After years of fighting over the gill nets being placed across Lake Guntersville a ruling last November out of the courts finally removed them from our lake. It was an epic battle stemming back to the 70’s that placed the commercial fisherman against the sport fisherman on Guntersville. There were times when the local sport fisherman were subject to threats and hate mail as the ramps became a line of contention with nails and other sharp objects being spread over local ramps with blame going to the gill netters as the group responsible.
The problem even became a hardship for the B.A.S.S. as an elite angler got his trolling motor caught up in a gill net back in the 90’s; he removed the gill net took it to the shore line and left it there. Later to be arrested and fined for the removal of the gill net from the lake.
Then in early 2012 the then Mayor of Guntersville Bob Hembree decided to get his legal team to look at the gill net law and see where it stood as a subject of legality. The City of Guntersville legal team opinion was the law was not legal and needed to be addressed with the Atty. General of Alabama, to be ruled unconstitutional in early November of 2012 with an order to have them immediately removed from the lake.
The result; I believe is already telling with over 30 bass caught this spring over 10 lbs. that I know of on Guntersville and the lake record set in 1991 of 14.8 lbs. being challenged with every major tournament. Crappie fishing is the best this year our lake has seen since the mid 80’s and I believe removal of the gill nets is the reason. There was no doubt in my mind that the bigger fish were being caught up in gill nets and dying as a result. No one is proud of the slug fest of the old days as those folks were just trying to make a living, but the result I believe is telling!
Captain Mike Gerry
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Professional Bass Fishing Guide