Originally published in the December 2011 issue of AON
Pickwick: Level: 4 feet below full pool. Temp: Mid to upper 50s. Clarity: 2 to 4 feet visibility.
Bass: Fair. Gary Harlan, of Roger Stegall Professional Guide Service, reports, “We are going to call this ‘The Year of the Shad.’ I haven’t seen so many small — less than 2-inch — shad in a long time. It’s amazing with the two kills we had last winter that they have come back so strong, especially with the slim grass crop we had this year. The shad have evidently spawned during the last little warm spell we had because I found some that were no more than 1/2-inch long. That unlimited food source and the large schools of bass we experienced this fall say a lot about the quality of this fishery we have here at Pickwick. The abundance of food can make the bass tough to catch, so keep changing up baits, mostly in size, until you figure out what it is they want. This can vary from school to school. The bass, both largemouths and smallmouths, are still biting. The feeding frenzies from a month or two ago have slowed down as the water has cooled off considerably. You need to really slow down and fish an area thoroughly once you locate the fish. Carolina-rigged plastics, shaky heads and jigs are accounting for the majority of the fish I am catching. On warmer days, the new Burner series of spinnerbaits from Strike King have produced good numbers and quality fish. I think the head shape and the downsized blades are reasons this bait has produced. We are starting to catch a few on suspending jerkbaits as well. Look for the fish to begin migrating toward deeper water once the temps fall into the lower 50s and high 40s. We’ll really have to slow down then.”
Crappie: Good. “Crappie have picked up. Most are coming to trollers, but the tightliners like me are picking up a few. Most are 15 feet or deeper,” Gary said.