Last Updated: 09/23/2014
Fishing Alabama Reeds Guide Service
Celebrating 50 years since its impoundment! Logan Martin Lake is only 30 miles from Birmingham, at its midway point is where I-65 going to Atlanta crosses the lake. It is a man made Coosa River Impoundment about 50 nautical miles from dam to dam.
Plus, the lake is still loaded with the Coosa River breed of spotted bass, largemouth bass and striped bass. Often, an angler can fool all three of these bass species during the Fall season when the lake begins to cool, inducing these bass to feed and fatten up for the upcoming winter months ahead.
Bass anglers should take notice. This lake is drawn down for winter pool during every Fall season and it is usually down, around 3-4 feet below normal full pool levels, for about 6 months until the next year’s spring season. It is very hazardous for boat navigation, especially for first timers!
* You can keep a good check on the lake level (and water generation schedules), by calling Alabama Power at 1-800-lakes 11.
As September slowly comes to an end the arrival of the Fall season can actually be felt as the cool mornings of October begin to dip into the upper 50′s, requiring a long sleeve shirt or light jacket. The bass feel it too!
Water temperatures rose to around 90 degrees this past summer season and even in early September the water temps hovered in the mid 80′s, due to some late summer and hot, lingering days of mid-to-upper 80′s. Water temps are now close to 80 degrees in late September. Air temps are in the upper 70′s with low 60′s at night. But soon that will all change.
Falling lake levels, aquatic weeds slowly begin to wither and die and water temps falling every week, including soon, Fall rains that may muddy up the mid-to-upper lake and possibly heavely stain most incoming feeder creeks. These are just some of the negative aspects of Fall fishing on Logan Martin lake.
There are many, more positive reasons to be fishing Logan Martin lake this Fall season as the lake waters begin to cool and air temps constantly begin to drop.
Like; Gone are all the sea doos (or jet skies), water skiers, pleasure boaters, pontoon parties, crappie and catfish anglers, other types of anglers and boaters and even bass boats, as many would-be bass anglers now turn their attention to hunting in the woods nearby, watching football on weekends or taking care of business, like kids back in school!
So how does and angler approach a lake like Logan Martin lake during these Fall and early Winter seasons? What lures and techniques does it take to successfully fool some of the lakes biggest bass? Heres how.
Just like any time you go fish any lake, do your home work first. Check out the lake level (every other day if possible), prior to your pre planned fishing trip, to a lake that will be for sure dropping each week after the first week of October. Take a good look at the previous week’s weather. Check out all the current fishing reports for the lake on the internet (or see www.fishingalabama.com) and talk to any anglers that have previously been on the lake.
Keep in mind. For the past four months these largemouth bass and spotted bass have related to both deep river channel ledges, drop-offs, or old deeper creek channels and Logan Martin’s shallow bass have been found around any wood and rock cover. The largemouth bass have also been found right at home lingering among the lake’s aquatic weeds that line the shoreline and found from one end of this fifty mile long lake to the other!
So now, as those shoreline aquatic weeds slowly begin to wither and die, some previous weed-dweeling bass suddenly move out. Other bass are forced from their weedy homes as the lake levels begin to fall, thus exposing the lakes weeds as lake drawdown occurs. By the time the lake is down 3-4 feet there are very few aquatic weeds for these bass to relate to. So, they just back off and head for to the nearest wood cover, rock cover or bottom irregularity.
But astute bass anglers should always keep in mind. Any weeds still left in the water after Logan Martin lake is drawn down, (with a depth of one foot or more), could still have some of the lake’s biggest bass! There are always some big, largemouth bass still clinging to the very last piece of weedy cover, a spot these big bass possibly inhibited for the last 3-4 months, or now they can be found lingering nearby!
As lake levels begin to fall, these spotted bass and largemouth bass will still be found on any nearby wood cover such as now exposed stumps, laying logs, laydown trees, resident-planted brush piles and any piers, boat houses and marinas.
