Alabama North To Start Season on Guntersville

ATHENS, Ala. – Anglers fishing Alabama North Division 1 of the American Bass Anglers Open Series, Presented by Caymas Boats, begin their 2022 season on Jan. 30 (Postponed to 1/30 due to high winds) at Lake Guntersville.

The tournament launches out of Goose Pond Ramp, located at 417 Ed Hembree Drive in Scottsboro, Ala. On the biggest lake in Alabama and one of the best lakes for big bass anywhere, anglers could catch a double-digit largemouth on any cast in any part of the sprawling reservoir at any time.

“Without a doubt, Lake Guntersville is one of the premier bass lakes in the nation,” advised Mike Iaconelli, a former Bassmaster Classic champion. “On Lake Guntersville, I’m not happy until I get about a 4- to 5-pound average.”

Lake Guntersville meanders 75 miles along the Tennessee River and covers 69,100 acres with the upper portion of the massive impoundment crossing the Tennessee state line. The impoundment drops to about 60 feet deep in places.

The reservoir produces many largemouth bass in the 5- to 9-pound range with some bigger ones. It has produced largemouth topping 14 pounds and several in the 12- to 14-pound range. Many tournament victories come from North Sauty Creek down to Brown’s Creek. Other good places to fish include Siebold Creek and Town Creek.

Lake Guntersville also holds an abundant spotted bass population along with some smallmouth and redeye bass. In the past, the state of Alabama stocked smallmouth in Town Creek, Scarham Creek, and Shoal Creek. The lake smallmouth record weighed 5.85 pounds.

The northern portion of the huge lake retains much of its riverine characteristics with fallen trees, stumps, and rocks marking steep shorelines. Several feeder creeks flow into the giant impoundment. Current flows more heavily through this part of the lake, especially when the Nickajack and Guntersville dams release water.

From just north of Scottsboro to the dam, the lower part of Lake Guntersville looks more like a typical southern reservoir with deep water, points, ledges, coves, and flats. Thick beds of milfoil, hydrilla, and other aquatic grasses dominate much of the lake. Many anglers work frogs over the grass mats or probe the edges and pockets with jigs and other soft plastics.

“I grew up fishing Guntersville,” stated Gerald Swindle, a top bass pro who lives on the lake. “When I’m looking for a big bite, I fish a jig around the grass. For punching mats, I fish a 1/2-ounce jig in low-light conditions. As the sun gets higher, I’ll switch to a 3/4-ounce jig and fish the thicker clumps. For the jig itself, I stick with browns or greens.”

With most bass in pre-spawn mode, look for small ditches leading from deep water to the flats. The tiny channels create access routes that fish can use to navigate into the spawning areas when the water warms sufficiently. Big bass commonly stack up in deeper water at the mouths of small tributaries. 

Fish these areas with 1/2-ounce jigs and shad- or crawfish-colored crankbaits. White swim jigs can also entice good action around thick cover. Anglers might get some good largemouth, spotted bass or smallmouth action by working spinnerbaits or suspending jerkbaits around points.

During an Alabama North Division of the American Fishing Tour, Presented by Caymas Boats, tournament held Jan. 15, 2022, on Lake Guntersville, Michael N. Brown won with five bass weighing 18.87 pounds including one 6.06-pounder. 

Each ABA Open Series division offers four one-day qualifying events in a boater/co-angler format. Boaters pay an entry fee of $210, while Co-Anglers pay $105.

Each boater can weigh up to five bass in any combination of largemouth, smallmouth, spotted or redeye bass. Co-Anglers can bring in a three-bass tournament limit. Each bass must measure at least 15 inches long. Competitors cannot lock through to other lakes.

To register for this event, Click Here.

The top 20 percent of registered anglers will receive cash payouts based on the total number of entries. If at least 60 boaters enter the tournament, the Boater Division winner will receive a minimum of $5,000.

In addition, anglers may qualify for bonus money offered by such tournament sponsors as Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, the T-H Marine Atlas Awards program, MotorGuide, and Power Pole. Anyone who qualifies for Caymas Cash rewards could receive up to $7,000 for winning any ABA Open Series event. If the winning boat carries a Mercury motor, the angler could receive an extra $1,000 in cash from Mercury Marine. If that boat comes with a MotorGuide Trolling Motor, the angler could win an additional $500.

See each manufacturer’s website for details, rules, and qualifications for more information on their contingency programs.

The top anglers could also earn invitations to fish area championship tournaments with a guaranteed $6,000 to the winning boater for a field of at least 60 boats. If 100 or more boaters participate, the winning boater in a championship event will take home a guaranteed minimum of $10,000.

People can stay at the Comfort Inn and Suites (256-259-8700, www.choicehotels.com) at 25775 John T. Reid Parkway in Scottsboro or other area establishments. For area information, contact the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce at (256) 259-5500. Online, see mountainlakeschamberofcommerce.com.

American Bass Anglers is sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Garmin Electronics, Power Pole, Lucas Oil, Monster Energy, REKS Sunglasses, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.

For more information about this tournament, call tournament director Floyd Vaughn at (256) 230-5633. For more information about any American Bass Anglers tournament series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

This story was written by ABA staff writer John N. Felsher. To submit articles of interest email info@americanbassanglers.com.

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© 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.