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Wedowee’s Winter Bass Combo
Both largemouth and spotted bass will be biting shallow this month.
 
By Ronnie Garrison
Originally published in the December 2017 issue of AON
 
Jay Gazaway with a solid Wedowee largemouth. There are tons of small spotted bass in the lake, and good largemouth are commonly caught in December.
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Bluff banks... chunk rock on clay points... docks with wood posts on deep water—spotted bass love these types of structure, and Lake Wedowee is full of them. There is also lots of wood cover in pockets and shallow flats that hold largemouth. December is a great month to catch both bass species at Lake Wedowee.

Wedowee, also known as R.L. Harris Reservoir, is a 10,660-acre Alabama Power Co. lake on the Tallapoosa River upstream from Lake Martin near the Georgia line. Filled in 1983, it is one of the newest lakes in the state. The lake is full of spotted bass, and there is no size limit on them. Largemouth between 13 and 16 inches long are protected by a slot limit, all largemouth in that size range must be released.

A Wedowee spot’s average size is about a pound, and you can catch them all day. Bigger spots are in the lake, and most tournament bags will have several spotted bass topping 3 pounds. Due to the slot limit, bigger largemouth are fairly common, and 8-pounders are weighed during most winter tournaments.

Jay Gazaway lives only 45 minutes from the lake just across the state line. He loves Wedowee so much he has a place on the lake and spends most of his time off from the Douglas County Fire Department fishing Wedowee. Jay has been a member of the Bass Fraternity Bass Club (formerly the West Georgia Bassmasters) for about seven years, and they fish Wedowee often every year. Jay qualified for the Bass Nation Georgia State Team in 2014.

“December is a great month for catching bass on Wedowee,” Jay said.

He said the bass are mostly shallow and feeding on shad in a variety of types of cover. They will readily hit several baits, and you can fish your favorites and catch bass.

For late November and December bass fishing on Wedowee, Jay will have a topwater bait, a crankbait, a spinnerbait, a jerkbait, a shaky head worm, a drop-shot worm and a jig ’n pig ready to cast to different types of cover. Most years the topwater bite is about over in December, but with water temperatures still in the low 70 in early November this year, you can still catch some bass on top.

Jay’s place is just upstream of the Highway 431 bridge up the Little Tallapoosa River, and he usually fishes from there down to the mouth of the big Tallapoosa River, just upstream of the Highway 48 bridge. The river banks through here are mostly bluff walls with some cuts and ditches, and there are several big creeks with a variety of types of cover.

We fished the second week of November and caught a lot of spotted bass on most of the following places. They will be even better now for spots and largemouth.

No. 1: N 33º 21.789 – W 85º 29.732
— Going downstream from the Highway 431 bridge, the river makes a right turn. On the inside of this bend, there is a brick and cream-colored wood split level house sitting on a round point with rip-rap. The lake bottom here is clay out past the rip-rap, and it slopes off to deeper water.

This is a good place to try topwater if the water temperature is higher than the low 50s. Jay likes a white buzzbait and will cast it right to the edge of the water and fish it back to the boat, which he keeps a long cast off the bank. The cooler the water, the slower you should try to move the bait. Both spots and largemouth feed here in December.

If you don’t get hit on top or if the water is in the lower 50s or cooler, try a crankbait. With the usual muddy water in December, Jay likes a crawfish No. 5 Shad Rap or a Rayburn Red One Knocker rattle bait. Keep your boat a long cast from the bank, and fish the crankbaits from the edge of the water to the boat.

No. 2: N 33º 21.399 – W 85º 29.736
— Across the river and a little downstream, the bluff wall on the left has a small double-finger cove in it.  The bank between the left side ditch and the right side, in the back, is a steep bluff, but there is a shelf of rocks that comes off it. The rock shelf should be a foot or so deep with the lake at usual winter pool, and Jay says you can catch an amazing number of fish here.

Start to the left of the first dock on this bank, and fish to your right past the second dock. Jay says this is a good place to find the bass stacked up in December. He likes to start with a jerkbait like a blueback-colored Spro McStick or a blue Lucky Craft Pointer, both in small sizes. The spots were spitting up very small shad the day we fished, and Jay tries to match the size of the bait the fish are eating.

As you fish down this shelf, both docks have posts near the bank and floating platforms in front of them. Jay likes docks with posts and will fish the jerkbait around them, and then he will follow up with a shaky-head worm. Work each post, letting your worm fall straight down beside it on slack line.

No. 3: N 33º 21.614 – W 85º 30.451
— Going down the lake, the river makes a sharp U-turn. Pineywood Creek runs off the outside bend, and the point inside the U-turn is very narrow. The point is actually an island when the water is up. On the end of it on the upstream side there’s a group of blowdowns in the water, and it drops off fast around them. They hold good fish. Jay likes to slow-roll a white and chartreuse War Eagle spinnerbait through the limbs then follow up with a jig or shaky-head worm. Some quality fish hold in these trees.

No. 4: N 33º 21.667 – W 85º 30.640
— On the outside bend just downstream of Pineywood Creek, a small cut in the bluff wall is just upstream of a dock. There is a red and white KW Realty Group for-sale sign near it. A point runs out into the cut just upstream of this dock.

