Jon Henry: Early Spring on Lake Guntersville

At Lake Guntersville early spring (February-Mid March), is the time for one thing… BIG BASS!  I’m not talking the 4 or 5 pounder you weighed in to get the big fish pot at last years Smith Lake night tournament.  I’m talking 6 pounders, 7 pounders, 8 to 10 pounders, and on the most special of all days, I’m talking over 10 pounders.  I spend almost every day on the lake during this time every year, because when it’s over I will surely miss it. This is that special time of year when you hear every monday about the 35lb stringer that won out of Goose Pond, or that 34lb stringer that took everyones money at a tournament out of Browns Creek. This is it, the time of year we all dream of all of the other seasons.

I want to tell you a little about what to look for when your out on Guntersville in this special time, and how to target these fish. First you need to understand how the lake sets up. The northern tributaries on the west side generally get warm and stained first. Lots of times the water temperature in Roseberry and North Sauty will be 50 degrees, while the temps in Siebold will be 47 degrees. So for the most part, I start my season in the northern part of the lake, say Mudd and Town Creeks, and I work my way down with the warming water. In the earliest part of this season, I like to fish from the mouths to halfway back in the creeks, and I expand on that as the season passes. What I like to target are small drops in 4-8 foot of water.  The one thing you have to watch about Guntersville compared to other lakes is the small amount of drop it takes to hold good fish.  I’ve found schools of good fish holding on little drops that are barely even a foot. Of course around the bridges and causeways are great places if like a crowd, but spend your time finding these little humps and drops and you won’t need to fight a crowd.  Some days it seems they are on the drops with grass some days they want to be on shell or gravel, you just have to let them tell you. Everyone talks about having trouble finding shell beds, here is a tip: the entire eastern side of the lake from South Sauty to Mountain Lakes Marina is shells.  For baits, I keep it simple.  I like an A-Rig first and foremost.  A good homemade one is your best bet, I haven’t found one that is manufactured that I would even cast. Put yourself 3 1/4oz head and 2 1/8oz heads on it, and glue on some Zoom swimming flukes (Disco Violet if it’s sunny, BaitFish colored if its cloudy). I like to throw mine on a 775 Powell Endurance rod, teamed up with PLine 50lb braid. If this just isn’t working for you the old favorites will be worth a try, 1/2 and 3/4oz rattle baits ticked off the grass can be deadly. I prefer the 3/4 oz rattle baits just because I’m still a believer in bigger baits equal bigger fish.

Give these tips a try next time you go looking in early spring on the Big G, you might even run into me out there!

Jonathan Henry

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