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June 2018 Wilson / Pickwick Lake Forecast


            After cooler than normal water temperatures in May, the water is starting to heat up. This means to search for catfish in deeper water. The spawn will start winding down by mid-month and the cats will head for deeper water. Good locations to try are river ledges in 45-70 feet of water. Locate rocks or wood on the ledges and you will find big catfish. For smaller fish target points and bluff lines in 20 to 40 feet of water. Chicken livers, shrimp, and cut baits will be your best baits. Tip of the month, after heavy afternoon downpours, target creek arms or muddy shorelines. Discolored water will attract great numbers of cats in warmer weather.

            For bass start your search on islands and shallow river and creek ledges. Most fish will be holding in 15 to 30 feet of water along ledges and humps. Hog Island and Cox Island on Wilson Lake will be your best bet. On Pickwick, target ledges between the Natchez Trace Parkway bridge and Pickwick Dam. As always, a live shad floated with a slip float or drifted with a split shot and weight are hard to beat for big bass.

            The striper bite should pick up beneath the dams. Check the dam walls for shad activity. If the shad are swimming along the walls of the dam the stripers will be close by. Bream should start their second bedding around the first and end of the month. This is the time of two full moon periods in June. Crickets, small tube lures, and jigs are best for bluegill. If targeting shell crackers, red worms and cut shrimp are best. Search for bedding bream in 1 to 5 feet of water around gravel bars, weed beds, and log jams.

For guide trips for catfish, bream, stripers, or bass contact Captain Brian Barton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at

August 2016 Wilson/Pickwick Lake Forecast
The warm water will make fishing tough at times this month. Like last month, early mornings, late afternoon, and night fishing will be best. Catfish will be holding on tops of ledges, humps, and other structure at night and move off to the deeper water during the day. Try shrimp and squid in the warmer water. I have had better success at times with these baits than traditional offerings. Hog Island, Cox Island, and the upper portion of the old Muscle Shoals Canal will be top choices. This is a great time for nocturnal flathead catfish. Use live shad or big bream fished on a slip float along the wall of the dam at night when the turbines are not running. The faces of both Wheeler and Wilson Dams will have some good flatheads present. The cooler waters at the head of Shoals Creek will be another good place to hang into some good catfish. In the heat of the day fish the bottom of ledges and drop offs in 35 to 45 feet of water. Pickwick Lake catfish will be a little tougher this month, but can still be caught. Concentrate on the upper portion of the lake near the dam where current is present and the water is slightly more oxygenated. In the mid to lower lake regions search for fish at the base of the channel ledges, mounds, and rock rows running parallel with the current flow. I prefer live shad minnows if large enough to catch in a throw net. Cut shad, skipjack, and shad guts will all do equally well. The striper bite should still be hot through Labor Day. Concentrate your efforts from Buck Island to Wilson Dam. Search for surfacing stripers early and late in the day. If the dam is generating strong currents fish from McFarland Park upstream to the dam. I like Mister Twister Striper Lightnin Jigs in the stronger currents. Cast the jigs just upstream then aggressively jerk it up and down off the bottom back to the boat. Red / White and solid White seems to work best. For fishing charters for catfish, stripers, and live bait bass contact Captain Brian Barton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at


Brian Barton is a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain. He wants to remind everyone when booking a fishing guide" to make sure they are USCG certified. It's for everyone's safety and it's the law."

Catfishing for Christ