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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!

Popular Pickwick Lake guide Stegall loses lifetime
Memphis Commercial Appeal
“There's nothing to prepare you for that,” said Stegall, a longtime popular guide and successful tournament angler on Pickwick Lake who lives in Iuka, Mississippi. “You never expect to find yourself in that situation, so there's really no list of ...

Holley Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament On Pickwick Lake (press release)
(June 23, 2014) – Currey Holley of Pulaski, Tenn., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 24 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League Choo Choo Division tournament on Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Holley earned $6,466. Holley, a local who ...

and more »

TSU duo headed to collegiate fishing championship
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Each team qualified through either a series of conference regionals or the last-chance Wild Card tournament held on Pickwick Lake, June 27-28. The full field of 84 teams will compete the first two days on Chatuge. The five teams with the heaviest ...

Mid-South Outdoors Calendar
Memphis Commercial Appeal
7-10 in Philadelphia. Visit FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray: Aug. 14-17 in Columbia, South Carolina. Daily weigh-ins on Kids First Adult/Child Team Bass Tournament on Pickwick Lake: Sept. 6 at Pickwick Landing ...

Sunday Fishing Report
The Huntsville Times -
Captain Mike Gerry reports from Lake Guntersville that fishing has been good in the central portions of the lake as far upstream as the B.B. Comer Bridge, with most bites coming on ledge grass swimming Missile Baits Shock Wave swim baits rigged on ...

Lambert Was No Slouch Down The Stretch
He had a couple BFL wins and a handful of Top-10s to his credit, with the majority coming at either Kentucky Lake or Pickwick Lake. What he didn't have, though, was the experience at the sport's top level, where local aces tend to founder when the ...

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