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Pickwick Lake

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fishing tips

      Often called the best smallmouth bass fishery in the U.S., Pickwick Lake regularly produces smallies in the 2 to 3 lb range and it's not uncommon to catch 5 to 6 lb fish.

During early spring, smallmouth move into tailwater areas in preparation for the spring spawn. After spawning the bass disperse to the numerous rocky areas found throughout the lake. With the coming of Fall, smallmouth bass return to the tailwater areas in search of forage. Threadfin shad, gizzard shad, crayfish, minnows, juvenile bluegill and sunfish are the main food sources for Smallmouth Bass in Pickwick Lake. In Spring, smallmouth bass with feed heavily on crayfish, and lures which mimic these freshwater crustaceans can be deadly.

Pickwick Lake is the reservoir created by Pickwick Landing Dam as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The lake stretches from Pickwick Landing Dam to Wilson Dam. The main species of fish which inhabit Pickwick Lake are smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, black crappie, white crappie, sauger, bluegill, redear sunfish, white bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, and flathead catfish.

Pickwick Lake has excellent sportfishing opportunities, with one of the most productive areas being the Wilson Dam tailwater at the upper end of the reservoir. This area is highly noted for record-size smallmouth bass and catfish. Another hotspot on Pickwick Lake is the discharge basin at Colbert Fossil Plant west of Sheffield, Alabama, where the warm water discharged from the power plant attracts fish during the cold weather months.

      Trophy size largemouth bass in the 5-to-8 pound are abundant in Pickwick Lake, although fish in excess of 10 pounds have been taken in the past. The best Largemouth bass fishing on Pickwick lake is generally between mid-March to May. Pre-spawn largemouth move into shallow backwater areas in preparation for the spring spawn. After spawning they move out to deeper slackwater areas, adjacent to the swift currents in pursuit of forage. Largemouth will feed on shad as well as minnows and juvenile bluegill and sunfish.

      Both black crappie and white crappie can be found throughout the lake. Most Pickwick Lake crappie average about 1 pound and are easier to target when schooling. Tiny tube jigs tipped with a worm is always a great tactic for crappie. Both black and white crappie move shallow during the spawning period, from mid-February to late April. As the water warms in the summer they move deeper where they hold in 20-to 30-feet, usually above structure, such as brush piles, fallen timber and submerged Christmas trees.

      Sauger are also abundant in Pickwick Lake and can be found scattered throughout the lake during summertime, typically holding in deeper water. The best time of year for sauger is during the winter months, from December until February, when they can be found concentrated in tailwater areas.

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fishing maps

Fishing Hot Spots Topo Maps
Pickwick Lake - Each detailed map provides depth, contours, structure, boat ramps, and updated fishing information. Pickwick Lake fishing maps also include lake info such as gamefish abundance, forage base, water clarity, weedline depth, bottom composition, complete latitude/longitude grid lines and dozens of GPS waypoints. Includes GPS coordinates for specific lake features and structure. » Pickwick Lake Fishing Map


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Pickwick Lake NEWS!

BFL on Pickwick this Week
FLORENCE – The Walmart Bass Fishing League is headed to Pickwick Lake October 9-11 for one of six regional championships. The three-day tournament will feature the top forty boaters and forty co-anglers from each of the Cowboy, Hoosier, Music City ...


Bass Can't Hide
SHOALS – Local anglers tout Pickwick and Wilson lakes as two of the best places in the country to fish for largemouth and smallmouth bass. A leading fishing website agrees. In its listing of the top 100 bass lakes in America, ranked ...

Yelas Ready To Get Started On New Streak
Placements in the 140s at both Lake Okeechobee and Pickwick Lake brought an end to his 23-year run of qualifying for either the Bassmaster Classic (1991-2006) or Forrest Wood Cup (2006-13). It's worth noting that Kevin VanDam's run of 24 straight ...

Clarksville Leaf Chronicle

Tennessee buck (Photo: File)
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
... • Tennessee River. Fort Loudoun 812.4V; Watts Bar 740.6; Chickamauga 678.8V; Nickajack 634.2V; Guntersville 593.8V; Wheeler 552.9V; Wilson 507.1V; Tims Ford 886.4F; Normandy 871.1F; Pickwick 408.8V; Kentucky (Dam 354.4F, New Johnsonville ... (press release)

Bites But No Hooks (press release)
Tonight I was getting consistent bites in some wood throwing a jig and craw but never hooked a fish. The bites felt like 2-3 pecks on the lure. At one point I made a cast and right as it hit the water the line started unraveling like something was ...

Beaver Kept Schenck From Having Best Season
He ended up 16th or better three times, including a season-best 9th in the early June event at Pickwick Lake. He had a stellar day 2 there, catching a sack that was just 3 ounces shy of 25 pounds. He said it was one of the best fishing days he's ever ...

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