Wheeler fishing, bank and boat, and willowflies

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Posted by Kerry Grissett on May 29, 2002 at 22:51:00:

First, let me say that I don't know as much as I would like to know about bluegill and shellcrackers!

In an earlier reply to a message about bream, I said I thought that most of them had already been on bed and finished. Well, I was wrong. Even though I haven't had much luck with them lately, I have talked to quite a few folks who have had pretty decent luck finding shellies and gills "on bed" on Wheeler and Wilson and, of course, the Guntersville/Scottsboro areas.

I don't know if this will continue for a long time, but the mayflies (willowflies) are due to hatch out pretty soon. I haven't personally seen ANY evidence of willowflies on Wheeler or any other lake I have fished. I did see casings from some sort of hatch in Beulah Bay, but I don't think they were willowflies. I really don't know what they were, but not willowflies. Ked posted that he found them on Wheeler, but when he went back, there were no more willowflies. I still think the cooler weather we have had, compared to last year at the same time, has kept the water temps down and will probably push the major willowfly hatches back a week or more.

Last year the first major hatches I noticed on Wheeler were on June 1.

I launched from the ramp behind the sewage plant in Decatur on Tuesday with a friend in his boat. We tried around the state docks and Beulah Bay with nearly no success at all. After about 7 hours of hunting we came across one fellow near West Dike who had found a few shellcrackers. They were biting on worms (nightcrawlers). He only had a few and they were in the shallow grass (1-2 foot depth), but scattered. My partner managed to catch one shellcracker and I caught a few gills. No big'uns.

Sorry for not posting more reports, but I really haven't had much to report. Mostly bank fishing and not having any more luck than I had on this last boat trip. (sigh) Not to mention that my "hay fever" has been terrible for the last couple of weeks and I really don't like warm humid weather. Looking forward to the fall!

Good luck and good fishin'


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