Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

About how to Bass fish this lake
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Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

Postby SurfRider » Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:57 pm

As I noted in my intro post, I am not an Alabama native or even resident (more's the pity - we would love to move ya'lls way eventually), I live in piedmont North Carolina in a town called High Point. I love bass fishing, and I go whenever I can, but family duties come first and right now with a 2 year old and some medical bills I can only go when I have a spare morning or occasional weekend. I am constantly trying to learn new things, a lot of it by reading; I don't have nearly the time on the water that I would love to have to put it all into trial-and-error, but I do my best and I have been successful at catching fish around my home area. I particularly like soft plastics, especially Texas rigged worms, but I am willing to use moving baits when they are called for. I have absolutely ZERO experience fishing grass mats, so this will be an interesting trip from what I have read....

My wife talked me into coming to Alabama to fish the Oakley Big Bass Challenge next weekend while she visits a friend of hers in Gadsden. So I am signed up to fish, booked a room at the Wyndham, and I'm looking forward to it, and after reading what I can find and studying maps, I am feeling a good bit intimidated. :D I have watched some youtube vids on punching mats, flipping grass, and working topwater frogs. Gear-wise I think I am as prepared as my budget will allow, and I accept that my15-year old 90 hp Sea Pro center console next to all the fancy bass rigs will look like Ralph Machio's dirtbike did next to his competitors' motorcycles in the Karate Kid, but I'm ready to give it a go anyway!

I could only get off one day from work to practice, so I"ll be fishing Friday to learn anything I can, and the tournament is Saturday and Sunday (October 18th weekend). No idea where to start, but I suppose with my HP limitations I'll want to fish somewhat close to the weigh in, which from the maps looks like it is near the mouth of Big Spring Creek. Sauty creeks and southward, maybe? I'm making this up as I go. :roll: I'm looking for any advice you guys have for what's going on out there right now... areas that might be good places to start for me, tactics, things to look for, baits, presentations, whatever you think might increase my odds for some bass.

I am trying to think of it as a chance to just get away and fish a new lake and then if I happen to luck out with a big fish I can maybe help offset the cost of the trip, but the competitive side of me would love to come in as a total underdog-nobody and just manage to win something! :mrgreen:

Thanks for taking the time read my wordy post, and for any help you guys can offer.
My email if you want to send that way is .
Great site, by the way!

Tight lines,

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Re: Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

Postby Jason » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:59 pm

Welcome to the site. I would buzzbait a lot a whole lot, and even if it is sunny. Great way to get that one big bite. Use chartreuse if it is sunny and white if cloudy and even black for dark clouds or very low light. Fishing a big jig is also a good way to a lunker. Keep an eye open for shad schools as they should be a good indication. You might get lucky and find a few rat fish but good grass mats are wide spread this year. Good luck!
Thanks for participating on the Website.

- Jason

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Re: Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

Postby JoeJMD » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:21 pm

So how did you do? have a good trip? Sorry i just saw your post, hope it was a fun trip.

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Re: Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

Postby SurfRider » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:13 am

Sorry, I should have been back to post the result before now. Been busy since I got back home to N. Carolina. It was fun. It was a lot of work, but it was fun. I feel like I learned a lot, starting with the fact that navigating by my nav map in the dark before dawn is a good way to get stranded in some massive milfoil mats!

I tried to learn as I went, the people I talked to were nice but no one gives up much info on tournament weekend. I did find a couple guys willing to share a tip or two, but it didn't sound like they were catching a lot of fish so it was hard to know if what I was doing was right and it was just slow, or if I was doing something wrong. Friday was tough, only caught two. Tried to work some grass mats in Brown Creek for about half the day, and I could see fish chasing bait at times but I couldn't get bit. Buzzbait on the edges, frog, tried punching, fluke, zara puppy over the submerged edges; no love. Scouted some creek arms looking for timber to throw a T-rig into, but there apparently is no such thing as wood cover in under 12 feet of water that doesn't have grass matted up in it... except for Short Creek; for some reason I don't understand, it didn't have milfoil in it, but I didn't find bass... just lots of perch! Finally resorted to something I know how to do and got a couple keepers on a Carolina rig over a hump that had some rock on it toward the end of day down toward the dam in um... Honeycomb Creek I think it was.

Saturday was about the same story, tried some various things and battled the wind a little. Tried to pitch docks but there is just grass everywhere, so I struggled with what to do with that. Finally decided to pick a spot that was near where a major secondary joins the main channel, had some grass mats where the wind had been blowing into them, and parked in the edge of the mats where I saw bait moving and boils in the grass. After fighting the wind and doggedly working those mats for 3 hours, I finally got 2 keepers on a frog after I varied my retrieve and eventually slowed it way down, but that was it for Saturday.

Sunday I decided to target some docks in a creek arm where the channel swung close to that section of shoreline and went to my old standby, a Texas rig green pumpkin worm. I was not trying to punch grass at this point, but using the worm more like a swim bait, trying to swim it by the docks, and then let it just tick the top edges of the grass when I was feeling it, and letting it drop whenever I stopped feeling grass. That pattern worked pretty well, and between the dock corners and the clumps of grass in between the docks, I boated 12 for the day, with probably 5 around 2lbs and one that went 4.10. Got into the top 10 for the Oakley Challenge for that one hour, but #9 doesn't pay any prize money... just had to take the satisfaction of cracking at least one code that day and getting on the leaderboard in my first big tournament on a lake I've never set hull on. :D

Guntersville is a pretty lake, I met some nice people, and it obviously has some big bass in it, but it was a tough few days of trying to learn by trial and error as fast as I could!

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Re: Alabama noobie hoping for pointers - October

Postby blackhawk611 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:50 am

good to hear , congrats on your first tournament on the Big G. :mrgreen:
Mike Crenshaw
110 Pintlalla Place, New Market. AL.35761
cell phone 256-698-1606

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