Keith Poche: Summer on the Alabama River

The Alabama River is one of my favorite places to fish, but the river can always produce many, many challenges throughout the summer. I’ve learned that there are only a few patterns that really produce through the summer months. The Alabama River can really put out some giant large mouth and spotted bass.

One thing I really key in on during the summer is moving water. During these hot months the water temperature really sky rockets and moving water makes the fish more active, but generation schedules don’t always come in our favor, so we have to make the most of these opportunities when they come. When I’m fishing current I always look for places where fish can ambush bait. I fish a lot of creek mouths because they create current break and opportunity for fish and bait to get out of current.  Its a great place to find a lot of large mouth and spotted bass.  My choices on bait selection for fishing these creek mouths would be a 1/2 oz Netbait Paca Jig, Netbait Shakey Head  with a T-Mac and  a Bomber 200 Series in shad pattern.  The depths I key on with these baits is 10′ or less. These 3 baits produce a lot of fish for me when current is present.

The second way I like to fish the river during the hot summer months is getting the early bite.  If I’m out there early, I can always throw a buzz bait or swim a jig in grass.  Finding good grass is always difficult due to water fluctuation.  You need to make sure the water is on full pool that day to really produce some nice fish in grass.  Once you find the right grass patch, you can load the boat.  When the water is down I’ll back off and fish the first point I get to from the grass line and throw a buzz bait early.  Finding these spots can be really difficult.  Always check the generation schedule and water levels.  When right, they can produce some 4-5 lb bites.

Finally, one of my favorite patterns fishing the river is flipping shallow cover.  You can find a lot of cover along the main river banks and that can produce a lot of good large mouth.  When fishing this shallow cover on the river I’ll flip a Netbait B-Bug and a 3/8 ounce Netbait Paca Jig. Depending on the water color I’ll use a green pumpkin or a black and blue in these baits.  Secondly, you can always find residential fish in the back of the creeks. Really big fish. When fishing for these fish don’t expect to get a lot of bites, but when you do its usually a giant.  I flip with a black and blue B Bug on shallow cover 99% of the time.  You can always find lay downs, stumps and brush in these creeks.  There are endless opportunities to catch lots of big fish.

Keep one thing in mind when fishing the Alabama River, fish are always shallow.

Keith Poche
Bassmaster Elite Series Pro

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