Captain Mike Gerry reports from Guntersville that the late summer doldrums have set in due to the heat, with fishing slow all over the lake. However, he said some of his clients have caught fish in the 4 to 5 pound range by persistent casting with Picasso buzzbaits around surface weeds on the edge of the drops. Gerry says it’s a game of numbers, but those who make enough casts eventually connect and it’s often a large fish. He also says “dead-sticking” with soft plastics, letting them sit on bottom for an extended period before moving, can be productive if you can see fish on sonar but can’t get a bite; www.fishlakeguntersvilleguideservice.com.

At Pickwick Lake, there’s a brief topwater bite at dawn around the hydrilla beds, with poppers, frogs and buzzbaits all good offerings. As the sun gets up, the action is at 20 to 25 feet on jigs, flutter spoons and deep-diving crankbaits. Crappie fishing is slow, but some are being caught deep in Bear and Yellow creeks drifting live minnows. A few stripers are showing below the dam at daybreak and can be caught on the topwaters and swimbaits; www.mdwfp.com.

Guide Mark Collins reports from Weiss Lake that surface temperature is about 83 to 85 degrees in most areas, and the water is about 3 inches below full pool. He said crappie fishing remains poor due to the heat, but some fish are to be found on the deep channel edge woody structures and rocks at depths of 12 to 16 feet. Live minnows fished a few feet off bottom are the best bet. Bass fishing is fair on jigs, deep-running crankbaits and swimbaits on the ledges submerged road beds and humps. Also, there’s a good bite around creek mouths and culverts after heavy rains; www.markcollinsguideservice.com.

At Lewis Smith, the lake is clear and the bite is slow, but some spotted bass are being caught at 25 feet on more on main lake points on shaky heads and drop-shot worms. Stripers are at 50 feet and more around the main channel drops, and can be caught drifting live shad deep. Trout fishing below the dam is good anytime there’s current flowing–live worms under a bubble float are the best bet, but small wet flies, streamers, spinners and spoons also get them. The fish are small but are stocked regularly so odds of catching them are good; www.riversideflyshop.com.

From the coast, Captain Bobby Abruscato reports muddy water and debris from the storm passage is slowing fishing in some areas, but find clean water and the trout are ready to bite–marsh edges on outgoing tides at dawn and dusk are prime spots for larger fish on topwaters, while during the brighter hours fish around open bay structures and drops with live shrimp under a slip cork. Spanish and kings are still abundant off the beaches–this action usually remains good until mid-October; www.ateamfishing.com.

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