Weiss Lake News Article

Still time for some great fall fishing

Weiss Lake Guides
Posted: 11/27/2007

Kelly Matthews

While most people including myself are stuffing there bellies with Thanksgiving turkey - I still find time to get out on the lake for some fast and furious fall crappie fishing action. Most anglers are starting to put their boats and tackle away for the winter, waiting for the first signs of spring. Well let me tell you - if you are done gorging on that Thanksgiving turkey and cabin fever is already showing it ugly head then its time to make a beeline for the lake. This is the perfect time to stock up your freezer that has slowly dwindled down with fresh crappie fillets from this past summer cookouts. This time of year the water temps are slowly creeping down, crappie are getting more aggressive. Cooler water temps have triggered the crappie into a feeding frenzy - summer is over and its time for them to release their anger on any lures that get in there way to a free meal. Those slow faint taps we have felt on our rods for the last few weeks are gone - crappie now know that winter is on the way and the fall fiesta is on. They are several ways to go after these feeding frenzy crappie - but today I will talk about a technique that is bullet proof this time of year and also doesn’t break the bank on your way to stringer full of slabzilla's.
Here on Weiss and most all lakes you have at least one river system feeding the lake sometimes more - We have three here on Weiss the Coosa, Chattooga and Little River all dump their waters to form Lake Weiss. As the water temps drop the crappie migrate up into these rivers starting to school up in large schools and feeding on shad getting ready for the winter to come. The key to catching crappie this time of year or really anytime of year is finding structure. The old saying goes One Mans Trash is Another Mans Treasure - well that’s so true about this technique. In river systems you will always have falling tree's, broken up docks and just about anything else you can imagine. All this debris has to go somewhere and most times it ends up lodged creating a big log jam somewhere in the turns of the river system. These log jams creates an excellent place for these migrating crappie to hold. Number one you have structure - Number two you have a current break and last but not least you have an ambush point. Crappie will hold on the down current side of these jams waiting for schools of shad to move through. This is the area where you want to concentrate on working real well cause crappie are lazy fish and they look for anything to help them from spending any wasted energy. Now we know where to look for them, so how do we trick these critters in taking a one way trip to the live well...?

The best method I found for fishing log jams is simple - casting/shooting and tight lining a 1/16 oz. jig back to the boat. Here on Weiss the main river feeding it is the Coosa and it can tend to have a lot of current at times - that’s why I like the 1/16 oz. jig head and sometimes even heavier. I will mostly cast these jigs with a Southern Pro Hot Grub - the Hot Grub is a three color core twister type grub and works very well fishing log jams. Colors I tend to stay with and have always come through for me are the Black and Blues with Chartreuse tail. For the line I like to use Sufix Siege 6lb test - it is plenty strong enough for doing this technique and holds up real well fishing heavy cover like this. The rod I like best for this technique is the B'n'Ms Sharp Shooter in the 5 1/2 foot model - this rod was designed for shooting docks and works great for fishing log jams. A lot of times I can be more accurate with shooting log jams than trying to cast especially if you have any wind at all. Now we have our setup so where do we go?

With this technique you don’t need all those high dollar graphs and GPS units - the treasures we are looking for is in plain site and most people pass them by wondering why Alabama Power don’t come in and clean this stuff up. Well for my sake I hope they never do. This is where a good quality lake map will come in handy - what we are looking for is where the river makes a sharp turn close to shallow water. This where most of your log jams or going to form and this is where the crappie will be. Here on Weiss we have miles of river channels and 100's of log jams to fish - it doesn’t take long to scout out and check these log jams and see if they are holding crappie. Once you have found crappie on certain log jams they will continue to produce good stringers of crappie for you day in and day out. There will be times when you come up on an area and you spot fish working the surface around log jams - unless you are just wanting to have some fun, keep moving 99% of the time this will be stripers and white bass working a school of shad and crappie don’t want no part of the fun. Like I said before crappie are lazy fish and you want find them working shad like that. A great place to start your search is the Alabama Belle Resort - from their all the way up to Three Mile has always been great fishing when looking for log jammed crappie. Fishing this way for me is really what crappie fishing is all about - it’s me with one rod verses the all mighty fish we call crappie. Take this technique and the equipment I mentioned - I assure you will have a great day on the lake. 
Thanks and Good Fishin
By: Kelly Matthews
Equipment Used

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