An Insider’s Guide to fishing Lake Guntersville

WRITTEN BY  ON FEBRUARY 27, 2020

Lake Guntersville, the site of the action for the 2020 Bassmaster Classic, has a history of producing scale-busting bags during tournaments. It also has a reputation for breaking the wills of otherwise talented anglers with disappointing days.

Oftentimes, there isn’t a whole lot of rhyme or reason separating those two things. So what exactly does it take to catch those famous Lake Guntersville lunkers? How do you get more boom than bust when it comes to bass at this year’s Classic?

We sat down with three of our Power-Pole pros — Chris Lane, Randall Tharp and Justin Lucas — who happen to know a little something about this year’s venue in Alabama and asked them for their insider tips for how to conquer the Big G.

Lucas, originally a California native, moved to Lake Guntersville nearly a decade ago to help further his pro fishing career. Lucas was the 2018 Bassmaster Angler of the Year when he gained a reputation for working vegetation to find the really big fish. The amount of vegetation might end up being a hindrance, however, for this year’s event.

“One thing that has been really interesting this year is the amount of eel grass in the lake. There has been two mile stretches of the river that you couldn’t even make a cast because there was so much floating eel grass. You have to keep that in mind because you might have the perfect spot with lots of fish but you aren’t going to be able to fish it effectively.

“If it was me, I’d have plenty of backup plans because you can have a winning hole and never be able to get into it. I’d probably have a couple of creeks where I could get as far away from that eel grass as I can.”

Lane, a former Classic champion, has made his home on Lake Guntersville, so he understands how quickly the fish can move from one part of the lake to the next. For him, finding the schools will depend on the conditions of the lake itself which can change rapidly with the weather.

“Weather plays a massive role when it comes to fishing Lake Guntersville in the early spring because you can have pouring down snow, you can have sleet or you can have a 65-70 degree day. All of that is going to be a big variable.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of downpour and the lake is as high as it’s ever been. Guntersville will fluctuate normally only two to three feet because of the amount of barge traffic that comes through there. We are right there in the horseshoe and that’s where those big, big bass get in there. They love it in those currents and those eddies. When you have that much current and that much rain coming down, you have to pay attention to that.”

Tharp has plenty of experience fishing the lake in tournament situations. The former Birmingham, Alabama native began his competitive fishing career there with the Bassmaster North Alabama regionals in 2005 and has put that expertise to his advantage ever since, including a fifth place finish in the 2014 Classic.

“For me it was always about winding stuff around with a horizontal presentation. I love fishing a lipless bait, a crank bait or a vibrating jig. Those are the big three lures. A jerk bait does play if there are extreme cold front conditions but I’ve narrowed it down to those three or four techniques because they allow you to cover tons of water with them. You have to cover big grass flats.

“A lot of it is water temperature dependent so the colder the water, the slower you’ll need to fish them. There does come a time, and it looks like we are approaching that time, when the water temperature hits that magical 55-60 degrees and it doesn’t matter how fast you reel. It does look like we are shaping up to where the big ones are going to feed regardless.”

Of course all three of the pros agreed that properly utilizing their Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors would play a vital role in all of those situations.

“If you are in the main river, you can anchor down and hold your boat in the strong currents while you cast upcurrent and let your bait come down in a natural way,” Lucas said. “Me personally, after I was done doing that, I would troll around to the upside and make those casts in the other direction to show the fish a new angle.”

“There’s no doubt. Even when they are feeding aggressively you’ll need to make multiple presentations. Sometimes you’ll find that grass flat that you feel really good about and that’s when it is time to Power-Pole down and make repeated casts at the same piece of cover,” Tharp said.

“When you can Power-Pole down and not get on that school of fish (by trolling over them), you will sit there and catch them on every single cast,” Lane said.

American Fishing Tour - Latest News


Michael Smith Takes the Win on Lake Mitchell

January 8, 2022, Clanton, AL.  Thirty-three anglers launched from Higgins Ferry Park Ramp near Clanton, AL.  Twenty-four of those anglers brought back five-fish limits to the scales, but when the scales closed Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, AL took the victory with 14.71 pounds.  For the victory Smith took home $723 in prize money.

