Posted by jd on December 13, 2006 at 11:05:42:
In Reply to: Wilson Dam fishing posted by John on December 12, 2006 at 19:47:01:
I don't think my advise will help, but it won't cost much either. Fishing below Guntersville, Wheeler, and Wilson dams varies considerably. First and foremost, the water depth is relatively shallow from the bank from all except Guntersville. I will tell you what I think I know about each. Mostly, fishing success can vary greatly depending on current/flow. Expect to lose lots of lead when fishing from the bank!! When in a boat, you can generally go upstream and pull loose from rocks and such when using larger line, but smaller line/lures don't get hung as much because the current keeps them off the bottom longer. You will probably find a rhythm when bank fishing as to how long you can drift a bait.
Guntersville - The water is accessible from the bank from the north and south sides. The water is generally around 15 feet deep as best as I can remember and there are sandy banks downriver where the current slows down a bit. I am most familiar with the south side and have caught fish from just below the boat ramp (i.e. The sand bar) up to the dam (i.e. The Wall). The wall is tapered and reaches an elevation above the water level some 20 feet or more that can be fished from. There is an eddy below the dam before you reach The 'old cafe' Point. Not a great place to fish (IMO) because of the rocks, but I have seen sauger school in the current there where they could be dipped with a net. If you ever see this - don't dip them, as the game warden will not be happy. That is another story! A popular sauger spot is the old ferry crossing, which is just above the boat ramp. When the water is low, you will see some wood structure in the water. Just more stuff to get hung on.
Wheeler - Very deep up against the dam. I have never fished from bank, but there is a concrete sidewalk with, I believe, a roof covering (good for rainy day?). The water is generally less than 10 feet deep, around 7 as I recall. Bank fishing only from south side.
Wilson - Very, very shallow and spreadout discharge, accessible from bank on south side only. That water is so shallow it scares me to take my boat there. I don't recall the shoreline facilities for bank fisherman, but I would be surprised if it would be a better place to bank fish than Wheeler or Guntersville Dam, at least wrt sauger, but maybe ok for smallmouth? Wheeler and Wilson are close together (10 miles?), so you could easily fish both.
I have had some success with sauger casting jigs and retrieving. However, most people tend to bump bottom, which is hard from bank due to all the rocks and stuff. Your success will be limited to what the fish are doing depending on the weather. It mostly depends on where the baitfish is swimming! With this warmer air, who knows what can happen on any given day??
Bring lots of jigheads and good luck!
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