April is my favorite spring fishing month. Every species can be targeted rather easily this month. Early in the month, smallmouth bass will be the target species. The “ Horseshoe “ below Wilson Dam will begin to load up with spawning bass early in the month. The large flats below Wheeler Dam from the turbines North to the lock will provide the same action. Search for bass bedding in 4-9 feet of water in rock piles and gravel bars.
By mid - month crappie action will be hot in the Second Creek, Bear Creek, and Shoals Creek areas. Search for crappie early in the month along creek ledges, but moving into the shallows to spawn by the middle to end of the month. Target stumps, logs, and brush piles for the best action.
Catfish will start to fire up as the start to fatten up for the spawn next month. Numbers of eating size catfish will be easily obtained in the tailrace of both dams and also along bluff shorelines on Wilson in 20 to 40 feet of water. For the big boys try Hog, Cox, and Peach Islands. Fish ledges and search out timber in 30 to 50 feet of water.
With the river continuing to flood the bass and stripe bite continues to be on fire. White bass are being caught in the eddy pockets from just below the dams up to 2-3 miles downstream. Rockpile recreation area and Safety harbor below Wheeler Dam are two good places to start. Smallmouth bass are being caught in the same general spots. The bass tend to be a little deeper and more on wing walls, points, and larger current breaks.
Catfish bite has been good all week and should get better as the month progresses. Big blues are being caught below Wheeler Dam from the power lines down to near Cox Island. Big chunks of cut skipjack or whole shad are the best bait choices for big fish. Smaller catfish are stacked near the Shoals Creek bridge, Town Creek, and the mouth of McKerinan Creek. Start your search in 25 to 30 feet of water.
Crappie are still a little slow but a few fish are being caught in Shoals Creek on Wilson Lake and Spring and Cypress Creeks just below Wilson Dam. Best bite is 6-12 feet of water on wood cover. Look for the fish to continue to move up as the weather warms. A few good strings were caught by shoreline anglers this week in McFarland Park.
The cold water hasn’t slowed down the bass bite much on area lakes. Pickwick headwaters continue to produce good strings of bass and stripe in the lower tailrace area. When the flood gates are open search for fish in eddy pockets off the main current flow in 2-6 feet of water. If current allows drop baits just behind wing walls and dikes for the best smallmouth bite. Wilson has been slower but the bite should improve with warming temperatures later in the month.
Crappie have been slow with the rising flooding waters. A few fish are being caught down river in the Indian and Yellow Creek areas in 20-30 feet of water. Shoreline anglers are picking off a few in McFarland Harbor and the Rockpile Recreation area below the Wilson Dam.
Sauger have slowed dramatically from the flurry we saw back in November. A few fish are being picked up at night and early morning by shoreline anglers. Red / Yellow hair jigs tipped with a minnow is best option.
Catfish have been hard to come by lately. A few fish are being picked up in the deep waters of Wilson Lake but not many. Eating size cats are hit and miss in the Cane Creek area on Pickwick and around the Shoals Creek bridge on Wilson Lake.