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Briana Tucker , of Lawrence County, with a 7.71 pounds largemouth bass she caught on Pickwick Lake.Briana Tucker , of Lawrence County, with a 7.71 pounds largemouth bass she caught on Pickwick Lake.

A poll released by the Birmingham-based Bassmaster Magazine confirmed what many anglers around the Shoals have been saying for the past couple of years; Pickwick Lake is the best bass fishing lake in Alabama.

The poll, which ranked the Top 25 bass lakes in the Southeast, listed Pickwick as number 5. It was the highest ranked lake in Alabama - beating out popular bass fishing destinations such as Guntersville Lake, which was ranked ninth and Logan Martin, ranked 25th. North Carolina’s Shearon Harris Lake was ranked as the top bass reservoir in the Southeast, followed by the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina, Chickamauga Lake in Tennessee and Lake Okeechobee in Florida.

The annual rankings are based on information collected from state fish and wildlife agencies and input from bass anglers throughout the nation.

“I am not surprised. Pickwick has been amazing this year,” said Tennessee River fishing guide Cameron Gautney of Muscle Shoals. “I am seeing a lot more boats on Pickwick. People are coming all from all over the country to fish Pickwick.”

Gautney said as recently as two years ago, most of his clients wanted to fish for bass on Guntersville Lake. Now, 90 percent of his fishing trips are on Pickwick Lake. In the 2016 Bassmaster survey, Gunterville Lake was ranked number five in the Southeast and Pickwick Lake was ranked seventh.

Tim Horton, a Bassmaster Elite Series professional angler and outdoors television personality, said Pickwick Lake is deserving of its ranking as the top bass-fishing lake in Alabama. “The bass fishing on Pickwick is red hot right now. It’s absolutely on fire. Lots of big largemouth and big smallmouth are being caught.”

Horton, of Muscle Shoals, attributes the number of big bass being caught on Pickwick to the proliferation of aquatic vegetation on the lake. “The grass has turned Pickwick into one of the best lakes in the country.

 
 

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Timmy Horton’s tips for Pickwick Lake

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Pickwick Lake in northwest Alabama belies the notion that all good things must come to an end. Completed in 1938, the bass fishing in this storied 47,500-acre Tennessee River reservoir is better than ever.

Bassmaster Elite Series tournament angler Timmy Horton was a fishing guide at Pickwick before he became one of the top bass pros in the country. He still fishes Pickwick often and is astounded by what the lake is producing.

“Last spring you had to have 30 pounds to have a shot at winning any bass tournament here,” Horton says. “A 20-pound limit no longer gives you bragging rights at Pickwick.”

Electrofishing by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources found that Pickwick’s largemouth bass were fatter than bass from other Alabama reservoirs in 2008. That was a harbinger of better things to come. Read More

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