Rock cover (now exposed due to lake draw down) can be discovered just about any where on this lake. Old road beds, old house foundations, rock piles, rock bluffs or block walls, rocky boulder-filled main lake points are excellant places and any man made rip-rap rocks like those found around bridges, culverts and the dam area, will now hold both retreating bass (that were previously hugging the lakes original shoreline when the lake was at full pool) and schools of bass now feeding and constantly scanning the shallows of the new, low pool shoreline, for those easy-to-eat meals.
Prey that inhibited the lakes aquatic weeds will still be the food of choice for most bass. These weeds held a lot of the meals these bass dine on daily and just because the lake is being lowered does not mean bass will quit eating minnows, bream, shad and other bait fish.
This goes for those bass still targeting prey like frogs, snakes, worms, lizards, crayfish and insects that have now left the security of their weedy homes they harbored this past summer season!
So, do the same lures still fool the same bass? Yes! Topwater lures are at their best in water temps ranging from the seventies down to the sixties. With water temps as low as 50 degrees, its still possible to fool a big bass this Fall and early Winter seasons on a topwater lure and there are many lure choiuces to select from as usual.
Fake frogs, buzz baits, poppers, prop baits and walking type topwater lures like Heddon’s Zara Spooks and Lucky Craft Sammies to name a few. Floating worms, soft jerk baits and Senkos fished weightless or lures like spinnerbaits or chatterbaits will still fool big bass!
Many of these Fall season bass will now begin to feed and actually gorge themselves with baitfish like bream, minnows, gizzard shad and threadfin shad. Tailoring your lures to simulate prey look-a-likes calls for selecting shad colors, bream colors or using lures that look and act like minnows, like both floating model jerk baits and suspending jerk baits.
Rattling lipless lures like half ounce Bill Lewis Rattle traps, Strike King’s Red Eye Shad or Rapala’s Rattlin Raps can be fished on 14-15 pound line and a long 6-7 foot rod. These lures cover water fast and they often induce the more anxious and bigger bass, those curious bass tracking these lures feeding by sight, sound and flash. Shallow to deep diving crankbaits should be tried as well!
Fishing on or near Logan Martin lakes varied bottom, bass anglers now have dozens, if not hundreds of lures to select from. Soft plastics like worms, lizards, crayfish imitations, tube baits and creature baits, either fished Texas-rigged, Carolina-rigged or on a jig head stills fools the more sluggish big, largemouth bass.
Also besides the big largemouth bass, the spotted bass prefer both large and small offerings. You can fish small shaky head worms. Jig combos and shiny jigging spoons or tail spinners fool some of the fall seasons biggest spotted bass on Logan Martin lake! Off the wall tactics like fishing with a Alabama Rig (a multi-lure rig) or casting heavy, jig head swim baits in deep water will work as well. These lures can fool bass that many anglers fail to even entice to bite!
So as you can see although there are many changes in store this Fall and early Winter seasons for bass anglers fishing Logan Martin lake, most anglers are tailored to benefit, especially those persistant bass anglers that just keep on chunkin’!
See more reports at Fishhound.com
ABOUT THIS LAKE
Largemouth bass and Coosa River spotted bass are the main draw for anglers on Logan Martin Lake. Largemouth bass are abundant in the 12-18 inch range. Spotted bass also abound, with many in the 14- to 21-inch range, representing some of the best values in the state. In fact, the spots numbers in the 17- to 20-inch range equaled the highest value ever recorded from the lake. Spotted bass growth has been good to excellent, and their condition is outstanding.
Logan Martin Lake – not to be confused with Lake Martin – is located in east-central Alabama on the Coosa River, about 30 miles east of Birmingham on I-20 near Pell City and Talladega. Nicknamed “Lake of a Thousand Coves” by locals, it has 275 miles of shoreline along its 48.5-mile length sandwiched between Logan Martin Dam on the south and Neely Henry Dam on the north. The depth of this 15,263-acre lake is 35 to 110 feet, with only five feet average water level variance.