Randy Howell: Winter Fishing on Logan Martin

Don’t let cold weather scare you from going fishing in Alabama. Logan Martin is a great winter time fishery. Bass still bite when water is in the 40’s , especially the big spotted bass.

Their are several good techniques that are very effective on Logan Martin, my favorite being the suspending jerkbait. Most of the spotted bass in the lake like to roam around behind schools of baitfish in the winter, especially the bigger fish. The long flat points around the main lake is where to look for them. Logan is a Coosa River lake which means it’s influenced by current and current makes them bite. They also like rocky banks that draw sunlight and baitfish in the winter.

The key depth range is 6′-10′ on flat points and shoals. I’ll usually keep the boat in 10′-15′ and make long cast with my jerkbaits. I prefer a Daiwa Tatula 7′ med/light rod that I designed for jerkbaits and shallow crankbaits, and a Tatula Type R reel with 10lb test Gamma Fluorocarbon line. Long cast help you get the bait deeper and keep you from spooking the shad in these shallow areas allowing more bites.

My favorite jerkbait is the Livingston Stick master in Beauty shad color. The Livingston bait has a natural baitfish sound chip in the bait that activates when it hits the water, so when you are slowly jerking and pausing, the sound attracts the bass as it’s suspending in one spot. It’s a similar action to the old traditional rogue baits of the past, but with sound technology added.

This is my main technique for winter fishing on Logan Martin and I’ve caught my biggest spot on Logan in February several years ago on a jerkbait and it weighed 6 pounds and 10 ounces.

You can also catch em shallow-cranking and fishing jigs around the docks that are still in the water. The bass seem to stay shallow in the winter due to the draw down that occurs every year from October – April. The winter draw down usually makes it 5′-6′ low till April, but that’s what makes the fish congregate more off shore sometimes, but it also keeps them around what ever shallow cover that can be found.

Just be careful when navigating if you’re not familiar with it, nothing is marked during winter pool and the points that look flat on land are flat in the water, so be be alert. Especially if you go up river above the I-20 bridge. If you are chasing the big largemouths on the lake, they live up the river and they’ll be shallow on the cover that’s visible due to the low water. This is where you best know where you’re going once you get up a ways, because it can get stumpy and rocky in several stretches so be careful. If you’re a risk taker like me, there’s some big stringers up there!

My suggestion for new comers to the lake would be the lower end from the Stemley bridge to the Dam. This part of the lake has all the prime water during winter draw down. Logan is great pattern lake and I promise it won’t disappoint you. I predict it’ll be one of the best lakes on the Alabama Bass Trail tour this year… next to Guntersville.

Hope this info is helpful to you and you catch some big ones!

Good luck and God bless,
Randy Howell

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