North Alabama Opens on Guntersville Saturday
The Alabama North Division of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series, operated by American Bass Anglers, opens its 2012 season Feb. 18 on Lake Guntersville near Guntersville, Ala.
The anglers will run out of the Val-Monte Lakeside Resort Marina located at 7001 Val-Monte Drive in Guntersville, Ala. Anglers may begin fishing at 6:30 a.m. or safe light. The weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. The priority entry deadline is Jan. 29, 2012, with late fees beginning on Feb. 8, 2012. Registration will take place at Guntersville Recreation Center, located at 1500 Sunset Drive in Guntersville, Ala.
Anglers fishing the Boater Division may weigh in up to five bass in any combination of largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass, each at least 15 inches long. Co-anglers may weigh in up to three bass. All anglers must possess an Alabama fishing license. For license information, see www.outdooralabama.com/licenses/fwfishlicinfo or call (888) 848-6887.
Anglers can fish anywhere on the 69,100-acre Tennessee River impoundment, except in Tennessee waters and from the peninsula point down to the first boat house past the courtesy docks. The largest lake in Alabama, Lake Guntersville drops to more than 60 feet deep in places. The northern portion of the reservoir still resembles the original river channel, while the lower lake opens into a typical southern reservoir with several large feeder creeks entering the system. Vast grassy flats along either side of the main river channel and major creeks typically hold good bass populations. Some better bass creeks include North and South Sauty, Siebold Creek, Brown’s Creek and Town Creek.
The lake can produce some giant bass. Charlie Bertus of Huntsville, Ala., holds the official lake record with a 14.50-pound lunker he caught on Feb. 21, 1990, in the Murphy Hill area near mid-lake. The lake also holds big smallmouth bass. While fishing the 2010 BWS National Championship tournament, held Nov. 3-6, Duanne McQueen of Stockbridge, Ga., landed a 5.85-pound brownie that hit a Texas-rigged V&M pearl-white Pork Shad soft plastic jerkbait fished weightless in 15 to 18 feet of water near the dam.
Many anglers fishing Guntersville punch through the thick grass with heavy jigs or run buzzing frogs over the matted grass tops. With so many vast grass flats, look for little ditches that run through the vegetation. Even a slight change in water depth could make a difference. How colors for soft plastics include green pumpkin and watermelon.”
Besides grassy flats, anglers can also fish ledges, drop-off edges, humps, natural rock piles and docks with Texas-rigged plastics or Carolina-rigged lizards. Also hit the bridges and riprap with shad-colored crankbaits or spinnerbaits.
During a Feb. 26, 2011, BWS tournament on Lake Guntersville, Allan Glasgow began his march to the Bassmaster Classic. Glasgow won the Boater Division with five bass weighing 27.94 pounds for a 5.58-pound average. He helped his average with a 6.84-pound bucketmouth. Glasgow caught most of his fish by flipping a black and blue jig with a watermelon red beaver around blowdowns in about two feet of water. Gil Summerlin of Guntersville took tournament big bass honors with a 9.28-pound bucketmouth that hit a jig near grass in eight feet of water.
In the Co-Angler Division during that February 2011 tournament, Randy Snyder of Corryton, Tenn., won with three bass going 13.34 pounds for a 4.44-pound average. He caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce Redeye Shad in white, red and gold. Brandon Taylor of Scottsville, Ky., caught the division lunker, a 7.99-pounder that hit a beaver bait fished in about 12 feet of water.
For more information on this tournament, call Randy Sullivan at (256) 230-5633 or ABA at (888) 203-6222. On line, seewww.americanbassanglers.com.