This month the smallmouth bass should fire up near the dam. Mid-September historically marks the start of the fall bite. Best bets live bait fished between the Singing River bridge and dam on Pickwick Lake and from Big Nance Creek to Wheeler Dam on Wilson Lake. Try to plan your trips when TVA is generating maximum current flow for best results.

            For catfish try deep water on Wilson Lake. Should be plenty of action in 70-80 feet of water on the north side of the lake from shoals Creek to Wilson Dam. Big chunks of skipjack for the big boys small cut bait or chicken livers for table size fish.

            Crappie are already being caught in lower Pickwick Lake. Start your search in 15-19 feet of water in the flats in bear and Second Creeks. Jigs or trolling Bandit crankbaits still producing last week.

This month is the toughest of the year for me. Warm water temps and hot sunny days can really dampen the fishing. Best bets for any species is early and late in the day or at night. Being comfortable while fishing is vital to angler success.

Best bets are white bass below Wilson and Wheeler dams. Use spinners, topwater lures, or jigs. Fish are schooling heavily late in the evenings and early mornings on small shad schools in open water. Popping corks with jigs tied 2-3 feet below are my lures of choice.

Crappie are still biting crankbaits trolled in Bear Creek. Fish deep diving lures in 18-29 feet of water. Natural colors work best in sun with black and pinks doing better on cloudy days.

Bluegills are thick in slack water areas along the walls of both dams. Suspend a worm or cricket 1-2 feet of the bottom and hold on. Most of the fish are good eating size. If you start catching lots of channel catfish, you’re fishing too deep. Reel bait up higher in the water column.

Catfish, bass, and Striper bite is relatively slow in most areas, but some fish are being caught. The good news is September is a coming and we are only about 6 weeks away from some great fall fishing.

                This month is typically tough fishing on Wilson and Pickwick Lakes. As the water begins to warm and fish recover from spawning the bite can be tough. Best bets are bluegills around the full moon on June 15th.  They will be coming in for the second spawn of the season. Fish the same areas you did in May just back out a little deeper. June spawning may be deep as 7-10 feet if the water is clear.

                The tailrace may load up with white bass if we get enough rainfall to generate good current flow. This is always dependent upon river flow. Early morning and late evening action is always best.

                If the first two don’t produce, you can always pursue Mr. Whisker’s. The catfish bite may be slower as well but a few can always be caught. Fish early, late, or at night. Target rocks and gravel bars where mussels and moss are present. Catfish love to feed on fresh growing moss beds in the heat of summer.

                Brian Barton Outdoors will resume fishing excursions September 1oth, I still have a few fall dates open for live bait at this time.