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Pickwick Lake

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      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 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 & coordinates.
» Pickwick Lake Fishing Map


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Pickwick Lake NEWS!

Harrelson Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament on Pickwick Lake (press release)
(Sept. 21, 2015) – Aaron Harrelson of Glen, Mississippi, weighed four bass totaling 18 pounds, 2 ounces, Sunday to win the Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Super Tournament on Pickwick Lake with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 32 pounds, ...

and more »

Outdoor Notes: DeLand's Oltorik brothers taking Daytona State back to bass ...
Daytona Beach News-Journal
James and Thomas Oltorik overcame several obstacles to win the Fishing League Worldwide College Southeastern Conference Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama, two weeks ago. The brothers from DeLand, who were representing ...

and more »

Developers plan a $65M rebirth for Pickwick Plaza
Kansas City Business Journal
Like one of the luxurious Nite Coach sleeper buses that used to take off from Kansas City's Pickwick Plaza, developer Tom Smith is "ready to roll." Smith, the president of Gold Crown Properties Inc. in Overland Park, was talking Friday about his firm's ...

and more »

Alabama Bass Trail Championship set for Oct. 9-10 at Decatur
The venues consist of Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Lay Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lake Jordan, the Alabama River (Millers Ferry), Lake Eufaula, and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. According to ...

Times Daily

Daytona State College Wins Championship On Pickwick (press release)
FLORENCE, Ala. (Sept. 27, 2015) – The Daytona State College team of brothers James and Thomas Oltorik, both of Deland, Florida, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Championship tournament on Pickwick Lake Sunday with a two-day ...
Florida team victorious; UNA team 4th in FLW eventTimes Daily

all 2 news articles »

GSCC Fishing Cardinals Finish in Top 10
Gadsden State News
Two members of the Gadsden State Fishing Cardinals finished as one of the Top 10 teams at the Southeastern Conference Championship tournament held recently at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. Josh Oliver of Anniston and Colby Smith of Jacksonville ...

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