Road Trip: Guntersville
I hit the road to the Big G this weekend, an annual pilgrimage my bunch makes every year about this time. We keep the campers down here from about February to late April. Itís a lot of fishing, cooking, and just forgetting we live in the real world.
Most anglers will think about world class bass fishing when you mention Guntersville, but this lake has so much more to offer than just bass. Now donít get me wrong the bass fishing can be life altering. I have seen grown men reduced to acting like 12-year-olds when the frog bite is on, but the bass fishing is not the only reason to make the trek to the Big G.
The lake also is a phenomenal crappie fishing destination. Itís as good as or better than most lakes and in the spring itís off the chain. A good starting place is one of the many bridges and causeways on the lake, there are literally dozens. The second best starting point is the marinas. We have had many camp dinners caught within a mile of the campers.
Crappie tactics are not complicated down here. Troll until you locate a good school and then set on them with jigs or minnows. Most spring days you wonít look long for crappies as there are plenty of creek channels and blown down trees that will always hold fish. If you stay in the marina there will always be fish around the docks. You do not hear about the crappie fishing much due to the lakes reputation as a big bass factory.
Another good reason to fish the lake is the abundance of trophy catfish, especially blue catfish! Most anglers find cut bait and chicken breasts on large circle hooks very productive. Looks for deep holes on the main channel. If you not using a guide for catfish this lake has a large learning curve since itís so massive. Most of our trophy cats have come within a mile of the Wheeler Lake Dam.
Itís impossible to mention Guntersville and not talk about the bass fishing. Itís as advertised most weeks. In the spring large swim baits, spinnerbaits, and shallow diving crankbaits are going to be your go to starting point. If you fish the many bridges a jig and trailer combo is a high producer. The Storm 360 search bait has been a great choice so far this year.
From Chapel Hill itís less than two hours to the Goose Pond Boat Ramp, so there is no real reason not to come fish this jewel of the South. If youíre a camper there are several good options in the area. Goose Pond is not the cheapest but it had the best amenities. Second would be the Guntersville State Park.
Troy Basso is a freelance writer and fishing guide from Tennessee. He can be reached through his website at www.troybassooutdoors.com.