often, for bass that can cooperate all throughout the season, on into the Fall.

This report provided by:

Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service

Reeds Guide Service (205) 787-5133

"Over 30 Years Fishing Alabama for Bass and Stripers"



Fish Species: bass
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Reed Montgomery

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

(205) 663-1504
Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Reed Montgomery