Striped drum time during Guntersville Dam

April 16, 2017 - Picnic Time

The waters next Guntersville Dam don’t get a fragment of a fishing vigour exerted above it for many of a year–it’s not a mark that attracts largemouth drum nor a hordes of anglers who pursue them.

But for a few weeks any spring, a shoreline railings can get roughly elbow-to-elbow as fishermen line adult for a run of striped drum that shows adult here consistently.

The fish are blocked by a dam in their upstream run out of Wheeler Lake to spawn; they accumulate in a quick H2O next a gates, infrequently in vast schools, and for anglers who know a tricks of throwing them, they form a substantial attraction.

This is apparently not light tackle country; many who line a rails lift rigging that would be some-more mostly seen on a North Carolina beach by anglers heaving hardware into a surf. Rods of 8 to 10 feet long, vast lever-drag reels and line contrast 40 pounds and some-more are a norm.

The rigging is indispensable for dual reasons. One is that a hulk rods concede good casting distance, and being means to strech out over than anyone else can infrequently make a disproportion when a fish uncover adult good out from a wall. And secondly, a vast tackle is required since a fish run large–7 to 10 pounders are common, 15 to 20 pounders occasional. Even a “trash” fish are large, with 5-pound drum and trout frequently hooked.

Striped drum can be held on an collection of jigs and plugs, though live shad is a best bait, experts say. 

While a few anglers locate a stripers on vast topwaters and swimbaits, distant improved is live shad, since a area is brisk with these dulcet baitfish, also creation a spawning run upriver. The baits infrequently mass in a thousands right opposite a servant wall of a dam, creation themselves easy targets both for fish and fishermen.

Regulars during a dam use steel locate baskets to constraint a shad–the basket is simply lowered down next a swarms of bait, afterwards fast hauled upwards, trapping them in a device.

The baits are afterwards nose-hooked on 3/0 to 5/0 short-shank live attract hooks, fraudulent on droppers above a 2 to 3 unit egg sinker. It’s arrange of a super-sized dropshot rig. The supply is fished anywhere from right opposite a wall to as distant out as a angler can cast. The sinker rests on bottom, and a attract trails out behind until a striper finds it, that might take customarily mins when a fish are there in numbers.

Once an angler gets bending up, he has to “walk down” a fish, operative down a railings as other anglers fabricated there lift their rigging out of a approach so that he can pass. The servant wall inclines down to a H2O where a fish can be landed during a downstream end.

The punch is mostly best during dawn, that means we have to get there early to get one of a primary spots when a run is on. It customarily starts in late Mar and continues until about May 1.

Stripers are tasty list fish, though like many class they are best when skinned and with a red line cut divided before cooking. The extent is 5 daily over 22 inches prolonged on a TVA lakes. See for details.

Access to Guntersville Dam is off Union Springs Road, northwest of Guntersville. The dam recreational area includes toilets and a cruise area, a corridor to a dam wall and a rising ramp for boats. (Because of a frequently quick water, customarily consultant boatmen are suggested to fish a area by boat.)

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