This entire bluff wall is typical of the kind of place where spotted bass hold and feed in the winter. Start at the cut and fish the wood in it with a spinnerbait, jig ’n pig and shaky head. Work the point and bluff bank down to the next cut with a drop shot. Jay likes a morning dawn colored worm about a foot above a 1/8-oz. weight. He pitches it to water about a foot deep and slowly works it down the drop.

Any hole or small cut in a bluff wall is a good target. Bass like to hold on any change like this, and there are often big boulders under the water that caused the cut when they fell away. Work the big rocks slowly with your drop shot and shaky head.

No. 5: N 33º 20.544 – W 85º 30.869
— Go down the river into Wedowee Creek. The creek makes a sharp S-turn just inside the mouth. Go to the bluff bank on the right on the outside of the bend, and start fishing at a green-topped dock that’s in front of a small brown cabin. It is the first dock on this bank.

Work up the bluff with your drop shot and shaky head. Some days it seems the bass want a bait right on the bottom, so the shaky head is best. Other days they want the bait a little above the rocks, so the drop shot is better. With either bait, fish very slowly.

Your boat will be in 30 plus feet of water not far off the bank, and you want your baits to follow the steep drop down. Keep your bait in contact with the rocks at all times. Continue fishing the bluff to the first cove.

No. 6: N 33º 20.331 – W 85º 30.682
— Farther up Wedowee Creek the bank straightens out on the left side. Start at the round point just past the first small cove on that side, and fish upstream. The bottom slopes off here, and your boat will be 10 to 12 feet deep a good cast off the bank.

Cast your shaky head and jig to about 3 feet of water, and fish it back to 10 feet deep. Bass feed around the chunk rock and docks on this bank, and there are scattered stumps and wood on the bottom. Jay likes a 1/8-oz. shaky-head jig with a green-pumpkin Trick Worm on it, and he always dips the last inch of the tail in chartreuse JJ’s Magic. Spots just love a little chartreuse.

There is also a private boat ramp here. Be sure to fish it all the way to the end. Bass feed at these boat ramps and hold along the edges and ends of them. Jay drags his shaky head along the bottom, staying in contact with it, without a lot of hops or shakes.

No. 7: N 33º 19.062 – W 85º 34.448 — Run down to the mouth of the main Tallapoosa River. The narrow point between the two rivers is a bluff bank on the Little Tallapoosa side, and it drops off fast. There are some small pockets on this bluff bank with wood cover. Start on the downstream side of the first small pocket, and work upstream. There is a series of small points along this bank that hold fish.

Keep the boat out in 30 feet of water, and fish all the way up this bank to the long point that runs out to a shallow hump that is way off the bank. That hump was just barely visible the day we fished, and it can be very dangerous since it is not marked.

Fish may be grouped up on one of these points or scattered on several, like they were the day we fished. We caught spots on shaky-head worms on several different points. When you catch a fish, slow down and fish the point thoroughly from different angles, covering every rock on it.

No. 8: N 33º 19.476 – W 85º 33.254 — Going back up the Little Tallapoosa, Allen Branch is on the right. Just inside the mouth is a public boat ramp on the left, and powerlines cross the creek not far upstream of it. Stop just past the powerlines on the right at a bluff point there.

Fish your shaky head. Work upstream, keeping your boat out from the bank and dragging the bait down the drop. There is a good point at the mouth of the first cove on the right. There is some brush sticking up out of the water. Work all around it. The bass will move to the more shallow point to feed, too.

No. 9: N 33º 20.317 – W 85º 33.825
— When you come out of Allen Branch going up the river, there is a big cove on your left with docks in it. On the upstream side of this cove a long point comes out, and there is standing timber all along the bank going upstream from it. There are no docks along this bank.

Jay stops just upstream of the island where a visible gap in the stumps will let you get in close to the bank. It is best to go in with your trolling motor since there are a lot of trees just under the surface. Get in behind the trees, and fish the bank going upstream.

This is a good place to fish a jerkbait and crankbait. Cast right to the edge of the water, and run the baits back to the boat parallel to the rocks, keeping them in fairly shallow water. Also fish a shaky head on this bank. Fish up to the first cove on this bank.

Jay says he seldom fishes the trees themselves, but he has caught some bass by working a jerkbait beside the stumps and through the standing timber. Bass will suspend down in the trees and come up to hit your bait.

No. 10: N 33º 23.424 – W 85º 33.701
— The next long bluff bank upstream of the cove at hole No. 9 has one small cut in it that seems to concentrate fish. Jay starts at it and fishes the cut carefully with a shaky head. There is wood in the cut and along this bank that holds fish. Work up this bank past the “Warning No Dredging” sign on it. Fish it like other bluff banks, working you shaky head slowly down the rocks. Fish concentrate in certain areas even when you can not see a reason for it, so slow down when you catch a bass and work that area carefully.

These locations were holding bass in November and will be holding more now. Try them, and you can find many similar places all over Lake Wedowee.
 
 
 
 
 
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