I fished Neely Henry a little over a week ago for an Alabama Outdoor News article. We fished the mid lake area near Gadsden and it is much like fishing a river with some backwaters off it. The water was stained and flowing a little but it was just natural current. When power is being generated at the dam it flows very strongly and makes the bass bite even better.
In about five hours of fishing we caught about 20 bass. Most hit a jig head worm or a Texas rigged tube fished slowly on the bottom in just a couple of feet of water. I was lucky enough to land the two biggest bass, a three pound spot and a 3.5 pound largemouth. Both fought hard.
It would take about three hours to get to Neely Henry pulling a boat but would be worth the time. The Alabama DNR says it is a "sleeper" lake because of its good population of good size bass but not much fishing pressure. And the places to catch them right now are easy to find. Any cut going off the river will have bass feeding on the points of it.
I fished Allatoona for a GON article and landed a keeper spot and largemouth, but the fisherman showing me the lake landed about eight spots and his best five weighed about ten pounds. His biggest was a pretty two pound, ten ounce torpedo shaped fish that had very pretty colors.
Allatoona is a very pretty lake just outside Atlanta. I-75 crosses it and it gets real crowded during warm weather, but there were few people on it last Tuesday when we were there. And with the water down six feet the rocky points and banks where the bass were feeding were easy to find.
I caught my two bass on a small jig and pig and my partner caught his on crankbaits and a jig and pig. We fished from daylight until about 2:00 PM and quit because of the biggest problem fishermen from this area have. To get to Allatoona you have to go right through downtown Atlanta and traffic is awful if you are there from about 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. I hate pulling a boat in that traffic and it is bad even on weekends.
Last Sunday the Flint River Bass Club fished Lanier for our November tournament. We had only seven fishermen and we landed 19 bass weighing about 42 pounds. There were two five-fish limits and one fisherman didn’t have a keeper. Four of the spots weighed over three pounds each and were very fat and pretty.
John Smith had four spots weighing 11.37 pounds and won, and his 3.42 pound spot tied for big fish. Kwong Yu was second with a limit weighing 10.01 pounds and he had the other big fish spot at 3.42. Guest Chuck Croft came in third with five at 9.04 pounds and my three fish weighing 7.12 pounds was good for fourth. I had the only largemouth weighed in.
Lanier has been my down-fall the past few years and I have had a tough time catching a keeper there. Last Sunday I knew I would win the point standings for the year if I caught just one keeper since several people were not there. But I was not sure I could catch even one keeper bass.
I started out in the fog throwing a spinner bait on a rocky point near where we started and got a hit and missed the fish. I figured that might be the only strike I would get all day with the way my Lanier luck has been running. For the next hour I didn’t get a bite.
At about 8:00 I went to a hump with some brush on it and landed a 13.5 inch spot from 20 feet of water on a jig and pig. Unfortunately, the size limit on Lanier is 14 inches so I let it go. I started to leave but decided to fish some docks nearby.
Nothing hit around the dock but there was a tree lying in the water between it and the next dock. I made about six casts to the tree and started to move on but on the last cast my line started moving out of the tree when my jig and pig got out near the end. I set the hook and landed a 3.01 pound spot. When I put it in the live well I relaxed - I had the one bass I needed.
After fishing a line of docks and some points , fishing slowly and not really trying too hard, I ran out and fished some points and other brush piles. I got several bites but did not hook a fish.
At 1:30 I was back at the tree where I caught the fish that morning at 8:15 and hooked and landed a 1.5 pound largemouth from another tree right beside the big one. I fished several more places but at 2:30 had not had another bite. We were quitting at 3:00 PM so I decided to hit the tree one more time.
At 2:45 I decided I would make one more cast and leave. As I worked the jig and pig through the tree I got a hit and landed another spot weighing just under three pounds. I put it in the live well and ran to weigh-in, making it with five minutes to spare!