Read More

Couples Series - Latest News


Tom and Missy take the win and the GLine Battery $100 Bounty on Cooper River

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the Cooper River with mild temperatures and sunny skies!  We had eight teams come out to compete with every team bringing fish to the scales.  Several teams commented on how clear the water was and how many big bass they watched swimming but couldn’t get to bite.  It seems that the most productive bite was on crank baits and worms.  

Tom and Missy Bancroft took First Place with 5 largemouth bass weighing 8.15 lbs. earning $360.  We caught our bass on crankbaits in the morning and shaky head worms in the afternoon.

Read More

Open Series - Latest News


Florida South Division To Open On Okeechobee

ATHENS, Ala. – The Florida South Division 7 of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, begins its new season on Jan. 22, 2022, on Lake Okeechobee.

The anglers will run out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Avenue in the town of Clewiston, Fla. Anglers can fish anywhere in the massive lake but cannot lock into the Kissimmee River, Caloosahatchee River, or the Port St. Lucie Canal.

Read More

Team Events - Latest News


Team Tour Championship Postponed

Out of an overabundance of caution The Team Tour Championship that was scheduled for 10/10-11/2020 on Wheeler Lake has be postponed.  The National Weather Service is forecasting winds of 10-20 mph with gust up to 35mph for Saturday, and winds of 10-15 mph with gust up to 20 mph Sunday.  The safety of our anglers is the number on concern and factor when making the tough decisions on postponing a tournament.  The new dates for the Team Tour Championship will be November 21-22 on Wheeler Lak

Read More

 

 

 

 

American Fishing Tour - Latest News


Michael Smith Takes the Win on Lake Mitchell

January 8, 2022, Clanton, AL.  Thirty-three anglers launched from Higgins Ferry Park Ramp near Clanton, AL.  Twenty-four of those anglers brought back five-fish limits to the scales, but when the scales closed Michael M. Smith of Andalusia, AL took the victory with 14.71 pounds.  For the victory Smith took home $723 in prize money.

Read More

Couples Series - Latest News


Tom and Missy take the win and the GLine Battery $100 Bounty on Cooper River

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the Cooper River with mild temperatures and sunny skies!  We had eight teams come out to compete with every team bringing fish to the scales.  Several teams commented on how clear the water was and how many big bass they watched swimming but couldn’t get to bite.  It seems that the most productive bite was on crank baits and worms.  

Tom and Missy Bancroft took First Place with 5 largemouth bass weighing 8.15 lbs. earning $360.  We caught our bass on crankbaits in the morning and shaky head worms in the afternoon.

Read More

Open Series - Latest News


Florida South Division To Open On Okeechobee

ATHENS, Ala. – The Florida South Division 7 of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, begins its new season on Jan. 22, 2022, on Lake Okeechobee.

The anglers will run out of Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte Avenue in the town of Clewiston, Fla. Anglers can fish anywhere in the massive lake but cannot lock into the Kissimmee River, Caloosahatchee River, or the Port St. Lucie Canal.

Read More

Team Events - Latest News


Team Tour Championship Postponed

Out of an overabundance of caution The Team Tour Championship that was scheduled for 10/10-11/2020 on Wheeler Lake has be postponed.  The National Weather Service is forecasting winds of 10-20 mph with gust up to 35mph for Saturday, and winds of 10-15 mph with gust up to 20 mph Sunday.  The safety of our anglers is the number on concern and factor when making the tough decisions on postponing a tournament.  The new dates for the Team Tour Championship will be November 21-22 on Wheeler Lak

Read More


Advertising Contact Privacy Terms of Use
Home Find Divisions Event Finder

© 2018 American Bass Anglers MBAA Since 1975 - All Rights Reserved American Bass Anglers, Inc Logos and other data within this website is the property of American Bass Anglers, Inc and may not be copied or reproduced without express permission of American Bass Anglers, Inc. American Bass Anglers, Inc PO Box 475 Athens, AL 35612 email: call us 256-232-0406. This web site is provided by ABA and resides on a server with 99.99% up time.

© 2018 American Bass Anglers MBAA Since 1975 - All Rights Reserved American Bass Anglers, Inc Logos and other data within this website is the property of American Bass Anglers, Inc and may not be copied or reproduced without express permission of American Bass Anglers, Inc. American Bass Anglers, Inc PO Box 475 Athens, AL 35612 email: call us 256-232-0406. This web site is provided by ABA and resides on a server with 99.99% up time.